If it seems like your dog is scratching all day instead of wanting to play fetch, then it's time to get a shampoo to help calm your dog's itchy skin. The best dog shampoo for itching and allergies you can find will contain soothing ingredients, like aloe, oatmeal, glycerin, and buttermilk.
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Because itchy skin is a symptom of allergies, skin infections, and even parasitic infestations, it's best to take your dog to the vet for a thorough exam if you notice that he seems to be scratching at his skin. Once you get a proper diagnosis, you can take steps to treat your dog's itchy skin, including using a dog shampoo containing skin-soothing ingredients.
Best dog shampoo for itchy skin
The best dog shampoo for itchy skin will include itch-relieving ingredients, like vegetable glycerin, oatmeal, and aloe vera. These natural ingredients help calm your dog's irritated skin by keeping it moisturized and combating inflammation. Other ingredients, like buttermilk, shea butter, and linseed oil, can also help provide some itch relief for your pup. Plus, they are safe to use with young puppies.
Stronger ingredients, like hydrocortisone and chlorhexidine gluconate, provide relief from skin inflammation and have antiseptic properties to help with any skin irritation or infections that have resulted from your dog's persistent scratching. You can find these in pet supply stores and through your veterinarian's office.
Dog shampoo for allergies to fleas
Most dogs are allergic to flea bites, and when they are infested with fleas, they will deal with itchy, irritated skin constantly. The best dog shampoo for allergies to fleas will contain insecticidal ingredients to kill any fleas on your dog's skin and coat. You'll also find ingredients included to combat inflammation, like oatmeal or hydrocortisone.
Insecticides, like pyrethrins, are commonly found in flea shampoos. These flea-fighters are crafted from flowers in the chrysanthemum family and are a little gentler on your dog's sensitive skin then synthetic permethrin. Remember to follow the directions for these types of shampoos and don't use them on very young puppies who can be sensitive to the insecticides they contain.
Best hypoallergenic dog shampoo
For dogs with very sensitive skin who suffer from environmental allergies, a hypoallergenic shampoo is a must. Hypoallergenic shampoos are typically free from fragrances, dyes, and alcohol, all of which can further irritate your dog's skin. Instead, they'll contain soothing ingredients, like vitamin E, lactic acid, and allantoin.
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that helps with the healing of skin lesions, and lactic acid is a mild exfoliant which helps keep the skin smooth and soft. Allantoin is a plant-based, anti-inflammatory ingredient.
These shampoos are meant for more frequent use than a traditional shampoo, which is why they will usually be soap-free. This ensures that they won't strip away your dog's natural oils and dry out her skin.
Using shampoo for dogs with skin allergies
Even if you use the best dog shampoo to bathe your pup, if you do so too frequently, you could actually make his skin problems worse. Frequent bathing can dry out your dog's skin and make it vulnerable to infections and hot spots. Unless you're dealing with a hairless breed that requires weekly bathing, a bath once every four to six weeks will suffice.
Soothing your dog's allergies
You might think using the best dog shampoo for itching in dogs will solve your pup's allergy issues, but unless you deal with the cause of the allergies, her itchy skin will continue to get worse. This is especially important if you're dealing with a food allergy.
Dogs with food allergies are usually reactive to a type of protein in their diet. This results in itchy skin and can only be stopped if you figure out what the offending ingredient is through a food trial prescribed by your veterinarian.
Environmental allergies to things like pollen and dust can really only be controlled with regular baths using a hypoallergenic medicated shampoo recommended by your veterinarian or immunomodulating drugs, like oral steroids.
- American Kennel Club: Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Treatment
- Drugs.com: Dermachlor HC Shampoo
- American Kennel Club: Easy Homemade Dog Shampoo
- Good Housekeeping: The 10 Best Dog Shampoos for Odor, Dry Skin, Shedding and More
- Pet Health Network: Flea Allergy Dermatitis in Dogs
- Chicago Tribune: The Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs
- Whole Dog Journal: What is Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo?
- American Kennel Club: How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?
- Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University: What Every Pet Owner Should Know About Food Allergies
- FirstVet: Diagnosing and Treating Environmental Allergies in Dogs