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Dog Itchy Skin Home Remedy Options

Last Modified on May 18, 2016

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Coconut Oil  

5 star (1) 

Posted by Pamela (Texas, US) on 09/19/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Coconut oil healed my dog's scabby, itchy (probably ringworm fungus) skin and his anemia.

My dog Melvin, a four year old smooth-skinned Sharpei mix, normally has a beautiful, shiny chocolate-brown coat. Recently he developed scabby, itchy spots all over his body. He also became pretty anemic (apparent from the white color of his gums and inside his ear flaps) and would tire out easily after playing with the other dogs. I think the scabby spots were fungal, most likely ringworm. I had a spot show up on my forearm a couple days after finding Melvin's spots that looked like classic ringworm. I treated mine with an OTC ringworm cream and it started healing right away.

I've used your site for years and have had tremendous success with all other remedies. Coconut oil was one of the remedies recommended, so I added one tablespoon daily to Melvin's dry kibble (he weighs approx. 60lbs.) He loves the taste. After just one week his coat is shiny, the scabs are gone, new hair is growing in the bald spots where scabs fell off, and he's no longer tired after playing with our other dogs. The most incredible result is that his gums and inside ear flaps are no longer white, but a pretty, healthy pink, which is amazing because his appetite was never affected. So the anemia was not from his diet, but apparently from the fungus. I'm now adding the oil to my other dog's meals. I figure if it can reverse anemia, and cure fungus, it may prevent other ailments from even starting. I've also added it to my diet to see if it can help with a chronic skin condition I've had for years. I'll update any new findings.

Once again, thanks Earth Clinic and all contributors. It's so nice to be able to avoid the vet whenever possible.

Replied by Elise
Brownsville, Tn
I have a very small yorky that scratches all the time. How much coconut oil should I put on her food per day?
Replied by Joanne
Manchester. Uk
Has Coconut Oil helped your skin? I suffer from psoriasis and was just wondering.
Replied by Ron
Eldersburs Md
I have tried many things to correct my Yorkshire Terrior itch, but nothing works. He is always at his paws chewing and itching all over with some sore spots. Does anyone have a cure? Been to three vets and no help. Please help me.
Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hey Ron!

The first place to start is with your dog's diet; what are the ingredients on the dog food label? If grains or corn are in the first 5 ingredients, it is time to upgrade the groceries to a grain free diet.

And, once you upgrade the groceries it will still take time - no quick fixes, but many things can help.

When mine get the itchies I alkalize the water with baking soda - a 'crisis' or 'outbreak' dose is 1 teaspoon of baking soda per 1 liter of water, and this as your dogs only source of drinking water. After 7 days I switch to 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to 1 liter of water, and after 7 days I again switch it down to 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to 1 liter of water- and this can be for another week or so, or as a daily maintenance dose.

Next, Consider Ted's mange remedy - this can bring an itchy dog relief:

Borax laundry booster - the plain stuff with NO scent.
1 -16 oz bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide

I get both of these from the grocery store.

Empty hydrogen peroxide into larger bottle - I use an empty 1 gallon vinegar jug. Add to this 32 oz filtered or distilled water - I just refill the hydrogen peroxide bottle twice - and dump into the jug. What this does is change your 3% hydrogen peroxide into 1% hydrogen peroxide.

Next add 1 cup of the borax crystals and shake. There should be some undissolved crystals in the mixed solution - this is just right. I try to use hot water from the kettle on the stove, that or sit the jug of mixture in the sink full of hot water while I bathe the dog.

Bathe the dog - use whatever shampoo and rinse well. Squeeze out excess water and make sure the tub is drained. I then plug up the tub. Now pour the mixed up solution over the dog. I use a small sponge to soak up the solution from the bottom of the tub and squeeze it out onto the dog again and again, making sure I get the head and underneath. Keep squeezing solution over and over onto the dog for about 15 minutes - 30 minutes is better. Then pull the stopper from the tub and let the excess drain. DO NOT DRY THE DOG OR RINSE THE DOG. The solution has to remain wet as it is still working. Allow the dog to air dry. I just pop mine into their crates and I remove any absorbent bedding.

