Why Is Your Dog Scratching?
There are many reasons that may be causing your dog to be scratching including allergies, fleas or hot spots. No matter what the reason is for your dog to be scratching, it is probably difficult to watch them because they will continue to scratch until the area becomes sore and raw. The main reason for concern with your dog’s intense scratching is the possibility for the sores to become infected. If the sores are already infected or become infected, you should take your dog to the veterinarian to have medication prescribed to take care of the infection.
You will certainly want to try to help stop your dog from scratching before any infection sets in but you may be wary to try many of the products on the market because of all the chemical agents that are included. The good news is there are many home remedies that you can use to help stop your dog from scratching and these remedies do not use any harsh chemicals that may harm your dog. These are safe and effective home remedies that have been known to help a dog stop their intense scratching.
Inspect Your Dog
The first thing you will want to do is to see if you can find a reason for why your dog is scratching. You will need to thoroughly inspect your dog’s skin and look for spots that may be inflamed or swollen. You want to pay close attention to any parasites, fleas or ticks that may be on your dog’s skin. If your dog has very long or tangled hair, you may need to take your dog to the groomers to have the dog’s hair shortened so you will be able to see the skin better. If you have any questions or doubts about how your dog’s skin looks you should check with your veterinarian.
If you find evidence of parasites or fleas you will first need to treat your dog’s skin to rid it of the infestation. Once they have been gotten rid of, you will then be able to help your dog with these home remedies to reduce the dog’s pain and allow the dog to heal faster. If you should find any ticks, they should be removed immediately because the longer they stay on your dog’s skin the more dangerous the ticks can be to him.
Evaluate Dog’s Diet
This step is often overlooked by dog owners who are trying to deal with their dogs scratching but a dog’s diet can have a lot to do with their skin. A lot of dog food on the market adds fillers and additives to their ingredients which may seem to most people to be a good thing for their dog. In fact, some of these fillers are not good for your dog and they can quite easily create a skin allergy for your dog. If you suspect this to be the case you will need to switch the type of food your dog eats. Select a food that is more natural without additional fillers or you can make homemade dog food.
You can also add fresh fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet. Not only will these foods make your dog healthier but they will also give your dog a healthier coat of hair. It is also very important that you give your dog enough water throughout the day by ensuring that he always has fresh water available. This will keep your dog, including his hair, hydrated which will prevent dry, itchy skin. Adequate amounts of water in your dog’s diet will also give him a shiny coat of hair.
Properly Bath Your Dog
One of the best ways to help heal an itchy, scratchy skin is to give your dog a good bath while using some natural healers. Oatmeal has been known to help reduce the inflammation and itchiness of a dog’s hair. You should give the dog a cool bath and cover him with oatmeal that has been mixed with a small amount of water. Allow this mixture to sit on your dog’s hair for about ten minutes and then thoroughly rinse. Alternatives to oatmeal that can help treat your dog’s skin are Epsom salt and sea salt, both which can easily be added to your dog’s bath water. When using Epson salt be careful not to let your dog drink the water because it can make him sick.
Be sure not to give your dog too many baths because this will work to dry your dog’s skin even more. You should also never use human shampoo or soaps. They are not meant for dogs and they are known to cause many skin allergies in dogs. After you bath your dog, you can help hydrate him by adding a moisturizer to his skin. Many different oils are good for this purpose including sunflower, corn or peanut oil. Daily use of Vitamin E and fish oils can also help to hydrate your dog’s skin.
Treating Sores on the Skin
After you have bathed your dog and added moisturizer to his skin, it is a good idea to spot treat as many sores as you can locate on his skin. This will help to treat each specific area that has been inflamed or swollen and the scratching will not stop until these areas are healed properly. These treatments can be applied to your dog’s skin by using a cotton ball, sponge or a spray bottle – whichever one works better for you. You can apply these treatments a couple of times a day but you should at a minimum apply a treatment to each sore once every day until they are healed.
There are several different mixtures that you can use to treat each sore. Apple cider vinegar and baking soda can both be mixed with water and then applied directly on your dog’s sore to help dry up and heal the skin. Apple cider vinegar can also be used to clean your dog’s ears and it will help to fight ear infections. A few different oils like lavender and tea tree oil are natural antiseptics that can be used to treat sores found on your dog’s skin. In addition to the healing ability, these oils will also work to eliminate any parasites or fungi that are found on your dog’s skin.
Dietary supplements are another good home remedy to help stop your dog from scratching and to help prevent any future scratching. These supplements should be used on a daily basis if they are to be effective. These remedies should be used in combination with some of the other home remedies because it may take several weeks before you will be able to see that the supplements are being effective. They do work to prevent skin irritation from happening so you should continue to use these daily supplements even after your dog stops scratching. Some ingredients that you can use from home to create a dietary supplement are raw garlic that is pressed and added to your dog’s food or brewer’s yeast. Any supplement that includes the essential fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6 are good natural supplements to use.