Crusty Scabs Around Dog’s Mouth: Causes & Remedies

If you notice some crusty scabs around the mouth of your dog, then it could be a sign of some issues that you should not ignore.

There could be many reasons behind the crusty scabs around the dog’s mouth. It can be due to lack of water consumption or may be due to some parasites living in that particular region on the dog’s mouth. Acne, skin infections, an abnormal diet, allergies, and other factors contribute to these scabs.

Licking, biting, or scratching the crusty area by your dog can aggravate the situation. Approximately 20% of dogs suffer from crusty scabs around their mouths, particularly during winter. Several ointments and treatments will cure these crusty scabs around the dog’s mouth. But before that, let’s learn more about these crusty scabs.

In this article, we will look into the possible causes of the crusty scabs around the mouths of dogs and their symptoms, and along with that, we will look for remedies, natural and medical, to prevent these crusty scabs.

Crusty Scabs Around the Dog’s Mouth 

Crusty Scabs Around the Dog's Mouth 

Crusty scabs around dogs’ mouths are dry patches or bumps that are more commonly found in short-haired dogs. And you can see the scabs in dogs that are quite furry or hairy only when you remove their fur.

The sore and dry skin in dogs turns into scabs around their mouths, and as the dog itches or licks that part, it becomes painful.

Most of the time, these scabs look like flaky, dry blisters or bumps. There can be several reasons for these scabs around the dog’s mouth.

If these scabs remain untreated, they will become more painful and irritating. But we can solve this problem easily by knowing the reasons behind these scabs and then making efforts to treat them properly.

Causes of Crusty Scabs Around the Dog’s Mouth

Causes of Crusty Scabs Around the Dog's Mouth

Several factors can be responsible for dogs having dry and crusty scabs around their mouths. It can be due to some allergies, skin infections, nutritional deficiency, hormonal imbalance, and a lot more.

Numerous such issues prevent the formation of new layers of skin that can replace the old, dry ones, resulting in the formation of scabs. These scabs may sound scary, but if the underlying cause behind them is clear, then the treatment becomes a lot easier. Let’s have a look at the common causes that lead to crusty scabs.

1. Nutritional Deficiency

Vitamin B1, B2, and zinc are three main nutrients that are responsible for making a dog’s skin healthy. The deficiency of any of these vitamins has a direct effect on their skin.

In addition, vitamin B Deficiency in dogs can lead to inflammation of the tongue. Crusty scabs are observed around their mouths, and in severe cases, vitamin B deficiency in dogs can lead to anemia.

Vitamin B2 is extremely important for the maintenance of collagen levels in the dog. While vitamin B12, a complex vitamin, is responsible for maintaining the good skin and oral health of dogs.

Zinc is necessary to maintain healthy skin and for the production of new cells, while iron serves the purpose of improving blood concentration and maintaining hemoglobin balance in the dog’s body.

If your dog is suffering from nutritional deficiency, then it is more prone to infections. Keep a check on its diet and make the diet healthy and filled with a lot of nutrients.

2. Canine Acne 

In dogs, canine acne is the most common cause of scabs around the mouth. They are severe pus-filled pimples on the dog’s skin.

Along with it, there are crusty scabs around the mouth of the dog that are accompanied by blood-oozing swollen lips.

These need to be treated immediately. If they are left untreated, they will lead to permanent marks on the dog’s skin and other serious infections.

See also  My Dog Ate A Stick of Butter: What to Do Now?

3. Allergies


Just like humans, dogs too suffer from allergies. Allergies can be caused by a variety of factors, including pollen, dust particles, and other pollutants.

These allergies start as small rashes, but when the dog repeatedly licks them or scratches them, they turn into rough and crusty scabs around the dog’s mouth.

Many pathogenic viruses also cause untreatable sores around the dog’s mouth. Dog lip dermatitis is a severe disease that occurs as a result of these allergic conditions.

Oxalic acid, which is found in many plants, can cause an allergic reaction in dogs; dogs mostly eat these plants present either inside or outside your home.

