Cover image source: Blackmores
Beat the Heat Rash
In the heat of the summer, your dog is just as susceptible to getting heat rash as you are. Read on to find out more about the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of dog heat rash to help your dog be comfortable in the heat!
Does Your Dog Have Heat Rash?
In a hot and humid climate such as ours, it is useful to keep a lookout for bumps on your dog’s skin, which is one of the signs of heat rash. Typically, such itchy bumps can be combined with skin redness and non-stop scratching and licking.
As a result of overheating, heat rash can occur on any part of your dog’s skin – particularly in areas that trap heat and moisture, such as in between skin folds or wrinkles. While this may seem like a minor issue, the harmless-looking bumps can deteriorate into pimples or boils, accompanied by foul smells.
Your pet’s compulsive scratching, licking, and even biting can cause the area to bleed, scab, and sore. This not only causes pain to itself but can also cause infection.
Treatment & Recovery
While the bumps do not pose a long-term health risk, do make a trip down to the vet if you suspect your furkid suffers from heat rash. Self-diagnosis is not encouraged because the signs and symptoms of heat rash can be confused with other types of skin rashes.
Instead of introducing diet changes, using home remedies, or self-prescribing over-the-counter topical medications, it is recommended to let a vet determine the right course of action. Your vet may prescribe hydrocortisone cream, which can help with your dog’s skin inflammation.
Meanwhile, it is crucial to adhere to the recommended quantity and duration of this steroid cream’s usage as advised by the vet. Since the cream is to be applied directly over the affected area, you may want to let your dog wear an Elizabethan collar to prevent licking. Aside from causing further discomfort, secondary yeast or bacterial infections can occur due to the new hotspot of microbial growth. Otherwise, aloe vera can serve as cooling relief to soothe and calm irritated skin.
For dog heat rash, recovery can take up to a week. In the meantime, keep up with your furkid’s weekly bathing routine with a gentle dog shampoo, preferably for sensitive skin. Additionally, place a damp cloth over the rash to keep your dog cool.
Dogs are sensitive to heat and are susceptible to heat-related health risks besides heat rash. In this case, do take the following preventive measures before the onset of heat rash in your furkid:
- Be sure to cool off your dog after a hot outing in the sun. As much as possible, avoid keeping your furkid outdoors for long periods of time, particularly peak sun hours from around 10AM to 4PM.
- Additionally, do give your dog regular brushings and trims to prevent matted and knotted fur. Not only is this uncomfortable for your dog, but it also traps heat and overheats your furkid more quickly. This aside, particular attention should be paid to dogs that are larger, overweight, and wrinkly, and in turn more prone to heat rash than others.