Your dog is just as excited as you are to get back outside after the cool winter. But, warmer weather often leads to seasonal, itchy skin that makes your four-legged friend miserable.
If your dog’s unrelentingly itchy skin has you feeling helpless, you're not alone. Today, seasonal allergies are one of the main reasons dogs go to the vet.
Fortunately, natural home remedies provide effective relief - without a trip to the vet. Using a home remedy to treat seasonal itchy skin will have you both back to enjoying the outdoors!
If biting, licking, and scratching is plaguing your pup, give one (or all) of these home-remedies a try today. It may take some trial and error to find what works best for your dog.
Our advice is to be patient with your efforts. Natural, home remedies take a bit more consistency than antibiotics, but they are well worth the time when it comes to your dog's health.
If you get dry, itchy skin, chances are you’ve taken an oatmeal bath. Oatmeal baths are often suggested for people with psoriasis, eczema, and other skin conditions. But they work great for your dog, too!
Oatmeal is anti-inflammatory and works as an antihistamine - making it the perfect treatment for allergies. Oatmeal also increases moisture retention and naturally cleanses the skin.
How to Prepare an Oatmeal Soak
Oatmeal baths are simple and inexpensive home remedies. Use oatmeal (just like you eat for breakfast) to turn your dog’s bath water into a hydrating soak.
Grind oats in a blender or coffee grinder. The finer you grind them, the more nourishing properties will be infused in your dog’s bath water.
Fill a tub large enough to submerge your dog’s body with warm water. The goal is to have them soak up the nutrients for as long as possible.
Add 1 to 1½ cups of ground oats to the tub.
Let your dog soak in the water for 10 minutes (or more, if you can get them to stay, of course).
Rinse with water and towel dry.
You may also purchase or make your own oatmeal shampoo to extend the anti-itch benefits of oatmeal.
DIY Oatmeal Shampoo
Shampoo doesn’t need to be a complicated concoction. Using simple ingredients found around your home, you can create an anti-itch, soothing lather to use during your dog’s bathtime.
How to Prepare Oatmeal Shampoo
Pulse 1 cup of oats in a food processor until they are a flour-like consistency (Alternatively, you can purchase oat flour at a health food or bulk food store.)
Combine oat flour with ½ cup of baking soda.
Add dry ingredients to a quart of warm water and stir to combine.
Add the shampoo to your dog’s wet fur and let sit for 5 minutes.
Rinse well and towel dry.
Coconut Oil Treatments
Coconut oil is a highly nourishing treatment for your dog’s skin. Plus, because it’s so lightweight, it absorbs deeper into the skin!
Coconut oil is also anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. This makes it great for skin problems because bacteria, fungus, and other germs often cause irritations that spread on the skin and then become infected. Coconut oil fights back, preserving your dog’s skin healthy and free from infection.
Coconut Oil Treatment for Your Dog
This body treatment is like giving your dog’s skin a big drink of water.
After giving your dog a bath, rub coconut oil all over them. (You may need to warm the coconut oil in the microwave if it has solidified at room temperature.)
Massage the oil into the skin - especially on the areas you’ve noticed them scratching. Let the oil sit on your dog’s skin for as long as possible. (Beware of licking! If your dog loves the taste of coconut oil, it may be hard for them to resist licking it off. Keep an eye on your dog or use a cone temporarily to ensure Fido isn’t doing more harm than good!)
Rinse the oil off with warm water, and use a gentle shampoo that won’t strip the coconut oil away. (This will likely take two rinses to get all the oil off the fur.)
Soothing Herbal Rinses
You might be surprised to learn that natural, skin-soothing solutions can be found in your own backyard! People and pets can benefit from medicinal plants grown in herb gardens, and more often found thriving in the wild.
These four herbs are commonly used to treat skin conditions due to their anti-inflammatory properties. They can be used as an herbal rinse to help soothe itchy, irritated skin.
Our favorite place to find dried herbs and other home remedy supplies is at Mountain Rose Herbs.
Herbal Rinse Recipe
Making an herbal rinse is as simple as making a cup of tea! Our favorite thing about this method is that you don’t wash the rinse away. You are able to keep the solution on your dog’s body without leaving them greasy.
Measure out two tablespoons of the dried herb of your choice and place in a tea basket.
Place the tea basket in a quart mason jar and fill with just-boiling water.
Cap the jar with a tight-fitting lid and let the tea steep for 2-24 hours.
Pour it over your dog’s skin after shampooing. (You may want to warm the liquid before administering to make it more pleasant for your dog.)
Don’t wash the rinse. Towel dry.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is another popular home remedy for a variety of ailments including skin conditions. Apple Cider Binegar is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic. It has been used for dogs both internally for digestive system and urinary health, and externally for itchy skin.
Apple Cider Vinegar works well as a spot treatment solution or an all-over body rinse. Be sure to follow proper diluting recommendations, as it can be very strong. The scent is not too appealing, but it will diminish as your dog dries.
ACV Spot Treatment Recipe
Apply three to four drops of apple cider vinegar to a damp cotton ball and then apply to irritated, itchy spots. You’ll need to do this two or three times a day, until the spots have cleared.
Apple Cider Vinegar is said to provide almost instant itchy skin relief for dogs with allergies when used as a rinse.
Simply add two tablespoons of ACV to a quart of water and mix.
Pour over your dog after shampooing and don’t wash off.
Towel dry and send him on his way.
Beat the Itch … Naturally
Scratching, biting, and licking make the warmer weather no fun for all of us! That prickly skin feeling you get when the sun starts to warm your skin has to be even more uncomfortable with a furry coat.
Don’t let your pal just suffer through. These soothing solutions will nourish your dog’s skin and support many itch-free days to come!