A hot spot or acute moist dermatitis is a painful and itchy skin infection that starts as a small irritation on a dog’s skin and becomes infected with bacteria. These can become painful for your dog. In addition to trimming the fur around the area, keeping it clean, and treating it with an antibiotic, these natural remedies can help relieve the pain and itch so your dog will be less inclined to scratch.
There’s nothing like a soothing cup of herbal tea at the end of a long day. But chamomile, calendula, and green teas also have properties that can calm your dog’s irritated skin and reduce inflammation.2
To create a “tea soak” or tea bath for your dog’s itchy skin, fill up a sink or tub with warm water and let several herbal tea bags steep for at least 3 minutes. Once the tea has steeped, let your dog soak for 5 minutes. If your dog has smaller itchy patches, you can steep a tea bag in a cup of hot water. Let the water cool down, then pour it on your dog’s skin and let it drip dry.2
Natural aloe vera feels good on a sunburn, but it can also relieve hot spots on your dog. Even better, if your dog has fleas, you can mix it with warm water, castile soap, and a drop or two of dog-friendly essential oils to create an effective anti-flea shampoo.1
Your dog may also be at risk for yeast infections or fungal infections like blastomycosis. While talking to your vet should be your first step, these natural remedies can help curb these types of infections and make your dog more comfortable.
Apple cider vinegar is a natural antiseptic and antifungal substance that could help relieve dry, itchy skin. It’s also a great way to soothe your dog's skin and paws if they’ve walked through poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac. However, it should never be used on open cuts, open scratches, or skin that has been scratched raw. That will only cause your dog extreme pain and make things worse.3
To treat skin, put a 50/50 mix of water and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and spray on the affected area. If your dog has itchy paws, let them soak their paws in the mixture for up to 5 minutes.3
For dogs, many yeast infections start on the inside and spread to the outside. One way to help reduce the presence of yeast is with the good bacteria found in yogurt cultures. You can feed your dog a spoonful of plain, unsweetened, unflavored yogurt once a week.3
You can give it to them directly, or mixed with their food. Usually, one teaspoon works for smaller dogs, while larger dogs may need 2 teaspoons. Before feeding yogurt to your dog, you may want to talk to your vet about potential risks, especially if your dog has shown signs of allergic reactions to dairy products.3
Human skin has a natural pH balance of 5.5 – 5.6 which is more acidic than a dog’s pH balance, which is closer to the neutral level of 7. Using a human shampoo on your dog would disrupt the natural acidity of their skin leaving them more vulnerable to infection and parasites.4
In a pinch, you can use a baby shampoo that has a pH level that’s closer to neutral and better for your dog.5
Essential oils like lavender, cedar, and lemongrass can help keep your dog calm and even serve as a natural flea repellent.6 Always consult your vet before using any essential oils and avoid using essential oils like oil of cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen, and ylang-ylang which can be toxic for dogs.7
Home remedies can help relieve your dog’s itch in the short term, but you should always make sure that you take your dog to the vet. Otherwise, a minor itch can quickly become an expensive irritation.
That’s where a dog insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance could help. Our dog insurance policies can helpy you provide the coverage and care your furry family members deserve, even when they've got an itch that simply won’t go away. Get your free quote today.