If you are worried about poisoning your dog keep in mind that borax has the same toxicity as table salt. The solution doesn't seem to hurt the eyes or sting any sores on the skin. Some dogs feel instant relief! I find this is effective on the skin for 24 hours - after that you can do another dip or switch to the Anti-fungal/Anti-staph solution:

Anti fungal/staph skin solution - you will need:
Milk of Magnesia [magnesium hydroxide]
Epsom salts [magnesium sulfate]
Borax [sodium tetraborate]
1% hydrogen peroxide solution

Mix 1 tbsp of MOM with 1 tbsp epsom salt and 1 tbsp borax into 1-1/2 cups of 1% hydrogen peroxide. Apply and do not rinse. This solution should knock out any staph infection or yeast infection going on in the skin.

If you get results - less itching and chewing - you can mix up a smaller batch of the above solution and put it in a spritzer bottle to use on your dog's paws; if they heal up you can try a simple solution of water and white vinegar to use after your dog comes in from outside or when you see your dog start to chew at his feet.

You also can address the itching from the inside out with dietary supplements - yucca, turmeric and quercetin can be found in capsules at the health food store and help with inflamation; colostrum will help build the immune system and Vitamin C, kelp and spirulina will help support it.

Let us know what you try and please report back!

Corn Starch  

5 star (1) 

Posted by Pamela (High Springs, Fl.) on 11/20/2010
5 out of 5 stars

I had dachshund, that broke out with a skin rash, also my R. Ridge back, the Dr's started them both on cordacoze I didn't really like using the drugs. One day one of my friends saw his bleeding around his neck and stomach and suggested corn starch I got a hand ful of cornstarch and rub his neck and stomach and the next day he wasn't bleeding and 1 week later both dogs and no signs of the rash it was great. I was so excited this was so amazing, and I still use it today.

Dietary Changes  

5 star (5) 
4 star (2) 

Posted by Casandra Morton (Charlotte, NC) on 12/05/2014
5 out of 5 stars

My dogs were itching and scratching also, their skin is dry and irritated. My brother-in-law raises coon dogs and he is the best doctor ever. My pom pom's ears was always itching for over a year. Doctors gave me prescriptions and prescribed dog food also, none of it worked. My brother-in-law told me to take the grain out of their food. buy grain free dog food and put cooking grease in their food. I put old cooking grease in their food everyday and their coat is so pretty now. The key is grain free food and old cooking grease in their food and in a week watch the change. WOW. Like magic!

Posted by Chee (Farmersville, Ohio) on 05/29/2014
5 out of 5 stars

My bulldog has allergies. Harley would itch and lost hair. I finally changed his dog food several times before I realized that he was allergic to yeast. Yeast is in almost every treat and dog food. Read every ingredient carefully. I ended finding a great new brand called NULO he likes the north atlantic cod and turkey. He stopped itching and losing hair and has been fine, it's all natural. Hope this will help all the itchy pups out there. :)

Posted by Denise (Stockton, Ca) on 10/10/2011
4 out of 5 stars

I went this website to see if Yogurt would be helpful for my dogs. I wanted to add that I use the herbal spice Turmeric every night in their food along with liquid aloe and I feed a totally grain free diet. It has really seemed to help. I have two very itchy boxers so I am always looking for ideas to help them.

Posted by Jill (West Long Branch, Nj) on 02/16/2010
5 out of 5 stars

Re: itchy skin dogs and cats

I was wondering if the Apple Cider Vinegar sprayed on the animals burns. It has got to hurt if the skin is raw. Also, organic coconut oil works great. Most times it is the food they are allergic too. After reading these sites I switched food and the fur on both my German Sheppards and 8 cats all changed for the better. My fat cats lost weight and look great.

