The Benefits of a Colloidal Oatmeal Bath For Dogs

Giving your dog a colloidal oatmeal bath is one of the best ways to ease the symptoms that come from dry skin, allergies, parasites, and rashes. To prepare the bath, blend one cup of colloidal oatmeal and pour it under the running bathwater. You can also add one cup of baking soda to help ease the itching.

Dogs can get itchy for several reasons. They spend a lot of time outside, roll in “interesting” smells, and even get dandruff just like humans. 

Fortunately, giving your pet a much-needed ‘spa day’ is a great way to ease their constant itching. And the best part? You can use readily available items you likely have at home when preparing their bath. Items like colloidal oatmeal have been used as a treatment for itchy skin for years.

Why Is My Dog So Itchy?

As a dog owner, it can be frustrating when you notice your dog won’t stop scratching. You want to figure out what is going on with your pup so you can help them, but where do you start? 

There are a number of things that can lead to itchiness, but the three most common are dry skin, allergies, and parasites. In the following paragraphs, we will take a closer look at all three.

Dry Skin

If you live in a dry climate location, you’ve probably noticed your dog gets itchy during the winter months. Dry climates suck the moisture out of both you and your dog’s skin, leaving you both with a dehydrated top layer that itches like nobody’s business. 

Humans have many lotions and moisturizers we can apply when our skin gets dry, but our furry friends are not as lucky. However, colloidal oatmeal baths help rehydrate your dog’s skin, countering the dryness in the air.

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Another common culprit is allergies. These allergies often overlap with ones that we have. Pollen, dust, and certain foods can all lead to the itchiness that drives your dog mad. Typically, allergies will affect the skin on the head,  paws, and ears. 


The nightmare of any dog owner. A common side effect of parasites such as ticks or fleas is the itching that will plague your dog. 

A colloidal oatmeal bath will not eliminate the infection. However, it will help ease the itching that comes with a parasite picking at your dog for its meal. The baths combined with parasite-killing treatments will help your dog recover quickly and with fewer symptoms.

How to Make a Colloidal Oatmeal Bath

You may be surprised at how easy it is to make a colloidal oatmeal bath for your dog. The ingredients are simple yet very effective when it comes to relieving itching. These treatments are effective in humans as well. Follow these steps for the best bath to help your pup feel better in no time.


Colloidal oatmeal baths are so easy to put together that it’s possible you don’t even have to go shopping for anything. All you need is:

  • A blender/food processor/coffee grinder
  • Colloidal oatmeal (sugar-free oatmeal that still contains bran)
  • Baking soda 
  • Optional: unscented and dye-free dish soap
  • Optional: lemon oil
  • Optional: glycerin

The base ingredients will create a great cleanser that will remove allergens and irritants from your dog’s coat. Adding the optional ingredients will create a nice lather for your dog. Either way, this bath will help relieve the constant itchy feeling your dog is experiencing. 

Step 1: 

Take 1 cup of colloidal oatmeal and blend it into a powder with the kitchen accessory of choice. 

Step 2:

Fill the bathtub with warm water, but make sure it is not too hot. Hot water can cause the skin to become even more dry, which will lead to more itching. 

Step 3:

Add the oatmeal and one cup of baking soda into the tub, then mix it up. 

Step 4:

Put your dog in the tub and scoop the water onto their coat. Work it through their fur until they are nice and clean. 

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Adding The Optional Ingredients

If you want to use a recipe that causes more of a lather (like traditional shampoo), take ½ cup of dish soap, 1 tablespoon of colloidal oatmeal, 1 tablespoon of lemon oil, 1 tablespoon of glycerin, and mix them together. This will create something that looks more like typical shampoos and is used the same way. Just lather and rinse your dog’s coat. The itching will be gone by the time you’re done.

Remember: excessive heat can cause the dryness that you are trying to avoid. Do not use hot water or a hot hairdryer on your dog. 

Tips For Giving Your Dog a Colloidal Oatmeal Bath

Although these baths work great to ease your dog’s discomfort, what if you have a dog that doesn’t want to cooperate when you try to give them a bath? Here are several tips that can make bath time easier for the both of you.

Lots of Praise

If your dog is nervous about getting a bath, be sure to give them repeated praise. If they are not ready to get their entire body in the bath, have them dip a paw in to get them used to it while praising them. You can work up to their legs, torso, and then whole-body at a pace that makes them comfortable. If you give them lots of treats, they may start to actually enjoy the bath!

Safety First

Test the water of your bath. If it is too hot for you, it is definitely too hot for your pup. Add a non-slip mat to the bottom of your bathtub to make sure they won’t slip and hurt themselves. Do not get water in your dog’s ears, as this can lead to an ear infection. Placing a small piece of a cotton ball in your dogs ears can help prevent water from reaching the ear canal.

Grind That Oatmeal

Really pulverize the colloidal oatmeal until it is a powder. This may be easiest with a blender that has a pulse setting or a high-quality food processor. The finer the oatmeal is, the better it will mix with the water. Ideally, you want it to dissolve into the bathwater.

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Purchasing Colloidal Oatmeal Baths

If you are unable to make your dog a colloidal bath at home, you can always buy it premade. There are plenty of companies that sell their own oatmeal-based shampoos. However, make sure that you follow the instructions on the bottle of the product you are using. 

If a shampoo does not explicitly say that it is safe for cats as well, do not use it on your feline. Always check the reviews of products before you buy to make sure that you are getting a quality product.

Colloidal Oatmeal Baths are a Great Treatment For Dogs

Colloidal oatmeal baths are a very effective tool against skin irritation and itching, no matter the cause. It is also safe for dogs, even if they accidentally ingest some.  The ingredients are non-toxic and readily available, making it a great way to bring your pup’s skin back to normal if you notice excessive itching.

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