One of the most likely reasons for dog owners to consult a veterinarian is an itch in the dog. If your dog has an itchy area on their skin or coat, you will find them constantly scratching, biting, and nibbling themselves.
Sometimes, you may find your dog rubbing their face on the floor or trying to scratch their back along the wall. All these are symptoms of itchy skin.
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While it is common to find dogs scratching themselves, frequent scratching should be given attention. The good news is that you don't need to buy powerful drugs or necessarily visit a vet to help your dog stop scratching. You can always make use of proven natural ways, which we are about to walk you through in this article.
How often should your dog scratch?
All dogs scratch their bodies every now and then, and it's normal for your dog to scratch a few times a day. Know that this is one of the ways they groom themselves.
But, the question is how much scratching is normal for your canine?
Well, if you notice that your dog scratches themselves once or twice a day for no more than 10-15 minutes, don't panic, it's just their normal grooming routine.
Your healthy dog should normally scratch the back of their ears or the like with their hind legs. You can hear them making a little groan "uummmmfff" when they hit the right spot and that's not abnormal.
However, when you observe that your pooch scratches incessantly and each scratching last longer than 15 minutes, your canine might have developed itchy skin. Also, if you notice that your dog does not scratch their skin with their hind legs but instead, tries to scratch harder along a rough wall, it's abnormal.
What causes dogs to scratch often?
The most effective way to help your dog stop scratching is to know the cause of the incessant scratching, remove the cause, and then treat the dog.
Incessant scratching in dogs commonly occurs because of food allergies, or in other words, food "sensitivities". Food deficient in vitamins and minerals may cause your dog to develop skin rashes, resulting in itchy skin and causing your canine to scratch incessantly.
Another common cause of frequent scratching in dogs is dermatitis (inflammation of the dog's skin), which may be caused by the presence of ectoparasites such as fleas on your dog's skin, certain chemicals in soaps and perfumes, and even change in season.
9 natural ways to help your dog stop scratching
Using natural remedies to help your dog stop scratching is much better than using chemicals. So, here are the 9 proven natural ways you can help your dog.
Keep them in a cool place
Dogs with itchy skin often develop lacerations that should not be exposed to direct heat from sunlight to avoid sunburn on their skin. Thus, if your dog scratches often, you should not allow them to stay under the sun, close to an oven, or in any other hot places.
Ensure your dog stays in a cool shady place that lessens the itchiness of their skin. You may as well prepare a special bed for your dog with cool fluffy pieces of clothing.
Feed them omega 3's
Fish oil is rich in omega 3, which is an excellent anti-inflammatory substance that can help rejuvenate your dog's skin. Feed your canine with food and supplements rich in omega-3 daily.
Studies have shown that fish oil from sardines is effective at reducing atopic dermatitis in dogs with itchy skin. Thus, feeding your dogs some sardines may help them stop scratching in a few weeks.
Homemade golden turmeric paste
Golden Turmeric Paste is perhaps the most effective homemade anti-inflammatory that can be added to the food of an itchy dog to reduce incessant scratching.
Golden Turmeric Paste is an easy-to-make natural treatment with the active ingredient curcumin, which is a potent natural substance for itchy skin.
To prepare a golden Turmeric Paste, cook some Turmeric in coconut oil with ground black pepper. Allow it to cool such that it forms a paste. Then add enough quantity to your dog's food.
Nettle cubes are simple, cheap, and fantastic natural remedies for itchy dogs. You can make small nettle ice cubes from garden nettle and feed your dog with them.
Nettle cubes are effective remedies for seasonal allergies. So, if you observe that your dog's scratching becomes worse during the summer months, then your canine is most likely suffering from seasonal allergies. In this case, consider feeding your dog with nettle cubes.
Several studies have shown that adding small nettle ice cubes to a dog's meal can help in reducing histamine activities that commonly result in seasonal allergies and cause itchy skin in dogs.
Homemade anti-itch spray
You can make a simple anti-itch spray from green tea and apple cider vinegar. The mixture of apple cider vinegar and green tea has a high potency of reducing dog scratching.
However, you should keep the spray in the fridge to preserve and maintain the potency of the active ingredients. You can then apply the spray on your dog's skin and coat to remove allergens and parasites that cause them to scratch their skin.
You may also add little quantities of apple cider vinegar to your dog's food daily. Doing that can help in removing germs (in their gut) that may cause itchy skin.
Natural oil derived from the calendula plant, also known as marigold, is a great natural remedy for an itchy dog. Calendula oil has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, which make them effective in regenerating the damaged skin of itchy dogs, thus stopping them from incessant scratching.
You can apply calendula oil on your itchy dog by simply rubbing it on their skin. This natural remedy can stop your dog from scratching frequently in a few weeks.
You should ensure you clean your dog with dog wipes and brush their coat regularly to ensure any ectoparasite is not present on their skin.
However, do not shave down your itchy dog, doing so may further expose their delicate skin to parasites and UV light from the sun, which may cause severe skin damage and more scratching.
You should also wipe the face of your dog after a walk with a wet towel to remove allergens.
Salt therapy? What does that even mean?
Well, it may sound crazy but the good news is that it works perfectly.
It's a simple process whereby you offer four different glasses of water to your dog - One plain distilled water and three others that contain different quantities of salt (but not too much).
Now, here is how it works. Depending on an unbalance of electrolytes, your dog will sniff the water they need and choose that particular one that matches the osmotic requirements of their body. You can try this simple yet effective natural method out by yourself.
Aloe Vera is known for its natural anti-inflammatory property. It contains enzymes that can reduce inflammation and stop your itchy dog from scratching their body frequently.
Aloe Vera also contains saponins, vitamins A, C, E, B12, folic acid, and 20 amino acids (including the 8 essential amino acids). Thus it can significantly reduce itching in your dog.
ConclusionSeeing your dog scratching their body once or twice a day is normal, in fact, all dogs scratch. However, incessant scratching may mean that your dog is suffering from itchy skin.
The good news is that you don't need to use powerful drugs or chemicals to help your canine stop scratching. Natural remedies such as Aloe, Turmeric paste, calendula oil, and more can help significantly in stopping your dog from frequently scratching their body.