As a pet parent, there is nothing you strive for more than your pet’s comfort & happiness. Many pup parents encounter their dogs uncontrollably scratching, itching, and licking. All this itching might have you scratching your head looking for a solution!
The first issue to address is the underlying cause of your dog's skin irritation. Once you and your veterinarian determine the cause, finding a solution becomes much easier.
Some common causes for frequent itching include:
- Allergies (food, environmental, and/ or flea allergy dermatitis)
- Skin infection
- Dry skin
- Shampoo residue
- Deficiencies in vitamins, proteins, or other essential fatty acids.
An essential part of skincare for dogs is bath time. While bathing too often can dry the skin, causing further irritation, a veterinarian may recommend more frequent and possibly medicated baths to assist with certain skin conditions. A veterinarian diagnosis and a treatment plan is best for treating skin conditions; however, there are a few things in the meantime that you can do from home to help your itchy dog find relief.
Bath Time Tips & Tricks for Dogs with Itchy Skin
When bathing a dog with already irritated skin, it is ideal to use cool to lukewarm water to prevent further skin irritation. Cool water can help soothe inflammation; however, using too cold of water can make bathing your dog more difficult as they will want to get out of the bath as soon as possible.
A gentle massage-type motion is best to reduce the chance of causing more trauma to the skin. You can do this with your hands or a water-safe, gentle pet brush. This massage-type motion can also stimulate the skin cells!
When it comes time to dry your dog, gently pat dry with a towel rather than rubbing. If you use a blow dryer to assist in the drying process, do so with the lowest heat setting or the no-heat setting.
Colloidal oatmeal can provide relief to dogs with itchy skin by reducing inflammation and washing away allergens that get trapped in the fur. Colloidal oatmeal can be purchased pre-made, or you can make it at home by grinding plain oats into a fine powder and boiling it to draw out the colloidal. The colloidal oatmeal can be added to your dog's bath or applied directly to dry skin and left on for 10-15 minutes. This all-natural itchy skin remedy contains anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce redness, swelling, itchiness and assist in cooling the skin. Another idea? Use an oatmeal dog shampoo to get some of the same benefits.
Medicated Pet Shampoos & Topical Products
Over-the-counter medicated pet shampoos & topical products can be very helpful for providing your pet relief from home. Medicated products are specially formulated to provide relief from several different skin conditions. However, when looking for the perfect product for your pet, consult your veterinarian on what medicated products would be most beneficial for your dog's specific skin concerns.