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What Can You Use For a Dog With Itchy Skin?




Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Roberston

What Can You Use For a Dog With Itchy Skin



Dr. Joel Robertson

Veterinarian, BMT

The information in this article is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research

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Itchy skin in dogs, also known as pruritus, can be a common issue caused by various conditions such as allergies, parasites, or skin infections.

It often leads to discomfort and constant scratching, which can further irritate the skin.

Thankfully, there are numerous treatments available to help soothe your dog’s itchy skin, ranging from topical ointments and shampoos to dietary supplements and prescription medications.

It’s always important to consult with a veterinarian for accurate diagnosis and treatment options.

Key Takeaway

  • Dogs may scratch and bite themselves frequently due to various reasons such as allergies, dry skin, parasites, infections, dermatitis, anxiety, or other sensory-related issues.
  • For a dog with itchy skin, you can use veterinarian-approved anti-itch sprays, shampoos, or prescribed medications, while addressing the underlying cause of the itching with guidance from a vet.
  • To alleviate itchy skin in dogs, you can feed them a balanced diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and hypoallergenic ingredients, with guidance from a veterinarian.

Why Is My Dog Scratching And Biting Himself All The Time?

What Can You Use For a Dog With Itchy Skin

Pruritus, or severe itching, can make your dog scratch and bite himself frequently. This behavior can be triggered by a variety of underlying health issues.

Allergies to food, environmental factors like pollen or dust mites, or flea bites are common causes. Skin infections caused by bacteria, yeast, or fungi can also cause pruritus.

Additionally, certain diseases such as hormonal imbalances or autoimmune disorders can manifest in skin-related symptoms.

It’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian if your dog is constantly scratching and biting himself, as the root cause needs to be identified and appropriately treated to provide your pet with relief.

What Can You Use For a Dog With Itchy Skin?

For a dog with itchy skin, you can use topical remedies, oral medications, make dietary adjustments, apply flea treatments, or try natural remedies, always under the guidance of a veterinarian.

Topical Remedies: These are designed to provide immediate relief from itching and include medicated shampoos, creams, and sprays. Ingredients such as oatmeal, aloe vera, and hydrocortisone are often included for their soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Oral Medications: If the itching is severe or caused by an allergy, your vet might prescribe oral medications. These could be antihistamines to counter allergic reactions, or steroids to reduce inflammation and itching.

Dietary Adjustments: The food your dog eats can impact their skin health. If the cause of itching is a food allergy, changing their diet could help. Even without allergies, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and certain vitamins can support healthier skin.

Flea Treatments: Fleas are a common cause of itching in dogs. If this is the case, using a high-quality flea treatment will help eliminate the pests and consequently reduce the itching.

Natural Remedies: Some pet owners prefer to use natural remedies like coconut oil or apple cider vinegar, which can have soothing effects on the skin. However, these should be used cautiously and ideally under the guidance of a vet, as not all natural remedies are safe or effective for every dog.

What To Feed Dogs With Itchy Skin

Here is what to feed dogs with itchy skin:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and can help soothe your dog’s itchy skin.

Foods rich in Omega-3 include fish like salmon and sardines, flaxseeds, and chia seeds. You can also consider Omega-3 supplements designed for dogs.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another nutrient that is beneficial for skin health. Foods rich in Vitamin E include leafy greens like spinach, as well as eggs and sweet potatoes.


Probiotics can support a healthy gut, which in turn can contribute to healthier skin. Natural sources of probiotics include yogurt and kefir, but make sure they are free from artificial sweeteners and xylitol, which can be harmful to dogs.

Hypoallergenic Foods

If your dog’s itching is due to a food allergy, hypoallergenic dog foods could help. These foods are typically free from common allergens like beef, chicken, dairy, and wheat.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Many fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, cucumbers, and carrots, have high water content and antioxidants that can promote healthier skin.

Can I Put Benadryl Cream On My Itchy Dog?

No, Benadryl cream is not safe to use on dogs. Benadryl contains an antihistamine that may cause adverse reactions in your dog.

It can also be absorbed through their skin and if used long-term, can have a negative effect on your dog’s health.

There are other topical creams that are specifically made for pets that are much safer and more effective than Benadryl cream.

If your dog is suffering from itchy skin, please talk to your veterinarian about the best treatment plan for them.

