Home Remedies for Dog Skin Problems

Sometimes dog skin problems require veterinary treatment to be completely cured, but in many cases, home remedies may help. Try the following home remedies for canine skin problems to see if they help resolve your dog's problems or at least make him feel better until he can go see the vet.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been shown to relieve canine hot spots and other skin conditions. You can spray or sponge a 50/50 combination of vinegar and water directly onto your dog's hot spots several times a day for about three days. Then you should start to see improvement in your dog's coat condition and a decrease in his scratching.

Some dog owners believe that adding apple cider vinegar to your dog's drinking water will make him less appealing to fleas. If you want to try this flea-control method, add ¼ cup of vinegar per gallon of water.

Baking Soda

A paste made from baking soda and water can be an effective itch reliever on insect bites. You can dissolve a teaspoon of soda in a glass of water and use a cloth to dab the solution on your dog's bug bite for 15 to 20 minutes, or you can make a thicker paste and apply it to the affected area.

Epsom Salt

An Epsom salt foot soak can help relieve your dog's need to chew on his itchy paws. Combine ½ cup of Epsom salts with a gallon of water and soak your dog's paws for about 10 minutes. Repeat the procedure two to four times daily until your dog's paws heal.

You can also make an Epsom salt bath to help soothe your dog's itchy coat. Add a cup of salt to a tub of warm water, then place your dog in the tub. Pour the salt-infused water all over your dog's skin and rinse. Be careful not to let your dog drink any water containing Epsom salt, as it may cause diarrhea.


An oatmeal bath can help relieve a dog's itching and moisturize his dry skin. You can either make an oatmeal powder by grinding 1 cup of oatmeal in a food processor or blender and adding it to a tub of lukewarm water, or you can add the unprocessed oatmeal to lukewarm water. Let your dog stand in the tub for about 15 minutes while pouring the oatmeal-infused water all over his coat, then take him out of the tub without rinsing to give the oatmeal more time to work on his skin and coat.

For dog skin problems on the coat, you can try preparing a serving of oatmeal as if you were going to eat it, and allow it to cool. Apply the cool oatmeal to the affected areas and leave it in place for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off.

Food Additives to Try

In addition to the remedies listed above, you may be able to relieve your dog's skin problems by adding some of the following items to his diet: