Natural Remedies for Hot Spots on Your Golden Retriever

Natural Remedies for Hot Spots on Your Golden Retriever 

Hot spots in dogs are painful, moist, rapidly growing skin infections. Treat them at home in four steps: (1) Remove hair around the sore (2) Clean the skin with saline (3) Soothe itching with chamomile (4) Treat the infection with colloidal silver and calendula.

If this is your first time dealing with a hot spot, it can be scary. Your dog starts scratching and, by the time you notice the hot spot, it’s already large, red, oozing and infected. Dog breeds with thick coats – like Golden Retrievers, St. Bernards, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds – are at increased risk for hot spots.         

Hot spots can appear in a very short time (hours) and grow quickly.

I remember the first time I noticed a hot spot on my Golden Retriever. He had just come home from a few days at doggy daycare. The owner excitedly told me that he played in the swimming pool every day and was a fantastic guest. As I removed his collar, I was horrified to see a 2 inch wide raw, affected area on his neck oozing with pus and blood. His lovely chest hair was matted into a sticky, scabby mess and he tore into the wound with his toenails every time he scratched. To be honest, I was pretty upset that no one had noticed this earlier. But, hot spots grow very quickly and, on long haired dogs can be harder to notice.

What Are Hot Spots?

A hot spot is a skin infection, sometimes called acute moist dermatitis (skin inflammation from moisture) or pyotraumatic dermatitis (skin inflammation from scratching/biting). It’s a common skin condition in dogs, particularly ones with thick or long hair. 

What Does a Hot Spot Look Like?

Hot spots look like red or pink sores on the skin. They may appear scabby and ooze with fluids and be surrounded by sticky, matted hair. Sometimes you may notice an unpleasant smell. Your dog will likely be scratching and licking, and perhaps rolling on the area in an attempt to relieve himself from the itching. Hot spots can appear in a very short time (hours) and grow quickly. Hot spots can become badly infected and cause your beautiful Golden Retriever a whole lot of distress.

golden retriever hot spots

Where Do Golden Retrievers Get Hot Spots?

Hot spots can happen anywhere, but these areas are most common in dogs like Goldens:

  • head/face, neck, particularly under collars
  • behind or in front of ears
  • hips
  • under or along the tail

Spotting A Hot Spot

Visually examine your dog, especially in an itchy spot or area where he is scratching or licking. Look for:

  • open areas of skin that are pink, red or brown (dried blood)
  • spots that are inflamed, moist and may have partial scabs
  • areas that are oozing clear, red, pink or have yellow or green pus
  • have an unpleasant smell (smell may get worse as it becomes infected with bacteria)
  • matted fur in and around the sore

What Causes Hot Spots?

Hot spots occur when bacteria on your dog’s skin grows too rapidly, causing a red, inflamed, painful, oozing infection. Bacteria can be naturally found on a dog’s skin or may be introduced onto your dog’s skin through dirty ponds, swampy areas, dirt or through insect bites. One of the most common  types of bacteria found in hot spots is called staphylococcus. When your dog’s natural immune system can’t fight off an overgrowth of “staph”, hot spots can occur.

Why Are Golden Retrievers Prone to Hot Spots? 

Muddy Dog

Goldens are water-loving, curious, long-haired bundles of fun! And that is precisely why they’re prone to hot spots – especially during the summer months! Here’s an example.

Being a water dog, your Golden decides to cool down on a hot day by going for a swim in a dirty pond or creek. He gets out, rolls around in the grass and dirt, and has a nap. His warm, soggy, dirty fur and skin instantly become the perfect place for bacteria to grow quickly. 

If your dog’s immune system is unable to control the overgrowth of harmful bacteria, this can set off an immune response that often ends up in hot spots.  

Are Certain Types of Golden Retrievers Healthier than Others?

Some dog owners ask if certain types of Goldens may have an edge on health conditions like environmental allergies or flea allergies that can lead to hot spots.

Golden Retrievers fall into one of three categories: 

  • English (British)
  • American
  • Canadian

Most differences are minor and based on body build, shape of head and eyes and the colour and length of hair. 

There is some research suggesting that English Golden Retrievers are marginally healthier than their North American counterparts, particularly regarding cancer rates. Some also speculate that Goldens with dark skin (“blueberry belly”) have a slight edge on good health – however this is just anecdotal. In fact, in some cases, dark skin can be a sign of health concerns. 

