Treating Heat Rash in Dogs


Authored by Brandy Burgess in Dogs 
Published on 11-05-2009

Similar to heat rash in humans, heat rash in dogs can cause irritated, red and itchy skin. Treating heat rash in dogs is not needed but some simple soothing methods can be used to relieve the skin. Heat rash, also known as prickly rash, appears as small red or pinkish bumps on the skin. This condition can be extremely itchy and irritating to the dog. Even without a heat rash treatment, the skin will usually return to normal in about two to three days.

Treating Heat Rash in Dogs: Causes

In order to treat a heat rash in dogs, you must know the cause so that you can avoid the condition in the future. Heat rash can appear any time of the year, whether it’s hot or not. Heat rash in dogs appears when an area of skin becomes overheated. When the skin is overheated, the sweat glands in the skin must work overtime to try to cool down the skin. Excess sweat on the surface of the skin begins to block the sweat ducts, causing a heat rash. This can be due to hot weather or simply from bundling up in the wintertime.

Treating Heat Rash in Dogs: Treatment

Heat rash in dogs is not dangerous and for the most part, treatment is not usually needed. Keeping the skin cool and staying out of the sun is recommended to avoid making the condition worse. Soothing skin treatments can be used as the heat rash bumps can cause intense itchiness. To help sooth your dogs’ skin irritation, try these simple treatments.

Keep the Skin Cool: This can be hard as some dogs have longer and thicker fur then others. If the weather is hot, consider turning on a fan or air conditioning system to keep the dog cool. Give the dog a bath to help sooth “hot spots” on the dogs’ skin.

Apply Hydrocortisone: Ask your vet for a tube of Hydrocortisone lotion designed especially for dogs with skin conditions. A thin layer of this lotion applied two to three times a day can help the bumps heal quicker and relieve irritation.

Treating Heat Rash in Dogs: Treatments to Avoid

Avoid using any ointments, lotions or treatments that are made for human use. These are not tested on animals and could harm your pet. Any powders or medications that have not been prescribed by your vet should not be used. If your dog continues to have symptoms of a heat rash or the rash becomes worse after three days with or without treatment, see your vet immediately.

Treating Heat Rash in Dogs: Conclusion

Heat rash in dogs can be an irritating experience for your pet and can cause extreme discomfort. Help your dog stay cool to prevent this condition by keeping their fur cut short in warmer environments and wash them down with a cool wash cloth if overheated. Keep your pet out of the sun for long periods of time. Using these simple techniques, you can help your dog stay healthy and avoid futures heat rashes.


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