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Can Dogs Get Heat Rash?


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Humans, especially babies, tend to get a rash on their skin when their bodies overheat. This prickly heat or rash can be itchy, uncomfortable, and often painful. These tiny bumps on our skin can be a large area rash or found between rolls of skin. No matter the placement, the itchy red bumps can be unbearable to deal with once you have it. It heat rash isn’t treated, these rashes can become infected, causing even more pain.

If your dog is experiencing a similar rash, there could be many things from allergies to foods affecting their skin. If this happens during a certain time of year or after your dog has been cuddled beneath a blanket to keep warm, you might be facing heat rash.

Can Dogs Get Heat Rash?


There could be a myriad of reasons your dog has a rash. Be sure to add heat rash to your list of possibilities. If your dog has skin folds or wrinkles, which are super cute, these areas can become overheated and moist. As their temperature increases, the dog could experience heat rash. Your dog’s sensitive skin, such as their belly, is also prone to a reaction because of overheating.

Does My Dog Have Heat Rash?

Heat rash can occur if your dog is overheated or exposed to too much heat. The soft, tender skin and skin folds or large wrinkles found on dogs are most susceptible to heat rash. Heat rash can quickly become infected with the Staphylococcus pathogen if the environment is just right. A heat rash will become worse and possibly infected if the environment, like the skin folds, is hot and humid. If you think your dog may have heat rash, you can look for the following symptoms:

  • Red and tender skin

  • Incessant scratching or licking

  • Boils or pimples on one area

  • Itchy skin

  • Scabs or sores

  • Foul odor in certain areas

Though it is possible your dog is dealing with heat rash, there are many skin conditions you may want to be familiar with. Learn more about other skin issues your dog could face.

Some causes of heat rash in dogs can be expensive to treat.

To avoid high vet care expenses, secure pet health insurance today. The sooner you insure your pet, the more protection you’ll have from unexpected vet costs.

How Do I Treat My Dog’s Heat Rash?

Because rashes could be from just about anything, your veterinarian should check your dog before you begin to treat heat rash. With that said, if you are certain your dog is suffering from heat rash, you can make him more comfortable by giving him a cool place to relax. A cold cloth placed over the rash may also help give you dog relief. You can talk to your veterinarian about other treatments that may help as well:

  • Benadryl

  • Hydrocortisone cream

  • Aloe Vera

Once your dog has experienced heat rash, you may recognize the signs and symptoms before it becomes uncomfortable the next time. Keep your dog’s skin and skin folds clean with a cool cloth wipe down after being outside. It may take a week or so for your dog’s skin to recover. Keep the area clean and cool.

Try to keep your dog from licking the affected area, as incessant licking can cause discomfort and other problems with your dog.

How is Heat Rash Similar in Dogs and Humans?

Heat rash can be painful and, in the very least, uncomfortable. Much like humans, dogs experience the following effects:

  • Itching

  • Irritation

  • Potential infection from scratching

  • Prickly feeling

  • Pustule bumps

How is Heat Rash Different in Dogs and Humans?

Suffering from heat rash is quite similar in dogs, other animals, and humans alike. However, humans don’t tend to lick wounds as dogs do. Though this licking can sometimes help to heal a wound, incessant licking also does a few other things.

If your dog is licking an area more than normal, he is trying to tell you there is an issue. This is a great sign for you to look for trouble in the area where he is licking. Incessant licking can also cause bacteria to grow quicker, causing infection.

Case Study

A pug with the cutest little skin folds lives in a humid area with his family. This little guy does not want to leave his family when everyone is outside playing. As the heat of the day warms his skin he finds shade, but the warm, sticky air is causing an irritation between the adorable folds of skin he and other pugs have.

As the day progresses, the well-loved family pup begins scratching an irritated area. His owners notice the new scratching and look at his skin noticing irritated red bumps. With a cool cloth and a gentle cleanser, this pug’s owners are able to clean the area and provide relief.

If they can wipe down this sensitive skin each day the pug is outside in the hot, humid air, their beloved pug will suffer less from heat rash.

Heat rash in dogs can be expensive to treat. Fortunately, most pet insurance companies reimburse claims within 3 days, putting 90% of the bill back in your pocket. In the market for pet insurance? Compare leading pet insurance companies to find the right plan for your pet.

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