So you have an itchy dog. First things first, everyone wants the quick fix but more important than what you put in at this point is what you STOP putting in. After all, if your friend has a shrimp allergy and you keep feeding him shrimp then you’re going to keep needing those drugs to stop the symptoms popping up. In itchy dogs the top allergens are wheat, dairy, cooked meat (certainly chicken and beef for the moment), all useless chemicals (chemical flea and worm control and annual boosters for viruses). For more on this please read our highly popular article on Food Sensitivity in Dogs.
Once you have that bit sorted and you’re still seeing some itch, consider making up a bottle of apple cider vinegar based anti-itch spray! The spray below will reduce inflammation on the skin and kill any baddies there, cooling and soothing, providing immediate relief.
Benefits of using Apple Cider Vinegar on Itchy Dogs
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is great stuff, everyone’s raving about it. The best ACV is the organic stuff containing “mother” which is all the bits floating around in it. This ACV has the best proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that we are after. You can find it in any good health store.
ACV is a top notch pro-biotic and is itself full of good bacteria making it both a brilliant addition to improve digestion but also a fantastic immune booster, hence its use in many digestive issues. ACV contains acetic acid making it one of the finest anti-bacterial, anti-septic and anti-fungal substances.
It is also shown to be great for diabetics, improving insulin sensitivity and reducing blood sugar in mice and humans. Several human studies show that ACV can increase satiety and the feelings of fullness, making people eat fewer calories. ACV can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and reducing blood pressure (in mice anyway), boosting heart health. Finally ACV has been shown to kill cancer cells and shrink tumours in rats. For the supporting science please see this great article on apple cider vinegar by authoritynutrition.com, they’ve updated since with information on how ACV can even help with digestion, weight loss! For now we’re going to get stuck in to how to use ACV to maximum effect in your dog!
How To Make a Great Homemade Spray For Itchy Dogs
This one’s so easy. You need to pick up a bottle of organic apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s is a popular one). Next you need some good quality green tea. Any is fine. Add half a cup of ACV to half a cup of strong, cooled green tea. The green tea is great for the skin. Tea poly-phenols have been shown to protect against skin cancer by securing skin free radicals and reducing inflammation, which is what is making him so itchy. Add this mix to a full cup of distilled water (boil some water and allow it to cool).
To this ACV / green tea mix I would add two things. The first is aloe vera. Aloe is the best herb for the skin for many reasons. Please source it in it’s rawest, purest form possible.
Also maybe think about adding some peppermint (you can find some in the tea bag section when you’re looking for the green tea). This will add a wonderful cooling effect to the skin!
Add your mix to a big spray bottle and store in the fridge. Spray on affected areas when and where needed!