There are many reasons why dogs scratch and chew their skin. While some might require a veterinarian’s attention, others can be handled at home.
So, your furry friend has been scratching, chewing, and licking himself up quite a bit, and you are just about tired of the noise? Well, did you know you could fix your dog’s itchy skin with just common home products?
If your pup has been itching for quite a while now and is miserable or inflicting wounds on himself, then it’s time for a vet visit. Veterinarians can determine the underlying cause of itching and prescribe medication or bathing products to help relieve the symptoms.
But if the itching is not persistent or extremely severe, try these at-home remedies to alleviate your dog’s problems. ( Number 6 will surprise you ! )
1. Chamomile & Herbal Tea Soaks
Green tea, chamomile, and calendula have soothing properties that can work well for your dog’s itchy skin, especially if the pup has irritable, hot patches of skin that are in danger of being inflamed.
Simply put several tea bags in a tub full of warm water and allow them to steep for a while, then remove them and let your dog sit in the tub for about five minutes, so the tea soaks all over his skin. Alternatively, if your dog is not itchy all over, you could pour some tea on the itchy patches and let it drip and soothe the areas. No rinsing is required.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil works well for itchy skin patches because of its antifungal and antibacterial properties. Coconut oil can be applied directly to dogs with yeast infections, eczema, allergies, insect stings, and bites.
Simply allow the coconut oil to solidify in a fridge, then massage it directly onto your pup’s coat where he’s scratching and chewing. The oil can penetrate the fur for and onto the skin, moisturizing and fighting infections on the skin. You should see improvement soon.
3. Colloidal Oatmeal Baths
Oatmeal bath as a remedy for dry, irritable skin isn’t a myth. It works well for all skins, even our furry friends. Indeed, it’s one of the active ingredients in dog shampoos to help wash away the allergens underneath the fur and soothe irritations.
You can use pre-made colloidal oatmeal or make your own by grinding plain sugar-free oatmeal into a fine powder then boiling it to extract the colloidal.
Next, let the dog soak in the bath. Oatmeal bath is a good remedy for red, hot, itchy skin. It’s non-toxic and only takes 10-15 minutes to act.
Alternatively, instead of a full bath, turn the oatmeal powder into a paste and spread it on the itchy areas making sure it makes contact with the skin for ultimate relief.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar tastes good on your salads, steaks, and green juices, but did you know you could use it to soothe your pup’s irritable skin too? Yes, this gift from nature sure does the trick.
It is safe, natural, and loaded with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties. It’s beneficial for relieving poison ivy stings but do not place it on open wounds because it’s slightly acidic.
Simply put a 50:50 water and apple cider vinegar mixture in a spray bottle and spray the target infected skin patches. It takes about 5 minutes to act.
5. Baking soda
Baking soda for insect bites, especially mosquitoes and bugs, works like a charm. It’s not harmful to dogs and is also a natural way to make a stinky dog smell pretty good too.
Simply shave or trim around the bite areas a little bit, then makes a paste of two tablespoonfuls of baking soda and a little water and apply it to the areas. Let the paste dry, and then remove it. It will draw out toxins and poisons from the skin and bring it back to normal.
Do this until the skin is back to normal. If the skin is itchy all over, give the pup a bath in baking soda and water solution. Alternatively, for flea treatment in young pups, you can use a mix of dish soap. Put lots of salts, so the fleas suffocate in it, leaving your pups at peace.
6. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is good for alleviating skin redness. It draws heat away from the area reducing inflammation in turn. You can find aloe vera in drugstores and grocery shops.
Buy 100% natural aloe vera and apply it directly to the affected area. Alternatively, you can make your own at home from harvested aloe vera plants.
7. Proper bathing, grooming, and a balanced diet
Proper hygiene and diet for your pups matter too. Some skin irritations stem from environmental allergies; that’s where oatmeal shampoos, salt and water solution, and other soothing ingredients come in useful. Bathing your dog just once a week could lead to greater comfort.
Don’t forget combing and brushing to remove dead skin and allergens and encourage new growth.
A proper diet gives your pups the nutrients they need to fight off external stressors and heal. Avoid ingredients your pups are allergic to. If your dog doesn’t like the ingredients in wheat, chicken, beef, turkey, or chicken-based dog foods, consider swapping in sweet potatoes, fish-based products, etc.
A grain-free diet is highly recommended for dogs with allergies of any kind (or no allergies at all!) but if that’s impossible, consider feeding your dog organic whole grains.
Yogurt may be suitable for your dog’s skin issues too. In some cases, your dog’s skin irritations and yeast infections are caused by digestive problems. In such cases, feeding him sugar-free yogurt rich in lactobacillus probiotics may help.
It improves digestive health and reduces the risk of yeast infections. For small dogs, feed them a teaspoonful of yogurt per day, and two for big dogs. You can also mix the yogurt in the food. Just make sure your dog is not lactose intolerant.
Dogs’ skin irritations have various causes.
It takes a holistic approach, from bathing and grooming to diet, to provide a dog with what it needs to fight off external and internal stressors.
Feel free to try a combination of the above remedies. They are safe and natural for most dogs, but you should always check with your veterinarian to diagnose what’s ailing your dog and give him the best treatment if symptoms persist.