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Soothe Your Pup’s Skin With Itch Relief For Dogs

The Dodo 9/14/2022 Ellen Schmidt and Danielle Esposito

Your dog can be itchy for all kinds of reasons. Maybe she has dry skin, or maybe she suffers from allergies.

Whatever the reason for her itchy skin, it’s definitely something that needs to be addressed to help her feel better.

So how can you find the best itch relief for dogs? Look for dog-specific products with ingredients that target itching without being too harsh for the individual pup.

We spoke to Dr. Hilary Jones, veterinarian and chief veterinary officer at DodoVet, to find out what you should consider before buying itch relief products for your dog. Plus, here are our top picks:

Ways to provide itch relief for dogs

There are several products you can try to provide your dog with some relief from her itchy skin: medicated and natural shampoos, sprays, balms, supplements, and home remedies.

Medicated shampoos

Medicated products have active ingredients (ones you likely can’t pronounce) that are designed to target itchy skin. Medicated shampoos are best for dogs who have serious skin issues and/or underlying conditions and can be too harsh for dogs with a more mild itch.

“Medicated shampoos are great for dogs with secondary skin infection from their allergies,” Dr. Jones told The Dodo. “Allergies can really damage that protective barrier of the skin and cause some inflammation, which is the perfect environment for secondary infection.”

Medicated bathing can provide relief, skin support and hydration, and topical treatment to bacterial and fungal infections. During an active infection, a vet may recommend bathing two to three times a week and leaving the shampoo on for at least 10 minutes before rinsing (but of course talk to your vet for a tailored recommendation for your own pup).

Some ingredients you’ll want to look for in medicated shampoos:

  • Chlorhexidine: Commonly used in hospitals to clean injuries or post-op sites, this ingredient works by killing and preventing bacteria on the skin.
  • Ceramides: Help retain skin’s moisture and prevent germs from getting in open wounds.
  • Miconazole: Treats fungal infections.
  • Ketoconazole: Helps prevent fungal infections, skin infections, ringworm and even dandruff.

Natural shampoos

Natural products have ingredients that you, in most cases, are already familiar with, like oatmeal, lavender and coconut oil, and are best used for mild skin issues.

Sprays

Sprays are generally safe for everyday use. The spray itself can cover a wide area and provides immediate and soothing relief from itching while helping to control the spread of lesions. Plus, they don’t sting!

Balms

Balm skin products can be applied easily to your dog’s skin with your finger. They provide topical relief by helping to repair and calm irritated areas on the skin and paws and can relieve other dog skin conditions.

Supplements

Commonly used for joint pain and digestion issues, supplements are also useful if your pup’s skin is itchy and uncomfortable. Supplements can help moisturize the skin and usually contain ingredients that reduce inflammation, which is the main source of itching.

Home remedies

Dr. Jones recommends that all home remedies be discussed with your veterinarian before trying on your dog, since they can harm your pup if used incorrectly.

“The only home remedy I generally recommend is epsom salt paw soak for dogs who get cystic pododermatitis,” Dr. Jones said. “If used in some cases where things are too raw, it can really sting, so you need to check with your vet first.”

Best itch relief for dogs

These are products that we found that hit all of the requirements to help your dog feel better in no time.

Note: Before trying any new skin regimen on your pup, it’s a good idea to check in with your vet first.Of course, if your dog’s itchy skin just isn’t getting any better, talk to your veterinarian about what else you can do to help.

Want access to a vet 24/7? With DodoVet, you can connect via video chat, phone or text with an empathetic veterinary expert who can help you be the best pet parent you can be. Say goodbye to Dr. Google and have all your pet parent questions answered anytime, anywhere. Learn more here.

We independently pick all the products we recommend because we love them and think you will too. If you buy a product from a link on our site, we may earn a commission.

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