Here is the guide to home remedies for itchy dog skin and its common causes. These are both safe and budget friendly. Read more below
A dog owner friend of mine recently confessed that finding enough information on this topic in one place can be quite difficult. I decided to help out and spent days cross checking various websites to confirm or refute their claims.
This is not veterinary advice. If your dog’s symptoms persist for more than a couple of days or her condition gets worse, consult a veterinarian immediately.
You will find the complete list below.
Keep reading to find out more information.
#1 dog baths
If your dog is itchy in more than one spot, it is best to give her a bath. A bath will let the remedy act on its entire skin. Make sure you do not wash your dog too often as it will dry out her skin and make itching worse. As a general rule, only wash your dog when she’s no longer huggable. You can make a bath using a few different ingredients (use these separately to check which one works best for your dog). If your dog has any open wounds or raw skin avoid giving her a bath as it will sting.
Use a grinder to grind a cup of plain oats into a fine powder (you can use breakfast rolled oats sold in supermarkets) and sprinkle it into a warm bath. Let it soak for a few minutes before letting your dog in it. It will take about 10 to 15 minutes in the tub for the oatmeal to calm your dog’s skin. Rinse her with fresh water and towel dry.
Epsom salts bath
Make sure you use plain Epsom salts without any flavoring. Artificial flavors can irritate your dog’s skin. To make the bath add roughly 1/20 cup of Epsom salt per gallon of water (use 1 cup if you fill half a standard bathtub with water). Let your dog soak for 10 minutes, then rinse her with fresh water, then towel dry.
Chamomile or green tea bath
Use 3-4 teabags and 1 cup of boiling water to make a very strong tea. Fill the tub or sink with warm water, then pour in the tea. Make sure the water is lukewarm before letting your dog in. let your dog soak in it for 10 minutes. No need to rinse her afterwards, just towel dry.
Baking soda bath
Fill your tub with warm water and add 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda. Mix well before letting your dog in. Let her soak in for about 10 – 15 minutes, then rinse her with fresh water and towel dry.
#2 water-based sprays
If your dog seems to have only a few itchy patches, you can make water-based sprays to use only on the affected areas. Avoid spraying open wounds or raw skin as it will sting her.
Apple cider vinegar and water spray
Fill half of the clean spray bottle with apple cider vinegar, then fill the remaining half with water. Shake to mix well. Spray the affected area and let it soak your dog’s fur, then towel dry.
Chamomile or green tea spray
Instead of a bath, you can use chamomile or green tea as a spray. Use 3-4 teabags and 1 cup of boiling water to make a very strong tea. Once it cools, pour it into a clean spray bottle. Spray generously the affected areas until your dog’s fur is soaked through and let it air dry.
Calendula tea spray
To prepare calendula tea, add ½ cup calendula flowers to 1 quart boiling water and remove from the heat. Let the flowers steep while the tea is cooling. Before filling the spray bottle pour through a sieve to remove the calendula flowers. Spray the affected area and let it soak your dog’s fur, then let it air dry.
#3 topical treatments
If the itchy patches on your dog’s skin are small and clearly visible or limited to your dog’s paws, you can use topical oil-based treatments or gels. There are a few options available, some may work for your dog better than others.
Take a small amount of coconut oil and rub it into your dog’s skin (make sure you get underneath her coat, otherwise it won’t work). Coconut oil turns solid if you store it in the fridge, take a small piece and warm it in your hands until it softens. You can also use it to soothe your dog’s paws.
Vitamin E oil
Apply a few drops of vitamin E oil to the affected area. As it is quite liquid, it will easily get underneath the coat so you don’t need to rub it in.
Aloe vera gel
Buy natural aloe vera gel from your grocery store (check the ingredients to make sure it does not contain alcohol, alcohol will sting your dog’s skin) and apply it to the affected spots. Rub it in to help it get through the coat.
Baking soda paste
Instead of adding baking soda to a bath, you can make a paste and apply it to the itchy spot directly. Take a teaspoon of baking soda, and add water drop by drop until it reaches the right consistency and is a little sticky. Then apply it to your dog’s skin by moving the coat aside. Leave it to dry, then brush your dog’s coat to remove it.
#4 diet and supplements
Your dog’s diet can be responsible for itching. You can make a few changes to make your itchy dog feel better. Considering the following additions.
Adding fatty fish to your dog’s diet
Oily fish like sardines or salmon are a source of omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids. These acids are the building blocks of the natural skin barrier. When buying canned fish make sure it only contains fish and water, no sauce, oil or lemon.
Omega 3 fatty acid supplements
Instead of feeding your dog fish, you can buy Omega-3 fish oil from the pet store of your choice. Make sure you follow the dosage instructions included in the packaging.
Feeding your dog coconut oil is not generally recommended as it may upset their stomachs and even cause pancreatitis.
Natural yogurt helps fight mild yeast infections and can be helpful when trying to soothe your dog’s skin. Make sure you give your dog no more than a spoonful a day as dogs don’t tolerate dairy products too well and that the yogurt is unsweetened.
#5 how to prevent itchy skin in dogs
There are a few actions you can take to prevent itchy skin in your dog:
Check if your dog is infested with fleas. If your dog has just started scratching intensely or started turning around very quickly or jumping to nibble their lower back and you can see tiny specks of dirt in their coat it may be flea infestation symptoms. Visit your vet to have your dog checked and get a prescription flea treatment if needed. Start treatment as quickly as possible, flea bites are very itchy and make your dog really uncomfortable.
Do not use any air fresheners or scented candles in your house. These contain chemicals that can cause allergies in your dog (itching is one of the symptoms of an allergy). Try to limit the number of chemicals you use to clean your house as well.
Washing your dog
If your dog needs occasional washing, make sure you use dog shampoo and don’t wash your dog too often (every 4 weeks should be enough). Using human shampoo removes the protective oily layer from your dog’s skin and the coat dries it out and makes it prone to itching.
Groom your dog as often as you can, even if it is a short-haired dog. Grooming removes dead skin and hair, dirt and any accidental parasites.
Sometimes your dog’s stress and anxiety can manifest as itching. Playing with your dog will give you both a chance to relax and have fun together. Check the toys section of our website for playtime ideas.
Changes in diet
Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior whenever you change her diet. Beef and dairy are the most common food allergens in dogs. Add only one new food at a time and observe your dog’s reaction to catch a potential allergy early.
What to do next?
If your dog’s itching persists or gets worse contact your vet and book a visit.