Have you ever petted or groomed your dog, only to feel something strange to the touch on their face or body? If you have, it’s likely that you took a closer look, especially if you have an older dog.
Has something got stuck in his/her fur? Does my dog have a skin tag? Is it skin cancer? Is it a different type of skin growth? It’s really important to examine any differences, or unexpected lumps and bumps, that may have appeared on your pet’s skin.
If that growth looked like the rest of your dog’s skin, and was fleshy and has a narrow stalk, there’s a very good chance that it is a benign cutaneous skin growth.
Skin tags on dogs are completely harmless. Depending on where they’re located, your pet probably won’t even realize that they have one. Maybe you won’t, either, if it’s covered by fur or in a difficult-to-see place. Most are discovered by chance!
There are a few problems that may arise with skin tags on dogs. It’s necessary to make sure that the diagnosis is accurate and that you’re actually removing a skin tag (if you’re using a DIY dog skin tag removal method). Several other types of skin tumors can occur in dogs, and some aren’t benign. Taking extra precautions or getting a diagnosis from a veterinarian is vital if you’re not 100% certain.
Depending on where it is located, it may also cause irritation. If it keeps getting caught on the collar or hurts your dog when he’s being brushed, etc., removal may be necessary.
Is it safe? Provided that skin tag diagnosis is correct, dog skin tag removal is 100% safe. You just have to make sure that the process is carried out correctly. As you might expect, there are some things that shouldn’t be done when removing skin tags on dogs.
You’ll find many similarities between human and dog skin tags. However, it isn’t right to assume that they can always be treated in the same way. There’s a good chance that your canine friend isn’t experiencing any pain or irritation, but you should never make any assumptions.
Still, you can get a skin tag removed from your dog’s eyelid, torso, armpit area, stomach, legs, ears, and other fleshy areas, although most pet owners will utilize the expertise of a veterinarian. This is definitely the recommended approach.
What Causes Skin Tags on Dogs?
Any breed of dog can develop skin tags. Cocker spaniels and Kerry blue terriers tend to be more prone to them than other breeds, due to their genetics. While there is less known about the exact causes of skin tags in dogs, there are several factors to keep in mind.
Most veterinarians and scientists agree on the following factors:
- Age: A puppy is less likely to experience this type of growth than an older dog.
- Parasites: Parasites themselves can’t cause a skin tag. This includes things like lice, mites, fleas, etc. However, after they have been treated and the skin heals, skin tags can develop over the healed flesh.
- Ill-fitting collar: One of the most common causes of skin tags is a collar or any accessory that continues to rub against the skin.
- Improper skin care: It’s important to keep your dog properly groomed and clean. However, washing your dog too often can lead to their skin drying out. It strips their skin of its natural oils. If your dog’s skin becomes irritated and friction occurs, it could lead to skin tags.
- Poor nutrition: Keeping your canine healthy from the inside out is necessary to fight off a multitude of conditions. If your dog doesn’t receive the nutrition it needs, their immune system may weaken. This can make it harder to fight off certain skin conditions.
- Exposure to irritants: Things like detergents, shampoos, and other pollutants have been linked to this condition. Try to avoid chemical exposure of any kind to keep your dog’s overall health, and their skin, optimized.
Other theories on what causes skin tags on dogs have included everything from the environment your pet lives in, to friction caused by bedding, etc. Of course, genetics also come into play.
Unfortunately, there are very few definitive answers as to what officially causes these benign cutaneous skin growths. If you’ve ever had one before, don’t assume your dog is experiencing one due to the same reasons.
Though there aren’t many concrete causes when it comes to why a dog develops skin tags, the important thing is identification.
Where Do Skin Tags Appear on Dogs?
First identifying a skin tag on your pet will likely come just by feeling it. They can show up almost anywhere on a dog’s body, but some areas are more prone to them than others.
