If your pup is constantly rolling onto his back or rubbing his sides against the furniture, or continually hinting that he'd like you to scratch his favorite spot, he might have dry skin. It's a condition easily alleviated with the use of various natural remedies that you most likely already have in your home.
Many skin conditioners for humans contain oatmeal due to the various natural healing properties in this grain product. It works the same for a canine's skin. the polysaccharides or complex carboyhdrates in oatmeal that nourish human skin do the same when applied in paste form to canine skin. The saponins found in oatmeal are like nature's detergent without the harsh side effects. The naturally foaming saponins cleanse dirt and irritants from the skin, reducing dryness and itching. To make oatmeal paste, mix equal parts water and oatmeal, applying it directly to dry spots for 10 minutes before rinsing off.
Not only will your canine companion's taste buds enjoy the tasty coating of his food with olive oil, his skin also will reap moisturizing benefits. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to his food three times a week. Be sure to monitor your pup's weight. One tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories. This might not sound like much to a human, but for a dog it is substantial: Dogs generally require only 20 to 40 calories per pound of body weight per day. Check with your veterinarian if concerns develop regarding your dog's weight.
Several herbal products that work well for human skin are also helpful for the skin of dogs. The healing strength of vitamin E is well-documented and available in lotion or pill form. The same is true of fish oil with its properties that not only hydrate dry skin but also strengthen the skin's own ability to retain essential oils. Tea tree oil is another herbal remedy that incorporates a multilevel approach to skin treatment. Tea tree oil not only alleviates the itchiness of dry skin but it also works as a natural antiseptic agent to kill infection-causing bacteria before it attacks skin.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Spraying apple cider vinegar directly on the dog's skin is another natural tactic useful in reducing dry skin irritation. The fruit enzymes in apple cider vinegar have a tonic action that promotes blood circulation. A more efficient delivery of fresh, oxygenated blood at the cellular level also equals bringing internal healing derived from proper diet and supplements. Apple cider vinegar is also a natural astringent that cleans up bacteria and regulates the pH of skin.
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.
Amy M. Armstrong is a former community news journalist with more than 15 years of experience writing features and covering school districts. She has received more than 40 awards for excellence in journalism and photography. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Washington State University. Armstrong grew up on a dairy farm in western Washington and wrote agricultural news while in college.