As dog parents, we cannot deny that we are responsible for the well-being of our pets. We also try to take care of our dogs’ requirements to the best of our capacity. Yet dogs can, and they often do, suffer from both serious as well as minor issues, and we must attend to their needs. You should have probably noted that dogs tend to scratch themselves, just like human beings. Unlike humans, they use their toenails for scratching. Imagine what you go through when your back itches, and there is no way for you to reach it. Your dog, too, can’t reach itself in all the places that may itch, and such extended scenarios can cause great trouble for your dog.
Don’t we like to share all their pains and sorrows? But we feel helpless in situations like these where we find ourselves helpless. Itching is not something that can be cured with a single dose. More than that, even if it subsides for once, it can always come back if the reason for the itching was not diagnosed in the first place.
That is why it is important to diagnose the reason behind your dog’s discomforting itching. Then, try to figure out the possible solutions for the same. Don’t worry. We’ve all had troubles with our pets, and this community is here to help each other become better dog parents with each passing day.
What is Causing Your Dog to Itch?
Even though dogs, like all other animals and humans, often itch themselves, you should not take it lightly as pet parents. Try to determine the cause, as there can be a lot of reasons for your dog to itch. Let’s have a quick look at most of the causes that make your dog itch itself.
To begin with, your dog could be suffering from allergies. Dogs can be allergic to things around them, including packaged foods or even their healthcare products like shampoo. If your dog is constantly scratching, it may be due to an allergy, and you may need medical assistance to be certain of that. In extreme cases, you might want to consider getting your pet to a veterinarian for a proper examination followed by a thorough treatment.
#2. Fungal Infections
Additionally, your dog might have been infected by bacterial and fungal infections. You are aware that dogs have hot spots, bacterial infections, or ringworm, which is one of the most common types of fungal infections that can make dogs itch.
Besides, tiny parasites, called mites, live on dogs’ skin. They can cause skin infections as well, which can cause itching in your dog.
There are always chances of insect bites, especially from fleas and mosquitoes, making them itch themselves.
#3. Dry Skin
Depending upon the weather, your pet dog might be suffering from dry skin or some variant of skin infection, which is why it is scratching itself. To relieve your dog from this persistent problem, you need to address the same and apply medication to the affected areas.
Is it Possible to Make an Anti-Itch Spray at Home?
Last month, my pet dog scratched itself insatiably, and I was concerned about what to do. I thought that although we always have the option of taking them to vets to deal with the problem of itching, is it possible to find a solution to this problem in our home? I read from various online sources and discovered that making a quick and easy anti-itch spray in our home is indeed possible.
The solutions that I will share in the following sections have several benefits. To begin with, this anti-itch spray can be made at home. The ingredients that one needs to use are simple and are always available in our kitchen or the medicine cabinet. Because you can make it at your own convenience, you can decide on the quantity of the spray.
Most ingredients used in the preparation of this spray are organic. Therefore, the spray is safe o use as it does not contain any harmful chemicals, which can adversely affect your dog’s health in the long run. In fact, abstain from using any new product on your dog while showing signs of itching, as the harmful chemicals can aggravate the situation even more.
What are the Ingredients?
Let us quickly have a look at the ingredients you will need to prepare this anti-itch spray at home.
For starters, you will need a cup of fresh and clean water. All you need is half a cup of apple cider vinegar, a quarter cup of freshly extracted aloe vera gel, a tablespoon of glycerin, and ten drops of essential oil in popular flavors like lavender or chamomile. After knowing the ingredients, you must have realized that all of them are easily procurable, as mostly these are readily available.
Adding lavender oil to this spray will ensure that your dog doesn’t get disgusted by the foul smell of apple cider vinegar.
Let me tell also tell you something else. This anti-itch spray is so safe that even if your pet dog consumes or licks it accidentally, it won’t cause any health issues for them. Still, for the sake of safety, it is always recommended that the spray should not be directly applied near your pet dog’s eyes, nose, and mouth.
How to Prepare an Anti-Itch Spray?
Since we know about the ingredients of the anti-itch spray now, let’s have a quick look at the way to prepare this solution. Even though the process is not very difficult, sometimes too much quantity disbalance can prove problematic. You do not want to add additional misery to your dog’s existing situation.
Preparing this anti-itch spray is really easy, and all you need to do is combine all the ingredients in a glass spray bottle or a good quality plastic fiber bottle and shake well. Then, apply the spray generously on your dog, especially in those areas where your pet keeps itching repeatedly.
It is highly recommended that you shake the spray bottle well before using it on your dog. After using the homemade anti-itch spray, just keep it away from your dog, and store it in a cool and dark place. This spray can be stored for up to two months and can be easily used whenever your dog feels itchy.
How to apply Homemade anti-itch Spray?
