I have often wondered, since I have a French Bulldog with extremely itchy reactive skin, how intense it is for her. It led me to start thinking about how sensitive a dog is since they can feel a tiny flea on their skin. How awful and intense the itching must feel and how miserable it must be! I reason, that when my dog is itching, it’s probably 10 times worse than what I would feel. Itchy skin for dogs can be triggered by regular normal allergies. Since I can see how miserable and uncomfortable my French bulldog Reagan is, I want to make sure that I soothe her itching fast without using harsh drugs.
There are many itch fix solutions that are gentle and easy on your dog’s body and most can be found at the local drugstore or health food store.
How The Itch Works
Poor Reagan – she’s going to start thinking that her name is “No scratch!” since that is what we are always telling her. It reminds me of when I was a child and my mother would tell me to stop scratching my mosquito bites because it only made it worse. In reality, it all comes down to the body’s own histamine response and it seems to be a vicious cycle because Reagan itches and scratches, which irritates her skin, which in turn produces more histamine. During inflammatory and allergic reactions, the scratching compounds the problem by further intensifying the itch. It seems that if I could just break that scratch-itch-scratch cycle we might be on the way to making her more comfortable.
Stopping The Itch
I have searched for effective remedies that stop the itches quickly and prevent the escalation of histamines in the tissues. It appears that there are many remedies that are readily available which are natural topical products that do the job well. With Reagan, if I can nip the itch in the bud, the problem is most likely to get resolved. If the problem doesn’t get resolved, it might be a systemic issue which is why we are now working with a homeopathic veterinarian.
Calendula is an herb that not only heals the skin because it has a powerful ability to render bacteria’s helpless better than most antibiotics, but it also has an anti-inflammatory effect while promoting new healthy cell growth. Your local health food store would have this and you can purchase a tincture of it to dilute in water and apply with a spray bottle to your dog’s problem spots
Baking soda works wonders – it has a soothing effect and is anti-inflammatory and it acts as an acid neutralizer and creates a more basic pH that helps to relieve itching. You can mix 1 tablespoon with a little water and make a paste and place the paste on the areas that are itchy or red and you can leave it on for a couple of hours and then just wash it off. This also works very well for irritated feet and if it dries up and falls off on your carpet it could be vacuumed up without harming anything.
Aloe vera is absolutely amazing – in fact last week I went out and purchased two semi mature plants. The fresh gel is much better from the live plants because it has important enzymes to soothe skin. The cut leaf will last for about three days in the refrigerator. The enzymes are not present in bottled gel and these enzymes are incredibly powerful and work rapidly to heal itchy skin.
My French bulldog, Reagan, can attest to the amazing healing properties of the jellylike substance that comes from the leaves of this plant. This gel also helps to rapidly regenerate damaged tissue and increases the rate of healing in the cells while it decreases inflammation. It has antibiotic and coagulating agents in it. In my attempts to go with the more natural route for Reagan and her itchy skin, I purchased the plants and placed them in a southerly facing window on the windowsill where they are doing wonderfully. The best part is they require minimum maintenance and they grow pretty quickly.
Witch hazel is also another helpful item to have on hand. The tannen it contains is a natural astringent because it tightens, dries and hardens tissue. When applied to the skin, it reduces swelling, repairs broken skin, and fights bacteria – and it’s 100% natural. It smells fresh and it doesn’t stain furniture or carpets when applied to your dog. Just soak a cotton ball in it and rub it on your dog’s irritated areas – it works amazingly well. If your dog has itchy paws, you can pour some in a bowl or container and dip your dog’s feet in it and then pat them dry.
Zymox is an enzymatic product used for ear infections and skin conditions. It is made from a mild plant surfactant and the enzymes have anti-inflammatory properties that calm the skin. They are safe and effective and non-toxic – in fact the homeopathic veterinarian that I’ve been consulting with for my French bulldog has recommended Zymox shampoo (which is readily available through Amazon) It has been very effective for her skin and seems to be helping greatly The terrific thing about it is it’s gentle enough to use 2-3 times a week.
My Final Thoughts
While not every single one of these remedies works on every single dog, there’s a very good chance that most will work on most dogs. If one solution isn’t effective, you can move to another one without any fear of harming or poisoning your dog because they are all natural remedies. If your dog tends to get itchy spots it would probably be a terrific idea to have some or all of these solutions on hand and ready to go because when itching is the problem the trick is to nip it in the bud as quickly as possible so that it doesn’t escalate.
I would love to hear your comments, feedback, stories and ideas.
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