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Dogs in a Lords & Labrador dog bed
  • Writer's pictureSmart Bark

Stop the Scratch! Best Itch Relief Solutions for Your Dog

Updated: Apr 9

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Has your dog been licking their paws too much lately ? As the weather starts to get warmer, the pollen count rises and this can lead to increased itching and licking.


Does your dog suffer with allergies? Do they constantly scratch at their skin? Excessive licking and scratching can quickly lead to ever increasing vet's bills.


Dog with itchy skin and allergies

There's a whole array of products of the market from skin & coat supplements, anti-itch shampoos to creams and sprays aimed at helping to nourish your dog's skin and soothe itching.

UPDATE : APRIL 2024 After a new round of testing, we've added Buddy & Lola Super Tummy Daily as a top pick for a diet supplement

We take a look at some of the best ways you can offer some relief and lessen the urge to itch for your four-legged friend. Let's Ditch that Itch !


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Our Verdict


dog paw graphic

Buying Advice for Itch Relief Products


Dogs develop itchy, uncomfortable skin for any number of reasons, some of which may require a visit to your vet, while others can be treated at home.


Just like humans, the good news is that occasional or mild itching isn't usually a sign of serious health conditions, but if your dog starts to develop other symptoms or the itchiness is so severe that the skin is broken from scratching, then definitely talk to your vet.


Dog scratching their ear

However if your dog's itchiness is occasional or mild there are plenty of totally safe ways to treat mild itching at home. Trying to break your dog’s itch-scratch cycle is difficult but there are a number of steps you can take.


Before you rush out and buy products, let's take a look at both the long and short term options available to you to help control your dog’s itchy skin and bring some much needed relief.



Supplements

If you're looking for a long term solution then try soothing from the inside out by adding a tried and tested supplement to your dog's diet.


The addition of salmon or flax oil to your dog food can stop the urge to scratch whilst it soothes and calms their skin. Equally probiotics can help manage the yeast production to reduce skin inflammation and scratching.


Anti Itch Dog Shampoos

Since environmental allergens are usually absorbed through the skin, weekly bathing can help to prevent itchiness.


Your dog’s coat acts like a magnet for all kinds of dust, dander and allergens which a weekly bath can remove. In addition, shampooing will help to remove dead skin cells that linger on the surface of the skin.


But beware, increased bathing with the wrong shampoo can actually make matters worse as it can lead to dry and sensitive skin. We feature two hypo-allergenic and hydrating shampoos specifically designed to help skin allergies and irritation.


Immediate Itch Relief

If your dog has a particular part of their body they really scratch or chew at (a hot-spot), consider using an anti-itch spray or a soothing cream.


They are convenient, easy to use and inexpensive. Be aware that they provide immediate relief but this maybe only temporary, so definitely a short term solution.


Cover Up

If your dog is scratching the same spot continually, consider a dog cone or surgical suit which can help the affected area heal.



We've provided this Buying Guide to give you an overview of the options available and help you decide which products will give your dog the best itch relief.


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Best Itch Relief Products for Dogs



1. Best Liquid Supplements

Pets Purest


Adding a supplement to your dog's food is an easy way to help deal with skin and coat irritation offering a gradual, longer term solution.


The first supplements we feature is from UK company Pets Purest.


Cockapoo with scottish salmon oil for itchy dogs

Renowned for their range of all-natural products, we recommend their 100% Salmon Oil because it's full of nutrients, without adding unnecessary fillers and chemicals. This is really important if your dog is sensitive to different foods.


Pet's Purest 100% Pure Scottish Salmon Oil is ethically sourced from sustainable Scottish Salmon.It's a natural source of Omega 3 which is proven to help both the skin and coat.


It has a wealth of 5 star reviews from some very happy dog lovers including our Freddie.


Really easy to use, simply pump the appropriate amount on your dog's meal before serving.


Be aware that some fish oil supplements can go off quickly, so it always pays to keep a close eye on the expiry date. We love that our bottle of Pets Purest Salmon Oil had a really long life - 2 years !


Pets Purest Daily Supplements for dogs

NEW to their ever expanding range, are these Daily Supplements.


An incredibly easy way to supplement your dog's diet, these bottles come with a no-mess pump to provide a measured does of active ingredients.


