Best Dog Shampoo for Dry and Itchy Skin

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In a rush and just want my recommendation?  I think the TropiClean Dog Shampoo is a great choice.

Dogs having an occasional scratch is normal. Little bits of debris get caught in their coats, or something they have brushed past has caused them to feel an itching sensation. 

The warning bells should start to ring if your hound is scratching or licking incessantly, or pawing at their skin. This is the time to start having a good look at them, particularly where they’re scratching, but also check everywhere on their body for causes of irritation.

This article will explore the signs you should look for if your dog has an itchy skin condition. It will outline the many reasons for dogs having dry and itchy skin, when you should see your vet, and how you can help ease the symptoms of your dog’s skin condition with a suitable shampoo.

In this article, I’m reviewing the following dog shampoos for dry and itchy skin.

5 Best Dog Shampoos For Dry and Itchy Skin Reviewed

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic is a fast-acting, medicated shampoo for dogs over 12 weeks old. Manufactured by Synergy Labs in the USA, this is an effective product for itchy skin, dermatitis, seborrhea, mange and other parasitic or bacterial infections. 

The active elements include coal tar, salicylic acid, and micronized sulfur, all natural and non-toxic ingredients. There are no dyes, soap, or parabens. The addition of oatmeal & allantoin help to hydrate your dog’s skin and promote healing.

Pros:

  • Fast-acting
  • Veterinary recommended
  • Uses natural ingredients
  • No dyes, soaps or parabens
  • Affordable
  • USA manufacturer
  • Will not remove topical flea treatments

Cons:

  • Strong coconut odor
  • Unsuitable for puppies less than three months old

TropiClean Dog Shampoo

TropiClean Oatmeal Medicated Shampoo is specially formulated with oatmeal, tea tree, papaya, vitamin E and aloe vera to exfoliate, moisturize and condition the skin and coat. It hydrates and soothes your dog’s itchy skin. Tropiclean is also enhanced with beta hydroxy to unclog pores and reduce inflammation. Natural salicylic acid eliminates the flaking, dandruff, and scales associated with seborrhea.

Tea tree oil has been used extensively to treat human skin conditions, and this has led to its use in veterinary skin care. It should not be swallowed by dogs, but in small concentrations up to 1%, tea tree oil is safe for washing dogs.

This USA made product has a pleasant odor, is paraben, soap and dye free, and doesn’t wash off topical flea products. Not for use on dogs under 12 weeks old. 

Pros:

  • Fast-acting
  • Uses natural ingredients
  • No dyes, soaps or parabens
  • Affordable
  • USA manufacturer
  • Will not remove topical flea treatments
  • Cruelty-free product
  • Pleasant odor

Cons:

  • Unsuitable for puppies less than three months old

Wahl Dry Skin & Itch Relief Shampoo for Dogs

The Wahl Itch Relief Shampoo is made in the USA, and contains purified water, cleanser from coconut oil and coconut fatty acids, coco glucoside, pearling agent, vegetable glycerin, de-colorized aloe vera, oatmeal extract, fragrance, freshness assurer, FDA approved colors. 

This coconut lime verbena scented shampoo hydrates dry skin, cleans dirty coats, and provides relief from itching. It is alcohol free, paraben free and allergy friendly, being made from plant derived ingredients, which are easy on dog’s skin.

Wahl has a higher concentration of coconut derived wetting agent, which means you don’t have to use as much as other dog shampoos. A little bit goes a long way and lathers up easily without leaving a residue after rinsing.

Pros:

  • Economical
  • Uses natural ingredients
  • No dyes, alcohol or parabens
  • Affordable
  • USA manufacturer
  • Will not remove topical flea treatments
  • Trusted brand for over 50 years
  • Pleasant odor
  • Suitable for all ages

Cons:

  • May not be effective on all dogs

Burt’s Bees for Dogs Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo

Burt’s Bees Formula is cruelty free, and made with no soaps, sulfates, colorants, essential oils or fragrances. It’s a hypoallergenic shampoo that gently cleans and freshens your dog’s coat without drying out their skin.

Made in the USA with all natural ingredients include skin-moisturizing shea butter and coat conditioning honey. This shampoo is very mild, making it safe for dogs of all ages and will not wash off topical flea & tick treatment.

Being a mild cleanser and freshener, this shampoo will not irritate your dog’s skin, but it may be of limited benefit for dogs already suffering from itchy skin.

Pros:

  • Economical
  • Uses natural ingredients
  • No soaps, sulfates, colorants, essential oils or fragrances.
  • Affordable
  • USA manufacturer
  • Will not remove topical flea treatments
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Very light scent

Cons:

  • Not effective for established skin conditions
  • Watery, and does not lather up well
  • Packaging may leak

Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Dog Shampoo

Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo is veterinarian formulated with a blend of natural ingredients and essential oils including oatmeal, d-limonene (one of the most common citrus aromatics in nature) and tea tree oil. 

You can use this formula as often as necessary to soothe the irritation caused by allergies and sensitive skin, without drying out your dog’s skin or affecting topical flea and tick control products.

This USA made shampoo is paraben free, with no chemical dyes or artificial colors.

Pros:

  • Uses natural ingredients
  • No parabens, dyes or colors
  • Affordable
  • USA manufacturer
  • Will not remove topical flea treatments
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Very light scent

Cons:

  • Thin consistency
  • Ineffective for some dogs

Guide To Buying Dog Shampoo For Dry and Itchy Skin

The skin is the largest organ of the body and fulfills many important functions. It is a multi-layered structure, vital in maintaining aspects of your dog’s health by providing physical protection, regulating body temperature, allowing sensory perception, production of vitamin D, and many other  tasks related to secretion and excretion.