Some of the most common areas for skin tags include:
It doesn’t necessarily matter where they appear, although some places are more troublesome than others. What matters is you know what to look for when you discover a skin growth on your dog’s body. Skin tags have specific characteristics. Depending on how large they become, they may look unpleasant.
Typically, they are only a few millimeters in size. However, they can grow to be quite large and protrude noticeably from the body. They are characterized as soft ‘flaps’ of flesh, though they can either be flat or round. They can grow on their own or in a cluster. They are also often the same color as the rest of your pet’s skin.
They are usually fairly flexible. You should be able to ‘move’ the top of it around gently without causing any pain to your dog. They shouldn’t itch, be inflamed, or cause any irritation, even when touched. Your dog’s reaction to your touch will be a visible clue to how you should proceed.
What Types of Skin Tags Can a Dog Have?
If you take your dog to the vet for a diagnosis, you may hear them use the word ‘hamartomas.’ This is simply the scientific word for a skin tag, described as a nodule that is formed from tissue.
There are two different types that a dog can experience:
- Follicular hamartomas – This type is rare in dogs and typically grow in clusters. They are also characterized a bit differently and may be flatter than a ‘traditional’ skin tag, with thick hairs protruding from it.
- Fibroadnexal hamartomas – This is by far the more common type. They are hairless growths attached to the skin by a stalk.
Are Skin Tags on Dogs Dangerous?
Typically, no. The very definition includes the word ‘benign.’ There are several things to look out for if you just discovered it on your pooch, though.
If it’s location doesn’t bother you and doesn’t seem to be a problem, you can choose not to do anything. Your dog could have it for years with no problems. However, there are some instances in which you may want to consider removal or further checks:
- Watch for changes in color and size.
- Pay attention to how your dog responds to the growth – if they continuously try to scratch or bite at it, it may be causing them discomfort.
- If your dog has scratched it and cut it open, it can become infected and should be removed.
- If the skin tag is exceptionally large, it could get caught on things. Anything from tearing on a collar to a chain link fence could cause problems.
Additionally, you should pay attention to any possible changes. These could include characteristics such as:
- Sudden, rapid growth
- A sudden change in texture that is different from the rest of the skin
- A change in pigmentation
- Thickening around the stalk of the growth
Even if the growth starts to display even one of these characteristics, you should get it checked out by a vet as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to examine your dog on a daily basis. If you know they have a skin growth, take the time to separate their fur (if necessary) and take a closer look each day. It will make it easier to take note of any sudden changes.
Are Skin Tags Cancerous?
One of the biggest concerns a dog owner might have when they see any skin growth on their pet is whether or not it’s cancerous. It’s true that different types of growths can become cancerous. These growths (or lesions) can start out small and look like skin tags.
What you thought may have been a skin tag could be a lesion that turns into a type of cancerous growth. It can be a bit confusing at times, especially if you don’t check on these types of growths almost every day.
The symptoms of a cancerous lump on dogs include:
- A different texture – Skin tags usually have the same smooth texture and color as the rest of the dog’s skin. A quick way to determine whether a growth is a skin tag is to look at the texture. If it appears rough or jagged, it could be something else.
- Swelling – They can get bigger, but they should never appear to be ‘swelling.’ It could be a sign of infection and may be painful.
- Ulceration – This is a sign that pus could be forming in the tissue surrounding the growth. It can cause inflammation or a bacterial infection.
- Bad smell – If the growth is giving off a foul odor, it’s likely infected.
Other signs that may be linked to skin cancer in dogs include things like weight loss, weakness, loss of stamina, and difficulty breathing.
Melanoma in dogs is usually benign but can be malignant. It typically occurs in older dogs, over the age of nine. While skin tags themselves aren’t cancerous, if they start to showcase any of these signs, it’s a good idea to go to your vet as soon as possible. Your dog’s veterinarian will likely want to remove the growth and run a biopsy. That is the best way to determine whether or not the growth has any cancerous cells.
