Even though we have already covered 20 simple home remedies for skin tag removal on humans, we find it essential to speak about this condition for man’s best friend with home remedies on how to remove skin tags on dogs. Our four-legged furry friends seem to develop skin tags just as often as we do, and pictures will show that they are equally as unpleasant from an aesthetic viewpoint.
With dogs, skin tags are an almost natural process of aging; most pups will get them at one point or another in life when their muzzles start to whiten. They might not be the nicest features to look at, but you can rest assured that skin tags on dogs do not affect their health or general wellbeing.
Nevertheless, there are other types of growths and lumps on doggies that might require extended medical attention as they might be serious. Most pup parents will want to get rid of skin tags on dogs altogether though, so their precious pup doesn’t feel uncomfortable or awkward in any way.
This is a process that can be carried out at home, if you gather the right tools and solutions (as well as patience and love, of course). For this, we have created a useful guide with 3 home remedies for skin tags on dogs.
However, we strongly recommend that you always consult your veterinarian before applying any of these remedies. If your vet confirms that the growth is not serious and that you can take care of it at home on your own, you can continue by doing so. If you find the situation to be too uncomfortable and you don’t feel alright removing skin tags on dogs yourself, you can allow your vet to take care of the entire process.
The costs of removing skin tags on dogs generally aren’t incredibly high. On an online forum, one dog owner claimed that he removed thirteen of these skin tags on his dog for $300. On the other hand, depending on the area you live in and the vet you work with, the situation can get pricey.
Another owner spent $900 for one skin tag removal and a cancer check. If you want to save money and your vet encourages you to do so, explore these home remedies for skin tags on dogs below.
What Causes Skin Tags on Dogs?
Before we get to the bottom of skin tags on dogs, it would be great to get a better grasp on their roots (literally). Even though there are not any scientifically proven causes for skin tags on dogs, there are indeed a few reasons why veterinarians believe that they develop.
Several of these suggested causes are:
- Genetics – Humans aren’t the only ones that can have diseases, illnesses or conditions passed down to them. As far as skin tags on dogs are concerned, they might have appeared if your puppy’s parents had them throughout their life.
- Age – Skin tags on dogs can be a normal result of aging, just as they are with humans. If skin tags develop anywhere else besides the eye, muzzle or underarms, your dog should be fine. Never attempt to remove skin tags on dogs in these areas on your own.
- Fleas, Lice, Ticks etc. – No matter how hard we try to prevent parasites from attacking our dogs, sometimes we can’t avoid them. Skin tags on dogs might be the result of parasites like ticks, fleas or mites, after treatment for the condition takes place.
- Exposure – Another factor that humans aren’t always in control of is the environment that dogs live in. Especially if they like to hang out in the backyard, dogs can get exposed to all sorts of chemicals (such as pesticides) that can irritate the skin and provoke tags and other growths.
- Hygiene – Just like humans, dogs also need proper hygiene so various diseases and conditions can be prevented. One of the suggested reasons of skin tags on dogs is a lack of bathing, as the dirt that builds up under a dog’s fur could lead to their development.
- Products – On this note, it is just as important to be careful with the products you use for your dog’s skin care. Make sure that the shampoos you use are hypoallergenic and that they don’t contain any substances that could irritate or harm your dog’s skin in any way.
How Do You Know if Your Dog Has a Skin Tag?
Now that we know what several causes of skin tags on dogs could be, it’s imperative that we go through the facts about these growths. Some owners get anxious when they see any type of growth on their pup, firstly thinking of worst case scenarios.
Even though skin tags on dogs are usually benign, there are other kinds of lumps and growths that could be signs of cancer. This is precisely the reason why we recommend consulting your vet any time you see any growth on your dog, to make sure that it’s not cancerous.
For preparation, here are a few signs that your dog has a skin tag:
- No pain or discomfort – While skin tags are generally painless for dogs, some potentially dangerous growths will cause discomfort and possibly some whimpering. Gently touch your puppy’s growth and see if he or she becomes annoyed or distraught in any way. If there are no visible reactions, there are high chances that the growth is simply a benign skin tag. If you get a negative response, you should contact your veterinarian immediately to see what type of growth it is.
- Shape and Size – Skin tags on dogs are usually a few millimeters long and have a fleshy color to them. Nonetheless, some mast cell tumors can look exactly like skin tags. Some differences are that they can appear at any time throughout a dog’s life (even when he or she is young) and that they usually develop on the pup’s under side. We can’t stress enough how important it is to contact a specialist when you see a growth on your dog.
How to Remove Skin Tags on Dogs at Home: 3 Solutions
After you have visited the vet and found out that the growth you were worrying about is just a skin tag, you can proceed with these solutions. Please note that they will require a specific set of supplies and the help of another person (preferably one of the dog’s owners) so they can calm your furry friend down and keep him relaxed throughout the process.
If you don’t want any cuts involved, you can try removing skin tags on dogs by tying the growth. This home remedy works the best if your dog’s skin tag is a bit longer, about enough so you can hold it between the tips of two fingers.
For this solution, you will need rubbing alcohol, scissors, dental floss or fishing line (approximately one foot), a fresh razor and a cone collar (similar to the ones that veterinarians use if your dog is spayed).
This is where the second owner comes in. While you prepare the materials and begin the process, make sure that your partner pets and holds down your dog at the same time so you can work on the area.
You will first have to remove the hair in the region around the growth. After that, make sure you properly disinfect the area with rubbing alcohol in abundance. Now you have to take your dental floss or fishing line and wrap it very tightly at the base of the skin tag. Your dog will be a bit annoyed and in pain at first, but in several minutes he or she will get used to the feeling and they won’t be hurt by it.
As a final step, add the cone collar so your dog doesn’t nib away at the growth. In about three days’ time the skin tag will fall off all on its own, leaving your dog growth-free.
2. Mayo scissors
The most popular home remedy for removing skin tags on dogs is to cut the growth off. If your vet says that everything is alright, you can start to get the supplies you need. This home remedy requires a pair of mayo scissors, rubbing alcohol, cotton balls, a bowl for the mayo scissors, a soldering iron, a razor, water, bandages and 10 percent iodine.
Shave the area and dab alcohol all over while disinfecting the scissors in the bowl you have prepared with water and iodine. Cut the skin tag from the base and immediately cauterize with the soldering iron. Use a gauze bandage to cover the area and make sure you secure it in place to heal.
3. Leave it alone
Last but not least, you can choose to leave the skin tag alone. Like we said, if your vet confirms that it is not harmful, you don’t necessarily need to remove it.
Skin tags are generally harmless, but you may not like the way they look on your pet. If you get the approval from your vet to go ahead and try home remedies to remove them, then you can give the three methods we outlined here a try.
Do keep in mind that temperament may come into play. If your pup has issues with general grooming, such as getting its nails cut, then you might have a little trouble trying to cut or tie off the skin tag.
Make sure that you assess your pup and avoid causing it too much stress during the skin tag removal process. Once you find a method that works, stick with it, even if that is just leaving it alone.
Clara was born and grew up in Great Britain, and although she’s now happier with the weather in North Carolina where she resides with her partner, she does miss the ubiquitous teacakes. She graduated from a master’s in literature and worked for about 5 years at local news magazines as a reporter.