One of the most distressing things for a dog owner to see is their dog being constantly irritated by itchy skin. It is easy to identify if your dog has itchy skin. Simply pay attention to your dog’s actions. It is normal for a dog to scratch occasionally, but if he/she seems to be in discomfort or scratching more than normal, which might indicate that something is wrong. You may see red or flaky skin and your dog may whine or chew more than normal while they are scratching. You can check itchy problems early by regularly checking your dog’s skin and coat.
There are several reasons that your dog may have itchy skin. With simple home remedies for dog’s itchy skin, you can provide quick relief most of the time. Keep in mind that if they itchy skin persists after you have attempted home remedies, you may need to take your dog to the vet. Persistent itchy skin can be a sign of allergies, fleas, or other health problems.
What to Do When Your Dog Has Itchy Skin
Determine the Symptoms
Look for open wounds, infections, loss of hair, and roughening of the skin caused by your dog’s traumatized scratching and chewing. Your dog may have more extensive in warm and mild moist climates. Most of the symptoms will be around the back and tail, abdomen, legs, and paws.
Treat the Symptoms Rather Than the Cause
Most commonly referred to as “summer itch hot spots,” the itching, scratching, and chewing can occur (for inside dogs) during the winter months when the heat is on as well. The itching scratching, and chewing can get so severe that the dog will lacerate its skin and create open wounds that attract infections.
Remove Contaminated Stuff
If you are dealing with fleas or mites, it is important that you wash your dog’s toys, bedding and any other pieces of cloth that you can.
Home Remedies for Dog's Itchy Skin
Give Your Dog an Antihistamine
The itchy skin may be caused by histamines released due to allergic reactions or inflammation. Always check with a veterinarian for proper dosage and usage, but you can use over-the-counter antihistamines such as diphenhydramine.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Put the apple cider vinegar into a spray bottle for easy use. When you spray the dog’s skin, it will increase blood circulation to aid in healing. It is also a natural astringent that clears up bacteria and helps regulate pH levels in your dog’s skin.
Just as it does with humans, oatmeal paste has many natural healing effects. You can nourish and soften the skin while cleaning dirt and irritants from the skin. Use equal parts water and oatmeal to make the paste. Leave it on the skin for 10 minutes, then rinse.
Use Olive Oil
Olive oil has more uses than just cooking. You can apply 1 tablespoon to your dog’s food three days a week, or you can apply it directly to the irritated spot. Rubbing 1 teaspoon (larger breeds may need more) of olive oil onto your dog’s skin will give him/her immediate relief. If you include it in your dog’s regular diet, you can prevent the itch.
Other Natural Oils
Just as you can use olive oil, other oils such as vitamin E oil, fish oil, and tea tree oil will work as well. Vitamin E oil and fish oil come in either pill or liquid form. They hydrate and strengthen the skin’s ability to retain natural oils. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic that will eliminate infection creating bacteria while it relieves the itch.
Groom Your Dog Regularly
Always use dog shampoos and soaps as human shampoos and soaps can cause even more irritation. Grooming your dog 2-3 days a week will help provide relief when you use hypoallergenic or herbal and natural shampoos.
How to Take Care Of Dog's Skin
Purchase fish oil at a veterinary clinic or local drug store. The fish oil helps moisturize the skin as well as relieving inflammation due to the omega 3s. You can purchase fish oil in capsules or liquid.
Avoid attracting extra environmental allergens by keeping your dog’s hair short. Longer hair works like a mop to attract more allergens.
Use hypoallergenic shampoo to bathe your dog 1-3 times a week. Be sure to use cool water, not too hot or too cold. If your dog does have an infection, make sure you use a shampoo that will remove the cellular debris from the hair follicles. Use a shampoo that contains chlorhexidine if your dog has a staphylococcus skin infection that is highly resistant. Also, use shampoo that contains ketoconazole if your dog has a yeast infection.
If your dog has excessive itching, it is also likely that it has a secondary skin or ear infection. Make sure you take extra care to look for one. If the infection is due to traumatizing the skin from excessive scratching or chewing, be sure to use antibiotic or anti-fungal medications to treat the infection. Always follow the directions indicated by your veterinarian and do not stop treatment early. Follow through for the 2-3 week time period, even if the symptoms and lesions disappear.