Oatmeal Baths for Dogs with Skin Problems

dog skin problems
Wyatt Robinson
Written by Wyatt Robinson

Itchy skin or other similar problems are quite common in the animal kingdom. Just like humans, pets can suffer from irritations that make them have a bad time. If you notice that your four-legged friend scratches a lot and there are no signs of bug bites or flea infestation, it may have rashes or dry skin. At this point, you need to provide the best treatment in order to help it feel better. Oatmeal baths for dogs are the optimum alternative, because they represent a natural remedy and have no side effects. They are perfect for pets that suffer from allergies or other health problems.

Oatmeal baths are even recommended by veterinarians. Their major property is the ability to clean the skin and hair in an efficient manner without causing further irritations. You will also find it extremely easy to groom your pet afterwards, and the coat will look fresh and shiny. As there are no chemical ingredients included, the positive effects will be felt after the first bath. Though there are situations when these baths need to be correlated with medication (according to how damaged the skin is), the results will be noticed pretty fast. Some dogs have skin problems and our earlier piece on coping with your dog’s dermal allergies and remedies can provide more information.

This article aims to approach this subject in a detailed manner, so pet owners can find out specific aspects about this natural remedy.

The benefits of oatmeal

Dog oatmeal baths are the cheapest way to treat itchy skin. You can choose between home-made products or purchase sprays and shampoos from specialized shops. The recommended alternative would be to do it yourself, especially as the ingredients are extremely easy to mix, and you can provide a natural treatment at home. Oatmeal comes with many benefits for the skin: it nourishes, soothes and moisturizes it.

Furthermore, it is also good for human purpose and provides the same positive results. It manages to relieve itches and to make the pet feel comfortable in no time. According to the severity of the problem, you can give your dog such a healthy bath every three weeks and forget about uncontrollable scratching.

Oatmeal was used to achieve a beautiful skin by classical civilizations. This ingredient has the property to relieve irritations and to balance the pH level. As a result, it is recommended in psoriasis and eczema, for both human and dogs. When it comes to pets, it is good to know that it is an excellent moisturizer, thus it is very gentle to skin and coat. It can also be used in case of thick and flea problems, but also in case of allergic reactions.

As it was mentioned above, it is best to create your own mix at home. However, if you decide to purchase a shampoo with oatmeal, make sure you read the label and try to identify the following ingredients: vitamin E, aloe and tea tree. They also have benefic effects and are great for the skin.

Dogs with fleas and other parasites that cause itchiness can also benefit, but make sure to read our piece on dog flea treatments for long term solution.

Do it yourself oatmeal shampoos

Oatmeal shampoos are easy to mix. There are various possible combinations, and all guarantee the same benefic result. Though it takes some time to make the shampoo yourself, you are aware of the quality of the ingredients, and you can opt only for the best. This article aims to reveal various combinations, so you can choose the one you like best. For this recipe, you can find everything you need in the kitchen.

In order to get started, you will need the following:

  • oatmeal — 1 cup — mixed with a food processor / blender / coffee grinder;
  • baking soda — 1 cup;
  • warm water — a quart.

Once you have all the three ingredients on the table you can blend them together until they are well-mixed. After this, you need to take your dog outside or in the bathroom and wet the entire coat. You can use your hands to apply the homemade oatmeal shampoo. Make sure that you spread it evenly on all its skin. It is important to let it on for at least five minutes. If you have an active pet, make sure you have some toys or treats nearby to prevent it from licking it or shake it off. Check out our top treats for dogs to keep your fur ball preoccupied. After the time is up you can rinse it off and get it dry.

Homemade shampoo for dog of oatmeal

If the itching problem is severe, you can go for the dry version of oatmeal shampoo. This is easy to apply as it does not require water. Furthermore, you can use it more frequently. In this case, you will need:

  • oatmeal — 1 cup;
  • bran — 1 cup;
  • baking sheet.

You will need to spread the two ingredients on the baking sheet and place it in the oven at 200-degree for 5 minutes. Be careful how you handle it as it is very hot. Warm a towel and use it to apply this combination on the dog’s coat. After you are done you can brush it out and enjoy the results.

