Nothing is worse than an itch that won’t go away. This is especially true when your pup is the itchy one. But not everyone wants to resort to medicine. To keep your dog comfortable, you should explore home remedies for itchy dogs.
What’s Making Your Dog Itch
There are many different at-home options. Each option can relieve some issues, but nothing is a universal cure-all. Before you can know the best way to help relieve your dog’s itching, you’ll need to know what’s causing the itch. Here are a few things that might make your dog uncomfortably itchy:
- When dogs get a small cut or scrape, these injuries can get infected and become itchy. This is particularly common on joints, which aren’t protected by your dog’s fur. Puppies, who have thinner coats, are also more at risk.1
- There may be irritants from your dog’s environment causing issues like itchiness, hair loss, redness, and digestive irregularity.2
- Pests like fleas and ticks can irritate your dog’s skin. Most pests leave patches of rashy skin that are itchy and irritable.3
- Parasites and yeast infections are also common causes of itchy skin for your pet.4
Some of these causes have simple solutions. Others are more complicated, but many of them can be solved at home without a doctor’s visit. Common household ingredients have the power to relieve your pup’s itching.
Common Home Remedies for Itchy Dogs
There are too many home remedies for itch relief to cover all of them in this article. Some remedies are specific to a single cause, while others will serve your dog in any situation. Here are some basic, standard itch relief options.
- Often, itching is a sign that your dog is too hot. If your dog scratches more in the summer and if he has a thick, dense coat, he might be overheating. Try trimming his fur to give him relief from the heat, and from the itch.5
- A cool bath will not only help your dog cool down, but also might wash away whatever caused the itch in the first place. For powerful allergy relief, add Epsom salt to your dog’s bath. Watch your pup, so she doesn’t drink the salty water.6
- Witch hazel is one of several popular homeopathic remedies. If your dog gets small scratches or wounds, you can use witch hazel to make sure that the wound remains clean. This will also help keep away infections, another cause of itchiness. If you’ve never used witch hazel on your dog before, it’s best to consult your veterinarian first for instructions and any precautions that might be specific to your dog.7
- Spraying essential oils from a spray bottle can give your dog natural relief. Always talk to your vet before you apply essential oils to your dog’s skin. If you use essential oils, always wash away any oil that hasn’t soaked into your dog’s skin.8
These are all general itch-relief remedies to improve your pup’s health and well-being. If your dog is still scratching, you may need to figure out what’s causing the itch. This way, you’ll know exactly how to help soothe your dog’s skin.
Baking Soda for Itchy Dogs
The home remedies above can all be beneficial to help your itchy dog. One of the most versatile skin-helpers is baking soda. Best of all, baking soda is cheap — after all, you probably already have a box in your kitchen.
- Mix baking soda with water to form an itch-relief paste. Then you can put the paste on whatever patch of skin is causing your dog the most distress. After the paste dries, rinse it off your dog’s skin.9
- You can also mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda for every 1 ½ cups of water for the same powerful itch-relief.10
- Water can sometimes irritate itchy skin. That means your dog may not be thrilled about taking a bath. Instead, give your dog a “dry bath.” Sprinkle baking soda on your dog’s fur and massage it into your dog’s skin. After the baking soda soaks in, brush it off.11
- You can make a dog shampoo out of baking soda and water to soothe your dog’s itching. This mixture will also help rinse off residue if you use it after a more traditional shampoo.12
While baking soda is a helpful remedy for your pup’s skin, never let your dog eat it. Also, never apply baking soda to open wounds.13
Baking soda is an effective solution on its own. It can also be paired with other tips for extra-powerful relief. Talk to your veterinarian about the best way to use baking soda for your dog.
Dealing With Environmental Irritants
Your dog might be having some kind of reaction to irritants in their environment — from their food to the outdoors. Whatever the cause, you can help ease your dog’s uncomfortable itch.
