Hot Spots
Natural Remedies

Hot Spot Remedies

Sea Water
Posted by Trisha (Waterford, Ireland) on 11/04/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Hi All,

I have British Bulldogs and one of them started geting what I found out to be hot spots... I was horrified...I brought her to the vet, she was diagnosed and given various seemed to be taking ages to clear, then I got some sea water and applied it 2ce daily, within a few days it cleared up......then out of the blue a few months later I noticed one behind her ear,about 3 inches long 2 inches wide...I went to the sea straight away and got a bottle of sea water, I applied it to the area 2ce daily and in three days it had completely dried up, and within a week you would barely see any sign of it..No vet visit required and No vet bills...Hope this is of help..The main thing is to catch it asap and treat it by dabbing the sea water to the area, no need for shaving,clipping etc..Sea water is Magic!!

Antibiotics, Shaved Fur
Posted by Pam (Sioux Falls, Sd) on 10/19/2009
1 out of 5 stars

Hotspot Absurd: I'll tell you what DOESN'T work! I've kept my 5-yr Papillon in bed, WITH ME! for 7 weeks. I have been able to talk her out of biting/scratching every time she does it, but, guess what? The minute "we" got out of bed, she'd start again and I became distraught, medicating her with human's stuff (couldn't get to vet.

NOW, if I don't let her sit on me all the time she just starts biting and I crumble. I got her to the groomer and she shaved her to the pink body skin but knew nothing to do either. (previously the vet knew nothing except antibiotics!!)

Needless to say, she's traumatized by the shaving and every time I go near the medicine she starts to vibrate like many chihuahuas do and she looks like a Mexican hairless so what a misery I've allowed to develop due to ignorance of options and of this site. Thank you thank you.

Light Weight Coat
Posted by Lucrec (Wantagh, New York) on 07/26/2009
4 out of 5 stars

I just came across this site so I haven't tried the ACV or any of the other natural remedies yet. Max, a 6 year old mini schnauzer is really suffering, so I will try this immediately. But what does seem to help, which is strange is a coat. I put a light weight jersey coat on him and for some reason he stops licking the hot spots. I know they cannot heal just because of the coat, but it does provide him relief and he doesn't have to wear a collar which has to be so frustrating to an itchy animal.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Vet Meds
Posted by MaryKay (Savannah, Georgia) on 06/07/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Just wanted to responed to your site and give update on the info I used for my toy poodles Hotspots. She had 3 each, 1 on neck, 1 on paw, and 1 on leg. Well I tried the 1/2 cup of ACV and 1/2 water mixture on all 3 spots. The 1 on the neck started scabing over and healing within about 3 days, the ACV worked well. However the ones on the foot and feet could not due to she would continue to lick. I tried using the cone around her neck, however she was still able to lick the spots,the cones are mainley used so they can't scratch around their heads/necks. So I tried the Acv and also Witch Hazel, also Gold bond powder, but she kept licking when not watched. In order for them to heal correctly you have to stop them from licking. So bottom line was, I took her to my vet due to it had been 2 weeks of working on the paw and leg. There is a shot which cost abot $15.00 and pills they can give that cost about $10.00 that will help the inch and irritation and eventually heal the Hot spots, however if you have female that is pregnant then they can not be perscribed, but they do have a cream that cost about $15.00 in that it has really helped with mine, its called Quadritop Ointment. No more licking and starting to heal. So if nothing else works take your pet to the vet. The remedies that people have posted are really good for some but not for all, exspecially if your dog continues to lick the spots. Also hotspots are caused mainly by either skin eritation, insect bite or Flee bite, so insure you get some kind of Flea protection for your pet. Hope this helps.

Vegetable Oil
Posted by Shane (Asheville, North Carolina) on 02/19/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I am trying the vegetable oil for hot spots remedy that I found on your site for my dog who has 3 hot spots on his hind legs. It appears to be working. To help get rid of the infection (possibly staph) today I added 6 drops of povidone iodine to the oil because of the smell of infection (my other dog keeps sniffing the newest/latest hot spot in concern, that's how I know). I mixed the iodine with meat baster brush into the oil really well, then applied the mixture to each hot spot with the brush. I think adding the povidone makes a difference. My dog was licking his newest hot spot obsessively all day, but then stopped after I applied the oil with the iodine. I also take him for a walk after applying the oil to give it time to soak in. I also run the meat baster brush under extremely hot water to sterilize it after each use.

Vegetable Oil
Posted by Tom Knight (Tamarindo, Costa Rica) on 03/25/2009

FYI...Up date on the mange cure.