How To Make Homemade Dog Anti-Itch Spray

Here is how to make a homemade dog anti-itch spray:

Ingredients for Homemade Dog Anti-Itch Spray

To make a homemade dog anti-itch spray, you will need:

  • 2 cups distilled water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup green tea (brewed and cooled)
  • A clean spray bottle

Apple cider vinegar has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, which can help soothe skin irritations. Green tea is known for its anti-inflammatory effects.

Steps to Make the Anti-Itch Spray

  1. Brew the Green Tea: Start by brewing a cup of green tea and let it cool completely.
  2. Combine the Ingredients: In your spray bottle, combine the cooled green tea, apple cider vinegar, and distilled water.
  3. Shake Well: Close the spray bottle and shake well to mix all the ingredients together.

How to Use the Anti-Itch Spray

Before using the spray, ensure your dog’s skin doesn’t have any open wounds as the vinegar can sting. Spray the solution onto the itchy areas of your dog’s skin, avoiding the eyes and inner ears.

Do not rinse off. You can use this spray several times a day, but always observe your dog’s reaction to the spray. If irritation occurs, discontinue use.

Will Baking Soda Help My Dog Stop Itching?

Yes, baking soda can help alleviate itching in dogs. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, baking soda can soothe minor skin irritations and reduce inflammation when applied topically.

To use baking soda for your dog’s itchy skin, you can create a simple paste by mixing equal parts of baking soda and water.

Then, apply the paste to the affected areas, let it sit for a few minutes, and rinse off. Alternatively, you can add some baking soda to your dog’s bath water for a more overall soothing effect.


Q: What can cause itchy skin in dogs?

A: Itchy skin in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors, including allergies, parasites, dry skin, infections, or underlying health conditions.

Q: How can I determine the cause of my dog’s itchy skin?

A: To determine the cause of your dog’s itchy skin, it is advisable to consult with a veterinarian. They can perform a thorough examination, conduct tests if necessary, and help identify the underlying cause.

Q: Are there any home remedies that can help relieve my dog’s itchy skin?

A: While there are some home remedies that may provide temporary relief, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. They can recommend appropriate medications, topical treatments, or dietary changes that can alleviate your dog’s itchy skin.

Q: Can allergies be a common cause of itchy skin in dogs?

A: Yes, allergies are a common cause of itchy skin in dogs. They can be caused by various allergens such as pollen, certain foods, flea bites, or environmental factors. Identifying the specific allergen can help in managing your dog’s itchy skin.

Q: What are some signs that my dog might be suffering from itchy skin?

A: Some signs that your dog might be suffering from itchy skin include excessive scratching, licking, biting or chewing at their skin, redness, hair loss, skin irritations, rashes, or the presence of bumps or lesions.

Q: Can parasites cause itchy skin in dogs?

A: Yes, parasites such as fleas, ticks, mites, or lice can cause itchy skin in dogs. Regular prevention and treatment for these parasites are important to keep your dog’s skin healthy and free from itching.

Q: Can dry skin cause itching in dogs?

A: Yes, dry skin can cause itching in dogs. Factors such as low humidity, cold weather, or excessive bathing can contribute to dry skin. Proper hydration, moisturizing products, and limiting bathing frequency can help alleviate dry skin and reduce itching.

Q: Are there any specific dog breeds more prone to itchy skin?

A: Yes, certain dog breeds are more prone to itchy skin conditions. Breeds like Bulldogs, Retrievers, Setters, and Terriers are known to have a higher predisposition to skin issues. Regular grooming, preventive care, and a healthy diet can help manage these conditions.

Q: Can food allergies cause itchy skin in dogs?

A: Yes, food allergies can cause itchy skin in dogs. Ingredients such as certain proteins, grains, or additives in commercial dog food can trigger allergic reactions in some dogs. Identifying and avoiding the specific food allergen can help relieve the itchy skin symptoms.

Q: How can I prevent my dog from developing itchy skin?

A: To prevent your dog from developing itchy skin, it is important to maintain good overall health. This includes regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, proper grooming, regular flea and tick prevention, and keeping your dog’s living environment clean and free from allergens.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, itchy skin in dogs can be a distressing symptom for both the pet and the owner.

However, with a wide range of treatments available from topical solutions to dietary changes, it is possible to alleviate your dog’s discomfort.

Remember, it’s always crucial to consult a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis before starting any treatment.

With the right care and attention, your furry friend can enjoy a life free from the irritation of itchy skin.

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