Best Dog Shampoo for Dry Itchy Skin, Allergies, Fleas, Bad Odor

Choosing the best dog shampoo is not always easy. There are a number of things to consider before deciding which one to use. You need to ensure your pets get the ideal care.

TreeHousePuppies aromatic dog scrubs can be the ideal solution for their fur and skin problems. As long as you apply it correctly, and keep an eye out on your pets’ reaction during the application time.

The best dog shampoo should make him smell great but not dry his skin out. Your choice may also change depending on whether your dog has sensitive skin or fleas. Here is more how to choose the best shampoo for dogs with allergies and other skin problems.

Best Dog Shampoo

What should I do to ensure I get the best shampoo for my dog? Talk to your vet. This not only guarantees you a clean awesome smelling dog. Common dog skin problems are considered and effectively taken care of.

Is Human Shampoo Bad for Dogs?

The most common reason given for advice against using human shampoo for dogs is PH levels. Human shampoos are considered too acidic for dog use. This means that if you use them on a dog, the acid mantle on their skin will be disrupted. This will create an environment where bacteria and viruses can easily grow.

Barbara Bird, a professional dog groomer performed a study on dog and human shampoos. She compared 45 human shampoos to 60 dog shampoos.

Most human shampoos are formulated in the acidic range as expected. Dog shampoos, on the other hand, had a PH of above 6.5. Barbara also found out that 40 out of the 60 dog shampoos had a PH of 6.5 or less- a range similar to that of human shampoos.

There is no scientific proof that human shampoos are bad for your dog. At least not because of the PH. This means that while it may be safe to use human shampoo for your dog, it is not the most ideal or effective for dog needs.

Here are the reasons why;

  • Dog shampoos are designed for different skin and coat types
  • Dog shampoos are formulated to soften hair and prevent shedding
  • Human shampoos are designed for regular cleaning. They may not clean well a month old dirt on dog’s skin.
  • You may have to use human shampoo several times to get your dog clean.
  • You are less likely to have human shampoos with whitening and strongly deodorizing properties.

Dog shampoo should generally range around 7 which is neutral PH. When buying shampoo check the label for PH level. Ensure that there are no added colors or fragrances especially if your dog has sensitive skin.

  • Go for dog shampoo with natural moisturizers such as aloe vera, vitamin E and Tea tree oil.
  • Consider dog shampoos with natural fragrances such as eucalyptus, chamomile, and lavender.
  • Some dog shampoos double as skin repellents.
  • Again read the labels carefully to pick out ingredients.

Types of Dog Shampoos

Dry Shampoos for Dogs

These are formulated for occasional use and are packaged in powder form. Dry shampoos come in handy when time or availability of a full bath is not possible. They a quick and effective way of deodorizing your dog.

Dry Shampoo for Dogs
Dry shampoo for dogs comes in powder form

Dry shampoos are usually a blend of cornstarch, boric acid, talc and baking soda. Sprinkle the shampoo on the dog’s coat. It will absorb excess oils and dirt. Make sure to brush out the powder. It can cause itching and dry skin.

No Rinse Shampoos for Dogs

These are packaged in a spray form or in a pump that dispenses the shampoo directly to the coat. Dispense the shampoo and work it to lather. Use an absorbent towel to remove lather and dry him up.

No-rinse shampoos are not intended for regular use. Do not use them to replace water baths. They do not offer the cleansing and conditioning properties of a water bath.

Best Dog Shampoo for Dry Skin, Itchy Skin

Dry skin is one of the commonest cause of itching in dogs. Dogs from areas with low humidity tend to have a dry coat and shedding. Try checking his skin under the coat. The skin may be flaky with dandruff. He will scratch violently at the slightest stimulation even touch. For some reason, this scratching seems to get worse at night.

When bathing dogs with dry skin, use a moisturizing shampoo. Use all natural hypoallergenic shampoos for those with itchy skin. They help to soothe skin and promote healing of areas with hot spots.

Go for shampoos with Shea butter, tea tree oil or sunflower oil. These will moisturize dry skin, soften the coat and leave your dog smelling great. Use colloidal or oatmeal dog shampoo.

Things to do to help a dog with a dry coat and itchy skin

  • Sometimes, use plain water to bath your dog.
  • Take your dog to a professional groomer
  • Stick to moisturizing shampoos with humectants
  • Avoid blow dryers- towel dry or air dry
  • Brush your dog’s coat daily
  • Feed your dog with moist foods
  • Use probiotics
  • Add supplements and oils to meals

If your dog has severe itching, take him to the vet. He will diagnose and prescribe antihistamines such as Benadryl.

