Skin Allergies in Dogs: Home Remedies to Try Before Seeing Your Vet
5 Tips and Remedies for Dog Skin Allergies
Dog skin allergies are tough to figure out. I've tried eliminating potential food ingredients that might be triggering allergies and still haven't found the exact combination. It's also really hard to figure out what environmental allergies might be affecting your pup.
If you've already been to your vet, you know the drill. They want you to try antibiotics, special foods, and maybe even some kind of harsh and expensive steroid treatment.
Our Story: My Pug Has Allergies
My Pug has allergies. Her symptoms are itchy armpits. They have become increasingly hairless, stinky, sweaty, and dark over the years. I've had numerous vets try to figure out what was going on with no luck at all—that's why I've turned to some natural home remedies.
Here are a few things to try if your dog has hot spots, itchy skin, yeasty ears, goopy eyes, or any other skin condition that seems like it might be triggered by an allergy:
Tips for Dogs With Allergies
- Consider an ACV Spray
- Offer a Healthy, Simple Diet
- Give Medicated Baths
- Avoid Harsh Chemicals
- Feed Hypoallergenic Treats
1. Try an Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Spray
Consider putting ACV in a spray bottle, diluting it with water, and spraying it on the itchy spots a couple of times a day. Before bedtime works great for my dog (but she makes the bedroom smell like chips). I also wipe her ears down with the diluted mixture after cleaning them.
2. Offer a Simple, Healthy Diet
Ditch the gross, generic dog food, and get one of the high-quality brands that don't have any grain, corn, by-products, or other fillers.
I switched my dog to food made by The Honest Kitchen, and it made a world of difference. I once tried to switch her back to dry dog food and she immediately got a bunch of new hot spots under her chin. I fed her food from The Honest Kitchen again, and after a few days, the spots were gone.
Another brand we like is Grandma Lucy's.
3. Give Medicated Baths
If your dog has mild skin problems, an oatmeal bath might do the trick. For my Pug, I had to resort to Malaseb shampoo. I bathe her about once a week.
The Malaseb shampoo doesn't help with narrowing down the source of the problem, but it does help her skin heal and makes her less itchy between baths. Malaseb also comes in a spray and wipes.
Tips for Using Malaseb Shampoo
Do not apply the shampoo to spots that your dog can lick. I can spray the apple cider vinegar anywhere on her, but I only use the Malaseb on her armpits where she can't reach. I also use the spray sparingly.
4. Skip Harsh Detergent and Household Products
Your dog might have an allergy to the detergent you use to clean their bed and blankets or even the product you use to clean your carpet. Carpet Fresh, Lysol spray, or any yard sprays for bugs might also be the cause of itching. Wash bedding in just bleach. Don't use soap or fabric softeners.
5. Only Offer Hypoallergenic Treats
If your dog has a food allergy, it's a lot easier to control what they are eating if they are only eating their own dog food. For treats, I give my Pug a little piece of her own food and she's just as happy with it as receiving a mystery dog bone. I also like to give her baby carrots on occasion. If you know there is a healthy food that doesn't bother your dog, only use that for treats.
My Personal Experience With an Itchy Dog
If you have allergies yourself, you know what it's like to feel as if the itch is starting on the inside of your body and working its way out to your skin. You also can't help but madly scratch at it.
I see the same thing happening with my dog—she'll dart out of her bed in the middle of the night, scratch her dog pits and ears feverishly, and then settle back into bed to start with the obsessive paw-licking. She's a Pug and Pugs like to sleep, so I'm guessing she doesn't choose to have these middle-of-the-night itching, scratching, and licking sessions.
Piglet the Pug has been an itchy girl ever since she was a puppy. I haven't found a cure for her itching, but I've certainly spent a lot of time and money trying to figure it out and trying to make her more comfortable. I hope my tips and tricks will help your dog, too.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.