Soothe Your Pup’s Skin With Itch Relief For Dogs
Less scratching, more snuggling 🐶💕
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:
- Best overall itch relief for dogs: Pet MD Antiseptic & Antifungal Medicated Shampoo
- Best itch relief for yeast: Douxo S3 PYO Shampoo
- Best moisturizing itch relief: Dechra MiconaHex + Triz Shampoo for Dogs & Cats
- Best oatmeal cream: Bio-Groom Natural Oatmeal Soothing Anti-Itch Dog Cream Rinse
- Best fragrance-free spray: The Dodo Itch Relieving Spray for Dogs
- Best mild itch relief for traveling: Natural Dog Company Skin Soother Trial Stick
- Best anti-itch supplement: Vetoquinol Triglyceride OMEGA Omega-3 Fatty Acid Liquid Supplement for Dogs
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 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 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 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!
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.
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.
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.
Active Ingredients: Chlorhexidine, Ketoconazole
A workhorse of a shampoo (that also happens to work on horses), Pet MD’s medicated shampoo helps relieve fungal and bacterial skin infections like hot spots, ringworm and acne. It can also help relieve skin issues resulting from superficial cuts, abrasions and insect bites.
Active Ingredients: Chlorhexidine, Ophytrium
This shampoo promises to disinfect, hydrate and help support your pup’s skin, reducing yeast in just seven days. “Douxo S3 products are my go-to for really itchy pets with that stinky, itchy, red skin,” Dr. Jones said. “I love them because they are antifungal, antibacterial and contain phytosphingosine, which helps restore that natural protective barrier. They also don't smell weird, which is nice for everyone.”
Active Ingredients: Chlorhexidine, Miconazole
Antimicrobial, antifungal and moisturizing, this shampoo is designed to treat topical fungal and bacterial skin infections. It also contains ceramides, which help to restore your pup’s dry, cracked skin. “I love the Dechra MiconHex shampoo, and especially their Mal-A-Ket wipes,” Dr. Jones said.
Main Ingredients: Colloidal oatmeal
Colloidal oatmeal works to moisturize your pup’s skin, ease inflammation and form a protective barrier. This cream rinse not only relieves itchiness, but it will also help protect your dog’s skin if she’s recently had any minor cuts, burns, scrapes, chapped skin or insect bites.
Using oatmeal and aloe vera, The Dodo Itch Relieving Spray for Dogs helps relieve itchy spots and heals dry, irritated skin caused by allergies and environmental factors. The product is vegan, cruelty-free, and contains no DEA, MEA, SLS or parabens.
Main Ingredients: Almond butter, cocoa butter, vitamin E, chamomile, lavender
If your dog is prone to itchy skin and you’re going on a trip where bathing your dog might be a little inconvenient, this travel-size balm can work wonders to reduce more mild itching. It has healing herbs to prevent and treat irritated skin.
Main ingredients: Fish Oil, Dl-Alpha Tocopherol (Source of Vitamin E), Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3
Omega-3 fish oils can be helpful in keeping the skin barrier healthy. “I generally recommend supplements that are NASC-certified (meaning they contain what they say they contain),” Dr. Jones said. “I tend to like the liquid pumps or capsules because then you don't have to worry about introducing other ingredients if you are doing an elimination diet trial as well.”
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.