As a dog owner, your best friend’s health and happiness are of the utmost importance for your own happiness. If your dog has a problem with dry skin, of course, one of the first things you need to do is speak with your vet to determine what is causing it.
Once you’ve gotten to the root of the problem, the next step is making him more comfortable, and part of the process will include finding the right shampoo. After all, some shampoos seem to actually dry the skin out, not fix the problem.
Well, we’ve done all of the hard work for you with these reviews of the best dog shampoos for your dog’s dry skin. Hopefully, once you’ve had a chance to read over the pros and cons of each product, you might just be able to find the right shampoo for your dog.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Hepper Waterless No Rinse Pet Shampoo||
|Budget Buy||Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo||
|Douxo Chlorhexidine Dog Shampoo||
|PetAg Fresh ‘N Clean Dog Shampoo||
|Buddy Wash Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo||
The 10 Best Dog Shampoos for Dry Skin
1. Hepper Waterless No Rinse Pet Shampoo – Best Overall
This gorgeously scented waterless shampoo from Hepper is full of skin-nourishing ingredients that keep your pet’s skin and coat in top condition without the hassle.
We love this foam because it is easy to use; you pump it directly onto your pet or your hands, massage it in, and brush it out! Owners can also use this soothing formula on paws to clean away muck. However, the foam is light, so while it’s excellent as a general cleanser, you might need to use a more heavy-duty shampoo first if you have a filthy pet.
There aren’t many ingredients in Hepper’s shampoo (which is a good thing), but those that do create a pH-balanced formula that’s gentle on the skin and suitable for use on any pet. The one downside to the formula we could see is the inclusion of fragrance. Adding fragrance won’t present a problem for most pets, but for some pets with very sensitive skin, it may cause irritation.
The formula contains no dyes or sulfates, and it’s soap-free, and Hepper’s foamy cleanser won’t strip the natural oils that protect their pet’s coat. Because of this gentle and hassle-free formula, made in small batches in the USA, we placed the no-rinse shampoo in our top spot as the best dog shampoo for dry skin.
2. Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo – Budget Buy
Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo is the best dog shampoo for dry skin for the money. This shampoo is gentle and made with colloidal oat flour (bran ground up with oat flour which has been proven to be soothing for the skin) and honey. Honey can make your dog’s coat shiny and healthy, and the oat flour is very good for the skin. The shampoo ingredients are 97% natural. It’s pH balanced and doesn’t contain fragrances, parabens, chemicals, sodium lauryl sulfate, and many other ingredients that are typically found in shampoos. It’s gentle enough that it won’t wash off tick or flea treatments, and it comes in a bottle that is made from 80% recycled material.
However, this shampoo’s consistency was a bit watery, and it didn’t seem to lather up as well as other shampoos on this list. This shampoo is only meant for adult dogs, so if you have a puppy, you will need to find another shampoo. Additionally, the lack of fragrance means that your dog won’t have a “pretty” smell after bath time, so if that’s an important feature for you, this might not be the right shampoo for you.
3. Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog Shampoo
Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog Shampoo is our third choice because it’s definitely more expensive than some of the other shampoos on this list, but it’s very effective. It’s designed to help several skin issues for dogs, including dry skin. It acts as an antiseptic and contains chlorhexidine and climbazole, which work to heal bacterial and fungi problems and additionally includes salicyloyl phytosphingosine for chronic itchy skin. Lipid aids in controlling seborrhea and inflammation and helps to moisturize your dog’s dry skin. If your dog’s dry skin stems from atopic dermatitis or skin allergies, this shampoo can fix the problem and moisturize the skin at the same time.
One of the biggest problems with Douxo Chlorhexidine PS is it needs to be left on your dog’s skin for at least 5 to 10 minutes, which most dogs will be unwilling to stand still for. It is also scented, which might not help if your dog already has skin issues.
