Skin Tags on Dogs: Are They Normal?


You might be familiar with skin tags if you’ve experienced them yourself. Dogs can get skin tags, too! The good news is that skin tags are typically harmless. A skin tag is a fibrous growth that can pop up anywhere on the body. Here’s what you need to know about skin tags on your dog:

How Do Dogs Get Skin Tags?

Skin tags occur when extra cells grow in the top layers of the skin. They often occur in areas where the skin rubs against itself, such as the armpits. There are a couple of factors that can trigger skin tags to grow on dogs such as skin irritation, ill-fitting collars, nutritional deficiency, and parasites.

Skin Irritation: Some shampoos or other chemicals might cause irritation to your dog's skin that results in a skin tag. Make sure your dog is consistently bathed (but not too often) with a non-irritating cleanser to keep their skin healthy and soothed.

Collars: Ill-fitting collars that rub against the skin can cause friction that leads to skin tag growth. Make sure your dog’s collar is not too tight as this can cause discomfort as well as skin tags.

Nutrition: Make sure your dog is eating high-quality food to keep their immune system strong. Adding fish oil to your dog’s diet can also improve the health of their skin and coat.

Parasites: Lice, fleas, mites, and ticks can cause damage when they attach themselves to your dog’s skin. This can increase the risk of developing skin tags later on.

Where Do Skin Tags Typically Grow?

Most often, skin tags develop in the following places:

  • Nose
  • Legs
  • Stomach
  • Chest
  • Armpits
  • Eyelids

Do Skin Tags Require a Visit to the Vet?

More often than not, skin tags are completely harmless. However, if a skin tag starts to grow rapidly and seems to be causing your dog discomfort, it’s worth taking them to the vet to consider removal. It's also a good idea to take them in to rule out the possibility of a more serious medical issue.

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