Skin and Coat
Which Skin Supplements Are Best for My Pet? What Causes Pet Odor? Pet Conditions That Benefit From Omega 3 Allergy (Atopy) Treatment Options for Cats Managing Your Dog's Dry Winter Skin Preventing and Controlling Pet Hair Loss Caring for Your Pet's Skin and Coat Why Do Dogs Shed? Shampoos for Dogs with Skin Allergies Fly Control for Your Dog Benefits of Giving Your Pet Fish Oils & Fatty Acids Caring for Your Pet's Skin and Coat Treating Your Horse's Skin Problems How to Bathe Your Dog Choosing a Pet Shampoo for Your Dog or Cat Common Causes of Your Pet's Persistent Itch Managing Your Dog's Skin Allergies Understanding Demodectic Mange (Red Mange) Finding a Lump or Wart on Your Pet Promote Healthy Skin and Coat in Your Cat Solutions for Your Cat's Skin Infections How to Treat 5 Common Skin Diseases in Pets Remedies to Treat Pet Skin Infections How Often Should you Wash your Dog? How to Remove Skunk Odor from Dogs & Cats Top 4 Allergies in Pets Remedies for Pets with Skin Allergies (Atopy) Reducing Your Dog's Shedding Managing Your Cat's Dry Winter Skin Manage Your Dog's Itching Caused By Allergies Natural Remedies for Pets with Allergies & Atopy Eliminating Pet Odor Do Dog and Cats Need Calcium? Maintaining Your Dog's Skin and Coat Health How to Reduce Cat Hairballs Quick Itch Relief For Your Pet Protect Your Dog's Paws On Summer Walks How to Choose the Best Shampoo for Your Pet Treating Your Pet's Hot Spots How to Treat Your Dog's Bacterial Skin Infection Benefits of Giving Your Pet Fish Oil (Omega 3)
Addison's Disease Allergies Anal Sac Inflammation Anxiety Arthritis Asthma Behavior Coronavirus Bladder Stones Cancer Congestive Heart Failure Corneal Ulcers Coughing Cushing's Disease Dental Diabetes Diarrhea Digestive Distemper Dry Eye Ear Infections Ear Mites Fatty Tumors Feline Leukemia First Aid Fleas and Ticks Fungal Diseases Glaucoma Hair Loss Heartworm Disease Hip Dysplasia Horse Horse Lameness Horse Ulcers Hot Spots Hyperthyroidism Hypothyroidism Inflammatory Bowel Disease Joints Kennel Cough Kidney Disease Kidney Stones Kitten Limping Liver Disease Lyme Disease Lymphoma Mange Medication Miscellaneous Motion Sickness Nutrition Pain Parvovirus Poisoning Puppy Rabies Seasons Holistic Senior Pets Separation Anxiety Skin and Coat Submissive Urination Supplements Unexplained or Unhealthy Weight Urinary Tract Vaccine Reaction Vomiting Worms See All A-Z

How to Choose the Best Shampoo for Your Pet

How to Choose the Best Shampoo for Your Pet

Unlike cats, dogs need our help to keep clean and fresh-smelling. In fact, most dogs seem to revel in being stinky! But if you put off bathing your dog, you'll eventually notice the characteristic “dirty dog” smell. According to the ASPCA, you should bathe your dog at least every 3 months. Of course, you may need to do so more often, especially if your dog spends a lot of time outside or has any skin or coat conditions that need special treatment.

With all the different types of pet shampoos available, how do you pick the right pet shampoo? Here are some things to consider:

Is it safe to use human shampoo on dogs?

A dog's skin is more alkaline than our skin so it's important to use a shampoo that is pH balanced for use on dogs. Using a human grade shampoo, which is much more acidic, can dry out your pet's skin and even cause skin irritation and itching. Also, a dog's skin is thinner and more sensitive than our skin and human shampoos contain ingredients that are too harsh for your dog's delicate skin.

When choosing a pet shampoo, consider both the reason for the bath and the condition of your dog's skin and coat. Is your dog smelly? Does he or she have dry, flaky skin? Are there signs of a flea infestation? Below are some recommended pet shampoos for specific skin conditions.

Shampoos for pets with skin allergies or itchy skin

Skin allergies can make your pet's skin dry, flaky and itchy and result in a dull coat. A gentle shampoo can remove allergens and dirt from your pet as well as soothe the skin and help restore moisture to the skin and coat.

Shampoos for pets with sensitive skin

If your pet has sensitive skin, you'll want to use a gentle shampoo that will help soothe the skin and coat. A shampoo formulated with oatmeal will provide relief from itching. Because leftover soap residue can be very irritating, be sure to thoroughly rinse any shampoo from your pet's coat. If your pet's skin sensitivity continues, consult with your vet to determine the underlying cause.

Moisturizing and soothing pet shampoos

Many pets are sensitive to detergents and strong fragrances. A shampoo such as Epi-Soothe is soap-free to soothe, cleanse and control itching on sensitive skin. Also consider a shampoo with tea-tree oil to provide relief for painful and itchy skin.

Medicated pet shampoos

Your pet's skin can be affected by bacterial and fungal overgrowths. A medicated shampoo with antifungal/antibacterial properties can remove fungus and bacteria from your pet's skin. Cleansing the skin from these microorganisms will help reduce skin irritation and itching as well as fight odors.

Shampoos to help control fleas and ticks

If your pet has a flea or tick infestation, a flea and tick shampoo is a cost-effective way to fight these pesky parasites. Choose a flea shampoo with natural ingredients to safely kill adult fleas on contact, or a pet shampoo with pyrethrins which is even more effective. In addition to cleaning your pet, a flea and tick shampoo will also help to physically remove those external parasites. Remember to never use a shampoo formulated for dogs on your cat.

Shampoo to control shedding

Regular shampooing is an important step in removing loose fur and dander and reducing your pet's shedding. Look for a shampoo such as SHED-X which is formulated with amino acids, antioxidants and healthy oils to control excess shedding and leave the coat healthy and shiny.

Does my pet need conditioner?

A conditioner will replace the natural oils that may have been removed during shampooing, leaving the coat shiny and soft. A conditioner coats and seals the hair shaft resulting in fewer tangles, making the coat more manageable and easier to comb, especially for long-haired dogs.

Are there alternatives to pet shampoo?

Let's face it, you can't always shampoo your pet every time he or she gets dirty or smelly. For those times when a bath isn't an option, a pet wipe is a handy way to quickly wipe away dirt and odor on your pet's paws and fur. Plus, you can even take the wipes with you when you and your pet are on the go!

Max's Tip

If using a flea preventative, wait at least 24 hours after bathing your pet before applying.