eng-US United States

Your Dog's Skin

Bacterial infections

Treating Skin Infections

What's going on?

Bacterial skin infection or pyoderma is very common in dogs. Affected dogs have itchy skin, which may be reddened or have a rash, crusts and pustules (small pus-filled lesions). 


Bacterial dermatitis, or a skin infection, is often triggered by an underlying disease, such as:

  • External parasites
  • An endocrine disease
  • Allergies against fleas, environmental allergens or food ingredients

It occurs when the skin’s natural defenses break down, allowing an overgrowth of common skin bacteria, such as staphylococci to invade the skin. Other organisms, such as yeast and fungus, can also take advantage of the skin changes and multiply. 


Bacterial dermatitis may be generalized or restricted to certain areas as in the case of skin folds, acne or hot spots. While the disease can occur in any dog, certain breeds are more prone to bacterial dermatitis, such as German Shepherds and breeds with skin folds (Pug, SharPei, etc.).  

Consult your veterinarian, who will focus on treating the underlying problem and advise you on managing the condition. 

6 tips to help clean up your dog's skin

The main goals of topical therapy are to disinfect the skin to help restore the normal bacteria population, and to soothe the irritation to help restore a healthy skin barrier ecosystem

  1. Consult your veterinarian to identify and treat the problem.                                                                                                                                                   
  2. Help control the skin condition by using a high-quality shampoo, mousse or micro-emulsion spray to help soothe the irritation and to restore the skin's ecosystem. If an infection is present, you may need an antiseptic formula.
  3. Regularly groom and brush your dog and clean skin folds, ears and between the toes. Rinse with fresh water after a swim. 
  4. Keep your pet free from external parasites by using a high-quality product such as Vectra 3D® to repel and kill fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other parasites.  
  5. Feed your pet a high-quality, balanced diet. Supplement with essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals if it is recommended by your veterinarian.
  6. Schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian to monitor your dog's skin condition. Use the scorecard below to monitor your dog's improvements. Download the scorecard here!

We recommend:

DOUXO® Chlorhexidine