4. PetAg Fresh ‘N Clean Scented Dog Shampoo
PetAg Fresh ‘N Clean Scented Dog Shampoo contains plant-based cleansers and is a reasonably priced shampoo. It is soap-free and pH balanced, which makes it a gentle shampoo that will benefit dogs with dry and sensitive skin. Because it is soap-free, you will be able to use it even if you’re using a tick or flea treatment on your dog, as it won’t wash the treatment away. The addition of vitamin E and aloe vera, as well as conditioners, will keep the coat tangle-free and shiny. This shampoo is also pleasantly scented that we found lingered for several weeks, provided your dog stays relatively clean. It lathers up quite nicely and shouldn’t irritate your dog’s eyes.
PetAg should only be used on adult dogs, and while most dog owners may love the scent, others might not appreciate it. Plus, added fragrance might sometimes irritate a dog’s skin.
5. Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo
The Buddy Wash is another great shampoo for dogs with dry skin. It’s actually a combination of shampoo and conditioner that is also alcohol and soap-free (which means that it’s made without the fats and alkaline commonly used for making soap). It contains all-natural ingredients, including green tea, chamomile, aloe vera, sage, and rosemary, and does not have any added fragrance and yet smells amazing. It has a coconut shampoo base with mint and lavender added in for a natural scent and for the benefit of a clean and healthy coat. These natural botanical ingredients and the fact that it is a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner make it an excellent moisturizing product for a dog with dry skin.
Just as a warning, while most find this shampoo very pleasant smelling, some may not appreciate the scent. It also contains wheat and should not be used on any dogs that have a wheat allergy. Lastly, it needs to be shaken before each use.
6. Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo
Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo is designed to help relieve itchiness, which can be a side effect to dry skin. It is also formulated by veterinarians. It contains a blend of safe essential oils and natural ingredients, which includes tea tree oil, oatmeal, and d-limonene (a compound taken from citrus fruits). It can wash away allergens that cause common allergies and relieves sensitive skin.
However, not every dog will react the same way, as we found that some dogs did not seem to benefit from the shampoo – it made dry skin worse in some cases. Vet’s Best is scented, which might not suit everyone, plus added fragrances can sometimes aggravate sensitive skin.
7. Paws & Pals Oatmeal Shampoo
Paws & Pals Oatmeal Shampoo is a good shampoo for dogs with dry and sensitive skin. It’s made with a variety of natural products, including coconut, aloe, and jojoba oils, as well as shea butter, rosemary extract, and oatmeal. They all work together to moisturize your dog’s coat and skin. It is reasonably priced and organic and vegan and is pleasantly scented. It is also tear-free and shouldn’t cause any irritation in your dog’s eyes, and works well to detangle the fur.
While most dog owners might enjoy the scent of this shampoo, the added scent might not be as pleasant for everyone. Plus, not every dog’s skin and coat will necessarily respond well to this shampoo.
8. TropiClean Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo
TropiClean Hypoallergenic Puppy Shampoo is designed for puppies (and kittens) ages 12 weeks and up as it’s gentle and quite suitable for sensitive skin. It’s an all-natural shampoo that is pH balanced, and it does not contain dyes, parabens, or soap. It’s good for sensitive and dry skin because of the lack of soap and cleans and moisturizes without stripping away the natural oils. It leaves a lovely scent of coconut.
Again, not all dogs will necessarily react to this shampoo the same way, and we found that it made some of the dog’s skin drier. It also didn’t lather as well as some of the others, and some dog owners might not love the coconut scent.
9. Vetoquinol Vet Solutions Dog Shampoo
Vetoquinol Aloe and Oatmeal Shampoo is reasonably priced and is formulated to help dogs with dry and itchy skin. It’s soap-free but will lather up well and gently clean your dog’s skin but not actually remove any of the important oils in the skin. It includes emollients that will help relieve any itchiness and restore moisture to your dog’s dry skin. It’s safe to use in conjunction with tick and flea treatments because it is soap-free, and it has a pleasant coconut scent.
We found that some dogs with itchy, dry skin actually started to scratch more after using this shampoo. Some may find the scent too subtle, and others may prefer unscented, particularly for dogs with sensitive skin.
