What Can I Put on My Dog to Relieve Itching? (12 Homemade Remedies)

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what can i put on my dog to relieve itching

Your dog can’t stop scratching, and it’s making both of you miserable. What can be done?

Below, we’ll discuss 12 homemade remedies you can use on your dog to help relieve itching. Because every dog is different, these natural options can have varying effects. That’s why you should talk to your veterinarian before you apply anything to your furbaby’s skin. 

After we go over topical treatments, we’ll briefly explain other things you can do to help ease itching in your dog. We’ll also provide guidance to help you decide when you need to call your vet about itching in your dog.

So, let’s dive in.

12 Natural Homemade Remedies to Relieve My Dog’s Itching

When your dog is itching and you want to provide some relief, there are some homemade remedies that you can try. Below, we’ll describe 12 natural options that may help you:

Baking Soda

Baking soda can work effectively as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic agent when you apply it to the skin. However, you should use this with caution and observe your dog because it is irritating to some dogs. Ingesting more than about 2-4 teaspoons per kilogram of body weight can also be toxic. 

To treat your pooch with baking soda, you can:

  • Make a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and water and apply it to red or irritated patches of skin. Leave on for 20 minutes then wipe the area with a damp towel and rinse the area.
  • Mix a solution consisting of 2 tablespoons of the powder dissolved in 1 cup of water and store it in a spray bottle. Spray affected parts of the skin to help reduce itching.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on your dog’s coat and massage it in. Leave the powder on your dog for at least 5 minutes then brush the hair thoroughly to remove all residue.

Colloidal Oatmeal

With saponins and phenols, colloidal oatmeal works as a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent. The substance also helps to gently cleanse and moisturize the skin. These actions work together to soothe irritated, itchy skin.

To make a colloidal oatmeal shampoo, mix 1 cup of finely ground oatmeal in six cups of warm water. You can pour the solution over your dog after wetting him down, or you can apply it evenly over the coat by using a spray bottle Once the mixture is on your furbaby, massage it into the coat and leave it in for at least 10 minutes. Rinse your pooch and dry him with a towel. 

Tea Soaks/Tea Bags

Certain teas, including green tea, chamomile, and other herbal blends provide anti-inflammatory effects to help relieve itching.  They can also help calm your pooch.

To prepare a tea soak, fill the tub with warm water and steep at least 3 tea bags for 3-5 minutes. Allow the water to cool until it’s tepid before you place your pooch in the bath. Let your furbaby soak in the water for at least 5 minutes.

For local itchy areas such as hot spots, steep a tea bag in water. When you remove the teabag from the water, allow it to cool to room temperature. Then you can apply the tea bag directly to the inflamed area.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is rich in omega fatty acids and other substances that hydrate and soothe itchy skin. With powerful anti-inflammatory effects, this substance is an effective topical treatment for dry, irritated skin. We recommend you use solid coconut oil that’s unrefined or virgin for the best effects.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Vinegar is an acid, and that helps to give apple cider vinegar strong antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It also supports skin healing. 

To treat itchy, irritated skin, make a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water. Store it in a spray bottle and apply it topically as needed. Because the acid can sting, do not spray the solution on any open wounds.

Vitamin E Oil

Actually a collection of fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin E works as a powerful antioxidant. Adding a few drops of vitamin E oil to your pal’s bathwater can help moisturize her skin and prevent itching caused by dryness. You can also apply the oil directly to irritated skin patches on your dog. You should use it sparingly, and place it in places that your pooch can’t easily lick. Too much vitamin E in Fido’s diet can interfere with blood clotting.

Aloe Vera

Another powerful antioxidant, Aloe vera supports skin healing. It’s also packed with minerals and chemicals that provide anti-inflammatory effects. You can apply commercial aloe vera gel or use some directly from a home-grown plant to your furbaby’s itchy skin.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel contains tannins which have anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Using this astringent on your pal’s itchy skin helps to dry and tighten skin. It reduces itching by soothing it and reducing swelling. To apply witch hazel to your pup’s itchy skin, use a wet cotton ball or cloth.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is packed with antioxidants and works effectively as an anti-inflammatory agent. Including omega-3 fatty acids, this substance helps to moisturize dry, flaky skin. If you choose to apply olive oil into irritated areas of your dog’s skin, use a few drops. Too much may create a bacteria-friendly environment.

Licorice Root

Dating back to early civilizations like ancient Egypt and China, licorice root has been used to treat various illnesses. The herb includes a natural cortisone chemical that has anti-inflammatory properties. When you apply licorice root as a tea, oil infusion, or salve, to your pal’s skin, it can help to relieve itching and soothe the area. 

Calendula Tincture

Calendula, or marigold, is an herbal treatment that can help relieve itching, reduce inflammation, and inhibit bacterial growth. You can create a tincture by steeping 5 tablespoons of marigold petals in one cup of boiling water. Allow the petals to steep for 15 minutes, then cool the liquid before you use it. Apply the tincture directly to irritated skin by rubbing it in or with a spray bottle. 

Topical CBD Oil

With increasing popularity, CBD oil has a reputation for reducing inflammation and soothing itchy skin. You can treat irritated patches of skin by rubbing a few drops of CBD oil or some topical cream on the area a few times a day. 

What Else Can I Do to Relieve My Dog’s Itching?

Topical remedies are one tool to help relieve your dog’s itching. In addition to trying one or more of these natural approaches, you can also

  • Bathe your dog with an anti-itch shampoo – there are both medicated and over-the-counter options available that may help with itching. 
  • Give Fido supplements that support skin health – By giving your dog supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and digestive enzymes, you could help to boost his immunity and support skin health.
  • Feed a hypoallergenic diet – Allergies are a major cause of itching. If skin irritation persists, you may want to consult with your veterinarian about checking for food allergies.
  • Investigate recent changes in your pup’s environment – As with food, there may be an environmental allergen that’s causing the itching. Review any changes you have made such as switching laundry detergents or other household cleaners. 

When Should I See a Vet?

Any time your dog is having a severe reaction that may include difficulty breathing, swelling, or choking call your veterinarian immediately. If their symptoms aren’t severe, but they’re not improving, you should also schedule an exam to help you find the underlying cause of your pal’s itching. 

Other symptoms that usually mean it’s time to call the clinic include 

  • A foul odor or discharge -could point to a yeast or bacterial infection
  • Wounds from excessive scratching – may require medical attention
  • Hair loss – suggests a possible issue with the immune system

Final Woof

When your dog is itching, there are various topical home remedies that you can use to help relieve his discomfort. Some options, like tea bags and coconut oil, can be used for spot treatments. Others like colloidal oatmeal baths and herbal tea soaks may help with general skin irritation. Before you choose to apply a natural remedy, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian. Any time Fido shows respiratory distress, severe swelling, or signs of skin wounds and infection, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

In addition to topical treatments, there are also other things you can do to help soothe or reduce itching in your dog. Bathing your pup with anti-itch dog shampoo and offering supplements that support skin health are two options. Checking for food sensitivities or allergies and reviewing any changes to laundry detergent or other cleaning supplies may help you find the source of the irritation. 

Photo of author
Dr. Libby Guise earned her DVM from the University of Minnesota in 1994. After working in private practice in Wisconsin for two years, she joined the USDA as a Veterinary Medical Officer. In 2011, Libby came home to focus on raising and teaching her adoptive daughter. She lives in Wisconsin with her daughter, husband, and two furbabies: Charis, a lab-mix rescue pup, and Chesed, a Springer Spaniel.

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