This is the time of year when mine come down with fleas. I don't have any home remedies (other than the old standby, the blue Dawn dish detergent) but that can possibly dry the skin even more and make them even more itchy. I get mine each a dose of Comfortis from the vet. Usually one dose is all it takes and the fleas don't come back. A lot of skin problems are caused by food allergies too. You might try a good grain-free food for a while and see if that makes a difference.
Just had some experience with a product called Nu Stock. It's wonderful. They use it on horses, etc. I will even use it on me for a rash or any itchiness. After Lola gets a bath, I just dab it on the hot spots. Itch goes away immediately. Stinks but works beautifully. Amazon carries it, as well as feed stores.
Our little guy has allergies, too. I agree that it could be fleas. If that is not the problem, it could be allergies to pollen ~ the same kind of thing humans get when exposed to something we are allergic to, too. Claritin or benadryl are safe for our dogs. Call your vet to clarify dosage. Our vet told us that unless wheezing or itching are causing the animal to suffer, we do not need to treat. They are not like us, worrying about why they aren't breathing well, or why they are itching. Try benedryl first. If your dog becomes sleepy or lethargic, switch to claritin.
Clarify with your vet before trying either medication, okay?
I don't really know everything. I just pretend to, here on the site.
P.S. I wouldn't give either medication on a regular basis. When the symptoms really seem to bother him or her, that is when I would give half the dose the vet recommends, based on the animal's weight. If that doesn't help, then go to whatever dose the vet initially recommended.
Our 25lb dogs get Zyrtek year round, two pills a day, on Vet's orders...should be 3 but we aren't home mid-day. Benadryl isn't strong enough for ours. Even with the Zyrtek they lick their paws constantly. I'd definitely try the benadryl.
The Benadryl dosage for dogs is about 1 mg per pound of body weight. My three Bostons weight from 22 lbs. to 30 pounds and for seasonal allergies I give them one broken up 25 mg tablet daily in their food - close enough. It's a good thing to have around ... if they ever get stung by a bee or wasp and start swelling up, give them one dose ASAP. Our vet recommends giving them the children's liquid Benadryl if you can get it down them.
A lot of dogs can be allergic to grass too, especially when it's freshly cut. One of mine will lick and bite her feet till they bleed. Again, Benadryl and wipe their paws and legs with a wet wash cloth when they come inside.
Wow, thanks, guys. I just got off of work. Of course first thing I do is check in here
I did talk to my vet and hoped not to have to give him anything because he does fall asleep. I am going to try some of the stuff you guys suggested. I feel so badly for him. I don't know what he's allergic to, but it's only in the summer months. He is fine all winter.
Sometimes I wonder if it's grass. He loves to roll in the grass.
I know he doesn't have fleas. That was checked out.
They're probably picking up pollen in the yard. If the undercoat isn't too bad you can hose them down on a regular basis and wash it out of their fur. Both our dogs are two coated dogs, so Mandy, who is the one who roles in the grass and dirt for a good scratch will stay wet for a week if you don't blow her dry. It's not an option for her. But we do add fish oil capsules to her food twice a day to try to combat the dry skin. Being a Labrador, she just eats it with the rest of the food. She'll eat them like treats, too if needed.
If this is an allergy, one of the best things you can do is to clean the dog after he goes outside. You need to get the pollen off of him, so you can clean him after each trip outside. That can be a huge task, rather overwhelming, so at the very least he should be cleaned up each night before bedtime so he isn't sleeping with the pollen all over him. They sell pet safe baby wipes at pet stores, but the prices are nuts. I would find a hypoallergenic sensitive skin fragrance free baby wipe (Walmart has a good one in their Parent's Choice brand) and wipe him down with a couple of those as often as possible. Our vet uses these on her dog and we have been using them on Captain Morgan for quite some time. Any bedding the dog sleeps on regularly should be washed often to keep pollen off of it.
Benadryl can be super helpful, but be aware that it can make them drool excessively. A cat we used to have drooled so much he looked like he had rabies or a Santa beard each time we gave him liquid benadryl. The pill didn't cause this, but the liquid benadryl was astonishingly good at causing this. Not all cats or dogs do this, of course. It scared me to death the first time it happened.
Oatmeal baths can be very very soothing, but PLEASE don't waste your money on the Aveeno packets. They are incredibly overpriced. You can put either old fashioned or quick cooking (NOT instant, NOT flavored) oats into the blender or food processor and process into flour, then dump that into the water and bathe the dog. If you don't want to process the oats and send them down the drain, you can put the oats into an old sock or section of pantyhose, tie a knot in the end and toss that into the bath water. Let it soak a couple of minutes, squish it around with your hands if you want, and when you are done just throw it away. For a bath in the tub, I would use about 1/3-1/2 c oats. If you use a smaller tub or a sink, use less. If fleas are a problem, a bit of lavender or rosemary in the tub is helpful at getting rid of them. You can put dried lavender or rosemary into the hose with the oats if you want, or you can just toss a bit into the water.
Baking soda in the bath water is also very soothing, though I haven't ever used it with oatmeal. I have added a few drops of lavender essential oil to a container with baking soda to make a bath treatment that is great for humans and pets.
If he gets one spot and licks and chews it until it is raw or bleeding, see the vet. Often the vet will give a topical treatment and the problem with that is the dog licking the medications off or chewing off a bandage and then licking off the medication. You can get something called Bitter Apple at places like Tractor Supply and Atwoods. It is a nasty tasting liquid you spray on an area to keep the animal from licking the area. It can be very effective at stopping the licking and chewing. We always made sure there were no cuts or sores in the problem area before we put the Bitter Apple on. If there are sores/wounds, apply the stuff to the outside of the bandage, NOT the skin.
You might also consider using a bit of oil on the dog's skin after each bath. I would use rice bran oil probably, or maybe almond oil if almonds are safe for dogs. Rice bran oil would be my preference because it is really light and absorbs super fast. It is also super gentle on skin, and safe for the dog to lick. I greatly prefer to use food quality oils rather than commercial moisturizing products because they are far safer than all the chemicals in commercial moisturizers. I get rice bran oil at Big Lots and it isn't expensive there - $6 for a 32 oz bottle.