| Pet Care Advice By Veterinarians |

A Guide To Treating Canine Acne at Home



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

Learn more about us.

Canine acne can be a pesky problem for our furry friends, but with the right knowledge and tools, it can be managed effectively at home.

This guide provides a comprehensive look at simple, yet effective ways to treat your dog’s acne, from natural remedies and hygiene practices to over-the-counter treatments.

It’s all about understanding what causes canine acne and how to help your pet maintain healthy skin.

However, remember that while these methods can be beneficial, they are not a substitute for professional veterinary advice, especially in severe cases.

Key Takeaway

  • Treating canine acne at home can be done through regular washing of the affected area with a natural soap or facial cleanser, keeping the dog dry, brushing their teeth, cleaning their toys and bowls, applying topical treatments like benzoyl peroxide or natural remedies such as aloe vera gel, diluted apple cider vinegar, and avoiding the use of coconut oil.

What is Canine Acne?

Canine acne is a skin condition that affects dogs, particularly during their adolescence. It appears as red bumps (papules) or blackheads (comedones) primarily on the dog’s chin, lips, and muzzle.

The cause is generally attributed to the inflammation of hair follicles due to hormonal changes, but other factors like trauma, genetic predisposition, or deep bacterial infection can also contribute.

How To Treat Canine Acne At Home

Here is how to treat Canine acne at home:

Identifying Dog Acne

Before treating canine acne at home, it’s crucial to ensure that what you’re dealing with is indeed acne and not another skin condition. Canine acne presents as red bumps, blackheads, or pus-filled pimples primarily on the chin, lips, and muzzle.

In some cases, the affected area may become swollen or painful. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian.

Cleanliness and Hygiene

Keeping your dog’s face clean is an essential step in managing canine acne. Use a soft, clean cloth to gently wipe your dog’s face once a day.

Be sure to use dog-friendly products, as human products can be too harsh for their skin. Avoid scrubbing, as this can cause irritation.

Topical Treatments

Topical treatments such as benzoyl peroxide or chlorhexidine can be effective in treating dog acne. These products help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria that contribute to acne.

It’s important to follow the instructions on the product label and avoid getting these treatments in your dog’s eyes.

Natural Remedies

Some natural remedies can also be used to treat canine acne. Aloe vera gel can soothe the skin and reduce inflammation, while a warm compress applied to the affected area can help relieve discomfort and promote healing.

Always test a small amount of any new product or remedy on a small patch of your dog’s skin to ensure they don’t have an adverse reaction.

Dietary Changes

Sometimes, a change in diet can help improve skin conditions including acne. High-quality dog food that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help promote healthy skin and coat. Consult with your vet about the best dietary options for your pet.

When to Consult a Vet

While mild cases of canine acne can often be managed at home, severe or persistent acne, or acne that causes significant discomfort or distress to your dog, should be evaluated by a vet.

They can provide more intensive treatments if needed and can rule out other underlying health issues that could be causing the skin problems.

Remember, every dog is unique and what works for one might not work for another. Always monitor your dog closely and adjust treatments as necessary, always keeping their comfort and well-being as the top priority.

5 Best Home Remedies For Canine Acne

Here are 5 best home remedies for canine acne:

1. Topical Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide (order on amazon.com) is an over-the-counter medication that can be used to treat canine acne. It helps to kill bacteria that can contribute to acne and reduces inflammation.

Be sure to use a product designed for dogs, as those made for humans can be too strong. Apply according to the package instructions, being careful to avoid your dog’s eyes.

2. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. Applying a small amount of pure aloe vera gel to the affected areas can help reduce redness and inflammation. Be sure to choose a product without added ingredients that could irritate your dog’s skin.

3. Warm Compress

Applying a warm compress to the affected area can help to soothe your dog’s skin and promote healing. Soak a clean cloth in warm water, wring out the excess, and gently hold it against your dog’s skin for a few minutes. Repeat this several times a day.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can help restore your dog’s skin’s pH balance, which can aid in the treatment of acne. Dilute one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water, then apply the solution to your dog’s skin using a spray bottle or cloth. Avoid applying to broken skin or open wounds.

5. Dietary Changes

Sometimes, improving your dog’s diet can help improve their skin health. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish and flax seeds, can help promote healthy skin and coat. Always consult with your vet before making significant changes to your dog’s diet.

