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How to Relieve Itchy Dog Skin

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Dog shampoo or oatmeal

  • Dog comb or brush

  • Medication

All dogs scratch to a certain extent. But when the scratching becomes obsessive or begins damaging the dog's skin, it's time for the dog owner to ensure it's properly treated.

Keep your dog clean. A dog typically itches because of bugs, eczema, allergies, infections, diet or a dirty coat. Avoid bathing him too often and drying out the skin; choose a dog shampoo that's specially formulated for him. A special dermatological shampoo can be used, or treat your canine to an oatmeal bath. If you bathe your dog in an oatmeal bath, take special care to wash all of the oatmeal out of his fur.

Take time to properly groom your dog. If you can't do it, take him to a groomer. Gentle brushing with medium strength and the right dog comb can be very beneficial to your dog's coat. Brush him at least once or twice a day.

Give your dog a healthy, well-balanced diet. If you're unsure about what you should give her. talk to your veterinarian.

Pay attention to when your dog seems to itch the most. Is he getting into something outside that's making him itch? Maybe he's getting into something in the house. Monitor him, and if you can pinpoint something for which he may have a skin allergy, keep him out of it or remove it.

Have your veterinarian put your dog on medication, if necessary. Some medications can help to alleviate the itching, and antibiotics may be used to clear up any infection. Corticosteroids are typically prescribed to get the itch under control.


  • To provide temporary relief, try holding an ice pack wrapped in a towel against the itchy area for a few minutes. Dilute salt water and use an antiseptic cleanser in order to stop infection.


  • Avoid using people shampoo on your dog. Using the wrong type of shampoo can dry his skin, which may account for the itch. If you don't know what to use, talk to your veterinarian.