Dog Allergy Treatments. Oatmeal Baths.

Many dog owners use regular oatmeal baths to soothe their dog’s itchy skin. In fact, several hypoallergenic shampoos include oatmeal as an ingredient to prevent irritation.  Oats contain polysaccharides, which leave a protective film on skin, preventing dryness and itching. 

I personally have not tried oatmeal baths for Elsie.   I’m pretty pleased with the allergy shampoo we’re using for her (Duoxo Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo).  If I was still in search of a good solution, I’d definately try these all-natural oatmeal methods.

After doing some research, I’ve found two popular methods that many owners use to bathe their dogs in oatmeal.

Oatmeal Soak Method

  1. Blend one cup of plain, uncooked oatmeal in a blender or food processor until it is a fine powder.  You can use instant or regular oatmeal. This will ensure that the oatmeal dissolves quickly in water.
  2. It’s recommended that you place a non-slip bathtub mat down before starting the bath.  Oatmeal can be slippery and you want your dog to be as safe and comfortable as possible during bathing.
  3. Fill your bathtub with lukewarm water until it is at a level that reaches your dog’s chest when standing up.
  4. Stir oatmeal into the water until it dissolves into water.
  5. Place your dog into the bathtub. 
  6. Using a cup or your hands, scoop up the oatmeal water and pour over your dog’s back, head (avoid their eyes) and stomach. 
  7. Continue to pour the oatmeal water over your dog for 10-15 minutes.  You’ll probably find that they’ll be more comfortable if you talk to them and pet them during the process – as a 15 minute soak can seem like a lifetime to a nervous dog.
  8. Remove your dog from the bath without rinsing and dry their skin with a towel.  The oatmeal solution will leave a protective layer on their skin and help to eliminate itchiness.


Oatmeal Rub Method
An alternative to the oatmeal soak method is a technique by which you rub oatmeal on your dog’s skin. 

  1. Combine 1/2 cup of plain, uncooked oatmeal with 1/2 cup of water. You can use instant or regular oatmeal.  Stir until the mixture becomes gooey.
  2. Use cheesecloth, an old stocking or sock and put the oatmeal mixture into the cloth.  Tie ends together tightly with a string or rubber band.
  3. Place your dog into your bathtub.  You can either fill the tub with water, or just use a bowl or cup to pour water over your dog to rinse their skin.
  4. Rinse your dog’s skin and fur with warm water. 
  5. Rub the oatmeal-filled cloth over their wet skin using circular motions.  Do this all over your dog’s body – particularly in areas that are most itchy. Continue to do this for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Rinse your dog lightly with warm water and dry their skin with a towel.  Don’t worry about thoroughly rinsing their skin, as the oatmeal will act as a protective layer and help eliminate itchiness.

Have you tried using oatmeal baths for your dog?  Did you use one of the methods mentioned above or did you try another technique?  Was it a positive experience or was it not worth the effort?  Please share your experiences.


35 thoughts on “Dog Allergy Treatments. Oatmeal Baths.

  1. Yes, great idea.
    Oatmeal soaks are soothing for humans and dogs alike. Both your ideas should work well. Or you could buy a commercial product made by Aveeno that is a packet of oatmeal premade to dissolve easily in water. No need to rinse.

  2. I use Oatmeal soak baths for my pugs. They have dry itchy skin & it works great! I have ezcema and i use for me as well.

    • I have a pug with itchy skin- I’ve tried medicated shampoo from the vet and conditioner – she gets Benadryl 2x a day & tried top paw oatmeal/ baking soda shampoo – she’s still itchy. Any suggestions?

  3. My dog has itched herself so much over night she has a large open cut can I still do an oatmeal bath? Shes constantly scraching

  4. Rachael you should look into Dinovite, I hear it helps so many dogs with major skin allergies. Meantime going to try this oatmeal bath tonight!

  5. Rachel,
    Oatmeal shampoo is great for drawing out or soothe irritants.
    You could also try to use Only Natural Pet Herbal Defense Shampoo & Conditioner, with 70% organic ingredients, its in particular good for sensitive dogs, and also great for great for keeping ticks away.


    • Hi Tisha. Honestly, I’d try both methods and see what works best. You might find that a washing first will help the oatmeal soak to be more effective. I’ve never had much luck blow drying my pup – she’s not a fan of loud noises. I just lightly towel dry and let the air do the rest. Good luck!

