How to Remove a Skin Tag on a Dog

Jul 26, 2010Updated 8 months ago

Dogs Running
Skin tags on dogs are equivalent to moles on a human. These tags are typically the same color as the skin of the dog and can grow just about anywhere (although the tags are usually found around exposed skin that does not have a great deal of fur in place, such as around the nose and mouth). These tags are usually not harmful, however if the tag causes the dog to scratch at it constantly (such as on the face, where the tag is easily accessed), it is a good idea to remove the tag from the dog, in order to relieve the dog’s discomfort.

Talk to a Vet About the Skin Tag

Consult a vet, who will explain the best line of action for a particular dog's skin tag. Some skin tags are small and dormant and cause nothing harmful to the dog, however if the tag is continually growing on the dog’s skin, it may actually become caught while the dog is playing, and this results in further injuries and possibly even costly surgeries to repair the damaged skin. Removing the dog’s skin tag is a simple process, and due to the minor procedure of the removal, taking a pet home the same day it’s tag is removed is probable.

Set up an appointment for the dog, after the initial consultation regarding the skin tag has been completed and the vet recommends it be removed.

Remove the Dog's Skin Tag

Lay the dog down on the examination table and local anesthetic is placed around the tag. The skin tag is removed in a similar fashion as moles are from humans. A scalpel essentially shaves the tag off of the dog’s skin, leaving a slight scar, for the time being (over time this scar disappears from view).

Help hold the dog while the vet cuts the skin tag off. Although there are other personnel on hand to help, the presence of the owner to comfort the dog may be all the help it needs. However, do be warned that some dogs are more aggressive towards the local anesthetic and require the vet to actually put the dog under before removing the tag. This prevents the need of holding the dog down, but depending on the insurance the owner has on the dog (if any), the additional medication used to give to the dog is applied to the vet bill.

Monitor the Dog's Removed Skin Tag

Watch your dog to make sure he doesn't scratch at the removed skin tag. You want to watch this for a few days until the small cut heals. Because no stitches are involved you don't need to worry about placing a cone around your dog's head.

Although skin tags are typically not dangerous or harmful to a dog’s health, it is often a good idea to remove the tag, especially if it is around the face. However, this is not a required process and, as long as the dog does not constantly scratch at the tag, the extra flap of skin does not need to be removed.