Your dog may be allergic to different kinds of chemicals that are used in their daily use products. They may be allergic to their shampoo, cleaning products, or other such products. Eliminate these products to prevent your dog’s allergies.

4. Dehydration

One of the main reasons behind those crusty scabs around your dog’s mouth is dehydration. Water is one of the most important constituents of the food and diet of your dog and, if not taken care of, will lead to some serious health issues.

If you notice dry and cracked lips along with crusty scabs around the dog’s mouth, then the main reason behind them could be dehydration.

In such conditions, ensure your dog drinks plenty of water to prevent those scabs around its mouth. Also, their diet must be filled with water-enriching foods so that their health can be maintained properly even if they don’t consume enough water every day.

Bonus Read: 8 Dog Food Brands to Avoid [+ 5 You Should Buy]

5. An Imbalance of Hormones 

Hormonal imbalance is a condition in which the hormone levels vary in your dog’s body, causing several health issues. Hormonal imbalance is usually hereditary.

You can sometimes notice Cushing syndrome or Hypothyroidism in dogs with dry, crusty scabs around their mouths. Both Cushing syndrome and Hypothyroidism are caused by an imbalance of hormones in the dog’s body.

6. Infection


Infections are the primary cause of crusty scabs around dogs’ mouths. There can be either bacterial infection, fungal infection, or parasitic infection that can cause those crusty scabs.

Bacteria like Folliculitis cause deep irritation on the skin of certain animals; this results in the formation of scabs. In dogs, they lead to the formation of sores around the dog’s mouth and a reason behind canine lip fold dermatitis – an inflammatory skin disorder.

Fungi cause ringworm around the dog’s mouth, which eventually turns into a crusty scab around the dog’s mouth. This ringworm around the mouth is extremely infectious, so considering special care of your dog’s cleanliness is a must. Soil that is infected with ringworm fungi can be the reason behind blisters around the lips and mouths of dogs that will lead to the formation of crusty scabs as time passes.

Fleas, mites, and ticks are the most common parasites that affect the area around a dog’s mouth and lead to blisters, red rashes, and sores all over there. These blisters and sores, after some time, turn into dry and crusty scabs. If the dog starts itching or rubbing that area, the condition will get worse.

Tips To Prevent Crusty Scabs Around The Dog’s Mouth

Tips To Prevent Crusty Scabs Around The Dog's Mouth 
Image Credit:

You can take the help of your dog’s veterinarian and find the root cause of the crusty scabs around your dog’s mouth. These crusty scabs can lead to some serious issues. So, it is better to know the root cause behind them and take steps to prevent their occurrence.

Here are some preventive measures you can follow to prevent crusty scabs around your dog’s mouth.

1. Regular Brushing

Regular and frequent brushing of the dog’s hair will remove dead skin cells and clear the dog’s coat of any parasites such as ticks or mites. This will reduce irritation and prevent frequent scratching of their bodies.

Regular brushing reduces the chances of irritation, dirt, and parasites accumulating in the dog’s fur, and this will prevent numerous diseases.

2. A Healthy Diet and Lifestyle

A healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle are a must for your dog. It will prevent most of the diseases, especially the dry crust around the dog’s mouth.

Deficiencies of different nutrients can harm the skin of your dog. Lack of certain vitamins and minerals leads to dry and itchy skin in dogs. Make sure your dog has a diet full of all the necessary nutrients and vitamins – a balanced diet will prevent these crusty scabs around the dog’s mouth.

3. Give Them a Regular Bath

Give Them a Regular Bath

Regular baths will help the dog’s skin to be free from different bacteria and other parasites that cause dry and crusty skin around the dog’s mouth. Make sure you use a gentle shampoo to clean your dog.

See also  My Dog Threw Up Hard White Chunks - Should I Be Worried?

Don’t bathe your dog vigorously or daily, as it will lead to their skin being void of natural oils. You can bathe them once a week. It will keep them healthy and prevent several germs from attacking their bodies.

Bonus Read: How To Groom A Dog At Home?

4. Use of Skin Coat Supplements

Supplements such as omega 3 and omega 6 are beneficial for your dog’s skin. Using these supplements in addition to a balanced diet will keep the dog’s skin healthy and its fur shiny.

