If you bathe your dog too frequently, his skin may become dry and itchy. Some dogs naturally develop itchy skin and may require dog shampoo formulated for sensitive skin. Because specialty dog shampoos can be expensive, consider making your own homemade dog shampoo to save money and improve your dog's skin.
Causes of Itchy Skin
Dermatitis is the term veterinarians use to describe skin conditions in dogs that may cause itching and irritation. Some of the most common causes for dermatitis in dogs include allergens, insects and nutritional sensitivities. Dogs typically spend a great deal of time outdoors where allergens like grass and weeds can irritate the skin. Insects like fleas and ticks can also cause itching in dogs. Many dog owners do not realize that their dog's diet can also impact the health of his skin. If you aren't feeding your dog high-quality food, or if he has developed a sensitivity to one of the ingredients in his food, it could result in dermatitis.
Homemade Shampoo Recipe
Making your own dog shampoo is very simple and it only requires a few ingredients. Start with one quart of water and add one cup of all natural liquid soap. Add 1/3-cup glycerin to the mixture and whisk the ingredients to combine them. At this point, the mixture should have a gravy-like consistency and it should pour easily into your preferred storage container. You may also add one cup of apple cider vinegar to help combat odor and to make your dog's coat shine.
Ingredients for Itchy Skin
Once you create the basic recipe for your homemade dog shampoo, you can add certain ingredients to make it soothing on your dog's skin. Aloe Vera is one of several additives for dog shampoos that can help relieve itchy skin. This substance will soothe your dog's irritated skin while moisturizing it to prevent further irritation. Adding natural oils like olive oil and tea tree oil can also moisturize your dog's skin, helping to keep it from itching. Scented essential oils like lavender, lemon and rosemary oil can be substituted as well to give your shampoo a pleasing scent.
Bathing Tips for Itchy Skin
If your dog has itchy, sensitive skin, be careful not to bathe him too often. Bathing your dog too frequently could dry out his skin, causing irritation and itchiness. When you do bathe your dog, be as gentle as possible to avoid causing any discomfort. Use your hands and fingers to carefully massage your dog's skin rather than scrubbing at it. Not only will this prevent irritation, but it will also stimulate your dog's skin cells. Regulating the water temperature when you bathe your dog is also important -- if the water is too hot it could irritate his skin further.
Katherine Barrington has written on a variety of topics, from arts and crafts to pets, health and do-it-yourself projects. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a creative writing concentration from Marietta College.