Have you ever taken an oatmeal bath to soothe itchy, irritated skin? If so, then you know the relief that oatmeal can give. An oatmeal rub for dogs offers many of the same benefits, and it's easy to incorporate into your dog's bath for all-over relief.
Why oatmeal helps
According to VetInfo, oatmeal has been used as a skin protectant since ancient times. Oatmeal contains chemicals called phenols and avenanthramides that help to reduce both skin irritation and itchiness. Additionally, oatmeal can regulate the pH levels of the skin, which further reduces irritation caused by skin conditions like eczema.
With all of the beneficial properties of oatmeal, it's no wonder that it's a popular option when it comes to baths for dogs. VCA Hospitals recommends an oatmeal bath for dogs who have been stung or bitten by insects. Applying the oatmeal paste directly to the stings can help provide soothing relief for your dog.
PetMD states that oatmeal-based shampoos can be a good choice for dogs, particularly if they react to other medicated or non-medicated shampoos. Oatmeal can help with many different skin problems that your dog may encounter. VetInfo recommends using oatmeal to treat dry skin, hives, hot spots, allergies, and more.
Creating oatmeal paste
To target specific trouble spots on your dog's skin, you can use an oatmeal paste. According to VetInfo, you should blend together a half cup of oatmeal and a half cup of warm water. Use unflavored, regular oatmeal that you can find in any grocery store. If you're treating a large area on your dog, you will need to double or triple the amounts of both ingredients.
Next, combine the oatmeal and water and stir them into a spreadable paste. Apply the paste to the areas of your dog's skin that are irritated. Let the paste sit for about 10 minutes and cover it with a towel during this time to keep your dog from trying to lick it. Then, finish by rinsing the oatmeal off of your dog.
You can apply the oatmeal paste up to three times per day. Just be sure to thoroughly rinse it off after each application.
Bathing your dog
For an all-over body soak, an oatmeal bath may be the best choice. According to Wag!, you should grind up one cup of whole oatmeal in a coffee grinder to make a fine powder. Be sure that the grinder is clean of any coffee before you do this.
Next, fill your tub with warm water and add in the oatmeal powder. Mix the oats into the water and then put your dog into the tub. Pour the water on his body and have him soak for about 10 minutes before thoroughly rinsing him off.
Canine Journal recommends that you use lukewarm to slightly warm water, but be sure to avoid hot water since it can scald your dog's skin. Always rinse your dog starting from her head and work your way down your dog's body. Rinse her thoroughly until the water coming off of her is clear.
If your dog's skin doesn't improve for a few days, gets worse, or the affected areas spread, then bring your dog to the vet for an appointment. Some skin conditions require intensive treatment, and while an oatmeal bath may give your dog some relief, it may not be the entire solution to what's ailing your dog.