What Do Hives Look Like On A Dog? – All You Need To Know

HivesWhat Do Hives Look Like On A Dog? - All You Need To Know

There are so many causes of hives in dogs, such as food allergy or side effects of supplements or vaccines, and others. This is very difficult to identify if you are looking for what do hives look like on a dog! So first, you need to identify the triggers factors that can be the causes of hives.

You have to be very attentive and carefully notice your dog’s face, legs, and abdomen. And you also need to notice if your dog does excessive scratching or not!

What Do Hives Look Like On A Dog? 

What do hives look like on a dog is a frequently asked question by dog owners. Hives in dogs are mostly caused by a reaction to certain foods, vaccinations, insect stings, pollen, and some medications. Hives in dogs appear in batches and cause the skin to redden and swell. Hives can be pretty itchy for dogs, just as with humans. In most cases, hives disappear on their own, but if they become severe, it could cause great discomfort to your pet and if not treated on time can cause further skin complications. 

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What are hives

Urticaria, commonly known as hives are an outcome of histamine release in the skin, causing blood vessels to dilate. They are usually a sign that an allergy or reaction to the triggers is causing the immune system to overreact. This further leads to skin inflammation and irritation lasting between a few hours and a few days. In chronic cases, hives in dogs can last for more than just a few weeks. Sometimes hives may not be obvious immediately in your dog, especially if there is no change in your dog’s routine. Hives can come up later due to a delayed reaction to something that may have changed a few days back, such as location or season.

Identifying hives on your dog is just as important in order to treat them in a timely manner before they become a cause of concern. Generally, your dog may be subject to various skin conditions resulting from flea bites, mosquito bites, or rashes from harsh chemicals they have come in contact with. It is therefore important to understand the difference. Below are a few symptoms that could help spot hives in dogs:

What Do Hives Look Like On A Dog? 

  • Redness and wheals – Raised areas of the skin along with redness is the most common indicator of hives in dogs. The presence of hives can be seen as a single bump or a collection of a few bumps also known as wheals. These lesions are not easily visible through the coat of your dog’s fur. Only in areas with less fur the hives are easily noticeable. Though wheals can occur anywhere on your dog’s body, they are usually seen on the legs, abdomen, back, neck, and head.
  • Itchiness – Hives in dogs can result in skin irritation and itchiness in most cases. This is easily noticeable in dogs as you see them scratch themselves more frequently. The itchiness fades away in 12 to 24 hours, however, if it lasts for more than a few days or weeks, your dog may be suffering from chronic hives. In this situation, a visit to a vet may be required to treat your dog for hives.
  • Swelling – In rare cases, hives could also result in Angioedema (swelling) of the:
    • Eyelids
    • Muzzle – Resulting in excessive drooling
    • Throat – Resulting in shortness of breath in your dog

Immediate emergency medical treatment will be required as when the swelling reaches the face and respiratory system, the consequences can be severe and life-threatening.

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What Do Hives Look Like On A Dog? 


Dogs are an important part of human lives providing companionship, protection, and relieving stress. Since they cannot speak for themselves, many times their discomfort related to health or mental well-being may go unnoticed. When we notice dogs scratching themselves, we think it is natural or that they have fleas that can be sorted on your next scheduled visit to the vet. It is important to check your pet for any symptoms related to hives when you see uncommon behavior such as constant itching or patches of redness or loss of fur. This helps identify any skin-related issues including hives in their early stages. Of course, in most cases, dog hives are rarely harmful and fade away within a day or so. However, if you have started your dog on any new medication, changed their diet, or have had them recently vaccinated, the reaction causing hives may continue with the new altercations. Hence a visit to a vet will help diagnose the causes and prevent the hives in their initial stages. That is why knowing about hives and what they look like in dogs is key.

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