Is your dog constantly scratching its ears and licking its paws? If yes then it has developed an itchy and uncomfortable skin which is quite common among dogs. There can be various reasons for chronic itching. Some of them can be treated with home remedies whereas some may require a veterinarian visit. If your dog is miserably itching itself and developing self-inflicted wounds, it is the high time to look for the cause and get it treated. Because chronic itching can be harmful for your dog.
It is preferable to visit the vet so that he can determine the root cause of itching and prescribe you the most suitable medications or bathing products. However, if your dog is suffering from seasonal or less severe itching, you can use home remedies to provide it some natural relief.
To help you treat your dog’s itching, we have decided to enlist the main causes and some natural remedies that are effective against itching.
So, let’s find out!
Main Causes of Chronic Itching
Some of the major causes of dog’s itching include;
- Dry skin
- Hormonal Imbalances
Excessive itching among dogs is a result of allergies either food or environmental (mold or pollens). Dogs can also suffer from a skin disease called contact dermatitis. It occurs when dogs come in contact with pesticides and soaps.
You bite your nails when anxious. In the same way, dogs may also respond to psychological distress through itching and scratching. If a dog has developed obsessive-compulsive disorder, it will manifest itself in excessive scratching and itching which leads to wounds as well.
Dogs can develop dry skin due to fatty acid deficiency or cold weather. This leads to licking, scratching and itching.
Hormonal imbalances are also one of the major causes of itching among dogs. Your dog can suffer from superficial infection, if its body is not producing thyroid in sufficient amount or is producing excessive amount of cortisol hormone. As a result of this hormonal imbalance, your dog gets itchy and starts scratching itself.
It is quite possible that your dog is feeling physically uncomfortable that’s why scratching itself abnormally. You should check for a thorn or sharp stone stuck in its paw.
One of the most common causes of itching among dogs are parasites like fleas, ticks and mites. Mites are microscopic and invisible to naked eye. However, ticks are visible to naked eye and fleas are identified only when a major infestation occurs. It means you have to look out for these invisible creatures in your dog’s skin because they are causing itching among them.
Natural Remedies for Itching
Now that we have discussed the major causes of itching, we will now move towards some natural home remedies that provide relief against itching. You can use the following remedies,
- Chamomile and herbal tea soaks
- Apple cider vinegar water spray
- Colloidal oatmeal baths
- Coconut oil
- Aloe Vera
- Baking Soda
Chamomile and Herbal Tea Soaks
Chamomile and herbal tea have soothing and anti-inflammatory properties which are effective against irritated skin. So, if your dog is getting itchy then give it a soothing soak in chamomile and herbal tea bath.
Fill up the tub with warm water and put several herbal tea bags in the tub for three minutes. After 3 minutes remove the tea bags and let your dog soak in that water for almost five minutes. There is another way as well to treat small itchy patches. You can soak two tea bags in two cups of hot water. Let it cool. Once it cools down, pour this water on your dog’s skin and do not rinse it off. Let it drip dry.
Apple Cider Vinegar Water Spray
Using apple cider vinegar is also a safe and natural remedy for itchy skin among dogs. Apple cider vinegar has antiseptic and antifungal properties. However, do not use it on raw or opened skin.
Make a mixture with 50% apple cider vinegar and 50% water. Pour this mixture in a spray bottle and spray it on your dog’s itchy skin. In this way vinegar will not sting the open cuts or any exposed wounds. You can also soak your dog’s paws in this mixture to give it relief from irritation.
Colloidal Oatmeal Baths
It is an ancient home remedy to use oatmeal for dry and itchy skin and it is effective for dogs as well. This is the reason that the majority of the dog hypoallergenic shampoos contain oatmeal as an active ingredient to fight irritation.
Grind the oatmeal into a fine powder and sprinkle it into the warm water while giving your dog a bath. The oatmeal will cool down the irritated skin in 10-15 minutes. This solution is non-toxic and does not harm your dog if it licks some of it.
Chilled and solidified coconut oil can also soothe the itching caused by parasites, allergies and skin infections. It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties so direct application of coconut oil on a dog’s skin can give instant results. Always buy a top quality and organic coconut oil for this purpose.
Place the coconut oil in the fridge to solidify it. Once it is completely solidified, massage it into the skin of the dog. It provides quick relief and improves the coat as well.
Aloe Vera can do wonders for skin whether it is human skin or dog skin. It has great benefits for sunburn and is an amazing healing agent. If applied directly to the irritated spots, it can reduce the redness and eliminates the uncomfortable heat from the skin. However, use 100% natural Aloe Vera for treating dog’s itching.
Baking soda has numerous applications and soothing itching in dogs is one of them. By mixing it in water, you can make a thick blend or paste and apply it to the dog’s skin. Baking soda alleviates itching, dries out rashes and reduces inflammation.
Make a paste by using 50% baking soda and 50% water. Apply this paste to your dog’s itchy skin. Rinse it off after 20 minutes. To make a more moisturized blend, add a good quality coconut oil in the prepared mixture. You can also add baking soda to your dog’s bath if it is suffering from body-wide itchiness.
The Bottom Line
All these remedies can be prepared by using ingredients that are easily available at homes. However, it is advised to consult a veterinarian before using any remedy. A vet can determine the root cause and suggest the most suitable remedy accordingly. So, give your dog a quick relief from this constant scratching that is making its life hell.