Best Dog Itch Relief Sprays

Updated January 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

38 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
77 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best dog itch relief sprays

Your dog is a member of the family who watches out for you, protects your home, guards your children, and offers unconditional loyalty. When your dog is suffering from a persistent itch, it can be almost as distressing for you as it is for them. To help provide comfort for you both, consider a dog itch relief spray. 

The best dog itch relief spray is safe and effective and can be applied often enough to provide relief. A product that is fast-acting, all-natural, and alcohol-free will give your dog some comfort without escalating the condition. If you can find a spray that helps heal as well as soothe, that’s even better.

For more information on why your dog might be itching and what some of the best ways to deliver relief are, keep reading. If you have an urgent situation and just need to purchase a product that can provide fast relief, consider the high-quality options we spotlight on this page.

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When a human has an allergy, it’s typical to experience itchy eyes and throat along with sneezing. When a dog has an allergy, itchy ears, skin, and feet are the common symptoms.

Why is my dog scratching so much?

Just like humans, there are many reasons why your dog may itch. Following are the most probable causes.

Parasites

Parasites are the most common reason dogs may lick, bite, and scratch. While ticks are easy to see, especially when engorged, fleas are about the size of small seeds, and mites are microscopic. The presence of any (or all) of these parasites will cause your dog to start scratching.

Allergies

A dog can be allergic to the same things that trigger reactions in humans. Food, pollen, mold, smoke, wool, soaps, and detergents can all be responsible for non-stop scratching. Since there are so many possibilities, a long process of elimination may be required to determine the culprit (or culprits).

Anxiety

In the same way that a human may develop a habit to ease anxiety, dogs may develop scratching behaviors when they are uneasy.

Boredom

Unfortunately, something as simple as boredom may be all it takes to start a dog scratching. Over time, this behavior could develop into a habit that becomes tough to distinguish from allergies.

Dry skin

Heat, cold, lack of fatty acids, and soaps can all dry out a dog's skin. When skin gets dry, it itches.

Injury

Dogs can’t tend to their injuries with eight fingers and two opposable thumbs like humans can. The only method of care for them is to lick, bite, or scratch. If your dog has only one troublesome area, inspect that location for signs of an injury such as a thorn, burr, or embedded pebble.

Hormonal imbalance

A hormonal imbalance can be difficult to diagnose because it looks very much like an allergy. Bald spots and hot spots that don’t respond to allergy treatments could signify a hormonal imbalance.

If your dog tends to only scratch from the waist forward, that may be a sign his distress is caused by food allergies.

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Key considerations

A wide variety of dog itch relief sprays exist on the market, and what works for one dog might not work for another. Unfortunately, it may take a little trial and error to find what works best in your situation. To help keep you from venturing too far down the wrong remedy path, we've listed a few key elements to consider.

Active ingredients

The active ingredient is what makes an itch relief spray effective. Some products contain a hormone such as hydrocortisone; others rely on all-natural elements such as colloidal oatmeal or tea tree oil. The path you choose is up to you.

Formula type

Besides soothing or temporarily eliminating the itch, sprays can be formulated to offer additional benefits. For instance, some brands are fast-acting, while others can actually help soothe or heal damaged skin and promote a healthy sheen. Note that not all sprays may be safe for use on open wounds. 

Frequency of application

Most over-the-counter dog itch relief sprays are mild enough that they can be used as needed. However, that doesn't mean there aren’t limits to how much spray you can safely apply in a 24-hour period. If you’re in search of a product that can be used as needed, read the fine print before purchasing.

Restrictions

A product recommended for a cat might not work or even be safe for a dog. A product that’s safe for a dog could be harmful to a puppy. Do not purchase hastily; make sure the product you select is right for your pet in every way.

Size

While many dog itch relief sprays come in 8-ounce bottles, there is no standard size. Check the product literature to confirm how large the bottle actually is.

Fragrance

Be careful when purchasing scented products. While these may be safe for many dogs, if yours has already exhibited a sensitivity to environmental elements, a scented spray could potentially worsen the problem.

