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Rash Advice for My Boston Terrier

  • January 29, 2020
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Rash Advice for My Boston Terrier

Rashes caused by allergies are incredibly frustrating because you don’t want to see your dog suffer.   These allergies  look like:

  • Red welts or bumps .. basically a rash on their belly, armpits, inside of their legs or even on their feet.
  • Itchy fur or skin
  • Non stop gnawing at their leg flanks or belly
  • Non stop scratching at her neck and ears

If your dog is miserable and you’ve tried all the home remedies it’s time to see your vet.

But if the rashes are seasonal and not that bad, you can treat them at home.

There are many readily available home remedies that will alleviate your dog’s itching.

But you have to know what’s causing the itching and properly diagnose the rash so you know which product with the correct active ingredients will resolve the problem and prevent recurrence.

To be clear I’m not a vet and if your dog has had itchy skin or rashes for a prolonged period of time then you should see a vet immediately.

I’m a dog mom of two Boston Terriers that battled rashes, allergies, and yeast and I share my story in case your Boston Terrier is going through the same thing too.


In my case one of my Boston Terriers is allergic to flea bites and certain things in the environment.

My other Boston Terrier has tendencies to get yeast infections.

I have been in and out of the vet to try to resolve their issues. I’ve opted not to use Apoquel and only had to resort to Cytopoint in severe cases where Maggie broke out in hives.

I wanted to treat them naturally or with as minimal pills and shots as possible.

The time between rashes are getting longer and longer as we get better about staying on top of them and focusing on prevention.  And even if they do break out into a rash, I can treat the rash at home effectively and quickly and only in rare cases have I had to bring them into the vet.

It took us a long time to figure out what was going on and then manage the break outs.


I Don’t Even Consider Food Allergies First

Food allergies are at the bottom of the list. If my dog is scratching it’s probably not because of their food. When you research clinical studies from vet dermatologists they will tell you that food allergies are the least common allergies.

It’s Probably Fleas

Flea allergy is one of the most common causes of itching in dogs.

But often not the first thing dog owners look at because we’re in denial. There’s a stigma associated with fleas akin to us having lice as kids in school.

No way can my dog have fleas you say. I don’t have fleas at home.

But that’s the thing most fleas don’t live at home or on your dog. You could have picked one up on your walk and that flea bit your dog and jumped off.

My Dog Chews on His Rump Or Legs As If He’s Eating a “Corn – Cob”

If your dog is sitting calmly and then all of a sudden acts like something stung him from behind which causes him to start chewing on the his rump or legs… it’s probably fleas.

Give your dog a flea bath and get flea prevention medicine from your vet.

You can comb him or her to see if flea dirt comes off but most times the flea doesn’t even reside on your dog.

Comb your dog over white paper.  If you get dirt –  wet it and if it turns to rust … it’s dried blood from flea bites.

My dog Maggie is highly allergic to flea bites and so when that happens I treat her itching for fleas and go into full flea prevention mode.

Flea season typically happens between spring and fall in San Diego.


My Dog Has A Rash That Look Like Red Bumps

My dogs have very little fur on their chest and belly so they can be sensitive to things in the environment.

One time we went on a walk during Labor Day during low tide. Maggie was foraging over the seaweed that had washed up on the beach. The seaweed was smelly and had sand flies.

She broke out in a red rash.

I called them small little polka dots. That day she scratched at them and the polka dots had morphed into bigger rashes.

That night I heard her scratching her belly.  We woke up and the rash had grown and now looked like little countries that were growing into a continent.  The photo below is what it started off as.  I didn’t take a photo when it got worse I had no time because I rushed her to the vet right away.



DISCLOSURE:  Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I may receive compensation.  This compensation comes at no additional cost to you, and as always I only recommend products I have tried and trust.

Maggielovesorbit, Ilovebostons  is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


I have all these ways to describe her rashes but you get the point they grew fast.

I quickly got an appointment that day and the vet gave me a shampoo to wash her every day for the next 7 days.

The vet also mentioned that Maggie looked like she picked up a staph infection which probably happened because her nails picked up some germs.

So I made a mental note … always wash their paws and focus on also cleaning out their nails after walks on the beach, downtown or hikes on trails.

Another dog mom friend recommended I get these Malaetic wipes from Amazon which I now use every time we get back into the car from walks downtown San Diego, if they walk on seaweed at the beach, or from hikes.