Some signs of environmental irritation include itching, red or swollen skin, sneezing, itchy ears and eyes, intestinal issues, and ear infections.14
- Irritants in your dog’s food could cause itchy skin. Some less irritating ingredients include fish and sweet potatoes. In fact, these foods may be able to help calm your dog’s skin if they’re feeling uncomfortable.15
- Your dog’s skin might become more sensitive to their outdoor environment during the spring and summer. A bath will give short-term relief by washing off irritating pollen and dust. For long-term relief, you’ll need to talk to your vet.16
- Keep your pup away from the things that cause them irritation. To find what these things are before your dog gets uncomfortable, you can contact your vet to test your dog and find out what kinds of things could cause your dog irritation.17,18
If your pup suffers from environmental irritation, these steps can help them feel better. Aim to soothe your dog’s itchy skin while also working with a vet to learn more about the potential root causes for your dog’s discomfort.
Your Dog May Have Ticks
Ticks are small blood-sucking insects that live on dog and cat fur. Besides making your pet itchy, ticks can also spread blood-borne diseases. If you find a tick on your dog’s coat, removing it is the key to ensuring your dog’s health.
Always consult your veterinarian before taking action. Here are some things you should know about ticks on dogs:
- Ticks are tiny. But when they drink blood, they swell up and become large enough for you to see them.
- Always wear gloves when removing ticks because ticks can spread blood-borne diseases. Disinfect all your tools before and after use.
- To cleanly remove a tick, use tweezers to grip its body as near to your dog’s skin as possible, then lift it upward. If you remove the tick the wrong way, it can cause irritation. If you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to call your veterinarian. They can give you some guidance, or you can bring your dog in to have your vet remove the tick, too.
- Kill the tick in a screw-top jar with a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol inside. Saving the tick’s body is essential, as you may need to take the tick to a vet to test it for diseases.
- Keep an eye on your dog for a few weeks after you remove the tick to make sure they’re still feeling alright.
- The best way to keep your dog safe is to keep him away from ticks. That means mowing your lawn, so ticks don’t have anywhere to live. Also, cover your trash, so you don’t attract wild animals that carry ticks.19
While ticks can be dangerous and unpleasant, once they’re removed, your dog will soon feel relief. Always check your dog’s fur for ticks so he can focus on being happy and playful. The most important time to check for ticks is when your dog first comes inside.
Few things are as itchy as insect bites. Your dog might be itching because of fleas or other insects that like to bite dogs. If you think your dog is scratching because of insects, you’ll want to take action to give your dog relief.
- Diatomaceous earth is a natural product made of soft rock. It is safe for pets but deadly to most insects. You can sprinkle it on your carpets and furniture and your dog’s bed to kill insects and keep them away.20
- Some essential oils may help keep fleas away from your dog. Always speak to your vet before using essential oil, as most dogs are sensitive to these oils. Never feed your dog essential oils and always check to see if the oils will be safe for other pets in your home.21
- Bathing your dog is a simple way to give your dog some relief if you think they may have fleas, because fleas can’t swim and may drown in the tub. For extra relief, you can add flea-repelling ingredients to your dog’s bath water. You can talk to your vet for some recommendations for these.22
- Once your dog is clean and flea-free, the next step is to make sure that the fleas don’t come back. That means cleaning your home to make sure no eggs or immature fleas remain to return to your dog’s fur.23
Pests are a part of life when you bring a furry friend into your life. But that doesn’t mean you need to let these bugs make you or your dog miserable. Pest control can help you save your dog from uncomfortable itching.
What to Do if Your Dog has a Yeast Infection
Yeast is a tiny fungus that can cause itching and discomfort not only for you but also for your dog. Dogs can get yeast infections in the same way people do. Antimicrobial medication can throw their bacteria out of balance. But the symptoms and treatments for dogs are different.
