Ask Your Veterinarian About Soothing Dog Shampoos
A cool bath with a mild, fragrance-free dog shampoo can be soothing and help decrease some of the inflammation, says Dr. Kitchen. “Pick a soap-free shampoo, if possible, and avoid ingredients such as fragrances, perfumes or insecticides,” she says.
According to Dr. Richter, dog shampoos containing oat proteins, aloe or tea tree oil can also be helpful for itching. Vets Best flea itch relief shampoo and TropiClean flea and tick bite natural after bath treatment are good examples, as they contain ultra-soothing medicated ingredients that can provide relief.
When using itch-relief dog shampoos, Dr. Richter explains, “The key to bathing these dogs is to allow for 10 minutes of shampoo contact time before rinsing.”
If your dog is really suffering from itchy, inflamed skin, Dr. Kitchen recommends asking your vet about prescription skin and coat care shampoos that contain phytosphingosine (helps repair the skin), chlorhexidine (antibacterial) and climbazole (antifungal). All of these ingredients can be very helpful when it comes to soothing the itchiness and irritation of flea bites.
Talk to Your Veterinarian About Topical Medications
If the itching is concentrated on a particular spot, topical treatments can be highly effective, as they are easy to apply and can be washed off if the pet has a reaction to them, says Dr. Kitchen.
While there are many products out there for itching, Dr. Richter suggests starting with natural products containing antibacterial enzymes and then talking with your veterinarian about topical prescription pet medication like hydrocortisone if you don’t see results.
“Veterinarians are also able to prescribe topical medications containing steroids, antibiotics and/or antifungal medications,” says Dr. Richter.
Dr. Kitchen says that gels can provide relief, but they “are not going to be effective if the affected area is larger than the palm of your hand. If all of the skin looks red and your dog is itching in multiple places, pet owners should see their veterinarian for some systemic therapy to provide relief.”