My dog had always had an issue with itchy skin. Dryness caused him to furiously itch all the time, even at night sometimes. It was painful simply watching him like that, so compulsively itching that sometimes it felt like he would harm his own skin.
I spent a lot of time wondering my my precious little pet was in such distress. Was it fleas? a medical skin problem? or simply a habit?
That’s when I decided to sit down and do my research thoroughly. I did finally get my dog to stop itching and figured out a lot of things I was doing wrong along the way.
Here is my comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about this issue so that you can help your pet too. Hope it helps.
Why does it happen?
Before you get to know how to stop your dog from itching, try to understand why it happens in the first place.
The medical term for an itch in dogs is called pruritus. This is caused by the dog itching because of fleas biting away or some general dry or irritable skin. The trio of irritable skin, dryness and fleas causes most of these issues.
But don’t worry. There are a ton of ways you can help with this issue and get your dog feeling better instantly.
What can you do to stop your dog from itching?
Avoid too much shampoo:
Here is the first and most basic thing you can start with, avoid using too much shampoo for your dogs. The chemicals in most commercially available shampoos tend to dry out the skin and cause itching in the long run. There really is no need for excessive use of shampoo whether it’s for your dog or for you.
Soothe the spot:
Epsom Salt is perfect for treating the spot where the itching is. Focus on the spot and try to apply a epsom salt and warm water mixture to the area to help relieve the dryness. There are a ton of other home remedies you could use for treating your dog’s itchy skin.
Another very effective remedy for itchy skin is salt water. Normal sea water on the spot will help relieve the pain instantly and this is a very handy tip if you like near the ocean or on a beach. It may even work better than Epsom water, mentioned earlier.
Other home remedies may include vinegar or cooking oil. Vinegar and water is an excellent combination for getting rid of the rash or itch instantly. It helps to soothe itch and make the feeling go away. But the solution is till very much temporary. The mixture will work, but it also dries the skin. So you may want to consider other options.
A creative way to deal with the issue is to make some Thyme tea and let it cool. Once it cools, pour it all into a spray bottle and apply it generously to the spot.
Cooking oil is mostly for fleas, so if you are sure this is the reason why your puppy is itching, go ahead and get a few cups of water and only a few drops of cheap shampoo. Add cooking oil to the mixture and use this instead to help your dog’s skin become healthier.
This one method worked wonders for a friend of mine, who’s dog was flea ridden for a very long time. Now that dog’s skin is healthier than I’ve ever seen it.
A few products that you can consider:
- Sulfodene First Aid Skin Medication for Dogs
- ResQ Organics Pet Skin Treatment Cream
- Earthbath All Natural Hot Spot and Itch Relief Deodorizing Spritz
- Pro-Sense Itch Relief Hydrocortisone Spray
- SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Spray for Dogs
Other factors that may cause your dog itching
You must consider that the dog has tried to stop itching by themselves. They must have tried to roll in the dirt, which is a very natural and effective reaction to having dry, irritating skin.
Try to figure out if your dog is healthy. Change the diet if necessary, as this may help to make the skin better and stop it from drying out. Exercise and a great diet will make your pet a whole lot healthier and this will help reduce stress and boredom, all factors that can make their skin better.
Finally, target fleas at home. Vacuum and clean the floors or carpets regularly. Use commercial flea fighting products to get your house cleaned effectively and to make sure your dog never catches them. Mites might also be a problem for dogs and you’ll have to hire someone to rid your house of them entirely if you want them to stop itching.
Bear in mind that if your dog doesn’t stop itching, your vet would be the best person to talk to and determine how to stop your dog from itching.
Finally, I included a great video that talks briefly about dog itching from an expert:
Image Courtesy: flickr.com/thomashawk