Conscientious breeders will screen and breed puppies from the healthiest lines possible. Strong genetics, good prevention and quick treatment will help, but the bottom line is, when it comes to hot spots, all Goldens and thick-coated dogs are susceptible.  

Can A Hot Spot Heal On Its Own?

A hot spot is not likely to heal on its own. If a dog’s skin has gotten to the point where he cannot naturally heal an infection, he will need our help. 

 

A growing bacterial infection is worsened with moisture and warmth. Since dogs want to scratch and lick the area (which keeps it moist and raw), the wounds will be difficult to heal without our assistance.

If the wound is not kept clean and dry, it can develop into a deep tissue wound. When this happens, your dog will be in significant pain and at risk of the infection growing and entering his bloodstream. Blood infections can potentially be serious, and even fatal. 

Hot spots can be treated naturally without harsh, conventional treatments like steroids, antihistamines and antibiotics. Here’s how.

Treat Hot Spots Naturally in 4 Steps: Home Remedies

If your dog has a hot spot, do these four things to treat them naturally:

  1. Remove Hair
  2. Clean the Skin
  3. Soothe Itching
  4. Treat the Infection

1. Remove Hair

Hot spots are uncomfortable and your dog will want to lick and scratch the sore. If surrounding hair is not removed, it mats with fluids on dark, warm, moist skin making an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. Removing the hair keeps tender areas dry and clean, and helps reduce irritation while his skin heals. If you skip this step, the hot spot will be much harder to heal.

How to Remove Hair Around the Hot Spot

  • With clean hands, use grooming scissors to clip fur as close to the skin as safely possible. Only use grooming scissors designed for dogs, as regular scissors pose the risk of cutting the skin. You may notice that your dog has already chewed or scratched much of the hair off. 

  • Next, carefully shave about one cm (1/3 inch) of hair from around the wound. You can use an electric hair/beard shaver, although some dogs don’t like the vibration. If your dog won’t tolerate the shaver, a close clipping is fine using grooming scissors. Clean shaver and scissors before and after use.

Although you might be tempted to keep that lovely coat of fur, don’t skip this step or the wound won’t heal well.

Hint: If your dog is quite stressed or anxious, start with soothing your stressed dog before you begin to calm the skin. Try offering him a bit of cooled, diluted chamomile tea, a lavender dog cookie or CBD dog treat or one of the other natural options described below. 

2. Clean the Skin

Hot spots are bacterial infections that must be cleaned 3-4 times a day to prevent spread and allow the skin to heal. The best antiseptic solution is simple sterile saline, but bottled water solution of salt and vinegar works too. 

Sterile Saline Solution 

Sterile saline is sold in drug stores and some grocery stores. If you have a clean syringe (never use a needle), withdraw saline solution into the syringe and gently squirt some directly into the wound. Alternatively, pour a small amount of sterile saline solution directly on the wound, and allow any excess to run off. Repeat this until any runoff liquid is clear.

Clean the hot spot 3-4 times a day. 

 

Bottled Water with Salt and Vinegar

In a pinch, you can add salt and vinegar to bottled water. This combination helps to cleanse and disinfect wounds.

  • open a bottle of water (spring or distilled is fine)
  • add one tablespoon of salt and one teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to the water
  • shake the mixture
  • soak a clean gauze in the solution and apply wet gauze to the wound or pour the solution directly on the wound, allowing any excess to run off
  • repeat this until any runoff liquid is clear

Clean the hot spot 3-4 times a day.

Wound Care Tips

  • Keep the area clean
  • Wash your hands before and after touching the wound
  • Avoid touching the tip of a bottle with gauze, cloth or hands. This can bring bacteria into the bottle. Keep it “no-touch” by pouring a small amount from the bottle over the gauze or wound
  • Always use a fresh, clean gauze before touching the sore
  • We suggest keeping a few small bottles of saline solution on hand instead of one large bottle. In case you need to discard a bottle due to accidental contamination or spillage, you’ve got another readily available.

Never Use These to Clean a Hot Spot

Although we often recommend some of these natural remedies in diluted amounts, never use them directly (undiluted) on a wound:

  • undiluted apple cider vinegar
  • undiluted tea tree oil
  • hydrogen peroxide

These can cause intense pain and further skin damage by destroying healthy tissue.

