Dog skin problems, allergies, and chronic skin infections can impact a dog at any age. An older dog is generally more likely to suffer from skin infections if he has had them in his youth. Common causes of dog skin infections and allergies are contact dermatitis or allergies, underlying health issues, poor diet and weak immunity. Certain skin diseases are also contagious and your dog could pick them up from infected animals at a dog care center. Today we will discuss some dog skin problems home remedies, and things you can do if your dog has crusty scabs on the back, legs and tummy area.
1. Feed him nutritional supplement
A nutritional supplement contains skin friendly oils and omega essential fatty acids. These moisturize the skin and improve immunity. Many of these supplements also benefit overall health such as vision, digestion, heart health, joints etc. Talk to your vet about Derm Caps or other similar nutritional supplement to strengthen the immune system naturally.
2. Treat fungal infections
If your dog skin infection is fungal in nature, you have to take steps to stop it from spreading. Bathing the dog with antifungal shampoos is one way of doing that. You can also apply antifungal skin creams or lotions. Trimming the fur can also prevent spread of the infection. Shorter fur length will allow the medicine to penetrate deep down to the fungal infection which will increase its effectiveness. Fungal spores often thrive on the hair itself and trimming it can greatly reduce the chances of re-infection.
3. Get rid of moisture
One of the simplest dog skin allergies home remedies is the use of moisture absorbing powder. Moisture is an enemy for your dog’s itchy skin but sometimes, friction can be a greater culprit. Sprinkling prickly heat powder in itchy areas of your dog’s fur can absorb excess moisture and also minimize chafing. Avoid using scented powders or talcum powders with dyes and perfumes. You can use medicated prickly heat powder like Gold Bond® or Desinex®. Dry the folds of skin after bathing or swimming. If your dog has crusty scabs in the folds of the skin on the belly or arms, then moisture could be accumulating there. You can also apply a bit of rubbing alcohol to these folds after drying them. This fast fix can prevent itching and get rid of fungi and bacteria. Avoid using alcohol near the eyes or mouth.
4. Change his diet
Often, grains in commercial dog food can lead to skin allergies in dogs. So reconsider his diet. Your vet can also discuss breed specific allergies so you can tailor his food accordingly. Some breeds are allergic to eggs, lamb, fish, soy, wheat, gluten etc. Changing the diet can prevent many food intolerances which lead to itching, flaking, dandruff, as well as gastrointestinal issues like bloating, vomiting, diarrhea etc. A homemade grain free diet is often the best home remedy for allergic or hyposensitive dogs.
5. Wash and groom him regularly
Many dog skin problems can be prevented with weekly or fortnightly baths and daily grooming. Long haired breeds especially need daily combing to remove loose hairs and prevent ticks and fleas. Use a vet approved shampoo for bathing your pet. Avoid using human shampoos as they are not suitable for your pet’s skin ph. Oatmeal shampoo can soothe your dog’s dry and itchy skin and will also prevent itching caused by fleas, ticks, mange or scabies.
6. Use anti-tick/anti flea products
Yearlong protection from fleas, ticks, lice and mites is a must to keep your dog infection-free. Bathe your pet with shampoos formulated for fighting these parasites. You can also use powders, collars spot-treatments, injections or oral medicines. Make sure you repeat the tick/flea treatment every few months to keep your pet healthy all year round.
7. Use Lime Dip
Some skin diseases like Scabies are very difficult to treat. Scabies causes a mad itch and your dog won’t be able even sleep because of it. A lime dip solution can help in such cases. Lime Plus Dip is an effective way to treat scabies. (Note that scabies is contagious and could even harm you and your family members. So always wear gloves while handling infected pets and if needed, isolate them). You can also cover him up with some clothing to prevent him from scratching and secondary infections. Also clean up your entire house, pet bedding and kennels/crates etc with bleach to get rid of the scabies microorganisms.
8. Use Listerine for dandruff and hot spots
Hot spots are itchy, red, and moist areas on the skin. They result from an itch-scratch-chew cycle. Some of these dog skin problems home remedies include Listerine and/Gold Bond powder. But very severe infections could require prescription strength medicines for resolution.
9. Use keratolytic shampoos for dog skin bumps
A number of illnesses can cause dog skin bumps including pyoderma, flea allergy dermatitis, impetigo etc. For very serious pus filled bumps on the back, groin or other areas, you might need antibiotics or antibacterial shampoos. If your dog has fleas, he might chew the bitten regions causing skin bumps. Treating the root cause of the bumps can help eliminate the issue. Comedo syndrome is a common skin issue in breeds like schnauzers. It is characterized by black crusty scabs on the back. And may be cause due to flea dermatitis, bacterial folliculitis or other issues like contact dermatitis to medicines etc. Mild lesions do not need special treatment and can be managed with keratolytic shampoos. Benzoyl peroxide shampoos and moisturizing rinses can be used for avoiding skin irritation.
We hope these home remedies help you treat your dog skin allergies at home. Seek medical help if the infection worsens or does not clear up in a few days.