Summer's here, and it's hot. For many dogs that means it's "itchy season," and watching them scratch is almost as uncomfortable for owners as it is for the pet. You might feel helpless, but there are things you can do to help your dog get through the season a little more comfortably.

  • Get a holistic veterinarian.
  • Bathe once per week using ONLY unscented, hypoallergenic shampoo and conditioner. In really bad cases, you may want to purchase shampoo from your holistic vet.
  • It’s important to dry your dog’s skin afterward. The best way to do this is with a high powered dryer at a dog washing station. Towels just don’t cut it. Don't forget to dry the armpits and between the toes very thoroughly. (please do not use your own hair dryer)
  • After being outside wipe your dog's paws, underbelly and entire coat down with a damp cloth or paper towel. Rinse well between uses.
  • Try not to go for walks around dusk or dawn
  • Wash pet bedding once per week, and use only unscented, natural detergent and no fabric softeners.
  • Vacuum as often as you can and wash your floors with vinegar (no soaps).
  • Make sure you're providing an omega 3 supplement everyday such as Wild Salmon Oil.
  • Try turmeric. It’s a natural anti inflammatory which can help calm the skin. ¼ tsp. per 30 pounds of body weight/day
  • Change your furnace air filter regularily and even use an air purifier if you can.
  • Feed a natural, unprocessed diet; raw or home cooked is best.
  • There may be more helpful hints here since reducing your dog’s toxic load will go a long way in helping him deal with other issues.

When all else fails, distracting your dog from scratching can also help. Teaching new tricks and using treat balls are an excellent way of doing so. A good ol' fashioned game of tug works too!