The Effects Of Crusty Scabs Around A Dog’s Mouth

Crusty Scabs Around A Dog's Mouth

Crusty scabs around dogs’ mouths lead to adverse effects on the dogs’ bodies. The following are some of the most common symptoms and diseases that can happen when crusty scabs are around the dog’s mouth.

  • The dog’s lips turn sour.
  • Dogs get the condition of having dry lips.
  • Blisters and sores occur around the dog’s mouth.
  • The dog’s lips become red, and you will notice rough raw spots as well.
  • You will notice crusty patches on the dog’s back and skin coat.
  • Dog fold dermatitis is a common inflammation disease that occurs due to crusty scabs around the mouth.
  • Lip Fold pyoderma in dogs, such as German shepherds.

Treatment Of Crusty Scabs Around The Dog’s Mouth

For the treatment of crusty scabs around a dog’s mouth, you need to find out the root cause of these crusty scabs. The best way to treat the condition is to take expert advice or consult a veterinarian immediately.

You can use aloe vera or coconut oil. It will provide relief for the dog from pain. Remember, don’t use any harmful chemicals around the dog’s mouth, as dogs are more likely to lick around their mouth.

Licking the area for a longer period, chemicals like Penaten, Aquaphor, and Vaseline will cause serious issues for your dog’s health. So, don’t apply it around the dog’s mouth.

Treatment for crusty scabs is a slow and long process. Dogs tend to constantly lick around their mouths, and this leads to irritation and inflammation of this part.

Before giving any treatment to your dog, consult with a specialist, such as your dog’s veterinarian. He will provide you with the most useful information.

Natural Remedies For Crusty Scabs Around A Dog’s Mouth

Natural Remedies For Crusty Scabs Around A Dog's Mouth 
Image Credit:

Take help from the veterinarian. If the conditions or infections are serious, but if it is not that serious, you can make use of natural home remedies. Numerous remedies help’s in reducing the crusty scabs that form around a dog’s mouth. Let’s have a look at some of them.

1. Honey

Honey is a natural treatment for several skin diseases. It not only affects humans but proves to be useful for dogs’ skin conditions also.

Applying honey to the dry, crusty scabs around the dog’s mouth will provide them with relief from inflammation and will help to reduce these scabs.

2. Vitamin E Oil

Vitamin E Oil

Vitamin E oil is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Application of vitamin E on the crusty spots will provide great relief to the dog. It helps with the regeneration of the skin and also is a boon to the immune system.

Regular application of vitamin E oil will reduce these crusty scabs a lot, and soon the crusty skin will be replaced by new and healthy skin.

3. Increase The Water Intake

As dehydration can be the main cause of the crusty scabs around a dog’s mouth, make sure you give your dog a lot of water whenever you notice these crusty scabs around their mouth.

Increasing water intake will reduce the crusty scabs, and within a few days, they will be replaced by new healthy skin.

4. Use Cold or Warm Compresses

Use cold and warm compresses repeatedly on the crusty skin of your dog. It will reduce the swelling, inflammation, and itchiness too.

With the help of the warm compressor, there will be an increase in blood flow in that area. Increased blood flow will lead to an easy and quick rejuvenation of the crusty skin. To provide temporary relief to the crusty skin, you can apply a cold, wet cloth or ice to that part.

5. Use Vinegar

To decrease the redness and itchiness around the crusty parts of your dog, you can apply a paste formed from a mixture of vinegar and water.

Vinegar has antibacterial properties. If the rashes are not severe, they will provide quick relief to the crusty and dry skin and will cause quick healing of that part.

6. A Well-Balanced Diet

Your dog needs a well-balanced diet rich in omega 3, omega 6, zinc, vitamins, and other important nutrients to form new cells after the removal of crusty scabs.

A lot of water and a well-balanced diet filled with proper nutrients will help your dog recover quickly and have healthy glowing skin.

