There are few things more distressing to a dog owner than seeing their canine companion constantly chewing and licking at their skin, and rolling to rub their back on the ground. Not only does the itching cause your dog discomfort, but the nibbling and scratching can damage their skin leading to secondary infections. Your vet can help to manage this with medication, but there are a number of things you can do at home to bring relief to your itchy dog.
Even if you don’t see any of these little blood sucking parasites on your dog’s skin and coat, they could still be there. It’s well worth using a good insecticide because fleas are a very common cause of itching in dogs, and if he is allergic, his reaction to a flea bite is so much more severe. Before you try anything else, use a reliable flea control product for a few months and you may find this reduces his itching significantly.
Use an Appropriate Shampoo
An oatmeal shampoo is very soothing and can ease itching and irritation on your dog’s skin. You can follow it up with an oatmeal conditioner for added effect. If your dog has a skin infection, an antibacterial shampoo may be a better option. This needs to be left on his skin for a period of time before being rinsed off, to let the active ingredients take effect.
Can you put something on your dog to stop him traumatizing his skin? Perhaps an Elizabethan collar to prevent him reaching his itchy spots or a bandage on his feet if he’s licking them excessively would help. These are useful in stopping him chewing, but they don’t treat the itch itself. The result is your dog will still be frustrated and uncomfortable. Because of this, barriers aren’t good on their own but can be useful if used with other treatments.
Over the Counter Medication
Antihistamines are available from your vet or drugstore and can help to reduce itching in some dogs. They have few side effects so can be a good first line treatment for itchy skin. Unfortunately, not all dogs respond to antihistamines so you may find they just don’t work for your pooch. Ask your vet for a recommendation for a suitable antihistamine and a dose rate; they are still worth trying because they may help and they have a wide safety margin.
Fish oil capsules can have an anti-inflammatory effect and may relieve the itching associated with skin irritation. They too are easily obtained and your vet can help with a dose rate for your dog. They’re reasonably palatable so you may find your dog just eats them. If not, then you can gently pop them down his throat as you would any other pill.
Itchy skin makeslife very unpleasant for your much loved canine family member. These home remedies can help but if they’re not quite enough to give him relief, chat to your vet. There are a number of prescribed medications that can ease the discomfort of your itchy dog.