Last Modified on May 18, 2016
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!
Remedies for Itchy Skin
The Popularity of Itchy Skin Remedies - Full List
I have been a licensed/certified Veterinary Technician for 20 yrs. I use as much all natural, holistic ways for my pets' care, as well as my own. Although aloe is very soothing and fixes most skin issues, care must be used when using it on pets. Aloe contains glycosides. These glycosides are metabolized by intestinal bacteria forming compounds that increase mucus production and water in the colon. This can result in vomiting and diarrhea. Special attention needs to be given when using in animals with already sensitive stomachs.
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
Posted by Edwina (Nyc) on 04/21/2015
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 can be a lifesaver for pets with itchy skin. Owners are thrilled to relieve the suffering of their furry friends with this inexpensive and yet effective home remedy for itchy skin.
Posted by Laurag003 (Escondido, Ca) on 09/30/2009
What a difference 2 days makes! I have an 11 year old airedale, Oliver who has had a "skin condition" that I can trace back to February of this year. I too spent over $2000.00 getting my vets oppinion. Sterriods were the next stop and I truely debated this to atleast make him comfortable but the side effects are awful and could shorted his life - but what kind of life is suffering with this itching?! Nothing has helped until I read this site. I started Ollie on 1/4 c plain organic yogurt 1x daily. In his morning meal, I put the contents of 2 acidophilus tabs, pulled apart just inside contents along with his mixture of "avoderm" wet and dry food.(Great for Omega 3/6.) I also spray him with a mixture of 50/50 acv and plain water every night. He does NOT like this at all and I put a collar on him to keep him from licking/scratching. It takes him about 3 - 5 minutes to stop running around but the best part is - HE SLEEPS without chewing!! I also put 1 tlbs acv in all his water bowls. Everything I use is made for humans so if I start itching, I'd do the same thing. Thanks for a great site that allows feedback and imput from us moms and dads. I also let his vet know about the site and the treatment success. She was very happy not only for Ollie but will also let her other patients know about the success.Replied by Lori
La Mesa, Ca
Posted by Traveler (Santa Barbara, Ca, Usa) on 07/15/2010
Dog's Itchy Skin
So with the summer-time and my dog spending a lot of time out in the backyard, and the dog park, he has gotten itchy skin. I've checked him for bugs and haven't found any, yet one of his nipples was scratched raw, his armpits were all dark pink, and he had several hotspots which has sebum around the scabby parts. I did two things, and he's almost all the way better but not all the way cured:
1. I took apple cider vinegar (not with the mother, the store didn't have it) and cut it half and half with water and put it in a spray bottle. This he got sprayed with a couple times a day all over in the belief that it would keep the bugs away and maybe help the spots.
2. I grabbed virgin coconut oil and added some tea tree oil to it and rubbed him down and tried to hit his hotspots. I did this two times with as full of a full-body rubdown as I could, and then two or three more times just spot applying. The next day after applying it the first time, his armpits were hardly pink at all. A week later, I've checked his hot spots and his scabs are now in chuncks around his hair, but no longer attached to his skin. I brushed his coat and skin really well with a hard bristle brush trying to stimulate the skin and pull up the chunks and then went through and did it by hand. He's itching a lot less but he's not all the way cured. I'd probably put him at maybe 85% better.Replied by P
07/23/2011Replied by Becca
01/29/2014Replied by Ru
12/26/2014Replied by S.mohanraj
Posted by Anna (Rockhampton, Aus) on 08/02/2013
It's my first post here so I hope I find the right spot. I have commenced the ACV + yoghurt regime with my very itchy 12 yo German Shepherd. Final rinse yesterday was a 50/50 ACV and warm water. I added 1 tabsp ACV and 2 tabsp plain yoghurt to his food this morning and it didn't worry him at all. Today I used a 50/50 mix of ACV and water and with a squirt bottle, worked the mix into his coat where he has most itch (down the back). I let it dry naturally during our pm walk.
Adding the above 2 ingredients to food will be a daily routine, but how often should I do the ACV squirt application? would it be a good idea to add acidopilus to his food or will the yoghurt be adequet?
So far he smells great and isn't scratching as much. I'm really hoping this works.
