Can Dogs Get Pimples? Dog Acne Causes, Treatment, and More!

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can dogs get pimples? pug with dog acneDog Acne is as real a problem for adolescent doggies as it is for human teens. The upside is that it does not bother dogs as much as it does teens, and it is really only present until they reach adulthood. Of course, that’s not nearly as long a time as it is in their human counterparts.

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Can Dogs Get Pimples? You Bet! 

Oh yes, in the same way that people get spots and bumps on their skin, mild acne manifests as pimples on a dog’s skin. These red bumps or pustules are the result of inflammation. As with humans, dogs can have mild cases, but severe cases can also occur. Do not squeeze these pimples, because that will only make matters worse and most likely cause the inflammation to spread.

What is Dog Acne? 

Dog acne is benign and more common in dogs with short fur; it may be caused by bacterial infections or trauma to the skin. Canine acne is caused by inflammation of the skin of the muzzle and the lips.

At worst, the muzzle and lips swell up and can become bleeding wounds on the face, which in turn causes scabs to form. It is important that the affected areas be treated as soon as possible, to avoid prolonged infection and possible permanent scarring.

Of course, breakouts are normal in puppies, especially between the ages of 5 to 8 months. This may sometimes be due to allergies, hormones, poor hygiene or bacterial infections. Some breeds are more susceptible such as Boxers, Great Danes, and Doberman Pinschers, although all breeds can develop dog acne.

Superficial Acne vs Deep Acne: What’s the Difference? 

Superficial dog acne, as the term suggests, is superficial and affects the skin on the surface. Hair follicles become irritated, a skin condition termed folliculitis, which causes itchy bumps to form and can cause the pup mild discomfort. A pup with this superficial acne will want to scratch the itch!

Acne always starts as superficial and the deep type of acne is usually the result of a staphylococcus infection that gets out of control. The lesions that result affect the deeper layers of a pup’s skin. Scratching the itch from superficial acne will irritate the skin, leaving it susceptible to bacterial infection. The location of the deep acne gives rise to various forms of classification.

Types of Canine Acne 

Acne is classified according to where it occurs on the dog’s body:

  • Superficial Acne may be just pimples and bumps on the pet’s muzzle, chin and lips.
  • Juvenile Acne develops around six months of age and will usually persist until the pup is old enough to progress onto adult dog food.
  • Nasal Acne is caused by trauma to the area of the nose. This will happen when your puppy is a little too zealous in their digging or curiously sticks their nose into unsuitable areas.
  • Hyperkeratosis is basically the appearance of calluses that are a result of your dog producing too much keratin. It is actually a thickening of the skin which just look like pimples.
  • Interdigital Acne or Furunculosis is the recurrence of boils between your puppy’s paws. It may be caused by the bristly hair follicles being forced into the skin when the dog walks.

dog pimples on bull terrier

4 Potential Causes of Dog Pimples 

Pimples are caused by a combination of a build-up of dead skin cells and an oily sebum. The sebum is secreted by the glands through ducts that open into the hair follicles.

The combination of oil and dead cells plugs hair follicles which then become inflamed, raised and red. Inflammation worsens with continuous addition of sebum.

Here some of the potential causes of pimples in dogs:

  1. Genetics are behind certain breeds being more prone to acne.
  2. Hormones flare up during puberty and cause an increase in sebaceous secretions which lead to acne.
  3. Trauma causes skin eruptions or sores on the nose or muzzle, which become infected or attacked by bacteria.
  4. A reaction to food, chemicals or other allergins.

Signs and Symptoms of Canine Acne! 

The first telltale signs of acne are skin lesions around the dog’s lips and muzzle. Sudden onset of scratching and signs of itching are also a hint that acne may be starting.

Secondary bacterial infection is the main culprit in canine acne becoming severe. Once a pup has lesions or pimples, it is imperative to treat the affected area and keep it clean to avert bacterial infection. The skin around the affected area may appear to become a darker color in the more severe cases.

Acne often occurs in adolescent dogs. If you suspect your older dog might have acne, it is likely they may be suffering from another skin disorder such as parasite bites, or sarcoptic or demodectic mange. Bacteria can get into sores or wounds caused by any of these factors, causing severe skin infections.

