Unfortunately, many dogs have health conditions or allergies that cause dry and itchy skin. The best way to treat or prevent dry skin on your dog is to understand what is causing it. Regardless of the cause of your dogs sensitive skin, always wash your dog with a good quality dog specific shampoo. As this is a very common and concerning complaint, we have put together a list of the best dog shampoo for dry skin.
Comparison of best dog shampoo for dry skin
What causes my dog to have dry skin
The cause of your dog's dry skin can me many and varied but according to the American Kennel Club here are a few of the main reasons:
Your dog can be allergic to almost anything but a few of the main culprits are food allergies, environmental allergies and seasonal allergies. These include pollen, dust, feathers, grass, animal dander, grain, and flea saliva. Allergies can result in a skin conditions like dermatitis which will cause your dog's skin to become dry, itchy, red and inflammed.
Fleas and parasites
Fleas are a major cause of itchy dry skin. Not only the bites form fleas but allergies to flea saliva can cause dry skin and discomfort for your dog. If this escalates your dog can develop hot spots and infections which can be very serious. Other parasites that cause a skin reaction and mange are mites, scabies and lice. Flea treatments are the best way to eliminate fleas from your yard and your dog.
Bacterial and fungal infection
Bacterial and fungal infection in your dog can cause itchiness, inflammation and dry skin. There can be many causes and can even be a secondary condition to cuts or allergies or just appear somewhat randomly. High humidity tends to encourage fungal infection and may also be more common in dogs with skin folds that tend to trap moisture.
There are two serious conditions that cause dry skin in dogs, Cushing's disease, hyperthyroidism and auto-immune disease. This dry skin is often accompanied by dry and brittle hair, hair loss, and skin infections. These are serious conditions where you dog needs to see a vet as soon as possible.
Some breeds tend to have more skin conditions than other breeds for some reason. Breeds that have skin folds like Shar-Pei's and bulldogs, hairless breeds, breeds with low immunity like Pit Bulls and breeds with long floppy ears like Spaniels. If you have one of these breeds, check your dog regularly for signs fo sign conditions and see your vet for some treatment.
Washing your dog when not required will strip the natural protective ils from your dogs skin and coat. Using human shampoo or a poor quality shampoo will do the same. Use a gentle natural shampoo and only when really required. If you dog rolls in something stinky, try to just wash the stinky bit rather than the whole coat.
How to prevent dry skin on your dog
Rather than try to fix or cure your dog's skin conditions, trying to prevent it is a much better way to go. Here are some way that AKC recommend to prevent skin conditions that cause dry and itchy skin in your dog:
- High quality and balance diet
- Prevent parasites with flea and parasite treatments
- Brush your dog regularly to prevent buildup of dirt
- Give you dog supplements for health skin
- Regular veterinary checkups
- Keep skin folds clean
- Bathe with a high quality natural dog specific shampoo
have you heard about Golden Paste? It is a turmeric paste that is showing great results to improve skin condition though relieving inflammation.
>> Read our article on the Health benefits of turmeric for dogs.
How to bathe a dog with dry skin?
Washing your dog once a month is generally recommended but some dogs will need more or less washing depending on their coats and skin conditions. If your dog has a smelly patch or has has rolled in something smelly, try washing only the smelly area with a sponge rather that give him a full bath.
This is particularly important for dogs with dry skin and you shouldn't over was them. Sometime the smell from your dog may be from the skin condition itself so treating the condition will reduce the smell.
Dogtime.com talks about the difference in coats and their washing requirements. Here are some general guidelines:
- Dogs with an oily coat, like Basset Hounds, may need bathing as frequently as once a week.
- Many short-haired breeds with smooth coats, such as Beagles and Weimaraners, do just fine with less frequent baths. Short-coated Basenjis are fastidious in their personal hygiene and rarely need a bath.
- Breeds with water-repellent coats, such as Golden Retrievers and Great Pyrenees, should be bathed less often so as to preserve their natural oils.
- Dogs with thick, double coats — such as Samoyeds, Malamutes, and other Northern breeds — do best with fewer baths and a lot of extra brushing (which gets rid of loose, dead hair and helps distribute natural oils that keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy).
Can I use human shampoo on my dog?
This is a very common question and the answer is, No! We actually wrote an article on this which you can read here. Here is a summery from that article.
