No matter the breed, if your dog is Maltese or Golden doodle, itchy skin in dogs is common in dogs. It is the second reason for veterinary consultation behind gastrointestinal problems. The causes of excessive itching are usually related to the presence of parasites in dogs, but there may be other skin or psychological sources responsible.
Scratching is normal behavior in dogs. However, when it occurs excessively due to the prolongation or intensity of the itch, it is known as pruritus. The latter can, in turn, trigger skin lesions from continued abrasion by patients in their attempt to stop it.
Before administering any treatment, the most responsible thing is to try to find what is the origin of the itchy skin in your dog. When this is linked to fleas or ticks, it is usually easily detectable by the owners, but, if not, a general check-up by the specialist will be necessary.
Causes and treatments of itchy skin in dogs
If the presence of parasites is found, treatment to eradicate the itch will be effective quickly. Good hygiene of your dog with frequent washing and brushing according to the requirements of the coat together with pipettes, collars, repellent sprays will be key to the good health of the dog, and of course healthy food is the number one key for good health of the dog.
Adverse weather conditions can also contribute to excess skin dryness, with consequent flaking. In cases of lack of hydration, veterinarians will recommend specific moisturizers.
Not being exposed to sources of intense heat or cold and having a proper diet are basic but important guidelines in the skincare of the dog. Yeast infection, which causes itching and body odor, or even excessive stress, can also be responsible for the itching of these animals.
Natural remedies to alleviate itching
Although it is best to go to the vet, some natural alternatives can relieve itching in dogs. The use of essential oils can have antiseptic and antifungal benefits that control or reduce itchy skin in dogs.
These properties promote anti-inflammation, which is why they are often included in shampoos, lotions, and other skincare products. Among the most used medicinal plants are basil, chamomile, lavender, rosemary, or tea tree oil.
Normally, the use of these oils does not usually harm the health of the animal, unless it is allergic to its active ingredients. However, they can cause gastrointestinal disorders if accidentally ingested.
Other solutions go through the traditional apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, or even salmon oil. All of them can be applied in controlled doses in case of mild itching, and as long as there has not been a wound or irritation due to excessive scratching.
You may have noticed that many products for pets with allergies contain oatmeal, as it has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. Therefore, below we recommend a recipe for Oatmeal and baking soda bath, which has been tremendously effective for those who have tried it on their dog.
Oatmeal-based rinse with baking soda
The combination of both ingredients will help relieve irritation and itching at your dog and reduce flaky skin due to dryness.
- 1 cup of baking soda
- 2 cups raw oats (plain, unsweetened, and flavored)
- 3 cups of water
Note: Depending on the size of the dog, you can divide or double the ingredients, as long as you follow the same formula of one-part baking soda, two parts oatmeal, and three parts water. If you have a leftover mix, don’t save it. Discard it immediately!
–Crush the oats in a blender or food processor. When it is a fine powder, mix it with baking soda and water. Set aside.
–Bath your dog with warm water to cool (hot water is not good for skin irritations) with the shampoo recommended by your veterinarian and rinse it well a couple of times. Don’t let it shake.
–With the fur and skin well soaked in water, open the hair in sections and apply the oatmeal and baking soda rinse that you have prepared, taking care to soak the most affected areas well, but avoiding the eyes.
–Leave this rinse on your dog’s skin for at least 15 minutes.
–After this time, rinse it well with plenty of freshwaters (not hot).
–It can be repeated up to twice a week.
Apple cider vinegar and water
Apple cider vinegar serves as a powerful antibacterial and antifungal treatment. Make a mixture of 50% apple cider vinegar and 50% water in a clean spray bottle, and spray on your dog’s itchy spots. If it’s sore feet, you can soak them in the mixture for five minutes. It is important to note that apple cider vinegar should never be used on open wounds, it can be extremely painful and make symptoms worse.
Cold solidified coconut oil can alleviate discomfort associated with canine eczema, allergies, fungal skin infections, and even insect bites when massaged into fur and skin on dogs. When shopping for coconut oil, look for the highest quality oil possible. Look for terms like “organic,” “unrefined,” or “virgin” on the label.
Washing the damaged area with water is essential, especially if it is due to a wound or scratch. If it is a dermatitis problem, we will do it with a damp cloth so that the water does not dry out our dog’s skin even more. Aloe Vera is a very good natural remedy to treat dryness and scratches on the skin of our dogs, it does not dirty and clean and naturally eliminate bacteria. If the wounds become infected or the dryness and irritation increase, we must quickly consult the opinion of a professional.