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Dog Itchy Skin Home Remedy Options

Last Modified on Nov 29, 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 Vinegar17
Dietary Changes5
Coconut and Oregano Oils3
Fish Oil3

User Reviews

Aloe and Coconut Oil
  User Ratings

Posted by Coldaw (North Vancouver British Columbia Canada) on 08/20/2015

[YEA]  Hi all, my poor pup has been suffering terribly with itchy back syndrome. So bad she's been falling down trying to reach it, twisting into a pretzel. She also had a hot spot about 2 months ago. I came up with a wonderful solution. First I apply pure aloe vera juice with a cotton ball, 2-3 tbsps depending on size. Really saturate the area and beyond. Then I take a few tbsps of raw organic coconut oil and massage it into the same area, then brush it thru. Not only does she smell great but if she licks it, it's good for her. Itching stops right away. I keep doing it for 3-4 days just to make sure.

Replied by Gaye
New Zealand

The best remedy we have found out of all advise is "selsun blue" shampoo - leave on for 2 minutes and rinse thoroughly - amazing stop to incessant itching from first use - highly recommended!!

Aloe Vera Drink
  User Ratings

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
  User Ratings

Posted by Jennell (Louisiana) on 11/27/2015

[YEA]  My dog has been itching & scratching for a couple of weeks. Tuesday, I came in from work and brought her out to potty, noticed the missing hair (bald spot) on her left upper thigh. She was scratchping & gnawing profusely. It was so frustrating to see her constantly scratching. We woke this morning and she had scratched so much during the nigh until she had irritat under her right arm. I googled to find home remedies that may help & I came across this site. Love love love it!!! I did the 50/50 apple cider vinegar/water. I drenched her tail and sprayed the rest of her body generously. In less than 10-mins she scratching & gnawing at her tail & legs. She is laying her usual spot on the love seat. I'm so relieved as I know my little "Diamond" is too. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Jennifer (Monzon) on 10/20/2015

[YEA]  My schnauzer mix has been itchy and bitting herself for a few months now. Took her to the vet got her on meds and even changed her food as recommended but it worked only while on meds. It made me so anxious because I coudn't find any way to soothe her at night or mornings that's when the itchiness was the worst. This morning I tried organic apple cider vinegar with distilled water in a spray can. I sprayed on her and brushed it through to spread it around her body. Right now she is sound asleep and the itchiness seemed to disappear within a few minutes after applying. I'm still observing her but so far so good! Watching her sleep peacefully brings me so much joy! My baby is finally resting!!! Thank you so much for the advice!!!

Posted by Jackie (Tenerife, Canary Island) on 08/10/2015

[YEA]  We are fostering a little pup and he was going mad biting and scratching his back, I came across your site and started him on the 50/50 Apple Cider Vinegar and water and it worked a treat so it's now part of our twice daily system, which he is now getting used to, however because we are on a small Island we could only get organic so am using that. I have just started to add a tsp to his drinking water... Let's see how we get on with that. I have tied this in with 1/4 tsp of coconut oil in his meals and that goes down a treat as well.

Replied by Susan
Rockland, Ontario

[YEA]   My 15 year old schnoodle has been scratching himself raw, he already has follicle cysts, so I've been really careful not to interfere with those. I just sprayed him with the ACV/Water combo... I am weeping, it's working!!!! He has always been on a 100% holistic organic diet, I'm wondering if the cheap treats he lives for may be the problem....have been giving him the same ones for years with no problems, but maybe the ingredients changed. But thankyouthankyouthankyou It's working :)
Replied by Susan
Rockland, Ontario

Hmmmmm, ACV/Water definitely works, but it's kinda short-term, how often are you supposed to spray? He's had almost 3 itch free hours, but is starting to scratch again.....I'm a little deflated. I did apply generously, his fur was very wet, does it accumulate and become longer term? Please and thank you.
Replied by Wendy
Columbus, Oh

Get him completely soaked with the ACV solution each and every day for maybe a week or so. Let him air-dry. No, there is no "cumulative" effect on the skin, but there may be a cumulative effect if you add it to his food (a tablespoon mixed into the food each time you feed him). You may also need to change his food to something that is grain-free, no corn, no wheat. Remember, when going grain-free, this includes treats!
Replied by Marnie
L'ange-gardien, Qc

How is the problem now Susan? Myself, a friend in Buckingham and a sister-in-law in Thurso also have itchy dogs. What is going on around here?!
Replied by June
Mt. Morris, Mi

Does the vinegar burn them or sting?