Posted by Nelson (Farmington, Connecticut) on 02/09/2011
our mixed chow started with nibbling and chewing his paws.. He worked his way up the legs and within two months was hairless in his paws, legs and belly.. He was given steroids, 4 twice daily pills and a shampoo. We changed his diet to freshly cooked chicken and sweet potatoes. Nothing worked. Omar crawled everywhere to satisfy the belly itch. Scratch and chew.. Night and day. Spent close to one thousand dollars. I decided to try the Apple Cider Vinegar and yogurt.. In one day.. He is itching less and wagging his tail.. I sprayed a 50/50 water-acv onto the skin and worked it into the skin. I also now give him several tablespoons of plain yogurt.. He likes it.. I think this is going to help.. He has an appointment with a dermatologist that will be a few more thousand.. But I am banking on the acv. I will use this intill our appointment.. This has been his first night in many months that he appears happy and not so itchy.. G-d bless.. this has been a g-d send.Replied by Angela
El Paso Tx
Posted by Nelson (Farmington, Connecticut) on 02/09/2011
our mixed chow started with nibbling and chewing his paws.. He worked his way up the legs and within two months was hairless in his paws, legs and belly.. He was given steroids, 4 twice daily pills and a shampoo. We changed his diet to freshly cooked chicken and sweet potatoes. Nothing worked. Omar crawled everywhere to satisfy the belly itch. Scratch and chew.. Night and day. Spent close to one thousand dollars. I decided to try the Apple Cider Vinegar and yogurt.. In one day.. He is itching less and wagging his tail.. I sprayed a 50/50 water-acv onto the skin and worked it into the skin. I also now give him several tablespoons of plain yogurt.. He likes it.. I think this is going to help.. He has an appointment with a dermatologist that will be a few more thousand.. But I am banking on the acv. I will use this intill our appointment.. This has been his first night in many months that he appears happy and not so itchy.. G-d bless.. this has been a g-d send.Replied by Anna
08/02/2013Replied by Wendy
08/02/2013Replied by Anna
Posted by Sara (Decatur, Ga) on 12/02/2009
Hello, My dog Jake is a rescue dog and has had itching issues since we got him a year and a half ago. He also has a large scar on his back by his tail that I think was caused by him and the itching. I am going to try a more holistic approach to finding a cure. I have taken him to the vet for a remedy but their suggestions brought no relief. He eats Eukaneuba dog food for adults and right now I can't afford to go out and buy him another dog food. So, based on what I've read, I'm going to do the following
1. add Apple Cider Vinegar to his water
2. spray him with the ACV on the areas that bother him the most and
3. add non-sugar plain yogurt to his food twice a day. about 2 tbls.
Thanks for all the information on this web-site. I'll post again in a month to let people know if this approach worked. I wish I could switch him to the raw meat, all orgainc diet but I've got to feed a house of people first, you know what I mean? If you have any other suggestions, please let me know. Thanks! I hope it works.Replied by Melinda
02/07/2010Replied by Ruby
10/25/2011Replied by Freida
Posted by Barb (Peterborough, On Canada) on 04/06/2015
For all of your pets with itchy paws, a good add on to the ACV treatment is to spritz or soak, dry lightly, then put on paw booties. I bought some polar fleece ones from the local pet store, very easy with elastic and Velcro to fasten. Although they worked like crap in snow and ice, we found them very beneficial to use indoors to stop our lab / border collie cross, Pepa, from licking.
She suffers from seasonal allergies and now I have a weird idea that she may be allergic to these cats we keep rescuing. (yes, apparently dogs can be allergic to cats, so says the web) Found some pimple type bumps in between her toes yesterday and her allergy season is still a long way off. We have been RAW feeders for many years and have tried countless holistic remedies for her.
I am a sewer so last summer made some booties out of a 100% cotton tea towel, elastic and Velcro, duplicating the design of the purchased ones. These allow her paws to breath, and dry out after the vinegar spritz. AND, she cannot lick them! Seems to calm her down a bit too and allows all of us to get some sleep at night. (not really meant for outdoors though)
Hope this idea helps, Barb
Posted by Shelaughs (Lake Worth Florida) on 12/08/2013
Hello... Every time my dogs played in the yard across the street they came home with freakish itchiness & occasionally lesions would erupt between the toes. We had the same issue at our former residence & we wonder if it might have something to do with the mango tree leavings in both yards-
Whatever it is, I used the borax-peroxide solution & we found relief from itching instantaneously. We made a gallon of this solution initially & were able to give a lot of it away to neighbors whose dogs had skin issues. I use a squeeze bottle to direct the solution to specific spots.
