There are a range of common skin conditions and allergies that our pets will encounter from time to time and many of these can be greatly assisted by using a range of natural products and dietary supplements. From itchy skin to dryness and even yeast infections – simple natural remedies for dogs can make all the difference.
At one time or another we’re all familiar with the sound of our dog licking irritated paws or skin – something a little bit like ‘slurp slurp lick lick lick’ and usually in the middle of the night when the hoomans are trying their very best to get some sleep. Often this behaviour can lead to red, sore and angry skin which can make your dog very uncomfortable. The good news, however, is that there are a range of natural remedies which can greatly assist in the treatment of canine skin conditions.
Why is my dog licking themselves all the time?
Dogs naturally clean themselves through licking, so this isn’t something that should cause alarm. However, constant or obsessive licking and chewing can indicate something is amiss for your pooch. If only they could talk, right? This behaviour can be symptomatic of a few things, which can be eliminated one by one on closer inspection. Such obsessive licking and biting might mean fleas (read on for natural remedies for fleas), grass seeds, insect bites or ringworm. However, it is often the case that you will find none of these and your dog is simply suffering from dry or irritated skin.
Causes of Itchy Skin in Dogs
Itchy or dry skin can be caused by a range of contributing factors but is often linked to an allergic reaction. Environmental seasonal allergies, a reaction to shampoos or other chemicals and exposure to poisonous plants are common causes of irritated skin.
The dog’s diet can also play a significant part in causing irritation or inflammation. Most supermarket dog foods are highly processed and contain a range of additives including preservatives, which are not good for your dog. These foods are a very common cause of dry and itchy skin in dogs.
Determining whether or not food is the problem can be achieved by eliminating different foods from the diet one by one over a period of time and monitoring the results. Whether or not food is the cause of your dog’s discomfort, transitioning your dog to a natural diet is always a good idea – read more about feeding a raw diet at ‘What is the Prey Model Raw Diet for Dogs’.
Whatever diet you choose to feed your dog, ensuring their food is natural, free from preservatives and unprocessed is very important for canine health and wellbeing.
Natural Remedies for Dry Skin in Dogs
Rather than resorting to chemical treatments, natural remedies are often more appropriate for the dog with sensitive skin that is experiencing dryness and irritation. Depending on which part of the body is affected, some solutions may be more appropriate than others. However each of the natural remedies listed below should provide your dog some relief from itchy and dry skin.
Dogs with Dry and Itchy Skin
A range of natural treatments can be used to treat dry and itchy skin by hydrating the skin, soothing itching and offering your doggo some relief by alleviating these symptoms.
Coconut Oil for Dry and Itchy Skin
Coconut oil is a fabulous treatment for all kinds of skin conditions but is particularly good for treating dry, itchy skin in dogs. This product can be found in your local supermarket in the cooking oils section but don’t be fooled – Coconut Oil is brilliant for a range of uses, not just cooking. Particularly when you choose organic and extra virgin oil, this product has both antibacterial and anti-fungal properties when massaged into the skin. Coconut oil for dogs can also be used as a dietary supplement – feed ¼ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon per day – depending on the size of your dog.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Irritated Skin
Apple Apple Cider Vinegar is particularly useful to soothe dry and itchy skin in dogs, especially for the dog with irritated paws. Mix the Apple Cider Vinegar into a 50% water solution to bathe the area or soak the paw for up to five minutes. Alternatively, the mixture can be placed in a spray bottle for easier or more general application. Don’t worry if they lick it – it’s actually good for their insides as well! Why not try our apple cider vinegar antlers or straps to add it to their diet in a fun way?
Skin Yeast Infections in Dogs
If your dog begins to experience weeping skin or discharge, it’s possible that they might have a yeast infection, which is particularly common in the paws and between the toes. The Apple Cider Vinegar treatments mentioned above are brilliant for treating this kind of condition. Yeast infections can often stem from the digestive system and feeding natural yoghurt (plain and without added sugar) assists to promote digestive balance. Feed small dogs one teaspoon (large dogs two teaspoons) once a week for improved gut health and prevention of yeast infections.
Dogs with Itchy Paws
The paws are one part of the body that can really drive a dog mad when they are dry or irritated – producing the very best and most unrelenting ‘slurp slurp lick’ noises. Treating this area can also be difficult because of a dog’s tendency to remove any coverings that you may place on their paws to keep ointments from being trampled across the new lounge room carpet. In this case, a cone collar may be necessary for a period of time to stop your dog removing any treatments applied to the paws. Below are several useful natural treatments for specifically itchy and irritated paws:
Lanolin treatment for Irritated Paws
Often called wool wax or wool fat, lanolin is the natural grease that sheep produce in their wool. Made into a lanolin ointment, this is a brilliant topical treatment for dry and irritated skin. Lanolin has healing properties (especially for dogs with sensitive skin) and is readily absorbed. This is particularly useful rubbed into the paws and between the toes, as Lanolin is a great treatment for sensitive skin it can be applied to all areas of the body. Gully Road’s Lanolin Ointment – Balm from the Farm – can be purchased here.
Baking Soda for Itchy Paws
A baking soda paste can be applied topically to soothe irritated and itchy paws in dogs. This simple home remedy has a wonderful soothing effect through its anti-inflammatory properties and is perfectly safe for your doggo. Make a paste by combining baking soda with a small amount of water. Simply apply this paste to the affected area, leave for up to two hours, then wash off with water. This will balance the pH in the skin and leave your dog feeling much more comfortable. As with other paw treatments, a collar and foot wrap may be required.
Allergies and Natural Supplements
One key cause of skin complaints is often allergic reactions to the environment. Anti-inflammatory supplements can be very useful in this case – Rosehip for Dogs in particular has strong anti-inflammatory properties. See an excerpt from our previous article ‘All About Supplements for Dogs – Joint Health and Other Benefits’ below;
Gully Road Organic Rosehip provides anti-inflammatory properties and promotes general good health. In addition, rosehip is useful for promoting joint health, dog skin health and improved immunity … Rosehip has significant anti-inflammatory properties, being high in polyphenols and galactolipids. Therefore, it can be particularly useful in treating arthritis in dogs as well as other inflammatory conditions. Also a powerful antioxidant, rosehip is a potent source of polyphenols and carotenoids as well as vitamins C and E. For this reason, it is a powerful immune booster which can provide defence against infection as well as protection against damage from free radicals in the body.
Rosehip supplements can be fed to your dog by mixing into daily feeds. High-collagen Gelatin and King Island Kelp are also both useful supplements for the promotion of healthy skin and coat, with the latter also acting as a natural flea deterrent.
These natural remedies for skin conditions in dogs can yield brilliant results. However, for diagnosis of specific conditions – or if symptoms persist – we always recommend seeking professional veterinary advice.
A summary of the Gully Road for Dogs products mentioned in this article;
- Lanolin Ointment “Balm from the Farm”
- King Island Kelp
- Organic Rosehip
- Gelatin for Joints
- Apple Cider Antlers
- Apple Cider Fallow Straps
About Gully Road for Dogs
Gully Road enables our friends to buy dog treats online, fresh from our farm to your doggo’s treat jar. We source all of our natural dog treats carefully to ensure they are produced with the highest standards of animal welfare as the highest priority. We stock only Australian products with a range of grass fed Provenir© beef treats, seafood and chicken products, dog supplements, deer antlers and wild rabbit which are all biologically appropriate food for dogs. In addition, Gully Road Raw provides a range of highest-welfare Provenir raw beef products. Gully Road proudly delivers ethical dog treats Australia-wide from our little farm in Western Victoria.