We're big fans of these 'pump and serve' supplements as they make life easier.


Their Daily Allergy & Itch contains a blend of botanical herbs and minerals known for their natural antihistamine effects including Scottish salmon oil, skullcap, ginkgo and nettle.


A great time to try, Pets Purest are offering 50% off your first bottle when you Subscribe and Save.

Importantly the salmon oil and the Daily Allergy & Itch both have a natural, delicious taste that should appeal to the fussiest of dogs - so dog- lovers with picky pups, this could be a great option for you !

Buying Options


Pets Purest are offering 10% OFF their entire range.

Enter discount code WELCOME10 at checkout



2. Best Powder Supplement

Buddy & Lola


Second in our review is a powder supplement - Super Tummy Daily from Buddy & Lola


If you haven't come across Buddy & Lola, they're a homegrown company specialising in a premium range of health and wellbeing products for dogs. We're big fans, and we're not the only ones as you can now buy their range in Pets at Home.


Buddy & Lola range of supplements for dogs

We've tested many of their products and love their simplicity. Packed full of 100% natural yet powerful ingredients, they offer a range of powders, liquids and tasty treats so you can pick the option which you think will be most palatable for your dog.


Essentially a probiotic, their best-selling Super Tummy Daily helps support your dog's immune system and reduce skin itchiness. It works from the inside out by supporting normal yeast production to promote healthy ears and paws.


Buddy & Lola range of allergy and itch relief products for dogs

Our Cockapoo is not generally a scratcher but once he starts scratching his ears, the situation spirals and they quickly become red and sore leading to a costly vet visit.


Initially we tested Super Tummy Daily to help firm stools (which we're happy to report worked exceptionally well), but were pleased to see a reduction in his scratching to.


Allergy season is always an issue but by adding the powder to his food daily, we saw a real improvement at around the three week mark.


A measuring scoop is included which we found really handy because you need to add such tiny quantities to your dog's food plus if you take out a subscription, Buddy & Lola offer this gorgeous supplement storage tin for free (or you can purchase it separately).


Buddy & Lola supplement storage tin

The only downside we could find is that whilst we found it really easy to mix the powder in with raw dog food, our other testers commented that they struggled with a dry kibble diet.


So if you feed a dry diet, we would suggest taking a closer look at the Buddy & Lola's Super Tummy Daily Chews. Extremely palatable, they work out more expensive than the powder for larger breeds (because you need to feed several a day), but are incredibly easy to add to your daily routine.


Plus we should mention that Buddy & Lola offer a Salmon Oil - Jammin' Salmon which you can buy as part of a money-saving bundle.

Our Verdict - If you're looking for a natural, long term solution to skin allergies then we would recommend taking a look at the Buddy & Lola Allergy range. We particularly love Super Tummy Daily powder as a great value solution to so many common canine issues.

Buying Options


For 15% OFF the entire Buddy & Lola range (first time purchases only)

enter SMARTBARK15 at checkout



3. Best Anti-Itch Dog Shampoo

Cooper & Gracie


Your choice of shampoo is crucial, as bathing your dog too frequently can remove the natural oils from their skin and coat. We'd recommend looking for a shampoo that is natural, hypoallergenic and moisturising.


Leading brand, Cooper & Gracie, have designed a dog shampoo & conditioner to provide relief for itchiness associated with allergies.

Cooper & Gracie Dog Shampoo and Conditioner

It's formulated with oatmeal and aloe, both these ingredients are renowned for their powerful, yet sensitive anti-itch properties.


This hydrating formula is free from nasties like alcohol, perfumes and enzymes so it's hypo-allergenic and perfectly balanced for your dog's coat.


The natural ingredients work to moisturise your dog's coat whilst offering ongoing relief from itchy skin. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties also ensure your dog stays fresher for longer.


We love that you simply lather into your dogs coat to remove dirt and grease, rinse and you're left with a soft shiny coat and a long lasting subtle fragrance of vanilla, frankincense, lavender and coconut.


Some amazing reviews from some very happy dog parents and it's worth noting that Cooper & Gracie offer a 90-day hassle-free returns if you’re not 100% satisfied.


Buying Options

PRO TIP Don't rush it .....