Skin tags can grow over time, but sudden changes may be a cause for concern. If you find that your dog is prone to getting skin tags, familiarize yourself with what is considered normal as far as how they look and how they may change.
Here is some extra Information on the subject:
What Does It Mean If a Skin Tag Turned Black?
If you’re regularly monitoring a skin tag on your dog, you should take note if it ever changes size, shape, or color. They can grow, and it’s usually nothing to worry about. Changes in color can mean different things.
A sudden change in color could indicate that you’re not dealing with a skin tag, but another type of growth entirely. If it looks red or inflamed, you should contact your veterinarian to get it checked out. They may want to run a biopsy to make sure it isn’t cancerous.
They should typically be the same color as the skin of your dog. They may be slightly darker in pigmentation, but overall there shouldn’t be much of a difference. It can be a good sign when skin tags turn black or dark purple.
As you now know, they can’t survive without an adequate supply of blood. When that blood circulation is somehow cut off, the skin tag can change color, shrivel, and fall off. This is called a ‘thrombosed’ or clotted skin tag. It can become so dark that it almost looks black.
Keep an eye on the skin tag over the next several days. It’s likely that the change in color means it’s not receiving the blood it needs. This should cause it to fall off in a short amount of time. Again, never attempt to pick at or pull off a skin tag, even if it looks as though it’s about to fall off.
What If a Skin Tag on My Dog Gets Bigger?
They can change their size and they can even grow significantly over time. You shouldn’t automatically assume something is wrong because a skin tag gets bigger. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s cancerous or a different type of growth.
A skin tag that does seem to be getting bigger should be monitored for any other changes. You may also want to consider removal, depending on where it is located. Skin tags that are larger in size are often more prone to causing irritation. They may get in your dog’s way, start getting ‘caught’ on things, or be tempting for your pooch to scratch at or nip at. Unfortunately, that can lead to bleeding and infection.
So, while the change in size itself might not be a problem, it could lead to some unsightly irritation and discomfort if not properly handled.
Can I Catch a Skin Tag from My Dog?
Skin tags are not contagious. Just as you can’t get one from another person, you cannot get one from your dog. This is important because you may want to examine it regularly. Keeping track of how the growth looks is important. Looking at it regularly will make it easier to notice any changes, sudden growth, changes in color, etc. These aren’t always dangerous factors, but they are characteristics you may want to share with your dog’s veterinarian.
The only time that you should avoid touching it is if it is oozing some substance or pus. This still doesn’t necessarily mean anything is contagious. However, it may not be a skin tag if it is showcasing these different characteristics. Other types of lesions may be more contagious or dangerous to the touch. If you’re worried, you can always wear protective gloves when examining your dog.
Your dog also can’t pass it on to another animal. If you have other pets in the house, their chance of getting a skin tag doesn’t increase. If you do notice that several pets in your household have skin tags, it doesn’t mean they are passing them around to each other. It is likely some environmental factor. Check their sleeping areas, dog houses, etc., to determine if something might be contributing to these benign growths. But, take comfort in knowing your dogs cannot infect each other or you.
How to Tell If a Growth Is Infected
One of the biggest risks associated with skin tag is an infection. With dogs, infection becomes an even bigger risk because they are so mobile. Your dog doesn’t know that it should avoid irritating a skin tag. If it’s in an area of their body that is causing any type of discomfort, they will respond accordingly by scratching or biting at it.
Signs of an infected skin tag include:
- Painful to the touch – May cause your dog to wince or whimper
- Oozing a pus-like substance
If a skin tag or any growth on your dog’s body shows signs of infection, it’s necessary to get them veterinary care.
The good news is that an infected skin tag can’t spread to other skin tags on the body. It won’t lead to the formation of other infected skin tags. However, the infection itself can spread within the body or to other areas of skin if not treated properly. If an infection is left alone for too long, it could begin to cause internal problems as well as irritation of the skin.
Does a Skin Tag Need to Be Removed?
