This is our review of the best dog shampoo for sensitive skin in 2021
There are more sensitive skin dog shampoos online than you can shake a stick at, but how do you know which are the best?
In this guide, we will be reviewing the following dog shampoos for sensitive skin:
We will also see;
- How a dogs skin differs from human skin
- What causes skin issues in dogs?
- What breeds are prone to skin issues?
- How to care for your dog’s delicate skin
Our Best Dog Shampoos for Sensitive Skin
We rounded up the top-rated dog shampoos online to make choosing the right one for your pooch hassle-free; whether you want a natural dog shampoo that’s cruelty-free or a pet shampoo that smells of Pamplemousse, we have tested them all, so let’s take a look and see which one shines out from the rest.
This specially formulated shampoo is soap-free and hypoallergenic. It cleans and moisturises even the most sensitive skin, with natural ingredients like vitamin E and aloe vera to relieving itching.
Ideal for dogs with dry, flaky skin and seasonal allergies, it is safe to use with topical flea treatments and will leave your pet’s coat glossy and in fantastic condition.
It has no overpowering scent that comes from artificial fragrances and can be used on puppies from 12 weeks, although it is recommended not to use on pregnant or nursing bitches.
- Most of the negative feedback refers to the packaging.
This pH balanced, hypoallergenic shampoo is super concentrated, so it goes a long way; it contains colloidal oatmeal, wheat proteins, ale vera and pro-vitamin B5, which combine to cleanse thoroughly, naturally moisturise and soothe itchy skin.
Free from harsh chemicals and parabens, the product is cruelty-free, so you have peace of mind that it hasn’t been tested on animals and uses natural ingredients.
This colloidal oatmeal shampoo for dogs is safe to use on both adult dogs and puppies, leaving them salon fresh and itch-free. It also comes with a free grooming guide.
- Customers have had mixed results
Chambers and Co are a UK company dedicated to producing natural products for dogs at affordable prices; this option is ideal for pup’s with dry and itchy skin as it has coconut as the main cleansing agent.
The shampoo also contains chamomile and calendula to help soothe irritated skin and pro-vitamin B5, which strengthens and conditions both skin and coat.
Neroli essential oil has calming qualities and a lovely floral scent that will leave your dog smelling fresh. This shampoo is suitable for frequent use, a real benefit as dog’s with skin conditions may need to be washed more often. It lathers up well, is easily rinsed off and they also do a peppermint and lavender option.
- Some mention the smell is a bit strong
Manufactured in the UK using premium quality ingredients, Groom Professional shampoos are used by many professional dog groomers, along with pet parents who bathe their pets at home.
They have a huge range of shampoos for specific needs and this one is perfect for dog’s with sensitive skin brand A mild salon-quality dog shampoo, it contains aloe vera, which soothes and hydrates dry and itchy skin.
It has a refreshing scent and this 4-litre bottle is fantastic value for money great for owners of a large breed like Labradors that can be susceptible to allergies and skin problems.
- Large bottle may be hard to handle
With a blend of colloidal oatmeal and tea tree oil, this soothing shampoo reduces skin inflammation and itchiness, at the same time leaving a protective barrier to prevent your pet’s skin from becoming dry.
The anti-fungal and antibacterial properties help prevent infections and leave Fido’s coat soft, shiny, and cuddle ready. This deodorizing dog shampoo also eliminates odours, even the dreaded fox poo.
All HWL shampoos use top quality ingredients and contain no palm oil, sulphates or parabens, making them gentle and mild on even the most sensitive of skins.
- Some reviews mention it doesn’t reduce itching, but this may be down to underlying issues.
This gentle shampoo and conditioner has been developed for dogs and puppies that suffer from sensitive skin. A unique blend of plant-based ingredients plus soothing oatmeal soothes itching, reduces inflammation and leaves your furry friend’s coat soft and shiny.
Recommended by vets and manufactured in the UK, this allergy itch relief shampoo is PH balanced with a vegan formula containing no parabens or toxic nasties.
The low lather, easy to rinse shampoo can be diluted 10.1 and the easy rinse formula makes getting rid of the bubbles a cinch.
- Some customers are not keen on the fragrance
The non-irritating formula is safe to use on puppies and dogs suffering from skin allergies and will also treat bacterial and yeast infections.
PH balanced and non-toxic, it will not upset your pup’s natural balance and the 100% satisfaction guarantee gives you peace of mind; not only that, although it’s only a small bottle, it’s great value for money.
