When your dog is itchy, it’s distressing for both of you. Wouldn’t it be great if there was something you could do to give him instant relief? Well, you’ll be happy to hear that there is.
1. Check the ingredients on his food . One of the most common causes of itchy skin is allergies and specifically food allergies. A vet will almost always recommend changing an itchy dog’s food. Especially if he’s being fed “kibble” type dry food which usually contains fillers and preservatives. Ingredients to watch out for include corn wheat or soy which are common allergy triggers. Switch to a more natural food like Honest Kitchen or Orijen and of course make sure your dog always has plenty of fresh water.
2. Check for fleas; another common cause of itching, but be careful, even if you can’t see fleas, they may still be causing your dog grief. The lower back and base of the tail are typical spots for flea bites. As if the bites themselves weren’t bad enough dogs who are allergic to flea bites can scratch for several weeks after one flea bite. Of course we recommend all-natural Flea The Scene ! Not only is it a safe and effective way to repel the little buggars but the formula contains no poisons or pesticides so even if your dog licks it off, it’s perfectly safe.
3. Fish Oil has been shown to help with itching and also has anti inflammatory qualities. As an added benefit it also helps to make the coat shiner and more manageable. You can buy fish oil tablets specifically for your pet from Nordic Naturals and Animal Essentials but your own pills are perfectly fine. If he balks at swallowing a pill (and we suspect he will) just puncture the outer skin of the capsule with a pin and squeeze the contents onto his food. Most dogs like the taste of fish so it should not deter him from eating.
4. Wash your dog Bathe your dog regularly so that you get rid of dust and pollen that may have settled on his fur. (Bath time tips fort itchy dogs ) Use a colloidal oatmeal shampoo such as Comfy Dog Shampoo to reduce his skin inflammation and itch. Colloidal oatmeal has been approved by the FDA to ease itchy skin. Wash your dog, then follow up with Fur Butter. It too contains colloidal oatmeal, as well as aloe and shea butter and will have your best friend feeling more comfortable in no time. Click here to read more about colloidal oatmeal .
5. Cover it up! If your dog is scratching the same spot over and over, cover it up with a doggie Tshirt or doggie booties. By placing a barrier between your dog’s claws and the abrasion you allow the irritation to heal and hopefully your dog will start thinking about something else! Check out the hip T’s from RuffRuffandMeow.com
6. CHILLAX! If your dog is licking and scratching all night long keeping the both of your up, give him a few drops of Sleepytime Tonic . Your dog may be working himself into a frenzy and the scratching becomes a nervous habit. Sleepytime Tonic won’t cure the itchy skin, but it WILL relax and calm the both of you so you can both get some much needed sleep! If you think your dog’s scratching is all in her mind, here are a couple of articles you may want to read. Your dog’s constant scratching could be a habit and Is your dog’s scratching all in his mind?
7. Spot On! If your dog has a particular part of his body he’s really scratching or chewing at, consider using Itchin’ For Relief . This is a convenient, easy to use spray with a unique nozzle to direct the spray to where it’s really needed. That way you’re not wetting the whole coat, and wasting the product on areas of the body where it’s not needed. Its all natural ingredients quickly soothe the itch of hot spots. You’ll notice your dog stop scratching straight away.
Of course, if these tips above don’t work, a trip to the vet may be necessary.
Antihistamines such as Benadryl may help stop your dog’s itch. This medication actually blocks the release of histamine in cells, which causes the reddening and itching of the skin in response to an insect bite or allergy. Antihistamines are very safe drugs, but not all dogs show improvement when they’re treated with them. In fact, only about 30% of dogs are more comfortable when they’re given antihistamines. If you’d like to try this medication, speak to your vet about an appropriate dose and frequency for your dog.
Anti-itch medication usually contains corticosteroids. These drugs also block the inflammatory response, but do so much more effectively, so virtually all dogs will respond to treatment. An injection of corticosteroid by your vet will ease the itch very quickly. She may suggest that you follow that with corticosteroid tablets or creams, to extend the effect. Keep in mind that there are potential side effects if you use these drugs, and it’s important that you use as low a dose as possible to reduce the risk. Combining corticosteroid medication with Comfy Dog Shampoo and Itchin’ For Relief will mean you don’t need as much medication to stop your dog scratching. This is much better for his health.
Constant itching and scratching can lead to a secondary infection, and worsening of your dog’s skin problem. It’s good to have some effective tools in your arsenal to nip that scratching in the bud. That way, you’ll both get some rest.