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Dog Itchy Skin Home Remedy Options

Last Modified on Jun 30, 2015

Allergies, chemical irritants, plant toxins, insects, parasites, dryness, diet, and a whole host of other pet health issues can cause your dog, cat, or other pet to be itching incessantly. Check out Earth Clinic's medical library of first-person reviews on the causes and cures of their pet's itchy skin problem!

Is your dog itching more than usual, but nothing you do can get him or her to stop? It could be the food! Dog food and other commercial pet foods can be high in carbohydrates and potential food allergens that may cause itchy skin. Pets are also prone to allergies of all kinds, and just like us they need to be properly hydrated. Of course, check for fleas and ticks that may be causing the itching. If you see bumps, rashes, or welts you will have a better idea of what is causing the itching and can pick the right remedy for that particular itch.

Itchy Skin Remedies for Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets!

Spraying or washing your dog with a diluted apple cider vinegar solution can restore the acidic nature of your pet's skin, kill off pathogens, and soothe the itch. Adding a bit of apple cider vinegar to your dog or cat's food or water may also help treat itchy skin from the inside, as it does for people. Oatmeal baths, fish oil supplements, and herbal remedies may help your pet ditch the itch too!

Other related pages of interest:
Allergy remedies
Yeast infection remedies
Best dog food diets for skin allergies

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Most Popular Itchy Skin Remedies:

Apple Cider Vinegar11
Dietary Changes5
Coconut and Oregano Oils3
Fish Oil3

User Reviews

Itchy Skin
Table of Contents

Aloe Vera Drink   1  0   

Posted by Edwina (Nyc) on 04/21/2015

[YEA]  My cat was itchy and everything for this problem had warnings regarding ingesting and usually with skull and crossbones warnings. I went to the heath food store and looked around and decided to buy an Aloe Vera Drink. This product has no taste and is clear. I figured if I could drink it I could put it on the cat. I put it in a spray bottle and spray it under the hair and it has helped so much. I also have used it on myself - very easy and takes away the itch.

Apple Cider Vinegar   11  0   

Posted by Tonya (Dallas, Tx) on 06/18/2015

[YEA]  My sister's Shi Tzu has been itching very badly for about two week. His hair was all over the floor thru out the house. He'not scheduled to go to the Vet till next week. I found your site a couple hours ago and were so happy I did. The ACV was a miracle for him. No more scratching. What a relief. I couldn't stand seeing him suffer till next week. Thank you so much for your site.

Posted by Cynthia (Lindstrom, Minnesota) on 04/06/2015

My 11-year old, 63 pound, female Golden Retriever has been suffering with constant itching, biting, licking, black "freckles" all over her belly and armpits, hot spots, ear infections, and now has been off her food for two days. She wakes me at night with constant itching and biting. Yes, I have tried EVERYTHING...allergy diagnoses and shots, prednisone, literally thousands of dollars worth of "vet" directed remedies. My poor girl just got worse. I do have an anti fungal ear wash, but there is no odor or red gunk in her ears now.

Today, I bought her Orijen adult, grain and as low carb kibble I could find. I used some raw food in her night meal (which she ate with gusto), I used filtered water in her dish and added a capful of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar to her water dish. I will bathe her tomorrow, and rinse her with some 1/2 water - 1/2 ACV - and leave it on.

Big changes for her. I hope for the best and will post as this new procedure for her progresses. I am HOPING it gives her some relief.

Replied by Cyn
Lindstrom, Minnesota

Just a note to clarify...GRAIN free and low carb kibble along with raw food.
Replied by Angie
Orange City, Fl

Did it work? I'm having a similar problem with my German shepherd.

Posted by Steve (Bend, Or) on 07/16/2014

How often do I apply (with cotton balls) a mixture of water and ACV to my puppys dry itchy belly

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn

Hey Steve!

There is no set way to do this - it is something you will need to play by ear based on the results you get. You might find using a plant misting bottle to be the most effective way to apply it. Start out applying it am and pm; if no results try applying 4 times a day - or if stellar results once every other day.