Just apply to a wet coat, lather up and leave on the skin for a few minutes if you can, then rinse thoroughly and dry. After a few uses, you should see an improvement in Fido’s skin and coat condition.
- Some dogs may react adversely to tea tree oil
Dog Skin V Human Skin
A dog’s skin is very different to ours; although they have fur to protect them from injury and the elements, they only have 3 layers of skin and whereas our epidermis is 10-15 cells thick a dog’s is only 3-5 cells, making it much more delicate and less likely to withstand harsh chemicals. That’s why a mild dog shampoo and conditioner are essential.
Why Your Dog May Have Sensitive Skin
There are many reasons why your canine companion may have sensitive skin lets have a look at some of the more common causes.
Many dogs suffer from skin issues due to not getting the correct nutrients in their diet. Did you know a dog’s skin uses 30% of its daily protein intake? So it’s important to feed a high protein food for healthy skin and coat.
Foods rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids plus vitamin E are also essential for a healthy coat so make sure Fido is getting quality food. A dog that is healthy on the inside will show it on the outside.
Why not try adding a fish oil supplement or a few drops of coconut or olive oil daily.
If your pooch is scratching their stomach, rubbing their face or licking their feet, it could be a sign they are suffering from an allergic reaction. Like humans, dog’s can be affected by high pollen counts, dust mites or chemicals in detergents.
This is called “atopy”, but instead of runny eyes and sneezing, it presents in dogs by having itchy skin; this needs to be addressed as it can result in secondary infections and your pet losing hair.
When reading the feedback on any anti-itch shampoo, there are always mixed results and this may be due to an underlying cause. For example, if your pooch has food allergies, no amount of even the best dog shampoo is going to eliminate the problem completely.
Like us, dogs can have all sorts of food allergies, from dairy and wheat to chicken and beef, so it’s important to consult your vet who will do allergy elimination tests; these can take a while, though, so it’s a good idea to use a soothing shampoo to soothe skin irritation whilst you wait.
A Dry environment
Lack of moisture in the air can cause your pup to have sensitive, dry skin, which is why many dogs develop dandruff or start itching in the winter months when the central heating gets turned on.
This is easily solved by either moisturising your dog’s coat daily or investing in a humidifier that will replace lost moisture in the air and help your dog’s dry skin.
One of the most common causes of skin conditions in dogs, fleas and other external parasites can cause Fkido’s skin to become extremely sensitive. Most dogs are allergic to flea saliva, so when these critters bite, it leaves your pup with the irresistible urge to scratch lie mad; this can then cause inflamed skin and bacterial infections.
You may need a medicated dog shampoo or topical treatment to get rid of these pests initially; then, you can use a soothing shampoo with something like shea butter or oatmeal to relieve itching and help repair the skin. Remember to treat your pup’s bed and carpets; otherwise, the problem will keep recurring.
Allergy and yeast infection symptoms are quite similar. However, you may notice an unpleasant odour from a yeast infection, they are usually pretty easy to treat with either an antifungal shampoo or topical cream provided by the vet, but for dogs with sensitive skin, they can be painful and lead to problems like secondary infections and hair loss.
Some breeds are more susceptible than others to yeast infections; these include
This is a painful condition that occurs when the hair follicle becomes inflamed usually due to a bacterial infection. You can notice folliculitis as little red bumps around the base of the hair and if left untreated, these can develop into blisters.
Folliculitis needs to be treated early and your vet will usually prescribe a topical cream or medicated shampoo. Still, you can prevent the condition by making sure your dog is eating a good diet, is being bathed with natural or dandruff shampoo and is kept flea free.
Most commonly found in puppies, impetigo is not usually a serious condition unless left untreated. However, it can last a lifetime resulting in your dog having sensitive skin, so it needs to be kept under control by using a good anti-bacterial dog shampoo for dry skin.
Something with coconut or shea butter will both soothe and moisturise and your vet may prescribe a course of antibiotics.
Seborrhea or dog dandruff is often found in dogs and, like most of this list, will cause itching and sensitive skin; the best way to prevent it is by feeding a healthy diet and using an oatmeal, coconut oil or shea butter shampoo to relieve the itchiness.
Grooming also helps as it stimulates blood flow to the hair follicles and distributes your pup’s natural oils throughout their coat. It’s important to remember that dandruff may have an underlying issue, so if it doesn’t improve with a good dog shampoo, then it’s time to visit the vet.