10. Zesty Paws Oatmeal Anti-Itch Dog Shampoo
Zesty Paws Anti-Itch Dog Shampoo helps itchy dogs feel, well, less itchy. It contains oatmeal, vitamin E, aloe vera, almond extract, and quinoa which all are proven to work well to make your dog’s skin and coat moisturized and healthy. It provides a protective layer of moisturizer on your dog’s skin, helping alleviate dry and itchy skin. Vitamins C and E help reduce brittle fur, shedding, and hot spots. It includes aloe vera that can further soothe the skin and a light vanilla scent with a formula designed to eliminate odor.
The Zesty Paws shampoo is not hypoallergenic and contains almond extract and should be avoided if anyone in your family, including your dog, has a nut allergy. It is also not soap-free or safe to use around your dog’s eyes. Some dogs might develop dry skin or have their current dry skin worsen, and we found some dogs became itchier after use. The vanilla fragrance is hit or miss, depending on the dog owner.
Buyer’s Guide – Finding the Best Dog Shampoo For Dry Skin
If your dog has dry skin, you should speak with your vet before switching shampoos. The cause of his dry skin should be treated, and that treatment might dictate what kind of shampoo you should buy. Once you know what you’re looking for, there are a number of considerations for you before you actually purchase the shampoo.
It is a pretty common practice for dog shampoo companies to add a scent to their shampoos and conditioners. Most of us like a sweet-smelling dog, particularly when that rather pungent dog odor starts to take over your home (hound dogs, hello?). Unfortunately, some dogs might not react well to products that have had a scent or fragrance added, particularly if they have very sensitive skin or skin allergies.
If you’re concerned about your dog reacting to a scented shampoo, you will need to find another way to deodorize your dog. There are a variety of different products on the market for just this purpose. But that’s another article.
Always read the ingredients and instructions on the product before purchasing and before use. Some shampoos might need shaking up before you use them (particularly those that are all-natural), and some might not be hypoallergenic, which means your dog with sensitive skin might have a bad reaction to it. Some shampoos might not become effective until after you’ve used them a number of times, so all of this means that it’s important to read up on the product before you even buy it and always read the instructions.
Many (but not all) of the shampoos on our list are soap-free, which usually means they are gentler for your dog’s skin. However, they are also great if you’re using a tick or flea treatment as they are less likely to wash the treatment off. Just be sure to check with your vet first and follow the instructions on the treatment itself before shampooing your dog.
It stands to reason that if your pup has dry and sensitive skin, the shampoos that have more all-natural ingredients and fewer or no chemicals, the gentler it will be for your dog’s skin. Look for oatmeal (especially colloidal oatmeal), vitamin E, aloe vera, and coconut, which are all proven to help skin that is dry, sensitive, and irritated.
Our top pick for the overall best dog shampoo is the Buddy Wash – one of the only shampoos on our list with completely natural ingredients (you can not only recognize the ingredients on the bottle but pronounce them). Shampoos like this might work quite well for your dog, but they don’t necessarily work for all dogs.
If your dog has a skin condition, speak with your vet first and discuss any shampoos you’re thinking of trying. You should also try a patch test if your dog has sensitive skin to be sure he won’t have an adverse reaction before you lather him up completely.
When you start shopping for dog shampoo, it might take a little experimenting before you find the right one. If the shampoo you’re considering has thousands of rave reviews, it doesn’t mean it will work well for your dog. Some of the cheaper shampoos might typically have more chemicals, but so do some of the more expensive ones. Just be sure to research, read the instructions and the ingredients, and try one out.
So, our pick for the best overall shampoo for dogs with dry skin is the Hepper Waterless No Rinse Pet Shampoo for its price, effectiveness, and its incredible scent! The Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo for dogs gets our vote for the best shampoo for your budget, and lastly, the Douxo Chlorhexidine Shampoo is our third choice. While it is expensive, it is one of the most effective shampoos for dogs with skin conditions on the market.
Well, there you have it! The 10 best shampoos for dogs with dry skin. We hope we have made your online shopping for a new dog shampoo a little easier and that your puppers will be feeling right as rain as soon as possible.