Itch Relief for Dogs : Best Products Review
Updated: Oct 25
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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.
The medical term for itching is pruritus and it can be caused by parasites, infections, reactions or allergies. Crucially, pruritus is not a diagnosis but simply a clinical sign of an underlying condition.
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.
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
Buying Advice for Itch Relief Products
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.
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.
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. Both these oils have been proven to help with itching and they possess anti-inflammatory qualities.
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.
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.
Best Itch Relief Products for Dogs
1. Best Liquid Supplements
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.
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 !
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 !
Pets Purest are offering 10% OFF their entire range.
Enter discount code WELCOME10 at checkout
2. Best Powder Supplement
Second in our review is a powder supplement aptly named Skrap the Skratch from Wagateur.
Wagateur offer a premium range of health and wellbeing products for dogs including Blissful Booty to reduce the dreaded 'scooting', Scaredy Paws to calm anxious dogs and Canine Gold to improve joints.
We've tested all four Wagateur products over the years and love their simplicity. Packed full of 100% natural yet powerful ingredients, they are super easy to add directly to to your existing dog's food.
Skrap the Skratch includes flaxseed meal which has anti-inflammatory properties whilst its oil can also help prevent skin irritation, redness, allergies and tissue inflammation.
Alongside marshmallow root (not the toasting kind) which apparently is a herbal medicine which has been used since ancient Egyptian times.
Our Cockapoo is not generally a scratcher but once he starts licking and nibbling his paws it's almost continuous, with the situation spiralling, they quickly become red and sore. So we added Skrap the Skratch to his raw diet for a couple of months.
We saw a marked improvement at around the two week mark. Once his paws had recovered, Freddie didn't return to licking and nibbling them. The skin and fur quickly returned to normal and after a month he hadn't started the usual cycle of licking them again.
We would definitely recommend Skrap the Skratch as a natural preventative solution for dogs that suffer from itchy skin regularly.
A measuring scoop is included which we found really handy because you need to add such tiny quantities to your dog's food.
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 it wasn't suitable to mix with a dry kibble diet - the powder went everywhere !
A pouch of Wagateur's Skrap the Skratch contains 90 scoops worth, which will last 45 days for a dog weighing in at less than 20kg.
Wagateur are so confident in their product that they offer a full refund if you don't see any results (you should begin to see an improvement in under two weeks).
3. Best Treat Supplement
NEW ADDITION FOR 2023
Our last supplement recommendation is from a new brand called Yumi Dogs.
You may have heard of the brand Yumi ,who are behind a range of chewable vitamins for humans. Well, following their amazing success, they decided to turn their attention to the canine supplement market.
They've developed a range of three healthy vitamin chews with all natural ingredients and better still all made right here in the UK.
In testing, we found their range of tasty chew alternatives to be the most palatable we've reviewed. This of course makes them the perfect solution for fussy dogs !
Ultimately, as your dog considers they a treat it takes all the stress out of adding supplements to your dog's diet.
Skin, Coat & Paws are chicken flavoured chews packed with Biotin, a water-soluble vitamin that has been proven to improve the health of your dog’s fur, skin and nails.
The tasty chews also include vitamin E and omega rich fish oil which both support a dog’s immune system and promote healthy skin and coat.
The Joint Care chews are available in a pack of 60 and Yumi Dogs suggest 1 chew daily for small dogs, 2 for medium and 3 for large breeds.
The individual chews resemble bitesized cubes with a rubbery consistency. Admittedly they are a bit, well, smelly, so of course your dog will LOVE them.
Yumi Dogs also offer a massive 20% subscribe and save which is definitely worth considering if you're looking at adding them to your dog's diet long term.
Yumi Dogs also offer a money-saving 'Complete Bundle' if you are looking to feel the benefits of all three products ( also includes Probiotics and Joint Care Chews). It's worth noting that the range has been developed to be complimentary, so the chews can be taken in combination with each other.
4. 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.
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.
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.
5. Best Hypoallergenic Shampoo
Another great option is Vet's Best Hypoallergenic Aloe Vera shampoo. It is formulated to rebalance your dog's skin moisture levels gently.
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.
PRO TIP Rinse, rinse & rinse again....
6. Best Immediate Itch Relief Spray
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.
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.
7. Best Immediate Itch Relief Gel
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.
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.
8. Best Protection
Dog Cone Alternatives
Lastly, if your dog is scratching the same spot continually consider a dog cone or surgical suit.
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.
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 Salmon Oil, Wagateur or Yumi Dogs vitamin chews or potentially opt to change your dog's diet completely.
Many dog lovers advocate a raw diet to reduce itching and the Dog Risk Project scientists and vets at Helsinki University have confirmed that dogs fed on raw have fewer issues with itchy skin than those fed on processed food (Read the research from the Dog Risk project group here)
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 2023.
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.
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