Dog Itching? A Guide to Treating Your Pup’s Itchy Skin

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By: CertaPet Staff Updated: April 21, 2021

Dog Itching A Guide on Treatments for Your Pup's Itchy Skin1A dog itching and scratching all the time is no fun!

It’s not fun for them, for you, or for your vet bills! Knowing and understanding the causes of itching in dogs can help prevent the itch in the first place. Or at least, how to deal with the itching and scratching once it starts.

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Vet's Best Allergy Itch Relief Dog Shampoo
Vet's Best Allergy Itch Relief Dog Shampoo is great for dogs with itchy skin due to allergies or sensitive skin. Allergy Itch Relief Dog Shampoo uses essential oils and natural ingredients (oatmeal, D'Limonene, tea tree oil) to calm skin irritation and moisturize skin from incessant itching by washing away allergens attached to the fur and skin. Leaves your dog smelling fresh with herbal spa fragrance, and can be used as often as necessary without drying out your dog's skin. Will not affect topical flea and tick control products.
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Pet MD Chlorhexidine Antiseptic Dog & Cat Wipes, 50 count
Help keep your pal’s skin clean while soothing common skin conditions with the Pet MD Chlorhexidine Antiseptic Dog & Cat Wipes. The sting-free, premoistened wipes are antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiseptic, with an advanced veterinary formula that has chlorhexidine and ketoconazole to help relieve the symptoms of fungal and bacterial infections like hot spots, ringworm, and acne. Not only do the wipes soothe skin with aloe leaf juice and moisturizing glycerin, but their medicated formula works to eliminate bacteria and yeast that actually cause skin problems. Plus, unlike liquids, the convenient, mess-free wipes are ideal for getting to all your pal’s difficult to clean areas like face folds, in between toes, underarms and groin. They’re perfect to clean, degrease, and deodorize on the spot and in between baths, as well as to help proactively prevent common skin conditions.
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Why Is My Dog Itching? The Many Causes of Itching

There are many, many causes of an itchy dog. Most of the itchiness, however, can be narrowed down to allergies and parasites.

Is Your Dog Itching Because of Parasites?

When you do your check over, look for signs of parasites. If your dog has fleas or ticks, you should be able to see their bite marks or the fleas or ticks themselves.

Dog parasite vector where dog have itchy skin because of flea in dog fur

Not all parasites can be seen by the naked eye. Check for fleas, but hopefully, your dog is up to date on their preventative flea treatment.

If ticks and fleas have been eliminated, you might be dealing with mites. Mites are microscopically small, so you will need your vet to check for them. Mites can do a lot of damage to your dog’s skin. Mange is caused by mites. Demodectic mange is limited to dogs, but certain mites can also infect humans resulting in sarcoptic mange or Cheyletiellosis. Anyone who has seen a dog with mange will agree that mange does not look fun.

Itchy Dogs and Their Allergies

An itchy skin can be caused by a long list of allergens. The process of finding the allergen triggering your dog’s skin allergies can be a tedious one. Especially if you are not willing or able to fork out the money for allergy testing.

One of the best ways to find the trigger is by removing as many potential allergens as possible. Then slowly add them back one by one, until you find the culprit.

Atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis are the banes of many a dog’s existence. They start with a small itch but have dogs scratching themselves raw and bloody over time. Your vet should be able to talk you through these skin allergies though!

These are some of the more common triggers:

  • Grass
  • Pollen
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Carpets or other fabrics
  • Mould
  • Dust (and dust mites)
  • Perfumes or other sprays
  • Cleaning products

Food allergies are also a common cause of an itchy skin. Your dog could be allergic to any number of ingredients in his food, so ask your vet for advice on diets for dogs who are sensitive to food.

Other Causes of Skin Problems

  • Extreme weather conditions – They can cause dry skin, and as many of us know, dry skin can be itchy!
  • The Dreaded Yeast Infection Yeast infections can cause your pet to itch and smell quite bad.
  • Hot Spots – Catch them early and they can be contained, but once they get going, they are a nightmare!

My Dog is Itching. Should I Be Worried?

You should be proactive.

Give your dog a good check over. You might be able to see the cause of the itch, and best-case scenario: It’s a quick and easy home-remedy fix. 

You should monitor your dog closely and do your research. The more you know about the potential causes for your dog’s itchiness, the better the chances that you will know when you need to be proactive and take them to the vet.

