No matter the severity, allergic reactions are nasty. If your dog is struggling from dry skin or itchy skin, you know they are in pain! No more worries. Compiled below are resources for picking shampoos to help with those nasty aches and pains as well as some of the top hypoallergenic shampoos to use.
Know your dog before buying a shampoo
What to look for in shampoos
When you are looking for hypoallergenic dog shampoo, it’s essential to make sure you take multiple factors into account to get the very best shampoo for your dog.
Your dog’s difficulties
The different shampoos can be used to treat different things. Maybe your dog just needs a shampoo that doesn’t cause an allergic reaction. Alternatively, perhaps she needs something to moisturize her dry skin. Perhaps, he’s losing his hair from a nasty, itchy rash that needs soothing. Pay attention to what each shampoo is designed for and use that to help make your decision.
Your dog’s age
A puppy has different needs than a senior dog. For this reason, you need to be careful that you get a shampoo that works for the age of your dog. Puppies, especially, need gentler formulas than those used for older dogs. It also helps your puppy to avoid any additional eye and skin irritation.
It’s essential to make sure that the shampoo you end up using works well with anything else you may have your dog on. There are multiple shampoos that are soapless and therefore work with flea treatments.
There are plenty of animal owners who have both cats and dogs, and you might be one of them. If you are, it might be helpful to check which animal species it works on. Some shampoos are designed for dogs alone. Others were created to be used for dogs, cats, rabbits, and other furry animals. Using a shampoo that can be used for multiple species may save you money and hassle if you only have to worry about one shampoo instead of several.
It’s essential to make sure that you can see all of the ingredients in each shampoo. Especially with a dog that has allergies, it’s important to make sure that everything in the shampoo is safe. Different dogs may be allergic to different things
When you get into hypoallergenic dog shampoos, you’ll find that a lot of them are eco-friendly. If you find two shampoos that work well for your dog, consider using the eco-friendly shampoo. This reduces the strain on the environment while making sure your dog has the comfort and care that it needs.
Organic and natural
Many of the artificial ingredients used in shampoos are full of chemicals that cause even more inflammation, irritation, and dry skin. If your dog is already struggling with these symptoms, it’s important to make sure that the shampoo you’re using isn’t adding to the problem. Check for shampoos that use certified organic or natural ingredients.
Let’s face it. Some scents are terrible. However, and more importantly, your dog may be allergic to some of the ingredients used for different scents. It’s important to pay attention to which ones are used and that they will work both for your nose and your pup’s.
Dogs with heavy fur may have difficulty with it tangling. Enter two-in-one shampoos. These are combined with shampoo to make bath time shorter for your energetic pup, but still give you the detangling aspect of conditioner. It also saves you the hassle of looking for a hypoallergenic conditioner for your dog.
If you are using a hypoallergenic shampoo, it’s also essential to use a hypoallergenic conditioner. You don’t want to undo all the work the shampoo just did with a conditioner that isn’t right for your dog’s allergies or skin difficulties. Ask yourself the same questions that you would for your dog’s shampoo:
- Will it work with my shampoo?
- Does it have anything my dog is allergic to?
- Does it complete the task I need it to (be hypoallergenic, soothe itching, moisturize their skin, etc.)?
How often should I give my dog a bath?
How often you should bath your dog depends on three main factors: how long their hair is, what their activity level is, and what allergies or skin conditions they have.
Dogs with longer hair hold more dirt in it. Unfortunately, that’s just the sad truth. Because of that, they must have a bath more often to get that dirt and gunk out.
If your dog is an active dog who loves being outside, jumping in leaves and digging in the dirt, you will need to bathe them more often. An inside dog who’s favorite activity is curling up on the couch will not get dirty as quick as a mud-loving pup.
A dog with allergies and skin conditions will need more (or less, sometimes) washing too. Different skin problems require different treatments. Discuss this with your veterinarian for the best course of action for your dog.
Professionals advise that you wash your dog at least once every three months but not more than every other week (unless you have a gentle shampoo). Washing too much can strip away the natural oils their skin produces and cause irritation and dryness.
There are two main types of dermatitis: environmental dermatitis and nutritional dermatitis.
Environmental dermatitis is due to your dog’s interaction with the environment around them. If you see your dog licking or chewing at their skin to the point that it’s opens a patch of skin, make sure you call your vet immediately. This can quickly lead to infection. It’s crucial to get ahead of it before it causes even more problems.
