When your dog feels itchy because of allergies, parasites or dry skin, treat her to a spa day. You already have items in your pantry that will pamper your pooch and relieve her itch. She might not be crazy about the bath, but she'll be happy to ditch the itch.
Therapeutic Effects of Oatmeal and Baking Soda
Baking soda and oatmeal are home-remedy superstars. They work well together to relieve itching skin while cleansing and conditioning your canine buddy's coat. The alkalinity of baking soda helps soothe her skin. Baking soda also is an effective deodorizer and will help to gently clean your pooch. Colloidal oatmeal, which is oatmeal ground to a fine powder, neutralizes redness and itchiness while moisturizing and helping to balance the pH of your pup's skin. Use your blender or food processor to turn the oatmeal in your pantry into colloidal oatmeal.
Causes of Itchy Skin
Your pup is prone to dry, itchy skin, especially in dry climates and during dry seasons. She also can be allergic to many of the same things you are, such as pollen, dust, molds and various foods. Then there are the parasites such as fleas and ticks that can set your pal to scratching. Oatmeal and baking soda shampoo may not rid your precious pooch of these hazards, but it will soothe her skin and calm the itch.
A Simple Solution
No matter what is causing your dog to scratch, a simple mixture of oatmeal and baking soda in some warm water is an effective alternative to shampoo. Just run some warm water in the tub, then add 1 cup of colloidal oatmeal and 1 cup of baking soda. Stir it around a bit to mix everything together, and stand your pooch in the treated water. Have her stay in the tub at least 15 minutes. Scoop up the water-soda-oatmeal mix and massage it through your dog's fur. Rinse her coat thoroughly with warm water before removing her from the tub.
Oatmeal and Baking Soda Shampoo
If you like the idea of a homemade cleanser but would like something that will lather your pup more like a traditional shampoo, mix together 1/2 cup of dye-free, unscented dish soap, one tablespoon of colloidal oatmeal, one tablespoon of baking soda, one tablespoon of glycerin, and one tablespoon of lavender, lemon or orange oil. Mix the ingredients well, and use the mixture as you would a normal shampoo.
- The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats; The Editors of Prevention Magazine Health Books
- Vet Info: The Benefits of Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs
- Bulldogs for Dummies: Susan M. Ewing
- Vet Street: Ditch the Itch: Homemade Dog Flea Shampoo
- Colloidal Oatmeal: Colloidal Oatmeal
- Vet Info: Dog Skin Care Tips from Veterinarians
- The Pet Lover's Guide to Cat & Dog Skin Diseases; Karen L. Campbell
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.