by Cate Burnette RVT
Your dog’s dry, itchy skin is caused by a lack of moisture in the upper layer of the skin. The underlying reason for a lack of moisture in younger dogs is typically inflammation, the body’s response to some kind of allergy. In older dogs, a decline in hormones and the natural aging process can produce the itchiness.
When you’re the pet parent to one of those itchy dogs, finding a shampoo that cleans well, yet doesn’t further dry out the skin, can be a challenge. What many veterinarian dermatologists are recommending is that you find a shampoo containing colloidal oatmeal.
Colloidal oatmeal is an emollient/moisturizer that works by forming an oily layer on the first layer of skin that traps moisture. Oatmeal has been used for centuries as a soothing agent to relieve itch and irritation associated with various skin problems. Learn more about Colloidal Oatmeal.
Today, colloidal oatmeal is available in various dosage forms from powders for the bath to shampoos and moisturizing creams. It is the only all natural emollient that is approved by the FDA for over the counter use and whose preparation is standardized by US pharmaceutical companies. You’ll probably want to find a shampoo for your itchy dog made using only human grade colloidal oatmeal (oat solids in suspension) rather than oat extracts that some products use. Look for a shampoo containing botanical extracts such as peppermint (works as an antiseptic and natural insect repellent), burdock root (an anti-inflammatory agent), and calendula (an plant used for centuries to heal and soothe skin irritations). If your itchy dog needs further skin conditioning, try an ultra-rich deep conditioning treatment containing both colloidal oatmeal and shea butter. The added shea butter moisturizes and conditions your dog’s fur leaving dry, damaged coats shiny and silky. Keeping your pet’s skin and coat moisturized and healthy by using the right shampoos and conditioners helps you stay ahead of your “itchy dog” problem.