Green Goddess: Hot itchy dog remedies

Long Lunch 20/02/2018

Green Goddess: Itchy dog remedies by Wendyl Nissen.

It is the season of itchy dogs. Heat, humidity, fleas going wild. Here are some natural tips to help them.

If your dog likes to nibble away at their skin and has some sores which won’t heal, try using this.

Sulphur is very healing and the smell stops the dog from nibbling. You can get it at chemists — just ask for sulphur powder.

Dog Itch Salve:

  • 2 tbsp petroleum jelly
  • 1 tsp sulphur powder
  • Mix together and apply to the wound.

Cider Vinegar:
This remarkable substance has been used for centuries as an antibiotic, an antiseptic and a healing elixir — and you can buy it on your supermarket shelf.

Add 1 tbsp to your pet’s water bowl to aid digestion and keep them in top condition. Some people believe it also helps deter fleas.

Dog Vinegar Rinse:
You can also use normal brown vinegar or cider vinegar as a final rinse for your dog to get rid of smells and fleas.

Dilute ⅓ vinegar to 2/3. warm water and pour over the dog. Do not rinse out.

For a bad case of fleas, spray neat cider vinegar on your dog until the coat and skin are wet. Leave for 20 minutes (I used to take mine for a walk at this point) then rinse off.

Put a garlic clove in your pet’s water; you can help deter pests such as mites and fleas.

De-Flea Powder:
There is this amazing substance called diatomaceous earth which you can get at health stores and some garden centres.

It is a naturally occurring chalk-like rock which is harmless to us but attaches itself to the flea’s waxy coating and causes it to dehydrate within 48 hours.

You can rub this into your pet’s fur. I use it on my dog and it does have an effect. A

lso sprinkle it around your pet’s bedding, in the cracks of your floorboards, in your carpet or anywhere else you think fleas might be hiding.

You can also use it on your garden to kill slugs and snails.

Doggy De-Flea Treats:
My old dog Shirl used to absolutely love these biscuits.

They have lots of other goodies in them, such as wheatgerm for vitamin E and linseed for omega 3 fatty acids.

Do keep them in an air-tight container, as one batch I made went mouldy after a week. Not that Shirl seemed to mind!

  • 3 tsp Maggi beef stock powder (or dissolve 2 tsp Marmite or Vegemite in the hot water below)
  • 3 ½ cups wholemeal flour
  • ½ cup wheatgerm
  • ½  cup bran
  • ½  cup linseed
  • ⅔  cup Brewer’s Yeast
  • 2 tbsp garlic granules (in spice aisle of your local supermarket)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups hot water


  1. Mix all the ingredients together, except the eggs and water.
  2. Mix in the eggs, then slowly add the hot water, stirring all the time until you have a workable dough (stickier the better).
  3. Roll out, cut into shapes and place on a greased tray.
  4. Bake at 180º C for 20 minutes, and then turn off the oven and leave to harden overnight, or at least a few hours.

For large dogs give 2 to 3 a day, smaller dogs 1 or 2.

A note on garlic: Some people believe garlic is bad for dogs but research shows that not all dogs have a reaction. If you’ve fed garlic to your dog before, then these will be fine.

Dog Shampoo:
This is a great dog shampoo recommended by my vet Brett at Henderson Veterinary Clinic.

If your dog develops an itchy skin condition, Brett recommends using it twice in a three-week period to calm your dog’s skin down.

But most importantly look at what you are feeding your dog.

Some dogs just don’t cope well with commercial food and are better off with a real food diet of chicken and rice.

  • 100ml white vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 100ml glycerin (you can buy this at some supermarkets, chemists and health shops)
  • 100ml Palmolive dishwashing detergent (I used Dr Bronner’s liquid castile soap instead)
  • Mix together and use as shampoo.

Afternoon Talk with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.