I make sure I get clean their nails focusing in the grooves between the pads and nails and nail tips.

I use this sparingly because they are drying in nature.

Shampoos To Use On Rashy Dog

I have several shampoos that I use.  If Maggie breaks out in a rash that looks like it might turn into an infection I use the one from my vet.

For general maintenance if my dog is smelling yeasty or slightly rashy I use the Duoxo Chlorhexidine.  

  • Contains chlorhexidine and phytosphingosine salicyloyl (0. 05%), lipacide c8g (2. 5%) and chlorhexidine(3%)
  • Chlorhexidine has strong antiseptic activity
  • Phytosphingosine salicyloyl is a modified pro-ceramide which possesses ant seborrheic properties to control cutaneous disorders associated with pyoderma
  • Protects the skin from irritations and loss of moisture


During the allergy season even when they do not have rashes I use Duoxo Calm.  It’s got an active ingredient that helps strengthen their skin barrier.

  • DOUXO Calm Shampoo is a soothing lathering solution that contains hinokitiol and phytosphingosine
  • It’s a topical treatment of allergy and pruritus.
  • This calming pet shampoo makes bath time for dogs and cats more enjoyable.


I found this shampoo when I was researching the difference between dog skin and human skin.  I realized that with an allergy prone dog – I have to protect their skin barrier as much as I can.

Occasionally I will deviate and use Unite’s Doggy Poo shampoo.  This one smells great and leaves them silky soft.

What I love the most is all of the proceeds from the sale of Doggy ‘Poo are going to two organizations that are near and dear to our hearts: The San Diego Humane Society and Shelter to Soldier.

Water and Paw Rinses After Walks

We walk the beach, trails and fields on a daily basis.  During te allergy season I will rinse both Maggie and Orbit in the sink focusing on their bellies and paws.  This takes 30 seconds and have been key in keeping rashes at bay.


My Dog is Chewing Their Paws Which Smell Like Fritos

My younger dog Orbit is prone to yeast infections. Her paws get rusty and I’ll catch her licking them.

When this happens I do a paw inspection and find that her paws might be waxy and moist feeling between the paw pads.

That’s when I know it’s time for a paw soak. This video shows how I dilute a product I get on Amazon to soak her paws.

I treat her for yeast and use a spray from Amazon.

Antiseptic and Antifungal Medicated Spray for Dogs with Chlorohexidine, Ketoconazole, Essential Fatty Acids, Aloe and Vitamin E 


My Dog’s Neck Is Red and Raw From Her Scratching

At Orbit’s worst she scratched her neck raw. It felt moist and it looked red. At this time the skin was damaged her her skin barrier was weak. And she was having an allergic reaction to the yeast.

What probably happened is the yeast on her yeasty paws infected her neck and when she scratched her neck it made it worse.

I use the same product for her paws and it was cleared up in half a week. Her neck issue has never come back since that time we treated it topically.

Cozy Hoodies for Boston Terriers

My Dog’s Got Some Bumps Which Look Crusty Around Her Ears and Head

Orbit’s fur was thinning around the base of her ears and she had these tiny hard bumps on the back of her ears, on the inside tips, and then on her forehead and on her head above her eyes.

I used the same spray diluted 50/50 and applied it to the affected areas using a cotton pad.

The bumps and rashes went away in half a week.


My Dog Has No Rash But Broke Out In Hives

This has happened to Maggie several times. My quick solution is half a regular Benadryl and a water rinse. If she doesn’t improve overnight I take her to the vet the next day.

I share a video below and article about her hives here.

A Base Level In Knowing More About Active Ingredients

Understanding what the key ingredients do helps you match the over the counter product to the issue.

Antimicrobial (antibacterial and anti-yeast) agents: (NaHypochorite, benzoyl peroxide, or chlorhexidine, ketoconazole, miconazole ) may help those dogs with bacterial or yeast infections.

Astringents are best reserved for “hot spots”. These ingredients must be used with caution as they cause drying of the skin and may cause itching.  They are best used for acute moist focal areas like direct application to a “hot spot”.  They include:  tannic acid, witch hazel, aluminum acetate (Burow’s solution), acetic acid or vinegar, silver nitrate solution, or potassium permanganate solution.

Astringents dry out the skin and dry skin is itchy skin so you want to avoid astringents for yeast.

