Most canine skin rashes result from dermatitis, allergies or fleas. Dogs can also develop yeast or bacterial infections causing skin rashes. The rashes itch, causing your dog to dig and bite at the irritated area. This makes the rash worse and may risk infection, which will need medical attention. Rather than using toxic chemicals, there are several natural treatments to soothe and heal skin rashes on dogs.
Brigitt Hauck of Northwestern University suggests oatmeal based shampoos to remove allergens that may be absorbed through the skin. To make a cool oatmeal rinse, soak one cup of raw oatmeal in a gallon of cool water for at least one hour. Strain the solids from the solution. After bathing your dog with a mild shampoo, rinse, then pour the oatmeal solution over him, working it down into the fur and onto the skin. Do not rinse it off.
If you suspect that mange or mites might be causing the rash, simple bacon grease may help. Rub ordinary bacon grease into the affected area two or three times each day for two weeks. The down side is the mess. You will want to cover furniture or bedding where your dog sleeps. The up side is that the rash will stop itching and the mites will suffocate. Healing skin and new hair growth should appear within a few days.
Many people grow aloe vera because of its healing properties. Aloe vera gel will soothe itching, and heal irritation from scratching. Scrape the moist gel from the inside of the leaf and apply it directly to the rash. You can also purchase aloe lotions at most pharmacies.
People in many parts of the world consider yellow dock a weed. However, according to Erichsen-Brown and referenced by Georgetown University, Native Americans used it as a poultice for healing wounds and itching. To calm the itching and heal a rash caused by yeast or allergies, add 2 Tbsp. of dried yellow dock to 2 cups of water. Bring this to a boil, and then cool. Bathe the rash with the mixture. You can purchase dried yellow dock at health food stores.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Borax
A mild peroxide and borax mixture will help to control mange. Mix 1/2 cup of borax with 2 cups of peroxide and sponge it over the rash and any sores. Do not rinse it off. Roger Doss, DVM, of The Animal Pet Doctor, describes sarcoptic mange as mites which burrow into the skin to lay eggs. The condition becomes itchy and inflamed and is very contagious. Launder your dog’s bedding and toys in borax to kill the mites when you cannot use bleach or hot water.
Olive Oil with Tea Tree Oil
The antifungal and antibacterial properties of tea tree oil will help to treat a bacterial or fungus infection. Mix one drop of tea tree oil with a 1/2 cup of warm olive oil. Swab the rash with this mixture. Because of the potential mess that the oil can make, protect the dog’s bedding with old towels or blankets. Use this mixture daily for ten days.