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Groin Rash on Dog: Our Vet Explains What to Do

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collage of rash images around the groin and veterinarian pictures

This article was updated on May 2nd, 2023

If you’ve ever owned a dog, you might have noticed that they often suffer from various skin problems such as skin rashes. A common rash that can occur in your pup is a groin rash on the lower abdomen. Generally not serious, having a dog with a groin rash isn’t fun and it could be caused by any number of things. But don’t fret, I see this issue commonly in my clinic and I have compiled a list of the top reasons your pet may be displaying signs of groin rash along with what to do about them if it happens.

So let’s get into learning more about this canine conundrum and find out how best to tackle it!

What is a Groin Rash on Dogs?

red rash on the abdomen of female dogs

A groin rash on dogs can be a pesky problem that pet owners face. It is a red, itchy, and uncomfortable rash that appears in the groin area of dogs. This might appear as a separate raised area or one large area of redness and occurs because of irritation and inflammation to the surface of the skin. This rash is typically caused by bacterial or fungal infections, allergies, or poor hygiene but there are other causes too. If left untreated, a rash can cause scarring and infection in the deeper tissues of the skin. Dogs can also cause themselves a lot of harm from the excessive scratching that they do to themselves.

Top Causes of a Groin Rash or Redness in Dogs

There are numerous reasons a groin rash can appear on your pet, ranging from allergies to poor hygiene. It is important to determine the underlying cause of the rash in order to treat it properly. Here are some of the most common causes:

1. Allergies: Your pup may be allergic to something that is coming into contact with the skin, such as a certain detergent or fabric. Dogs can also develop an allergic response when exposed to certain plants, foods, and environmental irritants. Allergies can result in hives – these are small raised bumps on the surface of your dog’s skin. The symptoms can range from mild to severe but are generally easily treatable by your vet through to use of anti-inflammatory creams, steroids, and antihistamines. Learn more about skin allergy issues and rashes in dogs.

food allergy redness on a dog
Red rash in groin area due to food allergy

2. Bacterial skin Infection: A bacterial infection may be present in the groin area if your pup has not been bathed recently or if there is an accumulation of sweat and/or dirt in the area. Bacterial infections can also occur secondary to other issues such as allergies or wounds. Veterinary treatment usually involves antibiotic creams and medicated shampoos; in severe cases, oral antibiotics may also be required. Learn more about skin infections in dogs.

WATCH: 3 Important Tips To Care For an Old Dog [VET VIDEO]

Redness or rash irritated skin near groin area

3. Fungal Infection: The most common type of fungal infection affecting the skin is ringworm. Common symptoms include ring-shaped red scaly patches on the skin, bald spots, and intense itching. Ringworm is highly contagious and can be spread from other animals and pets to humans. Treatment typically involves anti-fungal creams and tablets, as well as frequent cleaning of the affected area. Learn more about fungal infections – ringworms.

4. Parasites: Certain parasites such as fleas, mites, and ticks can cause a rash in the groin area. These typically present as small raised red bumps on the skin that can be accompanied by itching and scratching. In the case of ticks, you may see the body of the tick sticking out of the skin as a white lump. Treatment of parasitic infestations involves using flea, tick, and mite medications to kill the parasites. View more pictures of tick scabs and flea scabs in dogs.

5. Poor Hygiene: Allowing sweat, dirt, and other debris to accumulate in the groin area can lead to a rash. This is especially common in breeds with thick coats, such as Labradors and German Shepherds. Providing regular baths and grooming will help to keep your pup’s skin healthy and free from any irritation or infection.

6. Hormonal Imbalance: An imbalance in hormones can cause inflammation of the skin, leading to a rash. This is more common in female dogs as their hormones fluctuate during the heat cycle. If your pup is exhibiting signs of a hormonal imbalance, it is best to visit your vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Do skin rashes in dogs sometimes go away on their own?

The good news is that some skin rashes in dogs do go away on their own. In the case of an allergic reaction or poor hygiene, the rash may disappear with time provided the area is kept clean and dry. However, it’s important to pay attention to the condition of the rash and monitor it closely. If it spreads or becomes worse, it will likely need veterinary attention.

