Animal Health Foundation Blog

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. 

48 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

      • Jenifer K says:

        Remove dairy and grains from their diet. All food breaks down to sugar. Yogurt is a huge culprit that causes yeast and ear and sinus issues.
        1- Do not use any type of poultry. All poultry is sprayed with yeast to combat salmonella.
        2- Cook/ sear their food. 1 lbs of meat (venison, rabbit, beef) to 1 lb of (3) of these veggies: spinach, broccoli, celery, kale, chard
        3- 3-4 leaves of fresh sage (chopped)
        4- 2 slices of fresh fennel chopped
        (Steam all in 1/2 cup of water) for a yorkie about 1/2 cup 2 times a day.
        Make sure they are on a good probiotic (non dairy)
        Make sure they are on a good Omega fish oil

  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

    • 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!

    • Ryan says:


      I am so lost with trying to get this under control but whatever it is is kicking my butt. My dog looks miserable with the itching, I just don’t know what to do. I hate to even think about it but if I can’t figure something out I may have to put her down. I hate to even consider it but she is just so damn miserable with the itching. The vets can’t figure it out and I have tried everything except the cyder and vinegar idea. I am desperate for anything. This is causing me to stress out all day at work. It is consuming our lives!

      • We suggest that you look at diet and skin spray base from http://www.animaleo.infoloo
        be sure your food doesn’t have peas in it.
        You can look at information from Dr. Karen Becker; Dr. Judy Morgan; Dr. Jean Dodds and, I believe, have a consult with each.
        It is worth it not to put your dog to sleep. After all, it is a manageable condition.
        I also assume that you have contacted your veterinarian for an antihistamine and do not want to use those, which is fine.


      • Gwendolynn Murray says:

        I had a Westie that lived to be19years old. From age 5-12 he was raw from itching and chewing. Vet tried everything and finally my dog responded to a daily allergy pill. Later, a monthly injection was developed called Cytopoint and it worked!!! He grew his entire coat back and the itching stopped but, at 4 weeks the itching would start again. I began giving him the shots every 4 weeks before he started itching. He was comfortable for the rest of his life.

      • Brittany says:

        Try apoquel. This medication has worked wonders for my fur baby.

      • Janet says:

        I’ve been going through the same thing with my 12 year old french bulldog mix for about a year…Extremely itchy, lost most of his hair…bathed him every day for 3 months until all the meds got into his system…so sad… My Vet checked Oz and his thyroid level was way off. He is now on thyro-vet, 1/2 apoquel pill for allergies daily, a cytapoint shot once a month, bathe him once a week with vetoquinol universal medicated shampoo (gently rub, rub, rub, circular motion, dont forget feet and rinse, rinse, rinse,rhen vetoquinol aloe & oatmeal conditioner…gently rub all over and leave on…do not use blow dryer, just towel dry…as needed…spray pharmaseb spray on areas, as needed… theres a groom aid spray you can rub on them the next day after bath… dont forget to keep ears clean (I buy ear cleaner at vet) I should have put in YouTube to show others the techniques I used… maybe next time I bath him I can see if I can figure out how to video… Hope this info helps… I love Furr babies…hate that your going thru that…

        • Janet says:

          Also, put Oz on grain free diet… you might check ingredients in treats if you give them… Consider searching for Dr Karen Becker on YouTube… she has a video on dogs skin issues and provides suggestions… Hope this helps…Don’t give up…Take care… Pray your furr babies feel better, soon.

  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.

    • Barbra says:

      I have an 8 month old pitbull pup and she scratches herself all the time. The vet said she has food allergies. We’ve changed her food to grain-free but it’s going to take a few months to flush the allergens out of her system. Until she’s better we use Apple cider vinegar on her skin. 50/50 simple cider vinegar and water. It cools three got spots and sendto calm the itchiness. We give her children’s liquid benadryl at night if the itching gets bad. 8 to 10 ml. Don’t give your dog adult liquid benadryl because it has alcohol!

  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. Great ❤️❤️❤️ and Its awesome

  11. 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!

  12. Was it raw coconut or coconut oil

  13. I have 5 months old dog with severe allergies since got her at 2 months old.
    he came from Spain and was fine over there but once he got here and we changed his food she developed all these allergies to food, grass, and chemical that I use to clean the floor. But for my horse I tried the product of Huile de Nigelle so good and affordable.

  14. Please stay away from STEROIDS Our vet put our Shepherd on Prednisone and he was on it too long and the reaction was awful.

  15. Cindy stillman says:

    We have 2 mini Aussies, both started uncontrolable scratching. One is worse than the other, we have taken them to vets 4 times. Steroid shots, antihistamine shots, anti biotics. and now Bravata pills for ticks and fleas, I don’t think it is bugs, I cant see any on either of them. I’ve looked very close. Now their ears and feet itch more and the worse mini has red raw skin on his feet…If it is food, seems unlikely they would both start itching the same week. we’ve bathed in Oatmeal, added apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, Benadryl. Nothing works. Were at our wits end, poor little guy is miserable 24-7.

  16. Samuel Jones says:

    Our Labrador/Pit Bull mix is 9 1/2 years old and in the last 6 months has started scratching constantly all over her body. She used to hardly ever scratch at all. No visible signs of dry skin, irritation or flaking can be found. Our Vet prescribed Aquepel and it helped but only reduced the scratching. As soon as she stops taking it, it’s back to constant scratching, even during the night when she used to sleep all night. We’ve tried changing her diet, Omega 3 supplements and anti itch shampoo and conditioner with oatmeal and tea tree oil. Nothing has helped. We are stumped.

    • Look at food. Chicken is a common one. Peas also. Years of feeding low quality food.
      Whole Grain or Grain free; no poultry; look for a premium protein.
      Dr. Jean Dodds has a test which you can take long distance.
      Read up on her, Dr. Karen Becker and Dr. Judy Morgan.

      Those are a few hints that we have for you.

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