Best Dog Shampoo for Itchy Skin

Itchy, dry and flaky skin can affect dogs of all breeds and left unchecked, it can severely impact a pup’s quality of life. Constant scratching and biting can lead to skin breakages, which can then lead to infection and make the problem even worse. Luckily, there are some excellent dog shampoos available designed to calm and soothe your dog’s itchy skin, which we’ll look at in this blog. We’ve included reviews from customers, along with information about how each of these dog shampoos work to help you choose the right one for your pet.

Diagnosing the Cause of Your Dog’s Itchy Skin

Before we delve into some of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin, it’s important to note that, depending on the cause of your dog’s itchy skin, shampoo may not solve the problem on its own. It often works best in conjunction with advice and treatment from your vet.

For example, an allergy to flea bites causes intense itching that will require parasite control to resolve, while an infection may require antibiotics. Always see your vet in the first instance to find out the root cause of your dog’s skin condition so that they can be treated effectively.

That said, dog shampoo designed specifically for pups with itchy skin can provide soothing relief in many cases. Whether your dog is suffering from imbalances in their skin’s ecosystem, has general sensitivities, or they require a medicated shampoo, here’s our list of 7 of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin.

Dog Shampoos for Sensitive Skin

Beaphar Sensitive Skin Soothing Shampoo is a nourishing, pH neutral shampoo that’s been specifically formulated for pet’s with irritated, itchy skin. It’s enriched with calendula and aloe vera for a gentle cleanse, and completely free of perfume, sulphates, colourants, silicones or parabens, making it perfect for dogs with sensitive skin.

Formulated by leading veterinary dermatologists, Douxo S3 Calm Soothing Shampoo is perfect for dogs with sensitive or itchy skin, working to soothe, protect and hydrate. It contains the active ingredient, ophytrium, a purified natural ingredient that not only protects the skin barrier and reduces irritation, but also preserves the delicate balance of microbial flora on the skin.

Dog Shampoo for Skin Ecosystem Imbalances

If your vet advises you that your dog’s itching is related to an imbalance in the skin’s eco-system, they may require antiseptic action from their shampoo. Skin imbalances are often linked to bacterial and fungal overgrowth, which can cause irritation and itching. Douxo S3 Pyo Antiseptic Shampoo contains chlorhexidine digluconate, an antiseptic ingredient which reduces bacterial and yeast counts back down to normal levels.

Best Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs

With its anti-inflammatory properties, oatmeal may help to soothe your dog’s itchy skin by acting as a skin protectant. Dechra DermAllay Oatmeal Shampoo contains colloidal oatmeal, which means it has been very finely ground to the point that it dissolves. It acts as an emollient, holding moisture against the skin and soothing it.

Best Medicated Dog Shampoo

Allermyl Medicated Shampoo for Dogs and Cats is particularly useful for pets who are undergoing treatment for allergic skin disease. By cleansing and conditioning your dog’s coat and restoring the skin’s barrier function, Allermyl helps to soothe and restore skin that has been damaged by allergic reactions. Allermyl also reduces the static attraction of allergens, and the progressive release of the shampoo’s active ingredients means that your dog will feel the benefits long after the shampoo has been rinsed off.

Best Hypoallergenic Shampoos for Dogs

Sebocalm Hypoallergenic Shampoo is a hypoallergenic dog shampoo that relieves itching, moisturises skin and maintains a healthy coat. It’s designed for frequent use with its neutral pH and soap-free formula and, like Allermyl, the active ingredients continue to offer their benefits after the shampoo is rinsed off, helping your dog to stop scratching.

Epi-Soothe Hypoallergenic Shampoo is designed to relieve your dog’s itching while cleaning and moisturising the skin. It’s perfect for dogs that need regular bathing and it’s gentle on the skin, making it perfect for sensitive pups. As well as helping itchy skin, Epi-Soothe can also neutralise bad smells and improve the appearance if your dog’s coat.


Now that we’ve introduced you to some of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin, it’s time to answer a few of the most commonly asked questions surrounding bathtime for our pups.

Can I Let My Dog Air Dry After a Bath?

Once your pup has had their bath, you should always dry them off thoroughly.

Air drying is not recommended for dogs, particularly those with long or thick fur as it can lead to matting, fungal growths in places like the armpits or between the paw pads, and other skin problems like hotspots.

An absorbent dog towel or dog drying coat are both great ways to quickly and effectively dry off your pup post-bath.

Can You Use Human Shampoo on Dogs?

No, you shouldn’t use human shampoo on dogs. The main reason for this is because dog skin and human skin have very different pH balances.

Both dogs and humans have a thin layer in the skin called the acid mantle that protects us from viruses and bacteria. In order for the acid mantle to do its job, the optimal levels of acidity or alkalinity must be maintained – this is the pH balance.

Human shampoo does not contain the right pH balance for a dog’s skin, which is much more neutral than ours, and so it can disrupt their acid mantle. This leaves dogs vulnerable to bacteria and parasites, and can also cause dry, flaky skin – which can make itching worse.

Some human shampoos also contain chemicals, additives and perfumes that could irritate your dog’s skin.

Can You Use Baby Shampoo on Dogs?

While it’s still much better to use a specialised dog shampoo, baby shampoo intended for human infants is a safe substitute for most dogs if you’ve run out. Provided it is mild, has a neutral pH balance, and you make sure to rinse it out thoroughly, baby shampoo is unlikely to cause harm to your pup.

Wrapping Up

Depending on the cause, specialist dog shampoos designed to soothe irritated skin can work wonders for your dog’s itching. Finding the right one that works for your dog is important, so speak to your vet for advice if you’re not sure. Always check that the shampoo has a neutral pH level.

You might also want to consider skin and coat supplements for your dog, such as YuMOVE Skin & Coat Care which contains a blend of Omega 3 and 6 oils to nourish, calm and soothe itchy skin in dogs.

Remember, your vet should be your first point of call if your dog is experiencing itchy skin. Discover the root cause of your dog’s itching so that you can address it with the right treatment.

Animed Veterinary Nurse, Beth Walker
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