Yes! But let’s learn why and if they’re the right option for your pup!  

What causes itchy skin in dogs?  

It’s important to first understand why your dog is itchy, most commonly it is due to allergies, dry skin, or skin infections. Probiotics can be a great part of a treatment plan to help with issues like these. Excessive itching and scratching, ticks, fleas, cuts and abrasions are a more serious issue and need consultation with a vet first.

Narrowing it down:

Dogs who have itchy or irritated skin are normally reacting to something in their environment or to certain foods. We recommend narrowing down the options to find the culprit and removing it. This can include things such as:

an illustration of common environmental allergens for itchy dogs
  • Plants
  • Cleaning products
  • Yard sprays
  • Diffusers
  • Deodorants.  

Read more about why your dog might be itchy here. While working towards identifying and eliminating allergens from your pet’s environment, introducing probiotics can help assist with skin issues (1).  

If your dog is currently on medication or has recently been prescribed antibiotics, they may have experienced side effects such as hives, skin irritations or a rash and possibly a yeast infection. Because of this, we recommend adding a probiotic to their diet following medication to help strengthen their stomach lining, as well as build up the bacteria they have lost and to help calm down their itching and any other side effects (1).  

Understanding your dogs Gut Microbiome:  

gut microbiome

Probiotics offer the gut a variance in bacteria, the more gut bacteria species your pup has, the stronger their immune system becomes. Probiotics are designed and work to improve system function, benefitting your pet when they’re suffering from any immune-related issues. Probiotics and probiotic rich supplements work to benefit your pup and improve multiple aspects of their health, improving their immune system function may help in calming down or getting rid of certain skin issues and itchiness (2). Learn more about probiotics and pet health here.  

Probiotics work to help in digestive function by helping the stomach in breaking down food and absorbing nutrients, they also assist in releasing lactic acid. So how does this help itchy skin? Your dog is less likely to have skin irritations when they are receiving all the nutrients they need and their body is able to produce everything it needs to support itself, such as oil to moisturise their skin. Lactic acid increases intestinal acidity, disease-causing bacteria and pathogenic microbes cannot survive in a highly acidic environmental, removing this from your pups gut means there is less they’re fighting against and less impacting their allergies and skin conditions (3).  

How Big Dog Probiotics Support Itchy Skin:  

Big Dog Soothe & Support Probiotic Supplement

Our Soothe & Support Probiotic is formulated to support digestive health, boost the immune system & improve skin and coat condition. This supplement is developed with 7 unique probiotic species and 5 beneficial digestive enzymes to balance the gut microbiome, assisting the immune system in working more efficiently. This combination of ingredients is more important than them individually as they work together for greater efficiency.  

However, it's still important to note exactly what is helping your pups’ itchy skin and why we’ve chosen certain ingredients.  

Key ingredients that help with itchy skin:  

  • Enterococcus faecium works to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli. (5)
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus has been shown to reduce the likelihood of allergies in dog (5)
  • Bifidobacterium longum may help to prevent certain allergies (5)  
  • Chlorella helps prevent chronic disease and detoxify your dog's body, which are both great ways to boost your dog's immune system. Chlorella contains nutrients that directly promote healthy skin and coats. The antioxidants, fatty acids, Vitamins A and C found in Chlorella can stimulate collagen synthesis. Collagen is a protein that gives your dog’s body structure, it’s also a main component in making their skin and coat healthier. (5)  
  • Marshmallow Root is an anti-inflammatory that lowers itchiness, redness and swelling from inflammation.  
  • Colostrum helps manage inflammation that causes rashes, itching, and discomfort for your dog. Colostrum also helps manage leaky gut, which a common cause of allergic reactions in dogs. (7)
  • Fulvic acid naturally detoxes, flushing out pesticides and pollutants, while helping balance the biological processes involved with itchy skin. (8)  

Raw feeding and itchy skin:  

While probiotics are a great addition to your dog’s diet, your pup may still need further support in improving their skin condition. Providing them will the nutrients they need from a high-quality diet will see immense improvements in their immune system which can suppress skin conditions and itchiness. Our raw diets are full of probiotics and work in conjunction with a probiotic powder to offer your pet the best support, read more about probiotic foods and probiotics here.

It is worth considering if your dog has a food allergy that is causing sensitivities, if you think this is the case, read more about an elimination diet here to help.  

We know that good health starts in the gut, so a high quality diet is important to support our dogs’ immune systems. A highly processed diet can put pressure on a dog’s immune system which can cause them to itch. It’s also possible for a dog to have a food allergy; if you’ve ruled out the other culprits and you suspect that your dog has a food allergy, you should chat to your vet or a qualified animal nutritionist to diagnose and manage this.

Our final piece of advice: give probiotics the time to work, it might take a few weeks to notice a significant change.

  1. Marsella, R. (2016). What’s new in canine atopic dermatitis? Retrieved 22 January 2024.  
  2. Ahren, K et al. (2012). Early exposure to probiotics in a canine model of atopic dermatitis has long-term clinical and immunological effects. Retrieved 22 January 2024.  
  3. Rostaher, A et al. (2022). Comparison of the Gut Microbiome between Atopic and Healthy Dogs—Preliminary Data. Retrieved 22 January 2024.  
  4. Sivamaruthi, B. (2021). Influence of Probiotic Supplementation on Health Status of the Dogs: A Review. Retrieved 22 January 2024.  
  5. Fairgrieve, M. (2012). The Natural Way For Dogs And Cats: Natural treatments, remedies and diet for your pet. Retrieved 22 January 2024.  
  6. Ungerm J. (2023). The Health Benefits Of Marshmallow Root For Dogs. Retrieved 22 January 2024.  
  7. DuBourdieu, D. (2019). Colostrum Antibodies, Egg Antibodies and Monoclonal Antibodies Providing Passive Immunity for Animals. Retrieved 22 January 2024.
  8. Dougall, C. (2021). The Dirt On Humic And Fulvic Acid For Dogs. Retrieved 22 January 2024.