Is colloidal oatmeal good for dogs? A Step-by-Step Guide

So why add colloidal oatmeal to dog shampoo?

While the skin soothing and softening benefits of oatmeal in skincare have long been known, not known was the reason why it worked so well — until now, thanks to #science. It turns out these benefits of colloidal oatmeal are the same for humans, animals, and, yes, even dogs.

That’s why you are finding colloidal oatmeal in skincare products for humans and in pet care products like shampoo for dogs.

Here are just four benefits of colloidal oatmeal in dog shampoo:

Just like people, often dogs suffering from dry, itchy skin or from other skin maladies have alkaline skin. Healthy skin on the contrary is naturally slightly acidic, the acidity aiding the skin in its function as a defense against disease.

Now while often dog owners seeing their dogs excessively scratching themselves turn to bathing their dogs to relieve their discomfort, they need to be careful as their pet shampoo can cause further irritation. This is because soap by its very nature is alkaline as well. By putting alkaline soap on alkaline skin, they are adding fuel to the fire. While soap is helpful in removing dirt and excess oil from your dog’s skin and coat, it may cause more dryness, further chemically imbalanced skin and more discomfort. For this reason, it’s important to use a shampoo that naturalizes your dog’s alkalinity and restores healthy pH levels to your dog’s skin.

Colloidal oatmeal does exactly that. As it is slightly acidic, it normalizes your dog’s high pH levels, helping to return your dog to comfort. That’s why you find colloidal oatmeal in shampoos like Soothe-N-Itch Dog Shampoo.

Oatmeal contains certain chemicals called saponins which are known for their cleansing and foaming power. Added to soaps and shampoos, saponins give soaps that thick, soothing lather that not only makes you feel like you are getting whatever you are washing clean but that actually do help lift that unwanted dirt and oil.

Colloidal oatmeal in dog shampoo does the same, helping to make the bathing experience soothing and enjoyable for you and your dog, all while naturally lifting away the oil and dirt causing your dog to itch so much.

Oats bear a special antioxidant compound unique only to oats. Called avenanthramides, as antioxidants these compounds not only limit skin damage caused by free-radicals, but they have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Basically, these compounds slow down a number of body-biochemical reactions responsible for inflammation, pain and discomfort.

Research indicates “colloidal oatmeal as a whole exhibits antioxidant and anti-irritant activities, further demonstrating its effectiveness in the treatment of scaling, dryness, and itch.”

That’s why you find colloidal oatmeal in our dog shampoo, as oatmeal, by its very nature, is soothing to inflamed skin. It essentially throws water on your dog’s fire.

While you could technically say giving your dog a bath is rehydrating him as you are presumably dousing him with loads of water, while, yes, you certainly are getting your dog wet, ironically, you actually could be drying his skin out.

As we mentioned above, soap intrinsically robs oil and moisture from the skin. It’s what it does when taking all of that unwanted dirt and grime away from your dog’s skin and coat. If your dog is already suffering from dry, itchy skin, the soap could make his skin drier and make his suffering worse.

What you want for your dog is shampoo that restores and maintains the moisture in your dog’s skin.

In colloidal oatmeal there is a high concentration of polysaccharides which lend to colloidal oatmeal’s viscosity and its ability to adhere to the skin. This layer, once on your dog’s skin, creates a moisture-loving, attracting and maintaining film, creating a protective, hydrating barrier for your dog’s skin. Your dog’s skin, once a dry and parched desert, is now a life-giving rainforest.

The oatmeal counteracts the drying effect of the detergent component and actually hydrates your dog’s skin. That is why you see it in dog shampoo.

So after reviewing all of these benefits of colloidal oatmeal, perhaps now you can understand why you find it in skincare products and even more, in dog shampoo.

What is colloidal oatmeal and how it is made?

First off, a quick chemistry lesson. A colloid is one of three kinds of mixtures, the other two being a solution and a suspension. In colloids, a substance is evenly distributed through the solution and itself is so fine it cannot be seen by the human eye but it is not so small that it is the size of a molecule. If smaller than this, it is a solution, and if larger, a suspension.

So that’s the chemistry of it.

When it comes to colloidal oatmeal, this is oatmeal that has been ground up and processed via a dry method (read “really fine and advanced milling”) or a wet method (think of a chemistry set) to achieve an extremely fine particle size, fine enough to achieve a colloidal mixture as described above.

Great. So what is so special about colloidal oatmeal? We’ll answer that below.

Is oatmeal shampoo bad for dogs?

Oatmeal shampoo is good for dogs. Many people use gentle pet shampoos to bathe their dog to get rid of dandruff, itching, and allergies in the skin of their pet

Choose one according to the needs of your dog. Oatmeal shampoos can be the best alternative for dogs, and are especially useful to neutralize bad odors lingering in their hair.

Colloidal oatmeal is also used as a natural remedy to treat various skin diseases for dogs. Both humans and dogs can use, however you need not worry about using a certain type of shampoo according to the needs of the skin of your dog even if the pH level of their skin is different from humans.

The TRUTH about OATMEAL with Dogs?

Many dogs will experience dry skin, itchy skin, or some type of skin issue at one time or another, whether it’s due to a change in weather or allergies.

When your pup is feeling itchy or their skin is irritated, it’s natural to want to help them. One at-home remedy for itchy skin that can help your dog feel better is an oatmeal bath.

More consistent itching or hot spots will need a veterinarian’s expertise, but if your dog only has minor itching or you notice some flaking in his coat, an oatmeal bath is a convenient and inexpensive home remedy.