Dog Heat Rash - What It Is & How To Help Your Dog

Dog Heat Rash - What It Is & How To Help Your Dog

Author WDF Staff


We often discuss how summer and hot weather can negatively impact our dogs. Most probably, you already know all the dangers of dehydration in dogs, but what many dog owners aren't aware of is that your dog could start experiencing heat rash if he is exposed to the sun.

In some cases, your dog will not be able to cool down by panting, and the heat rash can appear, mostly on your dog's belly. You must know this because not giving correct and proper treatment to your dog after he develops a heat rash can lead to more severe and different problems.

What is a dog heat rash?

Heat rash will occur when your dog cannot cool down properly. Usually, this happens during warm and humid weather. If the heat rash appears on your dog, you will have to provide your dog with proper treatment to stop the development of other problems.

Dogs that live in tropical areas are mostly affected by this health condition. Also, dogs with folded skin, such as Shar Pei and Pugs, are susceptible to this problem. Their folded skin is a perfect place to trap moisture and heat.

As you may already know, dogs will cool down by panting. When they cannot completely cool themselves down by panting or remove exposure to direct sun, they could develop heat rash. Dogs have sensitive skin, and areas not covered with fur are in danger.

This is not a life-threatening condition, but it can cause discomfort and different health problems for your dog.

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Signs and symptoms of heat rash in dogs

Dogs that develop this problem, often have heat rash on their belly. Heat rash will appear on soft and sensitive skin; besides dog bellies, it could appear on dogs' armpits and skin folds.

To be sure that your dog has developed heat rash, watch out for these symptoms

  • Scratching
  • Itchy skin
  • Red areas
  • Scrabs
  • Tender skin
  • Bleeding

Of course, these symptoms are connected not only to heat rash but also to many health problems. If your dog is breathing heavily and it is pretty hot outside, followed by mentioned symptoms, you can be sure that this is due to heat rash.

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How to diagnose it?

If you spend a lot of time out in the sun with your dog, and afterward, you notice a rash on your belly, the best thing you can do is take your dog to the clinic. The correct diagnosis will ensure that your dog receives the right treatment and avoid further complications.

Your vet will start with a physical examination, and he needs to figure out if the rash is caused by heat or if something else is bothering your dog, such as an allergy. During the exam, your vet will also determine how severe this rash is and can set you up with the right treatment.


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Treatment for heat rash in dogs

Unlike other health problems that can bother our dog, heat rash can be treated at home. Depending on the severity of the heat rash, your vet will give you the right instruction for treatment.

These are home remedies for treating heat rash in dogs

1. Cold towels

Putting a wet towel on the infected area will not completely cure this problem, but it will offer your dog some relief. It will help him with cooling down. Depending on the severity of the heat rash, your vet can prescribe some pills or creams for faster recovery.

2. Hydrocortisone cream

Sometimes, your vet will suggest you to try hydrocortisone cream for treating your dog. This cream will reduce inflammation of the skin and help with recovery. Ensure you follow the vet's instructions on applying this cream to your dog's skin.

3. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera gel can help with skin inflammation and remove discomfort from your dog's life. Either you can buy it in the store, or you can squeeze it directly from the plant.

Your dog's skin should always be cleaned after he experiences a heat rash. Depending on the severity of the heat rash, recovery can last from a few days to weeks to completely recover.

Take note that many dogs will try to bite, scratch, and lick affected areas, and you must do everything to prevent that. If you allow your dog to do this thing, you will prolong the recovery time for your dog.

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Is there any prevention?

The best prevention for heat rash in dogs is to keep your dog safe and cool on hot summer days. You need to limit exposure to the sun, especially during the hottest part of the day. If you need to go outside with your dog, make sure that he has a place to hide from the sun, always provide him with cold and fresh water, and never allow your dog to become dehydrated.

Always keep an eye on your dog, and watch for any signs of overheating or heat strokes because although you don't think so, these health problems occur more often than you can think and are severe threats to dogs' health.

If your dog still managed to get a heat rash, although you took care of him, the best thing you can do is to act fast and start treatment as soon as possible. That way, you can ensure that your dog will recover faster.

World Dog Finder team

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