Human shampoo is designed with a pH similar to human skin. This helps to prevent our skin drying out and potentially developing skin conditions and infections. The problem with using human shampoo on dogs becomes evident when we look at the pH levels of human skin against the pH of dogs. Yep, they are different.
pH is the measure of how acidic or alkaline a substance is on a scale of 0 - 14. Water has a score of 7 which is classed as neutral. Our skin has a pH of around 5.5 to 5.6 which is quite acidic. Our dog's skin is much more neutral, with a pH between 6.2 and 7.4.
Using a human shampoo will only make your dogs dry skin worse which may even develop into dermatitis and more serious conditions. If your dog has dry or irritated skin, always wash your dog with the best dog shampoo for dry skin.
Best dog shampoo for dry skin
We have searched for the best dog shampoo for dry skin and have put together a list of only the best. We like something natural and kind to you dog's skin. Remember that your dog can be allergic or react to many things. Even a natural, gentle shampoo can contain ingredients that your dog may react to.
1. Nootie Dermatology Solutions Dog Shampoo
We love, love, love this shampoo. They have put in the hard yard to ensure a natural and safe shampoo to relieve your dogs discomfort through dry and itchy skin.
- Soothing feeling while rejuvenating their skin and providing vital nutrients.
- Free of the harsh chemicals you may find in other products
- Coconut Oil, Colloidal Oatmeal and Ordenone which creates a pleasant, mellow fragrance
- Aloe Vera gel rushes itchy skin relief to where it’s needed most
- Made in the USA
- Returnable if this doesn't calm and relieve your dog.
>> Check out the latest price for Nootie Dermatology Dog Shampoo on Amazon
2. Odie and Cody Premium Dog Shampoo
This beautiful shampoo is gentle, safe and hypoallergenic and can also be used on puppies. They don't use harmful chemicals, artificial or synthetic ingredients in our shampoo. Don't expect it to be super foamy as they don't using foaming agents but it is concentrated and goes a long way.
- Organic premium shampoo concentrate
- NO chemicals, artificial colors, artificial fragrances, sulfates, alcohol, synthetic ingredients or any other harmful ingredient that could be absorbed into your beloved pets skin
- Moisturizing properties and to soothe your pets dry skin using only pure, fresh, quality ingredients
- Organic oils, organic aloe vera, essential oils and rosemary extract
- hypoallergenic for pets with allergies and is gentle yet effective on your pets skin
- Not 100% satisfied with it they will refund your money
>> Check our the latest prices for Odie & Cody Shampoo on Amazon
3. Calily Life Organic Oatmeal Dog Shampoo
A nice blend of healthy oils and calming oatmeal and aloe vera. Highly rated product with great reviews.
- Blend of organic ingredients to clean, enhance and protect your pet’s skin and coat
- Formulated with oatmeal, shea butter and aloe vera
- Infused with Dead Sea minerals, harvested and packaged at the sun-soaked Dead Sea Valley.
- Relieves and calms itching, soothes dry skin, and promotes overall health. Your dog or cat will enjoy bath time, feeling calmed and relaxed!
- Deodorizes, moisturizes and conditions your dog’s skin and coat without stripping the natural oils or washing off existing flea and tick treatments.
- Organic hydrating oils and extracts for shiny and healthy coat
- For pets with sensitive skin or prone to allergies and tear free.
- Cruelty free, no parabens, artificial colors or chemical dyes in this shampoo. Contains bio-degradable ingredients.
>> Check out the latest price for Calily Oatmeal shampoo on Amazon
4. Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo
Another great product that has a large variety of fragrances or for your dogs special needs. These include puppies, shed control, bright coat, itch, mild and so many more.
- Oatmeal and aloe are recommended by veterinarians to effectively combat skin irritation, promote healing, and re-moisturize dry skin.
- Vanilla and almond oils and your pet will smell as good as she feels and looks.
- Totally natural pet care
- 100-percent bio-degradable and cruelty free
- Soap-free shampoo
- Safe, gentle and effective
>> Check out the latest price for Earth Bath on Amazon
5. Pet Wash Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo
- Specially formulated for dry, sensitive, skin and coat
- Premium coat and skin treatment
- All natural aloe, jojoba and coconut oils relieve painful and itchy skin caused by fleas, dander, and dryness.
- Oatmeal, Shea Butter, Rosemary combine to smooth and moisturize even the most brittle coat, leaving your dogs fur clean, smooth and odor free
- Tear free soapless formula
- Proudly Made in the U.S.A.
>> Check out the latest price for Pet Wash on Amazon