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 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 remedies.
Skin problems are sometimes the result of a food allergy or food intolerance, according to an article in the Journal of Nutrition. 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 and gluten. Feed your Jack Russell terrier dog food labeled "hypoallergenic" or give him food designed for dogs with sensitive skin to avoid these problems.
Skin Solutions and Mixtures
For skin irritation 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. You also can combine 4 tbsp. of sage, 1/4 tsp. 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.
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 if the dog licks it. Pure aloe contains saponins, which can be toxic if ingested by the dog.
Shampoo and Baths
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. Bathe the dog in the mixture for 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
Supplements like brewer's yeast, garlic and omega-3 fatty acids help your Jack Russell terrier get the nutrients and vitamins she needs to keep her skin healthy. Mix in 1/2 tsp. of brewer's yeast and one crushed clove of garlic into your dog's food daily for extra skin-healing zinc, biotin and protein. Omega-3 fatty acids help your dog's skin stay moisturized and prevents dryness, according to the PAW website. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in flax seed oil, linseed oil or safflower oil, powdered kelp and powdered seaweed. Mix in 1 tsp. of one of these oils along with 1 tsp. of kelp or seaweed into your dog's food daily.
- Dummies; Caring For Your Jack Russell Terrier's Coat and Skin; Deborah Britt-Hay
- Natural Dog Health Remedies: Dog Skin Irritations
- Native Remedies; Some Useful Home Remedies for Dogs Dry Itchy Skin and Other Skin Ailments; Tess Thompson
- PAW; Remedies for Insect Stings and Bites, Hot Spots and other Skin Conditions; Robin Tierney
- "The Journal of Nutrition"; Diet and Skin Diseases in Dogs and Cats; Tim D.G. Watson; 1998