Fleas or No Fleas? Dog Itching: No Fleas

Fleas. Everyone hates fleas. But fleas are not always to be blamed for the itch. For a dog, itchy bites can come from a number of parasites. Ticks, fleas, mites, mosquitoes.

The list is, unfortunately, another long one.

Dog Itching but No Fleas: Here’s What You Should Do!

Parasites are only some of the reasons why dogs itch. If you suspect that something is biting your dog, causing them to itch, take them to the vet.

Ask your vet for advice on the best way to keep parasites at bay. This will also give your vet the opportunity to see whether there is a different reason your dog has itchy skin.

7 Tips for Diagnosing an Itching/Itchy Skin

Look for any of the following indicators to see whether your dog is having skin problems:

  1. Scratching
  2. Red, inflamed or irritated skin
  3. Small Bumps
  4. Extremely dry skin
  5. Rash
  6. Hair loss
  7. Bad smell

From A to Z: Dog Itching Remedies

Luckily, the ways to treat a dog’s itching skin are as numerous as the things that cause it.

Always discuss treatment plans with your veterinarian, and if you want to try home remedies, be sure to ask your veterinarian to guide you. Many skin allergies can be treated naturally, but in some cases, your dog may need modern medicine.

Talk to Your Veterinarian About Antihistamine for Dog Itching

Antihistamines can treat the symptoms of allergies in dogs as well as they can for people. They can do wonders to stop itchy reactions in their tracks.

Dog Itching Medication Your Vet Might Recommend

These are some of the popular medications recommended to treat the symptoms of allergies of the itchy kind:

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Apoquel Tablets for Dogs$1.68
Apoquel is an oral tablet that works differently than other allergy medications. It goes straight to the source to help relieve itch and inflammation at its core—addressing the underlying cause of irritation and soothing allergic reactions. It starts to relieve those unpleasant symptoms within 4 hours, and effectively controls itching within 24. Apoquel is ideal for both short or long-term treatment and can help to offer relief without many of the side effects associated with steroids.

Your veterinarian will be able to assess whether a certain medication is safe for each individual dog. They will talk you through the recommended dosage, side-effects, and what the signs of a potential adverse reaction to the medication are.

Home Remedies for Dog Itching and Scratching

There are a bunch of home remedies to deal with minor cases of allergic skin diseases. Pup parents who deal with allergies and skin infections often will know when it’s safe to treat their pet without consulting a vet.

Dog Itching? Benadryl! Yes, Dogs Can Have Benadryl!

Benadryl is something most people will have at home and is effective in treating allergy symptoms in dogs as well as humans.

Benadryl, like most other medications, is safe to use “in general”. Some dogs might be allergic to the medication or have conditions that make it unsafe for them to take, so ask your vet.

Anti-Itching Dog Shampoo

Using anti-itching shampoo can go a long way to soothe your dog’s itching skin.

There is an option for everyone!

There are dog shampoos loaded with cortisone, shampoos with all-natural certified organic ingredients, and DIY anti-itching shampoo recipes to try.

Vet's Best Allergy Itch Relief Dog Shampoo | Cleans and Relieves Discomfort from Seasonal Allergies | Gentle Formula | 16 oz
Wash away your pet’s discomfort and itchiness with Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Dog Shampoo. Our shampoo cleans out the allergens attached to the fur and skin, utilizing essential oils and natural ingredients (oatmeal, d'limonene, tea tree oil) to soothe the irritation caused by allergies and sensitive skin. Your dog is left moisturized and smelling spa day-fresh. You may use Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Dog Shampoo as often as necessary without drying out your dog's skin, or affecting topical flea and tick control products.

A Natural Treatment! Essential Oil for Itching Dog

Many essential oils have antiseptic, anti-fungal, healing properties and can help reduce inflammation, help heal skin infection, suppress allergies by boosting the immune system and help treat itchy, dry skin.

Basil, chamomile, and lavender green stems and leaves on a white container which are natural remedies for dogs itchy skin

Look out for these ingredients when looking at shampoos, sprays, ointments or recipes for treating an itchy skin:

  • Basil
  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary

Note: Many of these oils are safe to apply topically, but some may be toxic when ingested!

No More Itching! What Products Work Best for the Case of the Itches and Restoring the Dry Skin

Vets Preferred Premium Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil

Vets Preferred Premium Wild Alaskan is the best of the best when the itching doesn’t stop because it:

  • Helps relieve dry, itchy skin → no more excessive itching
  • Moisturizes and soothes your pet’s skin from the inside out → helps achieve a soft, glossy coat
  • Perfect for dogs struggling with seasonal allergies → less itching, runny nose, and overall irritants
  • Acts as a natural anti-inflammatory → desire & ability to be more active
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All New! Premium Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs - Creates Healthy Dog Coat, Boosts Immune System & Heart Health - Veterinarian-Grade All Natural Dog Salmon Oil Rich in EPA & DHA (15.5 oz)$19.95
SOFT, SHINY, & SMOOTH COAT- Wild Alaskan Dog Salmon Oil helps dogs achieve a shiny and healthy coat with omega-3 fatty acids.

Honest Paws Restore CBD Dog Treats

Dogs itch.

Their digestive health sometimes fails them causing them to be nauseous or unable to eat certain foods. They might be allergic or have skin allergies with dry, itchy skin. Their coats become a little dry due to the fleas and ticks.

If your dog does or has anything of the above, consider Honest Paws Restore CBD Dog Treats.

Honest Paws Restore CBD Dog Treats helps with allergies and lick granuloma. No one should have to endure pain, especially our fur-babies.

With these delicious treats, your pooch has a fighting chance to feel good and lead a happier life.

Besides, most pet owners claim they would die for their dog so surely they will do anything in their power to ease their pain.

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Honest Paws Calm CBD Bites
Honest Paws Calm CBD Dog Treats are perfect for anxious pups in tense situations. Made with 100% Pure CBD Oil, Honest Paws treats contain only the best, all-natural ingredients. Keep everyone's stress levels under control by always having a bag of these delicious treats handy!
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Honest Paws RELIEF CBD Dog Treats
Honest Paws Pain Relief CBD Dog Treats are perfect for dogs dealing with pain and discomfort. Made with 100% Pure CBD Oil & Fresh Turmeric, Honest Paws treats contain only the best, all-natural ingredients.
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Honest Paws Wellness Coconut Flavored CBD Dog Treats
Wellness CBD Dog Treats are rich in Omega 6 and fatty acids and perfect for your irritated dog's dry, itchy skin. Made with 100% Pure CBD Oil & Luscious Coconut Oil, our treats contain only the best, all-natural ingredients.
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Top Home Remedies for Dog Skin Allergies Itching

Here are some other of the most effective home remedies for treating dogs who are just so done with all the scratching:

  • Dog Itching Remedies: Apple Cider Vinegar? – Absolutely!
  • Aloe Vera
  • Baking Soda
  • Coconut Oil
  • Colloidal Oatmeal
  • Epsom Salt
  • Salmon Oil
  • Teabag Rinse
  • Regularly brushing your dog

When to Visit the Vet: My Dog Won’t Stop Itching!

Take them to the vet sooner rather than later. All dogs scratch occasionally, but you will know when the scratching becomes abnormal.

A Sign of Infection? Dog Skin Turning Black, Itching

Itching skin that looks like it may be turning black is a definite sign that something is wrong. Time to go to the vet.

Recurrent Episodes of Itch! Dog Constantly Itching

The problem with most allergies is that your dog will keep itching until the trigger for the allergic response is found and eliminated. In some cases, eliminating that allergen is impossible.

In many cases, it becomes a matter of managing the symptoms and doing all you can to keep your dog’s immune system, skin and coat healthy.

The Answers to Your Dog Itching Questions!

What Are Some Home Remedies for Dog Hair Loss and Itching?

The list is long, but Aloe Vera, Colloidal Oatmeal, Epsom Salt and Baking Soda are some of the best home remedies for treating an itching dog.

My Dog Keeps Itching. Should I Use Coconut Oil?

It might be safe to use, but you should first find the reason for the itching. Coconut oil might not bring much to the treatment party.

Can I Give My Dog Benadryl for Itching?

Probably, but you need to ask your vet whether Benadryl is safe for YOUR dog, and how to safely administer it.

Take the Right Steps: Dog Itching Relief 101

Prevent it if you can!

Medications and home remedies for itching can help ease the symptoms, but there is a lot pet parents can do to prevent the itching in the first place.

An itching dog is not a happy dog, and we owe it to our fur children to do what we can to make them more comfortable when they’re having an itchy time.

Common Questions on Dog Itching

What causes dogs to itch?

Is apple cider vinegar good for a dog’s itchy skin?

What causes a dog to itch other than fleas?

What are the top home remedies for dog itching?


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