Do dogs get acne?

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The short answer is yes. And if you went through the pimple and whiteness phase as a teenager, you can sympathize if you have dog is likely to get it. However, although your dog certainly isn’t concerned about whether zits are hindering one’s expectations, it’s important to treat the condition for his comfort.


Canine acne

Just like humans, dogs tend to develop acne in the equivalent of their teenage years. For canines, this means that they are between 5 and 8 months old. It usually occurs on the muzzle or chin. By the time your dog reaches his first birthday, chances are his flight has disappeared. Affected dogs have white heads and black heads. Don’t try to squeeze your dog’s warts. Take him to the vet to rule out other issues instead. Some skin conditions look like acne but are much more serious.


Dog acne usually results from folliculitis, or inflammation of the hair follicles. Besides the whites, dogs with folliculitis may have small, ulcerated sores, which often itch. If the follicle ruptures, your dog could end up with a furunculosis, similar to boils in people. Just as with people, severe cases of canine acne or folliculitis can leave scarring. While it rarely occurs in long-haired dogs, some breeds, including Boxers, Bulldogs, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Great Danes and Dobermans, are affected more often.


Your vet will prescribe a topical cleanser and disinfectant, such as benzoyl peroxide. You can use a product with this active ingredient yourself, but don’t put it on your dog. His skin is much thinner and less sensitive than yours, so using benzoyl peroxide designed for humans will irritate him. Use the dog version your vet prescribed. If his skin is infected, your vet may also prescribe antibiotics. She may also recommend using special soaps or medicated wipes to wash the affected areas.

Other skin diseases

Even though the dog appears to be suffering from acne, the vet would have to take skin scrapings just to make sure it is not another condition. Canine acne-like skin problems include iron mange, Malasszia yeast infection, seborrhea, contact allergies, autoimmune diseases and even cancer. Another issue is pyoderma, or pus in the skin. And according to the Merck Veterinary Manual, an overgrowth of normal bacteria on a dog’s skin usually leads to this infection. Infection with the bacteria can travel deeper into the dog’s body than with infected superficial hair follicles.

Written by Jane Meggett Just Ask the Expert – How Do You Manage Canine Chin Acne? petMD: Acne in Dogs Provet: Canine Acne WebMD: Folliculitis in Dogs Merck Veterinary Manual: Pyoderma – Introduction

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