Skin Tags on Dogs – Causes and Removing


Skin tags, also known as fibropapillomas and achrochordons, are rather common in dogs. In fact, skin tags are benign growth that are growing out of the body and usually discovered accidentally.

How Do the Skin Tags Look Like?

Dog skin tags look like little tabs of flesh that may grow on the muzzle, chest, armpits and legs. To the touch, skin tags are soft and fleshy, they bend and folds when you pet your dog. Skin tags usually look like a little grain of rice attached to the skin.

Be careful! For some dog owners it is very difficult to tell a skin tag from engorged tick or wart (viral papilloma). If you are not sure, whether your dog has a tag or something else on its skin, please, consult a veterinarian.


Unfortunately, today there is no precise answer on this question, since the nature of skin tags is still unclear. Veterinarians have different opinions on this issue, some of them are:

    • Parasites. When your dog is infested with fleas, ticks or worms, it may try to scratch them away from the skin, thus damaging the skin covering and causing the infection. As tissue immunity is undermined, it can provoke the appearance of skin tags. Always remember to deworm your dog in time and protect it against fleas and ticks during the warm season.
    • Improper skin care. Bathing too frequently and too rare is equally bad for a dog. Excessive dirt and debris on the skin covering may cause skin tags to appear, at the same time, frequent washing with harsh shampoos and soaps may inhibit the skin from producing natural oils necessary to keep the skin and coat healthy.
Recommendation: bathe your dog on a regular basis using SLS and paraben free shampoos (or natural cleansing agents) to keep the skin cover healthy.
    • Poor diet. Poor diet may lead to many skin problems in dogs, including skin allergy, alopecia, etc. The thing is, that bad feeding can undermine the immune system of a dog, thus leading to the formation of the skin tags. A diet for your dog should be diverse and rich in vitamins, macro- and microelements.
Advice: to keep your dog healthy and sound, choose hypoallergenic grain-free dry dog food of high quality, or move your pet to raw or home-made food.
  • Genetics. Dog skin tags may be an inherited problem and there is nothing to do with the issue, save for removing skin tags and reinforce the immune system of a dog. If you buy a dog from breeders, always ask them to show you parents’ health certificates.


Warning! Never remove skin tags by yourself at home.

There are a lot of ways to remove skin tag at home on the Internet, nevertheless they are just a waste of time: there is no ‘magical’ ointment that may eliminate skin tags problem, and ‘surgical’ removal at home is useless and dangerous (it may lead to serious complications).

Your veterinarian may or may not recommend you to remove skin tags from your dog’s skin. Skin tags should be removed if your dog tends to pester its skin tags such as rubbing them against the carpet and furniture or scratching or chewing them. In case, your dog doesn’t mind skin tags, your vet doctor may not remove them, but ask you to keep an eye on the problem.

There are several options concerning dog skin tags removal. In case your dog is calm, the skin tag can be removed through a minor surgical ‘operation’ which can easily be done using some local anesthesia and sedation. Also, the tag can be removed using total anesthesia. Laser surgery helps to minimize the bleeding.


It is very important to take care of your dog health. If you’ve noticed a skin tag on your dog, get your vet consultation at once.

5 Photos of the Skin Tags on Dogs – Causes and Removing

Dog skin tag bleedingSkin tags on dogsSkin tag on dogDog skin tagDog skin tags
Author of Silvia Brown
Written by Silvia Brown
Glad to see you, my friends! I started this blog several years ago as a hobby and continue to write articles about dogs.
I'm a dog lover and the proud owner of two wonderful dogs: French Bulldog Maya and Beagle Tom. It's been more than 10 years since I had a dogs and worked closely with them. I've raised four dogs throughout my life and have experience assisting in the births of two dogs. At least once a week, I volunteer with friends at a dog shelter AMA Animal Rescue and Animal Care Centers of NYC in NY.
Medically reviewed by Awilda Rodriguez, DVM on June 16th, 2017,

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