Dog Itchy Skin Home Remedy Options

Last Modified on Oct 06, 2014

Remedies Needed   3  0   

Posted by Sarah (Crown Point, Indiana) on 12/13/2012

We have 3 indoor only cats. Lucy is our youngest cat being about 3 years old and we have had her since she was young. About a year ago we noticed that she had a small scab on her head (in between her eye and ear) that started to get bigger and bigger due to her scratching. We thought that perhaps it didn't heal because she kept scratching the scab off and so we got her an e-collar. We waited until it healed up completely and then took the e-collar off. She scratched the same spot raw again. We thought perhaps we took the e-collar off too soon and put it back on to heal again. We removed the e-collar the second time and she scratched her face raw again.

I did some research online and thought perhaps she developed a food allergy. So I put her on diet for Sensitive Skin... No change. After more research, I put her on Duck Dry Food. Again, she is still scratching her face raw and living life in the e-collar. I took her to the vet and they gave her a shot of pregnisone. I the shot was supposed to work for a couple weeks, but only stopped her scratching for about one week. They checked her for ear mites and fleas - and she was clean. Our other two cats have no problems. I then tried a liquid skin irritant formula and it seemed to work. She was scratch free for a few months even after we stopped giving her the Natural Pet's liquid.

After about three months of being scratch/scab free she started scratching again. I started her back up on the Natural Pet Liquid and this time it did not work. :( I also switched all my household cleaners to non-toxic all natural or organic cleaners. I have never switched her off of the Nature's Balance Duck Formula this whole time. I took her to the vet again and had a blood allergy test done. She tested positive for a couple types of weed allergies but that doesn't explain why she is scratching her face raw because she is an indoor pet and it's winter. The vet also gave her a strong shot of antibiotics which didn't help either.

Then we tried giving Lucy Atopica - the "claritin" for cats. No change whatsoever... She is still scratching. They tested her urine for diabetes and she tested negative. I also tried a itch spray (which she hated) and putting caps on her back claws... all to no avail.

The only other symptom, which comes and goes, is that she sounds semi-congested and will sound like she is clearing her throat. Her behavior is good and hasn't changed a bit. She still purrs regardless of living in the e-collar. We are at our wits end and have tried almost everything!!!! Can anybody help???

Posted by Wendy
Columbus, Oh/usa
Have you tried organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) yet? Put a teaspoon undiluted into her food each time you feed her. Also, dilute it 1/2 and 1/2 with spring water, put the solution on a cotton ball, and carefully & gently wipe the sore on her cheek. If the sore is open and oozing, DO NOT use the ACV. It needs to heal first, using prescription meds from your vet. Only after it has healed, can you start swabbing the area with the diluted ACV.

There are tons of links about using ACV here on EC. Just search.

Posted by Mellybell (Ohio) on 09/27/2012

My English Setting has been eating a lot of spiders and "thousand-leggers" in the past 2 weeks-yuk! - and for the last week he's been really itchy, has a skin rash, and just doesn't seem to be feeling well. I asked our vet if the small amount of toxin in each bug could be building up in him and messing with his system, but she didn't think so. Any ideas on what we can do to help him?

Posted by David (Melbourne Australia, Victoria, Australia) on 03/05/2012

Hi my name is David from melbourne australia. My dog pepsi started getting itchy spots that started of red and then black and scabs. She itches all night and day then the hair disappears in those spots. I have been to the vets and the gave her a course of anti biotics and a cortizone shot and I also washed her several times with honey and oatmeal soap, nothing really worked. I used dermaid cream from the chemist which helped but now it's started again on her stomach and legs. I was just reading about apple vinager cider. Does it really work or does mine sound like pepsi has a mange type of disease? I am very lost at the moment so any help would be great. Poor pepsi is also a stroke victim from years past, but she has so much spirit, even with this and her legs not working properly she is still so happy. Can someone help?

