Dog itching is often difficult to diagnose. Some dogs are truly suffering an underlying ailment, while others just make a habit out of scratching. Regardless of whether your dog's itchy skin is from stress, habit or a symptomatic skin condition, alternative medicine offers a variety of non-invasive, non-toxic and chemical-free natural solutions.
Dogs get itchy skin for a variety of reasons and sometimes it's because of a flea infestation. Dog owners can usually spot the little nits as they scurry, scamper and swarm the belly area. Alternative medicine offers a variety of options for dealing with fleas on your dog. Your dog can be treated with topical oils and herbs that fleas find so offensive they vacate. Anti-flea oils include rosemary, eucalyptus, camphor, lemongrass, pennyroyal, sage or garlic. Herbs that work against fleas include catmint, pennyroyal and garlic. Another alternative way to address your flea problem is from the inside-out. Holistic veterinarians are fighting fleas by incorporating brewer's yeast, lemongrass or garlic into dogs' diets. Massachusetts veterinarian Jeffery Levy urges dogs to eat fresh food diets, preferably organic, to have fewer flea problems.
Canine allergic reactions are usually accompanied by areas of irritated skin. Allergic reactions are your dog's immune system responding unfavorably to some food, material or airborne molecule. Bathe your dog once a month, or as per his veterinarian’s instructions. Oatmeal, which has a drying effect, is a natural bathing solution for irritated skin. Holistic healers recommend using baby oatmeal cereals because they readily dissolve in warm water. Bathing also removes allergens, irritants and yeast, kills bacteria, and washes away lingering flea dirt and saliva. A strong chamomile tea solution bath can help satiate your dog's incessant itching. Vet-recommended natural food diets can help dogs with food allergies. Prepare your dog's meals with a fresh, moist, diet including human-grade protein, raw fruits and vegetables, fiber and fatty acid.
There are two types of mange in dogs, sarcoptic and demodectic mange. The insects responsible for both types are microscopic mites. The parasitic mange mites burrow under your dog's skin and will eventually infest your dog's entire body. Garlic is known for its repellant properties and the addition of garlic to your dog's diet can eliminate mites, but also ward them off in the first place. Garlic also works like an antibiotic, which is a bonus because bacterial infections often accompany a mange outbreak. Wormwood, lemongrass and neem are herbs that can be mixed with natural oil (like vegetable oil) to battle against his mange infestation. The neem herb's healing properties act as an anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, anti-viral and anti-fungal, when dabbed topically on your dog.
Once your veterinarian has examined your dog and his itching turns out to be nothing more serious than dry skin, emotional anxiety, hot spots, a contact irritant, an immune system reaction or sensitive skin, alternative medicine solutions are available. Homeopathic remedies for your dog's itchy skin include aloe vera, colloidal oatmeal, tea tree leaf oil, grapefruit seed oil extract, calendula and peppermint. Natural remedies to treat your dog's itchy skin should be acquired from a licensed holistic veterinarian and always follow the instructions on the product label closely.
- Alternative Veterinary Medicine Centre: The Control of Fleas in Dogs and Cats
- All Natural Dog Remedies: Dog Mange Treatments
- Pet MD: 10 Holistic Tips For Managing Fall Allergies
- The First Aid Companion for Dog and Cats; Amy D. Shojai
- Dr. Jeffrey Levy DVM, PCH Classical Veterinary Homeopathy: Natural Flea Control
- Darrin Klimek/Photodisc/Getty Images