See also  Crusty Scabs on Dogs: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Medical Treatment For Crusty Scabs

Medical Treatment For Crusty Scabs

There are a few medical treatments to treat crusty scabs that aim at getting rid of the bacterial fungus, reducing inflammation, and helping with the retention of water in the body. However, before you begin any treatment, make sure to consult with a medical specialist.

1. Products to Reduce Inflammation

Drugs such as Benadryl, being antihistamine, will help in the case of allergies, and steroids, too, will help to lessen the pain from the crusty scabs.

Steroids mainly target the swelling and inflammation that occur in the crusty scabs around the dog’s mouth.

Syrups can be extremely toxic due to the presence of alcohol in them. So it is better to take it in tablet form only.

Benzoyl peroxide can also be used as it is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic and can be used in the case of canine acne. But with them, it will be beneficial to give oral steroids.

2. Use Products That Help With Water Retention

Dehydration is one of the main reasons behind the crusty scabs around the dog’s mouth; so it is beneficial to get medical treatment for water retention.

Sudocrem and E45 are medical ointments that can help with the retention of water in a dog’s body. They soften the skin of the dog and, along with it, prevent water loss through the skin.

Many water retention medical treatments contain zinc and vitamin E too. These are both extremely good for a dog’s skin.

3. Skin-Care Products

Skin-Care Products

Skincare products mainly treat fungal, parasitic, and bacterial infections, but these treatments are time-consuming. Usually, skincare products are also given orally instead of their direct application because the dogs are more likely to lick that section.

Removal of parasites through regular cleaning can be done by using anti-parasitic remedies. Antibacterial soaps are available in the market that will remove bacteria from the dog’s body. Thus, it helps with bacterial infections.

Usually, all the medicines are specially prescribed by the veterinarian, keeping in mind the condition your dog is suffering from. Using them without taking into consideration expert advice may worsen the situation, so before taking the help of any such medical treatment, make sure you consult your dog’s veterinarian.

Conditions Associated With Crusty Scabs Around A Dog’s Mouth

The crusty scabs around a dog’s mouth can cause further infections that can be irritating to dogs. A lot of conditions can be associated with these crusty scabs. Let’s have a look at some of them.

1. Dog Lip Fold Pyoderma

A skin condition in which dogs have inflammation in the fold areas such as the lips, groins, neck, or other such areas.

Excessive scratching of the dog’s lips can cause pyoderma in dogs. More scratching leads to more redness. There can be several viruses, bacteria, and other parasites responsible for this condition in dogs. 


For a proper treatment of pyoderma, the ointment should be used. Ointments such as antibiotic creams, antifungal creams, and steroids may help.

In many cases a surgical procedure may be followed to treat a dog’s crusty scabs. Therefore, consult the veterinarian soon before any such condition arises.

2. Dog Lip Fold Dermatitis

Dog lip fold dermatitis is mostly caused by wet and humid weather conditions. The sagging area of the lips will gather some food particles, and this will lead to further infections due to the gathering of moisture along with food particles.

Due to the gathering of food and moisture, the skin gets irritated, and the moist skin being excessively scratched by your dog may cause issues.


Pay a visit to the veterinarian. He will recommend some oral and topical creams. Their use will provide relief to the dog and will greatly decrease infection.

For lip fold dermatitis, doctors usually prefer to give antibiotics, medicated shampoos, steroids, surgery, chlorhexidine treatment, and others. Make sure your dog follows the proper course of medication, and it will show its effects soon. This will help your dog to heal quickly.


Noticing a sudden crusty scab around a dog’s mouth can be quite shocking and concerning for the owner, but if they know about the root cause and treatment measures for the same, it will be easy to heal them with proper medications and following remedies.

Look for preventive measures first, as prevention is always better than cure. Make sure you follow the proper preventive measures, and it will reduce the risk of having crusty scabs a lot.

There can be different kinds of crusty scabs, such as black crusty scabs and brown scabs, that are due to over-scratching or allergies. Proper treatment and extra care for the dog’s health will help them heal faster and more easily.

Never let sores or inflamed lips, or any such condition remain unchecked by your doctor. The sooner you find out the reason behind the problem, the better and easier it will be to treat them.