Dog Acne: Symptom, Treatment, Home Remedies.

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Dog Acne Symptom Treatment Home Remedies

Have you ever asked yourself if dogs can get acne? Is it normal? With all that fur wrapping their body, it may shock you to discover that dogs can have acne similar to humans! Acne is something that even pups occasionally need to address and treat. Let’s know all about dog acne, its causes and symptoms, and if there’s something you can do for your furry friend.

Can Dogs Get Acne?

Yes, dogs can get acne. As is the case with humans, our dogs can develop acne when they begin to undergo puberty. This happens when they are around five to eight months old. At this age, the acne starts to manifest, and a majority of it will disappear as soon as they have entered the maturity phase. However, sometimes, it can reappear. 

Can Dogs Get Acne

A common misconception is that a dog’s fluffy coat would prevent him from having this distressing predicament. Canines have pores that can get dirty, infected, and congested with sebum, dust, and debris, much similar to humans.

Dog Acne on Chin.

Dog Chin acne is best described as muzzle folliculitis and furunculosis. Folliculitis is a normal skin problem where hair follicles get infected. When bacteria or fungi clog the small pockets in your hair follicle, it becomes inflamed and eventually ruptures. This is known as furunculosis. 

Hair follicles in pets closely resemble that of humans since both have the so-called sebaceous glands. The natural role of sebaceous glands is to produce and excrete sebum, which is essential when it comes to moisturizing and protecting the skin. This will keep the dog’s fur silky and healthy. When these glands get obstructed, the sebum can’t be secreted like it usually does. Instead, it accumulates in the gland, forming a pimple or acne. 

Dog Acne on Chin

Sometimes, hormonal changes, swelling in the follicle, or bacterial infections can lead to overproduction of sebum on your dog’s skin.

When bacteria are entrapped in the follicle, their body’s common defense reaction is to send out white blood cells to defend the affected spot. This leads to the gross pus that can leak from the blisters.

Common causes of dog acne


Shorthaired dogs are more prone to dog acne in comparison to other breeds. Here are some dog breeds susceptible to canine chin acne:

  • Boxers
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • English Bulldogs
  • German Shorthaired Pointers
  • Great Danes
  • Mastiffs
  • Rottweilers
  • Weimaraners 


Pimples are a fairly natural part of puberty; it is caused by hormone shifting for dogs. Even so, this is typical in young dogs between 5 to 8 months old. 

Canine acne can be quite transitory or could persist to 12-18 months in some conditions. For adolescent dog acne, the problem is mild and will disappear during adulthood. 

Poor Hygiene & Bacteria

Your dog’s hygiene is essential, especially for short-haired breeds and dogs with skin folds in their mouth. Accumulation of dead skin cells and bacteria because of poor hygiene can cause obstructed follicles. Experts state that acne in your dog’s mouth can be caused by poor dental hygiene. 


Trauma from a clash with another dog or while playing may trigger folliculitis. Hence, it leads to clogging of the sebaceous gland and, thereafter, forms acne.

Other Conditions

Health problems and other environmental factors can also trigger a dog’s acne.

  • Allergy – Irritation or contact allergy such as food bowls can shelter bacteria or from burrowing the soil. Food allergens because of protein like beef or chicken.
  • Parasites – Mange mites trigger skin reactions that can be confused with pimples.
  • Fungal Infections -an be behind wounds and injuries that might resemble dog pimples. To the common eye, ringworm might be misinterpreted as dog acne.

What does Dog Acne Look Like?

Dog acne might manifest in the form of red bulges or pustules around the lips and mouth- this is based on data from the VCA Hospital

Pimples, pus-filled whiteheads, or blackheads may develop across the mouth, chin, chest, or reproductive area. Cases can vary from mild to severe, and dog parents need to distinguish the symptoms and understand when to ask for help from a vet.

What does Dog Acne Look Like

Symptoms of Acne in Dogs

The first manifestations of dog acne may be somewhat mild. Without treatment, the symptoms may become worse. It’s necessary to be on the lookout for the signs of dog acne. It would help if you also understood when to take your dog to the vet. Take note of the following common symptoms.

  • Small red bumps on muzzle, chin, and lips
  • Pus-filled sores
  • Blackheads
  • Swelling
  • An odor oozing from infections
  • Dry skin in isolated patches
  • Pawing at the face
  • Rubbing face against the carpet/furniture 

Make sure you take a closer look: In some cases, the bulges where whiskers grow can be confused for acne marks.

How to Get Rid of Dog Acne? Home Remedies.

Acne in dogs can often be treated at home. But it’s important to check in with your vet before you try to fix it yourself. Diseases, infections, and other illnesses need to be ruled out before you start treatment. 

Keeping his Face Clean and Dry

To begin with, you must maintain the cleanliness and dryness of your dog’s face and chin as much as you can. Use a soft towel, soak it in warm water and press it against the affected area until the towel cools down. Then, use antibacterial soap to wash your dog’s face to remove the bacteria trapped in the pores. If you own a wrinkly pet, be persistent when regularly cleaning the folds. 

Keeping dog Face Clean and Dry

Also, keep a soft dry cloth nearby to wipe his face after meals or drinks. This is particularly beneficial with extra drooly dogs. 

Medicated Shampoos

Dogs must be bathed with shampoo and soaps intended for dogs. This is because human products are not suitable for them as they contain a substance that may damage the dog’s skin. Check if the shampoo you are utilizing is improving the condition or causing it to worsen. Some of these products can be too harsh or lead to allergic reactions in some dogs. 

Cone of Shame

The cone serves as a barrier to protect your dog from hurting himself. It also prevents additional trauma to the infected area. This is likely to be short-term.

Use of Topical Treatment

Similar to human acne, applying a topical treatment can help overcome signs and inflammation.

  • Coconut Oil: Other than applying it to prevent ticks and fleas, using coconut oil to your pet’s skin and fur can help fight off conditions and redness, plus keep your dog’s hair healthy. Take an ample amount of coconut oil in your hands and rub the oil onto your dog’s skin by moving your hands within its coat.
  • Aloe Vera is acknowledged for its soothing and cooling properties and can be applied to mend inflamed skin. It has antibacterial and astringent properties. You can dab the aloe vera gel on your dog’s acne a couple of times a day after washing his face with soap and water. Wash it off after around 10 minutes.
  • Calendula: This is great for healing injuries and preventing contagions. It is incredibly effective when used in cool water rinse for any skin problem. Add 6 to 7 drops of calendula tincture to one ounce of water. Apply the diluted mixture with cotton to the afflicted spots twice a day.

Brush His Teeth

The bacteria in your dog’s mouth can quickly move to his nose and muzzle; this is particularly valid with drooly dogs. Manage the bacteria on your dog’s mouth by brushing his teeth daily. Dental care products such as food or water additives can likewise keep the oral bacteria in check. 

How to clean your dogs teeth

Keep a Clean Environment

Sanitation exceeds your puppy’s hygiene. Ensure that you clean your dog’s bed, food, water bowls, and toys habitually. Invest in a chew-proof bed that you can easily wash. Buy hardwearing food and water bowls, ideally manufactured from stainless steel. Do not opt for the substandard plastic type. 

Avoid the Following!!

Tea tree oil can trigger allergies in dogs; therefore, it must be avoided by any means necessary.

  • Do not accept human acne treatment products for your dog.
  • Products with artificial colors and aromas can inflame dog skin.
  • Don’t pop your dog’s pimples! Squeezing the lumps will only trigger the fur follicles to burst and worsen the infection.


Acne can be a nuisance for everybody; however, your dog’s acne doesn’t need to be. Typically, dog pimples will clear up as your dog reaches adulthood. Therefore, you don’t need to be bothered by it. Just make sure you monitor the acne, and if you’re that worried, call or bring your dog to a vet. Ask for help when it comes to your pet’s health and cleaning regimen.

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