Posted by Marianne
Berlin, Germany
26 Posts
Dear David: The problem your dog has sounds just like the problems we had with ours since last May. She was diagnosed with demodex mange plus some unknown (most likely) food allergy. We are on our way to a recovery but let me tell you it takes some time and patience. It is not finished yet but the hair is growing back and she is a lot healthier and lively. She still itches but we don't know if it is the itching that all dogs have or if it's abnormal. Hard to tell.

Anyway, here is what we did. My very first advice to you is stop vaccinating!!! Read the following web-sites to start with:

http://raraCvisherb/com/mange.pdf (this site shows up if you put the following words into google: Canine Mange A Holistic Approach

The second advice is to start on a raw meat diat. You'll find plenty of books and internet infos.

The third advice find yourself a homoeopathic vet who will be able to detoxify all those vaccinations, antibiotics, cortizone and other bad things which have ruined your dog's immunesystem and start healing her immunesystem.

You'll find plenty more advices on this website from earthclinic. Some we tried and some helped.

If you would like to hear more, please, feel free to contact my via mail: marianne-jaedick(at)

Good luck, Marianne

Posted by Jeane
Quezon City, Philippines
2 Posts
Hi, David! I think apple cider vinegar is great taken orally, but you may want to try white vinegar on her externally. We make our own shampoo by mixing about three caps full of white vinegar into the most natural soap we can find here. We actually use bar soap and dissolve it in water then pour the little bit of vinegar in to make the shampoo. We prefer to use bar soap as that's the only soap made from coconut oil that we can find in the market. We keep whatever extra we make in bottles and use the shampoo for every bath. We also make a spray of white vinegar in water for days in between baths. We make this spray a bit stronger though and also rub the solution into the skin for a more thorough application. But for flareups that may still be tender and may sting with vinegar, we use warm tea instead. Hope this helps your Pepsi!

Posted by Kerbar771 (Tampa, Florida, Usa) on 11/24/2011

My 11 yr. old daschund was walked on the front lawn last month and in less than a week, he was biting himself. He doesn't have any fleas, but he has two big bald spots on his back, and it is scaly dry skin flakes. It is around his face as well as his feet and portion of his tail. I cannot afford the vet but have been reading all these remedies. I have tried some sulfur medicated shampoo which seems to help for about a day and a half or two, but it goes back to the scaly. I have bought him a cone collar so he does not bite himself.

I had used the Apple Cider Vinegar one time which I had noticed the next day it flaked his skin so badly I had to rub him down with olive oil, and then tried some coconut oil. Had to give him another bath about 4 days later. The dryness is around his eyes I feel so bad for him. His appetite is great, he eats anything. He is still active but he looks awful!! Is the Apple Cider Vinegar supposed to flake the skin so badly? Would the borax solution do the same thing? I changed his food 2 x, I had got him the good stuff which did not make a difference. What can I do for his face???

Posted by Deb
St Paul, Mn, Usa
Itchy dog: our 12 year old mutt, Colby has had skin problems for years. Everything I tried would help somewhat, and within months he would be back to his itchy, stinky self. Two things I have started in the last 3 months have helped considerably:

1. grapefruit seed extract - several drops mixed with coconut oil and put on his worst spots once daily for about two weeks.

2. I also started him on a supplement called Animal Immugen (can't say the company) once daily, and oregano oil in his food. Only a drop of oregano oil a few times a week is all I could disguise.

He looks beautiful, and I have only been bathing him every 10- 14 days, which is miraculous as it used to be every 5- 7 before the smell drove me insane.

I'm pretty sure it was yeast that just never totally cleaned up. I think we may have killed it off!

Posted by Meagan
Lakewood, California
Kerbar771: I have the EXACT same problem with my dog! I have noticed it will get better and then worse again but cannot tell any consistency or reason in the changes. This is driving me crazy! Did you ever find a good remedy?

