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You have an itchy dog and nothing seems to help? Don’t worry – lots of us find ourselves in this same position at some point, and we get it. You’ll be glad to know that our homemade itchy dog spray recipe is super-easy and very effective.
Watching your dog itch and bite himself raw is awful. You feel helpless and your dog is miserable and suffering. Whether your dog has food sensitivities or environmental allergies, constant itching and biting means your dog is miserable and their quality of life suffers.
Plus, of course, the itching can result in secondary infections, open wounds, and leave them prone to other conditions, so it’s important that you do whatever you can to help stop your dog’s itch.
Now, obviously, you want a quick fix, but honestly? You won’t find one. Some chemical treatments from the vet may mask the symptoms, but they don’t cure the underlying issue that causes your dog’s itchy skin, and they all have side effects that are varying degrees of horrific.
Natural remedies for itchy skin in dogs can also mask the symptoms, or at least help to manage them, while you’re trying to fix the underlying problem, but, like with many natural remedies, you might have to use a multi-pronged approach.
I’m not going to deal with fixing the underlying problem in this post – it needs a whole, long-form post all on its own. But I will say this: Figuring out and eliminating food sensitivities is the very best place to start to cure your dog’s itchy skin. You’ll also be surprised at just what your dog is sensitive to. He may love chicken and never suffer digestive issues with it, but that alone could be enough to cause intensely itchy skin and hotspots.
Dogs can be allergic to just about anything – just like humans. You wouldn’t keep feeding your child dairy if you knew it gave him tummy ache and brought him out in a rash, would you? It’s the same thing with your dog. If you don’t want to do an allergy test, you should probably do an elimination diet to find the likely troublemakers.
You should also do everything you can to bolster your dog’s immune system and heal him from the inside, out. I’m not suggesting you have to feed raw – it’s not suitable for everyone. I don’t feed raw, but I did get my dog off all the itchy dog medication with its hideous side effects and put him onto a natural, homecooked diet that I make myself.
Does it cost more to feed my dog home-cooked food? No. I found an awesome butcher for dogs, and I also look for meat on special at the grocery store, and buy vegetables in bulk when I don’t have enough that I grow myself. Plus, of course, I’m not spending a small fortune every month on itchy skin medication for dogs. And, before I made the switch, he was on a super-high-end kibble. So, actually, I think it costs me less to feed my dog a home-cooked diet – even with the seaweed, calcium, and probiotic supplements.
If you do want to start making some healthy changes to your dog’s diet, the treats you give are a great place to start, as they usually contain so many nasty ingredients – and it’s so easy to make dog treats yourself. Check out our peanut butter and pumpkin balls and our beef jerky for dogs recipes to get you started.
You may also find some herbs and supplements that help to relieve a dog’s itchy skin symptoms. CBD, for example, may prove effective, as can calendula, cat’s claw, and golden paste. But again, that’s for another post. I just wanted to convey the importance of fixing the root cause of your dog’s itchy skin, rather than just managing the symptoms.
While you are trying to find the cause of the itching, our homemade dog anti-itch spray is very effective at soothing the skin, relieving itching, and providing a cooling sensation. It also smells pretty nice, won’t hurt them when they lick it, and acts as a flea, tick, and biting insect repellant, too.
How to Make Anti-Itch Spray for Dogs
- 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar, with the mother
- 1/2 cup of strong green tea
- 1 tbsp dried neem leaves
- 1 tbsp dried peppermint
- 1 tbsp dried calendula
- Steep the green tea bags (I usually use 2) in half a cup of boiling water. (We use this loose leaf green tea or these organic green tea bags)
- Add the neem, peppermint, and calendula. Allow to steep until cool. Here are the ones we use when we don’t have our own fresh herbs: Dried neem leaf, dried peppermint leaves, and dried calendula.
- Once cool, remove the tea bags and strain out the dried herbs.
- Add the cooled liquid to the apple cider vinegar.
- Decant into a spray bottle and store in the fridge.
That’s it – you’re done! You’ve made your very own anti-itch spray for dogs. It really is as simple as that.
If you want to give it even more of a boost, add a tablespoon of dried chamomile (or a chamomile tea bag) to the boiling water to give some extra soothing properties.
For another boost, add a tablespoon of dried rosemary or, if you’ve got some in the garden, a generous sprig of fresh rosemary. This common herb is amazingly good for itchy skin and generally conditioning the skin – in dogs and humans alike. It’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory, so it’s a great choice if your dog also has hot spots or inflamed areas, as it’ll help to combat redness and swelling on the skin. It is also hydrating, so if your dog’s skin is dry as well as itchy, rosemary is definitely a helpful addition to this doggy itchy skin home remedy.
How to Use Your Homemade Anti-Itch Spray for Your Itchy Dog
It’s super simple – Take it out of the fridge and spray any affected area. Rub it into the fur so it reaches the skin, and don’t forget the belly. You can use it multiple times a day and spray your whole dog if you want, taking care to avoid the eyes and nose, of course.
Use before and after walks to help repel insects and whenever you notice your dog is getting uncomfortably itchy. You can also spray some on a cotton ball and wipe out the insides of your dog’s ears with it if they suffer from itchy ears or are prone to ear infections.
Now your dog can get back to enjoying life, itch-free, while you figure out how to fix the root cause of their itchy skin.
Why Apple Cider Vinegar With the Mother and Green Tea?
Unfiltered apple cider vinegar, “with the mother” – the little bits floating in it – is a powerful natural remedy for many ailments in dogs and humans, including itchy skin – as well as digestive complaints. Because it’s primarily acetic acid, it’s a potent antifungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic – any or all of which could manage your dog’s itchy skin, depending on the root cause and whether they have any secondary issues.
It’s also remarkably good for digestion and digestive complaints, so it’ll only be a bonus when your itchy dog licks the spray off himself. Apple cider vinegar with the mother is also a serious immune booster and has numerous beneficial compounds that are widely documented. And, it’s a strong flea, tick, and insect repellent. We like Bragg as we find the value and quality are the best.
Yes, there’s been a lot of hype about drinking green tea in the last few years, but it’s the qualities for your itchy dog’s skin that I’m interested in. Plus, I can’t stand the taste of it – give me a nice cup of fresh coffee any day! Green tea has some amazing properties and is particularly beneficial to the skin. The large concentrations of polyphenols in green tea fight free radical damage at a cellular level and reduce the inflammation that causes the itching in your dog.
The herbs I use as the base – neem, peppermint, and calendula, are all soothing and nourishing to the skin, and peppermint provides a cooling sensation when it’s applied. And, as I noted in the callout boxes, it’s possible to boost the effectiveness or alter the blend by adding rosemary and chamomile.
Because every dog is different, you may find yours reacts better to rosemary and the calendula makes no difference – you’ll need to play with the recipe a little if the basic blend described above needs to be tweaked to suit your dog’s needs.
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