All dogs need baths. But if your dog suffers from mild to severe skin allergies, finding the right shampoo can be a challenge. Not only do you want to use a formula that will ease their itching and irritation, but you also need to avoid triggering an allergic reaction in the first place.
Many dog shampoos for itchy skin feature gentle, allergen-free formulas, but the last thing you want to do is test each and everyone on your dog to see if it triggers a reaction. Instead, we’ve put together reviews of some of the best dog shampoo for itchy skin and skin allergies to help you narrow down your search.
A Quick Comparison (Updated in 2022)
The 9 Best Dog Shampoos for Itchy Skin and Skin Allergies
1. Pro Pet Works Oatmeal Pet Shampoo – Best Overall
Our favorite dog shampoo for skin allergies is the Pro Pet Works Oatmeal Pet Shampoo. This formula is recommended by vets for dogs who are allergic to food, fleas, and grass. Plus, the formula is specifically formulated to maintain your dog’s skin pH.
Each bottle contains aloe vera, oatmeal, and almond oil while simultaneously leaving out harsh ingredients like sulfates, dyes, and fragrances. This gentle dog shampoo for itchy skin includes vitamins A, D, and E for maintaining healthy skin and coat. It won’t hurt your dog’s eyes or nose and will leave their soft and clean.
While this formula is great for many dogs with skin allergies, it doesn’t work for them all. Some owners reported increased itching and dry skin after using this shampoo.
2. Vet’s Best Allergy Relief Dog Shampoo – Best Value
If you think buying gentle dog shampoo means spending a small fortune, think again. The best dog shampoo for skin allergies for the money is the Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Dog Shampoo. This formula is developed by veterinarians to be gentle on dogs with sensitive skin or seasonal allergies.
This dog shampoo works great for washing away environmental allergens like dust and pollen while also soothing red and itchy skin. It contains a blend of essential oils and oatmeal. You also won’t need to worry about this shampoo interacting with your dog’s flea and tick treatment.
One key thing to note is that this shampoo for itchy dogs contains tea tree oil, which can be dangerous to dogs in large doses. Like many dog shampoos designed for itch relief, some owners actually reported more itching after using this formula.
3. Critter Concepts Dog Shampoo – Premium Choice
The Critter Concepts Dog Shampoo is specifically designed to provide relief for itchy, irritated skin. This plant-based formula includes ingredients like shea butter, tea tree oil, and sunflower oil, along with important vitamins like E and B5.
This gentle formula is free of sulfates, dyes, fragrances, and grain by-products, which can all be common allergy triggers. This dog shampoo is concentrated, so one bottle will go a long way.
Once diluted, this shampoo is extremely thin and can be difficult to work through your dog’s coat. Some owners reported seeing no results on their dog’s dry and irritated skin.
4. BEXLEY LABS Chlorhexidine Shampoo
The BEXLEY LABS Chlorhexidine Shampoo is medicated with Chlorhexidine and Ketoconazole to help combat bacterial and fungal skin infections. These ingredients are gentle and help wash away common irritants and allergens found on your dog’s skin.
Along with treating common skin conditions like ringworm, pyoderma, and yeast infections, this gentle dog shampoo cleans the skin and fur and leaves behind a refreshing cucumber and melon scent. The veterinarian-strength formula is made in the United States with the same active ingredients as more expensive dog shampoos.
The extreme itchiness of atopic dermatitis and food allergies causes the dogs to scratch and develop secondary bacterial and yeast infections. Medicated shampoos based on chlorhexidine can help treat these infections. Unfortunately, some owners reported negative side effects after using this shampoo. Their dogs’ skin itched and became red and irritated. As with any new shampoo, it’s best to patch test this formula before bathing your dog.
5. 4Legger Organic Dog Shampoo
If you prefer bathing your dog with organic ingredients, then the 4Legger Organic Dog Shampoo is definitely worth checking out. This formula is USDA-certified and contains aloe vera, lemongrass, and coconut oil to soothe and moisturize your dog’s skin and coat. The hypoallergenic formula is free of synthetic chemicals that are more likely to irritate your dog’s skin.
This dog shampoo helps eliminate environmental toxins that can collect in your dog’s fur and trigger skin reactions. It also alleviates yeast, bacterial, and flea infestations with natural ingredients. The concentrated formula goes a long way.
Some owners dislike the smell of this shampoo and point out that it could be an issue for dogs with sensitive skin and noses. The shampoo is also very thin, which can make it hard to work with when bathing your pup.
6. Pet MD Medicated Shampoo
The Pet MD Medicated Shampoo is another medicated dog shampoo containing 2% Chlorhexidine and 1% Ketoconazole. This formula helps manage symptoms caused by bacterial and fungal infections of the skin. It can also alleviate issues like skin irritation and redness.
If your dog suffers from sores and other issues caused by their skin allergies, this shampoo can help heal their skin and relieve pain and itching.
