Hot spots are inflamed red patches that can appear on your dog. They are especially common in elderly dogs, often as a result of allergies. These infected areas are painful and itchy. You may notice your dog frequently chewing or scratching this area, leading to more irritation. As it progresses, you’ll also likely notice some fur loss.
These patches often flare up in the spring, when pollen counts are high. Instead of sneezing and sniffing, your dog may instead have an unpleasant skin reaction. Hot spots can also appear if your dog eats a food he’s allergic to.
Working with your holistic vet (hopefully, you’ve been able to find one in your area), you can try to identify the source of trouble and remove it. If it seems as if it’s related to diet, you can maybe discuss switching to hypoallergenic foods.
Natural Treatments for Hot Spots in Dogs
Since I’m not an animal healthcare expert, I can’t give advice on treating hot spots in dogs. Nor can I promise that you’ll see the same amazing results that we did. All I can do is share my experience. So all medical questions must be directed to your vet. Please consult with your vet before you decide to use essential oils on your pet. Never use them on a pregnant dog.
When our own nearly 15-year-old dog developed a hot spot on his back one spring, we suspected seasonal allergies. (People around us were also suffering.) Other than keeping our dog inside more, and feeding him food that supports his overall health, we decided to treat the inflammation with a mixture that included lavender essential oil.
Natural Remedies for Hot Spots
We wouldn’t consider giving him antibiotics or steroids (mainstream veterinary treatments) unless we had no other choice. I’m convinced our dog has enjoyed longevity and relative good health because we’ve adopted a holistic approach.
Essential oils contain powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compounds. For centuries, before the rise of large pharmaceutical firms, these aromatic oils were first-line remedies. Used correctly, they do not have the serious side effects sometimes seen with prescription veterinary medication.
Essential Oils for Hot Spots in Dogs
A quick Internet search turned up a number of essential oil recipes for hot spots. Most of them contained lavender essential oil, which is considered very soothing for a dog’s skin.
Here is one recipe similar to the one we used. (Various hot spot recipes are available, with lavender as a base.) Our dog only needed one application of essential oils to clear his irritation. But check with your (preferably holistic) vet for a more individual treatment plan. I always tell pet owners to consult their vet before using essential oils on their dog.
- 2 ounces of coconut oil
- 2 drops of lavender oil (available here)
- 2 drops of Roman chamomile oil (available here)
The brand of oil I recommended is one I often use on myself, as well as on my dog. The quality is excellent. So I feel totally comfortable about recommending it to my readers.
For More Reading About Essential Oils
Natural Ways to Relieve Dog Skin Itching
If essential oils didn’t relieve the hot spot quickly, our next step would likely have been homeopathy. We’ve been using homeopathic remedies on our dog for years, with great success. However, we’ve also had the good fortune of working with an excellent professional homeopath.
Since these practitioners are very hard to find, I realize not everyone can have their dog treated by a homeopath. But there is another option I wanted to tell you about.
There’s a wide-spectrum homeopathic remedy called Derma-IonX. It’s designed for dog skin problems. The company that created this formula also has two holistic vets on staff that are able to answer questions. Derma-IonX is a mix of various individual remedies often recommended for skin problems.
Even though frequent dosing is recommended, if it were my dog, I’d stop Derma-IonX when I saw significant improvement. I’d only consider giving additional doses if I saw a need. (At least this is how my own homeopath prescribes remedies.)