Why Make a Dog Hot Spot Relief Lotion
Finding natural dog hot spot relief can be a real challenge. I’ve felt so helpless watching my itchy dog bite and scratch at his hotspots until he was red, raw and bleeding. My dog would literally tare his hair out in order to get at the itch. By the time I managed to get Charlie to the vet for hot spot treatment, his back end would be bld and bleeding and he’d need an antibiotic regimen. I hated feeling so helpless and not knowing what I could use to give him relief.
That’s why I’ve been working on a Hot Spot Relief Treatment Lotion for dogs made with Apple Cider vinegar, Aloe, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Seabuckthorn oil and turmeric.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Dogs
Many people have found just how useful Apple Cider Vinegar can be. Apple Cider Vinegar is also great to help relieve a dog’s hot spots. I’m always looking for remedies to help our pets deal with the itchiness and scratching due to insect bites, allergies or more mysterious causes. The problem is, what works for human itchiness isn’t necessarily good for dogs or cats. For example, I use tea tree and neem in almost all my products that require fighting bacteria, fungus and/or viruses. However, from the research I’ve done so far, I think it best to keep both tea tree and neem out of dog products. I tried Aloe but it didn’t do much. Then I re-discovered apple cider vinegar’s use as a after shampoo rinse, leaving hair soft and shiney. While researching this, I came across information on just how good a job it does soothing itchy, irritated skin and acting as a mild antibacterial. Best of all, it turns out that most experts believe that apple cider poses little risk for dogs in small quantities, some even beleive that ingesting it is good.
The Earth Clinic says that Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) “helps with digestive health, allergies (watery eyes, runny nose, wet coughs), and even parasites such as fleas, ringworm, ticks, fungus, and bacteria.”
Treating a Pet with Vinegar
I had made a treatment with Vinegar but it was all runny and it was tough to apply. Cotton Balls were too fussy and my dog could spot the bottle and cotton balls a mile away. He hated the sound of sprays and sprays also made him sneeze. I ended up using a (expensive!) topical steriod spray which worked great. Luckily, once I got really strict about flea control (and gave into internal flea medicine) the issue disappeared. However, steriods can have side effects and most of us would prefer to find the least invasive solution possible.
When our cat Karma got one of his recurring ear infections, we couldn’t get to the vet so I did some research and decided to try diluted (4 to 1) Apple Cider Vinegar in his ear. Oh, I can’t claim he liked it but it totally relieved the itchiness and calmed the redness until we could get him to the vet.
The problem with the vinegar is that it is hard to apply, messy, smelly, it will sting open sores, animals don’t like it and it dries off too fast.
Which got me thinking…
I thought, I bet I could make a vinegar lotion that sticks.
Apple Cider Vinegar Lotion for Dogs
Most lotions contain 80% water. So, instead of making lotion with water, I used Apple Cider Vinegar. Apple Cider Vinegar is a good mild treatment for dogs with the beginning of itchy spots. I also used Vodka, the Vodka dissappates during the process of making lotion, it is a good way of sterilizing the process and the small amount left in the lotion should help fight bacteria and work as a mild preservative. And of course, the Aloe is a safe and soothing ingredient for dogs.
The lotion’s major oil is coconut oil as it is a great source of lactic acid. I also added shea butter for its famous ability to protect and moisturize and olive oil because it absorbs into the skin quickly. Perhaps the most important ingredient is the Lanolin which is not actually an oil but a wax and really helps the lotion “stick”.
Additionally, to reinforce the lotions ability to heal, I added seabuckthron oil and infused oil of turmeric and ginger (dogs don’t like the taste of ginger either). I posted about Turmeric and dogs here.
Finally, in an attempt to discourage licking off the lotion despite the bitter vinegar and distasteful (to dogs) ginger, I added cooling essential oil of peppermint (which dogs don’t like to eat) and refreshing lemon extract. I also put a dash of lemongrass as any fleas that aren’t put off by the vinegar’s acid will avoid the smell of lemongrass.
Anytime you add water to a product, you need to also add preservatives. However, I haven’t done this with this batch of the lotion. I am hoping that the Vinegar and Vodka will preserve the lotion long enough. It is a new product and time will tell if I am going to need to cave and add a preservative. Meanwhile, I am hoping it will satisfy those people demanding I come up with something to help their dog’s itchy spots.
Anyone who wants this product need to be aware that I am not a veterinarian or scientist, just someone frustrated with the lack of natural products available to try and help our animals without overly exposing them to antibiotics and steroids. You are welcome to try the lotion as I think it is going to help but know this product is in development, that you must use responsibly and at your own risk. Do your own research too. Watch your dog for allergic reactions, worsening conditions or ingesting too much of the product through licking. Some dogs will not mind the taste or smell despite my efforts. Do a patch test to see how your animal reacts.
The lotion may irritate and sting open scratches.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Coconut Butter
- Vegetable Glycerin
- Stearic Acid
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Shea butter
- Turmeric and Ginger infused Apricot Oil
- Essential Oil Lemon Ginger and Peppermint
- Xanthan Gum
- Vit. E
I will keep people informed as the lotion develops.