  6. I have a staffy tried the vets the oats the drops the best thing I found is to feed the dog ice cool baths bring their temp down

  7. tired of giving her all the rx, may apt walls are oatmeal colored with a bit more texture now. My mom used to dip us as well long ago. worked then

  8. Hi, I have inherited a parsons jack Russell fixed female 9 yrs old. My x husband passed suddenly and there was no one to take her. I didn’t want a dog. I am on odsp. So life is tough. Every year she develops rash on her feet and legs it is a very nasty looking thing,,this year is the worst. When she first came to stay,,she was pretty sick she had ear infection. They were so bad they. We’re almost shut. She still had the sore feet in feb. it is set now and the rash came back in July and nowit issept. And is really nasty, worse then ever before,, runny eyes.. I am at wigs end

  9. I have a malamute puppy a little over a year. He has a rash on his tummy and legs. Do you think the oatmeal bath would work for him? I will take any and alk advice.

    ITS THIS SIMPLE, my poor dog itches so much!!!! warm water ,oatmeal, and pat towel dry. I do this routine once a day depending on how irritated, so far, her hair is growing back and she is not itching as much. PS. from experience: NEVER BLOW dry your dog if he/ she has dry skin, or itchy skin, (makes it worse)

  11. I just gave my dog an oatmeal soak, 1st time. I’m hoping it helps his licking & itching! Don’t know yet. He’s a bichon/shizu mix.

  12. i need help…my dog has a rash around his tale…he been biting so much that he bitting his hair out…can i use oatmeal for it..

    • When it’s around the tail or rump area it is almost always flea bite dermatitis. An allergy to flea saliva. This can make them extremely miserable. You can give them some Benadryl and an oatmeal soak but you need to treat the fleas!

  13. My one year old bluenose brindle pit has had a bad rash for about two months now i tried everything i have came across nothing seem to work but then my stepmom told me about iodine water mix solution and its working pretty good i do this twice a day it basically cleans the area to prevent infections and i also bathe my dog with oatmeal baths and its making it where he is not as itchy. Overall this is the only thing that has work

  14. Also pat with a towel and let the rest air dry. U can also do a cap of apple cider vinegar in their food or water. Just to keep his ph well balance.

  15. My dog has been very itchy lately and has developed red spots under her front and on the top of her back legs. She also is losing her hair from the back forward. She’s half bald! What can cause this???

  16. I Would appreciate feedback. I have a 4-year old shih tzu that had winter allergies. He is having bad days. Be4 I call his vet, what is the best way that I can soothe him. I have just read the comments regarding oatmeal. Should I get him over/the/counter oatmeal shampoo or the above that i just read. I gave him Benadryl today. He is sleeping on my lap right now. My vet gave him a course of prednisone, which he took for 6 months, which helped. I’m trying to avoid the prednisone. Ty

  17. I just rescued two blue pits three month old sisters . They weighted only 5lbs at first they did great now they have a horrible rash . Their hair is falling out they scratch until they bleed and are acting lathargic . I give them probiotics , apple cider vinegar and fish oil. Just started oatmeal baths . The vet wants to charge me $1400 hundred dollars which I can’t afford . Help my puppies are suffering any ideas that might help

  18. I just cooked original oatmeal for my chow/shepherd and left it a little watery, put it in a bowl and dipped a paper towel in it and rubbed some above her tail and on her tail. I left it on to dry. So far, no itching.

    I also use garlic when my dogs have fleas. It works better than any toxic chemicals. I give both dogs (chow/shep and golden retriever) a small section in their food, chipping pieces off with a knife or my fingernail. They love it and it works! I stop feeding this after the fleas are gone.

    Also, if you have a golden ret. lab, German shepherd, Portuguese Water Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, great dane, Flat Coated Retriever, English setter, pointer, Boxer, doberman or Skye Terrier, I highly recommend an ultrasound occasionally to make sure all is well with their spleen as my golden had the spleen sack enlarge and hemorrhage. I was able to have the spleen removed in time, or he would have died. Apparently this is a common issue and not something my local vet screens for or notifies the clientele about.

  19. Hi,
    I just gave my dog an oatmeal bath but he is still scratching. I feel so bad for my baby. How often should I do it?

  20. i have a 2 1/2 yr. shushu lapso he has a terrible rash from head to toe i do not give him chicken tried washing alll the sheets,towels with soap that is good for allergy suffers, give him 25 mg of benedryl 2 x a day rub him down with coconut oil. give him flax seed oil put him in bath tub to take heat out of his body
    might be allergic to grass but he only goes on to the bathroom there when i take him for a walk

  21. I did try this. So far so good. Something bit my dog and he went from swollen eyes and mouth to hives. I gave him Benadryl and that took care of the eyes and mouth, but, the next day he had hives. I have used the oatmeal bath for myself and my kids before. So, I ran the water and put in the ground oatmeal and he loved it. I wrapped him in a nice big towel and after being up the whole night before he konked out and slept for two hours straight!!! So far no more itching.

Leave a Comment