Dog grooming is not just a duty towards our loyal friends, but a way to bond and spend quality time with our dogs, make them feel loved, and most importantly - keep them healthy.
However, the grooming needs of our furry friends differs depending on their health conditions and skin type. Using the best anti itch shampoo for dogs with skin allergy issues can help resolve various problems related to their skin sensitivity.
That is why there are different types of dog shampoos to cater for each pup’s needs. In this article we focus on medicated shampoos, non-medicated shampoos, and shampoos with conditioners.
Remember using human shampoo on your dog is not recommended, as it contains harsh chemicals that may exacerbate itching, hot spots, and other irritation in dogs.
Our Top Dog Shampoo for Skin Allergies Picks
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Different Types of Dog Shampoos
The various types of dog shampoos available on the market can be categorized into three broad categories:
- Medicated shampoos.
- Non-medicated Shampoos.
- Shampoos with conditioners.
Medicated Dog Shampoos
Medicated dog shampoo is the type of shampoo that your vet will prescribe for your furry friend to assist them in fighting health problems like skin irritation, dry skin, greasiness, and even bacterial infections.
What differentiates this dog shampoo from other types is the ingredients that the manufacturer uses in their product, and the skin problems they want to solve for you dog.
6 Types Of Medicated Dog Shampoo
1. Anti-Microbial Shampoos
Just like the name suggests, this shampoo helps in dealing with microbes like bacteria and other micro-organisms. These elements often stick to the dog’s skin and coat causing all sort of skin allergies. Since microbes can cause serious health conditions, using Anti-Microbial shampoo neutralizes and helps to deter their growth before they cause a bigger health concern.
2. Anti-Fungal Dog Shampoo
One pain in the ass for dogs is having itchy and burning skin. For some dog breeds like the Bulldog, Dachshund, and Beagle with flabby skin and long ears - some of their body parts encourage the growth of fungus by harboring moisture and warmth. With the use of an anti-fungal shampoo you will help to proactively eliminate fungus, and offer a relaxing feeling to your dog's skin.
3. Anti-Pruritic (Itching) Shampoo
Have you ever noticed a dog that walks a little, sits and scratches its neck, carries on walking and after a little while sits again and scratches another part of the body, and goes on and on like this? Such a dog is likely suffering from skin irritation caused by an allergy, parasites like ticks and fleas, or foreign environmental elements like weeds. Washing your dog with Anti-pruritic shampoo helps to eliminate the urge to scratch.
4. Anti-Parasitic Dog Shampoo
We all know that fleas and ticks are neither friendly to dogs or us. The side-effect, other than the actual bite of these parasites, is severe scratching which can lead to damage of the skin and fur. A severe mite infesation without treatment can even lead to mange. A quality Anti-parasitic shampoo assists in repelling and killing the parasites on the dog’s skin, however it's also important to introduce flea and tick medication as prescribed by your vet if your dog is suffering from a parasitic infestation.
5. Anti-Seborrheic Dog Shampoo
This type of shampoo helps in combating the discomforts and skin disorders as a result of greasy skin, dandruff, and dry skin. These conditions are most prevalent in dogs with health-related problems and mostly shedding dogs. There are a few different active ingredients which feature in different varieties of this shampoo, and you should consult your vet to determine the right one for your dog's skin condition. With the use of Anti-seborrheic shampoo you can help reduce these types of skin conditions on your furry happy friend.
6. Hypoallergenic Shampoos
Most hypoallergenic dog shampoos have ingredients like aloe, oatmeal, and vitamins. These ingredients help to reduce the frequent release of dander and reduction of itching. When using this shampoo you’ll notice the improvement of your pup’s health and cleanliness. This will help your dog develop a beautiful, shiny coat.
Non-Medicated Dog Shampoo
A non-medicated shampoo is a type of dog shampoo that does not offer treatment benefits. Non-medicated shampoo contains detergent to clean away dirt, offers different nostalgic scents, and conditioning agents such as shea butter, or aloe vera for a shiny coat. However they can also contain prevention ingredients that deter parasites like ticks and fleas.
5 Types Of Non-Medicated Dog Shampoo
- Natural Shampoo
- Whitening or Brightening shampoo
- Flea & Tick Shampoo
- Allergy relief shampoo
- Waterless shampoo
Conditioners Or Shampoos With Conditioners
Like human shampoos that allow hair to relax, soften, and de-tangle, dog shampoos with conditioner work in the same manner. They allow you to groom your dog with ease and also help maintain their coat shine and cleanliness. You will also combat skunky smells and keep your dog healthier!
If you own a dog like a Maltese or Poodle, you’ll love this type of shampoo. For dogs with short coats like a Pointer or Chinese Crested Hairless, although it will help maintain their fur and repel fleas, it will not provide as much benefit compared to use on long-haired breeds. So with short haired dogs you are generally better off using non-medicated shampoos.
Just like non-medicated shampoos, this type of shampoo is great for puppies because it does not contain harsh ingredients that can harm your puppy's tender skin.