3. Soothe Itching 

A hot spot is incredibly uncomfortable, itchy and irritating to your dog. Soothe itching to reduce his scratching, licking and rubbing. You can apply chamomile directly to the sore, or soothe your dog internally by offering chamomile, lavender or cannabidiol (CBD).

Apply Chamomile Directly to the Hot Spot

  • Brew and cool a chamomile tea bag
  • Press the cool, moist tea bag gently on the wound to soothe irritation

Hints:

  • Use a new bag each time to prevent transferring bacteria
  • Use a tea bag after cleaning the wound (step 1) and before treating the infection (step 4) to help calm skin
  • Keep some of the cooled tea separately in case you want to offer your dog a safe, soothing drink.

Soothe Your Stressed Dog with Calming Herbs 

If your dog is very uncomfortable and fussing, consider offering him one or all of these soothing herbs to ease his stress:

Chamomile

Not only does the tea bag itself help when placed on the skin, a cooled drink of chamomile tea can soothe your dog from the inside out. Make sure the tea is cooled and diluted well (one cup of brewed tea to 2-3 cups water). Always keep a fresh bowl of pure water available too.

Lavender

Lavender biscuits make a fantastic, relaxing dog treat that you can make at home. When lavender is baked in cookies, this delightful herb supports dogs under stress. Never give your dog lavender (or any other) essential oil internally. 

CBD (Cannabidiol) for Dogs

Cannabidiol is a well-researched, well-tolerated and extremely safe component of the hemp plant. It has numerous therapeutic benefits and is non-psychoactive (has no effects of feeling “high” or “stoned”). CBD is widely used in people to manage pain, inflammation, seizures, depression, anxiety, opioid addiction and psychosis. Like humans, dogs benefit from CBD – particularly in areas of pain management, anxiety, inflammation and seizures. Despite its widespread use and medical evidence, many mainstream health care systems remain CBD-hesitant.

In cases where your dog is quite uncomfortable from those hot spots, you may wish to try CBD to soothe his stress, reduce itching and help with healing.

Hints:

  • We like to use CBD blended with olive or MCT oils that contain additional skin healing properties of Omega-3 fatty acids. A few drops directly into your dog’s mouth or over his food can quickly soothe anxiety so you can more easily trim, clean and treat hot spots.
  • You can bake CBD into a delicious cookie recipe
  • Check the chart below for how much CBD to give your dog.

Where Can I Get CBD for My Dog?

Check with your country or state about any restrictions on purchasing CBD products. To assist you, we have included both Canadian and US links to CBD products. 

United States residents can click here to order CBD oil for dogs.

Canadian residents can click here to order CBD oil for dogs.

CBD Dose Chart For Dogs:
CBD Dose Chart for Dogs

Use CBD Safely

  • Purchase organic, pure CBD tincture from a trusted, legal source
  • We have found that dogs prefer the taste of CBD that is blended in MCT oil (although other oils like olive are popular)
  • Read each product very carefully as every CBD product is dosed differently
  • Read the bottles throughly, ensure you are dosing in milligrams (mG) not millilitres (mL)
  • Call the company if you are unsure about dosing. If you use the recommended dose on the product, be aware that it may be different from the dose recommended below
  • Healing Fur Souls offers CBD guidance for dogs – call us for a consultation.
  • For fast relief, drop the CBD tincture on his gums. If he swallows it, that’s ok – it will just take a bit longer to take effect. CBD can also be dropped directly onto food or a treat.
  • We recommend 0.022 mg of CBD per pound of your dog’s weight to relieve stress and support wound healing
  • Never give your dog cannabis/marijuana (which includes psychoactive THC that can be harmful to a dog)

Quercetin

Some people use anti-histamines like Benedryl to calm the inflammation and itching from hot spots. We prefer to use quercetin – a natural anti-histamine, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant found in the skin of many citrus fruits, apples and dark berries. Quercetin can be purchased as a supplement for short-term use. It is a safe herb but is not recommended for pregnant, lactating dogs or those with impaired kidney function. 

