Ringworm, also known as dermatophytosis or tinea, is not actually caused by a worm. Most pet owners believe that it is a parasitic infection similar to the worms found in a dog's stool; however, this condition is actually brought on by a fungal infection.
The best dog ringworm treatment options may be effective, but a serious ringworm infection in the dog may require veterinary care.
Fortunately, there are many options of natural ringworm medicine for dogs that you can easily perform at home. In this article, you will learn what is the best ringworm treatment for dogs and how to treat ringworm in dogs at home.
Table of Contents
- Best Dog Ringworm Treatment – But First, What is Ringworm in Dogs?
- Dog Ringworm: Signs and Symptoms
- 4 Best Dog Ringworm Treatment Home Remedies
- Prevention of Ringworm in Dogs
- What Cures Ringworm Fast in Dogs?
- What is the Best Dog Ringworm Treatment that Kills Ringworm Naturally?
- Can I Touch My Dog If He Has Ringworm?
- Best Dog Ringworm Treatment – Final Thoughts
Best Dog Ringworm Treatment – But First, What is Ringworm in Dogs?
Dog ringworm condition causes a scaly, red, itchy patch of skin (as seen in the picture below) that typically takes the shape of a single ring or multiple rings. This is how this infection came to be referred to as ringworm.
This is what a ringworm on a dog looks like:
The ringworm fungus lives and grows in the upper layer of the dog's skin and in the dog's hair follicles. Occasionally, it can also occur in the dog's nails.
Ringworm in dogs is not a life-threatening disease, but it is highly contagious. It is a superficial infection that does not spread over the entire body. It usually stays contained to several areas of the dog's body. If you have an older dog, young puppy or an immune compromised dog, the infection could spread extensively.
Ringworm is a zoonotic disease, meaning the infection can easily spread from dogs to humans or other animals in your home through contact with the infected dog. It is important to keep good hygiene in your home with frequent vacuuming and washing of your dog's bedding to avoid the spread.
Because it's a self-limiting disease, ringworm in a dog will typically resolve by itself; however, in most cases, for the infection to clear up, it can take several months.
To speed up the process, several dog ringworm treatments are recommended, starting with a clipping of a dog's hair coat short, then following with a medicated shampoo bath and finishing with a topical application of anti-fungal treatments.
For pet owners who'd like to avoid harsh chemical treatments, some natural remedies for ringworm in dogs have been proven to be effective. Below are four of the best dog ringworm treatments and home remedies you can try to speed up the healing process.
Dog Ringworm: Signs and Symptoms
How do you know if your pooch has ringworms? Here are a few signs to look out for in dogs:
- Red, crusty skin
- Abnormalities in the skin and coat
- Hair falling out
- Bald, circular patches (commonly in the neck, tail, or head)
- Scaly dandruff on the coat
- Lesions on the dog's skin, for severe cases.
You will be able to spot these symptoms during your regular brushing. However, don't worry if you start seeing these signs.
In this article, you will learn how to treat ringworm in dogs at home and how you can prevent it from happening to your pooch.
4 Best Dog Ringworm Treatment Home Remedies
Before Using Any Ringworm Home Remedies…
Before you start applying any of the below dog ringworm home remedies, there are a few things you must do first to prepare.
- Clip the hair. If your dog's coat is long or even medium length, you'll need to trim the hair in the affected area first so as to have easy access to the dog's skin.
- Clean it. After hair trimming, clean that infected ringworm area using a clean gauze pad and luke-warm water, then let it dry.
Note: If necessary, you can even shave the area so it's nearly bald. Keeping hair away from the ringworm infected wound will help it to stay dry, provide better absorption of the treatment and heal faster. Once the wound is clean, you can try one of the best dog ringworm treatments below.
1. Anti-Fungal Dog Shampoo
You can buy anti-fungal shampoo for dogs at most pet stores or through online retailers. These medicated shampoos are formulated with ingredients that kill fungal infections such as ringworm.
Follow the instructions on the bottle for bathing your dog with such a shampoo, because it's slightly different to your regular dog shampoo bathing.
Anti-fungal dog shampoos are made with chemicals and some strong ingredients that may be irritating to dogs with sensitive skin. Using one of these shampoos is the fastest way to get rid of a bought of ringworm, but they may not be suitable for every dog.
Here are some of the best dog ringworm shampoos you can buy online:
|Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic &...||55,822 Reviews||Check Price|
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
If you're against using chemical-based anti-fungal dog shampoos, then among natural home remedies, I recommend using organic apple cider vinegar (like Bragg).
Make a 50/50 blend of ACV and water in an empty spray bottle. Apply the spray to the dog's ringworm affected area 2-3 times per day until the ringworm is completely gone.
Apple cider vinegar has been shown to have antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties.Do NOT use it directly on your dog's skin, because the high acidity of apple cider vinegar could actually be harmful to the dog.
This spray should also not be used if your dog has open wounds on their skin. It will sting and cause your pet unnecessary pain. Pay close attention to the infected area after you apply this home remedy. If you notice the ringworm patches growing larger, or if the itchiness seems to get worse, stop using the spray and contact your veterinarian.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has many positive effects on a dog's skin and their coat health, including healing ringworm infections. It can also help with many skin conditions in dogs, such as eczema, contact dermatitis, itchy skin and generally improve skin health in dogs.