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DID YOU KNOW?
Often, your dog isn't actually scratching more at night — it just seems like it because the house is quiet and you're trying to sleep. The same symptoms are usually present all day long.
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General steps for application

To keep your dog safe, fully read the label for cautions and specific instructions. If you are curious about how to apply a dog itch relief spray, the following are the general steps.

  1. If there are no signs of hot spots or injuries to the skin, it may be safe to give your dog a gentle brushing (in the direction of their fur) before application to help remove potential irritants.
  2. Unless otherwise directed, shake the bottle well before use.
  3. Hold the bottle far enough away from your dog so the spray covers a wider area, but keep it close enough so the active ingredients aren't lost to the wind. About 8 to 12 inches is a good distance for most products.
  4. Apply to the affected areas, but only spray open wounds if your vet has told you it’s safe to do so.
  5. Wash your hands thoroughly when done.
  6. If the product doesn't seem to be effective after a designated period of time or the problem persists, discontinue use and consult your vet for other possible treatment plans.

Dog itch relief spray prices

A single bottle of dog itch relief spray typically costs between $10 and $20. While it is possible to find effective products that cost less, an over-the-counter itch relief spray should not cost much more than $20. Because the price margin is so narrow, it is important to carefully consider formula type, size, and the other elements we've discussed rather than making a choice based solely on price.

If your dog has persistent, unchanging itching from season to season, that’s a sign of a food allergy.

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Tips 

While a quality dog itch relief spray can work wonders, there are a few strategies you can employ to help keep your pup from itching in the first place. Here are a few to try.

  • Mind the pollen count. If your pet has allergies to environmental triggers such as pollen, keep them indoors as much as possible on dry, windy, high-pollen days.
  • Wipedowns can help. If your dog has seasonal allergies, consider wiping them down with a cold, damp washcloth to help remove allergens that may be on the fur.
  • Brush and comb your dog regularly. This helps remove irritants from the fur.
  • If your dog scratches more at night, consider their sleeping area. Does it have any potential irritants such as wool, feathers, or dust?
  • Learn about anxiety remedies for dogs. If your dog suffers from stress, for example, consider a calming blanket or jacket.
  • Look for fleas. If your dog has fleas, treat the problem to effectively remedy the itching situation.
  • Dietary changes may help. With your vet's approval, consider altering your dog's diet to increase levels of essential fatty acids. Also, you may be able to deduce the cause of a food allergy by putting your dog on a strict limited diet (one protein and one carbohydrate) for up to eight weeks at a time. 
  • Seek a laboratory-based diagnosis. In some instances, a persistent itching problem may require a blood test to properly diagnose your pet's underlying condition.
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It’s important to figure out why your dog is itching so you can remedy the problem and not just the symptoms.

FAQ

Q. What is a hot spot?

A. A hot spot on a dog is a lesion most often created by excessive licking and scratching. When a dog licks a sore spot, it stimulates the nerve endings, which make the skin itch. After biting and scratching at the itch, the dog will lick again, creating a cycle that quickly leads to an open, weeping wound. These inflamed lesions are called acute moist dermatitis.

Q. Are hot spots contagious?

A. A hot spot can be the result of many underlying conditions. If your dog has a food or environmental allergy, the hot spot will not be contagious. However, if your dog has a hot spot caused by a parasite such as fleas, those fleas can migrate to any other canine, which, in essence, would make the hot spots (or at least the cause of the hot spots) transferable. 

Q. Are hot spots dangerous?

A. If left untreated, hot spots will become infected. Not only can the non-stop scratching cause chronic back and joint issues, the antibodies that the infections generate could impair the functionality of your dog's kidneys or lymph nodes.

Q. Where do hot spots form on dogs?

A. A hot spot can form nearly anywhere on a dog's body. It may be easily visible or hidden beneath matted fur. Sometimes, the location can help diagnose the underlying cause. For example, hot spots that only occur on the back half of a dog tend to be a sign of fleas.

 

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