Hints:

  • dogs can be given 5-10 mg quercetin per pound of body weight, twice daily. So a 75 lb dog could take 800 mg of quercetin every 12 hours 
  • give quercetin (capsules or tablets) away from food (one hour before meals or 3 hours after)
  • add small quantities of organic apples with peels (never the core) to your dog’s diet while he heals
  • include apples and blueberries as part of his whole food diet for natural sources of quercetin

4. Treat the Infection

The most common type of bacteria that infects hot spots is staphylococcus. There are a variety of natural and pharmaceutical products that can treat “staph”. Once you’ve clipped and cleaned his wound, treat the infection with one of these natural options:

Colloidal Silver

This natural antimicrobial has been used since 69 BC and was widely prescribed for wounds from the time of Hippocrates through to 1938. Silver is frequently used in mainstream medicine to treat stubborn wound infections. Colloidal silver is a liquid suspension of tiny particles of silver that may be used on skin for short periods of time to help combat infections. The short term use of colloidal silver has been shown to support healing in open, non-surgical wounds such as hot spots. Never give your dog colloidal silver orally. 

  • pour a small amount of colloidal silver liquid onto a sterile gauze
  • gently pat or wipe the area, starting in the middle of the sore and gently wiping out to the edges 

 

Calendula

This antimicrobial herb helps the healing process by increasing blood flow and speeding up tissue repair. Its high levels of flavonoids also reduce inflammation, thereby soothing skin. Calendula tincture can be purchased as a liquid to make an easy home remedy for hot spots.  

Home Made Calendula Spritz For Hot Spots

  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1 cup of filtered or distilled water
  • 20-40 drops of calendula tincture 

Instructions
  • Mix together the salt and the water
  • Add the calendula tincture
  • Pour the mixture into a dark glass spritz bottle 
  • Lightly spray the hot spot. Alternatively, use a clean gauze or a cotton pad to sponge the mixture onto the hot spot 3-4 times a day.

This formula can be used for both open and healing wounds.

What to Use In a Pinch

If you’re in a pinch, here are a few household products that can be used as a first aid measure:

Black Tea

Black tea has tannic acid, which can help prevent staphylococcus bacteria from colonizing on the skin.

If you’re in a pinch:

  • steep a black tea bag in a cup of boiled water for 1-2 minutes
  • remove the tea bag and allow it to cool on a clean surface 
  • press the cooled tea bag directly onto the hot spot, allowing the liquid to release on the infected area
  • do this for several minutes if your dog will allow this
  • we recommend this 3-4 times a day and only for small spots that are treated early.

Aloe Vera

Some people use fresh aloe vera juice (jelly) directly from the plant, for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.  However, aloe vera is toxic to dogs if ingested so it must be used under supervision and only if you are in a pinch. If you choose to use aloe vera, ensure the dog is wearing an Elizabethan Collar and cannot lick the area. 

Tea Tree Oil

A diluted formulation of tea tree oil can make an excellent, soothing antibiotic and has been found effective against the type of bacteria commonly found in hot spots.  However, tea tree can be toxic if undiluted or ingested. Dogs should wear an Elizabethan Collar and be prevented from licking any products with tea tree oil.  

Hot Spot Powder

In some cases where the hot spot is very moist or oozing, a powder may help dry the area and promote healing quickly. Bentonite clay draws moisture away from the wound, and echinacea helps inflamed skin. The powder can be used to help dry wet, oozing wounds.

Mix together:

  • 1/4 cup of powdered bentonite clay
  • 1/8 cup of powdered echinacea, plantain leaf or yarrow
  • Sprinkle on the hot spot area
  • Allow powder to sit on the hot spot for 30 to 45 minutes (supervise your dog or use an Elizabethan collar to prevent licking)
  • Rinse off with sterile saline solution
  • Repeat 2 or 3 times per day.

Hint: If you don’t have the other herbs, you can use the bentonite clay by itself

 

Say “No No” to Neo

Over the counter antibiotic products like Neosporin or polysporin aren’t recommended. Ingesting these topical ointments can cause diarrhea and other side effects. Creams and ointments are avoided as they keep the area moist. Studies also suggest these products can lead to antibiotic resistant forms of bacteria (like MRSA). 

Should I Let My Dog Lick or Scratch a Hot Spot?

Although dogs innately try to clean and soothe their wounds by licking, the licking process activates superficial nerves in the wound and can actually stimulate more itching, scratching and licking. It can also add more bacteria to the wound. Prevent your dog from licking or scratching the sore spot.