Capric acid is found in coconut oil. Researchers have found that capric acid is great not only for fighting a variety of bacteria strains, but also for preventing fungi growths.
Coconut oil can be given to dogs orally or applied topically. Adding organic coconut oil to your dog’s diet can improve the animal's health in general. But, when using it as a home remedy for ringworm in dogs, you need to rub it directly on the effected area.
Using coconut oil topically is rather simple. Start with small amounts, because your dog’s fur can get greasy if you apply too much. Simply rub a bit of coconut oil between your fingers and apply it to the effected areas. Apply it 3 times per day until your dog's ringworm infection is completely gone.
Some of the best organic coconut oil treatments for dogs are these:
|Raw Paws Organic Virgin Coconut Oil for Dogs &...||1,327 Reviews||Check Price|
|Coconut Oil for Dogs - Certified Organic & Extra...||2,087 Reviews||Check Price|
|Organic Coconut Oil, Cold-Pressed - Natural Hair...||95,383 Reviews||Check Price|
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has scientifically proven powerful anti-fungal properties. A 2004 meta-review of seven clinical trials, scientists also found that tea tree oil is an effective treatment for ringworm. More specifically, a 70% success rate was found in a 2002 study, while an older 1992 study showed how using tea tree oil versus a placebo significantly improved several fungal conditions.
It's important to always dilute essential oils such as tea tree oil before applying them to your dog's skin. Straight oils could cause skin irritation in dogs. Carrier oils can be used to dilute essential oils and help them to better (and safely) absorb into the dog's skin.
Some of the most common carrier oils you can use are:
- Coconut oil
- Jojoba oil
- Grapeseed oil
One of the best dog ringworm treatment options is a tea tree oil topical solution, and there are several good brands such as Maple Holistics. You can make the remedy simply by mixing 1 ounce of carrier oil with 10 drops of tea tree oil.
Then, apply this solution to the dog's ringworm effected area using a clean cotton ball anywhere from 2 to 4 times per day until the ringworm is completely gone.
Prevention of Ringworm in Dogs
Ringworm in dogs is a preventable situation as long as you keep your dog and its surroundings clean and dry.
Fortunately, there are many preventive measures you can do to avoid the scenario of having to buy the best over-the-counter ringworm treatment for dogs:
Keep Your Dog Dry and Clean
Ringworms develop in damp and dirty conditions. To avoid this from thriving in your dog's skin, keep them clean and dry.
Practice regular bathing and dry him thoroughly after getting wet. However, keep in mind not to over bathe your dog.
Separate the Infected Dog in Another Bedding
Even when treated with ringworm medicine for dogs, this condition is contagious to other pooches in the house. Quarantine the infected dog and keep them in separate bedding.
The same goes during playtime. It's best that you prevent other dogs from playing or interacting with the infected pooch.
Wash Your Dog's Bedding Regularly
If you want to avoid the situation of buying the best over-the-counter ringworm treatment for dogs, you may need to clean your dog's surrounding regularly.
Cleaning their bedding and keeping it that way is the best preventive measure for ringworm in dogs.
Eliminate Pests, If There's Any
Rodents are active carriers of diseases like ringworms. To avoid getting ringworm medicine for dogs in the first place, you must eliminate pests that infect your pooch.
Do any necessary measures to get rid of rodents and pests from getting near your dogs or yourself.
Have Regular Visits to the Vet
One of the most effective preventive measures is to have regular visits to your vet and have them monitor your dog's skin.
This way, the vet could identify early signs of infection and would recommend a preventive ringworm treatment for dogs instead.
What Cures Ringworm Fast in Dogs?
If you are looking for a quick ringworm treatment for dogs, most vets would recommend topical therapy. This refers to ointment, cream, or medicated shampoo for faster relief.
Aside from using a topical ringworm medicine for dogs, it’s also suggested to trim long-haired pooches to speed up the effect of the treatment.
What is the Best Dog Ringworm Treatment that Kills Ringworm Naturally?
Knowing how to treat ringworm in dogs at home allows you to save the hassle and expense of going to the clinic. Fortunately, there is a natural ringworm treatment for dogs that you can do with the most basic ingredients.
For instance, you can use the following as a natural ringworm medicine for dogs:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Aloe vera
- Coconut oil
- Lemongrass oil
- Soap and water
Can I Touch My Dog If He Has Ringworm?
Ringworm in dogs may be contagious to humans, and it can be very unsanitary. So, it’s best not to touch your dog if they have ringworm.
Children, elder people, and those with weak immune systems shouldn’t be in close contact with infected dogs too. When applying ringworm treatment for dogs, it’s recommended that you use gloves and an apron.
Best Dog Ringworm Treatment – Final Thoughts
Ringworm in dogs can wreak havoc on your dog's overall health, especially when it starts to spread out and affect their entire body. Fortunately, it's a condition you can medicate with the best dog ringworm treatment.
Aside from purchasing the best over-the-counter ringworm treatment for dogs, you can manage this condition with natural ringworm medicine for dogs and home remedies.
By simply applying coconut oil or apple cider vinegar regularly, you will gradually see improvements. The best thing about natural ringworm treatment for dogs is that it's not toxic or harmful to your dogs.
When you know how to treat ringworm in dogs at home, there's no need to rush to the vet or purchase any expensive ointment.