Where Do Dogs Get Acne On Their Bodies?

Dogs can get acne in various parts of their bodies. Here are the common areas where acne can appear:

  • On their back
  • On their belly
  • On and around their ears
  • On their chin
  • Around their mouth, including the lower lips
  • Under the armpits
  • On the genitals

Please note that while these are common areas, acne can potentially appear anywhere on a dog’s body.

Why Do Dogs Get Acne?

Many cases of canine acne are triggered by trauma to the skin, particularly on the chin or muzzle. This trauma can cause hairs to break off near the skin’s surface, leading to inflammation and potential infection.

In some instances, dogs can develop acne-like skin bumps due to underlying medical conditions, such as allergies to food or environmental factors.

In other cases, bacteria infiltrate the dog’s hair follicles, leading to red, inflamed, and pus-filled bumps appearing on various parts of the body.

How Do Dog Acne Look Like

Dog acne typically presents as small red bumps or pustules (similar to pimples) around the lips, muzzle, and chin.

These bumps can also appear white, similar to whiteheads in humans, or may look like little black spots or blackheads. In some cases, the acne may cause the affected skin to appear irritated, swollen, or reddish.

Hair loss and crusting can also occur in the area surrounding the acne. In severe cases, there may be generalized swelling of the lips.

Is Hydrogen Peroxide Safe For Dog Acne?

Hydrogen peroxide is not typically recommended for treating acne in dogs. While it’s sometimes used for cleaning small wounds on a dog, it is not the best choice for acne.

The most common treatment for canine acne is topical benzoyl peroxide, which helps to flush out the hair follicle and reduce bacterial contamination.

Hydrogen peroxide can potentially cause irritation and delay the healing process, especially when used repeatedly.

Always avoid using hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, soaps, shampoos, essential oils, or other products not specifically recommended by your vet.


Q: Can dogs get pimples?

A: Yes, dogs can get pimples just like humans. Canine acne is a common skin condition that can occur in dogs of all breeds, but it is more commonly seen in younger dogs.

Q: How can I treat dog acne at home?

A: To treat dog acne at home, you can start by gently washing the affected area with a mild antibacterial soap or cleanser. Avoid using human acne products containing benzoyl peroxide, as they can be harmful to dogs. It is also important to keep your dog’s muzzle and skin folds clean and dry to prevent further irritation.

Q: Can I use home remedies for dog acne?

A: While there are some home remedies that may help alleviate the symptoms of canine acne, it is important to consult with a veterinarian before trying any home remedies. Your vet may prescribe topical treatments, oral antibiotics, or other medications depending on the severity of the condition.

Q: Are certain breeds more prone to canine acne?

A: Some dog breeds are more prone to canine acne than others. Breeds with wrinkled skin or those with deep skin folds, such as Bulldogs and Great Danes, may be more susceptible to developing acne.

Q: When should I see a veterinarian for canine acne?

A: It is recommended to consult a veterinarian if your dog’s acne is severe, persistent, or causing discomfort. The vet may prescribe oral antibiotics or other treatments to help manage the condition and prevent further skin irritation.

Q: Is canine acne different from puppy acne?

A: Canine acne and puppy acne are essentially the same condition. Puppy acne refers to acne that specifically affects young dogs and puppies.

Q: What causes canine acne?

A: The exact cause of canine acne is unknown, but it is believed to be a result of excess oil production, clogged hair follicles, and the presence of bacteria on the skin. Hormonal changes, genetics, and environmental factors may also contribute to the development of acne in dogs.

Q: How can I prevent canine acne?

A: While canine acne cannot always be prevented, there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk or severity of the condition. These include keeping your dog’s skin clean and dry, avoiding the use of harsh or irritating products, and regularly bathing your dog with a gentle, dog-specific shampoo.

In Conclusion

Treating canine acne at home involves a combination of good hygiene practices and natural remedies.

Regularly washing your dog’s face with a natural soap or facial cleanser can help keep the skin clean and reduce acne.

It’s also important to keep your pet dry, brush their teeth regularly, and ensure their toys and bowls are clean.

Natural treatments for canine acne include aloe vera gel, which has antibacterial and astringent properties, and diluted apple cider vinegar.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

Learn more about us.

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest posts

DMCA.com Protection Status