Allergies can affect animals in the same, annoying way that they affect humans. For dogs, this can mean a lot of itchy skin issues. When we have an itch, we can usually find a way to scratch it, but with our dogs, that may not always be possible. When it is, the itching may be nearly unbearable to the point your pooch scratches or chews away hair or breaks the skin. This is not good in so many ways, but mostly, it can be very painful and uncomfortable for your dog.
If you look around online or talk to other pet owners, their suggestions tend to include medications and treatments that contain chemicals and other unnatural ingredients that can be harmful to your whole family. It’s time to ditch the chemicals and start looking at natural ways to treat allergies and itchy skin issues. There are a lot of ways to help your pet naturally, and we will delve into some of them here.
Why Do Dogs Itch?
Most animals will itch. The reasons behind this can be great and varying, but if the itching is not caused by on obvious factors such as dust in the air or some other temporary irritant, there may be a deeper issue at play. If you want to bring your dog itchy skin relief, it is important to know some of the reasons for their itchy skin.
In some dogs, anxiety may play a role in their biting. Much like humans, during times of anxiety or boredom, a dog can begin to simply start pawing and scratching and themselves, similarly to a person biting their nails. Over time, this type of behavior can become compulsive. Other psychological issues like stress can also cause itching and scratching in your pet.
Parasites are truly one of the most common reasons behind dog itching. For most domestic pets, these parasites include fleas, ticks, and mites. Most of these can be difficult to see, with fleas and mites being so small they can near impossible to spot at times.
There can be something else inside your dog, such as hormonal issues or pain that can be causing the issues. Dogs will often lick and scratch at an area that is uncomfortable or in pain. Watch and see if your pet is paying attention to one spot or body part the most. Hormonal issues like thyroid issues can cause itching and scratching. Bald spots may be another sign of these types of issues.
Allergies and dry skin come in as some of the top reasons behind dogs itching and scratching. Dry skin can be caused by a large number of issues, including allergies. This is why both conditions can be looked at together and more easily treated naturally than some of the other causes we’ve covered.
10 Natural Home Remedies for Dog Skin Allergies
Introduce your dog to flavonoid country with the addition of quercetin to their diets. Quercetin is a flavonoid in fruits and vegetables that give them their color. For animals, this special compound can provide unique health benefits like anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties (1). If you choose a raw feeding diet for your pet, many formulas contain all-natural raw veggies that may contain quercetin. The easiest way to add in extra quercetin for your pet is through supplements. You can easily find quercetin supplements in most health supply stores and some larger grocery stores. To determine the correct dosage for your dog, take his weight and multiply it by 1000mg. Then divide that by 125 and you are ready to provide some itch relief for dogs.
Find it here: Zesty Paws Allergy Supplement
2. Bovine Colostrum
While it may sound like something cooked up in a lab, colostrum is actually a fluid that is produced by the bodies of mammals after giving birth. This is used to help provide nutrients and nourishment to their offspring in the first days of life. After that, the young are on to mother’s milk. Luckily, bovine colostrum is very unique in that it is the only form of colostrum that is universal. This means that any other mammal can absorb the colostrum from bovines, but not the other way around. Also luckily, mother cows produce enough colostrum to provide their babies with everything they need and then a lot more.
Allergies can be caused by a wide range of issues. Bovine colostrum contains the antibodies from the cow that produced it, and this can aid in your dog’s response to certain allergens and irritants. Many allergy symptoms are caused by the body’s production of histamine, and bovine colostrum from products like Nutrition Strength Pure Bovine Colostrum for Dogs Supplement can help your dog produce less histamine and help keep those allergy symptoms like dry skin and itching to a minimum. Bovine colostrum is also packed with nutrients and vitamins that will help your dog live a happier and healthier life the natural way.
Find it here: Nutrition Strength Pure Bovine Colostrum for Dogs
3. Raw Diet and Feeding
Allergies and dry skin can be caused by a wide range of external issues, but there are a number of internal issues that can cause allergy problems for pets. Among these, diet is by far the most common internal cause of allergies in dogs. For some domestic animals, overexposure to certain foods and types can cause allergy issues over time. These issues tend to focus on the main meat ingredients that are found in typical dog foods. This can include anything but commonly consists of things like chicken, beef, and lamb.