While this formula is an excellent option for pups suffering from a variety of common skin conditions, it’s not specifically formulated for dogs with skin allergies. It may treat the side effects of skin allergies, but it likely won’t do anything to remove the cause of these symptoms. Chlorhexidine fights the secondary infections developed due to constant scratching. It can also dry your dog’s skin.
7. Strawfield Pets Chlorhexidine Shampoo
If you’re searching for dog shampoo with a higher concentration of Chlorhexidine, the Strawfield Pets Chlorhexidine Shampoo is a great option. This shampoo contains 4% Chlorhexidine which helps clean wounds, fight skin infections, and alleviate irritated skin. It can also be used to clean your dog’s ears.
This formula will soothe your dog’s skin while leaving them smelling fresh and feeling clean. The bottle comes with a convenient pump top, which makes bathtime a little bit easier (especially if you have a squirmy pooch!).
As with most medicated dog shampoos, this product does have some downsides. The formula can leave some dogs with dry and brittle fur while doing little to alleviate their itchy or irritated skin. Chlorhexidine will stop the development of secondary infections. Some owners also disliked the smell this formula left on their dogs’ coats. It also does not lather well.
- Alternatively, you could try: Home Remedies for Dogs with Skin Allergies
8. Fieldworks Supply Moosh Dog Shampoo
The Fieldworks Supply Moosh Dog Shampoo is formulated with cruelty-free ingredients that will help soothe your dog’s irritated skin. This formula is hypoallergenic and is completely sulfate- and preservative-free.
This organic formula contains shea butter, argan oil, aloe vera, and other moisturizing, gentle ingredients. It also contains bentonite clay, which naturally draws out impurities, fungi, and bacteria to leave your dog’s coat clean and free of irritants.
Despite the hypoallergenic formula, there is still a chance that dogs with sensitive skin will react to this shampoo. The bottle is quite small for the price. Also, not all users enjoyed the scent.
9. BlueCare Labs Chlorhexidine Shampoo
Finally, the BlueCare Labs Chlorhexidine Shampoo is another veterinary-strength dog shampoo formulated with 4 percent Chlorhexidine. This formula fights infections present on your dog’s skin and soothes itching.
This pet shampoo removes dirt and pollutants trapped in your dog’s coat and leaves behind a fresh, clean scent. The paraben- and soap-free formula is gentle on dogs who already have irritated or damaged skin.
This medicated shampoo is also clorhexidine-based so it helps treat secondary skin infections. This is the reason why results seem to be very hit-or-miss. Some dog owners saw excellent results while others didn’t notice a difference at all. The consistency is difficult to work through your dog’s coat. Anti-itching effect is only noticeable with very frequent use.
Related Read: 10 Best Dog Shampoos – Reviews & Top Picks
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Dog Shampoos for Itchy Skin
While choosing the right dog shampoo for allergies is an important step in managing their skin, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Understanding a bit more about your dog and its allergies is key to managing its symptoms.
Signs of canine skin allergies
Skin allergy symptoms will vary between dogs, but some of the most common signs include:
- Face and paw rubbing
- Excessive licking
Like humans, dogs can experience allergies for a variety of reasons. It’s also extremely common for allergic reactions elsewhere in the body to manifest on your dog’s skin.
Common allergy triggers for dogs include fleas, food, and other environmental triggers. Many dogs also experience seasonal allergies. If symptoms emerge after a change in your dog’s diet, bedding, or the season, you may be able to narrow down the source fairly quickly.
When to see your vet
If you notice any new signs of skin allergies in your dog, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your vet. While the right shampoo might minimize your dog’s symptoms, you first need to discover the root cause of these symptoms.
During your visit, your veterinarian will be able to confirm whether or not your dog’s symptoms are caused by allergies. They may also be able to tell you if these allergies are caused by your dog’s diet, environmental factors, or fleas.
Along with changes to your dog’s grooming regimen, your vet might suggest other treatment options. These suggestions are based on your dog’s individual health and should always take priority over generic suggestions you find online or elsewhere.
If you’re looking for a gentle dog shampoo for allergies, our top pick is the Pro Pet Works Oatmeal Pet Shampoo. This formula uses only gentle ingredients and is packed with important vitamins. It also balanced the pH of your dog’s skin and won’t hurt their eyes.
For dog owners shopping for a gentle shampoo on a budget, we suggest the Vet’s Best Allergy itch Relief Dog Shampoo. This shampoo is formulated by veterinarians to wash away allergens and won’t interfere with your dog’s flea and tick treatment.
Last but not least, the Arava Natural Medicated Dog Shampoo is great for owners looking for a premium shampoo that will alleviate their dog’s skin allergy symptoms. It’s formulated with all-natural ingredients and moisturizes your dog’s skin and fur. Plus, it has a pleasant scent and a balanced pH.
Caring for a dog with skin allergies is never easy, but we hope our reviews have helped you find a gentle shampoo that will offer some relief for your pup’s symptoms. Let us know which shampoo works best for you and your dog in the comments below.
Featured Image Credit: oritslama, Pixabay