I still have some skin flaking off on his "hotspot", but regular application with the veggie oil keeps it in check. No more fleas or ticks though...or any raw, ugly skit patches...and he doesn't scratch or bite the dry spot. I can live with it....and so can my dog.


Tom Knight
Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Apple Cider Vinegar, Epsom Salts
Posted by Yogi (Melbourne, Australia) on 07/17/2009
5 out of 5 stars

My chow chow developed a hot spot near his tail that grew alarmingly fast. I tried 50% water 50% apple cider vinegar plus a tablesspoon of epson salts and his spot dried up in 2 days. Thank you for this solution. It worked a lot faster than vet prescribed medication! It was a lot cheaper. And there was no cream to get all over the furniture.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Epsom Salts
Posted by Colleen (Durban, South Africa) on 05/22/2011

I have a staffie who suffers badly from hot spots. We have done the vet route countless times and spent huge amounts of money on him, only to have the hot spots return.

I was given a home remedy that definitely stops the itching and helps soothe him down almost immediately. I only need to apply it for a couple of days and the inflammation and oozing stops.

A tub of aqueous cream, a tube of Mycota foot cream, and a box of powdered flowers of sulphur. I mix half of each of the ingredients as I was not given the ratio for the mix. Tee cream is very cheap, and lasts for ages. Now when he sees us with the tub he comes and sits in front of us with his back turned so that we can put on his magic medicine :-)

Black Tea
Posted by Margaret (Knoxvillt, Tn) on 06/14/2011
5 out of 5 stars

This is an amazing treatment for hot spots. I have an 11 year old beagle who is just recovering from major hip surgery. It's been sweltering in Tennessee and she has developed some hot spots near her tail and the skin on her belly became quite inflamed as well. I read the black tea post and tried it. I steeped two black tea bags in hot water and let it cool to just over room temperature with the bags still in. I used the bags as applicators and really drenched the affected areas with the warm tea. She calmed immediately - this is the first treatment I've used that did not burn. I had tried ACV in the past and while it worked beautifully, it burned. I noticed drying after the first application. I've done this twice a day for four days and she is almost healed. I've also given her one lower body bath in warm water and raw oats. I put a handful of the oats in the toe of a sock and held it under the faucet as I filled the bath, squeezing as it filled. The oat bath just put it over the top - the real healer is the black tea. Thank you so much for this post.

ACV and Omega 3
Posted by Kevin (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA) on 11/21/2009

Hi, I was wondering about the ACV and omega-3 treatment. Do you have to make the dog drink it, or use it in a spray bottle, or what? My German-Shepherd Maggie has been itching eversince she became spayed. We've tried everything from non-allergen food to giving her baths almost every bi-weekly.

ACV and Omega 3
Posted by Karen (Deltona, Fl) on 09/19/2011

I too have a German Shepard that gets hotspots and itchy skin. I would love to know more about the ACV and omega-3 treatment. Do we apply it externally or should my dog ingest it? Thank you all for contributing your info. I am going to put what we have done incase it helps someone else

I purchased Neem "protect" spray and the shampoo made by Ark Naturals ( got this at my local health food and medicine store "Debbies") Anyway the spray is AMAZING, the shampoo is good because it is gental and recommeded to use every so often because it works to cleanse the dogs hair and skin of anything that could cause skin issues. I have used the spray and not washed with the shampoo, using reg dog gentle shampoo and the results are still good. Except not this last time, she ended up getting hotspots and now she has a major one that just today has gotten as big as a tennis ball. Which brought me to this site.

I didn't know what to do when I came home and saw that where ever Sahara was laying she left a tiny bit of blood from right where the hotspot would have hit the floor. So I felt I had to act quick, I first rinsed the sore area with water using a water sports bottle, then I took some perioxide and lightly squirted it on the area while comforting Sahara and not letting her lick it, patted with paper towel and repeated process 2 more times. Then I cut her hair on and around the area back and applied 100% aloe vera from the bottle. After about 20 minutes I then applied a bandaid (one we would use on our knee) And this all seems to have really relieved her and now she can't keep biting at the spot because the bandaid stops her. When I remove the banaid I plan to do so buy cutting it out of her hair, I wouldn't want to pull her hair out and and hurt her.
Thanks again:)