Your dog’s diet consists not only of the food and treats you feed her, but also everything that is inside that food. When you look at kibble and other commercial dog foods, you will find a whole bunch of extra things besides the ingredients on the pretty picture on the bag. These extra ingredients are used for reasons such as fillers, preservatives, or color and can have a negative effect on our animals.
A raw diet consists of raw meats and vegetables that are meant to simulate what wild dogs would naturally eat. This doesn’t mean just grabbing a steak and throwing it your dog, but either creating DIY recipes or purchasing from a company that specializes in raw diets like Nutriment. Many of the formulas and treats from raw diet companies like Nutriment are made from all-natural ingredients and free of any extra chemicals or additives. Some also offer organic and novelty meat, which are meats that are not often seen by domestic animals.
4. Colloidal Oatmeal Bath
A well known and effective home remedy for itchy skin for dogs and humans is a colloidal oatmeal bath. This is why you can find many pet shampoos that actually contain oatmeal, but many of these may also contain ingredients that can do harm or lessen the natural itch relief for dogs of the oatmeal treatment. Oatmeal contains polysaccharides, which are able to protect the skin from itchiness and dryness by leaving a protective film over the skin. There are multiple ways to apply oatmeal to your dog.
One of the most common ways is to soak your pet, use a blender or food processor to finely chop one cup of uncooked plain oatmeal into a fine powder. Fill your tub with water to about your dog’s chest (without your pooch in the tub yet) and add in the oatmeal until it is dissolved. Add in your pooch and gently pour water over the head and body, but avoiding the eyes, for about fifteen minutes (2).
Find it here: Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo
5. Artificial Grass
If your dog is suffering from allergies or itchy skin, it may be your lawn that’s causing the issues. Allergies being able to form over time from exposure and other factors mean things that once were fine may suddenly turn into a problem for your family. One good example of this would be your lawn.
While it is possible for animals to be allergic to grass and other natural elements, it is far less likely to occur than your pets having some sort of reaction to your lawn care products or methods. Either way, an easy solution is to simply invest in some artificial lawn turf for your yard. Some artificial grass companies have artificial grass for dogs to better stand up to the wear and tear of your pet and be safe and friendly for the whole family. If you’re not committed to switching your entire lawn over to synthetic turf, look at any one of these dog run ideas for some inspiration.
6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a very popular supplement and addition to many foods for animals and humans alike. While it can be very beneficial for humans, it is necessary for a healthy dog. This is because their bodies are unable to produce this compound. Omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA varieties, are extremely useful in helping support a number of your pet’s daily functions. Omega-3 has a partner in health in Omega-6 fatty acids, and these two compounds work together to help your pet. There should be a healthy balance between the two in your dog’s daily diet and intake levels.
For itching and allergy relief in dogs, omega-3 and omega-6 help to control inflammation and skin disorders. Excessive itching may be due to an imbalance in the omega-3 and omega-6 ratios. You can add supplements or switch up your pet’s diet to increase their intake on one or both fatty acids.
Find it here: Omega 3 Alaskan Fish Oil Chew Treats for Dogs
7. Plain Old Yogurt
Delicious and nutritious, yogurt is a wonder food for the whole family. Yogurt is packed with live bacteria and cultures that can work together to provide a wealth of benefits to your dog, including helping to alleviate some skin issues and reactions. Yogurt is also a great source for calcium and can help control some issues like diarrhea and constipation.
When choosing to give your pet yogurt, always look for natural, organic sugar-free plain yogurt. You do not want to have anything added in that could potentially cause issues for your pet. It only takes a small amount to help your pets. For smaller dogs, add in one teaspoon per week. Bigger dogs, use two teaspoons instead. This can be done straight from the spoon or mixed in with their food. Dogs will generally enjoy the taste.
8. Coconut Oil
Every home should have some coconut oil on hand. Perfect for nearly everything one could think of, coconut oil is nature’s secret ingredient for taste and health. Coconut oil can now be found in a whole host of products for the whole family due to these amazing natural benefits we are learning more about each day.
For your dog, coconut oil can be used as a direct application to treat spot itching and bug bites. The oil works to penetrate through the hair work its way down to the skin to truly help and protect it. This has been known to help dogs with allergy issues, but also dogs who suffer from eczema, yeast infection, and bug stings. Coconut oil can be put in the fridge to cool off and use as a quick application for skin irritation and itch relief for your dog.
