Dog Has Red Spots on His Privates [Decode The Mystery]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

They say a dog is a friend like no other, a loyal companion who shares in your joys and comforts you through life’s tribulations. 

Yet, even the closest companions have their secrets—whispers of mysteries that can perplex and worry a pet parent’s heart. 

If you’re here, it’s likely you’ve stumbled upon one such enigma: your dog has red spots on his privates.

Before you start panicking, take a few minutes to read this post first as I’ll touch on the causes and how you can resolve them at home.

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Why Does My Dog Have Rashes Around His Groin?

Why Does My Dog Have Rashes Around His Groin

As a fellow dog owner, I 100% understand how worried you’d be if you saw your dog’s groin surrounded by rashes.

Just by the look of that nasty red skin, you’d know how uncomfortable and icky it would make your pup feel.

You see, it could be hard to pinpoint why exactly your dog has rashes around his groin.

There are so many reasons why your dog would experience this kind of rashes. It could be because of his surroundings, or simply due to the food he has eaten.

If your dog has fleas and ticks in his body, there’s no doubt why your dog would have rashes in his groin too.

Your dog’s simple habit of licking can also be a cause of the rashes in his groin!

Rashes around your dog’s groin can be alarming, especially if you have no idea where he got it from.

But it’s a good thing that there are a lot of treatment options that you can do for your dog when he has this rash.

What Are the Symptoms of a Dog Groin Rash?

Itch

When a rash is developing in your dog’s body, the first thing that he’ll feel is a persistent itch.

You’ll see him scratching and licking an itchy part of his skin in an attempt to relieve the itch he is feeling.

If you’re sure that he has no ticks or fleas, you better check the part he’s constantly scratching.

Most of the time a dog’s groin rash would start as red and inflamed until the redness scattered all over his body.

You should see redness and inflammation as the warning signs of rash since your dog’s skin would only have those if he has an infection.

Take note that a simple itch won’t turn red and inflamed!

Scaly or crusty

Now, a simple itch won’t turn into a scaly or crusty patch on your dog’s skin.

Check your dog’s skin for a patch of dry and scaly-looking redness. Sometimes, the scaly or crusty area could also turn yellow.

When this is present in your dog’s skin, it’s one of the signs that your dog’s natural oil in his skin has dried up.

When this happens, irritation and other skin issues arise. And most likely, a very itchy rash could show up in your dog’s groin too.

Pustules

If you’re wondering what pustules are, they’re like pimples with their horrible little round lumps filled with pus.

Your dog’s skin rash would have to be so bad if he ever develops pustules. Hence, you’ll have to closely watch for any signs of these awful tiny lumps in your dog’s body.

Pustules don’t usually show up on regular rashes, but if bacterial infection has become worse, they’ll likely emerge.

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Common Causes of Groin Rashes in Dogs

Allergies

I’ve had tons of experience with dogs and I have to say that allergies are the most common reasons that make their skin suffer.

If your dog gets exposed to allergens like pollen or dust, its skin will react negatively.

Sometimes, the allergic reaction would be mild, and other times it could develop into a rash.

Eating foods that are not suitable for your poor pup could also trigger an allergic reaction so please be mindful of every food you’re giving him.

Poor hygiene

Poor hygiene

Your dog, like you, needs proper hygiene. If it’s constantly dirty, it will be more prone to skin issues like groin rash.

The dirt and other debris that could get stuck in your dog’s skin could lead to many skin issues. 

Maintain your dog’s fur, teeth, and nails so bacteria won’t have any chance to dwell in his body.

What could come out of poor hygiene, right? So keep your doggy clean!

Bacterial infections (brucellosis)

Bacterial infections like brucellosis can also irritate and affect the skin around your dog’s groin. 

Brucellosis is a bacterial infection caused by Brucella canis which greatly affects a dog’s behavior and fertility.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of this disease can also include skin issues that may turn into rash near your dog’s private area.

And by the way, you can also get this disease from your dog so tend to your pup right away if you ever catch any sign of it in his body.

Parasites

Parasites like fleas and ticks can cause an itch in your dog’s skin. 

They’re like little annoying ants walking along your dog’s body, and he won’t like the feeling of it so he’ll try to scratch and lick them off all the time.