Posted by Elyask (Sydney Australia ) on 01/25/2014

[YEA]  Thanks a million to the bloggers on this site and of course to the site itself. My 2 year old beagle, Ruby, suddenly started scratching herself 2 days ago. At first I didn't think anything of it, but on the same night she was scratching and biting herself so much that her skin became red and inflamed and little sores with blood were appearing. I was beside myself and was ready to rush her to a vet but she fell asleep after a little while. She woke two or three times and started violently scratching herself. I left my mum to watch her until the afternoon of day 2 when I finished work. Upon returning home I found my dear Ruby still scratching and there were more sores appearing. I was welling up and felt so bad because in the few seconds that she would pause the scratching she would look up at me with the saddest eyes... begging me to help her. I decided against going to a vet because I have used the internet for holistic remedies before and after about an hour of reading and noting things, I applied apple cider vinegar 1 part to three parts water ....dabbled a gauze unit and applied it gently on her. To my horror the scratching and biting became worse. I then fed her a fish oil tablet in a treat and gave her a antihistamine tablet in (had no benedryl but essentially the same thing). Within half an hour the antihistamine obviously took effect and put her to sleep. I didn't sleep much as I was too upset. When I did wake I went to see how Ruby was. My little dog was wagging her tail... the redness had settled and even the sores weren't really obvious. I couldn't believe it and to see her not so stressed was fantastic. Today is day three and she is scratching every now and then but another application of acv and the same routine should see her back to normal soon hopefully. Oh, and I am putting her on a raw meat and some regimes diet.

Replied by Lulu
San Pedro Ca.

We had two dogs who are having redness and inching all the time and boldness. It seems it gets better but it's not. So I just rubbed ACV on their bodies, so far no itching. Will how the rest of the day and night goes.
Replied by Colleen

Thanks for that advice. Our Irish Setter suddenly started biting at his back and scratching. Now there are several hotspots and some blood. :-( My husband keeps insisting it's not allergies but maybe it is! I'll try the ACV and/or Benadryl(which our vet did recommend).

Posted by Steve (Labelle, Florida) on 03/11/2013

[YEA]  Apple Cider Vinegar works for me! My Chow mix has had "flea allergy" ??? for years. Two vets, same thing, try benedril, etc. etc. I've tried everything you could think of, nothing worked. Constant scratching, sore on leg that won't heal. Bald spots by tail that come and go. Couldn't find the organic ACV at w-dixie, but got a bottle of "natural" ACV. Everything they have on the shelf is "filtered". But mixed some up 1/2 and 1/2. Poured it on her, and I could tell a difference RIGHT AWAY! Dabbed some more on her leg sore, and her belly this morning, and what a difference! Thank you all for this information.

Replied by Diane Peace
Hudson Oaks, Yexas

How often do I have to spray my dog?

Posted by Lynn (Elmira, Ny) on 10/05/2012

[YEA]  OMG my poor dog has been going at it for 3months, scratching himself and I got red cider vinegar yesterday and he actually slept last nite. Gizzy is not all cured but looks calmer than he has in weeks. Happy dog lover Lynn

Replied by Wendy
Columbus, Oh/usa

To Lynn from Elmira, NY: Please make sure you're using ORGANIC Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). The organic kind has the nutrient-rich sediment at the bottom of the bottle; you just shake the bottle before using it.

Then, you can put a teaspoon into her food and mix it all up. Do this every time you feed her. It should clear up any rashes she now has, and will help prevent future rashes.

You can get more info about ACV's uses by searching here on earthclinic.

Posted by Trish (Daytona Beach, Florida) on 10/03/2012

Hello, I have an american bulldog, and he loves our salt water pool. I mean it is "his" pool!! He's swimming at the least twice a day. His skin is itchy to the touch, I go to pet his back and he squirms to be itched! I was wondering if apple cider vinegar would help? Thanks, Trish

Posted by Connie (Topeka, Ks) on 08/29/2012

[YEA]  Hi, this has been a particularly dry summer in Kansas. My Keeshond had the most horrible skin rash and was scratching non stop.... read a lot of internet sites about what to do and found this site.

I really did not like the thought of cortisone shots for him so got out the apple cider vinegar to see what results I could get. I put a teaspoon on some bread for him and rubbed him down with a half and half solution of vinegar water mix. He was bright red on his groin and I am sure it burned a bit but he was relived within minutes.... no more scratching.

