Pruritus, or itching, is a common symptom in dogs.
There are many reasons why dogs have itchy skin.
Dog itch can be caused by various skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis, food allergies, and skin parasites such as fleas, mites, etc.
It is not difficult to notice a dog with itchy skin. The dog usually shows such signs as:
- Incessant scratching, biting, chewing, and licking of the skin
- Reddening of the skin
- Skin lesions
- Hair loss
- Sometimes pain caused by secondary infections
While treatment depends on the underlying cause, it is common conventional veterinary practice to use various medications to provide symptomatic relief.
Such medications usually include the use of medicated shampoos and conditioners, antihistamines, anti-itch creams, and so on.
Serious cases of pruritus are treated with strong medicines such as corticosteroids.
Conventional medications may provide relief for dog itching, but some such medicines can also cause serious side-effects especially if used long-term.
If you have a dog with itchy skin, you may want to first try using milder and safer home remedies to relieve the itching.
Remember though, no matter what type of dog itching relief you use, the ultimate treatment is to identify and deal with the underlying cause, so taking your dog to the vet for a thorough medical check-up and diagnosis is necessary.
Relieve Dog Itching by Topical Home Remedies
Here are some effective topical home remedies to soothe itchy dog skin:
Oat is soothing to the skin. To alleviate your dog’s itchy skin, give your dog oatmeal baths every 2-3 days. Try using Doc Ackerman’s Herbal Colloidal Oatmeal Shampoo. This is a penetrating shampoo that contains 3.8% Colloidal Oatmeal (oats ground into an extremely fine powder). It is effective for itching, dryness, scaling of dandruff, and certain types of dermatitis.
Green tea is also good for soothing itchy skin. Use a green tea rinse after shampooing your dog. If you have green tea teabags, you can make a rinse by steeping 2-3 teabags in 2 cups of hot water. Wait for the tea to cool down and use it as a rinse by pouring it on your dog. Let it drip dry.
Relieve Dog Itching by Homeopathic Remedies
Homeopathic remedies work very quickly and are excellent in providing fast relief to itchy dog skin. These remedies are to be taken orally. They are safe and have no side effects.
A good product that you may want to try if you have a dog with pruritus is Newton Homeopathics Skin Care for Dogs and Cats.
This remedy is effective in relieving pain and itching caused by skin problems such as hives, eczema, mange, and other skin irritations commonly found in dogs.
Relieve Dog Itching by Supplements
The following supplements are essential to health skin conditions in dogs. If your dog has itchy skin, include these supplements in your dog’s daily diet:
Essential Fatty Acids
EFAs (omega-3 and omega-6) are important supplements for dogs for they are beneficial to dogs’ health in various ways.
One main benefit is to help support skin and coat health for more shine and less dry, itchy skin and shedding. Another skin-related benefit is the anti-inflammatory properties of EFAs, making them effective in fighting allergies, such as canine atopy and flea dermatitis.
A good source of EFAs is fish oil, such as this Grizzly Salmon Oil.
Vitamins A, C and E
These antioxidant vitamins are good for the skin. In addition to boosting the immune system, vitamin A promotes sore healing, vitamin C relieves symptoms of allergies, and vitamin E is anti-inflammatory.
Daily Vitamins and Minerals for Dogs By ZPAW is a good vitamin supplement for dogs.
Other Suggestions to Relieve Dog Itching
It is difficult to prevent dog itch; however, you can do quite a few things to help your dog manage the itchiness and provide some relief. For example:
- Feed your dog a high quality natural diet that is preservative- and additive-free.
- Do not make sudden changes to your dog’s diet. If you want to switch to a new food, make the switch gradually (over a period of at least one week) and be sure to observe and monitor what effect the new food may have on your dog.
- Keep your dog’s coat clean by regular bathing using a mild, soothing shampoo.
- Check your dog regularly for skin parasites such as fleas, mites, ticks, etc.
- Although not easy, try not to expose your dog to potential irritants in the living environment (e.g. house dust mites, household chemicals and detergents, pesticides, etc.).
- Keep your dog’s living area and bedding clean.