If a skin tag doesn’t seem to be irritating your dog and shows no significant signs of changing, you don’t have to remove it. People usually get skin tags removed on themselves for cosmetic reasons. There is a good chance a growth on your dog will already be covered with fur, so it may not even be noticeable to most people.
In certain instances, however, it may need to be removed. If the skin tag is hurting or bleeding, it could be a sign of bigger problems. A bleeding skin tag on a dog is a huge risk as it can lead to infection.
There are several options for how to get rid of skin tags on dogs. Most people choose to take their four-legged friend to the vet. Not only can a veterinarian remove a skin tag safely and quickly, but they can run any necessary tests. A biopsy could offer peace of mind in letting you know it was nothing serious.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common removal procedures.
How Do Vets Remove Skin Tags on Dogs?
There are several safe methods veterinarians typically turn to when it comes to dog skin tag removal.
The 4 most common procedures are as follows:
These are usually the most common medical procedures for humans who want to get skin tags removed, too. Of course, there are slight differences (sometimes) when the procedures are being performed on your pet. Some may require general anesthesia for removal, similar to pets who get their teeth cleaned and ‘go under’ for the process. Others are considered outpatient services and can be done with local anesthesia.
Your vet will always be the best resource to let you know which of these procedures might be best for your dog. However, knowing more about them and how they remove the growth can help to determine your preference.
Cryosurgery is the process of freezing off a skin tag or a group of them. It is considered an outpatient procedure that is quick and painless. This method is most commonly-used when they are small to medium in size.
It immediately freezes the skin tag and surrounding skin using liquid nitrogen. This helps to destroy the structure and slows regrowth. One of the biggest benefits is that your dog won’t need anesthesia, and the procedure itself won’t cause much discomfort. After the skin tag is frozen, your dog can safely heal at home.
It usually takes about 7-10 days after cryosurgery for the skin tag to fall off. Once it has been frozen, it loses its supply of blood and oxygen. But, it can still take some time to ‘die’ off. You don’t need to do anything extra for it to slough off during that time. You may notice it start to shrivel a bit, and that’s a good sign. Keep checking daily to make sure it looks normal and not infected.
Depending on where it is located, your dog may need to wear an Elizabethan collar (cone) to prevent chewing or itching. This can cause irritation or possible infection if not immediately stopped.
Two more benefits to cryosurgery are that it’s one of the least expensive ways for your vet to remove skin tags from your dog. It also doesn’t require any stitches or follow-up visits to make sure everything is healing. When it comes to safe and effective ways to get rid of a skin tag, this is probably one of the easiest and most practical things your dog’s veterinarian can do.
Ligation is a common practice, knowing as ‘tying off’ the skin tag.
Thread ligation can be done on dogs. It may require your vet to use anesthesia depending on how your dog will react. Some dogs may lay perfectly still while others may have a problem with a vet trying to tie off a skin tag. Anesthesia is more likely if your dog has multiple tags.
The ligation process works because the skin tag is tied off at the stalk. They need a supply of blood and oxygen to survive and remain attached to the rest of the skin. When that supply is cut off, it will begin to die. If it isn’t getting an adequate amount of what it needs for survival, it will eventually fall off on its own.
Once they have been tied, it may take several days for them to fall off. You might notice that they start to shrivel or shrink in size, or even turn a darker color. These are all good signs! Don’t try to pull them off if they look like they are close to falling. They will naturally slough away from the skin when they are ready. Pulling them off prematurely can cause pain to your pooch, and may cause bleeding.
In some cases, surgical removal may be the best option for your dog. This is a popular option if your dog has many skin tags that need to be taken care of all at once. It’s also the quickest way to remove dog skin tags. There is no ‘waiting’ time involved for them to fall off on their own.
As with any surgical procedure, though, there are certain risks involved. Your vet may opt to use a local anesthetic if there is only one skin tag. If there are multiple skin tags to remove, your dog may have to go under general anesthesia.
