Who knew that something so simple and basic as brushing your dog’s coat could help to control and eliminate itchy and irritated skin. When his skin is itchy, inflammatory blood cells and chemical compounds such as histamine and prostaglandins accumulate in the affected area. These are all responsible for the reddening and inflammation that causes the itch.
There are several reasons why brushing can ease that itch.
1. A regular brushing will remove any loose and dead hair from his coat. Not only that, but the action of the brush will remove dander from the surface of his skin, and evenly distribute skin oils through his coat. This can prevent the accumulation of oil and dead cells on your dog’s skin which is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. These secondary infections can be extremely itchy.
2. Brushing your dog’s fur will stimulate his skin, and this will increase blood flow to that area. This results in the quicker removal of chemicals and toxins from the skin and underlying tissues, and a reduction in the inflammation which makes him scratch.
3. If your dog has a long coat, knots and tangles can tug on his skin as he moves, and that is irritating to him. He’ll scratch to try and break up the tangles. Use your brush to gently remove any knots, and he will feel much more comfortable, and won’t feel the need to scratch as much.
4. Go over your dog from head to tail with a brush and comb on a weekly basis, and you can check his skin at the same time. Look for any sign of redness or irritation. If you do notice any problem areas, wash him in an oatmeal shampoo that has human grade colloidal oatmeal, which has been proven to relieve skin itching and inflammation. Or try a lavender shampoo which is also excellent for itchy skin (Make sure it’s real lavender essential oil and not fragrance). If necessary, follow this with a quick spray of Itchin’ for Relief directly onto the itchy spots, and its natural herbs and plant extracts will relieve the itch very quickly.
Hints for Effective Brushing
Never brush your dog when his coat is wet. This can lead to hair breakage, and excessive pulling on his fur which hurts. Use a brush or comb to remove loose hair before you shampoo him, and then let him dry thoroughly before brushing him any more.
It’s a good idea to keep a bottle of Dry Dog Instant Clean in your grooming kit with your brushes and combs. If your dog is a bit smelly, this can be sprayed on his dry coat and brushed through. It will clean his fur at the same time as the brushing action eases his itch. It also contains vitamins and herbal extracts which reduce itching, repel insects and add a lovely sheen to his coat.
Soothing your dog’s itch can be challenging, but brushing his coat on a regular basis is the first step in making him comfortable. It’s easy to do, it doesn’t cost anything, and it creates a strong bond between you.