Over the last few decades, we’ve seen more and more dogs with allergic dermatitis, food intolerances and immune-mediated diseases. We can try to limit the causes to a certain point and we can give the dog prescribed medication, however, this usually only provides short-term relief or improvement. Inevitably they will rear their ugly heads again sooner or later.
There is, however, one thing we can do at home to help our itchy dog… bath, bath and bath again 🛁.
|I bet in the past you’ve heard that you shouldn’t bathe your dog often, perhaps even not at all? This was quite common a few years ago, especially with terrier people who believed terriers were not supposed to be bathed at all. Shampoos, in the past, were largely based on tar and sulphur but they have come a far way since then.|
Bathing your dog at home is very effective, cheap and the sensible thing to do in order to remove the allergens from the coat and skin. Bathing provides immediate relief and the guideline is to bath your itchy dog at least once a week.
The key is to choose your shampoo wisely. Go for a natural shampoo, containing coconut oil, argan oil, charcoal, jojoba oil, neem oil, calendula oil and essential oils like lavender, peppermint and chamomile. Read the label carefully because some shampoos contain natural and/or organic ingredients but can still contain some toxic chemicals.
Avoid shampoos with:
❌ added dyes or colourants
❌ artificial fragrances, as they are linked to allergies, headaches etc.
❌ mineral oils
❌ Stearalkonium chloride
If you’d like to do some DIY you can even make your own shampoo from soap nuts! Soap nuts (sometimes called “soap berries”) are probably the most sustainable cleaning product we can get 🙂
What are they? They’re an all-natural, plant-based product (they grow on a tree) that are easy to grow organically and require very little processing or packaging.
nuts are naturally hypoallergenic, odourless, highly effective and gentle at the same time. There are countless ideas on how to use them, making them sustainable and versatile. Soap nut fruits actually contain a natural soap called
saponin, which is released when they come into contact with water.|
Here’s how you can make your own shampoo which doubles up as a cleaning product as well!
Add a hand full of soap nuts to 3 cups of water and simmer for 30 minutes then let it cool down and strain it. You can then use this liquid to clean your kitchen floors, etc and you can even freeze it! An idea is to make ice cubes and then add them to your bucket of water to wash the floor. If you put the liquid in the blender you get a nice silky, foamy liquid that can be used as a 100% natural shampoo for you and your dog. Just be careful to avoid the eyes as it really stings.
As this product is all natural with no preservatives it won’t last long, in fact, only a couple of days in the fridge. I’d recommend making a fresh batch every time you need to bath your dog.
Another way to soothe itchy skin and balance the skin’s pH level, is to make an apple cider vinegar & green tea rinse:
🍏 ½ cup green tea; cooled down
🍏 ½ cup apple cider vinegar
🍏 1 cup distilled or boiled water cooled down
Mix it all up well, then wash your dogs as usual and rinse well with plenty of clean water. Apply the pre-made rinse on the dog’s coat and skin, massaging it in well. You can rinse it off or leave it on the coat and it can then work as a bug, fly and flea repellent as well! WOW!
You can keep the mixture in the fridge, in a closed jar, for about a week or two but if it gets mouldy, don’t use it!
Let me know how it goes?