A rash will eventually appear on your dog’s skin if the parasites don’t get removed right away.

Fungal infections

Fungal infections like those caused by ringworm are common among dogs who don’t get proper hygiene.

They create an itchy patch or lesion that’s very unhygienic and uncomfortable for your dog.

These fungal infections usually cause angry red patches all over your dog’s skin, including the skin around the groin.

What’s even more concerning about these infections is that they worsen quickly and can be spread to dogs and humans alike.

Environmental factors

When your dog is living in an environment that’s hot and dry, skin irritations can appear and cause some problems.

In such cases, I always recommend getting a humidifier for your dog. Sounds like a lot but trust me, it’s a lifesaver.

Dirty surroundings also add to your dog’s chances of getting groin rash.

If you’re very concerned about your dog’s health, it’s best to keep him somewhere clean and dry but with the right temperature.

Don’t let him stay somewhere allergens typically lie about.

Trauma or irritation from biting or licking themselves

Your dog can rather be obsessive when it comes to itching. They’ll continue biting or licking themselves so long as they can still feel an itty-bitty tiny itch.

This obsessive behavior when itching can cause trauma or irritation that can inflame or irritate his skin.

Skin issues like dry patches and hot spots could appear, and when not treated right away could spread all over your dog’s body.

Heat rash

Heat rash

If you’re living in an area where the constant temperature is above the average, the heat could definitely cause heat rash on dogs

And soon that heat rash could spread to your dog’s groin.

Heat rash happens when your dog’s is too hot and sweaty so the friction between his armpits and things could cause blisters.

These blisters can be itchy, hence a rash could appear later on.

Intertrigo

Intertrigo happens to your dog when his skin constantly bumps or slaps into each other whenever he moves.

Imagine your thighs brushing against each other while you’re walking or running. It seems uncomfortable with a burning sensation right?

That’s what happens when intertrigo occurs in your dog too. And it usually takes place near his groin.

You can also call intertrigo skin fold pyoderma. Why?

Because the skin folds of your dogs are what overlap or bump into each other 

Smaller dogs don’t usually suffer from this since it’s mostly the larger dogs that are more prone to scrape their skinfolds together.

Ecthyma

Ecthyma is a skin condition that your pup can contract. A dog with this disease could develop sores or blisters in his mouth and eyelids.

However, severe cases of Ecthyma usually involve symptoms like papules, lesions, or rashes all over the body.

Your dog can usually get Ecthyma from interacting with an infected animal or eating the carcass of a once-infected animal.

This disease isn’t only itchy and disgusting to look at. It could also be deadly and very contagious.

Urinary tract infection

A dog with a urinary tract infection will have difficulty peeing.

If your dog has a UTI, his urinary opening will feel uncomfortable each time he tries to pee.

Hence, he’ll excessively lick his groin to soothe this discomfort. Sadly, obsessive licking of the groin could only irritate the spot. 

When irritation happens, inflammation will follow and a rash will soon appear.

Hormonal balance, endocrine or metabolic issues

Hormonal balance and endocrine or metabolic issues like canine diabetes could also disrupt your dog’s healthy skin.

When there is an imbalance in your dog’s system, an abnormality will happen. Sad to say that abnormalities usually result in bad things when it comes to doggies.

Your dog will develop different health issues, including problems with his skin. 

And honestly, a groin rash could be one of the lesser things you have to worry about if your dog has hormonal balance, endocrine, or metabolic issues.

Autoimmune disorders

When you say autoimmune disorders, it means the body’s own immune system accidentally fights its healthy tissues.

In dogs, autoimmune disorders usually involve their immune system fighting their skin’s tissues.

A common example of this disorder is Pemphigus Foliaceus. It’s an autoimmune disorder that could create pustules and lesions in your dog’s skin.

But there’s something weird about this disorder because most of the time it only happens to middle-aged doggies.

Doggy says, you might be interested to read this too: Why did my dog’s nail turn black?

How to Get Rid of Rash in My Dog’s Private Area?

Topical treatments

Topical treatments

If you haven’t heard what topical treatments are, you’ll simply have to apply lotions, ointments, or shampoos that have medicating properties to your dog’s rash.

They AREN’T supposed to be orally taken because they could be poisonous to your pup. On every topical treatment, you could even see a “for external use only” on its label.

