There’s nothing worse than seeing your pup in distress—scratching and licking incessantly at itchy skin or irritated pads. Since there could be a number of reasons why your dog is itchy, you don’t want to rule out serious issues like fleas or atopic dermatitis. However, your dog could simply be facing mild seasonal allergies (especially while you’re out and about dog walking in Encinitas), environmental irritants, or a bad choice of dog food. Here are 10 natural remedies for itchy dogs that may save you a few hundred bucks in vet bills.
- Homemade dog food. If your dog suffers from itchy skin, nutrient-deficient kibble might be the culprit! Your dog not only needs protein, fat, and carbs (like humans), but calcium and essential fatty acids as well. Check out this allergy-specific recipe from one of our favorite human clients for inspiration. She’s a pro at helping her itchy fur babies find relief.
- Fish oil. This powerful supplement containing DHA and EPA omega-3s comes in either liquid or pill form and can improve your dog’s coat by reducing shedding, inflammation, and dry skin. Dosage is based on weight (about 100-150 mg per 10 lbs per day) and the supplement can be mixed into food. Too much fish oil can lead to blood clots and interfere with other medications so, as a rule of thumb, get the all clear with your vet.
- Olive or coconut oil. Adding ½ teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of oil to your dog’s food can have a noticeable effect on their itchy skin. As oil works as a natural laxative, use caution and start large dogs off with a low dosage. If you missed it, we dedicated an entire blog to the wonders of coconut oil. Give it a sniff!
- Apple cider vinegar. Use it to treat “hot spots.” Simply mix equal parts water and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and spray on affected areas. Do not use on raw wounds. Ouch!
- Yogurt. Feed your pup a spoonful or mix it in with other dog-friendly ingredients for a sweet treat. It will keep your dog’s digestive tract in good shape while boosting his immune system which fights itchy skin and yeast infections. Just make sure it’s plain, low-fat yogurt with active cultures. Yeast thrives on sugar so check the label.
- Herbal tea soaks. Add a few green or chamomile tea bags to your pup’s warm bath water as they soak in the tub. Alternatively, you can prepare tea as you normally would for consumption and then let it cool. From there, use the tea as a topical spray or swish your dog’s paws in the liquid for 30 seconds at a time. Let them air dry.
- Oatmeal bath. One of the tried-and-true natural remedies for itchy dogs, the DIY oatmeal soak is simple, cheap, and effective. All you need is a food processor or blender.
- Cool treats. Feeding your pup natural fruits and veggies such as watermelon, lettuce, banana, carrots, or cucumber will help cool them down from the inside out. Use them in conjunction with training for a double whammy.
- Aloe Vera. Aloe is Mother Nature’s coolant and can be applied topically to hot spots where your dog may have chewed himself raw. Make sure it’s 100% pure Aloe Vera—you can never go wrong getting it straight from the plant though the store bought stuff works just as well. Supervise your pup to make sure they don’t ingest any.
- Regular bathing/brushing. Don’t overlook this simple, proactive approach to your pup’s skin health. Aim for weekly baths and daily grooming to brush away pollens and irritants that may be exacerbating (or causing) itchy skin. SanDPups can personally attest to this practice as Stella, the intern, gets a full 24-48 hours of relief after bath time each week.
If only our pups could talk; right? It would be so much easier to diagnosis and treat their issues early on. Hopefully you’ll find luck with one or more of these top 10 natural remedies for itchy dogs. Know one we didn’t share? Bark about it in the comments below!