Pimples on the Dog | Cause & What To Do [2023]

Pimples on the Dog | Cause & What To Do [2023]

When dogs get pimples, it’s usually due to elevated hormone levels, dirt, diet, and anatomy. They are more common on the stomach and muzzle in particular. Waiting is the best option for treatment in most cases.

Pimples can appear anywhere there are pores in the skin. These pores are usually there to produce sebum. This is the skin’s natural protection.

It becomes a problem when pores become clogged and inflamed due to excess sebum, dead skin cells, dried sweat, or dirt.


In most cases, pimples in dogs are primarily triggered by 4 things:

  • Elevated hormone levels

Neutered dogs get pimples much less often than unneutered dogs. Because castration literally removes the main production sites of the sex hormones.

Nevertheless, increased hormone levels during puberty (~ 7 months of age) or during the period (every 6 months) can greatly increase the dog’s sebum production.

  • Dirt

Curious four-legged friends and dogs that dig a lot tend to get pimples more often. This is because they come into increased contact with dirt, dust, and grime.

This also explains why pimples in dogs most often appear on the stomach, muzzle, or head. Even pimples on the eye or ear are not uncommon.

  • Nourishment

Basically, the higher the proportion of processed carbohydrates or disguised sugars in dog food, the more likely it is to develop pimples.

Cheap food in particular often contains unhealthy fillers. Instead, I advise doing a free feed check to get recommendations and free feed samples.

  • Anatomy

Dog breeds with a lot of wrinkles on their face can clog their pores much more easily. In addition, dogs with shiny coats tend to produce more sebum.

According to observations, Bulldogs, Rottweilers, German Boxers, Dobermans and Great Danes often get pimples. In principle, however, it can affect anyone.

Dogs with elevated hormone levels and a lot of wrinkles on their face are the most likely to struggle with pimples. That’s why pimples are never completely avoidable. But constant contact with a polluted environment and nutrition also play a key role.


Pimples can be recognized by the fact that white pus forms from the inflammation, the area around it is red, it swells slightly, and is painful when touched.

To be sure that it really is a pimple, the following distinctions can help:

Open poreClosed pore
Black LumpWhite pus
No inflammationInflamed
Rarely bleedsMay bleed

It is precisely for this reason that in English-speaking countries there is talk of “whiteheads” for pimples and “blackheads” for blackheads. 

If several pimples form around the dog’s snout, it could also be an indication of existing food allergies. Here is the comparison:

Food AllergiesPimple
Widespread complaintsPoint-like symptoms
Severe swelling & rednessMild swelling & redness
Nausea & VomitingNo change in behavior
Severe itchingNo itch

In addition, it is typical for food allergies that the symptoms primarily appear shortly after eating. Pimples, on the other hand, can appear at any time.

Pimples on dogs can be identified by the pore being completely closed, white pus forming, and the area being red and slightly swollen. However, the behavior of the dog remains unaffected. Itching is also rather rare here.


Pimples are usually harmless and nothing to worry about. It only becomes a problem when severe acne develops or other pathological symptoms occur.

  • Should you pop the pimple?

No. This only leads to more damage to the skin, the area becoming infected more easily, and permanent scarring.

In addition, you cannot compare the pain sensitivity of dogs with yourself. Even if facial expressions are painless for you, they can be very painful.

  • Are anti-pimple products from the drugstore okay?

No. Products that were developed for people are usually too aggressive for animal skin. The application often only leads to the fact that the skin becomes dry and flaky.

  • What should you do instead?

Wait. Pimples will go away on their own within a few days. Here you should not forget that the body of dogs is extremely efficient at healing.

In individual cases, home remedies such as green tea, aloe vera, and apple cider vinegar can also help. With vinegar, however, you want to make sure there are no open wounds.

  • What helps against severe acne?

If your dog gets really bad, you could purchase antibacterial or medicated shampoos made specifically for dogs.

Under certain circumstances, medication to regulate hormones may also be necessary. In this case, you should contact your veterinarian for recommendations.

  • Are Pimples Transmissible from Dogs?

No. It concerns here only small bacterial inflammations. You should primarily watch out for parasites and viral infections. These are also partially transferable.

  • Can You Prevent Pimples?

Partially. You can hardly influence hormone fluctuations. You can ensure a clean environment, bathe your dog regularly and choose quality food.

It can also help to wash the dog’s muzzle twice a day with a mild dog shampoo and warm water. 

The pimple should not be squeezed out for treatment. Instead, it is advisable to wait and, if the symptoms are severe, possibly help with home remedies. For acute acne, you should visit the vet to get to the root of the problem.

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