A dog with itchy skin can be such an aggravating problem, especially when you don’t have the slightest idea as to what is causing all the scratching.
Some causes of excessive scratching have tell-tale signs. For example, mange is characterized by loss of patches of hair, crusty skin, and sometimes intense itching. If you see fleas or flea dirt on your dog or in your home, a flea bite allergy may be the cause of your dog’s constant itching and scratching.
But what if everything looks normal? And your dog continues to itch and scratch. Your dog may have an allergy (pollen, food, etc), or may just be reacting to a certain contaminant. A very common culprit for your dog with itchy skin is your shampoo and bathing techniques.
Follow the grooming advice listed below to help with your dog’s itchy skin:
* Do not use human shampoo on your dog. Dog skin is completely different from human skin (fewer layers, different pH level) and needs special shampoo. Our human shampoos are way too strong to use on a dog. Always use a shampoo formulated for your type of dog.
* If you bathe your dog frequently (weekly) or notice very dry skin, try using a dog conditioner after shampooing. The dog conditioner helps to seal the coat and keep moisture in the skin. If bathing your dog is a major chore and the thought of adding another step makes you want to scream, try a combination dog shampoo/conditioner.
* Always, always, always thoroughly rinse your dog. If your dog does not like baths, this can be a very difficult part of the process, but it is absolutely necessary! Shampoo residue on your dog will result in dog itchy skin.
* Only use lukewarm to cool water to bathe your dog; hot water irritates your dog’s skin.
* After bathing your dog, pat dry, don’t rub, with a towel. Rubbing will also irritate the skin.
* If you must use a hair dryer on your dog, use the low, or no, heat setting. Hot air will only further irritate your dog’s itchy skin.
If you are bathing your dog to help stop dog itching, use a shampoo that contains colloidal oatmeal. Both humans and dogs use colloidal oatmeal because of its abilities to retain moisture in the skin as well as for its anti-inflammatory and anti-itching properties. Try to let the it stay on your dog’s skin for 5 – 10 minutes before thoroughly rinsing. And remember to always use only lukewarm water – warm/hot water hurts the already aggravated skin.
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