ACV and Omega 3
Posted by Keleeemo (Dover, Nh, Usa) on 08/20/2012

I find hot spots on my Boston Terrier when she eats something she is allergic to like wheat or change something in her diet. I learned one thing and that is do not feed dogs with allergies grocery store dog foods or cheap treats. They contain wheat and fillers that make her allergic and then the hot spots appear. She does well on wheat free kibble. You can find better dog foods at Petco or pet stores. I have to be careful with treats too because many of them are made of fillers. When she gets a hot spot I bathe her with oatmeal dog shampoo every couple of days and keep the hot spot clean by washing it daily with betadine solution and then applying cortisone cream 1 or 2 percent. That and cutting back her diet to just her wheat free dog food will usually will take care of the hot spot. I bought some hot spot spray at Petco for hot spots that had tea tree oil in it and that helped but not as well as hydrocortisone cream. For the itching I use some anti itch lotion that has pramoxine and zinc acetate along with oil of rosemary and oil of lavender. It smells a lot like calamine, poison ivy cream and does take away the itching and scratching. If the area has an odor then it is infected and I would cleanse the area with antibacterial soap followed an oatmeal shampoo. Then dry area and put on an antibiotic cream and some Gold Bond foot powder in case it is yeast. It will clear up and you don't need a vet because they will just treat it with an antibiotics and over charge you. Try and find a good dog food at They have some good articles about what goes into grocery store pet foods which shocked me to learn. They rate them by 1-5 stars according to their ingredients. It is well worth the money buying Organic dog food if it keeps us out of the vets office!

General Feedback
Posted by Kathy (Toronto, Canada) on 10/16/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I adopted a 3 year old golden and he is very prone to hot spots only on his tail. He will chew it until it bleeds But He seems to do it if I work late or am away over night There are other family members in the home But I have switched food cut out all treats and for two months no hot spot, I went away last thursday overnight came home friday and there was a hot spot on the tail. Is this possible? is he afraid that I will leave him? all I know about him is he was dumped at a shelter .

EC: Kathy, our dog (a rescue as well) also has hot spot issues. We've noticed that they are nonexistent during the spring and summer months with typically dry, hot weather. When the weather gets cooler and starts to rain, the hot spots start appearing, one after the other. After years of going through the same cycle, we are beginning to suspect that it has to do with the weather.

Posted by Mandy (Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada) on 12/12/2008
1 out of 5 stars


A word of warning:

Do NOT use Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca oil) on hot spots. Tea Tree Oil can cause neurological damage and even death when absorbed directly into the blood stream.

At one point in time, it was commonly recommended for hot spots, but I learned a hard lesson that just because something is 'all natural' doesn't mean it's at all safe.

I had a dog with a hot spot, and applied tea tree oil to the area. The next day, Vinne was paralyzed from the neck down. The emergency vet's initial diagnosis was degenerative disk disease, which is a death sentence for Frenchies. Luckily I insisted on a second opinion, rather than following the vet's advice to put him down immediately. The specialist vet inquired about his hot spot, and told me about the neurological side effects of tea tree oil on dogs, cats and small children. Thankfully, Vin recovered with no side effects.

From the Animal Poison Control Center website:

"Clinical effects that may occur following dermal exposure to significant amounts of tea tree oil include loss of coordination, muscle weakness, depression, and possibly even a severe drop in body temperature, collapse and liver damage. If the oil is ingested, potential effects include vomiting, diarrhea and, in some cases, seizures. If inhalation of the oil occurs, aspiration pneumonia is possible. "

Details on neurological side effects of Melaleuca oil:

EC: Melagel is made from Tea Tree Oil...

Colloidal Silver
Posted by Daffodil (British Columbia, Canada) on 07/18/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Sprayed colloidal silver on my dog's hot spot throughout the day for 5 days and it was healed. It was about 3" in diameter as it grows quickly when they lick it. He had to wear a hood to prevent licking and enlarging the spot. The vet wanted to do surgery and cut the whole area out.

Colloidal Silver
Posted by Suseeq (Sydney, Australia) on 07/18/2016

I am a great believer in the collodial silver for healing our animals.

Manuka Honey
Posted by Milli (Florida) on 07/10/2016
5 out of 5 stars

A mask of clean honey worked like a charm for my dog's hot spot. The skin was so red and irritated by the time I cut my dog's cheek hair that I broke the skin and she was bleeding. In despair I slathered on a "mask" of honey on the area. It scab bed up the next day and came off during her next pond romp. Good old Nature!

Lavender Oil
Posted by Tara (Baton Rouge, La) on 03/09/2017

Just wanted to give an update on my last post. This remedy still works like a dream. I mixed up a small bottle to use whenever our buddy gets a raw spot, and the spot always dries and scabs up the very next day. I gave a bottle to a friend to use on his Boxer, and it produced the same result. Smells pretty good as well. :)

Posted by Moneca (Anmore, Bc) on 10/07/2015
5 out of 5 stars


When my dog suddenly developed a bloody spot on his behind that he was licking and chewing at, I decided (after calling the vets office to confirm it could be a hot spot) to try some calendula cream I had bought, rubbing it on the spot 3 times daily. Within hours, the spot was amazingly much better. I coudn't believe it so I continued alternating between the cream and Calendula oil I also had on hand, which is made from the squeezed flower mixed with oil, as pure as I could find.