Best Dog Shampoo for Fleas

Flea’s bites cause irritation and itching. Mediated shampoos help to get rid of fleas, ticks, and other parasites. Get pet flea shampoo to improve the quality of life of your dog. Medicated shampoos have a few drawbacks. They contain pyrethrum which is may aggravate dryness and further itching. The chemical is also not tearless making it not ideal for pups.

Look for shampoos with natural ingredients such as oatmeal that help soothe, condition skin and also repel pests.

Best Dog Shampoo for Sensitive Skin

Most of the times, dogs with skin problems and allergies go unnoticed. People make the assumption that skin irritation and rash will show through areas that shed hair. Dogs with sensitive skin often get blemishes, rash, and flaky skin.

Dogs lick, suck or chew on the damaged irritated skin to get some relief. Soothing and calming irritated dog skin should be a priority when getting products for his bath. Buy a shampoo that is 100% natural with no added colors or fragrances.

The best dog shampoo for sensitive skin should be enriched with mild natural cleansers and moisturizers. Here are examples:

  • Epi-Soothe Shampoo
  • Natural Animal Solutions Sensitive Shampoo
  • Pet Head Feeling Flaky and Dry Skin Shampoo
  • Vet’s Best Hypoallergenic Shampoo
  • Fido’s Aloe Vera Shampoo
  • Paw Sensitive Shampoo
  • Dermcare Natural Shampoo
  • Vetex Shampoo with Tea Tree Oil

Best Smelling Dog Shampoo, for Odor

Using the wrong shampoo may stop or worsen canine bad odor. It is very important to know which shampoo to use to get rid of that skunk smell. You may be using the right dog shampoo for skin, coat, fleas yet your dog still smells. A shampoo with the right ingredients will help to completely remove bad odors.

Good smelling dog shampoos not only neutralize bad smells, they leave your dog with a pleasant smell. Most products have essential oils such as neem, peppermint, and eucalyptus that give your dog a pleasant smell that lingers.

  • Here are examples of best smelling dog shampoos
  • Oxford Dog Shampoo
  • Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo
  • NaturalPro Clean Holistic Shampoo with Oatmeal

Baby Shampoo on Dogs

Can you use baby shampoo on a dog? It’s a general recommendation not to use human shampoos on dogs. However, some veterinary dermatologists recommend using baby shampoo such as Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo for dogs with sensitive skin. It is mild and ideal for dog owners concerned about using harsh soap products.

Baby Shampoo for Dogs
Baby Shampoo for Dogs

Many baby shampoos are fragrance-free and tear-free ensuring you have hassle free bath time with your pet.

The cost of dog shampoos may be unbearably higher. Baby shampoo is cheaper.

Examples of Baby Shampoo for Dogs

  • Johnson’s Baby Shampoo
  • Aveeno Baby Wash and Shampoo
  • Bronner’s Baby Shampoo
  • Aquaphor Baby Gentle Wash and Tear Free Shampoo
  • Crazy Dog Baby Dog Shampoo ( Not really a baby shampoo)

Whenever you use a new product on your dog, always watch out for signs of negative reactions.

Best Homemade Dog Shampoo

Homemade dog shampoo can be made easily in the comfort of your home. It is easy to make and budget friendly. Note that these recipes are meant for one-time use. This means that you can experiment with different recipes every time you want to bath your dog.

Homemade Shampoo for Dogs
Homemade Shampoo for Dogs

Most ingredients in common homemade dog shampoo recipes can be bought from the grocery store. Baby shampoo or dish soap are used as a binding agent for the ingredients.

Here are a few recipes of the best homemade dog shampoos:

Best Dog Shampoo for Fleas


  • ½ a cup of water
  • ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup of baby shampoo

Mix the ingredients and use place in a spray bottle to minimize waste.

Homemade Dog Shampoo for Dry, Itchy or Sensitive Skin

Dogs that have very sensitive, itchy or dry skin get relief need a shampoo that will offer relief. Ingredients such as Aloe Vera and Glycerin are soothing to help relieve itchy skin and moisturize dry skin.


  • A cup of water
  • A cup of baby shampoo
  • 2 tablespoons of Aloe Vera Gel
  • 1/3 cup of glycerin
  • A cup of apple cider vinegar

Homemade Shampoo for Dog Odor


  • ¼ cup of baking soda
  • 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 teaspoons of baby shampoo
  • 2 teaspoons of febreeze
  • 1 quart of tepid water

Ingredients to Avoid

  • Mineral oils from petroleum
  • Parabens
  • DEA or DEA cocamide
  • Sodium Laurel Sulfate

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