5 Home Remedies for Your Dog’s Itchy Skin: Best & Worst Ingredients

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Beagle dog with itchy skin sitting on the carpet

Dealing with your dog's itchy skin can be tough! It's not just about the discomfort your furry friend feels–though that’s hard enough–it’s the frustrating search to find solutions that work. 

We'll discuss five home remedies that can alleviate your dog's itchy skin. We'll also identify beneficial ingredients that target the root causes of itching and highlight ones to avoid, ensuring you can make informed choices for your pet's well-being.

Common causes of itchy skin for dogs

Understanding the root causes of dog itching is crucial for effective treatment. Allergies, both environmental and food-related, are common culprits. Parasites such as fleas and ticks can also trigger intense itching. Dry skin, often exacerbated by weather conditions or inadequate grooming, can lead to persistent scratching. Fungal infections, hormonal imbalances, and underlying health issues like thyroid problems or autoimmune diseases may also manifest as itchy skin in dogs.

When your dog shows signs of itching, it's important not to let it get out of control. Work to identify the underlying cause so that you can address the problem quickly and effectively. Consulting with your veterinarian can help determine the specific triggers for your dog's itchy skin and guide you in choosing the most appropriate remedies.

5 at-home remedies for your dog's itchy skin

Some home remedies can be safe, natural, and effective options for managing your dog's itching. These remedies offer a holistic approach to tackling itchy skin issues in dogs, providing gentle relief and promoting overall skin health. Let's dive into the power of these remedies in alleviating your dog's discomfort and restoring their skin's vitality.


Omega fatty acids play a vital role in maintaining skin health for dogs. They have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce itching and irritation. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil supplements, are particularly beneficial for the skin and coat. Omega-6 fatty acids, commonly present in vegetable oils, also contribute to skin hydration and overall skin barrier function. If you’re not sure which source of omega fatty acid is best for your dog’s unique conditions, consult with your veterinarian for more information. 

Adding omega fatty acids to your dog's diet can help improve skin health from the inside out. These essential nutrients not only address itching but also promote a shiny coat and support overall immune function. Choose high-quality supplements designed for dogs to ensure proper absorption and effectiveness.

Omega fish oil capsules for a dog with itchy skin

2. Anti-Itch Shampoo For Itchy Skin

Choosing the right anti-itch shampoo is essential for managing your dog's itchy skin. Look for shampoos that contain colloidal oatmeal, a natural ingredient known for its soothing properties. Aloe vera, tea tree oil, and oat extracts are other beneficial ingredients to look for. These shampoos help cleanse the skin without stripping its natural oils, providing relief from itching and reducing inflammation. 

Regular baths with an anti-itch shampoo can help soothe your dog's skin and reduce itching episodes. Be sure to follow the product instructions and rinse thoroughly to prevent residue buildup that can cause further irritation in your dog’s skin or fur. For dogs with sensitive skin or allergies, consider hypoallergenic formulas that are gentle yet effective in calming itchiness.

When treating dogs with itchy skin, avoid shampoos with harsh chemicals or artificial fragrances, as these ingredients can exacerbate skin irritation.

Pitbull with soap bubbles during bathtime with an anti-itch shampoo


Oatmeal-based products are a popular choice for soothing itchy skin in dogs. Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties that can calm irritated skin and relieve itching. Oatmeal shampoos or skin washes are gentle yet effective and suitable for regular use to maintain skin health. They help moisturize dry skin, restore the skin's natural pH balance, and promote healing of minor skin irritations. Look for products labeled as hypoallergenic and free from harsh additives for optimal results.

Using oatmeal-based products can be part of your dog's regular grooming routine to prevent and manage itching. These products not only provide relief but also nourish the skin, leaving it soft and healthy. Incorporate them into your dog's bath time for a soothing and beneficial experience.

Oats, a dog itchy skin home remedy


Coconut oil is a versatile remedy for various skin issues in dogs, including itching. It contains lauric acid, which has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. When applied topically, coconut oil moisturizes the skin, reduces itching, and promotes healing of minor skin irritations. 

