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Hot Spots on Dogs Education and Protocol

Hot Spot Holistic Protocol for Dogs has been developed by a certified Master Herbalist and certified Canine Nutritionist with The Pet Health and Nutrition Center. Our Hot Spot Protocol is the finest coordination of science and research-based recommendations that include diet, supplementation and herbal remedies to help support your dog that suffers with hot spots. Everyone here at The Pet Health and Nutrition Center truly cares and wants to help your pet get better, so give our suggestions a try because we are confident you will be pleased with the results.

Supplements and Remedies for Dog with Hot Spot

1. What are Hot Spots on Dogs?

Hot spots are areas of infected, inflamed skin that can be very uncomfortable for your dog. Often these areas become moist or itchy and can even ooze. Hot spots are caused by a condition called acute moist dermatitis which is a common infection of the skin surface of dogs, particularly those with thick or long coats. They are itchy, painful skin lesions that result from constant licking, biting, and scratching of one area. Inflammation causes these spots to become warm, which is how they gained the name “hot spots.” Irritants such as a bug bite or allergen can be the initial cause for your dog’s irritation, and excess moisture from rain or pools can sometimes amplify the effects creating the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

2. Causes and Symptoms of Hot Spot on Dogs

What are the Causes of Hot Spots on Dogs?

When your dog gets a hot spot, there is more to it than simply a reaction to an allergen or irritation. Our experience working with dogs with hot spots shows that the healthier a dog is the less common are hot spots on these canines. There is a connection between poor nutrition and excess exposure to chemicals found in vaccinations and flea and tick products that has the effect of over-loading the liver that interferes with this organ's ability to play its role in properly digesting food and eliminating excess heat, while at the same time interrupting the proper functioning of the immune system.  Some common initial causes of a hot spot on a dog include:

  • Anything that irritates or breaks the skin can create the environment for bacterial contamination
  • Moisture from a recent bath, swim, stroll in the rain, or playtime in water.
  • Area aggravated when your dog itches, scratches or licks himself excessively
  • Metabolic disorders like hypothyroidism. Have your dog tested if he is over-weight or shows other signs of this condition.
  • Food or environmental allergies that cause itching
  • Dirty ears or infection that causes your dog to scratch this area
  • Reaction to insect bites
  • Poor grooming that results in tangles that prevent air flow to the skin
  • Boredom that can cause dogs to repeatedly lick an accessible area
  • Anal gland inflammation that can cause a dog to lick this area
  • Orthopedic problems that can cause abrasions on pressure points or licking to relieve pain

What are the Symptoms of Hot Spots on Dogs?

The symptoms of a dog with a hot spot are fairly obvious. There is an area of skin that becomes red and inflamed. Any skin lesion that results from constant licking, biting or scratching of one area can be referred to as a hot spot.

3. Standard Veterinary Medicine Approach for a Dog with Hot Spot

Most veterinarians will follow a very similar procedure when they work with a dog with a hot spot that will look something like this (notice that there is nothing in the following procedure that improves the health of your canine or does anything to prevent future occurrence of hot spots):

1. Trim the area around the hot spot with dog hair clippers. If the area is too big, shave it. Exposing it to air will dry out the moisture and help speed healing.
2. Clean the area with a mild water-based astringent or antiseptic spray, or specialized shampoo, and pat dry.
3. Apply steroid spray or cream to stop the itching.
4. Prevent your dog from biting, licking or scratching the hot spot affected area. Placing an Elizabethan collar (plastic cone) around your dog's neck, for example, can be an excellent tool to keep him/her from biting and licking at it.
5. Keep an eye on the area to make sure it continues to heal and doesn't worsen or spread. During a vet visit your dog will likely be prescribed a topical medication usually in the form of a corticosteroid and possibly oral antibiotics.

4. Holistic Hot Spot Protocol for Dogs

The goal of our Holistic Hot Spot Protocol for dogs is to support your canine's immune system, waste elimination and overall vitality.* Doing this in a safe and natural manner will make your dog stronger and healthier and in turn that will make him more resistant to hot spots in the future. Of course we address the irritation and work to heal the hot spot itself with our Hot Spot Powder, but we can not over-emphasize the importance of increasing the underlying health of your dog at the same time this is being done.

