All dogs lick and scratch themselves. But, sometimes, it becomes excessive.
This may be due to chronically itchy skin, often a result of allergies. Some dogs also scratch themselves raw because they have a canine form of OCD. Or, there may be no discernible cause for this behavior.
Occasionally, it’s just a relatively simple fix. If your dog’s skin is dry, and your vet rules out other problems, you can use a special body butter made for dogs, intended to moisturize and soothe the skin.
Oftentimes, though, the solution is not so simple. Your dog may be allergic to something in the environment. If it’s a seasonal allergy, it will be impossible to keep him away from pollen altogether, although you can minimize his exposure by keeping him indoors when the allergies flare. Unlike people, who may develop respiratory complaints, dog allergies often show up on the outside of the body.
If a particular type of food is the culprit, your vet may recommend an elimination diet so you know what’s triggering the itching. This is one of those times it’s best to work with a holistic vet. One of the conventional approaches to uncontrollable itching is steroids. Unfortunately, this can have devastating health consequences, and can’t be used long term. Steroids also don’t fix the problem, but only mask the symptoms.
It’s important that you work with your vet. I’m a dog Mom, not a licensed healthcare professional. So all of the information here is my personal opinion, presented for information and discussion only, and not to be regarded as medical advice.
Home Remedies for Dog Itching
Most holistic vets would advise you to do all you can to minimize the itching. It’s uncomfortable for your dog, and it can also lead to infected skin if your dog continues to aggravate the same area.
Homeopathy is one type of home remedy that’s gaining more momentum among dog owners interested in natural solutions to their pet’s health problems. This treatment compatible with herbal and conventional medicine. There are even specific wide spectrum homeopathic remedies designed for dog skin problems.
In a perfect world, every veterinarian would have studied animal homeopathy, or he or she would have an expert to consult with. Unfortunately, though, this isn’t the case. There are relatively few veterinary homeopaths in practice, and they’re often difficult to locate. Also, these practitioners are generally expensive, although it’s probably money very well spent, if they can find a solution to the itching. In the long run, you’ll probably also save a lot of money on vet bills because homeopathic treatments often bring about deep and lasting healing.
However, there is another option for dog owners unable to bring their pets to a homeopath, but still want the benefits of this 200-year-old healing method that’s making a huge comeback.
Homeopathic Remedy for Dog Itching
Derma-ionX is a formula made for dog skin problems. It’s contains more than two-dozen homeopathic remedies that are commonly prescribed for itching skin, both for dogs and for people. The principle behind homeopathy is to give the body a tiny bit of a poison that would produce the same set of symptoms if given full strength. This minute amount of toxin, too small to be harmful, helps the body heal.
One of the remedies Derma-ionX is Rhus tox. This is a highly diluted version of the poison ivy plant. Another remedy in this formula is Sulphur. This is considered a “polycrest” remedy, which means it has very wide-ranging action on the system, and is one of the most commonly used remedies in homeopathic medicine. Sulphur is a good remedy to strengthen a weak constitution. Thuja is another remedy used by homeopaths, and is often given when a person or a pet has never been well since vaccination. It’s no secret that some veterinarians believe an aggressive vaccine schedule is partly to blame for the rising incidence of canine allergies.
For More Reading
Natural Remedies for Dogs with Dry Skin