- There are many different symptoms of yeast infection. Your dog might have red or pink patches of skin, greasy or flaky dry skin, or experience swelling. It’s common for your dog to itch, lose hair, and drool during a yeast infection.24
- Left untreated, your dog’s yeast infection could spread into its ears and lead to an ear infection.25
- Give your dog food that will help her fight off the yeast infection. Stay away from foods that yeast likes to eat. That means cutting out sugars and carbohydrates. Instead, add thyme, parsley, oregano, and apple cider vinegar to your dog’s food.26 You can find great ideas to make your dog’s food healthier by watching this “pet food exposed” video.
While yeast infections are no fun for your dog, your vet can surely help.. With the right diet and treatments, you can work with your veterinarian give your pup with some well-deserved relief. Your dog’s skin and ears will feel much better when their yeast infection cared for.
Will Aloe Vera Help Relieve Itching on a Dog’s Body?
Aloe Vera is a common over the counter solution for people. You’ve probably already used it on your sunburns or minor cuts and scrapes, but you should be extremely cautious if you’re thinking about using aloe vera on your dog.
- Aloe Vera is toxic to dogs, as well as cats and other animals. Never feed it to your dog and don’t apply it to your dog’s fur, because your dog might lick it off.27
- Some dog-safe aloe products exist. These creams and gels contain aloe that has been made safe for use around dogs. Always check the product’s label to see if it is dog-safe, and make sure to check with your vet before using it on your dog.28
- You can safely use shampoos that contain aloe on your dog when you bathe him or her. Just be careful that you thoroughly rinse away the shampoo and watch your dog, so they don’t eat it.29
When it comes to aloe and other toxic home remedies, listen to the experts. Look for products that are labeled as safe for dogs. You can also talk to your veterinarian about which products are best for you and your pup.
Can Olive Oil Help Your Dogs Skin Problems?
No kitchen is complete without a bottle of olive oil. This flavorful oil isn’t just an excellent choice for your own cooking, it can also soothe your dog’s itch if you add it to Fido’s food.
- Olive oil can help keep your dog’s skin moisturized and ensure that his fur is shiny and healthy. If you mix a few drops of the oil in your dog’s food, it can help your dog’s dry skin feel more moisturized.30
- About a spoonful mixed into your dog’s food should be enough to see its positive results. Over time, you may want to decrease the amount of oil you use to just a few drops.31
- If your dog is a picky eater, you can also massage this oil onto your dog’s body. This could help moisturize their skin.32
Before you add anything to your dog’s diet, speak to your veterinarian to make sure this kind of oil is safe for your dog. Always be careful and stay away from oils infused with garlic, or products that are toxic to dogs.
Can Oatmeal Baths Soothe Dry, Itchy Skin on Dogs?
You already know that bathing your dog can provide some relief by washing away irritants and kill fleas. Well, for some extra moisturizing power, you can also add oatmeal to your dog’s bath for extra itch relief from their skin problems.
- Oatmeal is a natural remedy for dry skin on both people and dogs. You can blend oatmeal into a powder and mix it with water and apply it to your dog for relief from itchy, dry skin.33
- Not only will oatmeal help reduce the itch, it will also help shield your dog’s skin from irritants that make it itchy.34
- Even if your dog doesn’t scratch a lot, they can still get soft, silky fur from bathing with oatmeal.35
- If your dog suffers from dry skin, make your own soothing dog shampoo. Use 1 cup of uncooked oatmeal, 1 cup baking soda, and 4 cups of warm water. Massage shampoo into your dog’s fur and let it soak in for several minutes before you rinse it off.36
- If you’re not the crafty type, you can also buy oatmeal dog washes that will keep your pup clean and itch-free.37
Even if your dog hates baths, they will thank you once you give him a soothing oatmeal bath to help relieve their itchy skin. Plus, they’ll leave the tub with silky, shiny fur.
The Big Picture of Home Remedies for Itchy Dogs
We all want our dogs to be happy, and nothing is worse than seeing our pup miserable with a problem we can’t solve. If the sound of constant scratching is keeping you up at night, it’s time to take action to relieve Fido’s itch.
Luckily, many of the most effective home remedies itchy dogs love can be found in your home right now. With some simple steps, you can help relieve your dog’s itch so he or she can get back to their happy, playful self.