These topical treatments are a huge help in soothing your dog’s discomfort and itch.

They usually don’t offer long-term and final treatment, but the relief they bring makes these topical treatments worth a try if your dog has a groin rash.

Oral medications

You can’t give your dog oral medication for the rash on his private area without consulting a vet first 

The dosage and schedule for administering oral medication are very important to follow unless you’d like your pup to overdose.

So please bring your dog first to the vet before starting any oral medications. 

Usually, the vet won’t prescribe any of these medications but if an infection is involved with your dog’s groin rash, then the vet will give your dog a prescription to help.

Coconut oil

Short on a budget or does your dog react negatively to medicines? Go for a simple home remedy that could treat your dog’s groin rash.

Coconut oil, for example, has proven to be an effective home remedy for rash.

There are many ways you can use coconut oil to help your dog’s rash, but simply massaging your dog’s skin with coconut oil is the usual way to do it.

Apply some coconut oil on the rash then gently massage that part. You can do this every day until you see an improvement in your dog’s skin.

This treatment is very affordable so many dog owners use it since coconut oil has anti-inflammatory agents which can be beneficial to dogs.

Vitamin E oil

A good moisturizer and an excellent source of antioxidants, Vitamin E oil is another helpful treatment you can use for your dog’s groin rash.

It can moisturize your dog’s dry and flaky skin caused by the rash, and by the time your dog’s condition improves he’ll have healthier skin too.

How Can You Prevent Skin Issues on Your Dog?

Keep an eye out for allergens

The usual cause of skin issues in dogs is allergens so watch out for these traitorous things that could trigger an allergic reaction to your dog.

Don’t expose him to pollen, dust, and food that you know could cause a negative reaction to their system.

Use an e-collar

If you see your dog itching and licking a particular part of his skin, you can use an e-collar on him.

Place it around his neck to stop him from reaching the area where he’s been scratching or licking.

It is a cone-shaped collar that loosely wraps around your dog’s neck, giving your dog no chance of irritating his skin.

Don’t let it get overheated

Dogs don’t usually do well with heat. If your dog is overheated, he won’t only be dehydrated but will also have itchy rashes.

Warm and humid temperatures are the perfect combo for yeast and fungal infections to manifest!

Stick to the deworming schedule

Stick to your dog’s deworming schedule so any parasite and bacterial infection won’t have the chance to live in your dog’s body.

Regularly deworming your dog as per the vet’s instructions could also keep his immune system and hormones balanced. 

If your dog has an overall healthy body, skin issues could rarely happen.

Give it regular oatmeal baths

Give it regular oatmeal baths

Dog owners usually give their dogs oatmeal baths since it has inflammatory properties that will surely help soothe the itch.

Giving your dog regular oatmeal baths will help prevent skin issues since his skin will be soothed with skin protectant and inflammatory properties.

Drawing an oatmeal bath is fairly simple. You just need ground oatmeal and a tub of clean warm water.

Let your doggy enjoy a relaxing oatmeal bath regularly and you’ll be saved from itchy and uncomfortable skin issues!

When Do You Need to See a Vet for Rashes on Your Dog?

Don’t get me wrong but rashes normally occur in dogs. I haven’t seen a senior dog that has never experienced rashes in his entire life.

However, some rash cases can already be life-threatening so you’ll need a vet’s help.

You already need to see a vet for rashes on your dog if it’s already been a week with no improvement.

Rashes usually just go on their own if they aren’t infected or caused by some harmful bacteria.

Hence, if the rashes are still there after a week or so, they could have been already infected.

Rashes with pustules also mean that your dog’s condition is already alarming and he needs a quick visit to the vet.

Vomiting and diarrhea with loss of appetite are also some of the telltale signs your dog’s rash has become infected.

I’ve seen how dogs could be stressed when making a trip to their vets. But if they have rashes that have already gone out of hand, vets are the ones who can help treat them properly. 

What is Pyoderma in Dogs?

Pyoderma in dogs is a bacterial infection or disease that you could overlook as a simple skin issue on your dog’s skin.

It usually appears as a simple itch or lesion. But if you think that it’s not a serious skin issue, you have to know that it can surely compromise your pet’s health.

Pyoderma usually arises from skin allergies caused by food allergens or parasite infestation.

