If your dog spends his days scratching at itchy skin and keeps you up at night with persistent licking and chewing, he needs to see a veterinarian. However, a homemade oatmeal bath can help give your dog temporary relief from dry skin, allergic reactions and hot spots.
Add 1 cup of whole oat oatmeal to a blender and blend until the oatmeal is a fine powder. The brand of the oatmeal does not matter, but the oatmeal should be unflavored without sugar, fruit or other common oatmeal ingredients.
Fill a tub or large bucket with warm -- but not hot -- water. 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. If you are bathing your dog outside in the summer, lower temperatures are fine. Pour the crushed oatmeal into the tub and stir with a large spoon or stick.
Place your dog in the tub and allow him to soak for five to 10 minutes. If your dog won't sit still in the tub, pour the oatmeal mix onto his skin and coat, gently rubbing it in.
Rinse your dog and then towel-dry him. Brush him with a brush appropriate for his coat while he is still damp. Brushing can help remove dead skin, excess hair, flakes and flea eggs that may be contributing to itchiness.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
- Responsible Pet Ownership Blog: Home Remedies for a Pet's Itchy Skin
- The First Aid Companion for Dogs and Cats; Amy D. Shojai
- If your dog has a specific itchy spot, combine 1 cup of oatmeal and 1 cup of water to make a thick paste. Then apply the paste directly to the itchy spot.
- A variety of ailments including allergic reactions, skin infections, yeast infections and fleas can cause itching. An oatmeal bath won't cure these conditions, so you should not use it as a permanent remedy.
Brenna Davis is a professional writer who covers parenting, pets, health and legal topics. Her articles have appeared in a variety of newspapers and magazines as well as on websites. She is a court-appointed special advocate and is certified in crisis counseling and child and infant nutrition. She holds degrees in developmental psychology and philosophy from Georgia State University.