How to Help Your Cat or Dog Stop Itching
If your pet’s never-ending itching and licking is making life miserable, you may wonder what you can do to help your cat or dog stop scratching.
The first step is to determine what’s causing the itch. Occasional dry skin is normal for pets, but frequent itching may be a sign of a skin disease or other medical condition that needs veterinary attention. Talk to your vet ASAP if the itching becomes frequent or persistent, your pet loses their appetite, or seems depressed.
Common Causes of Itchy Skin
Your cat or dog’s constant irritated skin may be caused by an allergic reaction to something in their environment, even adverse food reactions. Unless you figure out and treat the underlying cause, you won’t solve the problem.
Common causes of itchiness in dogs and cats:
- Environmental triggers like dust mites, storage mites (can be found even in sealed dog food bags), mold spores or pollen
- Food allergies or sensitivities
- Skin infections
No matter the cause, it’s important to treat your pet’s itchiness. If an animal scratches or licks an area too much, a condition called a hot spot can result. This inflamed, red skin can be very painful for the cat or dog, and their natural instinct to keep licking the area only makes it worse.
Ways to Treat Pet’s Itchy Skin
While some commercial products claim to treat itchy skin, some formulas marketed to pet owners can cause more harm than good.
Occasional or mild itching can often be treated with a safe, all-natural home remedy—possibly with items you already have on hand. Make sure to consult your vet before starting any new treatment for your cat or dog’s skin. If the symptoms stay the same or get worse, stop treatment and call your vet.
Here are some natural ways to help your pet itch less:
- Colloidal oatmeal baths. Colloidal oatmeal is anti-inflammatory and helps wash away dust mites or other allergens that can get stuck in pet fur.
- Apple cider vinegar. ACV for pets? Yes! Apple cider vinegar is antibacterial and antifungal. Just dilute it 50/50 with water in a spray bottle and spray on your pet’s itchy areas. Don’t use ACV on open wounds or raw skin.
- Coconut oil. Unrefined coconut oil in solid form can soothe skin discomfort.
- Aloe vera. Aloe vera can heal and reduce redness and pain. Either keep an aloe plant at home (out of pets’ reach) or buy 100% natural aloe vera gel from a store.
- Baking soda. Mix with water into a paste to alleviate itching, reduce inflammation and dry out a rash.
Nutritional Support for Pet’s Itchy Skin
If dogs or cats are deficient in necessary nutrients, their skin may need extra help to heal from the inside out. A balanced diet can help heal itchy skin and hair loss.
These nutritional supplements help fill in dietary gaps and support your pet’s skin and coat health:
Two pet owner favorites are Allergy Itch Ease™ and Skin and Coat Tonic™.
Allergy Itch Ease™ is a homeopathic medicine for dog and cat skin allergies, available as either an oral spray or granules. It relieves and soothes skin itch and allergies and addresses acute skin problems such as eczema and redness.
Skin and Coat Tonic™ for Shiny & Glossy Fur is a natural supplement for cat and dog skin health and shiny, glossy coats. It supports liver, kidney and thyroid function and immune system health.
Keeping Your Pet Comfortable https://petalive.blog/2020/09/01/keeping-your-pet-comfortable/
- “More Itchy Pets? No problem.” American Veterinary Medical Association. Accessed January 28, 2022. https://www.avma.org/javma-news/2020-02-15/more-itchy-pets-no-problem
- Donnelly, C. “7 Natural Home Remedies for Itchy Dogs.” The Spruce Pets. Accessed January 28, 2022. https://www.thesprucepets.com/home-remedies-for-itchy-dogs-4177184
- Meyers, H. “Why Is My Dog So Itchy? Possible Causes & Treatment.” American Kennel Club. January 28, 2022. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/why-is-my-dog-so-itchy/