It is normal for dogs to scratch themselves every once in a while. However, if the scratching becomes excessive, there may be a bigger issue. Allergies and dry skin are common reasons dogs scratch themselves excessively. If your furry family member has itchy skin, there are several things you can do at home to resolve the problem. Here are eight ways to heal your dog's itchy skin.
1. Give Your Dog Fish Oil Supplements
If your dog's itching is caused by allergies, then you may want to give them fish oil supplements. These supplements are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation in the body. These fatty acids also decrease allergic reactions to environmental factors, like pollen.
When shopping for fish oil supplements, choose ones with low flavor and low odor. One of these easiest ways to administer fish oil is to pierce a capsule and squeeze the liquid directly onto your dog's food.
2. Use the Right Dog Shampoo
If your dog constantly scratches, it's imperative that you use a dog shampoo that's formulated for itchy skin. Oatmeal-based shampoos, for example, relieve irritated skin and reduces dryness.
Shampoos that contain wheat germ are beneficial for dogs with allergies. When you massage wheat germ shampoo into your dog's skin, it can replenish the fatty acids that are removed from constant scratching.
3. Add Moisture to the Air
In the wintertime, the air can get very dry and irritate your dog's skin. That's why it may be a good idea to put a humidifier in your living room. It will add moisture to the air and relieve your dog's dry, itchy skin.
4. Try Olive Oil
Another effective way to give relieve your dog's itchy skin is to add olive oil to their food. Olive oil is packed with vitamin E and other antioxidants that are beneficial to your furry family member's skin. It is recommended to put five to six drops of olive oil to your dog's food twice a day.
5. Brush Your Dog Daily
Take a few minutes out of your day to give your dog a proper brushing. Doing this will remove debris from your dog's skin - relieving itchiness. Be gentle while brushing your dog and brush every inch of their body, including the tail and paws.
6. Give Your Dog an Epsom Salt Bath
If your dog is scratching all the time, try giving them an Epsom salt bath. Epsom salt is effective at reducing swelling and itching. Just throw a cup of Epsom salt in your dog's bath and have your dog soak in the tub for about five minutes. You can give your dog an Epsom salt bath once a day until they stop itching.
7. Change Your Dog's Food
If your furry family member has itchy skin frequently, you may want to look at their food. Some dogs are allergic to common ingredients in kibble, such as soy, chicken, wheat, eggs, and corn. If you buy dog food that does not contain any of these ingredients and is packed with fatty acids, then it may relieve your dog's itchy skin.
8. Apply Vitamin E to Your Dog's Skin
Vitamin E is excellent for treating dry, itchy skin, so apply some to your dog's itchy areas. Massage the oil into your dog's skin in gentle, circular motions. Your dog will enjoy the massage and feel less itchy afterward.
Your pooch does not have to deal with itchy skin forever. If you follow these useful tips, your dog can find relief and feel better. If you additional questions about treating dry skin in dogs, you may want to contact us at Irby-Overton Veterinary Hospital.