Nutritional dermatitis is caused by improper nutrition. It’s essential that your dog has an adequate amount of meat, vitamins, and supplements. A balanced diet is critical: they can’t have too many treats! It’s also important to remember that your dog is not a vegetarian.
Fleas, ticks, and mites
None of these little creatures are good for your dog! If you find evidence of them, use a shampoo designed to drive them out. If it won’t go away, discuss it with your vet. Your dog may need a prescription medication to destroy the pests. There are also medications that you can use to proactively keep them away during the summer months when they are most active.
This is one main reason why dogs visit the vet. It can be hard to find the source of the allergies and why they are happening. However, working with your vet, you use a little bit of detective work and figure out what is causing it in your dog. With that knowledge, you can avoid it, and the difficulty should go away.
Canine Atopy are allergens that your dog breathes in. Some examples include pollen, dust, and mold. These can be difficult to avoid, but with your vet’s help, you can find medicines to ease your dog’s reaction to them.
Drug and Food Allergies
Food allergies happen when your dog eats food with an ingredient in that causes your dog’s body to create a defense against that ingredient. This is not limited to food, but to anything that your dog eats, including drugs.
It may take a little bit of work, but you can usually find out which food is causing the problem. Some common foods your dog might be allergic to are wheat, soy, corn, eggs, or chicken.
These reactions can be fixed by finding the allergen and then switching to a different allergy-friendly variety of dog food that doesn’t have that ingredient in it. Shortly after switching, the allergic reactions should begin to clear up.
It’s essential to note that food allergies and food intolerances are not the same thing. Food allergies have symptoms like skin problems and itching. Food intolerance has symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting. As Canine Journal explains, “Food allergies in dogs are like a human who goes into anaphylactic shock after eating something with peanuts in it. Food intolerance is like a human who gets an upset stomach any time they eat spicy food.”
If your dog is having severe reactions to food, make sure to discuss it with your vet to make sure there isn’t an underlying issue that needs to be resolved. It could be a symptom of something worse, and the sooner you have it checked out, the better the outcome will hopefully be.
Some allergic reactions are caused by the contact of that allergen with your dog’s skin. An example of this would be poison ivy–the oil on your skin is what causes the reaction. If your dog touches an allergen, make sure that you wash him or her with allergy relief shampoo as quickly as possible. You might also have to call the vet about any skin damage that might have been caused.
If you know that your dog has a contact allergy, do your best to remove it from their environment so that you don’t have to worry about potentially severe reactions.
Now that you know what to look for in a dog shampoo, here are some of the top products on the market. Each of them is highly rated and recommended by professionals. However, only you know your dog’s specific problems and what kind of shampoo you need to solve them.
For your reference, here is a quick overview of the products we’ve reviewed. They are discussed in more detail below.
- Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo for Dogs — a plant-based solution to dog allergies that can be used as many times as necessary to ease your dog’s discomfort.
- Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic and Antiseborrheic Medicated Shampoo for Dogs — coconut-based cleanser that you can use for all your furry friends.
- Pro Pet Works All Natural Dog Shampoo and Conditioner — a two-in-one shampoo using organic aloe vera and almond oil and 100 percent biodegradable and recycled materials.
- Wahl Dry Skin & Itch Relief Pet Shampoo for Dogs — professional, leading brand shampoo and created from soothing oatmeal formula; also comes as waterless shampoo.
- 4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo — shampoo that uses organic essential oil blends for an utterly natural cleansing, soothing, and moisturizing bath.
- Tropiclean Oatmeal and Tea Tree Pet Shampoo — medicated shampoo that will ease any itching and inflammation your dog might have.
Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo for Dogs
This shampoo can also be used as often as needed to give your dog the comfort they need from their allergies. You don’t have to be concerned about it drying out their skin or causing them more discomfort. This shampoo is here to help your dog, not make it worse. It also works with other products to give your dog a complete treatment, head to toe to mouth and ears, for their allergies.
- This shampoo uses plant-based ingredients.
- It will not disrupt or affect topical flea or tick products.
- It can be used as often as needed to soothe your dog’s allergies.
- It combines with other products to give your dog a complete treatment for their allergies.
- The manufacturers of this shampoo do not recommend it for nursing or pregnant dogs.
- This shampoo is not recommended for cats.
Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic and Antiseborrheic Medicated Shampoo for Dogs
This shampoo can be bought two different ways: either as a medicated shampoo or as a hypoallergenic shampoo. This gives you the ability to choose whichever one is best for your dog. There is also the option to buy it in one gallon or 16-ounce bottles. If you find that you like it, it could be helpful to buy it in bulk, so you never have to worry about running out.
