To most people, dogs are not only pets but also friends. They talk to them, buy clothes for them, feed them and wash them and some people even sleep with their dogs. And as it is the case with any friend we have, we tend to worry about their health and try to protect them from anything that could happen to them.
Skin tags are fairly popular among humans, and if you have ever met someone that has a skin tag, you probably can identify one very easily and realize that there is usually nothing to worry about. The thing with dogs is that most people don’t know that they also can get skin tags or how they look, and it can be somewhat worrisome to discover one on one of our furry friends. Well, here is everything you need to know about skin tags on dogs.
What are the skin tags on dogs?
Exactly as it happens with humans, skin tags on dogs are a growth that is made of fibrous or skin tissue, and they usually present as bumps or lumps, depending on the type of skin tag.
They are most of the times non-cancerous growths, but even when they are indeed cancerous, they are benign and pose no risk to your pet’s health by themselves.
The skin tags on dogs can be above or below the surface of the skin; the ones above the skin look very similar to skin tags on humans and look like a little piece of flesh connected to the skin by a thin portion of tissue, but the ones below the skin appear as lumps that are easier to be confused with more serious problems by regular people, which could lead to them worrying more than they should.
If you discover a lump on your dog, though, you should take him to the veterinarian to properly diagnose if it is just a harmless skin tag or if it is a different problem.
There is also a chance that you are mistaking a skin tag with a tick, as they might look somewhat similar. Ticks are arachnid pests that feed on your dog’s blood and can carry diseases. If you want to know for sure if your pet has a dog skin tag or tick, you should take him to the vet to be properly diagnosed and treated.
How to remove skin tags?
There are several ways to remove skin tags on your dog, but while recommended in some cases, most of the time they are only optional since skin tags are not harmless and pose no risks if remaining on your dog’s skin for any period of time.
Here are some things you should consider:
If the skin tag is located in a part of the skin covered by fur, you could just leave it there. Since skin tags are always benign, when the fur protects the skin tag and prevents accidental tearing caused by your dog’s collar or him trying to bite it off and causing a dog skin tag bleeding, which could be a little risky, you should consider not putting your dog through the stress of surgery or home remedies and just leave the skin tag where it is.
If the skin tag is located on an eyelid, mouth or anywhere else where it causes discomfort to your dog or it is at risk of being torn off, you should consider removing it.
The safest way to remove a skin tag is to program a very simple surgery with the veterinarian, who will use the appropriate tools to remove it safely and without any pain being caused to your dog, except of course for the general discomfort that a trip to the vet always causes to our pets.
As surgery can be a little expensive, if your dog’s skin tag is placed in an area that is not very sensitive, such as the back or abdomen, you can try to firmly tie a piece of dental floss to the skin tag and leave it there for a week. For dog skin, tag removal dental floss works by cutting the circulation to the skin tag and making it eventually fall off by itself. As you need to tie the dental floss somewhat tight, you should be very careful not to hurt your dog.
How to prevent skin tags?
Skin tags happen naturally, especially as your dog grows old and they are nothing to worry about. However, there are some things you can do to help reduce the chances of your dog getting skin tags:
To prevent skin tags on dogs – Don’t put tight-fitting clothes on them:
Some skin tags can be caused by friction, and if you put a tight-fitting sweater on your dog to protect him from the cold, the friction could increase the chances of a skin tag growing.
Feed them with healthy and balanced dog food:
Skin tags can sometimes be a signal that your dog is overweight or not eating properly. Asking the veterinary for the right brand, type and amount of food you should give your dog can help him stay healthier and fit and reduce the chances of growing skin tags.
The most important thing is to stay calm, to acknowledge that skin tags are benign and to under no circumstances try to cut the skin tag off by yourself, as you could definitely hurt your dog.