Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

Animal Health Foundation Animal Health Foundation
Dog in a field

6 Natural Remedies for Your Dog’s Itchy Skin

Skin allergies are a common problem among dogs and owners and veterinarians alike are constantly fighting to make dogs more comfortable. Dogs, like people, can be allergic to just about anything, from their food to the environment. While there are many different medications to help deal with allergy symptoms, many of us prefer to go a more natural route first to make sure we’ve tried all of the safest options. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any treatments or supplements, but if you’re looking to try some natural allergy remedies, consider these.

#1 – Proper Bathing & Grooming

This might not seem like a “natural” remedy, but if your dog suffers from environmental allergies, frequent bathing and grooming is going to offer much needed comfort. Using soothing ingredients such as oatmeal in the shampoos will help your dog’s skin feel softer and will relieve the itching they feel. Depending on the severity of your dog’s allergies, bathing once a week will greatly improve your dog’s condition. Brushing and combing will also help remove dead skin and coat, promoting new growth and removing allergens on top of the skin and fur.


#2 – Feed a Wholesome Diet

Your dog’s diet might be completely overlooked if your dog only suffers environmental allergens. But the more natural your dog’s diet, the better their bodies are able to fight off and heal from allergies and external stressors. If your dog is allergic to certain ingredients, you’ll want to avoid those ingredients and replace them with something else. Grain-free diets are highly recommended for dogs with any type of allergy (or no allergy at all!) but if this isn’t possible, consider feeding organic, whole grains. The better your dog’s nutrition, the better their overall health and their ability to fight off allergens.


Image source: Oleg. via Flickr

#3 – Try Apple Cider Vinegar

Organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider offers many benefits to dogs suffering from allergies. If your dog has hot spots or itchy skin, you can apply a 50/50 solution of apple cider vinegar and water to your dog. Put the solution in a spray bottle for easy use. This same spray will help repel fleas and ticks – a common allergen for many dogs. You can also use it to clean out your dog’s ears. The acidity of the mixture makes for an environment that yeast can’t live in – and yeast infections are typically caused by allergies. Make sure that the acidity isn’t too strong for your dog – some prefer a different mixture than the 50/50 suggested.

#4 – Manage Heat & Moisture

Your dog’s environment plays a large role in the health of their skin. Be sure to keep your home appropriately cooled and use a humidifier in dry conditions. When grooming, avoid using a high heat blow dryer, which might be faster but wreaks havoc on your dog’s sensitive skin.

Make sure your dog always has access to fresh, filtered water. Dogs on a dry kibble diet are in need of more moisture in their diets than dogs that eat a home-cooked, raw, or wet food diet.

#5 – Consider Applying Calendula

Calendula is a member of the sunflower family and offers several benefits to dogs with allergies. Either made into a tea or gel, applying calendula to your dog’s skin will help relieve inflammation from allergies. It also has natural anti-fungal and anti-yeast properties. It also helps improve your dog’s immune system when taken internally, so consider this as an allergy treatment as well.

#6 – Add Omega-3 Fatty Acids Supplementation

Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial to dogs with allergies. These oils help improve your dog’s skin and coat by keeping the natural oils present in healthy amounts. Omega-3s also work as anti-inflammatories and greatly reduce the intensity of allergens. There are many Omega-3 fatty acids on the market, and you’ll want to look for something that works quickly to support a soft, silky coat, minimize normal shedding, and maintain the skin’s normal moisture content, such as Project Paws™ Omega-3 Select soft chews.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. 

33 responses to “6 Natural Remedies for Your Dog’s Itchy Skin”

  1. Jessy says:

    I have a 5 year old Maltipoo, he has developed a bad yeast infection that has being hard to control with food and medicine. I have being giving him plain yogurt, but I’m willing to try more natural things for him. I will definitely try the “apple vinegar, calendula and Omega-3. Thank you for such helpful information.

    • Check out They have some essential oils made specially for animals which we hear are amazing. I think the one that would help you is called “Yeasty Beasty” or they have an ear spray as well. Read up on them.

    • Lisa Abbott says:

      I also have a maltipoo. He is constantly licking and stratching himself

    • Donna E Huff says:

      Yogurt is sugar based inspite it bening yogurt and is a culprit in yeast infections..also feeding grained based kibble will give dogs weepy eyes… I suggest very little kibble (grain free)if none at all , and witness the improvement…eggs cooked in olive oil, 3 times a week helps.crock pot chicken, Turkey necks and feed the meat only to your dog..forget the kibble…give him a real raw rib bone once in a while…no cooked bones of any kind…you also may doing a 100% salmon oil capsules cut open and squeezed on his food I suggest 1 10 lbs and under EVERY DAY…2 CAPS UP TO 30 LBS 3 There after

  2. Jeff Reynolds says:

    I have an Australian Shepherd and he’s recently getting dry skin and chewing like crazy. Any ideas or reccomendations what I can do for my little buddy? please email me

  3. Lacey says:

    I have a 11 month old Staffordshire Terrier Male and he is mainly white with black spots. He got a hot spot about a month ago and I got that cleared up with antibiotics. Now he has really bad hives the vet told me to give him benadryl which isnt really helping cuz hes scratching himself practically raw. I don’t know what to do I think he has really bad allergies and I dont know what to do to get them under control?