- This shampoo comes as either medicated or hypoallergenic shampoo to give you what you need the most for your dog.
- It uses a coconut-based cleansers.
- It can be used on both cats and dogs.
- It uses premium, vet-grade ingredients for high-quality, soothing relief for your dog.
- Multiple people have reported that their dogs are allergic to it and that it causes severe reactions.
- Multiple people have reported that it makes their dog’s skin condition worse rather than better.
Pro Pet Works All Natural Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
This shampoo is both a shampoo and conditioner. No more buying two products when you can just buy this one! This two-in-one shampoo uses organic almond oil and aloe vera to soothe and comfort your pet through any allergies they may be having. Aloe vera is nature’s effective relief for keeping skin hydrated. Almond oil is full of natural Vitamin E. This keeps your dog’s skin cells healthy and protected from UV radiation. It also helps your dog’s skin repair itself.
- It is both shampoo and conditioner.
- It is made out of products that are 100 percent biodegradable and recycled materials.
- All of their ingredients are neither toxic or alcoholic.
- It can be used for both cats and dogs.
- It can be used with any flea treatments your dog might be on.
- It doesn’t have any detergent, soap, or sulfate products in it.
- It is safe for frequent use–use as often as your dog needs.
- It has a 100 percent money-back guarantee.
- Multiple people have reported that it has given their dog an allergic reaction.
Wahl Dry Skin & Itch Relief Pet Shampoo for Dogs
They use a higher concentrate of sodding coconut agent, meaning that you can use less of it to do the same work! This causes your shampoo to last longer and save you money. Just a little bit of this shampoo will go a long way.
- It has a balanced pH and has no alcohol, paraben, or PEG-80.
- It uses an oatmeal formula and has a coconut and lime verbena scent.
- It also comes in a No-Rinse, waterless shampoo.
- It operates under a less is more philosophy, saving you money.
- Wahl is a highly regarded brand within the grooming community.
- Multiple people have reported that it gave their dog an allergic reaction.
4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo
This shampoo proudly uses 100 percent natural, USDA-certified, essential oils. They list all the ingredients on their shampoo bottle. Here are the ingredients as listed by the manufacturer: “Saponified organic oils of jojoba, olive and coconut, natural essential oil blend of rosemary and lemongrass, rosemary extract and organic aloe vera.” Everything is biodegradable and created from sustainable sources. It naturally repels fleas with lemongrass essential oil. Their holistic blend is safe for pets of all ages, from puppy to senior!
- It is made out of natural ingredients.
- There was no animal testing.
- It has no artificial fragrances, colors, or preservatives.
- It has no parabens, MEA, DEA, sulfates, PEG, DMDM hydantoin, or detergents.
- All of their ingredients are listed and not toxic!
- Multiple people reported that it gave their dogs an allergic reaction.
- Multiple people reported that the smell of the shampoo was too strong.
Tropiclean Oatmeal and Tea Tree Pet Shampoo
This medicated shampoo can be used to soothe and relieve your dog’s dry, inflamed, and irritated skin. It uses salicylic acid and tea tree to combat flaking, dandruff, and scales. Oatmeal and Vitamin E is used to soothe and moisturize your dog’s skin. It was designed specifically for dogs.
- It is safe for daily use.
- It can be bought in 20 ounces, 1 gallon, or 2.5 gallons increments.
- It comes in 100 percent biodegradable packaging.
- They carefully source their ingredients.
- It is paraben and dye-free.
- It contains an anti-itch formula to help your dog as comfortable and happy as possible.
- Multiple people have reported the packaging is weak and the lid had easily broken off when they tried to use it.
- Multiple people have reported that it caused their dog an allergic reaction.
There you have it: some of the top dog shampoos on the market. Be sure to carefully consider each option with the needs and allergies of your dog. Doing so will give you the best experience when using the shampoo.
In the case of significant allergies, make sure to consult with your vet on the best products for your dog. It’s vital that none of the ingredients are in any way harmful to your pet.
Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for your dog shampoo:
- Does it have anything in it that my dog is allergic to?
- Does it complete the task I need it to (be hypoallergenic, soothe itching, moisturize their skin, etc.)?
- Is it within my budget?
- Is it environmentally friendly?
With those questions answered, you are on your way to finding the perfect hypoallergenic shampoo for your dog!