Three Ways To Soothe Your Dog’s Dry, Itchy Skin

Does your dog get dry, itchy skin in response to dry air or environmental irritants? All of that itching and scratching can lead to sores, and it's certainly not comfortable for your dog. Try using one or more of these methods to soothe your dog's itchy skin.

Oatmeal Baths

You can purchase oatmeal shampoo for dogs in pet stores, but it's also easy and inexpensive to make your own oatmeal soak. Just place about ½ cup of oats in the blender or food processor, and process them until they form a very fine powder. Fill a tub with warm water, add a splash of a mild dog shampoo, and then stir in the oats. They should dissolve into the water, creating a creamy mixture. Put your dog in the bath, and then let him sit for as long as he's comfortable. Fifteen or twenty minutes is sufficient if he'll sit this long. You can massage the soapy water over his skin and rub him gently. The oatmeal works as a gentle moisturizer. When the soaking is complete, rinse your dog with cool water, and then pat him dry.


Dry air, even if it is not the ultimate cause of your dog's dry skin, will make dry skin worse. So, purchase a portable vaporizer from your local big box store or pharmacy. Set it up to run in the room your dog spends the most time in. If your dog tends to occupy several rooms, you may want to set up a vaporizer in each room. The vaporizer will add moisture to the air, alleviating your dog's itchiness. 

Use a Skin Soothing Spray

You can purchase spray-on skin soothing products for dogs in many pet stores. Make sure you do not use a product made for humans, as it may contain artificial scents or other ingredients that can irritate your dog's skin and make matters worse. The dog-specific soothing spray will typically contain herbal compounds or light moisturizers. Follow the directions to apply it to your dog's coat. Most products need to be re-applied ever couple of days.

If you prefer, you can make your own soothing spray by dissolving a vitamin E capsule in a bottle of water. Spray this onto your dog's skin every couple of days. The vitamin E will help make your dog's skin more supple and elastic, and if your dog happens to lick a little of it off, it won't do any harm.

For more advice for calming your dog's itchy skin, talk to someone like Columbine Animal Hospital & Emergency Clinic.