Do Dogs Get Acne? The Surprising Truth About Canine Pimples

do dogs get acne

If you’ve ever noticed blackheads or bumps on your dog’s skin, you may have wondered if they can get acne just like people do.

Contrary to what you may think, dogs can get acne – and in some cases, it can be pretty severe.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what causes canine acne and how you can treat it. Keep reading to learn more!

Why do dogs get acne?

dogs get acne

Just like with humans, the causes of dog acne can vary. For example, it could be caused by:


One of the most common causes of dog acne is hormones. This is especially true for dogs that are going through puberty.

During this time, their bodies produce more hormones than usual, which can cause the hair follicles to become blocked.


Another common cause of dog acne is allergies. Dogs can be allergic to anything from pollen to dust to certain foods.

If your dog is breaking out, it’s worth doing some detective work to see if there might be an allergy at play.


Another possible cause of dog acne is genetics. If your dog’s parents or grandparents had a history of acne, there’s a good chance that your dog will be predisposed to developing the condition as well.


If your dog is experiencing an outbreak of acne, it’s important to take a close look at their lifestyle and see if there are any changes that could be contributing to their stress levels.

Often, simply returning to a more regular routine can help to improve the situation.

Poor grooming habits

If your dog isn’t properly groomed, this could also lead to an outbreak of acne.

For example, if they’re not being bathed regularly, their coat can become oily, and trapped dirt and debris can block the hair follicles.

This can then lead to inflammation and infection, which can cause acne.

How to treat dog acne?


If your dog has acne, there are a few things you can do to help treat it.

Use a medicated shampoo or cream

Medicated shampoos and creams are the most effective way to treat dog acne. They help to break down the build-up of oils and bacteria, and they also soothe the skin.

Be sure to follow the directions carefully, as medicated products can be drying. For best results, use them two or three times a week until the acne clears up.

Try a natural remedy

The simplest way to treat dog acne is to wipe the affected area with a cotton ball soaked in apple cider vinegar or green tea.

Do this two or three times a week until the acne clears up.

If you prefer, you can also make a compress by soaking a clean cloth in the vinegar or green tea and applying it to the affected area for 10-15 minutes.

Just be sure to avoid using any harsh chemicals on your dog’s skin, as this can aggravate the acne and cause further irritation.

Bathe them more frequently

If your dog isn’t being bathed regularly, this could be contributing to their acne. Try increasing the frequency of their baths to two or three times a week.

This will help to remove any build-up of oils and dirt on their skin, which can clog the hair follicles and lead to acne.

In addition, make sure to use a mild dog shampoo that won’t strip the natural oils from their skin.

Change your dog’s diet

If you think that your dog’s diet might be the cause of their acne, it’s worth making some changes.

For example, you could try switching to a hypoallergenic food or adding omega-fatty acids to their diet.

Hypoallergenic foods are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction, while omega-fatty acids help to reduce inflammation.

If your dog’s acne is caused by an allergy, these dietary changes could make a big difference.

Of course, it’s always best to speak to your veterinarian before making any major changes to your dog’s diet. 

Final thoughts

Acne is a common skin condition in dogs, and there are a number of things you can do to treat it.

If you’re unsure of the cause, it’s always best to speak to your veterinarian. They will be able to give you the best advice on how to treat your dog’s acne.

In most cases, the best course of action is to clean the area with a mild soap or shampoo and apply a topical cream or ointment.

If the acne is severe, your vet may prescribe oral medication. With proper treatment, your dog’s acne should improve within a few weeks.

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