The way that anti-itching products works is to:

1. Remove surface irritants or allergens. (NaHypochorite, benzoyl peroxide, or chlorhexidine, ketoconazole, miconazole )
2. Substituting another sensation such as heat or cold (ex/- menthol or camphor/)
3. Anesthetizing the peripheral nerves (/pramoxine, lidocaine, benzocaine, etc/)
4. Raising the itch threshold by cooling or moisturizing the skin. These active ingredients are essential fatty acids-EFAs, glycerin, urea, oatmeal.
5. Repairing the epidermal lipid barrier (/ceramides, Vitamin E, allantoin, and EFAs

Use Over The Counter Products for Mild Cases. Otherwise See Your Vet

By no means should you skip seeing your vet. Your vet will be able to diagnose and treat serious rash and allergy issues on your dog.

This article is meant to provide clues for mild cases similar to you having a pimple on your face and you go to the drug store to treat it.

If the rashes are mild …. and you know what it is you can treat it with over the counter products at home.

But if the allergy symptoms are bad go see your vet immediately.


Things That Do Not Work

In terms of treating her rash for her allergies and yeast the things that didn’t work for us were

– Raw diet
– Local bee pollen
– Apoquel
– Apple Cider Vinegar

Shirts and Sweaters Help

My dogs like to go on what I call sniff-safaris and when they do this without a shirt the come home with red bellies.

So now I’ve learned simply having them wear a sweater or a shirt keeps their bellies free of polka dot rashes.

Amazon Links for Shirts. This cute shirts on Amazon are less than $4 each.

Home Cooked Meals

I’m a fresh food advocate.  I used to feed my two dogs raw and then under the guidance of my vet switched to home cooked.  They have been thriving since I made the switch the coat is shinier and I firmly believe that a diet that adds vibrancy and increases their wellness helps them have a stronger immune system against allergies.  You can read about my core recipe via this link:  Basic Foundation Home Cooked Dog Food

Feed Oily Fish Daily

During the allergy season I add a small amount of oily fish to Maggie and Orbit’s meals.

After reading about how the integrity of fish oil is compromised overtime I decided I would feed them their Omega 3s (which is great for dogs with allergies) instead of supplement them.

To figure out how much fish to feed, take their daily amount of food intake and divide it out through the week.  In Maggie and Orbit’s case that means they get .4 oz of fish with each meal (they eat twice a day).

I feed them salmon, mackerel, and smelt sourced from the local asian market.  I cook the fish before I feed it.

As a back up you get get sardines in water (no salt added).  I used to get them at Costco but since they stopped carrying them I now buy them online on Amazon.  They are the listed as:

Season Sardines in Water, No Salt Added, 4.375-Ounce Tins (Pack of 12)


Supplements To Add To Their Food

I home cook for my two dogs and there are two supplements that help them.

BioResiliant helps maintain normal histamine levels and supports the natural keratinization process. You can buy it on Amazon.

It’s a whole food supplement to help with seasonal and environmental allergies.

supplement to for allergy defense

How Does It Work?

It uses gentle plant based ingredients like Mangosteen, Quercetin, and Bromelien to regulate histamine responses.

It uses Turkey tail, mushroom, turmeric, prebiotic, coconut, anise and sweet potato to provide immune support.

These all work together to help keep my dogs healthy from the inside out.

Final Thoughts

It’s gut wrenching to see your dog uncomfortable. When they break out in a rash my top advice is to act quickly and get ahead of it. If it gets worse go see your vet.

As for my two dogs, spring is around the corner and the fields where we walk and hike are blooming.

My two dogs get daily inspections to make sure they are rash free and if not we start to treat it topically that same day.

Additional Reading





Now It’s Your Turn

Thank you for reading this article.  If your dog is going through similar issues I hope our story has helped.

Let me know your story in the comments or save this onto your Pinterest board.

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Hannah Zulueta and her two dogs Maggie and Orbit

Hello my name is Hannah and I dance with my dogs.  A self proclaimed Boston Terrier addict, (aka breed advocate) I started this blog because there isn’t enough space to write on our Instagram.  Maggie is my socially awkward one; which I find highly relatable because I am completely out of place in large groups myself.  And Orbit is my sensitive flower.  Blow on her skin wrong (ok I might be exaggerating) and she breaks out in a rash.

You won’t read about cats here… but you will get a fairly large dosage of articles dedicated to the Boston Terrier.    Read more about us. 

By, January 29, 2020
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