Posted by Suzy (Oakland, Usa) on 11/11/2011


My 3 year old cat (strictly indoors) has recently developed an inflamed chin which spread to itchy spots on his neck and other areas. I treated him with aloe vera gel, changed water dish to ceramic, and treated him for fleas. It kept getting worse so vet recommended the cortisone injection. Three months later, the condition returned, again the vet gave him the cortisone. Now two months later, it is reappearing and I am not going to keep having the cortisone injected into him. He licks and scratches himself practically all the time. I feed him very good canned food, Halo, Natural Balance, Natural Instinct and others. He is very picky and has always been so. The only thing that he always likes is the dry food "Bench & Field, Holistic Natural Feline Formula". I want to help his immune system restore itself and whatever else I need to do. Please advise. Thank You!

p.s. my younger one year old cat is fine.

Posted by Veronica
Tyler, Texas
3 Posts
Try using organic red palm oil. Put a few drops in his food and see if that helps with the itchingAs you know, itching can sometimes be the result of dry skin, Im not saying that is the problem with your cat but its worth trying the oil as it will lubricate his skin and might stop the itching problem. I recommend the red palm oil because its rich in vit. E, A, coq10, zinc, squalene, ect. which are great for the skin.

Posted by Pitty Girl (Hamilton, Ontario) on 11/06/2011

My 5 year old Pitbull has scratched for the last couple years. I have tried hundreds of dollars on vet prescribed medication. I have switched her food a million times, I now give her something called aloe pet for hot spots and itchy skin. It helps but doesn't get rid of it. My vet thought it was mites but I have tried everything he has given her and it doesn't help. At most she will get temporary relief, but it always comes back. The insides of her ears are red she scratches herself raw, loosing fur in some spots. And has bumps that almost look like scar tissue.. Please someone tell me something to help rid my girl of this pain and irritation!

Posted by Linda
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Have you switched to a RAW diet, with NO grains. I learned the hard way that grains cause so much allergies in dogs!!!!!!! ( in many commercial dog foods) Try the BARF diet, that is 75% raw meaty bone and organ, and 25% green vegetable. With added doggie vitamins, and fish oil for omegas. please google the raw diets, even vegetarians raw diets, that are HOMEOPATHIC vet approved.

Posted by Kathy (Middle Island, Ny) on 10/30/2011

I have a 3 year old black lab mix. He has a beautiful coat but recently has started licking his paws and then rubbing/scratching his eyes. He also flaps his ears shaking his head from side to side in addition to sneezing sometimes. He has worn away the fur around his eyes and a little on his nose. Also his paws where he licks them a little bit. He has been to the vet about 4 times for this, steroid shots worked for a few months the first time but since then hes been back and forth. I'm starting to lose faith in my vet. So he's been on antibiotics, prednisone and Amitriptyline for anxiety. He's afraid of everything, and can't seem to settle down. He sometimes barks and growl at people while he's afraid at the same time. I have tried a grain free dog food with no improvement. Really smart dog too. I know this is rather long but I am at my wits end. Any advice would be appreciated.

Posted by Teresa
Edmonton, Canada
Might have to do with allergies from Food, and yeast buildup from food and the antibiotics, (try adding the Omega 3 oils on food, Flax or fish oils, & a more raw dog food diet, (stay with the No grains dry shd still be good as grains turn to sugars, feeds cancers & yeast), check the ears are they brown with mites, or yeast, the ear shaking & sneezing may be fleas, do a search for these key words and see what other have to say. There is a lot of information here and it's all natural.
Posted by Rendy
Lubbock, Tx
2 Posts
I dust my pets with Diatomaceous Earth once every month or two. It can be fed to them in small amounts ( my 70 lbs mixed breed a 1/4 tps every morning and 20 lbs Poodle 1/3 tps every morning) as well as myself 2 tbls every morning. You can treat your yard or garden with it as it is non-toxic. Earthworks Health website can give you more info or wikipedia.
Posted by Worked For Us
Griffin, Ga
[YEA]   We took our black lab to vet for years to relieve her of itchy ears. My husband found a recipe online that worked! We did exactly as it directed and her ears are GREAT more than a year later! We wish we had known about it prior to spending so much money at the vet's office. Here is the link:

