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Mild itching once in a while for your dog is usually not a sign of serious health issues. However, it can be pretty irritating and if your dog starts to develop symptoms such as licking or restlessness from itching, it may be a sign of an underlying, severe issue. You would want to call your vet if your buddy is persistently itching so as to avoid developing open wounds and infections on the skin.
If your dog itching is mild, here are a few natural remedies for itchy dogs that are safe.
Apple cider vinegar is a powerful antibacterial and anti-fungal treatment. Just make sure you dilute it a little before application. A 1:1 combination of apple cider vinegar and water poured into a spray bottle will be good enough. You can spray the solution directly on your dog’s itchy skin. However, be careful not to use this solution on raw skin or open wounds as it can be painful for your dog.
If your dog’s paws are itching, you can dip and soak its paws for up to five minutes in the same solution of apple cider vinegar.
Baking soda is likely found in your pantry, thus, it is an easy, natural remedy for your itchy dog. Combine your baking soda and blend with water so that you have a thick paste. Similar to apple cider vinegar, use a 1:1 combination of 50 percent baking soda and 50 percent water. The baking soda will dry out your dog’s rashes, if any, and alleviate the itching. Baking soda also helps with reducing redness and skin inflammation.
Apply the baking soda paste to your dog’s skin for about 20 minutes before rinsing completely. If your dog’s itchiness is body-wide, add some baking soda to its bath. You can also add some coconut oil to the paste so that it is more moisturizing, which leads us to the next natural remedy.
Coconut oil soothes dog eczema and allergies. Just massage the coconut oil into your dog’s coat and skin. Buy the highest quality coconut oil you can find and look for words like organic, unrefined, or virgin when shopping.
Alternatively, you can add some coconut oil to your dog’s food. The Petcubes’ coconut oil supplements are perfect to be added to dog food as it is 100% organic, extra virgin and super premium. If you are unsure about feeding coconut oil to your dog, consult your vet before changing its diet.
Skin irritation can actually be a result of an unhealthy digestive system. If your dog is itchy because it has rashes, hives and allergies, a teaspoon of yoghurt once a week will improve your dog's overall gut health.
You can mix the plain, sugar-free yoghurt into your dog’s food or feed the yoghurt to your dog on its own.
Epsom salt is magnesium-rich and is usually used to relieve sore muscles. Epsom salt also has anti-inflammatory properties and is very useful if your dog is wounded (which can also itch badly). Mix the Epsom salts with warm water and apply it on your dog for 5 to 10 minutes. The Epsom salt will cause any abscesses to open and drain, thereby relieving the wound pressure and accelerate healing.
Lavender and calendula flower oils have anti-inflammatory properties. It is recommended that you dilute the oils in a one part oil, 5 -10 parts water solution and do a patch test on your dog first.
Tea tree oils have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, however, it is toxic if ingested. Suggested topical use would be only on dogs wearing cone collars so it can’t be licked off.
Witch hazel, when applied to your dog’s skin, will ease your dog’s itchiness, reduce swelling and help to repair any broken skin. At the same time, it helps fight bacteria. As witch hazel is 100 percent natural, it smells very fresh.
Soak a cloth or cotton ball with witch hazel and rub it on your dog’s itchy skin. You can also put some witch hazel in a bowl and dip your dog’s paws in it if the paws are itching. Make sure to pat dry your dog’s paws after taking it out of the bowl.
There can be several causes of itchiness in dogs including dog ear infections. The best thing you can do if your dog is itching is to try a few remedies for itchy dogs and if the itchiness does not seem to be stopping, consult your veterinarian immediately. Remember that your dog also needs a balanced diet such as Petcubes’ range of gently cooked dog food to prevent causes of itchy skin.
Dr Francis is one of the top wildlife nutritionists in Asia. Originating from Montreal, Canada, he left at 21 to pursue his Masters and subsequently a PhD in wildlife nutrition at Oxford Brookes University. Instead of taking the path of common animal science to learn about farm animals, or through the veterinarian space and taking a certificate in nutrition, he took the road less travelled to dive deep into the world of animal ecology, metabolism and nutrition.
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