Posted by Cheryl (Maryville, Tn) on 08/02/2015

[YEA]  My Jack Russell has been itching for yrs. Pulling his hair out & making himself bleed. He was miserable. Went online & found your site. I immediately fixed up a bottle 50% Acv 50% water. Sprayed him & worked it into his skin. He is a new. Resting comfortably with NO itching. Thank you for the advice from both of us.

Posted by Yvette (Tx) on 07/14/2015

My poor baby has been rubbing bald spots on himself from biting and scratching. I took him to vet a month ago and he gave him a steroid shot, which worked great, but I don't want to keep giving him shots. I want to try the ACV and water mix. Is it okay to put in spray bottle and just spray it on him and leave it? Or do I need to bathe and rinse it off? I did try the spray bottle technique just a little while ago after reading some of the posts, and he seems to not be itching as much, but wasn't sure if I can just leave it on him like that. Also, how often should I spray him each day? His fur is so pretty and he is destroying it.

Replied by Wendy

Mix up a solution in a spray bottle of 1/2 organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), the one that begins with a "Br", with 1/2 distilled water. Spray all over the dog; get him completely soaked with the spray. Let him air-dry. You do not need to dry him with towels. He'll smell like a salad for a couple of hours or so, but the scent will go away. No need to be alarmed.

You should also make sure he's eating a high-quality food, one with NO grains, NO corn, NO fillers, NO rice. You can also mix a tablespoon of ACV into either his food or into his water. He'll probably won't notice it in his food, so put it there if he won't drink his water with the ACV in it.

Posted by Nanci (Tallapoosa, Ga) on 07/06/2015

[YEA]  My Baby has been wearing a Seresto collar for a few months, and while it works well for fleas and ticks, something has been causing her to itch terribly for the last couple of weeks. She's been biting and clawing, and it's horrible to see her so miserable. I use ACV daily for it's health benefits, and last night I Googled it to find out if it might help her, and thank goodness that I did! I mixed it with water in a spray bottle, and although she hates being sprayed with it, I saw almost instant results. She had stopped most of her scratching a few minutes after application, and she didn't wake me up doing it in the night, as she has in the last few days. She was scratching this some this morning, so I sprayed her again, and she's now hid out under the couch sulking, but she's not scratching! I truly think that ACV is one of nature's true miracles.

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn

Hey Nanci!

I am glad the ACV is bringing your dog some relief! But please 'google' this collar and read the 1 star reviews on amazon and others. This collar has been linked to nervous system disorders in dogs as well as skin irritation, and a host of other health issues. My advice to you to prevent further discomfort and irritation to your dog would be to immediately remove this collar and discontinue its use, and consider organ cleansers such a milk thistle, bentonite clay and activated charcoal.

Replied by Catherine

ACV is great for keeping fleas at bay due to it making the skin acidic, so you should not have to use other alternatives too. Due to how my pets reacted to modern vetinary treatments for fleas and worms, I now use ACV only. Worms will not attach to the intestinal wall if ACV is in the diet and mixing 50/50 and spraying on the coat will deter fleas and ticks.

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.
Replied by Cath

Please note you should never feed raw food along with kibble as the stomach digests these foods at a different rate. Apple cider vinegar and coconut oil are both good for itching skin. Coconut oil will kill anything viral or fungal if applied directly to the skin or added to food. Also flax seed oil in the diet is very beneficial. Its fine to treat the itch externally, but the problems starts with what is being put into the dog, including medications. Both my dogs are on a completely raw diet after non stop health problems and course after course of antibiotics. I haven't had any health concerns since switching my dogs to a raw, natural diet.

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 Donate

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