Researching further I discovered food-grade diatomaceous earth & I am amazed at the panacea of benefits this has to offer. I found food-grade DE at a local animal feed/pet store. I added this to my dogs' diet, take it myself & have my adult son taking it.
All of us are also using ACV (a life-long thing- my great grandmother used to drink the stuff).
A medieval recipe for a topical anesthetic to treat skin abrasions, hot spots & to calm intense biting/chewing;
Clove tincture: add a box of whole cloves to a cheap bottle of vodka- close the bottle tightly & place in a dark cupboard for 10 days. The alcohol will turn a deep brown & smells wonderful. Using a soft cloth or cotton ball dab a little of this solution onto affected area, it may sting a teeny bit but the clove oils will numb this immediately. (This is good for mouth pain as well! ) You can strain & package into smaller bottles to help your family/neighbors/friends & their pets.Replied by Emily
Posted by Roxies Mom (Atlanta, Ga) on 01/17/2011
Better But With Side Effects:
My dog threw up after trying to lick herself and ingesting the borax & peroxide mixture. I will try with vinegar and see how that works. Not sure if this is safe, so I will update on her progress. I can say that after treatment she immediately stopped scratching which is a miracle for her. She is the itchiest dog I have ever seen! I really hope this works!
Posted by Sue (Nashville, Tn) on 02/09/2011
Regarding Pets with itching and other skin problems: I have several dogs that itch from allergies and flea bites from time to time so I keep on hand a spray bottle of catalytic altered water. My dogs' itching, painful cut or scrape is relieved and starts to heal in minutes. I have seen it heal a cut better than those creams that are sold and it doesn't burn. I have used it on my own skin burns, cuts, itching etc. And I use nothing else. I have also used it to make medication or ACV work better for my dogs. The water can be found on the internet; but don't be fooled by imitations there is only one that will work. 1 oz. of the clear will make 1 gallon for future use. A couple of sprays up to a few sprays work to heal quickly. I want everyone to know that this catalytic altered water is a safe miracle cure thats been around since the 1980's and was even the subject on a popular news television show back then. That show still exists.Replied by Bugjackblue
Ny, Ny Usa
Posted by Mimsy56 (Seattle, Wa) on 10/05/2014
This may not be a natural treatment but I just want to help - it worked for me when nothing else available & safe was effective: simple over-the-counter at your local drugstore CHLORPHENIRAMINE MALEATE - 4 MG tablets - put 1 tablet in dog's food/treat 2 to 3 times a day. I'd already used Benadryl when my vet (FINALLY!! ) recommended Chlor. Maleate - it worked instantly, & supposedly, very safely. My dog (mini schnauzer) weighs 22 lbs. - dosage may vary by dog's size.
I only want to help others in similar miserable situations, having truly agonized for over 4 yrs as my 4-8 yr old allergic mini schnauzer scratched himself daily into a bleeding, balding, hotspot- covered, unhappy, uncomfortable mess. I tried everything, from flea treatment (he had zero fleas), to apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, fish oil, Benadryl, yogurt, grain-free food, prednisone (briefly! ), 24 hr clothing to stop him from scratching himself raw everywhere, Atopica (for about 8 months - useless), to finally, in 2014, Apoquel - it worked perfectly but was very costly & after only a few months, international supplies were depleted & it won't be available again until 2015.
Meanwhile, with the Chlor. Maleate, my dog is finally able to relax au natural (NO CLOTHES!! ) with VERY LITTLE scratching & zero raw areas/hotspots/fur loss, for a measly $12 per 100 tablet bottle of Chlor. Maleate. When/if Apoquel (costs about $70/mo. from my vet) becomes available again, I'm not sure I'll need it. This Chlor. Maleate is a true godsend for my allergic dog - talk to your vet/try it if you're in a similar situation.Replied by Nina
New Jersey, US
12/10/2014Replied by Deborah
Posted by Heidi (Chicago, Il, Usa) on 03/26/2010
My chocolate lab was scratching herself raw. We adjusted her diet, got special lotions and shampoos from the vet, even steroids. Nothing worked. We hated seeing our poor dog suffer so we mixed 1/2 cup of coconut oil with 2 drops of oil of oregano, rubbed it on her sores. By the next morning she was barely scratching at all!! All the sores healed and she has been happy and itch free!Replied by Jb
Atlanta, Ga Usa