My friends dog was scratching himself to death. She changed foods 4 times,, but each time it was another garbage type

You must see:

Posted by Deirdre (Earth Clinic) on 09/13/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I have 3 dogs and took my 15 year old dog, Max, whom I've written about numerous times on this site, to a holistic vet in July. Because he was going #2 every 3-4 hours, the vet advised me to take him off his senior food and put him on another brand of food with less fiber. I slowly switched Max to another holistic brand. Well, changing to a new brand of food cured Max of his constant bowel movements, but within a few days, one of my other dogs, Tuxy, whom I also switched over to the new food, started itching and scratching. Within a week he was itching and scratching like no tomorrow: morning, afternoon, evening, middle of the night, scratch scratch scratch, bite bite bite. Poor boy! I surmised pretty quickly that the new brand of food was causing his new itchy skin issue, as I found no sign of fleas on him when I used the flea comb. What eased the scratching but did not solve the problem was to add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to Tuxy's evening food and a small clove of garlic mashed up just once every few days. I also bathed him and finished the bath with an oatmeal rinse. I put 1/2 cup of instant oats in a Bodum pot (the kind that pushes the coffee grounds down to the bottom) and then filled up the rest of the Bodum with hot water and let it sit while I was shampooing him. Once I rinsed off the shampoo, I poured the oatmeal water over him and did not wash it off. I could tell he was feeling pretty good after that and the scratching stopped for about a day.

At any rate, I ordered Tuxy's old brand of food online and just got it delivered yesterday. Amazingly enough, he has almost stopped scratching after only 1 day back on his old food!! So I am guessing he had either a yeast overgrowth or allergies in connection to the new food. Isn't it interesting that he started to scratch right away on the new food and stopped scratching just as fast on the old food?!

If your dog has skin allergies or yeast issues, consider that their food may be the culprit!

Replied by Demi
Atlanta, Ga
What was the food you ordered? My lab mix puppy scratches too. She doesn't have scabs, but scratches as soon as she wakes up.

EC: Blackwood was the brand I ordered. However, I have since switched them all to Taste of the Wild (Salmon).

Note: Be careful with higher quality holistic foods - two of my dogs gained about 7 pounds in 6 weeks on Taste of the Wild (Bison and Venison) and are now on a strict diet!


Replied by Vicki
Dallas, Tx
5 out of 5 stars

I've been the round with dogfoods and as I have a lot of dogs & 3 cats; it's been difficult to find a holistic brand with guaranteed ingredients that don't have grain, or a lot of fat, that I can afford. Pancreatitus is a danger with the high fat brands & if your dog is not an actual working dog in a cold climate, there's a definte risk of this. Grain is responsible for diabetes, yeast infections, & allergies in dogs. One of my little males suffered through 3 rounds of pancreatitus years ago from ProPlan (my vet commented on the high fat content, but it didn't register with me at the time) plus he & 2 of his daughters last fall had a seizure type reaction from one I thought was ok (Blue). Wellness is what I feed them now, with no problems. ACV in their drinking water has improved their coat & skin condition even more. Will be trying coconut oil on one ex-feral cat who continues to have severely itching skin, who vomited the ACV water & refuses to drink it after one episode.

Replied by Remy6287
Florence, Ky, Usa
4 out of 5 stars

I have a 10 yr old Akita that has suffered from itchy skin for a number of years. It first started when she was bout 7 and then we took her to the vet, got a cortisone shot and she was better for a time. Then about a year ago it came back worse than ever. She was also having trouble with her joints and biting them, mostly her hips.

After doing some research on this site I decided to try a combination of things. Every meal along with her Taste of the Wild food, she gets, 1-2 cloves of garlic , chopped into small pieces (I started with one to see how she reacted and then when she showed no negative side effects, gave her more). About 1 teaspoon of ginger root, chopped up, 3 scoops of organic yogurt, 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil, and 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses (to help with her joints). Within a month of using this combination, her skin cleared up, coat looks shiny, and she is bouncing around like she used to. She still has 2 hot spots on her chest but I think it is due to our location. Hope this helps!