Dogs may suffer from skin conditions which can be treated by a simple, regular grooming routine. But it is essential to see your vet if your dog starts incessantly scratching, chewing or licking their skin, as more serious health issues will need to be ruled out, or treated appropriately.

A Note On Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has been used extensively to treat human skin conditions, and this has led to its use in veterinary skin care. It should not be swallowed by dogs, but in small concentrations up to 1%, tea tree oil is safe for washing dogs.

What Causes Dry and Itchy Skin on Dogs?

Parasites

The most common external parasites are fleas and ticks. Fleas bites are irritating for all dogs, even if they don’t have allergies. For those dogs who do, the flea saliva that is produced when they are biting your dog’s skin, causes an allergy response and subsequent dermatitis. There are many good products available which are formulated to kill fleas, and to prevent further infestation. Check these flea collars, sprays and topical drops for more detailed information.

Poor Diet

Apart from food allergies, a low-quality diet can result in skin and coat changes on your dog. Dull, dry coats and flaky skin may be signs that your dog isn’t getting enough nutrients. It’s a good idea to learn how to read and interpret the labeling on your dog’s food packaging.

Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies are cyclical, so every summer when there’s lots of pollen, grass seed and mold spores you may notice your dog scratching more often than usual. Always check for grass seeds embedded in your dog’s skin, especially round the paws, faces and ears.

Household Cleaning Supplies

If you wash your dog’s bedding in harsh chemical detergent, it may cause skin irritation. Similarly if you bathe your dog with shampoos that they are sensitive to, their skin may become dry and itchy.

Bacterial and Fungal Infections

One of the more common skin infections in dogs is a yeast infection. This often affects the ears and paws. Impetigo is another common bacterial infection, and folliculitis is a very common condition whereby bacteria causes inflamed hair follicles.

Other Conditions 

There are many causes of dermatitis including respiratory and food allergies. Mange is a skin disorder caused by tiny parasites called mites. Compulsive, relentless licking of a single area can cause localized dermatitis.There are also systemic disorders that can cause dermatitis type symptoms, so it’s essential to have your dog checked by a vet if you see any signs of skin inflammation.

Symptoms of Dry Skin on Dogs

  • Scratching, licking, and nibbling at the skin 
  • Rubbing on floor and furniture
  • Dandruff
  • Scaly or discolored skin
  • Scabs, bumps and sores
  • Rashes
  • Blisters
  • Ringworm patches
  • Bald spots

How To Check If Your Dog Has Skin Problems?

The best way to check is to closely inspect the whole of your dog’s body. Separate sections of the hair with your fingers, making sure to overlap a little so you don’t miss anything. This will reveal any parasites, flea dirt or skin lesions. Check for all signs and symptoms, paying close attention to any areas your dog has been scratching. Flea excrement is reddish black, and a little like tiny grits. Placed in water or on a damp paper towel, the feces dissolves, producing a reddish brown color. This is due to the blood content in flea poop.

Is It Safe To Use Shampoo On Dogs?

Firstly, you should never use human shampoo on your dog. They are not formulated for the unique pH of dog skin, which is more alkaline than human skin. Human shampoo may be full of artificial fragrances, colors and other chemicals which can worsen the problem you are trying to eliminate.

Look for a good shampoo made specifically for dogs which contains natural ingredients. Avoid harsh soaps, parabens (preservatives), fragrances or dyes. My preference is for products which are made in the USA using locally sourced ingredients.

It’s important to note that not all dog shampoos are safe for cats. Always check product labels.

How To Help Your Dog Enjoy Bath Time

  • Give yourself plenty of time for bathing your dog. It’s important to maintain calmness.
  • Brush your dog before shampooing to remove dead hair, dirt, and anything else they’ve collected.
  • Check the water temperature to be sure it’s slightly warm but not hot, and never cold.
  • Use a soft stream of water to thoroughly wet the coat.
  • If it’s the first time you’ve bathed your dog, go slowly at first. Wet a part of their leg, then stop, praise them, and keep going.
  • Once the dog is wet to the skin, apply the shampoo to the coat and massage it right down to the skin.
  • Avoid getting shampoo in the dog’s eyes, mouth, nose, and ears.
  • Rinse the shampoo out with warm water, several times. Keep rinsing until you’re sure there is no shampoo residue.
  • Use a dry towel or two to give your dog a good rub, all over.
  • If it’s warm outside, let them dry in the sun. Be sure it’s not too cold, especially for little dogs.

Unless a shampoo or other medicated fluid is specifically prescribed by a vet for our dog’s skin condition, we can really help our hounds by bathing them with a good quality, gentle shampoo which will help ease the symptoms of dermatitis.

Conclusion

These are all excellent, natural shampoos for helping our dogs stay clean, fresh and itch-free. Dog product manufacturers in the USA are making an effort to deliver safe, natural health formulas for our hounds. We, as dog parents, demand the best quality for our beloved family members.

The shampoo that stands out for me is TropiClean Dog Shampoo. Specially formulated with natural ingredients to be fast-acting on itchy skin, so my dog doesn’t have to suffer any longer than necessary. It leaves the skin hydrated and the coat with a nice scent, which lasts longer than many shampoos. Cruelty-free products always come out on top for me, and this is an effective, USA made, trusted product.

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