Dog Pimples? What Causes Canine Acne, Prevention, and Treatment

Dog Pimples? Acne is a common skin condition that can affect humans as well as animals. The cause of canine acne is not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to the hormones produced by the sebaceous glands.

There are a variety of treatments available for canine acne, and most dogs will respond well to a combination of topical and oral medications. If your dog has persistent acne, you may need to see a vet for treatment.

There are a few causes of canine acne, and treatments vary depending on the underlying cause. There are a variety of treatments available for canine acne, and most dogs will respond well to a combination of topical and oral medications.

If you’re noticing your dog has more than usual breakouts, it’s best to take him to the veterinarian for an evaluation.

What Is Dog Acne?

Acne in dogs or dog pimples is caused by a buildup, or clog, of bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells inside a hair follicle. While the outward presentation can emerge in many various forms, the cause of canine acne is fundamentally the same.

The accumulation of extraneous debris leads the pore to get clogged and results in the formation of a sore on the surface of the hair follicle. Sebum is the name for the oil that causes pores to become clogged.

The skin of your dog naturally produces sebum, which acts as an additional barrier of protection between the skin and the coat of your dog. Inflammation in the hair follicle, hormonal shifts, and bacterial overgrowth are just a few of the causes that can lead to excess production of sebum.

When germs become trapped inside the follicle and are unable to be released rapidly, the normal defense response of your dog’s body is to send white blood cells to the affected area in order to protect it.

The nasty-looking pus that can come out of pimples is caused by an overabundance of white blood cells.

What does canine acne look like?

In dogs, acne appears as red lumps or pustules around the mouth and lips. These bumps and pustules are called pustules. If the hair follicle were to break off, this would likely result in the follicle rupturing, which would then lead to irritation of the affected area.

Acne can also be brought on by an overabundance of germs, oil, or dead skin cells on the skin. If it is not treated, this rupture has the potential to become infected by bacteria, which may then result in the formation of pus or illness. In more extreme cases, this can result in swelling, bleeding, scabbing, and even permanent scarring in some cases.

Also Read: Trazodone for Dogs: Uses, Side Effects, and Dosage

If you suspect that your dog is suffering from acne, one of the reasons that you will take them to the veterinarian to obtain their professional opinion on the matter is to lessen the chances that the condition would leave lasting scars on your pet’s face.

The good news is that your dog won’t experience any discomfort if the acne is only minor. However, more serious cases may cause your dog discomforts, such as itching or soreness, and will require that you take him to the veterinarian for treatment. When the whiskers or hairs surrounding your dog’s mouth become irritated, acne lesions such as zits, blackheads, and pimples frequently appear.

If you observe that your dog is scratching the affected region excessively or looks to be in discomfort, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that the problem will get worse.

How do you diagnose dog pimples or canine acne?

The specific cause of acne in dogs is unknown, but it may be related to hormones and sebum production. In order to diagnose canine acne, a veterinarian will perform a clinical examination and may recommend a skin test for inflammatory markers.

Your dog’s vet will be able to diagnose acne based on its clinical presentation the vast majority of the time. The skin tests that are characteristic of this illness are often found in the region of the lips and muzzle. To confirm the diagnosis in certain circumstances, however, additional diagnostic testing could be necessary. Your veterinarian may suggest that you get a skin biopsy to confirm the diagnosis of acne and rule out the possibility of other, more severe skin problems.

In addition, if your pet has an illness, your veterinarian may suggest a bacterial culture and sensitivity test. This test can assist identify the bacteria that are causing the infection, which in turn allows your veterinarian to select the appropriate drugs for therapy.

Symptoms of Dog Acne

The following are some of the most prevalent signs of acne in dogs:

  • Blackheads
  • Papules rouges
  • Swelling
  • Pus in its inflammatory lesion
  • Infection
  • The dog will lick the floor or scratch at the furniture with its face.

If your dog exhibits any or all of these symptoms, you need to make an appointment with the veterinarian to rule out the possibility of a severe infection or other reasons. You will be able to scale up your regular cleanliness routine with your dog once it has been determined that the issue wasn’t caused by something more serious.

What causes dogs to get pimples?

Dogs have oil glands on their skin that produce sebum, which is a natural sunscreen. When the sun hits the sebum, it causes the dog’s skin to become red and inflamed. The inflammation results in the formation of small pimples or blackheads.

Dogs get pimples due to a variety of factors such as genetics, hormones, bacteria, and environmental exposures. Some of these factors are more likely to cause acne in some dogs than others.

Here are 3 reasons for dog pimples

Hormonal changes

It is not entirely apparent what causes canine acne due to a number of different factors. In the beginning, it was believed that hormonal changes were the root cause of canine acne (just like with people). On the other hand, despite the fact that more recent research appears to produce conflicting results about this information, it is essential to highlight that.


Nevertheless, regardless of what exactly causes canine acne, one thing is abundantly clear: some dog breeds have a greater hereditary susceptibility to developing acne than others. Canine acne is more common in some breeds of dogs, including Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, Boxers, English Bulldogs, German Shorthaired Pointers, and Mastiffs. Rottweilers also have a higher risk of developing canine acne. In general, dogs with short muzzles are more susceptible to this condition. In addition, dogs that have wrinkles are more likely to have problems that develop around the folds of skin that are characteristic of them.

Because of this, if you buy a dog of any of the aforementioned breeds, you ought to take into consideration the possibility that their skin will break out with acne at some point throughout their existence. Acne is not something that just occurs in particular breeds of dogs; in fact, other types of dogs can also get it.


Age is another potential determining factor for dog pimples. Acne is a disorder that affects dogs that is normally only temporary, and you will frequently discover that it appears when your dog is in the “puberty” phase of their life. In the case of canines, this age typically falls somewhere between five and eight months. By the time your dog is one year old, you should notice that the acne it previously suffered from has cleared up.

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