Core Recommendations

Our "Core Recommendations" form the backbone of our Holistic Hot Spot Protocol for your dog. They consist of the supplement recommendations we feel are the most important to provide to your animal companion for their hot spot problem. Natural supplements are displayed individually at the bottom of this page along with other helpful products for your canine's hot spot issues from which you may make additional selections.

A complimentary Hot Spot Help Sheet is included with every core hot spot package purchase. If you require more direction please feel free to use our Email Consultation Form or if you desire some personalized "hand-holding" to help with your canine's hot spot therapy sign up for a Phone Consultation with Maria.

Vitamin Supplement for Dog with Hot Spot Core Recommendation #1 - Daily Multi Plus

Our Daily Multi Plus is formulated with organic, whole foods that are extremely important to an animal's nutritional needs but are often missing from the majority of canine and feline diets. This special formula provides the enzymes, probiotics, prebiotics, glandulars, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients that are so beneficial to the body's daily maintenance and repair needs for healthy aging. In this formula you will find the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants recommended by the veterinarian community for a healthy immune system and skin - only in an organic, whole food form! Feeding a dog organic, whole foods is holistic therapy for hot spots at its best.

Liver Support Remedy for Dogs with Hot Spots Core Recommendation #2 - Liver Tonic

Our Liver Tonic will help to gently detoxify and improve the function of the liver and gallbladder. This will not only help your dog to better digest his food, but it will also help to eliminate toxins and excess heat from the body. Your dog will not only be healthier and more comfortable, this herbal remedy will help to make your dog more resistant to hot spots in the future.

Hot Spot Powder Remedy for Dogs Core Recommendation #3 - Hot Spot Powder

This is the perfect restorative remedy for your dog with hot spots! Formulated by a Master Herbalist specifically for dogs, this formula contains herbs with disinfecting and anti-inflammatory qualities that also help to speed healing. We have had tremendous success with healing hot spots more quickly and helping to make dogs more comfortable during the healing process. Very easy to apply in a shaker bottle.

Highly Recommended

Hot Spot Diet for Dogs Whole Food Nutrition

We suspect poor nutrition/lack of important nutrients/low-quality protein play a role in a condition like hot spots. Because of this we believe it is vitally important that you feed your dog the best diet within your budget. We highly recommend a whole-food diet that provides real nutrients, not primarily synthetic, like commercial pet foods. We urge you to find a local raw food diet that you like and try that.

If a raw food diet is not your cup of tea, the next best thing would be a cooked, whole food diet. There are now many quality premixes to choose from to which you can add your own raw or cooked meat. If you decide to make a homemade diet for your canine please research the proper way to do this and make sure to add a calcium source to your dog's food like our Seaweed Calcium. For a quick and easy way to add high-quality protein for your dog with hot spots take a look at our Whey Protein Isolate. For more information read our article How to Feed Your Dog that can be found in our Education section.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids for Dog with Hot Spots Chia Seed Oil

Animals with hot spots are susceptible to damaged skin that includes the obvious irritated, inflamed areas. Chia seed oil contains the plant kingdom's highest ratio of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, particularly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This plant-based oil can help to improve the health of your dog's heart, skin and immune system by providing important nutrients and reducing inflammation. It is organic and a much more sustainable source of omega 3 fatty acids when compared with fish oil.

Cell Salts

Cell salts (or tissue salts) aid the basic functions of cells by supporting the body and correcting symptoms arising from metabolic deficiencies. For hot spots you may use a combination remedy containing all 12 cell salts called Bioplasma from Hyland's and/or focus on symptoms your dog may be displaying, e.g., silica (a good choice) for poor skin and coat. Cell salts and descriptions can be found online.


How to treat hot spots on dogs. Retrieved from

Ryan DVM, L., & Ward DVM, E. Hot spots in dogs. Retrieved from


5. Natural Supplements and Herbal Remedies for Dogs with Hot Spots