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Bet You Didn’t Know Your Puppy Could SUFFER From This!

Commonly thought of as the plight of human teenagers, your dog can also suffer from acne.

According to, it is a benign disorder that typically only lasts a little while; it comes on at puberty (five to eight months of age) and is usually gone by the time the dog reaches a year.

Acne Prone Breeds

Steve Weinrauch, DVM, Director of Veterinary Pay at Trupanion explains that while it is most common in young, short-coated breeds, there are some breeds that seem to be more prone than others, including:

  • Boxers
  • Doberman Pinchers
  • English Bulldogs
  • Great Danes
  • Weimaraners
  • Mastiffs
  • Rottweilers
  • German short-haired pointers


“Canine acne can be triggered by local trauma and genetic predisposition has been suggested, but the cause is unknown,” says Dr. Weinrach. “Bacterial involvement is secondary. Whether or not it is contagious depends on the source.”

It can also be caused by hormones, according to

Just like in humans, the oil glands get blocked causing pimples and blackheads to form. Your dog will most likely scratch at the site, which can cause a worse infection making it crusty, swollen, sore and inflamed.

Dog acne looks very similar to the human form. Source:
Dog acne looks very similar to the human form. Source:


How do you know if your dog is suffering from acne?

  • Red bumps
  • Blackheads
  • Infection may develop
  • Dog may rub his face against carpet and furniture
  • Swelling
  • Pus in the lesions from bacterial invasion
  • Lesions are painful when you touch them
  • Scars from lesions that have healed (source:


You will want to take your dog to his vet to get him checked out and make sure it really is acne and not something else like mange, ringworm, or strangles which have similar symptoms.

Dr. Weinrach cautions against expressing the lesions “because doing so will likely exacerbate the inflammation or lead to a more serious infection. To reduce swelling, you can place a warm cloth on the area of inflammation, but your veterinarian can provide more treatment.”

About the Author

Based in Tustin, Calif., animal lover Kristina N. Lotz is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and works as a full time trainer. She also owns her own custom pet products company, A Fairytail House, where she makes personalized collars, leashes, beds, keepsake pillows and blankets, and anything else your imagine can think up. In her spare time, she trains and competes in herding, agility, obedience, rally, and conformation with her Shetland Sheepdogs. She smartly married a Veterinary Technician, who helps keep the fur kids happy and healthy, and provides a quick resource for articles.


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Written by Kristina Lotz
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