Introducing coconut oil into your dog's skincare routine can provide multiple benefits beyond relieving itching. It acts as a natural moisturizer, helps prevent dryness, and supports overall skin health. Incorporate coconut oil into massage sessions or apply it to specific itchy areas for targeted relief.

Start with a small amount of coconut oil and gradually increase if needed, monitoring your dog's skin reaction. Use organic, unrefined coconut oil for best results, avoiding products with added fragrances or preservatives. You can massage coconut oil directly onto your dog’s skin, which will also nourish their coat in the process.

Coconut oil, a dog itchy skin home remedy


Aloe vera is well-known for its soothing and healing properties, making it a valuable remedy for itchy skin in dogs. Aloe vera helps reduce inflammation, soothe irritated skin, and promote skin regeneration. It's especially beneficial for treating minor skin irritations, hot spots, and sunburns. However, be cautious with aloe vera products that contain additional ingredients, as they may not be suitable for pets.

Pure aloe vera gel, without added alcohol or other ingredients, can be applied topically to your dog's itchy skin to provide immediate relief. Keep aloe vera gel on hand for quick application whenever your dog experiences discomfort. Monitor your dog's response to ensure the gel doesn't cause any adverse reactions, and discontinue use if any signs of irritation occur.

Aloe Vera, a dog itchy skin home remedy

Common signs & symptoms of dogs' itchy skin

Recognizing the signs of dog itching can help you address the issue early before it can cause more pain or skin damage for your dog. Here are some common signs and symptoms that indicate your dog may be experiencing itchy skin:

  • Excessive scratching or licking, especially in specific areas
  • Redness or inflammation on the skin
  • Hot spots or areas of intense irritation
  • Hair loss or thinning coat due to frequent scratching
  • The presence of bumps, rashes, or scabs on the skin
  • Persistent chewing or biting at the skin
  • Foul odor from the skin or ears, indicating potential infection
  • Restlessness or changes in behavior due to discomfort
  • Visible signs of discomfort or pain when touched or petted
  • Secondary skin infections, such as bacterial or yeast infections, due to scratching and irritation

These signs and symptoms may vary in severity depending on the underlying cause of your dog's itchy skin. 

Keep a close eye on your dog's skin and behavior to catch any signs of itching early on. Monitoring your dog's skin and behavior can help you identify any changes early on and, if needed, seek appropriate veterinary care. Understanding these common signs allows you to take proactive steps in managing your dog's skin health while keeping them comfortable.

Regular grooming, including checking for fleas and ticks, can also help prevent and manage itchy skin issues in dogs.

When to talk to your vet about your dog's itchy skin

While home remedies can provide relief for mild cases of itchy skin, persistent or severe itching requires veterinary evaluation. If your dog's itching persists despite home treatments, or if you notice other concerning symptoms such as rashes, bumps, or added hair loss, consult your vet promptly. Your vet can conduct diagnostic tests to identify the underlying cause of the itching and recommend appropriate treatment options. Early intervention can prevent further discomfort and improve your dog's quality of life.

Don't hesitate to seek professional veterinary care if your dog's itching becomes a persistent issue. Your vet can offer personalized guidance and treatment plans tailored to your dog's specific needs, giving your pet the best possible chance for skin health and overall well-being.

This blog exists to provide general information and education about veterinary health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, website, or in any linked materials is not intended as and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We cannot diagnose conditions, provide second opinions, or make specific treatment recommendations through this blog or website.

If you suspect that your pet has a medical concern, you should consult with your veterinary health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog, website, or in any linked materials.

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Written By a Vetnique Vet

Dr. Joya Griffin, DVM, DACVD

Dr. Griffin is an expert in veterinary dermatology, with a focus on helping pets and their parents cope with fungal and immune-related skin diseases. She’s also the star of the Nat Geo WILD television series, “Pop Goes the Vet with Dr. Joya.”

Veterinarian & Board Certified Dermatologist

Louisville, KY

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