Oatmeal baths

If you do not want to use other ingredients or your dog does not like water and gives you a bad time, you can try oatmeal baths. In this case, you will need 1 cup of ground oatmeal.

Fill in the tub with warm water and add the oatmeal. Before you bring your dog, make sure that you stir the water for equal distribution. You can now place your pet inside the tube and allow it to soak its fur in the mixture. It is advisable to let it play with the water for about 15 minutes, and in the meantime you can message to coat so the water can reach the skin better.

After you finish bathing it, you can rinse the oatmeal with lukewarm water and dry the fur with a towel. In order to achieve optimal results it is advisable to repeat this procedure twice a week until you see visible improvements.

The best thing about these baths is that there are no side effects, thus your pet is 100% safe. You can treat your dog at home at a very convenient price. As it is natural, it heals skin problems without affecting other organs, like in the case of pills. Furthermore, the results are immediate, and you will notice less scratching while the skin and coat will look healthier. It is also important to know that oatmeal has cleansing effects, thus you must not add shampoo during or after this bath.

It has anti-inflammatory properties, thus it is recommended in the following situations:

  • itching;
  • allergies;
  • hot spots;
  • dry skin;
  • puppy acne;
  • rashes;
  • tick and flea infestation.

Oatmeal and baking soda

It is well known that oatmeal has incredible therapeutic effects. When you combine it with baking soda, you achieve a mix that can help your dog relieve the itching sensation. Furthermore, it does wonders for the coat as it not only cleans it, but also eliminates odors. These two common ingredients manage to balance the skin’s pH while moisturizing it. As a result, it eliminates the redness that causes the dog to scratch.

Not to mention that this powder is extremely easy to achieve. All that you need to do is to grind oatmeal and add baking soda. You can use this treatment dry. Apply it on the pet’s coat, massage it to reach the skin and use a comb to brush the remaining off.

Oatmeal and baking soda

This dry mix of oatmeal and baking soda is appropriate for dogs with dry skin. It can be used on a weekly basis during dry seasons, and whenever you feel that the dog needs it. Furthermore, it is the perfect solution after a day spent outside as it eliminates odor and eventual parasites, like ticks and fleas. The effects are immediate, and as it is made of natural ingredients, you can use it frequently without worrying that it can harm your pet. It is also the perfect choice in case of one of the following hazards that cause itchiness: pollen, food, dust and mold allergies.

It is also good to know that oatmeal and baking soda can be turned into an ecological shampoo. In this case, you will need:

  • colloidal oatmeal — 2cups;
  • baking soda — 1 and 1/4 cups.

You can use a mixer to blend this to ingredients together. All that you need to do is to add the mixture in the tub and add water, without filling the tub. The quantity differs according to how big or small your dog is. To be more exact, you need to have sufficient water to soak it. Place your dog in the tub and massage it with the water for 15-20 minutes. If your dog has long hair, make sure you scrub it efficiently so it reaches the skin. When you are done you simply need to rinse it with warm water and let your pet dry naturally.

There is also a second variant of this useful and efficient shampoo. This one does not only relieve the itchy sensation, but also has better cleaning effects. In this case, you will need the following ingredients:

  • dye-free dish soap that is unscented — 1/2 cup;
  • colloidal oatmeal — 1 tablespoon;
  • baking soda — 1 tablespoon;
  • glycerin — 1 tablespoon;
  • lavender/orange/lemon oil — 1 tablespoon.

All that you need to do is to mix these five ingredients in an old shampoo bottle. In order to make sure that they are all blended together before you use it, you can shake the bottle firmly. You can use it as a regular shampoo in order to achieve a clean, smooth and shiny fur.

Oatmeal rubs

There are many ways to use oatmeal in order to achieve clean fur and healthy skin. This technique is perfect for severe itching reactions because it brings oatmeal directly on the area with problems, thus the effects will be immediate. It is important to know that oatmeal can be really slippery, so it is a wise idea to use a non-slip bathtub mat so your pet won’t feel nervous while you scrub it.

Oatmeal rub

This will be safe and comfortable for both of you. In this case, you will need the following ingredients:

  • oatmeal — 1/2 cup;
  • water — 1/2 cup.

