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how to care for your dog's skin and wounds at home

How to Manage Your Dog’s Skin and Wound Care at Home

I hate hot spots! Chilly gets them every couple of months from licking or biting one area of his skin too much. These moist, inflamed areas can easily get infected, and they’re notoriously difficult to get rid of.

But that’s not the only skin condition Chilly suffers from. He also has allergies, which make him super itchy and uncomfortable, especially at certain times of the year.

Unfortunately, Chilly isn’t the only dog who battles skin conditions. In fact, the veterinarians I’ve talked to say that skin conditions are one of the most common reasons for visits to their offices.

It’s not surprising, really. Skin is your pet’s largest organ, protecting them in countless ways – from helping regulate body temperature to warding off harmful chemicals and bacteria. But that’s also what makes it so vulnerable to a variety of issues, injuries and itchies.

Signs of a skin infection include:

  • Excessive licking, chewing or biting at the skin
  • Open sores, pimples or bumps
  • Greasy, scaly and/or smelly skin
  • Head shaking
  • Redness or swelling
  • Scabs and open sores
  • Hair loss

Skin issues can be brought on by a number of causes like allergies, parasites such as ticks and fleas, yeast or bacterial infections, cuts and abrasions and dry skin.

But no matter what the cause of your pet’s skin issues, there are steps you can take to keep the scratching and biting at bay.

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Skin Check Weekly

Skin conditions can quickly spiral out of control, leading to one very itchy, miserable pet and costly vet bills. Catching issues early can help your friend stay healthy while also protecting your pocketbook. So try to make it a habit to inspect your pet’s skin at least once a week.

Be sure to part their fur, look in their ears, lift the folds on their face or body (if they have them), peer between their toes, and peek at their paw pads.

It only takes a few minutes, and you can even do it while you’re cuddling on the couch!

Prevention is Key

Most of the time, you probably won’t find anything to be concerned about. But what steps should you take if you do? Well, that depends on how serious the issue seems to be. For example, if your pet has a deep, open sore or is actively injuring himself by scratching or biting, make an appointment to see your vet right away.

But for many other milder issues, you can try treating your pet at home first.

Irritated Skin

I’ve been battling Chilly’s hot spots for years, even using the Cone of Shame sometimes to keep him from bothering them. So you can imagine how relieved we both were when I discovered the Vetericyn Plus® Hot Spot Spray. It provides quick relief, which helps cut down on the licking (although it’s safe if he does lick it), and it also promotes faster healing.

For the times when his allergies cause itchy flare-ups, I reach for the Vetericyn Plus® Liquid and Antimicrobial Hydrogel line of skin care products. Not only do they soothe his skin and relieve the itchiness, but they also help protect against infection, speed healing, and prevent future flare-ups.

Best of all, all of these products work fast! I just spray a little on Chilly’s skin and within a minute or two, it’s clear he’s feeling better – and so am I!

Caring For Wounds

Chilly loves to romp in our yard and take trips to the beach. So inevitably, I’ll discover a cut or scrape on his paw or leg. Even if it’s small, it could easily become infected so I make sure I treat it as soon as possible with Vetericyn Plus® Wound & Skin Care.

I love that all I have to do is spray it on and it cleans the wound without stinging, which makes Chilly happy. And it also reduces the chances of infection, which gives me peace of mind.

Routine Prevention

Regularly bathing our pets is one of the best things any of us can do to prevent a skin infection because it helps remove allergens and helps condition their skin. But if you’re like me, you might put off bath time because it can be such a struggle.

That’s why I’m so happy that I discovered Vetericyn’s FoamCare Medicated Pet Shampoo. As soon as I spray it on Chilly’s coat, it begins to foam. Since the shampoo is formulated especially for his particular coat type, it’s easy for me to quickly work it through his fur. Then, when it’s time to rinse, it washes away easily. And because it’s medicated, it not only gets him squeaky clean, it helps treat and prevent the hot spots and skin irritations that he’s prone to.

Dealing with skin conditions can be frustrating for you and downright painful for your pet. But with a little preventative care and quick treatment, you can ensure your best friend always stays comfortable in his own skin.

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This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions and anecdotes are my own, and I never promote any products or brands I don’t believe in. ~Petfully yours, Kristen

Kristen Levine is a nationally acclaimed pet expert, influencer, and Fear Free Certified® Professional with over 30 years of experience in the industry. She's helped millions of pet parents provide the best care at every stage of their pet’s life.

Her blog, Pet Living with Kristen Levine has been featured in Pop Sugar, Good Housekeeping, New York Times, USA Today, and more.

She's also the founder of FWV Fetching, the first marketing agency exclusively serving pet and animal health companies.

Her early work with the SPCA led her to a lifelong career in the pet industry, advocating for pet adoption and rescue as well as for pets and their parents here on her blog and in the media.

She’s frequently booked on satellite media tours and national shows, like FOX & Friends, Good Morning America, and Daytime, to talk about pet trends and new products.

Insanely passionate about pets since she was a little girl, Kristen has had more than 30 pets in her lifetime — including dogs, cats, goats, donkeys, a horse, a gerbil, mice, and chickens!

In 2022, she launched to help pet parents keep pet homes clean -- to love more, stress less.

Kristen is married and lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her dog Tulip.

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