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Natural Treatments for Canine Acne


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Did you know that a dog can get acne during their puberty just like a human can? As a matter of fact, acne can be an affliction that affects dogs of all ages. Although it is usually just a benign (or harmless) skin disorder that only lasts a few months or the first year of the dog's life, some dogs can experience horrible symptoms such as intense itching, pain, and even bleeding. If your dog is a short haired breed (such as a boxer, bulldog, or smooth Chihuahua), it may be even more prone to acne outbreaks than longhaired breeds. However, even a longhaired breed can have them, so check closely every time you do your regular grooming maintenance and look for common symptoms.


Possible Symptoms or Behaviors of a Dog With Acne

If your dog has any of the following symptoms or exhibits any of these behaviors, please contact your veterinarian for professional consultation and to screen for any pre-existing and possibly serious health conditions.

  1. Scars or lesions from scratching or healing

  2. Pus in or around any lesions

  3. An odor coming from infections

  4. Red bumps in an isolated region

  5. Blackhead pimples in an isolated region

  6. White or pus-filled bumps in an isolated region

  7. Swelling or small patches that resemble bug bites in an isolated region

  8. Excessive licking or scratching in an isolated area

  9. Loss of hair or change of hair color in an area (due to excessive licking or scratching)

  10. Appearance of a sunburn in an area that is not exposed to much sun

  11. Extra dry skin in isolated patches (sign of lesions)


Possible Causes of Your Dog’s Acne


While hormones are most likely the primary cause behind the acne on your young dog, there may be an underlying factor behind a hormonal imbalance or a number of other primary causes altogether.


The following list of possible causes of your dog's acne is not all inclusive. Your dog’s case should be presented to your own veterinarian so that he or she can test for any other internal issues (such as allergies) or skin disorders (like parasites).

  1. Hormones

  2. Puberty

  3. Age

  4. Genetics

  5. Trauma or injury

  6. Diet

  7. Dirty environment

  8. Too much oil on skin

  9. Not enough oil on skin

  10. Parasites

  11. Viral infection

  12. Allergies

  13. Stress (increased cortisol hormone sometimes related to boredom or noise)


Natural Acne Treatment for Your Dog


Of course, you know that all medical recommendations should be backed up by a professional veterinarian who tests and knows your dog, but here is a handy list of natural remedies that you can ask him or her about:

  1. Use a human soap made from natural ingredients on the affected areas on your dog. You may opt between a regular human adult facial cleanser for acne prone skin or a milder special baby soap made for baby pimples if your dog has especially sensitive skin.

  2. If your dog seems to get acne around his or her mouth after eating, then you may need to clean their mouth after each meal, or at least when it is extra messy. Wipe your dog's mouth off or gently scrub with the facial cleanser and then be sure to pat and wipe his or her mouth until it is completely dry.

  3. If your dog's veterinarian agrees, use a benzoyl peroxide oil, cream, or lotion on acne affected areas (with extra double care not to get any in his or her eyes)


Your dog's vet may prefer to prescribe him or her a specially formulate acne medicine and, because canine acne can come from so many different causes and result in so many different forms, it is best to follow the vet's advice, even if it is a bit more costly.

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