After you mix these two ingredients, you will get a gooey paste. In order to apply it evenly you can use an old sock. To be more exact, you need to put the mixture inside and tie the ends. Before you start applying it on the fur, you need to rinse it with warm water for best results. When you start rubbing the oatmeal, remember to use circular moves as they stimulate blood circulation. It is recommended to cover the entire body, and to insist on the areas with problems.

Remember to take your time and gradually cover different areas, so the oatmeal can reach the skin. When you are done, you simply need to rinse the fur with warm water. You do not worry about rinsing the skin, as the remaining oatmeal will act as a barrier against itchiness.

Homemade oatmeal shampoo

Responsible pet owners understand how important it is to provide the best treatment for your four-legged friend. This is why it is always better to opt for natural ingredients, with no preservatives or additives. Though it is true that it takes some time until you cook its meal, or bake some cookies, the results are totally worth it. This rule is available even for grooming products.

To be more exact, you can make your own shampoo for the dog easy and fast. As it was presented above, oatmeal is an ingredient that guarantees a series of unbeatable benefits. This is why it is a great idea to use it in a homemade shampoo for regular use. You can also find help in our article on DIY homemade canine shampoos.

Bathing your dog with oatmeal

You will need several ingredients for this shampoo, as you can see below:

  • empty bottle — 1 piece;
  • label — 1 piece;
  • oatmeal — 1 cup;
  • dishwashing liquid — 1 teaspoon;
  • scent fragrance — 10 drops.

If you are wondering what the label is for, you will find them pretty useful, especially if you decide to store this shampoo in the bathroom, together with the ones you use yourself.

When it comes to the fragrance, you can opt for whatever you find appealing, but avoid those that are very powerful, like vanilla. This homemade shampoo can be used like the ones found on the market, providing the same benefits: a clean and shinny fur that smells amazing. It is important to give your dog a good brush before washing it, so the mixture can penetrate the fur efficiently.

Tips to achieve the perfect oatmeal mix

Oatmeal is an ingredient that does wonders for the dog’s skin. When you apply this natural treatment is similar to a day spent at the spa for humans. It has a triple effect: it nourishes, soothes and moisturizes. In order to achieve the perfect mix, make sure you consider the following tips:

  1. Oatmeal can dissolve better in water if it is turned into powder. You can use a blender to achieve the best results.
  2. Always look for plain oatmeal. This means that you must avoid products that contain sugar or flavorings.
  3. The water from the bathtub needs to be lukewarm after you finish adding the oatmeal mix, so remember to check this aspect before you take the dog in.
  4. Make sure you mix the oatmeal with the water from the tub thoroughly, in order to prevent it to stick to the bottom. If you do things correctly, the water will get a milky color. This procedure can lower the water temperature, thus you may need to add warm water to adjust it.
  5. When you place the dog inside the tub, you need to soak its fur softly. In order to accustom it to the procedure, gently take water with your hands and spread it on the back. Repeat until all the fur is wet. Before you rinse it, give it a good scrub.
  6. When you rinse your dog, you need to do it at a superficial level. To be more exact, you need to remove the oatmeal from the hair, but leaving the remaining oatmeal on the skin. It will act as a protective barrier against itching.
  7. In case of skin problems, you can repeat the oatmeal bath for three days in a row. Otherwise, a bath per month is more than enough.


It can be concluded that oatmeal is the best ingredients to treat itching problems. The optimal thing about it is that it guarantees immediate results. According to your preferences, you can opt for dry or wet baths. Why not read our piece on ways to take care of your dog and keep him healthy to provide you with more insight.

Furthermore, oatmeal can be used as a single ingredient, or mixed with others. It is extremely versatile, and this makes it easy to use by all pet owners. However, if the problem persists for several days, it is recommended to see a veterinarian immediately. There are cases when additional medication is needed for a complete treatment. You can read our article on  top special shampoos for dogs with itchy skin to give you more options. In no time, your dog will look and feel better, and the coat will shine.

About the author
Wyatt Robinson
Wyatt Robinson

Wyatt Robinson had a great 25-years career as a veterinarian in United Kingdom. He used to be a member of British Veterinary Association and worked in 3 pet hospitals in London and Manchester. He is shining when he sees his pets healthy and full of energy and it is his duty to help other dog owners to keep their best friends full of life.