A common problem from which dogs suffer is itchy skin. There are many potential causes of this, and it is distressing to watch your dog in discomfort. You will want to help your dog relieve the itchiness as soon as possible. Although there are many different products available for this, a natural option is coconut oil. Here is what you need to know about relieving a dog’s itchy skin using coconut oil.
What Causes Itching?
There are many reasons why dogs can suffer from itchy skin. One of the most common problems is an allergy. This could be an allergy to food or a seasonal allergy that is caused by specific pollens. Hot spots are another common cause of itching in dogs. If a hot spot is not treated, the dog will bite and scratch at it until they have caused an open wound that often becomes infected. Therefore, it is essential that a hot spot is treated quickly. Bites can also lead to irritation and itchy skin.
Why Use Coconut Oil for a Dog’s Itchy Skin?
Natural virgin coconut oil has many properties that are beneficial for common skin problems in both humans and dogs. Some of these properties include antibacterial, antiviral, antiprotozoal, and antimicrobial properties. These properties mean that is will reduce fungus and yeast when they contact the skin, It also means it is the ideal natural solution for cracked paws, hot spots, abrasions, dermatitis, and other forms of irritated skin.
Virgin coconut oil is a completely natural product as it is taken directly from the coconut flesh and not extracted using any chemical processes. Unlike many manufactured products available for dogs, virgin coconut oil contains no harmful substances or ingredients that could potentially cause further irritation. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which is a medium-chain fatty acid. Usually, these acids are found in the milk of mammals and its purpose is to give the immune system a boost. For this reason, coconut oil is excellent for treating both viral and bacterial infections.
Furthermore, coconut oil is not just good for the skin as it can benefit the internal functions of the body, too. It can soothe stomach upsets and digestive problems if it is given orally. Another benefit of using coconut oil is that it can condition your dog’s fur and give them a glossy coat.
How to Use Coconut Oil for Your Dog’s Skin
You can use coconut oil to treat your dog in several ways. One of the easiest is to pour a little onto the palm of your hand and rub it into your dog’s coat. Then, give their coat a brush to disperse the oil before rubbing any remaining oil into your own hands for a softening effect. Similarly, you can run a little oil directly onto affected areas, such as a hot spot, for direct treatment. Coconut oil can also be given orally to your dog, although you should check with your vet before introducing anything new into their diet. Start by drizzling around a quarter of a teaspoon of the oil over their food. You can then gradually increase this to around half a teaspoon once or twice a day.
A further use for coconut oil is to use it as a decoy to give your dog any medication they have been refusing to take. When coconut oil is cooled to lower than room temperature, it solidifies a little. You can roll little balls of the oil around your dog’s pills to disguise them.
Creating Tasty Treats
Introducing a little coconut oil into your dog’s diet can work as a preventative measure and not just a cure. You can do this by creating tasty doggy treats for your pet using natural ingredients that are safe for them to eat and including a little coconut oil. One simple recipe is as follows:
- 2 ½ cups quinoa, spelt, or oat flour
- 1/3 cup of coconut oil
- 3 tbsp organic pureed pumpkin or apple sauce
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- I tsp organic honey
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
Combine all the ingredients, except the flour, and then gradually introduce the flour ¼ cup at a time until you have created a firm mixture. Divide the mixture to create small balls that are approximately the size of a meatball. Refrigerate the treats on a plate for at least one hour before giving one as a treat to your dog.