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How to Choose a Dog Shampoo

Updated on March 8, 2012

A good shampoo will also keep your dog's coat shiny

Different shampoos for different needs

FURminator deShedding Shampoo for Dogs and Cats, 16 Ounces
FURminator deShedding Shampoo for Dogs and Cats, 16 Ounces

FURminator deShedding Shampoo helps promote healthy skin and shiney topcoat


Dogs just as humans, may have different types of skin. There are those with dry skin that tend to be itchy, there are those with oily skin and then there are those with normal skin. Of course, to each their own shampoo! The best way to choose the ideal shampoo for your dog is to have your dog assessed by a veterinarian. He or she would be able to recommend special shampoos for dogs with skin products. The best next person to ask, is your dog groomer which has relevant experience in dealing with dogs with skin issues.Following are some general recommendations for shampoo types for dogs featuring different types of skin.

-Dogs with Dry, Itchy Skin

Some dogs get particularly dry, itchy skin in the winter.These dogs may require special products that will sooth their skin. A good type of shampoo is an oatmeal shampoo which is rich and soothing, helping relieve some of the itchiness and irritation. However, dogs with dry skin should not be bathed too much, or their skin will be stripped from essential oils that are important Dogs may benefit from a humidifier being used during the winter months. Shampoos containing lanolin may be helpful as well.

-Dogs wih very Itchy Skin

If your dog is scratching a lot he may have an allergy to something in his diet or in the environment. He may benefit from a hypoallergenic diet prescribed by your vet ,however, on the outside you may want to try a shampoo containing hydrocortisone. Hydrocortisone, relieves inflammation and often this ingredient is combined with aloe vera which is soothing, in order to provide maximum benefits.

-Dogs with Oily Skin

Seborrhea is the term depicting oily skin that often has an unpleasant odor and dandruff. Special medicated shampoos may be necessary. Your veterinarian may prescribe shampoos that contain benzoyle peroxide, salicyclic acid, sulfur and urea compounds. Often it helps to clip the hair to ensure that the topical medications are properly absorbed through the skin.

-Dogs with Normal Skin

In this case, you have a vast array of choices. However, even though your dog's skin is healthy and shiny, it is best to stay away from all shampoos that contain chemicals such as perfumes or dyes. If your dog has long hair you may want to invest in an effective detangler to make brushing a breeze.

-Dogs with Fleas

There are some shampoos that claim to remove fleas and ticks. These may remove the actual fleas on your dog but there will still be fleas in your dog's environment. It is important to be very careful in keeping these shampoos away from the dog's eye and mouth. These shampoos need to be used with caution and rinsed off well as they often contain Phyrethrins, which can be toxic if ingested. Consult with your vet for proper dosages and to check if these products are recommended for your dog.

-Show Dogs

There are several products for dogs that will show up at the ring. These products are designed to make coats appear shiny and glossy. There are also special whitening shampoos specifically designed for dogs with white coats.


There are many delicate formulations designed specifically for puppies. A ''tearless'' shampoo may be helpful to avoid the puppy from getting shampoo in its eyes and therefore, associating bath time with something unpleasant.

Whatever shampoo you use to help your dog's skin, stay away from the temptation of using human shampoo. Dogs have a different PH in their skin, much lower than humans, therefore, human shampoo may cause annoying irritations.


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    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 8 years ago from USA

      Thanks. Yes, I actually have two Rottweilers, and two kittens they are perfect models for my articles!

    • l1blonde profile image

      l1blonde 8 years ago

      What a beautiful dog. Is this your dog? Oh by the way nice hub.