Constant scratching, biting and itching are understandable concerns for pet owners. It's an obvious sign that your dog is uncomfortable, and it could be a symptom of a much more serious problem. But, if you nip it in the bud with an itchy dog home remedy, you probably won't need to seek additional veterinary care.
Itchy skin can be caused by a variety of factors, and some of them have been extensively researched in scientific studies. These studies show that the most common cause of itchy skin is dryness. Dry skin could be linked to environmental factors, like cold winter air. It may also be due to a nutritional deficiency.
The best way to avoid dry skin on dogs is to keep them well-hydrated and feed your Fido a balanced diet. Even if you provide these things, your dog may still have dry skin. Like humans, some dogs just have dry skin for no particular rhyme or reason. In these instances, an itchy dog home remedy could be just the cure your pup needs.
Veterinarians do warn that some of the causes of dog's itchy skin may be very serious and dangerous to your pet's health. Usually, if your dog's itchiness is severe and doesn't go away, you'll need to do tests at your local vet clinic to rule out any serious health conditions.
My 5 Favorite Itchy Dog Home Remedy
Chamomile or Calendula tea is one of the best itchy dog home remedy treatments. Steep the tea bag in about 8 ounces of water and allow it to cool. You can apply the wet bag directly to the affected area or use a cotton ball to apply the tea to the hot spot. Apply it 3-4 times per day until the affected area has healed completely.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider has been shown to have antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties. DO NOT use it directly on your dog's skin, as the high acidity could actually be harmful to your dog's skin. It could irritate the skin and cause a burning sensation for your dog.
Make a 50/50 blend of apple cider vinegar and water in an empty spray bottle. You can apply the spray to your dog 2-3 times per day until the itching stops. If your dog has chronic skin itchiness, you can use the apple cider vinegar spray once per day as a treatment remedy.
This spray should not be used if your dog has open wounds on his skin. It will sting and cause your dog pain. You should also pay close attention to the itchy areas after applying this itchy dog home remedy. If you notice any redness or the itchiness seems to get worse, stop using the spray and contact your veterinarian.
3. Oatmeal Bath or Paste
Most of the over-the-counter products you will find to treat itchy skin contain oatmeal. Studies have shown that the properties in oats have a positive effect on itchy skin. You can make your dog an oatmeal bath or paste at home to help a dog with dry or itchy skin conditions.
Add 1 cup of oats to a bathtub filled with about 4-6 inches of warm water. Put your dog in the bathtub and use a cup to apply the oatmeal water generously to your pup. Massage the mixture in to the skin with your hands. Try to allow the mixture to sit on your dog for 10-15 minutes (if he will stay in the tub long enough).
You can also make an oatmeal paste by adding a small amount of water to 1/4 cup of oatmeal. Add the water in small amounts until the oatmeal forms a paste. Work the paste through your dog's fur and down to his itchy skin. Try to allow the mixture to sit on your dog for 10-15 minutes.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has many effects on skin and coat health. It can help with skin conditions like eczema, contact dermatitis, itchy skin and generally improve skin health. It can reduce allergic reactions, especially when it comes to flea allergies.
Skin cuts and wounds can also be treated with coconut oil. It can disinfect cuts and promote their healing. It can also help with the treatment of dry skin, hot spots, bites and stings.
Coconut oil can be given to dogs orally or applied topically. Including coconut oil in your dog’s diet can improve their health in general but for the best results regarding skin and coat health, coconut oil should also be used topically.
Coconut oil can be given to dogs daily with meals, one or two times per day. The amount of oil in your dog’s meals depends on his size. For example, many vets recommend that you introduce coconut oil slowly to your dog’s diet, like 1/4 of a teaspoon for small dogs on a daily basis. For large breeds, start with one teaspoon with every meal.
Using coconut oil topically is rather simple. It is important to start with small amounts because your dog’s fur can get greasy if you apply too much. Just rub a bit of oil between your hands and put in on your dog’s fur, like you are giving him a gentle massage.
Use your fingertips to rub the oil on his skin as well. It is best to apply coconut oil once or twice a week. Coconut oil is very healthy for dogs, so you don't have to worry if your pooch licks this itchy dog home remedy.
5. Vitamin E Oil
You can purchase Vitamin E oil at most pharmacies or natural living stores. Applying the oil topically to sores on your pet's skin will help them heal faster. You can also apply the oil to especially dry patches of skin to help moisturize and heal the area.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to defend against free radicals in the skin. It is also good for your dog's immune system, heart and liver health and overall skin and coat health.