8 Reasons For A Rash On Your Dog’s Belly

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Rash On Dog's Belly - Banner Image

While some dogs may live their whole life without picking up any skin issues, others may have repeated problems, whether in the groin, belly, inner thighs, or some other location.

There are many possible reasons for a rash on a dog’s belly. The top eight causes of this kind of skin problem are:

1. Heat Rash

Skin folds, wrinkles, and sensitive areas of the skin such as the belly are prone to getting a heat rash, particularly when the temperature rises.

A heat rash occurs when certain areas of the skin get overheated and moist, causing inflammation.

The best way to avoid heat rash is to avoid letting your dog be out in hot environments for extended periods.

2. Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis most commonly occurs in areas where the hair is shortest (such as the belly), and if your dog suddenly develops a red rash, then this may be the cause.

The most common causes of this are poison ivy or poison oak. However, your dog may also be affected by flea collars, flea medicines, and a variety of miscellaneous substances (including dies, perfumes, and detergents).

Rash On Dog's Belly - Poison Ivy
Contact with poison ivy can cause a rash in dogs

The only way to prevent this condition is to stop using the product you suspect may be the cause, or keep your dog away from areas that might have poison ivy or poison oak.

Also try to stop your dog from licking the problem area.

3. Mange

There are two types of mange:


With demodectic mange, the dog will get a skin condition cause by mites. These mites live in the hair follicles.

Usually, this is caused by a weakened immune system that is unable to handle the mites’ attacks. In an older dog, this could be a sign of cancer.


With sarcoptic mange, the problem is caused by transmission from one dog (puppy) to another when playing and could manifest itself in the form of a rash on the dog’s belly.

Your vet will be able to prescribe medication to help your dog fight off the infection.

4. Staph Infection

This appears in puppies and is a highly infectious bacterial problem caused by the Staphylococcus bacteria.

If your puppy has something that may look like acne, then this may be the problem.

Most times it will resolve itself, but you should prevent the puppy from licking the infected area and give the dog a medicated bath twice a week.

5. Imbalance Of Hormones

If your dog seems to be balding or have a skin disorder, then the rash may be a symptom of hormonal imbalance.

This is often caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, poor diet, or lack of exercise, and hence it is fairly easy to treat. However, it may be a symptom of Cushing’s disease or diabetes.

You should know your dog’s lifestyle and be aware of how healthy it is. A change in that lifestyle may solve the problem.

If not, it is possible that Cushing’s disease or diabetes may be the problem, and in that case you need to see the vet. This may lead to some serious treatments like hormone therapy or radiation.

6. Food Allergies

Rash On Dog's Belly - Corn

Common sources of allergic reactions are beef, chicken, corn, dairy, egg, fish, lamb, pork, rabbit, soy, and wheat. Of those, corn is the most probable culprit.

Try eliminating each of these things from the dog’s diet one at a time and see if there is any change. Also make sure that you’re not feeding your dog any food that is harmful to dogs.

If this does not prove successful, then you should take your dog for a veterinary consultation. Vets can do a test to identify the cause.

Corn is often found in dry dog foods, so check out the ingredients of the food you are using. Consider choosing a dog food with only natural ingredients.

7. Hay Fever & Environmental Issues

Just like humans, dogs can be a victim of seasonal allergies. Watery eyes and sneezing may accompany this rash.

Compare the pollen count with the occurrence of the problem.

Your veterinarian can prescribe anti-histamines to resolve this issue.

8. Fleas & Ticks

Rash On Dog's Belly - Tick

However often you bathe your dog, they can sometimes still develop a flea problem. This is especially true in hotter climates.

You can check if the problem is fleas by bathing the dog and then searching for fleas in the bathwater. Alternatively, use a flea comb to look for them.

If your dog has a flea allergy, this may well be the cause of the rash.

Check with your vet and get a prescription for a powerful flea protection product such as K9 Advantix.

With ticks, it is possible that they may infect your dog with Lyme disease. Symptoms of a tick-borne disease may not appear until a couple of months after the dog was bitten.

If you think that your dog has been bitten by a tick, consult your vet to be safe.


You can see from this brief investigation that there are numerous possible causes for a rash on a dog’s belly.

Dogs are a victim to many of the same ailments that we humans suffer from and there can be many different causes for the rash.

As a responsible pet owner, you will want to investigate the true cause of the rash, and this article will give you a great starting point.

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