Dog Acne Home Remedies

Acne in a dog is a benign but bothersome skin condition, found most often in short-coated dogs. The onset of canine acne occurs during puberty, when your dog is about five to eight months of age. Canine acne may be caused by genetics, hormonal changes or trauma.


Canine acne appears as red pimples, or papules, and blackheads, or comedones, which may leak pus and itch when they become infected. The plugging or rupturing of hair follicles causes eruption of canine acne, primarily around the lips and on the chin.


Canine acne resembles the conditions of demodicosis (or mange), ringworm and puppy strangles. So, it's best to have a vet diagnose canine acne, so that proper treatment can begin.

Vet Remedies

  • The vet may suggest the following medical treatments of canine acne:
  • Topical washes and gels containing benzoyl peroxide, which shrink acne sores. (Do not use acne treatments for people on your dog, for they may contain 10 percent benzoyl peoxide, which is twice the recommended dosage for dogs.)
  • Antibiotics, which fight infection.
  • Topical steroids, which reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Neutering, which eliminates hormonal fluctuations.

Home Remedies

Your dog may try to alleviate symptoms of canine acne by rubbing affected areas against carpet and furniture. Here's how to provide better relief to your dog:

  • Cleanse affected skin with warm water, soap and washcloth daily, which removes bacteria and unplugs oil glands.
  • Give your dog echinacea in tablet or liquid form, which acts as a mild antibiotic.
  • Dab lesions with a cotton ball soaked with a tincture of calendula (marigolds) twice a day, which hastens healing.
  • Apply aloe vera gel to affected patches of skin, which lessens pain.
  • With these home remedies, check with your veterinarian first regarding proper dosages. Also, don't make canine acne worse by squeezing your dog's pimples and blackheads. This practice may cause pain and spread infection wider and deeper.