You know the sounds. They’ve kept you up at night. “Scratch, scratch, scratch, lick, lick, chew, chew.” Your dog is itching like crazy and it’s driving you both up a wall! Chronic or severe itching and scratching can have many causes. Some may require a checkup by your veterinarian, while others may be remedied at home! If the itching has been on-going, is causing your dog to be miserable or if your dog is developing self-inflicted wounds due to the itching, it is most definitely time for a visit to the vet!
Your vet will determine the root cause of the itching and may be able to prescribe you prescription or over-the-counter medications or bathing products. If the itching is seasonal, intermittent or less severe, you may be able to use these at-home tricks to give your dog some natural relief!
Chamomile & Herbal Tea Soaks
- Chamomile, calendula, and green tea have properties that soothe and cool irritated skin. These soaks are best for dogs who have hot, itchy patches of skin that are at risk of getting rubbed raw.
- If your dog is inconsolably itchy all over, fill up your tub or sink with warm water and let several herbal tea bags steep for three minutes. Remove the tea bags and let your dog soak in the bath for at least five minutes.
- Alternatively, for smaller itchy patches, steep one or two tea bags in about two cups of hot water. Once the tea is cooled down, pour it on your dog’s skin as a quick fix, letting it drip dry without rinsing.
50/50 Apple Cider Vinegar Water Spray
- Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a natural, safe relief for especially dry, itchy skin. The antiseptic and antifungal nature of apple cider vinegar makes it a great form of relief from poison ivy but NOT on raw or opened skin. (If your dog has itched himself or herself raw, this solution will sting the exposed wound.)
- To avoid getting vinegar in any open cuts, fill a spray bottle with 50% water and 50% ACV to target affected areas. If your dog walked through a patch of poison ivy, oak, or sumac, soak their paws in the solution for up to five minutes.
- Oatmeal is an age-old remedy for our dry, itchy skin that happens to be safe for use on our canine friends, too! In fact, most doggie hypoallergenic shampoos include oatmeal as an active ingredient to soothe and fight irritation.
- Start by grinding plain oatmeal into a powder to sprinkle in your dog’s warm bath. The oatmeal will typically take 10 to 15 minutes to cool down red, angry skin no matter the cause. It is also nontoxic, so it’s okay if your pet licks some off during their long bath. If this sounds like a long time for your pup to be in the tub without a struggle, try some of our techniques to Curb Bath Time Fears.
- Another option to avoid a full-on bath is to make an oatmeal paste. Take your ground oatmeal and add a little bit of water at a time until you are left with a paste that has a spreadable consistency. Target spots that have been bothering your dog and make sure the paste contacts the skin on longer-haired dogs for maximum relief.
Plain, Sugar-Free Yogurt
- Feeding your dog plain, unsweetened yogurt offers many health benefits. Some yeast infections and skin irritation can stem from your dog’s digestive system. This remedy is good for dogs who have certain rashes, hives, or allergies.
- Feeding small dogs one teaspoon of yogurt and big dogs two teaspoons once a week will improve their overall gut health. Most dogs like the taste of yogurt on its own, but it can also be mixed with food to help digestion.
- Many natural beauty products now contain coconut oil because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is also an excellent moisturizer for canines as the oils can penetrate fur for direct contact to the skin. Dogs who are suffering from eczema, allergies, yeast infections, and even insect bites and stings can all benefit from direct application of coconut oil.
- Put coconut oil in the fridge or a cool, dry place so it turns completely solid. For quick relief to dry skin, massage the oil into the coat and skin of your dog where they are suffering. You will notice your dog’s coat improving along with their relief from the constant itching!
These at-home remedies are safe for most dogs and most skin issues; however, you should always consult your veterinarian before using one of these treatments on your pet. A proper diagnosis is key to providing the most effective treatment for your dog’s itchy skin. Once you’ve consulted with your veterinarian, feel free to try any combination of these remedies, as they are all non-toxic and natural!
The information provided in this blog is intended for educational purposes only and should not serve as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your veterinarian. Always consult your veterinarian with questions about your pet’s health and before initiating any treatment regimes.