Jack Russell terriers can develop many types of skin problems that can cause discomfort. Hot spots, bug bites, rashes and dry skin all are common problems in Jack Russell terriers and dogs in general, but sometimes they can be treated successfully with natural remedies. Medicines like steroids and allergy shots used to treat skin problems in dogs often have harsh side effects. Avoid this problem and alleviate your dog's discomfort by treating it with safe and natural homeopathic remedies.
Your Jack Russell terrier's diet
Jack Russell skin conditions can be the result of a food allergy or food intolerance. One problem food allergies and intolerance can cause is the dog's inability to digest his food correctly. This can lead to malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies that can cause dry and unhealthy skin. Food allergies also can lead to skin reactions like rashes. Common food allergies in dogs include allergies to meat and dairy proteins, eggs, lactose, gluten, corn, soy, and wheat. Feed your Jack Russell terrier hypoallergenic dog food or give him food designed for dogs with sensitive skin to avoid these problems.
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Skin solutions for a dog that you can make at home
Is your Jack Russell scratching all the time? For Jack Russell skin conditions caused by a rash, bug bite or poison ivy, a cotton ball soaked in milk of magnesium, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera gel, or witch hazel can be applied directly to the affected area. Other natural remedies include mixing equal parts baking soda and equal parts water and applying the mixture to the irritated skin. This may be drying to your dog's skin, so see how this skin solution works on a small spot before applying it to the entire irritated area.
You also can combine 4 tablespoon of sage, 1/4 teaspoon of Epsom salt and 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Strain the mixture, let it cool and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the affected area several times a day. If this homeopathy for your dog's skin allergies aren't helping your Jack Russell terrier's condition after a few days or the condition worsens, contact your veterinarian.
A word of caution on aloe vera: Commercially prepared aloe vera gels are fine to use on your dog, but never apply aloe straight from the aloe leaf, as this could be harmful or toxic if the dog licks it. Aloe vera gels have been found to moisturize dry skin, soothe scrapes, and help protect wounds.
Bathing and shampooing your Jack Russell terrier
Oatmeal baths and Epsom salt baths will heal many types of skin problems from dry skin to allergic reactions. Blend 1 cup of sugar-free oats in a blender to create a powder and pour into a bath of warm water. Bathe your Jack Russell terrier in the oatmeal for 10 minutes and then wash it off. For an Epsom salt bath, combine 2 cups of Epsom salt with 1/2 cup of baby oil and add it to a bath of warm water. Let the mixture sit on your dog for 10 minutes before rinsing it off. Supervise your pet during this time so he doesn't ingest any of the mixture.
Supplements for Jack Russell skin conditions
Supplements like a dog-specific brewer's yeast product and omega-3 fatty acids help your Jack Russell terrier get the nutrients and vitamins they need to keep their skin healthy. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of brewer's yeast into your dog's food daily. Brewer's yeast is a rich source of antioxidants, which can help heal your dog's skin.
Omega-3 fatty acids help your dog's skin stay moisturized and prevents dryness. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in flax seed oil, linseed oil or safflower oil, powdered kelp, and powdered seaweed. Mix 1 teaspoon of one of these oils along with 1 teaspoon of kelp or seaweed into your dog's food daily. If your dog has a history of pancreatitis, talk to your veterinarian before using these supplements.