If your dog is constantly scratching at his skin, he could be allergic to something in his environment, which your vet can determine. To provide your pooch with some relief from his allergies, you can use safe home remedies, thoroughly clean your home to eliminate potential allergens or consult with your vet about changing his diet.
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If your dog is constantly scratching and you notice any open sores, take him to the vet. He may have developed an infection that home remedies can't treat.
Canine Allergies and Dry Skin
Dogs can be allergic to many substances in their environment that can trigger itchy skin. Some develop allergies to the foods they are eating or have an allergic reaction to fleas. Sometimes, if your pup's skin simply becomes dry, it can become itchy.
Some breeds are more prone to developing skin allergies due to environmental factors such as pollen and mold, more than others. These breeds include terriers, beagles, Dalmatians, Shar-Peis, Lhasa apsos, pugs, boxers, cocker spaniels, setters and miniature schnauzers.
Topical Home Remedies
To treat mild canine skin allergies, irritation and dry skin, you can use a few nontoxic topical remedies to provide him with some relief from his itching.
- Massage some moisturizing coconut oil into your pup's skin and coat. Coconut oil helps to relieve dry skin and minor skin irritations.
- Apply some apple cider vinegar to your pup's coat and allow it to dry. The vinegar helps to repel fleas and has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It also helps to relieve your pup's itching and improve his coat quality.
- Spread some cooked oatmeal over your pup's skin or let your canine companion soak in a bath filled with ground oat powder. The oatmeal helps relieve itching and sooth irritated skin.
- Brew some chamomile tea, allow it to cool in the refrigerator and spray it all over your pup's coat. The cold tea helps calm skin irritation.
Allergens in the Environment
To help alleviate your pup's itchy skin, try eliminating as many potential allergens from his environment as you can.
- Reduce the amount of potential allergens in your pup's environment by vacuuming twice a week. Use a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter to get as much of the mold and pollen out of the home as you can.
- Wash your dog's bedding weekly to remove any potential allergens from it.
- Use the air conditioning in warm, humid weather and replace or clean the filters regularly.
- Keep your grass outside short and wash your pup's paws and face with some plain water to remove any pollen after he comes in from outdoors.
Diet, Allergies and Itchy Skin
If your vet rules out other potential causes of your pup's itching, you can try an elimination diet to determine if a food allergy is to blame.
For 12 weeks, feed your dog a diet containing a limited amount of ingredients. You can either purchase special hypoallergenic food or your vet can instruct you on how to make a homemade diet. If your pup's condition improves during this time, he likely has a food allergy. By adding different foods back into the diet, you can determine which ones set off your pup's itching so you can avoid them.
Note that fatty acid supplements may help with canine skin issues due to allergies and dryness.
Consult with your vet about using any supplements for your pooch.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.