Have you ever looked at your cat or your dog’s chin and seen little black specs and concluded that they must have been digging somewhere? Well, it may not be good old-fashioned dirt; your pet could have feline or canine acne and those black specs could be black heads, which in time could turn into red itchy bumps, and become quite painful.
Acne is quite common in cats and also in dogs especially in short-haired breeds such as Rottweilers, Boxers and Bulldogs. While the exact cause is unknown, it’s thought to be similar to the human condition brought about when an excessive amount of oil in the oil glands plugs the hair follicles. However, an acne condition around the chin could also be an allergic reaction to a very ordinary plastic food and /or water bowl.
Often switching to a stainless steel dinnerware, bowls made from lead-free ceramic, eco-friendly bamboo or recycled glass will cure the condition. There is no shortage of this type of pet dinnerware that will also add a stylish touch to your home and, because these alternative options are dishwasher-safe, they are very hygienic and easy to keep clean. It’s important to regularly clean food bowls and not simply keep adding food. The same applies to refreshing water bowls. Another reason to avoid plastic is that after a while it picks up food smells (or a funky water smell) which could discourage your pet from using such bowls.
Be sure to seek proper veterinary advice if your pet’s chin looks dirty because there are certain medical conditions, especially in dogs that start out looking look very similar to acne, such as a type of mange called Demodicosis and also Ringworm.
However, if you pet does indeed have acne, there are lots of topical options that your veterinarian can prescribe. It’s also a good idea to ensure the chin is kept clean by washing with Epsom salts before applying a prescribed skin medication for pets.
Finally, feline and canine acne isn’t an adolescent condition; it is something a cat or dog can suffer with throughout its life. On a lighter note, unlike teenagers, cats and dogs with acne don’t care – they don’t throw tantrums, bang bedroom doors and lock themselves into a room declaring they are too ugly to face the world. And they continue to love you no matter what.