A majority of dogs itch for various reasons ranging from dry to allergic skin. It’s also completely normal for dogs to scratch themselves at some time even without any pathological condition but when a dog is continuously licking, biting, chewing, and scratching, to the point of causing some wounds, then itching becomes a symptom of a certain pathology. The medical term for itching related to excessive scratching is pruritus, and this is the second most major reason dog owners take their dogs to the vet.
The major causes of pruritus can be a bit complex, but there are two major reasons why dogs scratch themselves. The first cause has to do with the skins condition; whether it’s too dry, too oily, or infected. Among these three conditions, dry skin is the most frequent. The other primary cause of itching is allergies.
Dry skin - If your dog has a dry skin condition, you are not alone, it is one of the most common conditions with dogs. Dry skin can be caused by environmental factors such as low humidity. Diet may also be an important contributing factor especially if you feed your dog on dry pet foods.
The best dry skin home remedies.
Change the diet of your dog.
Your best choice is to try feeding your dog with a 100 percent natural dog food. While natural dog food tends to be more pricey than the most popular brands, they are of much better quality. Using vegetarian dog food diet or raw food diet such as BARF diet is an excellent idea too. Whichever food you decide to give your dog, the main idea is to look for one that has the appropriate amount of essential fatty acids.
Groom your dog
Having a session with a professional dog groomer can produce wonderful results at bringing your dog back to it’s best-looking skin. A professional groomer is also aware of the major skin problems and their remedies and may assist you alleviate some of the conditions.
Use a dog shampoo
Using the wrong shampoo in some cases may cause dry skin problems on your dog. Bathing your dog too often is also known to cause dry skin. In whatever you do, avoid using human shampoo on a dog. Human shampoos are specially formulated for human PH levels which are not equal to that of a dog.
Brush your dog regularly
By simply brushing your dog, you remove dander and the loose hair that accumulates near your dog’s skin. If you clear away the irritants trapped and that hover around the skin of your dog, you let the skin of your dog breathe. You also stimulate the release of the dog’s natural skin oils which makes his skin shinier and healthier over time.
Another major cause of itchy skin is allergy. Allergy may make the skin of your dog slightly dry and oily or greasy, and is accompanied by frequent chewing, licking, or scratching. There are significantly more cases of allergies in dogs today than there were in the past and reasons for these are currently unknown. However, some theories have been put forth to explain this phenomenon which includes feeding dogs with processed foods and poor breeding practices.
Home remedies for dog allergies
Use herbal topicals
If your dog is experiencing allergies that make him itch a lot, you can apply herbal topicals on your dog’s skin to help relieve the itching. The most appropriate specific herbs for this job include lavender, rose bark, and peppermint.
Use apple cider vinegar
If your dog’s skin has become so itchy that the dog has licked or scratched his paws to a point that a hot spot has developed, then put apple cider vinegar into a spray bottle and apply it directly to the spot. It dries up the area quickly and prevents you from having to shave that area when treating it.
Changing your dog’s diet to a 100 percent natural one and grooming your dog regularly as discussed above can also help to alleviate allergies.
Here is the bottom line; while only your veterinary professional can diagnose whether your dog is experiencing an allergic reaction or not, you can use the above remedies to alleviate some of the symptoms and possibly make your dog feel better.