Always leave the shampoo on your dog's coat for a few minutes before rinsing. This enables the ingredients and those essential oils time to clean and moisturise your dog's coat.


4. Best Hypoallergenic Shampoo

Vet's Best


Another great option is Vet's Best Hypoallergenic Aloe Vera shampoo. It is formulated to rebalance your dog's skin moisture levels gently.

Vet's Best hypoallergenic dog shampoo

We recommend Vet's Best because they've been creating products to comfort and protect your dog for over 20 years.


They have an unquestionable expertise when it comes to dog shampoos!


Their vet formulated shampoo has been crafted to be pH balanced, gentle and soap free so can be used as often as you need to remove allergens from your dog's coat.


Vet's Best shampoo is an ideal weapon to use if your dog loves nothing more than a dip in the river whilst out on a dog walk.


If you're interested, their shampoo can be used alongside some of their other treatments aimed at sensitive skin such as the Moisture Mist or their Best Ear Relief Wash & Dry.


Buying Options

PRO TIP Rinse, rinse & rinse again....

Shampoo residue can cause itching and skin irritation so rinse well. For more information on other recommended shampoos – take a look at our full article on the Best Dog Shampoos



5. Best Immediate Itch Relief Spray

Vet's Best


If you're looking for an immediate yet short-term solution to the problem then an itch relief spray or cream that you can apply topically is the answer.

Vet's Best Hot Spot spray for dogs

Another product from Vet's Best is their Hot Spot Spray for Dogs.


Aimed at providing instant itch relief, the natural formula soothes seasonal skin irritation from flea and pollen allergy as well as dermatitis.


But don't worry, this Hot Spot spray won't affect topical flea and tick control products, and is safe to use on dogs and even puppies 12 weeks or older.


It provide fast relief for itchy, dry and irritated dog skin on contact.


Formulated from a unique blend of natural ingredients, including tea tree oil, aloe vera and chamomile.


Buying Options



6. Best Immediate Itch Relief Gel

Anicura


With 10 years of experience in human skincare before turning their attention to pets, Anicura have created a range of products specifically aimed at pets with allergy-prone skin.

Anicura gel for itchy dogs

Their range includes gels and sprays containing naturally proven ingredients to soothe your dog's skin.


They provide deep hydration and nutrition to encourage healthy skin so any dogs prone to itchy, sensitive skin will benefit from using Anicura.


We love the Anicura Dog Gel as it offers an alternative to a spray. It's really easy to apply and importantly it doesn't sting or smell.


Perfect for smaller areas or more difficult to treat areas, like the face.


Anicura suggest initially applying the gel 3-4 times a day. It's worth noting that their gel can even be applied if your dog has broken skin.


Buying Options



7. Best Protection

Dog Cone Alternatives


Lastly, if your dog is scratching the same spot continually consider a dog cone or surgical suit.

Alternatives to the dog cone of shame

By placing a barrier between your dog’s nails or mouth and the affected area, the irritated area should begin to heal.


From inflatable collars to surgical suits, the traditional Elizabethan dog collar has come along way.


We take an in-depth look at a whole range of comfy alternatives to the old-fashioned collar in our article - The Best Alternatives to the Dog Cone of Shame.



dog paw graphic

Our Verdict


Ultimately you need to get to the root cause of the itching, as it's merely a clue that something isn't right beneath the surface.


Then we'd suggest choosing a long term and a short term solution. For immediate relief and to allow the skin to heal, we'd recommend either Vet's Best Hot Spot or Anicura Gel.


Longer term, look to make some changes in your dogs diet by adding supplements with functional ingredients such as the range from Pets Purest or Buddy & Lola or potentially opt to change your dog's diet completely.


Many dog lovers advocate a raw diet to reduce itching. It is certainly something to consider and you may wish to do your own research into diet v itching.


If you're interested in exploring a raw diet, why not take a look at our full and in-depth review of 4 of the best raw dog food companies in the UK for 2024.


dog paw graphic


This article is not meant as a substitute for professional advice from a vet, because there are so many reasons why dogs chew or scratch.


If you're concerned be sure to check with your vet so they can help figure out the cause of the behaviour and determine the best treatment plan.



Thanks for stopping by and reading our article on Itch Relief for Dogs : Best Products Review



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