Have you noticed that your four-legged friend is constantly scratching or biting their skin? Does it seem like they are in an eternal state of discomfort? The problem could be caused by a wide range of factors including bacteria, fungi, parasites, allergies or another skin condition. Dogs are a lot more prone to suffering from all manner of skin conditions than humans, and when they do, you want to get to work solving the issue as quickly as you can.
One of the most effective and soothing treatments which you can use on your dog a medicated shampoo. Essentially, these products are designed to be applied directly onto your dog’s coat during bath time, massaged into their skin, and left for a few minutes for their active ingredient to start working. Once it has set in, you can then rinse it off, before applying it again at a later time as recommended by the instructions or your vet directly. Most are intended to be used over a short period of time until your dog’s skin has cleared up, but some can be used on a more long-term basis.
As well as providing relief from itchiness and inflammation, many of these products are also moisturizing and deodorizing. They can also target specific skin issues or be more general in their approach. But it can feel like a daunting task when you are trying to choose a medicated dog shampoo for the first time, which is why we have put together this buying guide to give you a helping paw. Featuring 10 of our top picks, we are going to run through the key features of each one of them in turn.
The Best Medicated Dog Shampoo
Douxo Sogeval Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo with Climbazole
Formulated using an antiseptic foaming solution, this medicated dog shampoo contains three main active ingredients to help relieve and treat your pooch’s skin conditions. You have the chlorhexidine which has a strong antiseptic activity, as well as phytosphingosine salicyloyl which contains antiseborrheic properties to help deal with disorders related to pyoderma. Also, the lipacide operates in a moisturizing and restructuring manner.
This is a first-rate product which has been specifically designed to help protect your dog’s skin from irritation and moisture loss.
Formulated with antiseptic foaming solution
Three active ingredients
Antiseptic, antiseborrheic, moisturizing and restructuring
Defends your dog against skin irritation and moisture loss
- Weight1.06 pounds
Bexley Labs Curaseb Chlorhexidine Shampoo
This antifungal and antibacterial shampoo has been specially created to target and eliminate a broad range of pet skin conditions including yeast, bacteria, pyoderma, and ringworm. Not only this, but it also works to gently cleanse the skin and deodorize it with a refreshing cucumber melon aroma.
Promising a veterinary-strength shampoo for a more affordable price, all products from Curaseb are made in the USA in federally inspected laboratory which helps to ensure quality and safety. And if you are not fully satisfied, you have the security of a money-back guarantee.
Tackles wide array of skin issues
Cleansing and deodorizing
Veterinary-strength products made in federally inspected laboratory
Affordable price point
- BrandBexley Labs
- Weight1 pounds
SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Medicated Shampoo
This medicated dog shampoo from SynergyLabs has been developed to aid in the relief and treatment of a vast array of common pet skin conditions. As well as being effective against fungal and bacterial skin infections, it also helps to relieve Mange and other parasitic infections.
On top of this, it also treats skin scaling caused by Seborrhea, as well as relieving all manner of rashes, inflammation, greasy skin, and more. Not only this, but it also has a hydrating effect which helps to stop your dog’s skin from drying out when you use it.
Effective against fungal and bacterial infections
Relieves Mange and parasitic infections
Works against Seborrhea, rashes, inflammation, oily skin
Paws & Pals Natural Ingredients Shampoo
A vegan and organic product, Paws & Pals have developed this cleansing shampoo with both your dog and the environment firmly in mind. Included in the shampoo is oatmeal, which promises to relieve a host of symptoms relating to allergies, hot spots, and dry skin. As well as the hydrating and healing effect which it offers, the all-natural ingredients help to deodorize and soften your pet’s coat.
And thanks to the natural oil and vitamins which make up this product, your dog’s eyes and nose will not end up becoming irritated and inflamed, which is bound to make bath time a lot more fun for you both!
Made using all-natural ingredients
Relieves allergies, hot spots, dry skin etc
Deodorizing and softening effect
Tear-free and soap-free formula
- BrandPaws & Pals
- Weight15.8 ounces
Pet MD Antiseptic and Antifungal Medicated Shampoo
A medicated dog shampoo from trusted brand Pet MD, this product helps you to manage your dog’s skin problems and bacterial dermatitis. Just a few of the common bacterial and fungal skin conditions which it can help out with include hot spots, ringworm and acne. At the same time, it can also assist in the healing process of skin infections, superficial cuts and abrasions, and insect bites.
You can use this antiseptic cleansing products to get into hard-to-reach places such as face folds, finger folds, underarm and groin. On top of battling the bacteria and yeast infections most commonly found in dogs and cats, it also helps to battle dirt and odors.
Helps in the fight against common bacterial and fungal skin conditions
Tackles dirt and odors
Helps to heal skin infections, cuts, and insect bites
Made in Federally Regulated Manufacturing Facilities
- BrandPet MD
DermaPet Benzoyl Peroxide Plus Shampoo (DermaBenSS)
A gentle and soap-free solution to your dog’s common skin complaints, this medicated dog shampoo contains a mix of sulfur and salicylic acid, as well as herbal fragrance and moisturizers. Just a few of the conditions which it can help out with include Hot Spots, pyodermas (skin infections), lick granulomas, acne, oily seborrhea, greasy skin, Staph infections, skin fold infections.