It has been a week now and his skin is almost completely cleared up.... Thank you so much for your site and the excellent information....

I used organic apple cider vinegar $4.00 dollars and saved hundreds of dollars of vet bills.

Thanks again what a miracle....

Posted by Julia (Melbourne, Victoria Australia) on 02/02/2012

[YEA]  Thank you all so much for the info on ACV. My Schnauzer has been scratching for quite a number of years. However she has been exceptionally bad for the past month. Recently I found a red spot in the groin area, black and red spots on her leg. I bought a bottle of ACV and started using on the night. The following I morning saw a huge improvement in both spots. The itching stopped almost immediately, she has become a much calmer and happier dog, it's like a miracle cure. Thank you all very much for your input.

Replied by Jeff
Ballstonspa, Ny

hi my name is jeff and we have the same breed dog and I am nervous that it might burn or bother him he is always licking and biting himself and wears the fur off in spots. Will it sting him or anything like that?

EC: Hi Jeff,

Apple cider vinegar must ALWAYS be well diluted with water: 1 part acv to at least 3 parts water. Never apply straight as it can cause a very painful sting.

Replied by Kelley
Palm Springs, Ca

[YEA]   My mini doxie has been furiously licking her rear end and biting her back leg for months. I tried changing her diet to a single novel protein and this did not work. The vet wanted to put her on a steroid which I am against. I started to give her ACV 3 days ago over a little food and applying it with a cotton ball to her back leg and rear area.... BINGO!!! 3rd day straight and no crying and itching at all. Its AMAZING and I recommend!!!

Posted by Cindy (Gasport, Ny/usa) on 11/03/2011

[YEA]  My dog just started itching out of the blue this summer. I took him to the vet twice they told me it was allergies so I gave him benadryl that didn't help him at all. I think I tried every thing under the sun to give him relief. Nothing worked till I found this site about the ACV- to my surprise it worked. He has itched just a little bit since I put it on him today I think we both might get some sleep tonight thank you for the ACV remedy.

Posted by Linda (Belton, Mo) on 06/21/2011

I have 3 male cats. One 3 yrs old I'll speak of because he's 10 times worst than the other 2. He's biting and licking his hair and scratching all the time. At first we thought he became Alger to the food so we changed it. Then we realized it was fleas but there was not that many. Last yr I bathed him in ACV and it helped. Now he's licking his and biting his hair and scratching and sores all over. We did everything to the floors we could. I tried putting ACV in there water, food, no good. So I decided to get a eye dropper and gave him half and half water and ACV led up to 1 tablespoon. Is this to much or not enough, how often sould I give this to them? And what else could I try?

Replied by Clay The Cat
Tallahassee, Fl


Its probably WHEAT FLOUR/GLUTEN! Check his cat food, it is in almost everything. It is in the cat treats, even the pill pockets you give them to be able to take the medicine to help with the itchness. Once I cut this out of my cat's diet, the sores and itchyness went away. Iams wet food, salmon/tuna flavors don't have it, also those Appetizers don't have it, there are some brands out there, just read the labels. Good luck!

Posted by Alabama (Andalusia, Alabama) on 03/31/2011


Replied by Diamond
Salisbury, Ma.usa

Alabama; You might want to try small amounts at first, try using the Apple Cider Vinegar which is natural, I use _____s with(mother) organic, no one animal or human likes the smell because it's so strong, I use fish oil capsules and put it on top of the dogs food. Then try by putting some vinegar on the back of their neck. Because vinegar is all pure and natural I don't think it to be a problem of over dosing other than an issue with their organs, where that would take years to affect organs. Also it could be their dog food. I use Newmans own at big market basket but the vets also sell good can food;dogs need can for their coat, oils etc. Good luck.
Replied by Jayne
Astoria, Ny

[YEA]   WOW WOW and again WOW!! I love my cat soo much and I couldnt bear seeing her licking and biting at her shoulder. When I would scratch it for her she was in heaven.. Anyway if you need a quick remedy for itching... Apple cider vinegar (1/2 water 1/2 apv). Literally, within seconds my cat stopped tearing at her itchy skin. I put the combination in a spray bottle and gently sprayed it on her itchy area then I just gently rubbed it in a bit. wallah!! Many thanks to all you peole who advised of this remedy (well I heard it is a temporary fix, but for now its great) and to the ones who responded after use.