Posted by Worried About My Jack (London, England) on 09/20/2011

I resenctly invested in a Jack Russell puppy for myself, and soon noticed that he was chewing his feet and tail till he bleed, I took him to the vet and they ran test with no diagnosis. They sent us away with antibiotics which even after completing the course he is still chewing till he bleeds, I brought him a protective collar in the hope that it would prevent him from chewing but he has found a way to get to his feet and tail. He also spends nearly evey second scratching and in between his toes it has something that looks kind of like atheletes foot. Could you tell me if any of this sounds like a yeast infection and if so what is the best thing I can do to help him and if its not, do you have any ideas of what it may be?

Posted by Pawsdog
Belfast, Northern Ireland
I've great sympathy for itchy dogs having a 2yr old jack russell, jasper who has been an itchy dog from day one when I got him as a 6week old. My other 2 dogs a staffy and a yorkie don't itch at all. I've changed jaspers diet, used creams supplements like garlic and fenugreek, fish oil herbs all to no avail. Am at the point of realising I've an atopy dog and he'll never stop itching, he's currently in the grip of a terrible itch scratch cycle his worst yet, and looks like a lobster. I cream him all over day and night sometimes 4 or 5 times overnight, its depressing for me I can only guess what it's like for him...

Posted by Nightrunnerwolf (Brattleboro, Vt, United States) on 09/11/2011

My dog is a 1 yr 10mo old border collie and he is constantly itching, scratching and chewing at himself. He doesnt have fleas and his coat and skin look fine but when I brush him I find dry skin on him. The house he is in is kept clean and none of the other animals have fleas or have this problem. I want too know what too do because he has chewed and scrathed himself raw too the point where he has nasty scabs. The vet said that he had fleas but he didnt find any on him and neither have we. I think its dry skin. But I want too know what I could do to releive his itching and biting. He wakes up in the middle of the night and scratches for the longest time. Im hoping its nothing serious. He doesnt seem to be having a reaction to anything we have. He is on the best food there is and he is drinking and eating out of steel bowls. Any suggestions??

Posted by Ell
Leicester, England / Uk
My cat miminx is just 2yrs..... in all the time we have had her, she has never had a problem with her skin, until NOW!!!!

she is scratching and chewing like there's no tomorrow, she has no fleas at all (I've checked and she gets treated every 4 weeks.)

I have resorted temporarily to putting a bandage round her, to prevent her scratching, it's got soo bad, and I have also been putting sudacream (antiseptic) on her to stop infection and keep it clean, until I can get her to the vets.

the areas she is chewing are becoming sore, and bleeding at times.......

somebody please help! X

Posted by Sara (Old Bridge, New Jersey) on 07/29/2011

My sheltie is 2 yrs old and licks and bites his back paws and scratches. On allergy meds but dont like to give the medicine. I am looking for some natural/ non toxic solution that is not expensive. I have some sauve that is for dogs paws but he licks it off and I am not sure if that is good for him. He eats Blu Buffalo natural dry dog food. His treats are basic treats bone marrow, jerkey chicken strips

Thanks for any help

Posted by Debinpa (Harrisburg, Pa, Usa) on 01/22/2011

I have a 1 year old yorkie who has been scratching both sides of her face at her whiskers. I have taken her to the vet thinking it was her teeth, but he found nothing. I feel bad for her & I don't know what to do for her. Could it be a problem with the growing of the thick whiskers she that is causing the problem? Has anyone ever seen this before? She doesn't scratch other places.