Ringworm is a parasitic fungal infection that causes your dog’s skin to become red and inflamed; it is highly contagious, so it should be tackled immediately. Your vet will prescribe a topical ointment, and you must clean everything they touch, such as toys, bedding etc., to prevent it from spreading.
Using an anti-fungal shampoo regularly can help prevent ringworm, especially if your pooch has sensitive skin its important to use one that is mild, gentle and moisturising.
Are Some Breeds More Likely to Have Sensitive Skin?
Genetics play a big part in skin problems and there are breeds that are much more likely to suffer from sensitive skin. These include
Caring for your Dogs Sensitive Skin
5 Tips for Owners of Dog’s with Sensitive Skin
If your dog has sensitive skin, there are a few things you can do to help keep it in prime condition.
1.Use the Right Shampoo
The only shampoo you should be using on your best friend is one that is specifically designed for a dog’s skin. Do not use human shampoo as it has a lower PH than doggy ones and may damage delicate skin.
Dog’s with sensitive skin usually scratch a lot, so use a shampoo that contains ingredients to soothe itchiness, such as oatmeal and also ones that moisturise dry skin. Many shampoos contain chemical detergents, so look for soap-free ones with gentle cleansers like baking soda and coconut oil. It’s also a good idea to use a pet shampoo with antibacterial and anti-fungal properties to prevent infections.
Give Omega 3 & 6 Supplements.
Fish oils are well known for making your dog’s coat healthy and shiny; if your dog suffers from dry skin, why not try feeding a supplement rich in fatty acids. Some benefits of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids include
Feed Coconut Oil
The best dog shampoos for sensitive skin often have coconut oil has; it has many benefits for the skin, but you don’t have to wash your dog every day to get these benefits; you can feed your dog this healthy oil too.
Just add 1/2 teaspoon to every 10lb’s of body weight to your pup’s food daily and you should expect to see their skin and coat improving after a couple of weeks.
Use Vitamin E
Vitamin E offers several benefits to dogs, one of the main ones being it maintains healthy skin and coat condition. Most dogs get enough vitamin E in their food, so there is no need to feed supplements, but you can use vitamin E oil if your dog is itching to relieve the soreness and repair damaged skin.
A good way to utilise this is to rub a few drops onto your dog’s when grooming.
An oatmeal pet shampoo is great for itchy dogs with sensitive skin, but you can make a paste at home to give instant relief from red, sore skin. Just soak some in warm water, leave to cool, then use as a poultice on the affected area.
What shampoo do vets recommend for sensitive skin?
Vets recommend several shampoos, including our favourite, the Vet’s Best shampoo, but all dogs are different, so it’s best to do your own research; for example, some dogs react to aloe vera, tea tree or wheat proteins in a shampoo.
Is baby shampoo good for dogs with sensitive skin?
No, whilst you can use baby shampoo as a one-off, it is still way too harsh for a dog’s delicate skin, which is much thinner than human skin.
Do dogs with sensitive skin need hypoallergenic shampoo?
Not necessarily, your dog may not suffer from allergies; hypoallergenic shampoos are a good idea, though, as they are formulated so as not to irritate.
How often should I bathe my dog with sensitive skin?
You don’t want to bathe dogs with sensitive skin too often as it will strip their natural oils and upset the delicate PH balance; once a month should be fine unless, of course, you have a show dog or one that loves to get filthy if that’s the case choose a natural dog shampoo that is gentle on the skin.
Conclusion and Top Pick
All dogs can have skin issues, but some seem more predisposed to infections and allergies than others; it may be down to breed, a poor diet or any one of the reasons mentioned above. The good news is; most are easily treatable and with more shampoos than ever for sensitive skin, it’s easy to keep Fido clean and itch-free.
Our top pick is the Vet’s Best Shampoo for Dogs the best dog shampoo for sensitive skin, it’s jam-packed with natural ingredients and the ideal addition to your dog grooming supplies.
When choosing any dog shampoo and conditioner, always check the shampoo bottle for ingredients you don’t want any harsh chemicals in there, a soap-free option with natural antibacterial and antifungal ingredients is ideal for a dog’s delicate skin.
As owners, we want to make our best friends as comfortable as possible; constant itching isn’t nice, so looking after your pup’s skin is one of the most important things you can do to keep them happy and healthy.