Dog Hot Spot Tips


First know that a hot spot is a reaction to an allergy or irritant.  Constant hotspots tell you to try a limited ingredient dog food for a while. 

We eventually had to pull our dog off all dog foods and now he gets 5% of his weight in turkey, peas and carrots.  Turkey livers and raw neck bones.  We keep trying doggie vitamins, but so far no luck.  We also watch his blood levels.  Do not be afraid, but work closely with your vet if you do this because there are billion opinions about what is ok and what isn’t.   I will eventually do a blog post on this.

Switching diets may sound complicated but we have never done anything as wonderful for him ever.  This diet took 3 years off his age.  He started pulling out his old toys and playing again.  I wish I had done this a long time ago. 

Allergy pills like Claritin do work for some dogs.  See your vet.


When you see your dog diving in to make a hot spot:




1. FOUR Benadryl every FOUR hours today.

Stop an allergic reaction in its tracks AND/OR makes for a dog too sleepy to chew on himself.

Our dog is a HUGE German Shepherd. Call your vet.

2. Lido-Med Anti-Itch Gel or an Aloe/Tea Tree if a sore has already developed . 

Numb and heal a little the actual hot spot.  I want to work towards it being dry because I think that would be the least itchy.  Our vet likes wounds dry and in the open air.  She would shave the hair around it if we took him in.

Like solarcane for sunburns). OR  Hydrocortisone with aloe. I’ve hear on-line that Hartz grocery store brand is generally really good.

3. Serious Exercise at high speeds.  I want panting and side tounge and a whole body workout.!

A panting dog won’t chew on himself.  A tired dog will give into the Benadryl naps more easily. 

Not swimming though cuz we want things to dry out. 
4. A rub, massage perhaps with ice. I try to really rub where he was chewing.  I massage the whole leg with an ice pack.  I just watch and see what he seems to be liking.  Sometimes you can stop a hot spot in it’s tracks just with this step.

4. 4 to 6 hour nap.

I think this breaks the cycle of going after the hot spot.

Maybe for both you and the dog.

5. A really good bone

He may still have the urge to gnaw on something , I would rather it be this.

6. Brush  – reduce all possible itch vectors.  The good brushes that strip the undercoat work wonders.  It could also be an environmental irritant, like paint or cat.



Generally that’s it.  We may have to keep this up for a day or two, but then we are done before  the hot spot every has a chance to get going.


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