Posted by Blondie (Denver, Colorado, Usa ) on 12/03/2010

Hi I have a 7 year old cairn terrier that developed a horrible itch in her pee area (vagina) at one point she actually had sores around it. My vet put her on steroids (which made her pee a lot). It did get rid of the sores, but she still itches horrible. She is overweight and cannot reach herself to itch the area. Poor thing spins circles on the floor. Does anyone know of an anti itch remedy? I will try anything to help her. My vet thinks its an auto immune disease like lupus. Thanks ahead of time!

Posted by Gina
Iuka, Ms
Blondie, Is it yeast infection? If it is try rubbing plain yogart on her. Even better give her kosher organic coconut oil in her food and rub it on her also. If your dont know what it is these things wont hurt. Also sometimes they get irritated if you change shampoo or dont get all the soap off be sure and rinse her good. Hope this helps.

Posted by Buzybee (Savannah, Ga. Usa) on 10/10/2010

My dog max, is a german shepard and he is always licking and biting and itching, all the time, and I am so distressed at his condition but don't know what to do about the situation,
I am tired of him taking the medications the vet gives him and now want an all natural fix for his problem. He is currently eating "pedigre dog food" and eats those purina dog chicken strips, and bacon beggin strips. He has been on these items since a pup, but now he is getting worse, and biting and licking more. What natural things can I use on him to improve this condition? I read on this web page about ACV, maybe I'll try that to see if it works. I am now using "tea tree" oil diluted an a cotton ball and putting socks on his feet! I need help. Thank you buzybee

Posted by Bb
Atlanta, Ga Usa
First put the dog on a good diet. Commercial food is full of grains, sugar, toxic meat meals, synthetic vitamins, chemicals, rancid oils & toxic preservatives. I reccommend finding a holistic vet to coach you in raw feeding. The commercial food is killing your dog. Pedigree is horrible. It would ALMOST be better to serve him Happy Meals from McDonalds.
Posted by Col
Cairns, Qld, Australia
I also have a dog that suffered badly with itching vet put him on quarter zone tabs but he continued to itch, I put him on sulphur powder 1/4 of a teaspoon for 10 days, he now doesn't sit there crying and scratching, sulphur cleans the blood, I am still trying to find the right dosage per kilo/pound of weight, as I still give him 1/16th of a t/spoon every second day.
Posted by Maryland
Los Angeles, Ca, Usa
18 Posts
Buzybee, your dog's body is starting to react to all those years from eating bad food!

Pedigree and Purina are bad! Read the ingredients and you'll see that it says by-meat product, which means that isn't meat that your dog is eating! Check online and you'll see what it is! It's disgusting! My dog ate Pedigree and other bad foods for over a year (before he used to eat the Merrick's brand) and since he started eating food with meat-by product, he started to itch, his skin got flaky, it came to a point that he would literally scratch himself the whole day!

Change your dog's diet!

Posted by Tina (Worcester, Mass, United States) on 10/01/2010

My dog Snoopy has been scratching himself for about two week now, just as the fall is setting in. All summer long even with the heat, he was doing fine. What should I do?

Posted by Jb
Atlanta, Ga Usa
23 Posts
It may be related to turning on your heat. Either mites in duct work or the lack of humidity.

Posted by Sheila (Singapore) on 12/02/2009

Ears: My 8 year old cross terrier has had itchy ears for years which comes and goes. I rely on Ear Drops from the vet when its bad, which I dont really prefer tho I do see it works within hours ... at least for a week. I wash his ears each week or 10 days with a herbal wash bt still from time to time i see him desperately scratching and its back to the vet EarDrps. Recently I see his skin is acting up and has red blotches, and he is shedding more than normal. I cook him rice with meat and veggies each day. No flavourings but salt. How can I help his skin and ears? Thanks a lot

Posted by Leanne
Chicago, Il
Hi Shelia, we have a black lab and she plagued with itchy ears despite constant cleaning and medicine until a friend of ours turned us on to this solution that you can make. The recipe is all over the internet in case you want to research it more. It goes like this:

16 oz. bottle isopropyl alcohol (or witch hazel)
4 tablespoons Boric Acid Powder
16 drops Gentian Violet 1% Solution

Mix all ingredients in the alcohol bottle & shake. (make sure you shake before every application).

