Itchy skin in dogs may be a frustrating ordeal for many owners. There are various treatment plans to treat this skin condition depending on the underlying cause. Using a soothing shampoo for dogs with itchy skin is a good place to start. But it is best to first consult with a veterinarian, who can effectively treat the primary cause of the itchiness.
In order to alleviate the itching, the first step is to have the veterinarian determine if the dog is itching because of the presence of parasites such as fleas, lice, mites or an underlying skin condition or allergies. This is accomplished through a physical examination that may include diagnostic tests such as blood tests and skin scrapes. In the meantime, owners can provide relief from the discomfort by bathing their dog with an appropriate shampoo, according to Vetinfo.com.
Many owners may feel tempted at times to use human shampoo formulations for their dogs. As tempting that this could be, it is best to avoid doing this. Shampoos designed for humans are much harsher on the skin of dogs because they have a different pH level and may contain harsher detergents, according to the Doctors Foster and Smith educational staff.
Dogs suffering from dry, itchy skin often will benefit from shampoo therapy. The use of shampoos that contain colloidal oatmeal are helpful because they are soothing, and moisturizing. These shampoos can also be used quite frequently without drying the skin. Some oatmeal-based shampoos may also contain topical anesthetics or topical corticosteroids that are safe and help in reducing excessive itchiness, according to Mark Thompson, DVM, from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.
Water temperature plays a big role when it comes to bathing a dog with a good shampoo designed for itchy skin. Too often, dog owners resort to using water that is too warm when bathing their dogs. This may increase the skin irritation and aggravate the problem. The best option when dealing with itchy, irritated skin is to use only cool to lukewarm water. Cool water helps in effectively soothing the irritated skin, according to Vetinfo.com. Also, owners should always ensure that the shampoo is completely removed from the skin because any residue may cause irritation.
Owners of dogs with itchy skin due to skin allergies must be wary of certain shampoos formulated for dogs. Generally, shampoos containing artificial components such as artificial coloring, perfume or chemicals may cause or exacerbate skin problems in dogs with sensitive or irritated skin. Some of the best shampoos for itchy skin are found in organic aisles or natural food stores. However, in some cases, natural ingredients may still irritate a dog's skin, according to Vetinfo.com. Veterinarians often may prescribe the most appropriate shampoo for treating the dog's condition.
- Photo Credit Ronja 5 image by Nadine Wendt from Fotolia.com shampoos and shaving foam lined up image by Georgios Alexandris from Fotolia.com nass image by Nadine Klaus from Fotolia.com
What Do You Wash an Itchy Dog With?
Itching is a common ailment and is caused by a number of conditions. The most common problem is fleas, but itching can...
The Best Dog Shampoo for Sensitive Skin
Dogs with sensitive skin often become itchy and flaky after a bath. To reduce the risk of irritation, soothing shampoos should be...
Homemade Shampoo for Dogs With Allergies
Dogs with healthy, normal skin don't scratch incessantly or develop rashes. Yet, some dogs have allergies that are triggered by certain foods,...
Dog Shampoos for Severe Odor
If your dog has a severe odor, the right type of shampoo may be helpful in removing the foul smell. There are...