Q. My dog is a 2-year-old Bassett Hound. He sleeps in the backyard and has a doghouse with a padded mat. He also has a bean bag and several lounge chairs he can lie on, plus lots of grass. Nonetheless, his chest is getting chapped because he prefers to sleep on the concrete. How can I take care of this chapping? It does not seem to be hurting him at this time; it is just a big red spot on his chest with very little hair. I have a Beagle, too, who doesn’t have this problem.
A. That is so typical: You provide your beloved dogs with the finest furnishings, including dog beds, lounge chairs, bean bags and plush grass, and they still lie on the concrete! Don’t they realize how much you spent on the doghouse and on the dog bed?
Seriously, it sounds like the rough concrete is causing some abrasions and dry, cracked skin on your dog’s chest. You could apply some Vaseline to keep the skin moist, but if the skin actually breaks open it could turn into a problem wound. An over-the-counter ointment with 1 percent cortisone can help reduce redness and itching.
Usually skin problems on Basset Hounds are due to their “low-rider” ears scraping the ground as they walk. Any abrasions on the ears’ tips can be treated with a triple-antibiotic ointment after cleaning the wounds.
Most dogs prefer to live indoors with their human families. You may want to consider giving your Basset and Beagle access to your home, as well.
Jon Geller, DVM