Pustular Acne is No Fun for Your Doggo! 

Although dogs do not suffer the mental anguish human teens do when they are afflicted with acne and pimples, it does cause them discomfort and can be painful.

Superficial dog acne may just cause minor itching and irritation and hair loss. Once the pimples become inflamed and infected, the infection could cause pain and severe discomfort. Opportunistic yeast infections will also take advantage of uncontrolled skin conditions.

7 Ways to Treat Those Pesky Pimples! 

pug washing to get ride of dog pimples and dog acne

  1. Better hygiene: A good old bath will keep any risk of bacterial infection at bay. Depending on the age of the dog and its condition, this may be a weekly routine or a few times a year. You will know if your dog is clean.
    Dental hygiene may be a cause of acne around the mouth and lips, so brushing your doggo’s teeth or offering edible dental treats will help.
  2. Antibacterial or medicated shampoos: Dog shampoos with aloe vera or echinacea are a good choice, but never use human shampoos or creams as these may be too harsh.
  3. Benzoyl peroxide: It is found in dog shampoos and gel, and will soothe the affected area in no time. The gel should be applied directly to affected areas and wounds.
  4. Spray diluted apple cider vinegar directly onto your dog weekly after bath time for skin conditions like Hot Spots and pimples.
  5. Coconut Oil can be fed to your pimply pooch or applied directly to the coat and skin to treat acne symptoms.
  6. Let nature be the healer: Chances are good that your pet’s acne may run its course without much fuss, and clear up by itself. Never burst the pimples or pick at the affected skin. Interfering with the bumps causes the acne to spread, and allows bacteria to set in which elevates the infection.
  7. Visit your veterinarian if the bumps and pimples seem to have become infected. Your vet will prescribe medicated soap, or topical or oral medication if necessary. In extreme cases, antibiotics or penicillin may be prescribed to alleviate the infection and fight bacteria.

Vets Preferred Products That Will Prevent or Soothe That Itchy Acne! 

No one likes to see their precious pup suffering, and it is no different for people whose dogs are prone to acne. Help is fortunately at hand in the form of products preferred by vets all over.

Vets Preferred Premium Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil! 

This natural source of Omegas, Astaxanthin and Vitamin D is 100% pure and free of additives. Perfect for treating itchy dogs! Salmon oil eases inflammation caused by allergies and helps treat dry and itchy skin, leaving your dog with no more than a healthy coat.

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Vets Preferred Premium Turmeric Curcumin! 

Acne prone pets have lower levels of antioxidants and higher levels of inflammation. Acne is soothed with treatments that act on reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.

The turmeric in this treatment is a proven anti-inflammatory, full of antioxidants that are believed to support aging and good health in more mature dogs. This remedy will also do away with free radicals in your pet’s body.

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CBD Can Clear Dog Acne! How Honest Paws Can Help! 

The best thing about Honest Paws is that your dog will love their treats. Honest Paws treats contain oils from hemp, which has very low THC levels. These levels are safe for dogs and will have no mind-altering effects.

Honest Paws CBD Oil for Dogs!

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Honest Paws CBD Oil for Dogs features 100% Full Spectrum CBD Oil, straight from the sun-grown Colorado hemp farms. Available in 125, 250 and 500 mg potency solutions.
CBD oil is a non-toxic and all natural liquid sourced from natural hemp. This amazing holistic remedy has proven benefits for dogs as a natural way to ease pain, anxiety, and illnesses. CBD oil is very effective as a topical solution for acne, and your pimply pup will thank you for using it.

Yummy Honest Paws Dog Treats! 

Cannabis dog treats ensure your fur baby reaps all of the benefits of CBD in a convenient easy to eat treat. Restore CBD dog treats have added coconut, specially added for the treatment and prevention of irritated, dry or itchy skin. These yummy treats are good for dogs suffering from allergies or acne related symptoms.

Common Questions on Dog Acne

Since CBD oil is extracted from the cannabis plant, will my Boxer get high on this remedy for doggy skin problems? 

Should I prick the pustules my 7-month old mixed breed pup has developed on her muzzle? 

Could you recommend an active ingredient in a dog shampoo that will be helpful for soothing or curing my dog’s acne?

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