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Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Spot of bother

My three-month-old Pug is suffering from puppy acne - he has little pimples all over his face and chin. My vet suggested antibiotics to clear it up, but I would prefer to go down a more natural route. Can anyone suggest an alternative solution?
Natasha Long, by email

Elice Strickland, Natural Dog Company, advises:
Also known as “Canine Acne,” Puppy Acne is a disease of the chin and lips of young dogs starting around puberty. When an infection is present, dogs will typically rub their noses on carpet and furniture. Short-coated dogs are at increased risk for acne.
The cause of Puppy Acne is unknown although it is believed by some to be hormonal since it occurs mostly during adolescence. However, one should consider the skin is actually the largest organ of the immune system. So from a holistic point of view, we should consider both the endocrine (hormonal) system and the immune system.
Research has proven that Vitamin D helps support both the immune and endocrine system. Unfortunately, many pets are deficient in Vitamin D levels due to keeping them indoors. Dogs should get at least one hour of sunshine a day or supplement with a good liquid Vitamin D supplement.
Snout Soother is an excellent nose and snout balm. Snout Soother contains several ingredients that that can help rid your pup’s acne and also help with pain and irritation. Hempseed oil is a prostaglandin-mediating natural anti-inflammatory. Kukui nut oil is homeostatic, meaning that it helps to restore the skin’s natural balance. Jojoba oil is bacteriostatic, meaning that it inhibits the growth of certain acne-causing bacteria.
Lastly, stay away from plastic bowls as they are porous and tend to harbor bacteria that could trigger an acne outbreak. Try ceramic or stainless steel.


  1. [I'm just an ordinary dog owner]

    I don't suppose this is particularly natural, but diluted Hibiscrub is said to be safe for puppies. It is an antiseptic wash, ideal for cleaning wounds & scratches, also for treating mange & itchy skin.

    I would read the packet instructions to see if it is suitable for puppy acne.

    Like you I would try to avoid antibiotics if at all possible, so the puppy builds up his own immunity.

  2. I think it's a good idea to consider your pup's diet, sometimes a structured raw meat and vegetable diet can really benefit skin problems very quickly. Be sure to research the diet well to ensure your pup gets the best diet for him at his growth stage. Diluted Tea Tree oil is effective for acne too, it has to be diluted or it will cause itching , 5 parts tea tree oil to 95 parts water, please don't expect instant results, nature has a way of taking it's time!