love ninja ** MEOW

Replied by Atomiconion
Montgomery, Alabama

on the itching dogs, rub the dog down firmly with diatomaceous earth every few days, put a pinch of cat claw powder in the water put powder at bottom then airrate when you put water in so it mixes and every time you change it they may not like at first but will aquire taste soon enough and most important put a slice of onion on forehead you may need a dog hat but until you can get it to stay on forhead find a way to put in something like a sock with holes in it tied around collar on back of neck I think there is a mycoplasma that feeds on frontal lobe and onion on forhead is only thing that kills mycoplasma all the other things just treat symptoms the mycoplasma allows the mites to live and breed kill the mycoplasma and the mites will go to. This will work and it takes time but the de earth and cat claw will give relief until you can kill mycoplasma. avoid ammonia and acids if you smoke go to organic because the ammonium nitrate in regular cigs makes this worse.
Replied by Rebecca

This is very good information. I am very glad to be informed regarding how well apple cider vinegar helps with itchy skin. Thank you to everyone for posting the helpful comments

Posted by Kanika (Virginia Beach, Virginia) on 01/27/2010

[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS]  Hi my six month old lhasa apso has been itchy now for over two months. I tried meds from the vet hot spot spray oatmeal shampoo but nothing worked. I then found this site and tried acv. Now I first washed her with the oats shampoo and then used one cup acv in one gallon water for the final rinse. I am also spraying her with one part acv with 2 parts water and also giving half teaspoon orally. I have done all of this in the last 2 days and her itching has gonne down by about 60%. I have however noticed that everytime i spray her with the mixture she gets very depressed and falls asleep. She seems very lethargic and I am wondering if the acv has anything to do with it. Also she has 3 very noticeable bald spots on her hind legs and although the itching has decreased it hasn't disappeared. I asked the vet and she has ruled out a yeast infection. My question is that can acv cause depression or a change in behaviour or in a nutshell can the acv have any side effects on my puppy. Also how long will it take for the itching to desappear completely if I continue to use acv?

I am very worried about my baby. I am glad that she isnt scratching and licking so much but I dont want her to be sad and depressed. Please help me Earthclinic.

Replied by Tracey
Timberville, Va

She is not depressed! she is exhausted from itching, and when she doesn't have to itch she is resting peacefully. imagine your whole day itching uncontrollably, and all the sudden you don't have to itch anymore. You would feel like whew! im exhausted! Shes clean just had a nice bath, warm, fed, and thankful. let her sleep.
Replied by Steph
Marietta, Georgia

I have a chihuahua that licks, and bits all her hair of her tail where it irritates her. I saw it closely and looks like she has little bumps. I am wondering if its an allergic reaction, because she gets this itch every spring. please help me to figure out what this cause of itch is from and how I can heal it. Please and Thank You!

EC: Did you test the area with a flea comb? If you find black droppings, it may be a reaction to flea bites!

Replied by Diz2ydez
San Pablo, Ca, Usa

Hi , I just wanted to let people know that my dog was always itching , after a bath, after I put her drops in. I Never tried Apple Cider Vinegar cause I was afraid of how she might react to it. I bath her with her shampoo and conditioner. After I used her shampoo and rinsed her with warm water more on the colder side, I used my shampoo, I used a small amount of "head and shoulders 2 in 1". I dont know if the Head and Sholders will do any harm but I noticed she hasn't been itching as much. Just thought I should put that out there.

Posted by Christy (Chocowinity, Nc) on 09/21/2009

[YEA]  I recently read that ACV would help my dog with her scratching. I have been battling with this for years and spent several thousand dollars on trying to cure her but nothing worked. We tried RX food, supplements, shampoos etc... I sent my husband to the store to get some ACV and I mixed 50% V and 50% warm water in a spray bottle and applied it to my Shih Tzu. She immediately stopped scratching. It has been such a long time since I have seen her so relaxed and actually resting. I have not noticed any side effects yet. I also put it in her drinking water 4tsps per 2 cups of water to see how it works with repeling fleas. Thank goodness for ACV! Who would have thought that $3.00 would have saved me a lot of money at the vet.

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