Many dogs are prone to itchy skin. Some of our four legged friends suffer from seasonal allergies, other dogs have food allergies or react badly to insect bites and stings. There’s a huge number of potential reasons your dog has itchy skin, but it’s awful for them. They scratch incessantly, bite themselves, end up with hotspots or even open wounds and hair loss.
So, as a responsible owner, you’ll take them to the vets, where they’ll be given nasty synthetic medications like steroids, that have all kinds of side effects – both short and long term. But there are a few things you can do at home to help soothe itchy skin in dogs.
Among the most obvious are:
- Make sure you have a regular flea and tick prevention routine.
- Try to establish exactly what’s causing the sensitivities. For example, you can do an elimination diet to establish which foods your pooch is sensitive to.
- Try cutting back on household chemical cleaners – switch to natural products – or make your own, instead. You may well be surprised at the positive change in your pet’s health and well-being – and likely in your own, too.
- You can try and improve the health of your dog’s skin by feeding coconut oil or spinach in small quantities every day, although this will take at least 10 days to begin to make a visible impact.
If you’ve done all this, and you find your dog still itches, you need to manage the situation to keep your pooch as comfortable as possible. Your dog could be just like my little guy. Oscar has environmental sensitivities – so he’s sensitive to certain types of grass, any cut grass, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I can’t control. Which basically leaves me with two choices – keep him on strong medication for the rest of his life, and then get even more treatment for the side effects that the medication causes, and watch him suffer through those ill effects, or try to manage his condition myself at home.
One of the best natural ways to relieve itchy skin in dogs is this simple herbal wash. It’s really easy to make, starts to act right away, and it smells lovely, too. You can use it as a wash or just spritz it on your dog as needed. We find it works best to soak him in the wash once a week during the worst periods, and spritz him with it after walks. When he’s not too itchy, during the cooler months, I spray him gently when he has the odd itchy day.
Here’s how to make a natural soothing wash for dogs:
Put all the herbs in a large jug, then pour over the boiling water. Stir well. Let it steep for a couple of hours until it’s cool, then simply strain out the herbs. And voila! Store it in the fridge and it’ll last for around two weeks before you need to make a new batch. You can obviously adjust the quantities you make based on the size of your dog and the frequency with which you need to use it.
Simply wet your dog all over with the cold herbal tea. Let it soak for five minutes and rinse it off with cool water. If your dog is particularly itchy, you can actually skip the rinse. Just soak your pet in the mixture and towel dry them.
Put some of the tea in a spray bottle and spritz your dog with it after walks or when they are itching more than normal. Because it’s natural and gentle, you can also apply it directly onto hotspots and problem areas for fast soothing.
Now, obviously, if this doesn’t work too well for your dog, or your poor dog already has a serious itch problem, then of course go speak to your vet. In all likelihood, you’ll be able to use this soothing herbal tea in conjunction with any other treatment your vet recommends. The spray and wash also work well in conjunction with antihistamine – which you can get from the vet.
Good luck on your quest for a happy, healthy, itch-free dog!