Skin Allergies in Dogs: Home Remedies to Try Before Seeing Your Vet
Dog skin allergies are tough to figure out. I've tried eliminating potential food ingredients and haven't found the exact combination. It's also really hard to figure out what external allergies might be affecting your pup. If you've already been to your vet, you know the drill. They want you to try antibiotics, special foods, and maybe even some kind of harsh and expensive steroid treatment. With my pug, her symptoms are itchy armpits. They have become increasingly hairless, stinky, sweaty, and dark over the years. I've had numerous vets try to figure out what it is with no luck at all. That's why I've turned to some natural and home remedies.
Here are a few things to try if your dog has hot spots, itchy skin, yeasty ears, goopy eyes, or any other skin condition that seems like it might be triggered by an allergy.
5 Tips and Remedies for Dog Skin Allergies
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Put it in a spray bottle, dilute with water, and spray on the itchy spots a couple of times a day. Before bedtime works great for my dog, but she makes the bedroom smell like chips. I also wipe her ears down with it after cleaning them.
There are also capsules of apple cider vinegar power that you can find in the vitamin/natural supplements section at Whole Foods. I break them open and put them in her food sometimes when the allergies are really crazy.
2. A Simple Healthy Diet
Ditch the gross, generic dog food and get one of the high quality brands that don't have any grain, corn, by-products, or other fillers.
I switched my dog to a food made by "The Honest Kitchen" and it made a world of difference. I once tried to switch her back to dry dog food, and she immediately got a bunch of new hot spots under her chin. So I fed her food from The Honest Kitchen again, and after a few days, the spots were gone. Another brand we like is Grandma Lucy's.
3. Medicated Bath
If your dog has mild skin problems, an oatmeal bath might do the trick. For my pug, I had to resort to Malaseb shampoo.
I bathe her about once a week. It doesn't help with figuring out the source of the problem, but it does help her skin heal and makes her less itchy between baths. Malaseb also comes in a spray and wipes.
Do not apply it to spots that your dog can lick. I can spray the apple cider vinegar anywhere, but with Malaseb, I only use it on her armpits where she can't reach. I also use the spray sparingly.
4. Detergent & Household Products
Your dog might have an allergy to the detergent you use to clean their bed and blankets or even the product you use to clean your carpet. Something like Carpet Fresh, Lysol spray, or any yard sprays for bugs might also be the cause of itching. Wash bedding in just bleach. Don't use soap or fabric softeners.
5. No Treats
If your dog has a food allergy, it's a lot easier to control what they are eating if they are only eating their own dog food. For treats, I give my pug a little piece of her own food, and she's just as happy with it as receiving a mystery dog bone. I also like to give her baby carrots on occasion. If you know there is a healthy food that doesn't bother them, only use that.
My Personal Experience With an Itchy Dog
If you have allergies yourself, you know what it's like to feel as if the itch is starting on the inside of your body and working it's way out to your skin. You also can't help but to madly scratch it. I see the same thing happening with my dog. She'll dart out of her bed in the middle of the night, scratch her dog pits and ears feverishly, and then settle back into bed to start with the obsessive paw licking. She's a pug and pugs like to sleep, so I'm guessing she doesn't choose to have these middle-of-the-night itching, scratching, and licking sessions.
Piglet the pug has been an itchy girl ever since she was a puppy. I haven't found a cure, but I've certainly spent a lot of time and money trying to figure it out and trying to make her more comfortable. I hope my tips and tricks will help your dog, too.