How Can I Prevent My Dog from Licking and Scratching a Hot Spot?

  • Use an Elizabethan Collar until the wound heals. Alternatively, you can put a t-shirt or light cloth around the wound. Just make sure it’s dry and clean and allows the wound to be exposed to the air
  • Offer your dog safe, soothing herbs like chamomile, lavender and CBD to reduce anxiety
  • Provide lots of safe chew toys to distract him and keep his anxiety down. Chewing relieves anxiety and provides a great distraction while hot spots heal. Offer some safe bones or kong toys to keep your dog distracted and stress-free.

 

How Long Does It Take to Heal Hot Spots?

With treatment, there should be improvement within a couple of days. However, it may take up to two weeks for the skin to heal completely. If your dog’s hot spot is not improving after 2-3 days, or is getting worse, seek veterinary treatment (additional medications may be required such as oral antibiotics or steroids).

As the wound heals, sores can become dry and itchy. After a few days of improvement, you can use a home made remedy to help calm the skin as it heals. Only use this once the skin is starting to heal and becomes dry.

Homemade Hot Spot Healing Spray

  • 15 drops of calendula tincture
  • 15 drops of goldenseal tincture
  • one cup (250 mL) of distilled water (may use spring water in a pinch)

Mist the spot 3 to 4 times a day but don’t over soak.

How to Prevent Hot Spots: Address Underlying Health Conditions

If your Golden Retriever suffers with chronic hot spots, it can be frustrating.

Conventional Treatment Approach

Your conventional vet may treat your furry “frequent flyer” with antibiotics, steroids and antihistamines which help heal the open wound, but don’t address the underlying cause of the hot spot. Oral medications like steroids suppress the immune system, but don’t address the reason that your dog’s immune system is not doing its job.

If your conventional vet isn’t able or willing to look for an underlying condition responsible for chronic hot spots:

A skin condition isn’t just a skin condition; it is the symptom of an underlying problem.

Nutrition and Health

Your dog’s health is largely a function of his diet. Nutrients support the health of his skin and fur and his ability to fight infection and eliminate toxins.

Optimize your dog’s health and immunity with a whole foods, unprocessed diet that includes:

  • clean raw meat (salmon is exceptionally great for healthy skin and fur) 
  • organic vegetables
  • healthy oils with high levels of Omega-3s like fish oil or flaxseed oil
  • prebiotics like garlic and dandelion greens
  • probiotics like goat milk, kefir or fermented vegetables

More diet suggestions can be found here.

Food Sensitivities

One of the most common culprits in skin conditions is a grain allergy. Unfortunately, grains are a cheap filler used in numerous dog food products, but aren’t necessary or useful for most dogs’ nutritional needs.

  • Try removing all grains from your dog’s diet for at least two months. You may notice a slight uptick in skin problems as those grains are being eliminated from his system. However, many people notice improved skin health after 1-2 months.
  • Keep track of what your dog is eating and when he gets hot spots. Did you slip him a piece of pizza crust? Use a dog treat with grains?
  • It’s easy and inexpensive to make your own grain-free dog treats. We love this recipe for La-La-Lavender Dreams dog treats. You can leave out the herbs if you prefer, but they are calming and healing for skin conditions. 

Food Energetics: Hot, Neutral and Cool Proteins

Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches us that foods have energetic qualities that can aggravate or heal certain health conditions. We can use different meat proteins to support underlying imbalances in our dogs. Hot spots are red, sore, inflamed and infected and considered “hot”. So foods that are cooling can work with our dog’s body as we heal those hot spots. 

Cooling foods include: 

  • white fish, duck, rabbit
  • apples, bananas, cranberries, watermelon, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, celery
  • kelp or other seaweeds such as Nori
  • if your dog is not sensitive to grains, you can include small amounts of barley, millet or buckwheat
  • soothing oils like first-pressed sesame or flax seed oil
  • goat yogurt or kefir

Eliminating Toxins

Keeping your dog healthy enough to combat occasional infections requires good health from the inside out.

When toxins build up in the body, we frequently see the first sign in skin disorders. Dogs eliminate toxins through their skin, but also through their liver, kidneys, lungs, digestive system and lymphatic system.