Two Types of Shampoos with Conditioners
- Puppy Shampoo
Best Anti Itch Shampoo For Dogs - Reviews
1. Pro-Pet Works Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo (Top Pick)
At the top of our list of best anti-itch shampoos for dogs is the Pro Pet Works.
Pro Pet oatmeal shampoo is specially formulated to meet the varying needs of your dog's food allergy, flea bites, and grass.
Aptly named the 'Natural Shampoo', Pro Pet Works Oatmeal is designed from 100% natural and bio-degradable material, so it`s non-toxic and won`t cause any harm to your dog.
Specifically, the Aloe Vera and almond oil is therapeutic and is ideal for dry, itchy and sensitive skin.
The smooth texture of this formula allows soft and gentle brushing, as well as efficient de-tangling of your dog's fur, saving your regular trips to the groomer.
A soap-less and detergent free shampoo and conditioner, Pro Pet Oatmeal is tough on dirt but gentle on your dog, making their bath time a relaxing experience.
Like many of the premium shampoos, Pro Pet Oatmeal also doubles up as pet deodorizer and will keep your pet smelling fresh all day long.
Vet approved, this natural oatmeal shampoo is rich in organic components and is devoid of artificial additives such as alcohol, added colors, and fragrance. Often, additives in shampoo are a leading cause of skin irritation for dogs, and so this particular shampoo avoids causing your otherwise healthy dog any skin issues.
Again, it`s pH-balanced, and what we love most about Pro Pet Works Oatmeal shampoo is its effectiveness in combating odor and dirt, repelling of fleas, and minimizing itching.
2. Paws Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo
Are your four-legged furry friends itching constantly?
If so, Paws Hypoallergenic shampoo, ideal for both cats and dogs, will provide them with soothing relief from their itching.
Available in a new tear-drop package, Paws Hypoallergenic still offers the effective cleaning power as the former packaging - the formula inside has not changed.
Like Pro Pet shampoo, Paws Hypoallergenic is an all-natural shampoo devoid of toxins or allergen-causing ingredients.
Safe for daily use, Paws Hypoallergenic contains a blend of powerful and effective ingredients that will cater to the needs of your dogs` sensitive skin.
Ingredients in this dog shampoo include:
- Aloe Vera, which helps with moisturizing and soothing skin.
- Chamomile extract, which is essential in improving the skin texture.
- Rosemary and honey extract, which contains healing properties as well as providing a natural and appealing aroma that lasts.
With regular use, the best of mother nature's ingredients help in eliminating common allergy issues ranging from hives, redness, soreness, and inflammation - to rashes on your dog's skin.
Most importantly, this shampoo is epi-sensitive, meaning it`s able to repel and even remove the allergy-causing irritants such as fleas and forms of dermatitis. The epi-sensitive property implies that the shampoo transfers allergy blockers to the dog`s skin every time you bath them with Paws Hypoallergenic shampoo.
3. Vet's Best Hypo-Allergenic Dog Shampoo (Readily Made Hypoallergenic)
An ultra-gentle shampoo, the Vet`s Best Hypoallergenic is made for dogs with sensitive skin.
The Vet`s Best will not only clean your dog`s fur, but it nourishes the skin and repairs brittle and worn out coats, helping to restore their natural lustre.
Using a blend of key natural ingredients such as Aloe Vera and Vitamin E formulated by veterinarian's, the Vet`s Best offers a natural remedy for your dog`s skin irritation. It also provides comfort and relives your canine from constant itching and rubbing.
Designed from a soap-free formula, the Vet`s Best is gentle at the very least, and offers a “no-tears” experience that is uncommon with other shampoos with a 'tickely' soap formula.
What we love most about VB Hypoallergenic shampoo is that it can be used individually or as a complement to other products. This dog shampoo does not cause any reaction or irritation when used in conjunction other topical flea or tick products.
Besides skin revitalization and smoothing, Vet`s Best does not need the use of a conditioner, meaning that this shampoo naturally improves the feel, appearance, and manageability of your dogs' hair.
In essence, Vet`s Best Hypoallergenic dog shampoo reduces friction between strands of your dogs' hair, which more easily allows you to detangle and comb them.
4. Fieldwork Natural Dog Shampoo (Best Non-Medicated)
Pertinently named the Natural Dog Shampoo, this formula is 100% all-natural and organic, devoid of preservatives, sulfates, and chemicals. With gentle and caring cleaning natural elements, there's no need to get worried about the side effects of artificially engineered shampoos.
A major highlight of this product is the magical interplay of the plant-based oils and Bentonite Clay, a pre-historic curing agent.
Bentonite clay which is infamous for its healing abilities, naturally binds with bacteria, toxins, fungus, and other heavy metals - then draws them away from the skin.
When combined with plant-based oils, the Bentonite Clay blend will leave your dog`s skin looking squeaky clean, calm and soothed, free of hives, hot spots, or itchy spots.
For a more refined skin texture, the Shea Butter plus Aloe Vera combo does the trick; it will leave your dog`s skin soft and moisturized, leaving their hair looking soft and silky.
Worried about messy dandruff, flaking or dermatitis? The anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic power of the Neem and Argan oil will take care of dandruff.
