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My dogs aren't very itchy. Thanks to a diet of raw dog food and quality fish oil, our dogs don't have the issues that they had when they ate a commercial kibble diet. However, they're not 100% immune to the occasional itchiness.
If you've been a reader, then you know that my goal is to raise my dogs naturally. If you're new to my blog – Welcome! – and, FYI, I'm trying to raise my dogs naturally. It's a slow journey because I'm teaching myself what's best for my dogs. In some cases, I can treat an issue with a homemade recipe, in other cases, I try to find a natural pet product.
There are three types of itchiness that I experience with my dogs and want to address in this blog post:
- Itchy paws
- Itchy body
- Itchy ears
In my research, I've learned that dogs will develop itchiness due to a compromised immune system. The immune system is tied to a dog's digestive track – healthy gut, healthy dog. Unhealthy gut, unhealthy dog. If you're feeding a food that isn't helping your dog maintain a healthy digestive system, your dog will experience all manners of health issues, including chronic itchiness.
Naturally Relieving Your Dog's Itchy Paws
Rodrigo used to have itchy paws as a result of food and environmental allergies. My dog experienced relief from chronic itchiness when I began feeding him a species appropriate diet of raw dog food combined with supplements that support better digestive and immune system health.
But like I said, my dogs aren't 100% immune.
Rodrigo's paws bother him when he plays on wet grass or freshly mowed grass. I'm not sure why, but I've learned to start wiping down his paws when he comes inside with a 50/50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. Before he goes to bed, I mist his paws with Ditch the Itch, massaging in the oil into his paw pads and between his toes for relief.
When Rodrigo's paws used to be raw and have cuts; I would massage coconut oil on them before bedtime. This worked to heal any wounds.
Ditch the Itch by Natural Paws
“Anyone with an itchy dog knows the frustration of listening to the chewing, scratching, and nibbling at all hours of the night and day. Ditch The Itch is the answer to our customers’ pleas. You asked for an all-over spray for dogs with extremely itchy skin. Your [sic] told us that your dogs were “allergic to the world”, and needed a relief spray that would help your dogs Ditch The Itch without the use of steroids or chemicals, and we’re proud to present exactly that.” Source: NaturalPaws.net
I've been using products by Natural Paws for as long as I've been interested in finding natural solutions to common dog ailments. Before raw feeding and other natural alternatives, I took my dog to the vet who would prescribe an antibiotic or try to convince me to feed my dog a Science Diet recipe. When I learned of the damage to a dog's gut from regular use of antibiotics, I stopped calling the vet and started doing my own homework.
Ditch the Itch is a product dreamed up by a dog lover who wanted a natural solution to her dog's constant itching and contains a list of ingredients that were formulated by an herbalist who is also a natural product & peptide chemist with an impressive background in zoology and botany.
“Nettle Leaf, Oatstraw, Marshmallow Root, Pau D’ Arco Bark, Goldenrod Herb, White Willow Bark, Siberian Ginseng Root, Ashwaganda Root, Colloidal Oatmeal, Zinc Oxide, Allantoin, Panthenol (provitamin B5), Vegetable Glycerin, Aloe Powder, Leuconotoc Radish Root, Flax Seed Oil, Capric Triglyceride, Squalane (vegetable) Oil, Vitamin E Oil” Source: NaturalPaws.net
Why I Use Ditch the Itch
Each of my dogs has experienced some level of itchiness and Ditch the Itch is always on hand to provide relief. With my growing experience with essential oils, I could make a similar product for myself, however, Ditch the Itch does such a great job providing fast relief that I reach for it first.
- Ditch the Itch has a nice, pleasant scent that isn't over-powering. Making it great for Zoey, who is sensitive to strong smells.
- Ditch the Itch provides quick, fast relief. I just mist over the area that is causing the problem and massage it into our dogs' paws, skin or coat.
- Ditch the Itch is non-toxic, so I don't worry if Rodrigo decides to lick his paws a couple more times to taste what he smells.
Naturally Relieving Your Dog's Itchy Body
Sometimes one of my dogs will sit down, lean to the side, and give the back of his or her ear or side a good scratch. It doesn't last long, but for a quick second I ask “dammit, do they have fleas?”
No, our dogs don't have fleas. Thank heavens.
Just like humans have the occasional scratch (it sucks when it happens between my shoulder blades), dogs do as well.
I like to spend time petting and massaging each of my dogs. This is the perfect time to do an at home exam to make sure nothing that requires a vet's attention has cropped up. During this time, I'll also brush my dogs, remove any tangles, and massage their coat and muscles with Ditch the Itch. This process keeps me up to date on how my dogs are doing while relieving itch and sore muscles through a daily bonding experience.
The dogs love it!
Naturally Relieving Your Dog's Itchy Ears
Our dogs rarely have itchy ears now that they eat a raw food diet, but sometimes it'll crop up depending on the weather and the constant scratching can make it worse. I've learned to examine the ears weekly and clean them once or twice a month (some people believe cleaning should be more often, my vet is okay with my schedule).
I used to use a liquid product from Life's Abundance that I poured down the ear canal, mushed it around by massaging their ear, and gently wiping their ear clean after they had a good shake.
This made my dogs miserable and once you did one dog, it became nearly impossible to do the rest, because the jig was up – they knew what was coming.
Today, I have an easy ear cleaning process depending on how dirty my dogs' ears are.
|Regular Cleaning – Not Very Dirty||Very Dirty, Yeasty Smell, Sucks for Them and Me|
|Mist the ear with EARoma thEARapy by Natural Paws.||Spray a 50/50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.|
|Allow to sit for a few minutes (while I go around and mist everyone else's ears).||Allow to sit for a few minutes.|
|Wipe out their ear with a damp tissue or cloth.||Clean out the ears with a doggy q-tip by Pura Naturals Pet (get all the black icky stuff out) without going too deep.|
|Move on with my day.||Lightly mist the ear with EARoma thEARapy by Natural Paws.|
|Don't wipe out.|
When Sydney's ears would be raw and have cuts; I would massage a small amount of coconut oil in them before bedtime. This worked to heal any wounds overnight.
Why I Use EARoma thEARapy
When you have multiple dogs, bath time, nail trimming, and ear cleaning become a nightmare of drama, screaming (Scout), and me chasing the dogs around the house. J just laughs so now I do it when he's not around. When I make him help, then he complains that I'm torturing the dogs. *eye roll*
I get it. None of our dogs like these chores. I'm okay with being the bad guy (or woman) because I'm also the one who feeds them and provides yummy treats and an endless supply of kisses. They forgive quickly.
- EARoma thEARapy also has a nice scent that isn't overpowering. This is common with the entire Natural Paws product line.
- EARoma thEARapy makes cleaning ears fast and easy while doing an excellent job and keeping yeasty ears from turning into an infection or causing pain and discomfort.
Raising Dogs Naturally
We're fortunate to live in a time when so many small businesses are providing natural, quality products to help us protect our dogs. Yes, I can use chemical treatments, but they make our dogs miserable and I worry about the long-term impact on my dogs' health.
Natural Paws has made raising healthy dogs easier.
This post shared my experience. To read other experiences with Natural Paws products, check out what my friends have to say…
- Some Pets – a blog about pets and stuff. This blog covers everything from kittens, to cats, to puppies, to dogs, and all the stuff we need to raise them.
- Groovy Goldendoodles – a blog about two gorgeous Goldendoodles and their mom's experiencing raising them in Charleston, South Carolina.
- Rubicon Days – a blog about two sweet rescue girls, one who is reactive, and their amazing mom. This is the blog that showed me that reactivity