More than that, you can add a little coconut into your dog’s food and diet for added benefits. A huge benefit of adding a little coconut oil into your pet’s diet is increased digestive health. Dogs have short digestive systems than we do, which is why they seem to have greater digestive issues. Coconut oil can help ease digestion while also giving your pet better absorption of the nutrients in their food.
Find it here: Zesty Paws Coconut Oil for Dogs
9. Grindelia Robusta and Grindelia Squarossa
Going all-natural means looking at all parts of nature. For centuries, humans have turned to herbs to help heal and relieve certain ailments (3). Many of these treatments also work just as well for our animal counterparts. Two of these herbs known to help with itching are Grindelia Robusta and Grindelia Squarossa. Unfortunately, these are not as easy to find as some of the other natural remedies we’ve covered but can be just as effective a completely natural homeopathic remedy.
Asteroid composites form and begin growing on the Pacific coast and inland mountains. The leaves of these plants are what is used to make the special grindelia tincture used to treat itchy dogs. These plants are sometimes called rosin-weed or gumweed due to the viscid balsamic secretion on the flower heads.
Make sure to dilute the tincture of grindelia 1:10 with water. You can then apply this directly to the affected areas using a cotton ball, pouring a little on the area, or using a spray bottle to help administer the solution. Used in a 6X or 6C potency, grindelia can also be given orally to offer even more health benefits.
Find it here: Grindelia and Sassafras Tincture Alcohol-Free Extract
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
If you’re reading this, chances are you have some apple cider vinegar hanging around the house. If not, go grab some. It can be used in almost everything from cooking to cleaning to help benefit your family’s health and support a more natural lifestyle. Apple cider vinegar is made from apple juice and contains no harmful chemicals or additives.
You can use apple cider vinegar to make a shampoo for your pet that can help with several issues. Itching and allergy-related issues can be lessened by the removal of bacteria on the skin of your pet. This will also help with the healing process if there are any cuts, scrapes, or other broken skin present from obsessive scratching and biting.
Apple cider vinegar can also be used in the laundry. Mix a little in with your detergent next time you do a load of your dog’s bedding, clothing, or other supplies. This will help sanitize your laundry and eliminate anything that may be causing irritation or itching issues.
Find it here: Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Benefits to Choosing Natural Remedies for Dog Allergies
You don’t want to lather your dog in foreign chemicals and other substances that may be harmful to your whole family. While many claim commercial treatments and medications are safe for human and animal, it is never a bad idea to keep things simple and look for the natural home remedy to help whenever you can. There are a lot of benefits to choosing natural solutions for your pet over more commercial options.
More Allergic Reactions
When dealing with allergies, the last thing you want to do is add more foreign substances into the mix. Using commercial dog allergy treatments and medications will expose your pet to countless chemicals and ingredients. Any one of these can continue to cause the allergic reaction or cause a new one. More than your pet, anyone in your family may also end up having an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in commercial allergy and skin treatments for pets. Instead of researching tons of chemicals and brand names and still taking a risk with your family’s health, you can choose to go natural and keep the harmful chemicals away from your family altogether.
Beyond allergies, your pet can have a whole host of negative reactions to chemicals that are commonly found in commercial dog allergy remedies. Some of these issues can appear as allergies and cause itching, biting, and scratching. Skin irritations and dry skin are common indications that something is wrong and can often be confused with allergy issues. Other symptoms that your dog is having a negative reaction to an allergy treatment or medication can be more serious and turn into major health concerns if left untreated. These can include more obvious symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting, or less noticeable issues like lethargy, change in appetite, or lack of a desire to do normal activities.
Animals’ Bodies are Different
Animals and humans are different, and our bodies work and react in different ways. The human body can adapt and take on chemicals more easily than animals, even though it is far from healthy or recommended. Animals do not always have that same luxury, closer their wild ancestor than humans, animals’ bodies may not always react the same to chemicals and other foreign ingredients that we simply take for granted in our medications and food. This is why some of these ‘new’ additions to their diets and bodily intake can have unintended side-effects and consequences for our pooches. While dogs are naturally hardy creatures, these unchecked issues can add up to more serious concerns down the road.
Many of these all-natural remedies will work just as well for humans. Living naturally is not something that works only for your pets, but it can change the way our whole family lives. Always use caution when introducing any new treatment to your pet and consult a professional if you have any concerns.