If your dog is itching a lot then this can be quite distressing, and particularly if it gets to the point where your dog is drawing blood or otherwise harming themselves. However unfortunately itching is very common in dogs and there are a range of different things that might be causing it from heat, to dry skin, to fleas or ticks. Here we will look at some of the ways you can address your pup’s irritation with easy home remedies.
Give Them a Trim
If your dog is very itchy and it’s warm weather then this may be no coincidence – it might well be that your canine companion is struggling with the heat and you would too if you were permanently walking around in a hot woolly coat! A simple solution then is to cut your dogs fur a little shorter, or take them to be groomed and have it done professionally.
For immediate relief from itching though a cool bath can be a very useful way to provide your dog with relief.
It is widely believed that by adding Epsom salts to the bath water you can soothe the areas of irritation. However do bear in mind that your dog shouldn’t drink this water so you will have to try and control their attempts to.
Similarly filing the bath with water and oatmeal can sometimes help to sooth your dog’s skin.
Don’t put this in the bath, but try mixing it with water and applying it just to the areas where your dog is itching.
Change Your Shampoo
Just like humans, dogs can sometimes have sensitive skin. If your dog’s skin is too sensitive to particular products then you might find that by shampooing your dog is actually causing the problems. Try just rinsing your dog with water for a while and see if the problem subsides. If so, then you might want to ask your vet about replacing your dog’s shampoo.
Improve Their Diet
Like humans, dogs need to get all the crucial vitamins, minerals and oils from their diet if they are going to maintain healthy skin, fur, teeth and nails – so if they aren’t getting a balanced diet then this can lead to a range of problems including skin conditions. Solve this problem by making sure that your dog has all his essential vitamins and minerals and by making sure that he is getting essential oils (look on the back of your dog food and ask your vet if you’re uncertain). You can also supplement your dog’s diet with these things and a particularly good thing to add to a dog’s diet is cod liver oil.
Apply Essential Oils
Likewise you can also supply your dog’s skin directly with those essential oils it needs. Do this by getting an essential oil and then rubbing your dog’s skin in it. Leave it a while to get absorbed and then wash it off to prevent your dog from running around oily all day.
Look for Ticks
If your dog is continually itching one part of their body then they might have a tick. Look for a small lump on their skin that is akin to a wart and you might have found your culprit (dogs pick these up from long grass and heather). To remove the tick you will need a specific tick removing tool and this will allow you to grab the head using a prong. From here try to pull consistently and with a single firm movement. Don’t ‘yank’ at the tick or you will risk breaking the head off and leaving the legs in your pup. This will then cause infection and other problems so is best avoided.
Another common cause for itchiness in dogs is fleas and if this is the case then removing the fleas will alleviate your dog’s itching. Achieve this by applying anti-flea products and by bathing your dog and going through their fur with a fine comb. Applying oil as recommended above can also kill off fleas by smothering their supply of oxygen and by making it difficult for them to hook on to the skin. Meanwhile you should also vacuum the house and wash your dog’s bed and blanket which can otherwise harbour fleas and eggs and cause your dog to become reinfected.
These are some tips which can help to prevent your dog from itching and if you go through these then hopefully you will manage to address the cause of your dog’s problem. However if it persists then you should take your dog to the vet as the itching could be a symptom of a range of other problems that would respond best to medication.