The surgical procedure involves cutting off the skin tag from the stalk. Your veterinarian has all the right tools to perform this practice safely. However, with any surgery, there is always a slight risk of infection, even after it’s complete. Depending on where they were located, your dog may need to wear a cone collar afterward. This will help to prevent them from irritating any healing cuts that were made.
Another surgical option is laser surgery. You can ask your vet about this option, or they may even recommend it. Laser surgery, as you may have guessed, uses a highly-precise laser light to cut out the skin tags instead of a scalpel. This option helps to minimize potential bleeding. As a result, it could lower the risk of infection during and following the surgery.
This is the process of ‘burning’ off a skin tag using some type of heated pen or laser device. Some veterinarians do use it to get rid of benign growths on dogs. It uses the same ‘method’ as cryosurgery, but with extreme heat instead of extreme cold. The skin tags come off right away and a scab will form. This should be allowed to heal on its own. If a scab is removed prematurely, it’ll likely result in scarring.
For this procedure, your dog can either have a local anesthetic applied or a general anesthesia. This is likely if there are multiple skin tags that need to be removed or your dog doesn’t respond well to the treatment. The heated tool doesn’t come into contact with the surrounding skin, so it’s not as painful as it may sound. Your dog won’t feel a thing due to the anesthesia.
Cauterization also requires very little healing or recovery time. There shouldn’t be much (if any) bleeding involved. However, your dog still may need to wear an Elizabethan collar as scabs can start to become itchy when they’re healing.
How Much Does Skin Tag Removal Cost?
Whether you get a skin tag removed from your dog for cosmetic purposes or because you feel there may be something wrong doesn’t make a difference. It will end up costing about the same.
The different removal methods listed above all have various price points. The least expensive option is usually cryosurgery. It only takes a few minutes and doesn’t use many resources.
If your dog has to go under general anesthesia for any reason, it will usually cost more money. Additionally, sending the growth into a lab for a biopsy will cost money.
Each veterinarian’s price points will be different. In general, however, the entire process could be several hundred dollars. It all depends on what is specifically needed for your dog, how many they need to be removed, etc.
Other factors that could change the cost include:
- Location of the veterinary clinic
- Size of your dog
- Size of the growth(s)
- Potential complications
- Your dog’s overall health status
- Whether your dog is calm or aggressive
As you can see, many things come into play when factoring in the cost of skin tag procedures on dogs. It’s always a good idea to get an estimate of cost before going through any removal operation. That way, you won’t be surprised at the cost once everything is done.
If you feel as though the cost is too high with one veterinarian, try calling around to a few different clinics to get the best price. The price points can vary greatly.
Recovery After Skin Tag Removal
In most cases, there is very little recovery time needed after a canine gets a skin tag removed. It likely will depend on the removal process itself. The most important aspect of recovery is to make sure the area in which the growth was removed doesn’t become irritated in any way.
Try to keep your dog from licking, scratching, or chewing the area where the tag was removed. You can bandage it to help prevent this, but one of the best ways to avoid it is to use a cone collar. If a skin tag falls off due to something like tying off, there shouldn’t be a mark or ‘wound’ of any kind left behind. If your veterinarian had to cut off the tag using a surgical method, your dog might be more tempted to focus on that area.
Other than ensuring your dog doesn’t irritate the affected area, the best thing you can do is to keep the area of skin clean and well-monitored. Once removed, you shouldn’t have any problems. On rare occasions, irritation of infection may occur. Monitoring your pet’s skin closely can help to keep track of and prevent infection from going too far.
Just because your puppy developed a skin tag doesn’t necessarily mean they are prone to more. Like people, some dogs may only get one or two of these growths in their lifetime. Others may experience several or even larger clusters of them. Again, regular monitoring of your dog’s skin will give you the best chance of identifying them early and removing them if necessary.
Will a Skin Tag Spread Once Removed?
