Here are some tips on how to use oats topically.
Natural oatmeal shampoos are readily available, and many have added healing herbs. These shampoos are generally mild, calming, anti-itch, anti-inflammatory, and healing for the skin.
You can make your own oatmeal shampoo, too. It’s nothing more than a colloidal suspension of oats, after they’ve been soaked in water, with something added to cleanse the pet’s hair and skin and perhaps something else added to moisturize and/or treat the skin.
For more anti-itch and anti-inflammatory actions, consider a soak. Commercial soaks are available or, again, you can make your own.
Put a handful of oatmeal in a nylon sock and attach the sock over the bathtub tap. Fill the tub to desired level with water filtered through the oats. Let the pet soak in the tub for 15 to 20 minutes (or for however long they will sit still). Rinse well and dry. Remember, pets prefer tepid water, and cannot tolerate really hot baths.
Dry shampoo can be used to help dry oily-itchy skin. Roast some ground or rolled oats until slightly browned. When they have cooled to room temperature, work them into the pet’s hair so they come into contact with the skin. Let stand for about 15-30 minutes, then comb out. Try this on a small area first, as some hair coats don’t lend themselves well to this type of application.
For “hot spots” or other localized skin irritations, make a slurry of ground oats and water, wrap the slurry in cheese cloth or a tea bag (available from health food stores). Or, soak a clean washcloth in the mixture, and apply as a poultice directly to the affected area. Leave on for 15 minutes or so (or as long as the pet will tolerate it). Repeat several times a day.
Healing herbs such as calendula, chamomile, or lavender can be added to the original mixture to further enhance healing.
For more uses, continue at Dogs Naturally Magazine.