Do Ingrown Hairs Hurt Dogs?

We all know that humans can get ingrown hairs pretty easily, but what about dogs? Can dogs get ingrown hairs too? And, do they hurt? In this article, we go over everything you need to know about ingrown hairs in dogs;  whether or not they hurt, and how to deal with them. 

So, do ingrown hairs hurt dogs? Ingrown hairs on dogs can cause bumps or lesions on the skin which can be painful. This usually happens when their coat is cut too short, and will only make matters worse if your dog’s skin is already prone to dryness or sensitivity. 

Read on to learn more about ingrown hair on dogs. 

Can a Dog Get Ingrown Hair?

Dogs can get ingrown hairs, commonly seen on the paws or between their toes. It is also often caused by cutting their coat too short and irritating the skin.  Typically, ingrown hairs are very itchy, and you might find that your dog scratches at the area, leading to infection and pain. 

Ingrown hair can sometimes be mistaken for Folliculitis. Often related to bacterial infection, this is a condition that causes inflammation of hair follicles, which leads to swelling, redness, itchiness, pain, and other skin lesions. Folliculitis in dogs may present as red bumps on the skin that may be filled with pus.

The condition may also be mistaken for a number of other skin conditions, such as Acne, Mange, Urticaria, or Interdigital Cysts

Do Ingrown Hairs Hurt Dogs?

Ingrown hairs on dogs are, typically, very itchy. This may cause your dog to scratch excessively or chew at the area, which may result in painful bumps and lesions developing. This may also lead to infection. 

Because of this, it’s best to get any signs of ingrown hairs checked out and when the time comes, leave cutting their coat to the professionals to reduce the risk of recurrence. 

What Does Ingrown Hair Look Like on Dogs?

Ingrown hairs on dogs can look like a number of other conditions. Your groomer will be able to identify ingrown hairs and make suitable recommendations, but here are a few signs to look out for:

  • Small, red, angry lumps or bumps on the skin
  • Pus filled lumps akin to acne
  • Crusty areas of skin
  • Bald patched
  • Excessive scratching or chewing in a particular area
  • Pay particular attention to the paws and toes and, for dogs with short coats, check areas with sparse fur such as the abdomen

How Do You Treat an Ingrown Hair on a Dog?

Whilst your dog groomer should be able to identify ingrown hairs during an appointment, treatment will depend on the severity of the condition. A single instance may be left to resolve itself, or, for more severe instances, they may recommend that you seek attention from your veterinarian who can prescribe a topical scrub and a collar to stop your dog from making the condition worse. For more severe conditions that have caused the infection, antibiotic treatment may be required and, in some cases, your veterinarian may need to remove the hair from the follicle. 

If it is recommended that you leave the ingrown hair to resolve itself, resist any urge to pop pustules. This would only increase the chance of the inflammation worsening and infection developing

Should I Remove My Dog’s Ingrown Hair?

Do not remove your dog’s ingrown hair. This can cause infection and increase the chances that the hair will become ingrown again as it grows back. If your groomer notices an ingrown hair during an appointment, they will make a recommendation on how to treat it, and may refer you to a veterinarian. Please do not take matters into your own hands as this may harm your dog. 

Can Ingrown Hair on Dogs be Prevented?

You can’t really prevent ingrown hairs on dogs, but early detection is the best way to make sure that the condition doesn’t develop into anything too severe. However, you can minimise any potential symptoms and infection. 

  • Brush your dog’s coat daily
  • Take your dog to the groomer’s regularly to prevent a buildup of dry and dead skin
  • Don’t be tempted to cut their coat if you don’t know what you’re doing. Cutting too short can cause ingrown hair. It’s best to leave this to the professionals

Dog Grooming Cheshire

If you think your dog is suffering from ingrown hair, get in touch with us at The Pet Retreat today. Our groomers will examine your dog to check the severity of the condition, and will make a suitable recommendation for treatment, all whilst your furry friend enjoys a bath, dry, and style