Home remedies for minor skin rashes in dogs are a safe and reliable alternative when veterinarian care is not immediately needed. Skin rashes, allergic rashes, and/or itchy dry skin are more common in dogs than owners may realize. Before dog owners can choose the appropriate home remedy, they should find the cause and eliminate it from their dog's environment if possible.
The most common cause of skin rashes in dogs is allergies. Some allergies can be caused by environmental contaminants that a dog comes into contact with, some dogs are genetically predisposed to certain skin allergies, and others can be caused from the foods a dog consumes. External parasites such as fleas can cause allergic rashes especially if the dog is consistently scratching at the skin. Some dog breeds like the Bichon Frise are prone to skin allergies and require extra care with their diet and with flea prevention.
It is important to understand that no home remedy is going to be successful if the source of the rash is not eliminated from the dog's environment. Any chemical, household cleaner, air sanitizer and even your own hand lotion and perfume can irritate your dog's skin. You need to rule out every possibility which can take several days to weeks to uncover.
A great place to start is the time period in which your dog began to show signs of the rash. Did you change foods? Was another pet introduced into your home? Did you plant new flowers in the garden? Has your dog recently begun taking medications? Until the source in identified, owners can try these home remedy options to help ease a dog's discomfort.
From oatmeal and vinegar to tea and herbs, dog owners have many options available that may help alleviate a dog's skin rash. Medicated shampoos prescribed by a veterinarian are recommended but some owners have had success with human medicated shampoos such as T/Gel. Some of the same products that we use on our own skin are also safe for a dog but opt for all-natural ingredients or baby shampoos. Dogs that already have some type of rash may have a reaction to fragrances that are included in many human products.
Aloe vera is a natural ingredient from the aloe vera plant known for its ability to soothe the skin and aids in healing. Natural vitamin E oil and Milk of Magnesia are known to ease irritated skin. Both can be placed on a cotton ball and applied directly to the dog's skin. Lastly, owners can try an oatmeal or baking soda bath by adding either of these products to warm water and pouring over the dog's skin, focusing on the affected areas. These treatments will need repeated daily until the rash has completely disappeared.
To help prevent skin conditions in dogs, owners should consider supplements to their dog's diet. More studies are proving positive that omega-3 fatty acids found in supplements can aid in many different skin disorders. Rashes, dry patches, and itchy skin can improve with this simple miracle nutrient. After beginning a supplementation regime, it can take two to eight weeks before improvements of the skin are noticeable. There have been very few side effects connected between correct dosages of omega-3 supplements and dogs. Some owners do complain of their pet's breath having a "fish" odor.
A dog with a skin rash should be prevented from scratching at the affected areas as this can lead to lesions which can become infected. Keep your dog's toenails trimmed. For dogs that are determined to scratch at the rash, consider using dog boots or shoes to cover the feet and toenails. There are many areas that you as a dog owner will need to explore to uncover the factors influencing your dog's skin condition.
You won't need to discover the source of your dog's skin rash to begin home treatment and ease your dog's irritation. However, to prevent the condition from returning, you should dutifully try to find the source to help your pet live comfortably without the discomfort of skin rashes. It is highly recommended for rashes that do not heal, begin to emit an odor, or get worse to be examined by a qualified veterinarian.
THE EVERYTHING DOG HEALTH BOOK, by Kim Campbell Thornton & Debra Eldredge, D.V.M., copyright 2005.