When your dog scratches and licks his skin to alleviate his itch, he creates an opening for this infection.

There are three types of Pyoderma your dog can get by the way. 

Surface Pyoderma is the “simplest” type your dog can have, and it’s less serious since the affected spot is only on his skin’s outermost layer.

You’ll be able to see it as a hot spot or another mild itch your dog may get.

Superficial Pyoderma is a bit deeper than Surface Pyoderma since it already involves the hair follicle too.

This is already when your dog develops pustules where smelly and disgusting pus may come out.

And yes, based on the symptoms of this type, it’s the most common Pyoderma among dogs.

When a hair follicle ruptures because of Superficial Pyoderma, Deep Pyoderma happens.

Let’s just say that the infection along the hair follicle gets inside the deeper layer of your dog’s skin.

When this happens, pustules are replaced by a more solid and firm lump that vets refer to as “nodules.”

You’d be able to tell if your dog’s skin issue is related to Pyoderma if he also experiences shaking and loss of appetite aside from itching.

What Are The Signs Your Dog Has Pyoderma?

If you suspect your dog has Pyoderma, watch out for these common symptoms:

  • Red and inflamed skin
  • Flaky patchy skin
  • Hair loss
  • Pustules
  • Rash
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
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What Other Types of Rashes Are Common on Dogs?

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic Dermatitis is a skin rash that usually appears around your dog’s groin and eyes.

If your dog is constantly exposed to allergens like dust and pollen, he’ll constantly itch resulting in this type of rash.

Flea allergy dermatitis

What good could fleas ever bring to your dogs? Nothing.

They only exist to make your dog suffer, and when they aren’t eradicated right away, flea allergy dermatitis will definitely occur.

It’s an irritation that fleas cause in your dog’s skin. It’s very itchy and can create dry patches and lesions.

Hot spots

When your dog constantly licks and scratches on his skin, irritation does happen.

The reason why your dog obsessively licks and scratches his body is because of flea bites and other allergens OR it could be just his boredom.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Vaseline good for my dog’s rash?

Dog owners usually use Vaseline for their dog’s skin because it isn’t toxic to dogs, but it won’t help your dog’s rash. It doesn’t have any anti-inflammatory or antibacterial properties so it has nothing to offer to treat your dog’s rash.

Why does my dog have rashes around his thigh?

Bacterial, yeast and fungal infection is usually the cause of rashes around your dog’s thing. 

Do skin rashes in dogs go away on their own?

Skin rashes in dogs usually go away on their own if the cause isn’t a serious one. If your dog’s skin rash is caused by an infection or hormonal imbalance, it’s best to give him the right treatment to avoid complications.

What can I put on my dog’s skin rash?

You can apply topical treatments on your dog’s skin rash like ointments with anti-inflammatory properties. Home remedies like applying coconut oil will also help. But never give your dog oral medication for his skin rash without asking your vet’s opinion.

Can I use hydrocortisone cream on my dog?

Vets allow hydrocortisone cream when dogs have mild rashes and small bug bites as it can soothe their discomfort. Hence, you can use hydrocortisone cream on your dog. You just need to make sure your dog won’t lick it since it isn’t safe to be ingested.

Is apple cider vinegar good for dogs’ itchy skin?

Apple cider vinegar is good for a dog’s itchy skin if the itch is merely caused by a yeast infection and flea bites. Fill half of a spray bottle with clean water and the other half with ACV then spray the solution on your dog’s itchy skin.

Can you use diaper rash cream on dogs?

Diaper rash cream isn’t effective or safe to use on dogs so just use a topical cream that’s designed to work on dogs.

Can I give my dog Benadryl for itching?

Benadryl is generally safe for dogs if used in the right dosages as it helps treat itching and hives. Hence, it’s safe for you to give your dog Benadryl if he’s itching.

In Conclusion: Dog Has Red Spots on His Privates

As you navigate the path to your dog’s well-being, remember that understanding their body’s whispers is a testament to the unbreakable bond you share. 

Armed with this new knowledge, you’re now equipped to face the red spots head-on, ensuring your furry friend’s comfort and strengthening your unique connection. 

Here’s to healthier, happier adventures together!

Hey! If you found this post useful, check out these dog care tips too:

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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