Treatment: Fill ear with solution & massage gently for 30 seconds and wipe with a tissue. Fill a second time and just wipe without massaging. The dog will shake the excess out. Be careful, the Gentian Violet could stain. I use a eye dropper to fill the ear.

2 times per day for the first 2 weeks
1 time per day for the next 2 weeks
1 time per month thereafter

All of the ingredients are available on the internet in case you can't get them locally. Also, be VERY careful with the solution as it stains horribly; its best to apply it outdoors and let him shake out the excess there. Hope it works for your loved one.

Posted by Cvpgrrl
Rutland, Oh
My dog had horrible problems with her ears. We were back and forth to the vet until I tried Garlic and Mullein ear oil from one of our local botanical suppliers. It was made for humans but it worked wonders. I just put a whole dropper full in her ears at night and massaged it in. She hated it but it cured a problem that had been bothering her for years.
Posted by Vanessa
Boric Acid should not be confused with Borax. Be careful.
Posted by Jb
Atlanta, Ga Usa
23 Posts
[YEA]   When my dogs get itchy ears I use GSE, grapefruit seed extract, ear drops. Easy to use & no staining. It's antibacterial, antifungal & antiviral.
Posted by Mart
Vancouver, Canada
I have a pregnant shith tzu and she's been battling skin problems for two years now... Her skin is always red and itchy and recently she's been scratching her sided non-stop and after taking her to the doctors and over a $1000 later I haven't had any solution yet. The last time they gave me prednisone but right now do to her pregnancy I'm trying to keep her away from that. She's allergic to chicken and corn so right now I have her on Medical skin protection beautiful medicated food about $60 for a 12 lbs bag... And right now she just broke out again and I don't know what to do.... She's allergic to flea bytes as well and I'm not sure whether to give her the flea medicine we have. We been giving her a batch about one every 7 days but her skin smells disgusting and she can't stop scratching her sides... With her back legs....

I been thinking of doing the ACV with water but I dont know about the coconut oil, is there an specific brand or does it have to be organic?? Anything would help.. The lady that sold us the dog has been running a puppy mill and we didn't know until after the fact. Most of her dogs suffer from many ailments so you could imagine if even this is DNA related :( any help would be greatly appreciated.


Posted by Josephine
Wexford, Pa Allegheny Co.
2 Posts
My ShihTzu is suffering with the same problem. Panda is 6 His skin problem started a year ago. He was always on a 5 star food. My vet said its inviremental allergies. He wanted to put him on steroids. But I said no. I have chosen to cloth my panda so he cannot rip open his delicate stomach. I also velcro baby socks to his feet because he almost chewed off his dewclaw! So my poor panda wears his armour till someone can help him and me to fix his immune system. HELP[ someone give me a home remedy. I did try the ACV My poor baby jumped off my lap. He NEVER ever acted like that. And his rash is under his skin RED SPOTS Goodluck to you. I'll keep reading the latest posts hoping someone can help all our sweet babies.
Posted by Tanya
Brooksville, Fl
I just want to throw my two cents in for anybody else having untreatable itching problems with their pets.

For about two years, our Golden had really bad ear infections. They would go from perfectly fine to black, stinky and painful in a day. After several trips to the vet, countless rounds of medications of all kinds, endless ear cleanings and even busted ear drums that required surgery we finally figured it out. She had a food allergy. I don't remember exactly how I figured it out but it definately had to do with food. She is now on a hypoallergenic dry food from the vet and outside of that she can only have chicken. If she gets even one tiny non-chicken cookie from our other dogs it's back to the ear problems again. As long as we are very careful with what she gets, she is good to go.

This may not be the case for your itchy dog but if nothing else works, it's worth a try.

Now if only I could figure out what is making my poor cat itch.

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