What Are Those Brown Spots on Your Dog’s Skin? 7 Possibilities (2024)

A brown dog having his skin problem examined.

Noticing dark spots on your dog’s body can be alarming, but they may not be a sign of a serious illness.

The most common cause of brown spots on a dog’s skin is a yeast infection, and these infections are treatable and easy to manage. 

What causes brown spots on dogs’ skin? The most common cause of brown spots on a dog’s skin is a yeast infection. Yeast infections are usually caused by an improper diet, and they can be treated with nutritional changes, allergy medications, topical creams, and antibacterial creams.

If you see dark spots on your dog’s skin, you should continue reading to learn more about what causes them and what they could be.

Causes of Brown Spots on Dog Skin

If you notice brown spots on your dog, you of course want to figure out the cause and rule out something serious.

You can take your dog to a veterinarian and get a proper diagnosis, but here’s a quick look at the most common causes.

1. Developing Yeast Infection

Yeast infections can occur on the skin of dogs (even on the paws), and in the early stages of the infection, it can cause the skin to appear brown, dark, and scaly.

If the infection becomes worse, the skin may become yellow, red, and itchy.

2. Allergy

If you notice your dog’s skin is darkening or has brown spots on it, it could be a sign that your dog is suffering from allergies.

Some dogs are allergic to cleaning products, fabric softeners, environmental triggers, and even certain foods, and if these things are consumed or touch their skin, they may react with a dark rash.

3. Bacterial Infection

Dogs can contract bacterial infections and show a variety of symptoms.

Whether the infection affects the skin or other areas of the body, brown or dark spots can appear on the dog’s skin and could be a sign of a serious infection.

4. Self-Trauma

When dogs have itchy skin, irritation, bug bites, or even anxiety, they may bite or scratch at their skin. This can lead to bleeding or blood blisters that can appear as brown spots on the skin.

5. Hormonal Disorders

Some hormonal disorders can cause a dog’s skin to change colors or cause dark spots to appear.

These can occur with age or even after pregnancy, and the dark spots may go away or may be permanent.

6. Inflammation Due To Parasites

When fleas, ticks, and other parasites torment your dog, it can cause the skin to become inflamed as it reacts to the bites and infection.

The more a dog picks at the parasites, the more inflamed the skin becomes and the worse the dark spots appear.

7. Normal Aging of the Skin

Age spots occur on dogs much like they occur on humans. As dogs age, their skin goes through changes.

Recurring exposure to the sun can also lead to dark spots or age spots, and they may become bigger and darker as the dog ages.

What To Feed When a Dog Has a Yeast Infection

When a dog is suffering from a yeast infection, a diet change can help them get over it much more easily.

Removing yeast and foods that contribute to yeast growth, such as carbohydrates and sugar, from your dog’s diet is the first step.

You can replace foods that contain and feed yeast with other options and may want to consider making your own treats or food at home.

Feed your dog a diet that is higher in protein and lower in grains.

Shampoo for Yeast Infection in Dogs

If your dog has a yeast infection, there are some shampoos that can be soothing and help reduce scratching and biting so the infection can clear up faster.

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic and Antifungal

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic and...
  • HELPS SUPPORT HEALTHY SKIN - With a wash and soaking of the coat for 5-10 minutes, our powerful...
  • FAST ACTING – Works fast to soothe your pet's sensitive skin that may be affected by environmental...

This is an antiseptic dog shampoo that soothes the skin and can help treat itching, pain, and inflammation caused by parasites, yeast infections, hot spots, and bug bites.

It has both antifungal and antibacterial properties. 

 Arava Skin & Coat Intensive Bio-Care

Arava Natural Medicated Dog Shampoo – Anti Yeast...
  • Dead Sea Minerals – Formulated with premium Dead Sea minerals, Arava Therapeutic shampoo is...
  • Deep, Powerful Cleanse– The Arava Bio-Care formula is a pet-friendly formula that gently cleanses...

Dead sea minerals are one of the active ingredients in this shampoo that help to correct skin problems and reduce the chance of an infection.

It’s gentle enough to use daily but is also effective at moisturizing the skin and relieving inflammation and discomfort. 

Alpha Paw Antibacterial & Antifungal Shampoo 

No products found.

With antibacterial and antifungal properties, this shampoo not only cleanses the skin but also helps to reduce irritation, infection, and discomfort.

It can treat yeast infections, ringworm, hot spots, and other common canine skin problems.

Related Questions: 

How Do Dogs Get Yeast Infections?

The most common cause of yeast infections in dogs is a poor diet. Many dog foods contain grains and other common allergy triggers.

If the dog develops an allergy, symptoms usually appear as skin conditions such as yeast infections.

A weakened immune system can also lead to a yeast infection.

Do Dogs Get Age Spots?

Dogs do get age spots. Age spots are caused by excess melanin in the body, and as dogs become older, the melanin tends to build up in certain areas and cause brown or dark spots to appear.


If you notice dark spots on your dog’s skin, it’s a good idea to monitor the dog, watch for other symptoms, and make an appointment with a veterinarian to confirm the cause of the spots, rule out a serious health issue, and determine the best way to treat the spots.

Last update on 2024-05-24 at 04:57 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API