Hot Spot Prevention Saves Puppies From Suffering

By Ande Waggener

Hot spot preventionwhy should a new dog parent to a puppy care about it? Although most puppies don't get hot spots (unless they get truly horrible puppy care), all puppies can be susceptible to dog hot spots as they begin to grow up. Learning hot spot prevention now can save your puppy (and you) misery later.

Otherwise known by vets as staph infections, eczema, ALD or lick granulomas, dog hot spots can cause pure misery for canines. And once a dog breaks out in dog hot spots, it can be tough to get the problem under control.

Preventing hot spots begins with understanding what causes hot spots. Although there are many situations, chemicals, and illnesses that can lead to hot spots, hot spots have four main triggers:

--Toxins and allergens. Substances that are toxic to puppies or to which puppies can become allergic can be found in poor-quality dog food or treats. Toxins are also found in a puppy's environment (like dog parent's cigarette smoke, for instance), and in topical pest-control chemicals.

--Suppressed disease. Diseases that were not treated well and never cured (for example, a treatment merely covers symptoms but doesn't address the cause) can sometimes erupt and discharge through the skin.

--Vaccinations. Routine vaccinations, often unnecessary, can induce immune disorders in some dogs.

--Psychological factors. Boredom, anxiety, anger, and frustration aren't often the starting trigger of skin problems, but they exacerbate other causes.

Understanding the causes of dog hot spots can help with hot spot prevention.

Canine hot spots can usually be prevented with good care. But even basic good dog care or good puppy care may not be enough. You really need to give great puppy care to be sure your puppy never has to suffer the pain of canine hot spots.

Here are six steps you can take to save our puppy from hot spots:

1. Feed your dog a high quality dog food.
2. Give your dog pure water.
3. Keep environmental toxins down to a minimum.
4. Be sure your dog is given plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to avoid boredom licking.
5. Don't get unnecessary vaccinations.
6. When possible, use natural pest-control methods like tea tree oil and garlic.

Canine hot spots are no fun for puppies or dogs, nor are they much fun for dog parents, who, of course, hate to see their canine kids suffer. Part of being a good new dog parent is taking the right steps for hot spot prevention.

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Andrea Rains Waggener, author of Dog ParentingHow to Have an Outrageously Happy, Well-adjusted Canine, offers puppy care help at