Some myths suggest that the removal of a dog skin tag will cause more to grow back. This simply isn’t true. Can a skin tag grow in the same spot as one was removed? Yes. However, it’s not a ‘regrowth’ of the skin tag that was removed. Getting rid of one growth also doesn’t mean multiple skin tags will grow in its place.
An old skin tag will not regenerate once it is fully removed. New ones can develop practically anywhere on your canine’s body. If they do show up in the same spot, it is most likely because of the factors that triggered the original problem.
You don’t have to be worried about removing a skin tag on your dog just to have several more show up. Some dogs are simply more prone to them than others. You may find that you remove one and never see another on your pet. For other dogs, they may continue to show up frequently. Whether they do or not has nothing to do with how many have been removed.
Conditions That Are Confused with Skin Tags on Dogs
While they may not be dangerous, they can commonly be confused with other growths and skin issues. Knowing the differences between some of these common skin conditions can offer peace of mind. They’ll also help you to know when you should be concerned, and if something that looks like a skin tag could be more serious.
Skin Tags vs. Warts on Dogs
One of the most commonly-confused skin growths on dogs is warts. There are key differences between warts and skin tags that you need to know. The similarities, of course, is that they both protrude from the skin.
Warts are typically found in the following areas:
In puppies, warts usually appear in groups or clusters, and they can be contagious from dog-to-dog, but not to people.
While skin tags tend to appear to be flat, smooth folds of skin, warts have different characteristics in their appearance. They may have jagged-like edges or even look like cauliflower. What’s the good news? Most warts go away on their own (skin tags will not). In most cases, they don’t irritate and may not even be noticed by your dog.
Unfortunately, warts are also associated with Canine Papilloma Virus. If you’ve heard of Human Papilloma Virus, you know that it can present a risk. Some similar risks may be present for your dog. Knowing the signs of this problem can make a difference in how you look at a wart on your pet.
What Is Canine Papilloma Virus?
Canine Papilloma Virus is also known as ‘oral warts’ in dogs. They are usually small, benign tumors found within the mouth. Younger dogs tend to be more susceptible to this virus, so it’s important to pay attention to dogs under the age of two who may experience any oral growths.
Papillomas will typically show up on the lips, tongue, or gums. They will look like regular warts (jagged, cauliflower-like appearance), and they tend to grow together in small clusters.
This virus typically clears up on its own. However, the papillomas can become infected. If they do become infected, antibiotics may be required to get rid of the virus. Symptoms of infection include swelling, bad breath, and noticeable pain in your dog.
Skin Tags vs. Ticks on Dogs
Another common skin issue that can be mistaken for skin tags is ticks. A tick isn’t a skin growth, but a live being that can attach itself to your dog’s skin. Ticks can irritate your pet as they latch on. Sometimes, though, they can be even more problematic and cause issues like Lyme disease.
Ticks can be tricky to see and feel when they first attach to your pet. They can even appear flat at first. However, they can quickly become engorged as they feed on blood. An engorged tick will look swollen, much like a kernel of corn. They are typically much easier to see, but if they are that large, they may have been on your dog for quite some time already.
It’s important to be able to distinguish a tick from a skin tag or another type of growth. This may require you to part your dog’s fur to get a closer look. Sometimes, a magnifying glass may even be necessary. Since ticks are a type of insect, you should be able to see its legs moving, and even the head buried into the skin. These are clear characteristics of the creature. If you see them, you should attempt to remove it as soon as possible.
The key to successfully removing a tick is to make sure you pull its head out of your pet’s skin in the process. Using either gloved fingers or a sterile pair of tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the surface of the skin as possible. Pull directly upward. You never want to twist the tick or use other ‘home remedies’ to get them out. This could irritate your dog’s skin even more and cause problems.
If you aren’t sure whether your dog has a tick, skin tag or another growth, ask your veterinarian. Pulling and tugging on a skin tag can be problematic. It could cause bleeding an infection. If it truly is a tick, though, it’s necessary to pull on it to remove it. As you can see, being able to distinguish the type of growth your dog is dealing with is key.
