Aqueduct Animal Hospital

2721 Balltown Road
Schenectady, NY 12309



Itching and Scratching


Sometimes we all get a little itchy. Here are a few ideas that may be able to help with itchiness.

Try diphendyramine, the active ingredient in Benedryl. Figure out your pet's weight and give 1mg of Benedryl per lb two to three times daily. For example, a 25lb dog would receive 1 adult 25mg tablet two to three times daily. For smaller pets, liquid Benedryl may be more helpful.

Treat every pet for fleas with a high quality flea and tick medication in the house, regardless if they go outside or not.

Hypoallergenic diets: Regardless of what pet store employees tell you, the diets you buy in their stores are NOT HYPOALLERGENIC. They are diets with a novel protein source (like fish, rabbit, kangaroo, etc) and a novel carbohydrate source (green peas, sweet potatoes, etc). In order to see if a new diet is effective at treating skin issues, you MUST do the following:

No other food OR TREATS besides the diet for 6-8 WEEKS.

After 6-8 weeks, if the itchiness has resolved, he/she must restart the OLD DIET for 2 weeks to see if the itchiness returns. If it returns, then the novel protein diet is working.


  • Benedryl isn't working, the skin is still red, or your pet has red bumps or pimples.  
  • Your pet is chewing and/or scratching at him/herself and making the skin red or raw.
  • There is scaling/itchiness on your dog's face, legs, feet and/or ears. This may not be caused by an allergy, and may be caused by mange.
  • Hair is falling out.



Learn about other home remedies if your pet is having vomiting and/or diarrhea problems.