Epsom Salt Baths  

Posted by Dianec (San Jacinto Ca.) on 01/30/2014

My dog sometimes has mild itching and I wonder if Epsom salt as a bath or soak would be safe to use on my dog? I use Epson salt for my feet as I sometimes have rashes and it takes away itching. I was wondering if Epson salt would work for my dog? Thanks

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hey Diane!

Epsom salt baths are safe for dogs.

Replied by Dianec
San Jacinto Ca.

Filtered Drinking Water  

5 star (1) 

Posted by Myway (Usa) on 02/13/2016
5 out of 5 stars

If your pet has allergies, be sure to give them filtered water - no tap water. My little 18 year old tabby starts itching as soon as she starts drinking tap water. I buy her bottled water and that does the trick.

Is it fluoride exposure? Hard to say - but it works!

MyWay :D

Fish Oil  

5 star (3) 
3 star (1) 

Posted by Carol (Flushing, Michigan) on 10/08/2009
5 out of 5 stars


Replied by Luann
Spring Hill, Fl
My 11 year old male cat has been suffering from a skin allergy for a little over a year. He has gotten the steroid injections, along with an over the counter antihistamine recommended by my vet. This seems to help for awhile, but now he's scratched himself raw again. Has all the same symptoms: itching, scabs, raw skin, hair loss. I can't get near him with ACV anymore, so the fish oil seems like a good suggestion. What is the strength (MG?) of the capsules you are using. It breaks my heart to him like this.
Replied by Kat
Crown Point, In
5 out of 5 stars

I have a small dog (under 20 pounds) and gets very itchy in the summer and fall. I have been giving him the fish oil caplet for the last few years. I went to the vet, and they sent me home with a prescription. The fish oil works better. Plus, he loves the fish oil and has learned to swallow the pill whole. I make sure he gets a drink after the pill. Don't want it stuck in his throat!

Replied by Sarah
Manchester, Britain
5 out of 5 stars

Tins of sardines work a treat, just mixed in her food and its an excellent food supplement.

Replied by Betty L.
Lead Hill, Ar
3 out of 5 stars

Better But With Side Effects
I have just started fish oil again for my Dobie and her insanely itchy skin. Am treating for Candida. Just a caution, with fish oil. My little doxie cross loved the oil too. And I got to feeding them for treats. She got worse and worse, very sick looking. Then I read something about how it can thin the blood. I was thinning her blood too much! I stopped cold and she came back strong!

Replied by Marilyn S.
Neillsville, Wi
How much fish oil do I give? How many tablets meaning mg?


5 star (1) 

Posted by Mamaknocks (Downers Grove, Il, Usa) on 01/07/2010
5 out of 5 stars

A GINGER, 550mg capsule cured my dog's inflamed, itchy skin in 5 minutes. A MIRACLE MINUTES, thank GOD! After a long, miserable, sleepless night...peace and quiet.

Replied by Rina
Seattle, Wa
did you mean a ginger supplement or just raw ginger? Could you please be more specific? Thank you.
Replied by Mamaknocks
Downers Grove, Il
Just a regular ginger capsule. I put it in a "Pill Pocket" that are sold by the bag at pet stores. My dog will take anything that I put in those little things! He thinks it's a treat. Ginger is wonderful. If he has an upset tummy, it cures that just as fast as it does itchy skin!

Grass Allergy Remedies  

Posted by Brooklyn (Brooklyn Ny ) on 09/23/2014

My pet yorkie went with us to Pennsylvania and was running all around the grass and squirming all around the grass now we got back and she's been itching all over. Please help me help her stop itching.

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hey Brooklyn!

Please give your dog a bath and follow up with a vinegar rinse. I am OK with using white vinegar for a rinse [some only swear by ACV] - I would mix 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water after the bath, making sure your dog gets saturated down to the skin with the rinse.

I would also consider dosing benadryl if your dog is really uncomfortable. I also find it helpful to alkalize your dog's drinking water by adding 1 teaspoon of baking soda to 1 liter of water and have this be the only drinking water for the next 7 days.

Replied by Lesley
Agree with Theresa on vinegar, but baking soda has really good anti itch properties so you could wash your dog with a mild solution of bakingsoda, rinse very thoroughly with plain water, followed by a final rinse of 50/50 vinegar and water.
Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hey Lesley!

Thanks for the baking soda rinse tip!!

Replied by Paula
This has been the best information I have received for HOME REMEDIES.... Thank you very much....

Homemade Dog Food  

Posted by Leslie (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) on 02/09/2013

I have only now found this website and think it's wonderful. Many posts are years old however the problems seem to be the same year after year - so I thought I would give this information for those who are interested.

Dogs that itch terribly, pull their fur out, scratch their ears till they are inflamed, lick and pull at their paws, and more, may have a yeast infection. This is for males too.

A website that addresses this is: http// I have found it to be perfect for my Chihuahua and all his problems including this one.

Homeopathic Remedy Psorinum  

5 star (1) 

Posted by Om (Hope Bc, Canada, Bc) on 07/02/2013
5 out of 5 stars

My thirty pound Tibetan spaniel kept itching so badly for at least two months. He gets defleaed daily just by combing and ACV spray. It became so bad I put on my thinking cap.

Years ago I contracted scabies on my arms due to animal rescue matters. I used homeopathic PSORINUM 30C. I less than half an hour all was gone, not to return, several years later.

I had planned to use Ted's remedy for mites after doggie had his grooming and trimming for the summer. I could, however, not wait and look at it any longer.

So I gave about four little globules of PSORINUM 30C which is a scabies remedy even though I thought he might have other mites as well which are transmitted by fleas.

I had to observe him and as he resumed scratching after several hours' interval, I had to give the remedy up to five times more. But now, two weeks later, he only scratches when I find a flea upon investigation. I am also using DE in the house which has apparently made a difference.

So, PSORINUM, could be tried for mites or simply bad scratching episodes. It certainly is worth trying, especially the cost is about ten bucks.

I would never consider cortisone shots which damage health or flea treatment that poison the blood. Does anyone realize how many dogs have died in the drug trials before that drug was let loose on the maket? Dogs that receive regular blood poisoning flea treatments, do not live out their normal life span. This was confirmed by a dog breeder who mentioned his German Shepherds live only eight years while reguarly given this drug.

Also, I must make mention of Ted's remedy BORAX. I tried as a shampoo on my fine hair and was amazed how soft, bouncy and shiny was the outcome. Now I will use it regularly on myself and doggie as well. I leave the borax paste on for several minutes, then rinse. Voila. It does away with itch, too. Treats for mites, too.

An altenative is soap nuts. Info online. Best wishes to EC posters. Om

Itchy Skin Medications  

Posted by Ed (Okemos, Michigan) on 12/28/2014

I have been reading with interest the benefit of Apple Cider Vinegar and am starting the regimen today. My dog has been on .25 mg of Medrol every other day for several years and the vet wants her off that and has prescribed Cyclosporin. When we picked up the compounded script the pharmacist indicated we should use a latex glove when we give it to the dog as it is quite "toxic." And the label on the bottle says "wear gloves when dispensing this medication." My god if it is harmful to human skin, what does it do internally to a dog?

Replied by Diamond
Ma., US
If people are hiding from conventional meds. then you might think about it also. I spent $130.00 for my cat and she was worse, so I started her on home cooked chicken because she has always been a dumpster diver and she is twelve years old, so as it now stands my cat is doing great. I can afford going with-out a meal in order to feed and save my pet/s life. Something more natural is better then these hard core meds. we know nothing about. Your message is a great help, I needed that to help me out a lot more. Thank you.