What to do when groin rashes occur in dogs

Groin rashes in dogs can be quite uncomfortable for your furry friend, causing them a lot of distress. It’s important to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent it from worsening. One step you can take is to identify the cause of the rash. Is it due to an allergic reaction, a skin infection, or a parasite infestation? Think about potential allergens – have you walked your dog anywhere new or is the pollen count high at the moment? Or perhaps you’ve started using a new cleaning agent at home? All of these can cause an allergic reaction.

Keep your dog’s groin area clean and dry to prevent further irritation. Avoid using harsh soaps or products that can aggravate the skin. Instead, opt for gentle shampoos and ointments recommended by your vet. If these solutions don’t work then theres a few home remedies that you can try.

Best products to help with groin rash in dogs

One of the highly recommended options is an all-natural skin balm that contains soothing ingredients like aloe vera and chamomile to help reduce inflammation and itching. Hydrocortisone cream can also provide some relief as it contains a low potency steroid that acts as an anti-inflammatory. Another great product is a medicated shampoo that can gently cleanse and soothe the affected area. Whatever product you choose, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to ensure that it’s safe and effective for your pet’s specific needs. Here are some products that I would recommend trying:

Hydrocortisone cream: a steroid cream that can reduce inflammation and itchiness, apply to the affected area twice daily:

Zymox Veterinarian Strength Topical Cream...
  • Provides gentle, soothing relief from skin irritations like itchy skin, hot spots, dermatitis & more

Medicated shampoo: Apply the shampoo in a lather and leave to work for 10minutes before rinsing off.

Disclaimer: This content is not a substitute for veterinary care. Always consult with your vet for health decisions. Learn more.

Pet MD - Benzoyl Peroxide Medicated Shampoo...
  • Relief of Scaling and Itching from Dermatitis, Skin Infections, and Follicular Plugging to Stop Scratching and Pain.

Soothing balm: A soothing ointment that might provide some relief from soreness.

Hot Spot Treatment for Dogs, Cats & Pet Wound...
  • BEST IN PET SKIN CARE: Our anti itch moisturizing lotion for dry itchy skin fits all Cat & Dog First Aid needs. Soothes & hydrates as a Dog Nose Balm, Paw Cream for Dogs or Paw Butter; a Burn Gel, Dog Skin Irritation Treatment for Mange, Hotspot, Rashes, Minor Cuts, Bites, Wounds + More. Made in a USA, GMP certified, lab tested facility for standards you can trust.

When to seek veterinary care

In most cases, minor rashes can be treated at home. However, if the rash persists or becomes worse then it is important to seek veterinary care. Signs of infection like pus or absecess formation are also reasons to take your dog to the vet. Similarly, if your dog is causing extreme damage to themself through scratching or licking, or showing any other symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy or breathing difficulties then they need veterinary intervention asap. Your vet will be able to diagnose the underlying cause; skin samples and swabs are often taken to examine under the microscope for any underlying causes. Blood tests may also be recommended. Your vet can then provide medications, such as antibacterial creams, antifungal ointments or steroids.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I use over-the-counter drugs to cure the groin rash on my dog’s skin?

Be careful when using over-the-counter medications for your dog’s rash and always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any medications. Over-the-counter drugs may contain ingredients that could be toxic to your pet and they may not be suitable for the specific condition you are trying to address. You can try some of the products mentioned above, but if these don’t help then take your dog to the vets.

Can groin rash lead to something serious if not treated on time?

Yes, if left untreated groin rash can lead to other more serious conditions such as skin infections or even sepsis in extreme circumstances. It’s important to take your for veterinary care if the rash persists after home treatment.


  • Dr Alex Crow, Veterinary Surgeon

    Alex Crow, VetMed MRCVS, is an RCVS accredited Veterinary surgeon with special interests in neurology and soft tissue surgery. Dr Crow is currently practicing at Buttercross Veterinary Center in England. He earned his degree in veterinary medicine in 2019 from the Royal Veterinary College (one of the top 3 vet schools in the world) and has more than three years of experience practicing as a small animal veterinarian (dogs and cats).

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