It's been almost a week now and the scabs are gone and there's no real sign of anything left but I will continue on for a few more days to make sure it doesn't come back. Amazing stuff! Highly recommend!

The vet had said he would need prescription cream and possibly even antibiotics so this is a much better way to go! Saved myself quite a bit of money too!

Eucalyptus and Spearmint Oil
Posted by Linda (Las Vegas, Nv) on 12/29/2014

I just soaked my chihuahua in eucalytus and spearmint oil for hot spots, did not use any shampoo. Just towel dried him and he looks like he is in heaven right now. I hope this works.

Colloidal Silver
Posted by Colleen (Hawaii, US) on 09/06/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Hi! I've been treating my dogs with colloidal silver- works very well. I use it for any problem - we use it on ourselves too- burns, wounds, itching, it prevents infections .

Colloidal Silver
Posted by Judy (Cape Coral, Fl) on 10/31/2016

Do you put the colloidal silver in the water or directly on the hot spot?

EC: Poster most likely means to apply CS topically.

Fish Oil
Posted by Mary (South Dakota, US) on 08/30/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Our Bassett hound had hot spots (red irritated skin where he lost his hair) and after researching online I started giving him fish oil capsule daily and it has really helped him.

Cooling Foods, Cornstarch
Posted by Marlene (Buffalo, New York, USA) on 08/31/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I have a lab/chow mix. With age he was constantly getting hot spots he would not leave alone. I tried everything the vet offered with no avail. I met this very knowledgeable women that runs an animal holistic shop. She recommended that he is a hot dog (no pun intended) that he needs cooling foods. He is now on a diet of ocean fish kibbles and moist canned ocean fish, cooked sweet potatoes, applesauce and rice. Sometimes when I give him some people food, which I shouldn't, he does get flare ups. The absolute quickest way to get rid of the them is dab some dry cornstarch directly on the hot spots. They dry right up and he leaves them alone!

Gold Bond Powder
Posted by Richard (Scottville, Michigan) on 09/15/2015
1 out of 5 stars

I would ask a vet first since Gold Bond has zinc in it and zinc is toxic to dogs (when ingested, like the zinc in pennies)? See the following for more info on zinc toxicity:

Apple Cider Vinegar, DMSO
Posted by Xanadu1jw (Memphis, Tn) on 11/17/2012
5 out of 5 stars

For hot spots I recently read something about DMSO curing them so I mixed up a solution of 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (with the mother), and a scant 1/2 cup 99.9% pure DMSO I got from the county coop (I've also seen it in horse supply shops). I used a small spray bottle to apply it to the hot spots that had my little beagle acting like he was 90 years old, using the bottom of the bottle to brush the hair forward and expose the spot better and then using the same bottom to rub the solution into the skin. He doesnt like the process and immediately tries to lick it off but this old dog is now acting like an energetic happy puppy again. I try to distract him with a few treats or walking after treating him so the solution has a chance to soak in. I apply it three times a day and in four days after starting he already has hair growing back into the area again.

I believe this solution would work for a cat also in that all of the ingredients have been used on cats with benefit whereas many natural products can harm a cat since their liver can't process some things like a human or dog can. DMSO doesn't smell good but is preferable to watching your dog/cat suffer and/or spending lots of money on ineffective things from the vet and the scent doesn't last all that long.

Aloe Vera
Posted by Sallie (Brisbane, Qld Aust) on 10/21/2012
5 out of 5 stars

My poodle is constantly getting hot spots from my other dog licking and giving him love bites!

I wash the hot spot with salt water, dry it with paper towel, clip all the hair around it and then use aloe leaf (I slice both sides off the leaf, just leaving a Little bit of aloe jelly on the leaf and rub that on him) he finds it very soothing.

The hot spots clear up around 3-5 days

But after reading the posts on Apple Cider Vinegar I'm going to try that also, he has a new one now.

Gold Bond Powder
Posted by Sue (Maili, Hawaii) on 10/19/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I had my dog groomed and two days later she was loaded with hot spots. She had a hot spot a long time ago and I brought her to the vet $125 later she was healed. This time she had them literally from head to toe and was miserable. I rescearched this web site and learned I could use ACV which I am a fan of or Golds Bond powder. I choose the powder (orange bottle) and I am sold. Twice a day I put the powder right on the spot and I didn't even shave around the sores. I could see it in her eyes that there was instant relief. I saw immediate results. So now I share this with everyone. Sue

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