Have you noticed your little furry friend scratching more than usual lately? Does it seem like nothing you do is helping them with their itchy skin? If your itchy dog starts to drive you up the wall, don’t worry! Itchy skin is a common problem among dogs that can be easily managed.
When dogs have itchy skin or itchy paws, they commonly try to relieve it by rubbing, licking, chewing, or scratching the affected area. Itching in specific areas of the body can be indicated by scooting and head shaking. Additionally, red skin and hair loss may also be noticeable.
Itchy skin in dogs can be due to a number of things, such as fleas, allergies, parasites, or skin infections. It’s important to get your pup to a vet to help identify the underlying cause and begin treatment. However, as pet parents, there are still several ways you can soothe your dog's itchy skin and comfort them at home while they recover.
Dog's Itchy Skin Causes
Skin allergies, yeast infections, bug bites, and food allergies are just some of the potential causes of itchy skin in dogs. It’s best to rule out any underlying illnesses before trying natural remedies to treat your pet's irritated skin.
Fleas, mites, and ticks are among the most common parasites that can cause skin problems in dogs. During summer, dogs are more prone to flea infestations due to spending more time outdoors. Ticks may also attach themselves to a dog’s skin and suck its blood, causing itching and irritation. The presence of fleas causes intense itching, scratching, and hair loss.
If your pup is allergic to pollen, certain foods, or other substances, they may be showing signs of itchiness and scratching. Allergic reactions to commercial dog food are possible, so sometimes you also need to check what ingredients are in your pup’s food.
Dogs will often need to be tested for food allergies or skin allergies that may be the cause of their itchy skin. A few allergy symptoms that are noticeable in dogs include red, itchy skin, rashes, patches of hair loss, and excessive licking and scratching.
Atopic dermatitis, allergic dermatitis, and dog eczema are some of the skin conditions that cause itchiness in dogs. These are characterized by of course, itchy, red skin, and sometimes scabs or hair loss. Dogs can contract these skin conditions due to their contact with other animals, allergies or bacteria and fungus build-up.
Bacterial infections are another common cause of itchy skin in dogs. Such infections can be caused by an injury or secondary to environmental allergens such as pollen or dust.
Dogs frequently experience yeast infections which usually occur in skin areas containing many wrinkles such as armpits, between paw pads, and folds in neck skin. Certain breeds are believed to have a genetic predisposition to yeast infections. These breeds are West Highland White Terrier, Basset Hound, Cocker Spaniel, Silky Terrier, Australian Terrier, Maltese Terrier, Chihuahua, Poodle, Shetland Sheepdog, Lhasa Apso, and Dachshund.
These infections result in red, itchy, and flaky skin that can have a cheesy or musty odor. Additionally, yeast infections can lead to hair loss and ear infections due to the accumulation of wax in the ears.
Itching caused by skin allergies, parasites, and infections is usually treatable with medications prescribed by a vet. However, pet parents can also resort to natural home remedies that help soothe the itchy skin and provide relief for their pup.
If your dog’s skin is dry and flaky, a moisturizing cream or ointment may help hydrate the area and relieve itching. Coconut oil, aloe vera, and olive oil are also some natural ingredients that can restore moisture to the skin while relieving itchiness at the same time.
7 Natural Home Remedies to Itch Relief
Now that you know the different potential causes of skin irritation in dogs, here are a few natural remedies you can try to provide your pet with relief from itching skin.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar Dog Bath
One way to ease your dog's itchy skin is by giving them a bath with apple cider vinegar. The mixture of one part vinegar with four parts warm water can alleviate the itching and provide a soothing effect on their skin. To apply, create a mixture by combining equal parts of vinegar and water. Then, soak your pet's paws or affected areas in the solution for a maximum of five minutes. Alternatively, you can use the solution by pouring it into a spray bottle and spraying onto the affected areas.
Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and antifungal properties that work to eliminate any bacteria and fungus on your dog's coat. It provides relief by restoring the pH balance of the skin and reduces itchiness caused by bacteria, fungal infections, and parasites. It's important to note though that if it's an open or raw skin, this may not be a suitable remedy as the vinegar can cause stinging and discomfort.
2. Herbal and Tea Soaks Chamomile
If your dog has hot, itchy patches of skin that are at risk of becoming raw, adding chamomile, calendula, and green tea to their bath can be very helpful. These ingredients have properties that can soothe and cool irritated skin, as well as reduce inflammation.
To give your dog a herbal tea bath, fill the tub with warm water and let some tea bags steep for three minutes. After removing the tea bags, allow your dog to soak in the tub for a minimum of five minutes.
To small, itchy areas on your dog's skin, steep one or two tea bags in around two cups of hot water. After it has cooled down, pour it on the affected area for a quick fix. Let it drip dry without rinsing.
3. Oatmeal Baths
Colloidal oatmeal bath is considered to be one of the safest and most effective natural remedies for itchy skin in dogs. It's an age-old remedy for dogs with itchy skin conditions like eczema, flea allergies, and insect bites.
To ease itching and allergy symptoms in your dog, you can give them a bath using colloidal oatmeal. This type of oatmeal helps to soothe the skin by forming a barrier, retaining moisture, and reducing inflammation. Simply mix it into warm water and let your dog soak in it. If you can't find colloidal oatmeal, regular oatmeal is safe to use and won't cause any harm to your dog.
The oatmeal helps to soothe the itchy areas while also providing a protective barrier that can help keep allergens and irritants away from your pup’s skin.
4. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel is known for its healing and soothing properties, which make it an excellent treatment for dogs with itchy skin. The natural enzymes in aloe vera can reduce inflammation and itching caused by allergies, flea bites, bacterial infections, or dryness. It's also a great source of moisture that can help to hydrate the skin and restore its natural balance.
To use aloe vera gel as a treatment for your dog's itchy skin, simply massage the gel into their coat or onto the affected area. Let it sit for up to 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
5. Turmeric Paste
Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that can help relieve itching and reduce redness in your pup's skin. The active compound, curcumin, is known for its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antioxidant properties that can promote healing and reduce discomfort.
To make a turmeric paste for your itchy dogs, mix together equal parts turmeric powder and coconut oil. Apply the paste to the affected area and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
6. Dog's Diet
The food your dog eats can also have an effect on their skin health. A well-balanced, nutritious diet full of proteins, vitamins, and minerals will help keep the skin healthy and hydrated while also reducing itchiness. If your pup is prone to allergies or dry skin, you may need to change up their diet by adding a supplement or switching to an allergen-free formula.
Nonetheless, it's important to speak with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog's diet and consult them on which foods may be beneficial for their skin condition.
7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of dietary supplement that can improve skin health in dogs. They have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce itching and speed up healing time for any existing skin conditions. Your pup can get omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil or krill oil supplements. You'll want to speak with your vet to find out which type of supplement will work best for your pup.
Keep Your Dog Comfortable and Itch-Free!
Itchy skin can be incredibly uncomfortable for your pup and can lead to further health issues. While there are many home remedies that can help relieve dog itching, consult your vet if your pup's symptoms don't improve. They may need to prescribe a specific medication or ointment tailored to their needs.
In the meantime, use these home remedies to keep your pup's skin itch-free and healthy! Happy tail-wagging!