How to Soothe a Dog's Itchy Skin

Updated: July 12, 2022

Our fur-babies can itch due to a lot of different reasons. Dog itchy skin and dog itchy ears are not uncommon and are completely normal to an extent. But when the itching becomes excessive, accompanied by too much scratching, licking, & biting of certain areas of the body, with inflammation and infections, then there must be something to be worried about.

In this article, we'll share some of the possible reasons why your dog’s skin is itchy and how to help dogs’ itchy skin with the most efficient ways to soothe it, to provide itchy skin relief.

Dry, dull coat. Incessant scratching and chewing. Sound familiar? Dog skin problems are often the most common presenting complaints at the veterinarian, accounting for almost a quarter of the office visits a clinician sees in a typical day. So what are some of the most common dog skin problems, and what can owners do to keep a dog’s skin healthy?

"Itchy skin is the second most common reason why pet parents take their dogs to the vet, gastrointestinal issues being the first."

Dog itchy skin

Dog itchy skin is the second most common reason why pet parents take their dogs to the vet, with gastrointestinal issues being the first. It is important to note that itching is a sign, not a diagnosis or a specific disease.

The most common causes of itching in dogs are:

  • Dry Skin
  • Allergies
  • Infections
  • Parasites

Is it dry skin?

Dry skin on dogs is one of the most common causes of dog itchy skin. Dogs who live in places with low humidity are more prone to itching and dry skin. You will know your the signs of dry skin on dogs when you see dandruff in his undercoat and the skin is rough and cracked. Even with the slightest touch, it can trigger your dog to itch and scratch excessively.

Dry skin on dogs can be caused by:

  1. Different environmental factors like tick bites or direct contact of the skin with any harmful substances
  2. By diet, as many commercial dog foods have processed out and eliminated all the good oils that help maintain a healthy and shiny skin and coat

It is also said that dry dog foods can have dehydrating effects on a dog's skin. If dry skin is an issue with your dog, the great news is that there are a lot of different remedies available. We will look more into those later in the article.

Is it allergies?

Dog skin allergies are also a common cause of a dog's itchy skin. According to Animal Med Center, unlike people who react to allergens with nasal symptoms and/or hives most of the time, dogs react with skin and/or gastrointestinal problems.

Skin allergies can cause your dog's skin to become either too dry or too oily. These allergies in dogs can be because of aggressive vaccinations, medications, allergens found in the environment, animal dander, plants & insects, poor breeding practices, and feeding of low-quality processed dog foods.

Is it skin infections?

There are two most common skin infections that occur in dogs: bacterial infections and yeast infections.

As Animal Trust stated, yeast infections in dogs love to grow in hard-to-reach areas in your fur-baby's body, like the ear canal and in between the toe. This can be a common cause of dog itchy ears or dog itchy paws. The skin thickens, causing your fur-baby to excessively itch the yeast-infected area. If you notice dog itchy ears or dog itchy paws, it may be a sign of a yeast infection in dogs.

Bacterial skin infections, on the other hand, take place when the skin's surface has been damaged, has become injured due to constant exposure to moisture, altered naturally-occurring bacteria in the skin, impairment of blood flow to the skin, and a weakened immune system. You might notice itchy red patches on your dog or hair loss.

Is it caused by parasites?

Dog itchy skin due to parasites may be caused by ticks, fleas, mites, and parasitic worms that burrow into your fur-baby's skin. These parasites do not only contribute to itchy skin but may also cause life-threatening diseases like ehrlichia (a tick-borne disease that reduces platelets after being bitten by an infected tick) and lyme disease (an infectious disease spread by ticks).

Determining what causes your dog's itchy skin needs the assistance of a veterinarian so that tests and proper diagnosis can be made for the right treatment plan. This is particularly important if you suspect that parasites are the cause of your dog’s itching.

Itchy skin relief for dogs

If your dog has itchy skin, here are some ways you can help to bring itchy skin relief:

Use plain water in baths. When taking your dog for a bath, make sure you are using plain water and not using drying solvents. But if you really think your dog needs shampoo, make sure you are using a mild shampoo with moisturizers. And as much as possible, see to it that you avoid blow-drying your fur-baby's coat as it can cause the skin and coat to dry out. In more extreme cases, your dog may require a medicated shampoo, which your veterinarian will be able to prescribe to you.

Provide a moist diet. As dry food can cause dehydration effects to the skin and increases thirstiness of your fur-baby, it is better that you provide your dog with a high-quality moist diet like canned dog foods, and homemade or raw diets. Also, don't forget to provide fresh water at all times to keep your fur-baby hydrated.

Supplement, supplement.Supplementing and adding digestive enzymes to your dog's diet is a great way of maintaining your fur-baby's skin and coat health. While there are many dog supplements for itchy skin and coat in the market, only a few are of high-quality and safe to give your fur-baby.

One of these is the Pet Parents® Probiotic SoftSupps® that helps boost your fur-baby's immune system and reduces skin inflammation. These probiotic supplements contain MS-99®, which is a clinically studied Bacillus coagulans that assists in maintaining gut flora in the digestive tract and offers an exceptional source of intestinal bacteria that is beneficial for your fur-baby.

Pet Parents® Probiotic Supplement for dogs contains the more effective Bacillus coagulans than the basic Bacillus coagulans used in other probiotic dog supplements because it undergoes meticulous processes that increases its efficacy. This makes it a great choice to add into your fur-baby's regular diet to help support healthy skin.

There are also the Pet Parents® Skin and Coat SoftSupps® which are dog supplements for itchy skin. These will provide your fur-baby with healthy nutrients that can help promote dog skin care and an overall healthy skin & coat.

Pet Parents® Skin and Coat SoftSupps® contain Alaskan Salmon Oil that is 100% from Wild Alaska Pollock & are highly concentrated in EPA & DHA. The ingredients help condition your dog’s skin, reduce scratching & hot spots, give a shiny coat, and promote joint, heart, & cognitive health.

These dog supplements for itchy skin also contain Vitamin E, a fat-soluble nutrient that guards your dog’s skin from free radicals. This is vital for your fur-baby’s muscles, circulatory system, and injury healing. Vitamin E is also known to be an immune booster, it is referred most of the times as a winter vitamin since the cold winter weather can dry and make itchy a dog’s skin.

"Supplementing and adding digestive enzymes to your dog's diet is a great way of maintaining your fur-baby's skin and coat health."

Dog itchy skin can be a challenge, but there are ways you can do to help soothe the itchiness and can certainly help your fur-baby to literally be comfortable in their own skin. If you’re asking yourself, “Why is my dog so itchy?” try these remedies for dog itchy skin, dog itchy ears, or dog itchy paws. Dog supplements for itchy skin can be incorporated into their diet to help prevent itching. Remember that while not all cases of dry skin on dogs or itchy skin are cause for alarm, it is always a good idea to consult your vet so that they can rule out any serious illnesses. Helping your dog to achieve itchy skin relief will allow for a happier and healthier life.