    • Dixie says:

      Only happens in summer

      • Megan says:

        Sounds like the same thing going on with my American bulldog /pit mix.. Please let me know what you find out.

        • Mae Lacy says:

          I’m experiencing the same thing with my staffy/am pitbull baby girl and I hate to see her suffer.

    • Barb says:

      Have you tried Zyrtec or a Claritin? My dog suffers franc is allergic, to mostly everything. I’ve found a raw diet with grass milk yogurt has helped. The processed dry dog foods are not not working for him.
      I also would have his thyroid tested.

      Good luck!

  4. Uncle Benjamin says:

    My dog is named OToole. Otoole just wants to sit on the couch all day and scratch. These suggestions are perfect.

  5. keri says:

    I have found that organic cold pressed coconut works wonders for yeast. It kills the candida virus in a couple hours. I use it for 5 days. Its cheap also.

  6. robin anders says:

    hi im robin I have a minature full bloodied 16 year old chihuha she has started sratching like crazy is there a special hypo allgerric lotion for very srnstive skin for dogs.

    • Susan says:

      I’m having the same problem! It’s not fleas and I’ve been washing bedding once a week. I’ve given her baths with ground and whole oatmeal. Poor thing is going red. I hope someone will help.

  7. Katrina says:

    I have a almost 4 month old pit-bull puppy and he is constantly scratching and digging. I give him baths in oatmeal dog wash that is specifically for sensitive skin but nothing seems to help. He has spots all on him where he is constantly digging I feel so bad for my baby.

  8. Sharon Calvert says:

    I have a 6 month old rat terrier who, despite giving her monthly Revolution liquid on neck, has developed some fleas and itchy paws. Revolution supposedly contains flea, tick and heart worm meds all in one monthly application. Is this the best med for this? Also I used a water/baking soda solution on our girl’s itchy paws which seems to help.
    I will try the 50/50 apple cider vinegar solution also as you suggested. Not sure if my problem is allergy or bad choice of flea/tick control. Please help.

  9. paola says:

    Hi there, I have a 2 year old French bulldog with severe allergies since we got her at 5 months old.
    she came from Romania and was fine over there but once she got here and we changed her food she developed all these allergies to food, grass, and chemical that I use to clean the floor. we have tried every type of food recommended by her Vet, right now she is in a Hydrolyzed protein which she hates. we also have her in an allergy medication called apoquel. We recently started giving her Omega 3 as well as bathing her once a week.
    all these still seems not to help her at all and we do not know what else to do.
    Our Vet said the next step would be to put her on steroids which I do not like the idea.
    anyone with similar situation that can help me?

  10. Gloria says:

    I have a shih tzu that had terrible skin allergies/yeast issues and her hair would not grow, always scratching..we tried many things and found edible Diatomaceous Earth (DE)!! Worked WONDERS!! Sprinkled it on her food daily — and helped with her skin issues, eyes and her hair is beautiful! Better than any medicines we were constantly trying..also, we use externally on her coat and bedding for flea prevention! Hope this helps!

  11. Was it raw coconut or coconut oil

  12. Devi says:

    Hi everyone,
    I had a yorkie terrier small breed who was twelve years old nalways itching his paw
    ,tried all home remedies n vet shots but after few weeks starts itchy again. Poor guy developed diabetes n blindness after six months.. very sad to see him n finally he passed away two months now😢 One thing from my experience stop feeding your dogs all these dry food from the stores n treats that kills them. He was very spoiled n picky dog from day one. My friends all make special food or they order their food which comes twice per week… no issues now.

  13. Andrea says:

    I took over my dad’s dog named Blue when he passed away a year ago. My dad had him for 16 years since he was born. But since his death he hasn’t wanted to do much and is started to lose his hair and is biting himself. When before they would do everything together run every morning and go out and work together. I know he can feel the death of my father cause at the funeral we had him there with us. That was my dad’s wish. What can I do for his depression and hair lose.

  14. […] Read Review 27 apr. 2017 — Organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider offers many benefits to dogs suffering from allergies. If your dog has hot spots or itchy skin, you can … T 10 […]

  15. Carla says:

    I feel horrible i had no idea that pork can cause skin problems in dogs and I’ve been feeding my 10yr old StaffordShire pork , we eat lots of pork now my poor guy his hips have sores he doesn’t scratch like a normal dog he rubs ,licks, and shakes, just looking at it makes me itch and i cry because it’s my fault, my vet said I can give him Children’s Benadryl but it makes him sleepy,what else can i use for lasting relief?

    • We do not give veterinary advice, but suggest you search Dr. Judy Morgan and Dr. Jean Dodds on their information and suggestions for supplements and food for pets. It could be any number of things causing the issues, including flea and tick meds. It takes a lot of research, but is worth the time for your fur baby!

  16. Mary says:

    I have a golden retriever. He is constantly digging, inviting himself tell he has sores on his feet and body. What can I do to prevent that?

    • We do not diagnose online, but suggest that you contact your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist. Personally, I have heard that some dogs stop doing that if you put their poop in the hole the just dug and cover it over and they won’t go back to it, but that is certainly not a diagnosis, just what was successful for me with one of my dogs.

  17. kiki says:

    my shiba inu started panting alot and scratching and shaking is head alot poor guy looks miserable what can i do for him

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *