A Review of the 4 Best Dog Shampoos for Itchy Skin

Best dog shampoos for itchy skin bulldog standing in suds getting soaked with hand shower during bath

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There is nothing worse than listening to your beloved pup scratch and scratch all day long because they are just so incredibly itchy.

Since they obviously can’t use words to tell you why they are so itchy, it is difficult to determine the exact cause of their itchiness. First, do a thorough examination to make sure they don’t have a parasite such as fleas, mites or ticks.

If you didn’t find anything obvious like a foreign object, healing wound or the above mentioned parasites, they have something else that is making them itch.

According the to AKC, there could be several reasons including: genetics, parasites, allergies, hot spots or even over bathing. In any regard, there are a few paths you can take.

For the most peace of mind, you should always take your dog to the veterinarian. But if you prefer to try home remedies first, here are some of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin.

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care

Photo courtesy of Chewy.com

One of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin, Veterinary Formula Clinical Care shampoo specially medicated to help with dry, itchy skin because it contains ingredients like salicylic acid and coal tar in addition to colloidal oatmeal.

These ingredients are used specifically to treat a variety of issues like: bacteria, fungi, yeast infections, allergies and general dry skin.

As one of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin, it is veterinarian recommended and is safe to use twice a week.

It’s paraben-free, which is excellent since parabens are know to cause contact dermatitis in dogs, which as you can guess, causes itching.

What We Like:

  • Paraben-free

What We Don’t Like:

  • A 16 ounce bottle isn’t going to go far with twice weekly washings on a bigger dog.
  • Also, this may not be suitable for dogs with extra sensitive skin since it addresses so many different types of conditions.

Honeydew Lavender Oatmeal Pet Shampoo

Another one of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin, Honeydew Lavender Oatmeal pet shampoo is formulated specifically for dry and itchy skin on dogs.

However, it is not necessarily effective on other conditions that can irritate a dog’s skin.

It works to moisturize the skin and prevent it from drying out. It is made for dogs of all sizes and ages so you don’t have to buy multiple shampoos for your different dogs.

It also includes lavender in the ingredients which is a deodorizer to rid the dog of any odors or dirt. It is a very gentle shampoo with many natural ingredients.

One of the best shampoos for itchy skin, a wonderful feature of this shampoo is that it is a tearless shampoo so you don’t have to worry about irritating your dogs eyes they get wiggly while bathing.

What We Like:

  • Because the ingredients are so natural, it is a very gentle shampoo which makes it very versatile and one of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin.
  • Good for puppies or elderly dogs.
  • Can be used for the dogs with extra sensitive skin.
  • A unique feature of one of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin, the soothing lavender in the formula also makes your dog smell really good for several days after their bath.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Because this is formulated specifically for moisturizing the skin, it won’t combat any of your dog’s skin conditions that aren’t related to just dry skin such as bacteria or fungi (yeast).
  • This is a very gentle shampoo which makes it safe for all age dogs, so it might not be strong enough to effectively stop the itching your dog is experiencing.

Tropiclean Medicated Itch Relief Pet Shampoo

The next of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin, the Tropiclean Medicated Itch Relief pet shampoo is a good option for trying to relieve your pet’s itchy skin.

It is a very natural formula that is meant to exfoliate and hydrate your pets skin, providing them relief from itchiness in their skin. Even though it is one of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin, it is safe for both dogs and cats twelve weeks or older and is made from natural ingredients.

It contains oatmeal and tea tree oil which are good for moisturizing the skin and preventing further itchiness.

Tea tree oil is believed to be both antibacterial and antifungal. Also, it has been known to be soothing for insect bites.

What We Like:

  • This shampoo is made from natural ingredients so you can be sure you aren’t soaking any chemicals into your dogs fur or skin.
  • It is gentle enough for sensitive skin as well due to the nature of the ingredients.
  • It also addresses both the skin and the fur which is not something most shampoos do.
  • A unique feature of one of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin, it exfoliates the skin, which is also not something many other shampoos do.
  • Exfoliating the skin will help get rid of any dead skin that may be causing itchiness in your dog, rather than just cleansing the skin like so many other shampoos do.

What We Don’t Like:

  • This shampoo is made for both dogs and cats, so it may not account for any factors that are in only dog’s skin and not cat’s skin.
  • It is more of a general shampoo and only provides hydration and moisturization of your animals skin. If their itchiness stems from an infection or allergen, this shampoo will not address the infection nor provide resistance the allergen.

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Zesty Paws Oatmeal Anti-Itch Dog Shampoo

Photo: Chewy.com

The last of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin that we recommend, is Zesty Paws Oatmeal Anti-Itch Dog Shampoo because it is a natural product and it has good reviews.

The ingredients include, Vitamin E, Aloe Vera and oatmeal, which are all intended to help soothe your animals itchy skin and prevent it from staying flaky and dry.

Also, it is scented with natural vanilla bean extract to help with any normal odors or those caused by skin irritation.

Because it is natural, it is safe for sensitive skin and can be used daily and on other dogs that don’t have skin issues, which is why we think it is one of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin.

However, it is important to note that you must follow the wait times of any flea product before using Zesty Paws Oatmeal Anti-Itch Dog Shampoo.

What We Like:

  • As one of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin, it is an natural shampoo so you can use it safely on all of your dogs, whether they have sensitive skin or not.
  • Has simple ingredients that have been known to be soothing for itchy skin.
  • Yummy scent

What We Don’t Like:

  • Contains tree nuts and not hypoallergenic
  • Recent accidental mix up of salmon oil in place of shampoo has lowered reviews and left some fishy smelling dogs in its wake

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How Often Should I Bathe My Dog With Itchy Skin?

The answer to this varies somewhat depending on a couple factors.

The first factor to consider is what kind of dog shampoo you are using. Even with the best dog shampoos for itchy skin, some manufacturers recommend using it two to three times per week when you initially start and then washing them less as their skin gets better.

Some of them will recommend using it just once or twice a week. Make sure you read the label of your dog shampoo to see what the manufacturers recommend and go from there.

In general, for extra itchy dogs, it is recommended to wash them once or twice per week with a soap free shampoo made just for dogs.

You want to make sure the shampoo contains oatmeal or aloe, as those are both ingredients that will help combat the itchy skin and make your dog more comfortable.

If the itchiness is really bad, you can get a specially medicated shampoo from your vet to help with the skin condition.

If your dog is not super itchy and it is only the occasional itchiness, the general rule of thumb is to wash your dog every four weeks with one of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin.

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You can still use a soap free shampoo with oatmeal and aloe in it though to further keep their skin moisturized and hydrated and prevent any new itchiness from occurring.

Why Is My Dog So Itchy But Has No Fleas?

There are a couple reasons your dog might be itchy if he doesn’t have fleas. He could have a variety of allergies, just like a human can! He could also have mites or an infection.

One allergy your dog may have is to his food. There might be a certain ingredient in his food that he is allergic to and will become itchy as a result.

You can try changing his food from one product to another, making sure to check the ingredients in both and seeing what changes so you know for the future.

If you try a couple foods and the itchiness doesn’t seem to be stopping, you can ask your vet and they can provide you with a therapeutic food to give the dog to see if that helps.

However, it might not always be an allergy from the food you feed your dog.

Dogs can also be allergic to environmental things like pollen, grass, or dander. When dogs are allergic to things like this, there isn’t a whole lot you can do.

Your best bet is to use one of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin to help combat the itchiness and keep their skin as moisturized as possible during allergy season.

Another reason for your dog being itchy is that they could have mites.

Mites are tiny bugs that live in the fur and bite the skin, causing itchy spots to appear. They are very hard to see and will need a medicated shampoo that is specifically formulated to fight them.

Mites can even lead to mange, which is very unhealthy for your dog and can be transmitted to humans.

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Last, your dog could simply have some sort of infection.

Dogs can get yeast infections, bacterial infections, and even fungal infections. All of these can make your dog really itchy. These are also very hard to see if you are not a trained vet.

Asking your vet to prescribe a medicated shampoo or selecting one of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin that address all the possibilities will be your best bet in getting an infection taken care of and stopping the itch.

Along with bathing your dog, you will want to brush your dog according to the type of fur they have. Whether your dog has long or short fur you will also need to brush with the correct brush.

Is Coconut Oil Good For Dogs Itchy Skin?

Yes! Coconut oil is good for dogs itchy skin. It is a great moisturizer and it will help prevent flaking.

You can bathe your dog first using one of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin, so they are nice and clean.

Then, simply use a tiny bit of oil and rub it into your dogs skin, just like you would apply lotion to yourself. You only need a small amount since you don’t want an oily dog running around your house potentially making a mess.

Rub the dog’s coat first and then start massaging gently to work it through the fur and into the skin. Since it is a natural product, you don’t have to be worried if your dog decides to lick themselves right after you apply it also.

Coconut oil is not only great for their dry skin, but it will also help relieve any itchiness from things like flea bites, hot spots, and even bee stings.

Additionally, it also will help with any damaged skin from your dog scratching themselves. You can even mix it up to put on their paws if you see they have dry paws or are licking them a lot.

It is recommended to leave the coconut oil on your dog for about ten minutes to let it soak all the way in and then bathe your dog using a gentle soap free shampoo. This will help lock in the benefits of the coconut oil and it will add the benefits of whatever shampoo you are using for your dog.

The Bottom Line On the Best Dog Shampoos for Itchy Skin

While there are many reasons your dog could be itchy, there are many ways to solve the itchiness and relieve your dog from their scratching.

One solution is using one of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin recommended above to suit your dog’s needs.

However, be sure to carefully read the different shampoos and what they do and aid against and make your selection.

Be sure to follow the directions on the label and take care to keep your pet nice and moisturized to prevent recurring itchiness or discomfort.

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