You might have spotted this by chance, but if you look carefully under all that fur, you might be surprised to see black spots of varying sizes all over your dog’s body. Due to your concern, you probably wanted to check to see if this skin condition is a normal occurrence.
Also known as hyperpigmentation, black spots tend to occur when there is a buildup of melanin, which is a natural ingredient on a dog’s skin. Fortunately, this skin condition is not serious, and in the section down below, we will be covering different causes and solutions regarding the black spots on your dog’s skin.
Why Are My Dogs Getting Black Spots On Their Skin?
There are many reasons why dogs get black spots on their skin. In comparison, black spots on dogs are really similar to acne on humans. As we go through our puberty stage, acne begins to appear on our skin due to hormones, but they tend to go away after a while.
For dogs, black spots appear on their skin due to improper skincare, and please keep in mind that there might be multiple culprits behind your dog’s skin condition.
How Do I Treat Black Spots On Dogs?
In order to correctly treat black spots on your dog, you need to first figure out the cause. If you just apply whatever medication that you have at hand, there is a chance that your dog’s skin condition might worsen.
First, figure out the culprits that are bothering your dog, and then, look for solutions that will help your buddy out. Both topics are covered in the sections down below, and I hope that your questions will be answered by the time that you are finished with this post.
Causes Behind Black Spots On Dog’s Skin
1. Skin Reactions Through Direct Contact
You might be surprised to hear it, but dogs have more sensitive skin than humans. Since your pet has a thinner skin layer than humans, his skin will be more likely to react to things that we consider to be normal. Please consider the following factors:
- Avoid Using Human Products on Dogs (Shampoo, Sunscreen)
- Dogs Can Be Allergic to Any Material (Coverings on Couches, Beds, Rugs)
Since your dog’s skin composition is different than humans, human skin products will cause damage to your dog’s skin layer, which will leave him more vulnerable to bacterial infections and parasites. This concept also applies to manmade household products such as outer coverings, curtains, and rugs.
2. Frequent Scratching
If left unnoticed for a prolonged period of time, frequent scratching will cause damage to the skin layer, which can lead to black spots in dogs. Frequent scratching can happen due to many reasons, but the most common factors are the following:
- Untreated Wounds
- Foreign Objects (Bits of Stick, Grass Seeds, and Thorns)
- Parasites / Insect Bites
- Toxic Chemicals From Cleaning Products
In most cases, frequent scratching will lead to increased friction, which can lead to inflammation. Next, the inflamed skin patches will trigger additional doses of melanin, which will result in the black spots that you are seeing right now. Not only that, frequent scratching will often lead to open wounds, which can lead to serious bacterial infections.
3. Prolonged Exposure to Sunlight
If exposed to the sun for long periods of time, dogs will also get sunburns. As you may already know, sunburns are inflamed patches of skin that are painful to the touch. As already mentioned in the previous section, any type of skin inflammation can cause black spots to appear on your dog’s skin.
Since sunburns are one of the most common factors behind this skin condition, always put on sunscreen on your dog if you are planning to go outside for a long time. If you want to avoid getting sunburns on your dog, make sure to take note of the following tips:
- Try to Put Sunscreen on Your Dog
- Avoid Walking Your Dog During Hottest Part of the Day
- Avoid Asphalt / Concrete Roads
- Look for Shaded Areas / Always Keep Your Dog Hydrated
The tips mentioned above are probably common sense, but I wanted to let you know since we all have a tendency to forget the obvious. As you might have already suspected, any type of skin inflammation will trigger the formation of black patches.
For dogs, many things can cause skin inflammation to occur, which makes it really hard for us to pinpoint the exact cause. Due to this difficulty, there is a high chance that black spots will continue to appear on your dog’s skin.
4. Allergic Reactions
When dogs were out in the wild, they never had to encounter manmade products and food. However, as time passed, dogs were tamed to be domestic pets, which allowed them to live among people. Due to their frequent interactions with humans, they also became susceptible to allergies, which has the following reactions:
- Itching in Localized Spot / Area
- Frequent Sneezing / Coughing / Wheezing
- Runny Discharge From Nose / Eyes
If your dog is exhibiting similar symptoms, make sure to note down the locations that you have visited and try to figure out the source behind those allergic reactions. If you are not sure about your answer, you can always go to a vet for an allergen test, which can be either done through a skin test or through a blood test.