To apply your homemade anti-itch spray, take the bottle of anti-itch spray out of the refrigerator or any other cool place where you have stored it. Remember to shake it well before using. Spray the solution gently on your dog. Do not spray the solution on any broken skin or cuts. It will sting your dog, and it may whimper in pain. Depending on the level of itching, you can apply the spray daily, bi-weekly, or thrice a week.
Other Natural Anti-itch Spray You Should Try
There are some simple anti-itch solutions that you can easily make at home and use on your dog. One of these natural anti-itch sprays that you should definitely try is apple cider vinegar. For best results, mix water and apple cider vinegar in equal ratio and store it in a cool place. Its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties are quite helpful in dealing with your pooch’s itches.
Besides, you can grind oatmeal into powder and mix it in your dog’s bathing water. It is non-toxic, and even if your dog licks it, there will be no harm. You can also mix the powder with some water and apply the paste to the itchy spots on your dog.
In addition, herbal tea and chamomile tea socks can soothe your dog’s itches. You can always soak tea bags in water and bathe your dog in it. Otherwise, you can soak these tea bags in a little water and pour the water on your dog’s itchy patches.
How to Avoid Itching in the First Place to help Your Pets?
Let me not even get started on how useful apple cider vinegar is to avoid itching in your dog. It is not just helpful for itching but also for maintaining the overall hygiene of your pet. I often use apple cider vinegar for bathing my dog after a long run or a trek. It doesn’t only helps in relaxing and soothing my dog but also helps in maintaining hygiene.
In fact, you can use a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to wash your dog’s utensils and crate once in a while to get rid of any bacteria or fungus. For this purpose, you need to mix the vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio. You can use this mixture to prevent any fleas or ticks on your dog’s bedding by occasionally spraying it on your pet’s bed.
Also Read: 18 Common Health Problems in Large Breed Dogs
To ensure that your dog doesn’t experience itchiness that often, an apple cider vinegar (obviously diluted in water) bath is a must after heavy physical activity.
Give your dog a proper diet as recommended by their veterinarian. A poor or improper diet could also be one of the main reasons for irritation and itching. It could also respond to an underlying issue, which can be dangerous.
Sometimes, we tend to avoid these little signs and symptoms, but seeking professional help early can help save your dog from any severe issue in the long run.
Homemade Dog Anti-Itch Spray: FAQs
Yes, a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water in equal proportion makes an excellent anti-itch spray. Besides, even if your dog licks or consumes the solution, it won’t harm your dog. Remember to store the solution in a cold place and shake it well before applying it to your dog. Just don’t apply it on broken skin, abrasions, or cuts, as it is essentially acidic in nature and will hurt your dog and be painful for it.
There are some simple and easy home remedies that you can use on your dog to get rid of its itchiness. Try spraying your dog with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water to get rid of itchiness. Chamomile and green tea soak also work great with itchiness. Infuse tea bags filled with green tea or chamomile tea in water and bathe your dog with it.
Besides, both aloe vera and baking soda are quite easy to procure, and they can help with your dog’s itchiness. Moreover, you can also use coconut oil on your dog’s coat to deal with its itchiness. Last, bathing your dog with oatmeal powder mixed with water or applying oatmeal paste can effectively deal with your dog’s itchiness as well.
A mixture of apple cider vinegar and regular water, when added in equal percentages, is a great solution to deal with itches in dogs. Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties and is great for your dog. It is recommended that you should spray your dog with this solution at least once a week. If you feel that it is helping your dog, you can increase the frequency.
Apple cider vinegar is totally safe for your dog. It is rich in iron, magnesium, and potassium, and it’s good for your dog’s digestive system. So, even if your dog licks apple cider vinegar, it is going to be beneficial for it.
But please remember that consuming too much apple cider vinegar can upset your dog’s stomach. Moreover, apple cider vinegar is acidic by nature, and not all dogs can digest it. Hence, it can also lead to gastrointestinal complications in some dogs if consumed in large quantities.
According to recent research, coconut oil can improve the quality of the coat and skin of your dog, energy levels, and reduce allergies. For best results, apply coconut oil to your dog once a week and let your dog’s coat absorb the oil for a couple of minutes.
It is always better to use organic coconut oil. After about 5 minutes, rinse the oil off. You can also rinse the coat of your dog with shampoo if it feels excessively oily and greasy.
It is advised not to leave coconut oil on your dog overnight, as it can cause some serious problems in your dog. In fact, it is recommended that you should not leave coconut oil on your dog for more than ten minutes.
If left overnight, coconut oil tends to clog pores and can clog your dog’s coat. Moreover, long exposure to coconut oil may develop skin conditions like pimples in dogs. Besides, you don’t want your dog to lick off the coconut oil from its coat, as it can create temporary digestive issues like diarrhea.
Dr. Lillian is a D.V.M. passionate about promoting awareness of dogs. She shares her expertise through her blogs on canineweekly.com and provides animal care services, including internal medicine, dermatology, and emergency care. Dr. Lillian is committed to contributing to animal welfare.