If you have an itchy, allergic dog, you know that with spring already here and warm weather about to hit, the pollens in the plants and grasses around your home are going to exacerbate your pup’s skin issues. Other than putting your dog on veterinary corticosteroids to quell the skin inflammation inherent in allergies, there are several things you can do at home to lessen the problem.
To remove allergens from your dog’s coat and skin, try bathing your pet once or twice a week.
Because in canines, allergens primarily assert their effect through contact with the animal’s skin, frequent bathing may relieve the allergic inflammation that leads to constant scratching and skin infections. Additionally, bathing eliminates dander, bacteria, yeast, and loose hair that can contribute to infections and skin issues. It also promotes healing by getting rid of dead skin cells and encouraging new cell growth.
If you choose to bathe your dog at 3 to 4 day intervals, you’ll need to ensure that you’re not removing necessary moisture and oils from his skin and hair. You could try using an all-natural, organic shampoo made with colloidal oatmeal that not only promotes healing and reduces inflammation, but also moisturizes dry skin and hair.
Dogs with very flaky skin and dry, damaged hair are best served when their pet parents use an ultra-rich, colloidal oatmeal conditioner after bathing. By massaging the conditioner into your dog’s wet skin and hair before drying him, you’re putting a protective barrier of natural ingredients including shea butter, comfrey, callundula and aloe vera between his skin and allergens. You’re also adding natural moisturizers to your pet’s dry skin and coat.
Another way to avoid removing those necessary skin oils is to simply rinse your dog’s skin and hair under warm, clear water several times a week. By massaging water through the hair down to the skin, you’re still removing allergens and dead cells, but leaving behind the natural moisturizers that chemical canine shampoos take away. Rub most of the water away with a clean, dry towel and allow your pet to air-dry if the weather permits. You’ll be able to get rid of some of the dander and loose cells on the top layer of skin and eliminate dead hair by running a brush or comb through the coats of both short- and long-haired dogs.
If you decide to rinse with clear water instead of bathing, you may want to use an all-natural waterless shampoo and dry bath to help eliminate any of those nasty doggy smells. A dry shampoo is also a great alternative cleaner to keep by the door to clean paws, bellies, and mouths of any plant pollens tracked in from the outside.
Staying a pro-active pet parent often means planning before your furry companion starts his annual itch-fest. By changing your dog’s diet now, adding supplements, and bathing early – and frequently – you can help your pooch be less itchy during warm weather than in previous years, and keep him happy year round.