Most dog owners recognize how important it is to keep an eye on their dog and respond to any changes in its body to ensure that the dog is kept as happy and healthy as possible at all times.
If you have noticed blackheads on your dog’s nipples, you might be feeling worried about what could have caused these and what they could mean for your dog, or whether it might be ill. It’s normal to be concerned when you see something unusual on your dog’s body, and it’s always a good idea to pay attention in case intervention is required.
Fortunately, blackheads on a dog’s nipples are a fairly common occurrence, and although it is a good idea to take note of them, they aren’t generally serious.
However, if you cannot get the blackheads to clear up or they seem to be getting worse, or there’s any inflammation, it may be worth contacting your vet and talking about the issue. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your dog’s health, so don’t wait if you are concerned.
Sometimes, if you look closely, black spots will prove to be ticks or fleas, so make sure you correctly diagnose what you are dealing with so that you can treat it properly.
An insect infestation will require treatment, but it will usually appear on other parts of the body too, and not just the nipples.
What Causes Blackheads On A Dog’s Nipples?
There are several things that can cause blackheads on a dog’s nipples, but in general, these are due to a buildup of a natural oil called sebum, which dogs produce to protect the skin there.
If the oil doesn’t get cleaned up regularly, it gets dirt stuck in it, and this can create blackheads, just like it can in humans, leaving little black spots on the dog’s nipples.
Dogs don’t tend to wash themselves very thoroughly, and this means that the sebum will often build up and cause the spots to form.
The easier it is for dirt to get trapped on your dog’s nipples, the more likely blackheads are to form, so nipples that turn in or nipples that are particularly hard for the dog to reach will often have more blackheads on them.
This is nothing too serious in most cases, but it’s important to be aware of it and to recognize that regular washing will help to prevent these issues from occurring.
In some situations, blackheads may be a sign of something more troubling, like a mammary tumor, a skin disease, or cancer.
Alternatively, they may be caused by flea waste being left behind on the skin, in which case, you will need to use some flea treatment on your dog to remove the insects.
Flea waste should wipe away easily with a bit of water, whereas other issues will prove harder or impossible to remove in this way.
How To Treat Blackheads On A Dog’s Nipples!
You will probably want to get rid of the blackheads when you notice them, but it’s important to do so carefully, because your dog’s nipples are very sensitive and you don’t want to accidentally hurt your dog.
The best way to remove blackheads (and to prevent them) involves regularly bathing your dog, and gently washing their underside with a dog-safe shampoo to get rid of the buildup of oil and clean away the dirt.
It will usually take more than one bath to clear blackheads, but consistent cleaning should solve the issue going forward.
However, sometimes a dog will need more attention, so if you’re struggling with the blackheads or you have any concerns about them, it’s a good idea to set up a video call with a veterinarian to get professional advice on the issue.
You might need to get a follicle-flushing shampoo, or use something like benzoyl peroxide – but only if a vet suggests this, and only with instructions on how frequently to use it.
Benzoyl peroxide can leave the skin dry, so proper advice is crucial for keeping your pet’s skin in good condition.
Swollen or inflamed blackheads will need to be treated using a topical steroid, and your vet should be able to prescribe this, or antibiotics if necessary.
It’s important not to scrub, pick at, or squeeze blackheads, because a dog’s nipples are very sensitive and you may hurt them. You could also make the infection worse, rather than better.
Should I Be Worried About Blackheads On My Dog’s Nipples?
In most cases, blackheads on a dog’s nipples are nothing to be concerned about and they will not hurt the dog at all.
However, in some situations, they could be painful or itchy, especially if there are a lot of them and they have grown large.
It’s important not to ignore blackheads, but instead to treat them when you notice them, and to regularly bathe your dog to keep its skin in good condition and minimize the risk of blackheads developing.
If blackheads have become sore or inflamed, it’s very important to get a vet’s opinion on them, as they may need treatment, and they could indicate that something more serious is going on with your dog’s health. Don’t ignore blackheads when you see them.
On the whole, blackheads will be a benign indication that your dog needs a good bath and some skin care, but it’s always best to get a professional opinion if they don’t clear up when you’ve washed your dog. Doing so could help you pick up on medical issues early.
Blackheads on a dog’s nipples are usually nothing to worry about, but if you see them, you should aim to give your dog a good, warm bath as soon as possible, and wash their underside when you do to remove dirt from their nipples. Remember to be gentle, as the nipples are sensitive, and check how the blackheads are doing over the next few days. With consistent washing, they should soon start to clear up, but if they don’t, contact your vet for advice.