Summer is a lovely time for cats and dogs up and down the country. Warm weather, longer days and bright sunshine bring more time for outdoor play and exploration, walks in the park and fun times with the family. Unfortunately, the heat and sunshine come with their fair share of problems too, one of the worst of which is hot spots.

What are hot spots?

Hot spots are formally known as “acute moist dermatitis” and are areas of inflamed and infected skin. They’re damp, red, smelly, scabby and can be really sore. They start off small, most commonly stemming from an insect bite or a little scratch and then, when rubbed, licked or overstimulated, they can grow into a hot spot.

What causes hot spots?

Essentially, anything that causes your cat or dog to chew, lick or scratch a particular area of their body can lead to them, including fleas, allergies, insect bites (such as ticks), itchy skin or cuts and scrapes.

How can you prevent hot spots?

First things first – find out the cause. Vigilance is key! If you see any insects on your pet, brush them off quickly and check for bite marks, nicks, red spots and scabs. Treat all of the above with a soothing product such as our Cat/Dog Gel, to cool the reddened or inflamed area and allow healing to happen quickly. Make sure to feed your pet an appropriate diet to maintain healthy skin and avoid common food allergens that can increase the risk of inflammation. Beyond that, use our pet Sprays to keep your little friend’s coat in good condition and to keep allergies under control too.

How to treat hot spots?

The best means of treatment is prevention, but if you find that you’re too late and you need to treat one, start by clipping the hair from the area. Your pet may look a little funny with a bald patch on their back or bum, but it will grow back eventually. In the meantime, the area will be much cooler and drier, and it will be much easier to keep it clean while the spot heals. Make sure to wash the area too, but be careful. It is probably quite sore, so try and be gentle as you wash your pet. They’ll let you know if you’re being too rough!

If you like, you can opt for the dreaded cone. Again, your pet might look a bit funny and probably won’t thank you but, in time, the area will heal much better without your pet having the option to further irritate it, no matter how tempting it may be!

Finally, our Cat and Dog Gels are incredibly useful tools to help your pet with their hot spots. They have antibacterial properties and help cool and soothe inflamed areas of skin, leading to less licking and scratching as the skin heals. They speed up the healing process too, so it's a real double whammy!

When to see a vet?

Although hot spots are quite common and typically respond well to treatment, they are skin infections and should therefore be taken seriously. It's never a bad idea to consult your vet for advice, especially if you notice your pet's hot spot getting worse, bright red and hot, or not getting any better after a few days.