Fieldwork Natural Dog Shampoo also contains essential oils, giving it superior performance that leaves your pet smelling naturally great without having to use perfumes or deodorants.
5. Dvm Pharmaceuticals Hylyt Shampoo For Pets (Best Pharmaceutical)
Dvm Hylyt is a superb hypoallergenic shampoo for dogs with sensitive skin.
Gentle on the skin, and soap-free, DVM is designed using the optimal pH balance for the perfect skin treatment.
The inclusion of emollients in DVM Hylyt's constituents is crucial for controlling flaking and scaling caused by seborrhea and other skin-related issues.
Besides flaking and scaling problems, the emollients are essential for moisturizing your dog`s hair and preventing dehydration of the skin.
What we love most about the DVM Pharmaceutical is that the formula is non-stripping and non-drying, and may even be of benefit to topical tick and flea treatments.
A Guide to Using the Best Anti Itch Shampoo for Dogs
Correct Use of Dog Shampoo
Not every shampoo is good for your dog. Apart from human shampoos, DIY Shampoos (homemade solutions) often do not meet health standards guidelines since its ingredients are not certified.
Let’s look at some of the reasons for using a dog shampoo:
If all you need is to remove dirt from your dog`s skin and coat, then choose a gentle shampoo that contains moisturizing ingredients to stop your pet`s skin from drying out.
Most dog shampoos fall under the category of non-medicated shampoo, and shampoo's with conditioners. Some of the best natural dog shampoos are the Pro-Pet Works Natural Oatmeal and Fieldwork Natural Dog Shampoo.
Pet odor is yet another menace that dog owners have to bear with.
If your dog has a bad odor emanating from their skin and coat, you should consider using shampoo with natural deodorants such as Aloe Vera extracts, oatmeal, and omega 3 fatty acids. An example of such a dog shampoo is the Paws Hypoallergenic, suitable for both dogs and cats.
Is your dog sensitive to dust, pollen, grass, flea bites, spores, and other potential triggers?
If so, you need to bathe them regularly with hypoallergenic shampoos like Paws Hypoallergenic and Vet's Best Hypo-Allergenic Dog Shampoo.
If your pet is plagued by flakiness, dandruff, or greasiness, they might be suffering from a bacterial or fungal infestation.
Again, like the environmental allergies, you need to bath them using hypoallergenic shampoos.
Frequency of Bathing a Dog With Skin Allergies
Generally, a healthy dog should take fewer baths - once a week is enough. This is because regular dog bathing strips out the natural oil from their skin and fur, leaving dry skin. However, if your furry friend has a severe skin problem then they may require a regular bath.
Depending on the level of infection, the frequency you’ll bath your dog will vary. For instance:
Remember to always consult your vet for clinical advice and use prescribed dog shampoo.
How to Bath a Dog with Skin Allergy Problems
There are four "Must Observe" steps for successful bath time for a dog with skin allergy:
What this essentially means, is to first have a 50:50 shampoo water ration. Then, by using a good amount of warm water, soak and rinse your dog’s coat until it is full of water and drenched with shampoo.
To make it even more enjoyable for your furry friend, use a hose on low pressure - especially on a warm summers' day.
A dog with a skin problem is likely to have mood swings. So taking a shower or bath might not be one of those activities on their to-do list. Note, if you cause pain when washing your dog, then they will associate baths with pain. And that is exactly what you don’t want, Right?
Another thing, detergents in soaps, might be lethal to sensitive areas like eyes, ears, and other hot spots. So, in such areas, use a soft cloth or sponge to gently clean them. Also, don’t forget to wash their paws and manicure the toes.
Rinse the coat thoroughly
Ensure not to leave soap foam on their body as it can cause skin irritation and pain. Soap can be an irritant when left for longer periods. So, make sure to use a good soft brush or cloth to rinse your pup. Don’t forget to take good care of ears, under-pits, and other vital areas.
Drying And Trimming
Ensure you wring your dog’s fur before towel drying or blow-drying. If you must use a hairdryer, make sure it’s at a distance from the dog and you are not using a hot air setting. You don't want to induce skin irritation.
Another thing, most dog’s fur dries fairly well without the need of a dryer.
Lastly, for the infected areas on your dog skin, you’ll have to trim the fur to expose the skin so you can encourage faster drying. The only downside to this, your dog will not be able to thermo-regulate as efficiently. However, with care you’ll be able to help your dog recover quickly and grow back a healthy coat.
What is the Best Shampoo for Dog Allergies?
The best shampoo will depend on an array of factors, however the general rule is to consider non-toxic shampoos. Steer away from human shampoos or homemade shampoos.
However, if you want to go with homemade solutions, make sure the ingredients come from your vet or someone you trust and has already used it successfully - especially a breeder.
But when it comes to the ingredients of the best anti itch shampoo for dogs, consider the following ingredients.
Manage your dog's skin allergy by getting them the best anti itch dog shampoo available. Also, when bathing your canine friend, follow the "must-observe" four steps to give them a gentle but healthy bath, or as directed by your veterinarian.
Always remember to consult your vet for clinical advice and treatment, as they will help you solve your dog's problems quickly.