Home Remedies for Skin Problems for Dogs

Updated April 17, 2017

You may notice your dog scratching or licking at himself excessively from time to time. The cause of all this scratching could be due to itchy skin or some other skin problem. Like humans, dogs can have a number of reasons why they have skin problems, including allergies, dry skin and infections. There are many home remedies you can use to help your dog feel more comfortable. These remedies are recommended as quick fixes, however---if the skin problem is severe, a visit to the vet may be in order.


Itching is a sign of multiple skin issues. Itching can be caused by bug bites, allergies, dry skin or any of a number of reasons. Giving your dog a cool bath will quickly help with itching, sunburn or any other skin irritant. While your dog is in the tub, you can always add some Epsom salt or oatmeal for added relief. If you add Epsom salt to the bath, be careful that your dog doesn't try drinking the mixture or get any in his mouth.

Mixing baking soda and cold water, then rubbing it on your dog's skin can relieve itching. Essential oils such as tea tree or lavender can be used to aid in itching as well. Take some emu oil or fish oil and add it to your dog's food to try and heal the itching from the inside. You may also mix a tiny amount of colloidal silver into your dog's water for the same purpose.

Oil will also help for dry skin. Add oils such as sunflower, peanut or corn oil to your dog's meal, and your dog's skin should eventually become less dry. Don't feed your dog more than 3 tsp of oil per meal, however---oils can be fattening.

If your dog is itchy because of dandruff, try washing him in vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is recommended for this type of job. Massage the vinegar into your dog's skin, then let it soak in for a few minutes. Wash and condition your dog as you normally would. Repeat the vinegar massage until the dandruff problem is resolved. You may wish to shave your dog's fur to get it out of the way.

Hot Spots

Hot spots are open sores that appear on dogs due to a bacterial infection. These infections can emerge due to the temperature, humidity or any skin irritants like fleas or allergies. Applying aloe vera to hot spots can help clear them up rather quickly. Because aloe vera has a bitter taste, your dog is unlikely to lick it off. If he does, however, he won't be harmed by it (it's nontoxic).

You can also create an aspirin concoction to apply to hot spots. Take two aspirin tablets and dissolve them in 1 tbsp rubbing alcohol. Heat up some water and add a tea bag to it. Once the tablets are dissolved and the tea has steeped for a bit, combine both liquids, then take a cotton ball and soak it in the mixture. Shave the hair around the hot spot and dab the cotton ball against the hot spot.

Another mixture for hot-spot treatment involves sage, Epsom salt and water. Mix 3 sage capsules, 1/4 tsp. Epsom salt and 2 cups water in a pan and let it boil. Let the mixture cool, then strain the sage pieces out. Put the solution into a spray bottle and spray it on the affected areas often until it heals.

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About the Author

Ticara Gailliard is a college graduate with a degree in communications/film and video production from the University of Memphis. She has been a writer for over 15 years and has been published in local writing magazines such as "Grandmother Earth." She also edited two books for her high school.