Skin Tags vs. Moles on Dogs
Just like people, dogs can have moles all over their body. Some simply have more than others. Usually, like skin tags, moles are completely normal and not a concern. Dogs with darker-pigmented skin may be slightly more prone to getting moles, but that doesn’t mean they will be pre-cancerous or dangerous in any way.
The difference between a mole and a skin tag is found in its color and texture. Skin tags are usually identified as ‘floppy.’ Moles tend to be harder, flatter growths. They are also usually darker in color and not the same color as the rest of the dog’s skin.
You can discover moles on your body the same way you might with a skin tag, through regular examination. While most moles will remain perfectly normal throughout the lifespan of your pet, you should keep an eye on them for any changes in color, size, or shape.
Skin Tags vs. Cysts on Dogs
Another potential skin growth your dog could be experiencing are cysts. Sebaceous cysts can occur in dogs of any age. They can grow on their own or in small groups or clusters. The cysts form a growth that looks a bit like a sack underneath the skin.
Common characteristics of this type of growth include:
- A round or elongated growth
- Slight mobility underneath the skin
- A shiny lump
This type of cyst can occur for a multitude of reasons. They are usually more common in older dogs. However, they can also be triggered by injury, a swollen hair follicle, an allergic reaction, or a hormonal imbalance. They are typically not harmful to animals. They may need to be removed if a biopsy shows they are cancerous or pre-cancerous.
How to Prevent Skin Tags in Dogs
Skin tags on dogs aren’t 100% preventable. A big reason for this is because we don’t know exactly what causes them. It’s different for every dog. Some factors that contribute to their growth are unavoidable, like age and genetic predispositions. However, there are some precautionary measures you can take.
These tips will help to reduce your dog’s chances of getting skin tags:
- Use proper skin care products: Avoiding any itching, irritation, or inflammation on your dog can help to reduce their risk of skin tags forming. Invest in quality products.
- Practice good grooming and hygiene habits: In addition to having the right skin care products, grooming your dog correctly is important. Be sure not to bathe them too often. This could dry out their skin and cause irritation. When it comes to overall hygiene, you should pay attention to the food they’re eating, their general health, and their daily environments. Keep things as clean as possible.
- Make sure their collar fits correctly: One of the concerns over what causes skin tags on dogs is friction. One of the only ‘accessories’ dogs usually wear is a collar. Make sure their collar fits properly and isn’t rubbing against their skin to cause irritation.
- Give them adequate nutrition: Keeping your dog’s immune system strong is essential. This starts with a high-quality food with the vitamins and minerals they need.
- Protect them from parasites: Keep track of things like fleas, ticks, and mites by regularly checking your dog’s skin. If possible, start them on a protective medication or skin care routine against these parasites. Keep in mind that they can also be caught from other dogs. Limit your pet’s interaction with other animals you don’t know to reduce that risk.
Again, it’s not completely possible to prevent skin tags altogether. But, these measures can help to prevent recurrence and slow down the development of possible tags. They are also good habits to have in place for your four-legged friend to keep them healthy from the inside out.
Should I Remove My Dog’s Skin Tag?
There are many similarities between skin tags on dogs and on people. Of course, there are also some key differences to consider. You’re the one who has to make the best medical choices for your pet. Unfortunately, some of the easiest ways for people to remove skin tags aren’t safe for dogs, so different measures need to be taken.
In most cases, these growths don’t need to be removed. In fact, your veterinarian will probably suggest you let them be if they aren’t causing any irritation and don’t seem to be infected or cancerous. However, if they get in your dog’s way or require removal for medical reasons, it’s important to practice the correct method(s) to remove them safely.
The good news is that skin tags are usually harmless and won’t bother your furry friend in any way. If one of these benign growths starts to become a problem, removal is relatively easy. Your dog won’t have to live in discomfort, and you can have peace of mind knowing you’re doing what’s right.