Watching your dog scratching himself red and raw that is leaving him in bald patches can be so heart-breaking. The scratching may break your dog’s sensitive skin and allow all sorts of infections to get into the scratches. The most common causes of itching include allergies, parasites, and dry skin.
Common causes of itching
A dog’s immune system may react to pollen, dust, and other allergens. His allergies may be seasonal if he develops excessive scratching or experiences skin changes like hair loss or redness during certain times of the year. Furthermore, dogs can develop food allergies to ingredients in their diet. Dogs with food allergies tend to scratch their ears and paws. Food allergies are usually accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues.
Most dogs are allergic to flea saliva, making their skin uncomfortably itchy. A dog with fleas will scratch, lick, and bite himself. His gums may become pale, and he can develop fur loss due to severe itching. Flea bites also cause scabs, inflammation, skin infections, and redness.
Fleas are not the only parasites that cause itchy skin in dogs. Ticks and mites can also cause hurtful skin reactions in dogs, resulting in scratching, hives, bumps, and redness. Untreated tick bites can lead to Lyme disease while untreated parasitic infestations can result in worsening symptoms leading to infected lesions. Lastly, dry skin in dogs can be caused by dry air, cold harsh weather, and pesticides.
Ten Home Remedies for Treating Dog’s Itchy Skin
Some itching may be remedied at home while others may require a thorough examination by a veterinarian. You should visit a veterinarian if the itching persists and if your canine friend has much trouble. A vet visit is a must if he develops wounds as a result of itching.
Your veterinarian will determine the major cause of the itching and prescribe you bathing products, over-the-counter medications, or prescriptions. However, if the itching is less severe, seasonal, or intermittent, you may be able to use a home remedy to give your canine friend some natural relief.
1. Oatmeal Baths
Oatmeal bath is a simple dog itching remedy that can soothe your dog’s irritated skin by eliminating allergens present in their fur and reducing inflammation. Colloidal oatmeal will alleviate itching, redness, and swelling, and cool your dog’s uncomfortable skin.
You can make the colloidal by grinding sugar-free, plain oatmeal into powder and cooking it or by buying a pre-made one. You shouldn’t worry if the dog gives it a lick because oatmeal colloidal is completely safe and non-toxic.
2. Coconut Oil
Even though there have been controversies about the effect of coconut oil on heart health, coagulated coconut oil eases irritation associated with dog skin allergies, infections, and eczema. The oil can be rubbed into the dog’s skin. Ensure you go for high-quality coconut oil. Look for descriptions like “virgin”, “organic”, or “unrefined” on the label.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
The vinegar made from apple cider is not only a flavorful ingredient in salad dressings and as a preservative but is also a powerful antifungal and antibacterial agent. Simply combine vinegar with water in a 50-50 ratio in a spray bottle and spray on his infected areas. If there are itchy spots on his paws, you may soak the paws in the water-vinegar solution for 5 minutes.
4. Aloe Vera
We all know that aloe vera is great for sunburns as it helps reduce pain and redness by reducing inflammation. It also draws intolerable heat from your dog’s skin. Make sure that you apply aloe vera on affected spots directly. Most drug stores and groceries sell 100% pure aloe vera. Aloe vera juice can also be extracted from aloe vera leaves if you happen to have a plant at home.
5. Chamomile and Green Tea Soaks
You should try giving your dog a relaxing soak in chamomile and green tea bath if he has hot, itchy patches on his skin. First, fill your sink or bathtub with slightly warm water and allow a few tea bags to steep for 3-5 minutes. Take them out and allow your canine friend to immerse in the bath for 5 minutes or so.
You can also use the tea bag for spot-treating itchy skin. Dip one tea bag in lukewarm water and allow it to completely cool down. Now, apply the bag directly to the affected area.
6. Baking Soda
Baking soda is capable of alleviating itching, removing rashes by drying them out, and reducing inflammation and redness when mixed with water to form a firm paste. Blend baking soda and water in 50-50 proportions and smear the paste onto his skin. Leave it on for some time and rinse completely after 20 minutes. You can also make it more moisturizing by mixing the blend with a bit of prime coconut oil.
7. Use soothing pet shampoo and conditioner
Human shampoo is meant for human skin and can strip the natural oils from the skin of your canine friend. This may result in itchiness and irritation. It is therefore important that you use a soothing, natural, hypoallergenic, and sulfate-free dog shampoo and conditioner for your dog. This will help protect and nourish your dog’s skin.
8. A balanced diet
A healthy diet with a lot of good carbohydrates and omega-3 fatty acids will heal and soothe your dog’s skin inside out. Your dog may develop allergies to dog foods with beef, turkey, chicken, gluten, and wheat as ingredients.
Substituting with foods containing fish and/or sweet potatoes will be able to reduce the symptoms related to dog food allergies. Furthermore, fatty fish is abundant in omega-3 fatty acids. This helps improve digestion, aid skin health, and reduce inflammation. Make sure to consult your veterinarian before adding new supplements or changing your pet’s diet.
9. Licorice Root
Licorice root is a form of cortisone. Cortisone reduces the urge to scratch and relieves skin irritation. Pet supply stores offer licorice products formulated for dogs. Licorice root is among the dog-specific products designed to treat allergy symptoms in dogs.
10. Plain, Sugar-Free Yogurt
Plain, sugar-free yogurt is good for dogs with certain allergies, rashes, or hives. Feeding your small dog one teaspoon of plain, sugar-free yogurt or a big dog two teaspoons will enhance their overall gut health. Most dogs like the taste of yogurt but you can also mix it with food to help with digestion.
Now you have ten home remedies for treating dogs’ itchy skin and other skin conditions. Some of these remedies are all-natural and easy to use while others require a bit more effort and time. It is always good to be aware of the different options available and what they entail before making a decision about which one to try.
Dogs can be prone to itchy skin. Thankfully, there are many remedies available to help them get rid of it. After reading this article, you should know how to treat your dog’s itchy skin.