5. Obesity / Hormonal Imbalnce
If a dog is fat, he will have excess skin flaps that occur due to his obesity. When rubbed together, the skin flaps will create friction, which will lead to skin inflammation. If left untreated for long periods of time, frequent inflammations will trigger the release of melanin, which leads to the formation of dark patches on your dog’s skin.
In addition to obesity, another cause of dark spots might be due to hormonal imbalance. Hormonal imbalance is when there are either too few hormones produced or too much. Either way, the external signs of hormonal imbalance first appear on the skin, and here are some of the following reactions:
- Skin Infections & Recurring Hair Loss
- Significant Weight Change
- Increased Sessions of Eating / Drinking
- Signs of Weakness / Lethargy
- Recurring Heavy Breathing
If you suspect that your dog is suffering from hormonal imbalance, you can either wait to see if your dog can restore the hormonal balance on his own or go to a vet to receive a diagnosis of your dog’s condition. I would recommend the latter option, but the final choice is strictly up to you!
After covering all the causes behind black spots on a dog’s skin, now is the time to cover the solutions to this skin condition. As always, figure out the cause, and then, look for products that might solve that particular problem.
Solutions Behind Black Spots On Dog’s Skin
1. Solutions to Adverse Skin Reactions
The best way to avoid irritating your dog’s skin is to use pet-friendly products. Instead of trying to save money by using your own skincare products on your dog, try to browse for shampoo and other skin-care-related items that are dog-friendly.
- Pet-Friendly Sunscreen (Spray & Balm)
- Shampoo for Dogs (Shampoo + Conditioner)
- Skin Supplements for Dogs (Immune Health)
If you are trying out a new pet product, always apply in small amounts at first, and if your dog doesn’t show any negative reaction, apply some more and enjoy the result!
2. Solutions to Skin Abrasions
If there is an open wound due to frequent scratching, try to clean out the wound with cold water, and sterilize the area with antibiotics. Before you put on a clean gauze on that wound, try to look for the source of the itch. If you can’t find it, you can try to use one of two different methods.
- Medicated Shampoo for Wounds & Infection
- Antibiotic Spray for Hot Spots, Licking, Skin Infections, Paw Licking, Allergies, and Acne
One of the reasons that many people resort to the use of medicated products is the presence of parasites. Common parasites such as ticks are usually burrowed underneath the skin, which makes them invisible to the naked eye. Since you can’t treat parasites with just antibiotics, many dog owners use flea and tick treatment every year.
3. Solutions to Inflammation
If you are dealing with inflamed skin, the best natural method of treatment is to cool it down with cold water. Since you still want to dog to have its own share of exercise, you can change the daily walking routine by using water in your background. Here are some of the toys that you can use to have fun with your dog.
If your dog loves water, try to enjoy the water sports as much as you can. However, if your dog dislikes water, don’t try to force your pet into the pool, but rather coax them into the water by giving them treats.
4. Solutions to Allergies
If your dog is exhibiting allergic reactions, most dog owners don’t usually go to the veterinarian to figure out the cause since this method costs hundreds of dollars. Instead, they try to go for a cheaper method instead, which comes in form of allergen supplements.
- Allergy Immune Supplements for Dogs (Adult Dogs)
- Allergy Immune Soft Chews for Dogs (Baby & Senior Dogs)
Formulated by Zesty Paws, the allergy supplement is created with the highest possible ingredients for dogs, and the key ingredients are Omega 3 Fish Oil (skin/immune support), Epicor (vitamins, protein, fiber, and antioxidants), prebiotics & probiotics (healthy digestive bacteria), and Colostrum (anti-allergenic, anti-itch, digestive support).
5. Solutions to Obesity & Hormonal Imbalance
If your dog is suffering from obesity, it might be your fault for not regulating the daily intake of food, or it might be due to inherited genes of your dog. If the obesity came about due to your ignorance, the best possible method is to plan a homemade diet for your dog. Since you can determine the size of your dog and breed, you can also determine the amount of food that you should give him and the timing to give the food.
If the obesity is due to inherited genes, your best solution should be going to a veterinarian for a medicated treatment. Similarly, if you are facing problems with hormonal imbalance, your vet should be your one and only option.
Conclusion: Should I Worry About This?
It really depends on the situation. In most cases, black spots are harmless on your dog since this type of skin condition happens very easily. If the black spots on your dog’s skin are just there and your dog isn’t paying attention to them, it is probably best to not worry too much about it. However, if those black spots start itching or cause pain, there is a high chance that those black spots are cancerous.
I hope that this post regarding black spots on a dog’s skin was helpful to you. If you want to know more regarding this type of topic, please visit the category regarding Dog Health.