Unfortunately some German Shepherd owners may notice that their dogs are becoming itchy this time of year.
If you notice that your dog seems itchy, is scratching or chewing then there are a few things to consider. First, you should look at what you are feeding your dog. The lesser quality kibbles often have a lot of unnecessary grains which are added as filler. These can be tough on their skin/fur and cause a lot of itching or even allergies for some dogs. A natural raw diet is always a great option for your dog, but if you are unable to feed that there are high quality kibbles available. One of the best places to look in the Akron area is The Pet Loft in Bath. The Pet Loft is a locally owned pet store that has a wide variety of good quality kibbles.
Once your dog is on a good quality diet, be sure that fleas are not the issue. If you see one flea, then you can be sure that there are many more. Sometimes just one flea bite can irritate and inflame your GSD’s skin. You can visit my past articles on how to protect your GSD and home from fleas.
After you rule out fleas as the problem, now it is time to look at other possibilities. With the cold winter months here in NE Ohio, we use our furnaces a lot which dries out the air and our dog’s skin. If you feel your dog may have dry skin, here are some suggestions that you may try to give him some relief:
- Add Fish Oil to his food – Fish oil will add some omega-3 fatty acids to his diet which has been shown to improve skin health.
Rinse him with Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) – You can dilute one part ACV with one part water and apply it directly to the skin. You may try a spray bottle or a rinse in the bathtub. The ACV will help to condition the skin, eliminate dandruff and balance the pH levels in your dog’s body.
- Brushing and Bathing – Be sure not to bath your dog too often. Bathing will strip the skin of its natural oils which can cause itching. Only bathe when necessary, but brush often. Brushing your GSD’s fur will help stimulate the skins natural oils and make for a healthier coat.
- Natural & at home treatments – Some people have had excellent success using more natural options to treat itchy skin. Some options would be colloidal silver, rosemary, natural oatmeal shampoo, green/chamomile tea brew or vitamins/herbs.
As with any problem you experience with your German Shepherd Dog, you should always consult with your veterinarian as well as doing thorough research on your own.