In addition to a whole foods diet, help your dog eliminate toxins naturally by:

  • giving him filtered water (no fluoride or chlorine)
  • avoiding all exposure to pesticides (grass and garden pesticides as well as those used in conventional flea and tick products)
  • using only natural house cleaning products

Work with a Holistic Vet to identify any underlying problems with your dog’s organs of elimination. There are several foods and supplements that can safely support optimal elimination of toxins.

Thyroid Functioning

Golden Retrievers are prone to poor thyroid functioning (hypothyroidism). Even if your dog’s lineage is free from thyroid problems, thyroid disease can develop from feeding a processed diet, trauma from collars and other assaults on his body’s immune system like food sensitivities.

Hypothyroidism is one of the most commonly under-recognized disorders in chronic hot spots.  If your dog has frequent hot spots, ear infections and tends to be overweight, lethargic or depressed, ask your holistic vet to check his thyroid levels. A sluggish thyroid can be supported with diet and herbs at early stages, but occasionally will require pharmacological intervention such as a synthetic thyroid supplement.

Grooming

Keeping your Golden Retriever’s coat smooth and tangle-free prevents irritation that can lead to scratching, licking and hot spots.

  • Brush daily. Brushing spreads natural oils and stimulates skin cell regeneration. It also prevents matting which can harbour dark, moist spots for skin infections to develop.
  • Keep nails trimmed. You can minimize the skin damage if nails are cut back and not razor sharp.
  • Don’t over-bathe. Frequent bathing dries the skin. Any soap not thoroughly rinsed can also cause irritation. Check out the best (and worst) shampoos for dogs here.
  • Keep your dog free of collars and bandanas (when safe to do so) to prevent skin irritation.

If your dog has been scratching at hot spots, more sores might appear within a few days. Check his entire body carefully every day. To clean dirt and oil from his skin and soothe inflammation, try an oatmeal bath.

How to Make an Oatmeal Bath for your Dog

  • Place 1-2 cups of plain, unsweetened, unflavoured, old-fashioned oatmeal in a food processor or blender and grind into a fine powder. 
  • Fill a tub with warm water and mix in the ground oatmeal.
  • Encourage your dog to soak in the tub for 10 minutes while you massage the oatmeal bath into his skin. We like to sing sweet songs to our dogs during bath time!
  • After ten minutes, rinse your dog with warm water and dry him using a soft, absorbent towel. Gently press clean, dry towel into the spots that are healing (don’t rub) until the area is dry. You can use a hair dryer on the coolest setting around the spots to get them nice and dry. Never use a hot dryer on tender skin. 
  • Brush his coat carefully, avoiding the healing spots. 
  • At the first signs of scratching, check the area immediately. Besides looking for the obvious cause like ticks or fleas, look for reddened or inflamed areas that can be signs of skin irritation.
  • If your dog loves to swim in dirty creeks and ponds, try to find a cleaner source of water. Check for local doggy pools, clean beachfront water or even a kiddy pool.  Always ensure he is well dried off and clean.

Impacted Anal Glands

Hot spots that occur near the rectum can indicate discomfort in the anal glands. If your dog also scoots his butt on the floor, check with your Holistic Vet to see if his glands are impacted. Often, dogs with anal gland issues require more fibre. Check out our tips for a healthy diet.

Pain

A dog’s natural instinct is to lick, rub or scratch areas that are painful or irritating. If a hot spot occurs in the same area over and over, ensure your vet thoroughly examines the underlying skin, muscle and joint.  Common causes include muscle pain, arthritis or other joint inflammation. 

Ear Infections

It’s natural for your dog to scratch his ears if there is an infection brewing. If your Golden Retriever has frequent ear infections and hot spots, ask your Holistic Vet to assess his thyroid functioning. Hypothyroidism is a common underlying cause of hot spots and ear infections in Goldens. Try avoiding likely food allergens, such as grains or consider liver support to help him clear toxins out more efficiently. 

Boredom or Anxiety

Some dogs self-stimulate by licking or chewing their skin. Sadly, this can be a sign of boredom, anxiety or depression.  It is important to provide lots of physical and mental stimulation like walks, hikes, play time, chew toys and training to keep boredom at bay. 

Bottom Line

Although Golden Retrievers are prone to hot spots, you can treat them naturally by:

  • Removing hair around the hot spot
  • Cleaning the skin
  • Soothing itchy skin
  • Treating the infection
  • Addressing underlying reasons for chronic hot spots
  • Improving nutrition

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