No pet parent wants to see their beloved dog itching and scratching themselves excessively. Unfortunately, itchy dogs are a common issue faced by most dog owners at some time in their dog’s life. Trips to the vets and dog groomers in a quest to find and resolve why your dog is itchy can often result in no cure. Sometimes finding the root cause can seem an almost impossible task. There are however a few possible causes of itchy dogs to consider and rule out.
Identifying The Cause of Your Dog’s Itch
Flea, insect bites and ticks are way up there for causing itchy dogs. Make sure your home and dogs are flea free. Some people only flea their pets when in fact fleas live more in the home than they do on the pet. Which makes de-fleaing your home a priority. Some dogs can also irritate their skin from scratching insect bites and this can sometimes lead to skin infections. Your local vet will be able to advise on this.
Believe it or not, dogs like people can also suffer from food allergies and itching is one of the side effects to this. Look at the ingredients in the dog food and consider changing to a different type i.e avoid cereal-based dog food for a while and see if there are any changes? Keeping a journal of what your dog eats can be a good way of tracking and hopefully identifying food allergies. Try adding ½ to 1 teaspoon of coconut or cod liver oil to their food each day. This can help your dog from the inside out. Coconut has definitely helped one of our itchy dogs and it’s also great for digestion and doggy breath!
Other Causes to Rule Out
- Pollen allergies
- Allergies to shampoos/ conditioners
- The weather – dry and low humidity can cause your dog’s skin to dry out
- Blow drying your dog’s fur on too high a temperature, which dries out the skin.
- Allergic reaction to household products – Detergents, cleaning products, fabric conditions and sprays.
Sometimes skin irritation could be caused by something as simple as the cleaning products you use. Try washing your dog’s clothing or dog bed with natural cleaners to see if it helps change anything.
Hopefully, you’ve managed to identify the cause, let’s have a look at essential oils that can be used on our beloved itchy dogs. Remember first of all never use essential oils straight from the bottle. Always dilute with a base oil, you can even dilute with olive oil if you have this to hand.
Lavender oil has to be one of the most widely used essential oils. This is down to its natural antibacterial and antimicrobial property which makes it highly effective at removing germs, bacteria and insects or parasites from the surface of your dog’s skin. Lavender is known to soothe skin irritations and help to calm and relax your dog. You can even wash your dogs clothing and bedding with lavender oil if you suspect their allergy could be down to household cleaners.
Roman Chamomile has excellent calming properties and is said to ease irritation. This herb is excellent for skin problems like eczema, rashes, wounds, dermatitis, dry/itchy skin and any allergies. Diluted chamomile oil is non-toxic, gentle and safe to use on dogs. Roman Chamomile has antibacterial properties and also analgesic qualities which can help to relieve the pain associated with insect bites or infected wounds
If you’re a chamomile tea drinker you can also make a brew for your dog. Once it’s cooled use the tea to bath your dog with to help soothe their itchy skin.
Lemongrass oil smells wonderful and has beneficial moisturising properties that will help if your dog has dry skin. It is also a natural pest repellent which fleas and other insects don’t like the scent of lemongrass. You can add 2-3 drops of lemongrass to 200ml of water in a spray bottle. Shake to mix then spritz your dog’s coat, ideal before going out for a walk.
Peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory properties and is great at relieving the symptoms of fungal and parasitic infections. It is good for the skin and is used in lotions for humans to treat sunburn, itchiness or inflamed skin. It’s also safe for dogs and if they lick the oil it won’t upset them. In fact, many natural products used to treat bad breath in dogs contain peppermint oil.
Other Natural Itchy Dog Remedies
Apple cider vinegar is definitely one of nature’s best healers, due to its antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. Use a mix of 50% apple cider vinegar with 50% water to bathe your dog, never use on open skin as this will sting and your dog won’t be happy! It can also help with dog odour and help to repel fleas and ticks. It will also leave your dog’s coat soft, shiny and looking fabulous.
Pure Aloe Vera gel is naturally rich in vitamins A,C and E; it’s also antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal. Used topically it helps to speed the healing process of all sorts of cuts and skin conditions. Can be used to treat most skin conditions including dandruff; it’s also great for dry cracked noses and paws. Aloe Vera gel can also be rubbed into hot spots and is completely safe to use, as long as there are no added ingredients.
We hope you found this useful and your dog is now itch free. Drop us a comment if you have other natural remedies that work for your itchy dog. Sharing is caring 🙂