If you’ve noticed your dog itching more than usual, you might be looking for supplements and home remedies to help ease their irritation. Most itching in dogs is caused by allergies and is easy to soothe. But constant scratching can lead to more serious symptoms like sores, and could be a sign of other health conditions.
In this blog we will look at the causes of itchy skin in dogs, and what you can do to help them.
Why Does My Dog Have Itchy Skin?
If your dog is scratching themselves persistently – particularly in the same parts of their body – you should seek a vet’s advice. The chances are it’s an allergy that can be easily treated, but it could also be a sign of something more serious.
The causes of dogs itching include:
- Skin allergies
- Mites and lice
- Infected skin
- Bacterial infection
- Yeast infection (Mallassezia)
- An allergic reaction to something in their environment, like medicines or cleaning products
- Untreated wounds
What Happens If My Dog Itches Too Much?
As well as being a symptom of one of the issues listed above, excessive scratching can also cause its own problems. To avoid these side-effects from occurring, it’s important to treat your dog’s itching as soon as you notice it.
Dogs often find ways to keep their scratching private, so it can take a while for some owners to notice there’s an issue. But if your dog is itching more than five times a day, it can cause:
- Bald patches and Alopecia
- Self-inflicted wounds
- Rashes and red skin
- Saliva staining from excessive fur licking
- Dark, thick skin
What Are The Best Natural Home Remedies For Dogs With Itchy Skin?
Once you’ve seen a vet and they’ve confirmed that your dog’s itching is caused by an easily treatable issue, like mild allergies, you might prefer to try home remedies over prescription medications. You might even want to try these natural soothing treatments alongside their medication to provide instant relief.
1. Plain Sugar-Free Yogurt
Yogurt is known for its soothing properties, and since it’s safe for dogs – as long as you buy the plain, sugar-free, unsweetened kind – it can be a useful remedy for dogs with allergies. Some skin irritation can be caused by issues in the gut – particularly hives and rashes.
So if you know this to be the source of your pet’s allergies then feeding a teaspoon to a tablespoon of yogurt could help improve their gut health. You can mix it in with their food if they don’t like it plain.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Another natural remedy for gut issues and soothing itchiness is apple cider vinegar. Known for its antifungal and antiseptic properties, it can be sprayed onto sore areas to help aid in healing. It’s also known as a form of relief from poison ivy.
However, avoid using apple cider vinegar on raw or open wounds. Vinegar stings and can cause them further pain if their stretching has broken the skin.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is high in Vitamin E, which is great for soothing and moisturizing irritated skin, and the thick consistency instantly relieves itching on contact. Spreading coconut oil over your dog’s itchy skin not only prevents pain, but also creates a barrier between their skin and the environment, helping to block out any further causes of irritation.
Coconut oil is also good for healing eczema, yeast infections, bites and stings, and other skin allergies. Just make sure it’s cold and solid when you apply, as coconut oil can melt to a liquid when warm which will be less effective.
Vitamin E is also known to be a great conditioner for the hair, so as well as soothed skin you might even notice their coat looking thicker and sleeker after using coconut oil topically.
4. An Oatmeal Bath
A well known remedy for itching skin in humans is oatmeal, and the good news is it’s safe to use on your dog’s sore patches too. If you’ve ever noticed oats as an ingredient in your dog’s shampoo, this is why.
When bathing your dog, sprinkle ground powder oatmeal into the warm water. Let them soak in the oatmeal bath for 10 to 15 minutes, which should be enough to soothe their irritated skin.
If keeping your dog in their bathwater for that long seems like an impossible feat, you can create a paste from ground oatmeal by gradually adding water until it’s thick enough to spread over their itchy spots. If your dog has long hair, make sure the paste is in direct contact with their skin.
5. A Herbal Tea Bath
Many herbal teas are known for their soothing properties – especially chamomile and green tea. These can be steeped in your dog’s bath for five minutes, creating a big bath of tea for them to ease their raw skin in.
Alternatively, you can pour cooled tea onto your dog’s affected areas. Just steep the tea bags in a mug as usual then leave the water to cool to room temperature to avoid burning or causing further irritation.
What Are The Best Supplements For Dogs With Itchy Skin?
You should always speak to your vet before adding supplements to your pet’s diet. However, these supplements are all essential ingredients for dog’s overall health – and they come with the added benefit of soothing and improving the skin.
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that’s often found in fish, but many dogs lack it in their diet. An Omega-3 supplement can help improve the condition of your dog’s skin and fur, and soothe itching and irritation.
This is because it boosts the skin’s natural barrier function, keeping irritants and toxins out and sealing moisture in.
2. Pro- and post-biotics
Probiotics help restore healthy bacteria in the gut and create a healthy microbiome – two contributors to healthier skin and digestive health in dogs. Many skin issues originate in the gut, so focusing on building healthy gut bacteria can have an unexpectedly positive impact on dry and itchy skin in some dogs.
Postbiotics work in unison, killing unhealthy bacterias and forming a protective layer in the gut that boosts the immune system and fights inflammation.
3. Egg membrane protein
Egg membrane has numerous health benefits for dogs, and one is its antioxidative properties. By eliminating free radicals that can cause inflammation and irritation, and preventing oxidative damage in the body, they promote a healthy immune system and skin.
For all these anti-itching ingredients in one, alongside other gut-boosting ingredients like parabiotics, try Front of the Pack’s Soothe supplement. Designed to target itchy skin and gut problems, it’s a revolutionary blend of three clinically-tested-in-dogs postbiotics, high-purity fish oil, and egg membrane protein. One happy customer said that Soothe “has almost completely gotten rid of [their dog’s] itching, paw licking, sneezing and runny nose.”