DermaPet pride themselves of having created a benzoyl dog shampoo which will flush out your dog’s hair follicles and removing the infectious microbes that lie within.
Gentle and soap-free
Treats a host of common canine skin conditions
Flushes out dog’s hair follicles
Herbal fragrances and moisturizers included
- Weight12 ounces
Sulfodene Medicated Shampoo and Conditioner
Washing and conditioning your skin with soothing aloe, this product is designed to stop itching and flaking in your dog’s skin. At the same time, it leaves your pooch with a clean and soft coat – and it is gentle enough to be used on a regular basis.
Two veterinarian-recommended itch-fighting ingredients are included in this medicated dog shampoo, and it also has a deodorizing effect so that your dog smells as fresh as can be after you have finished bathing him or her.
Stops itching and flaking skin
Gentle enough for regular usage
Washes and conditions for a lush and clean coat
- Weight12 ounces
Davis Benzoyl Peroxide Medicated Shampoo
Providing your dog with relief from their demodectic mange, dermatitis and/or canine acne, this benzoyl peroxide shampoo also has the added benefit of degreasing your dog’s coat if this is proving to be a particular problem. As for your dog’s hair follicles, this plays a big role in opening them up and flushing them out.
And if your dog is suffering from dry skin of any kind, this product contains the natural moisturizers which can promote its successful hydration.
Offers relief from demodectic mange, dermatitis and/or canine acne
Degreases your dog’s coat
Opens up and flushes out hair follicles
Contains natural moisturizers
- ModelDM150 12
- Weight14.4 ounces
Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Dog Shampoo for Sensitive Skin
If your dog has sensitive skin, this hypoallergenic dog shampoo could be the ideal product for them. As well as being gentle and soap-free, it also relieves itching and smooths dog coats which have become dry and brittle. The formulated blend includes a host of natural ingredients like Aloe Vera and vitamin E to provide both comfort and relief to your four-legged friend.
And if you would like to use this shampoo on a regular basis, you can continue to remove allergens without causing dry skin for your dog. It also works alongside other treatments such as topical flea and tick prevention.
Perfect for dog’s with sensitive skin
Gentle and soap-free
Contains a blend of natural ingredients
Usable on a regular basis
- BrandVet’s Best
- Weight0.8 ounces
Nootie Medicated Dog Shampoo
A drop of this highly-concentrated antifungal and antibacterial dog shampoo builds up a nice lather with water. All you need to do is leave it on your dog’s coat for a few minutes to get your pet looking and smelling fantastic – both you and your dog are bound to appreciate this! If your dog has a bacterial infection like ringworm, this product will get to work on it straight away.
It is also designed to offer a soothing effect to your dog’s irritated and itchy skin. So, for a total rejuvenating effect for your dog, you can’t do much better!
Highly-concentrated for efficient usage
Treats a host of bacterial infections
Naturally pleasant scent
Full revitalizing effect
Best Medicated Dog Shampoo Buying Guide
Things to Look for When Buying a Medicated Dog Shampoo
As you will be able to tell from the above buying guide, medicated dog shampoos come in various different forms and are effective in treating and relieving a range of skin conditions and irritations. Here are some of the main things to look out for when you are searching for a shampoo for your mutt.
- Type of Shampoo
As we will go into more detail later on in the article, medicated shampoo comes in a range of different varieties including antiseborrheic, antibacterial, antifungal, antipruritic, and simple cleansing and moisturizing. The type of shampoo which you go for should depend on what sort of skin issues your dog is suffering from, as well as a consultation with your vet to make sure it is safe. For example, if your dog is currently suffering from a seborrheic skin condition, you should choose an antiseborrheic shampoo to address the issue directly. On the other hand, if it something as simple as dry skin which is causing the problem, an organic or natural shampoo containing Aloe Vera or oatmeal can help to provide the relief that they are looking for.
- Extra Benefits
As well as treating the main skin condition(s) that your dog is suffering from, you should also look into more detail about the extra benefits which each shampoo provides to your furry friend. For example, does it offer a moisturizing effect? What sort of scent does it contain? Does it treat a range of conditions at once? While many people want a medicated dog shampoo for allergies to address a specific medical condition, it is always a nice touch if it comes along with some additional benefits.
Some of the shampoos which we have discussed are chemically-based, whereas others contain organic and natural products. It is worth having a closer inspection of the ingredients in case there is anything which you know that your dog is allergic to as this could lead to additional issues and the opposite effect to the one that you were intending. If you are ever unsure, it is always worth consulting with your vet to get a better idea of what you are putting on your dog’s skin.
- Brand/Trusted Product
When you are choosing any kind of medical product for your dog, it makes sense that you go for a trusted product which other pet owners and vets recommend. So, before investing in a dog shampoo, it makes sense that you have a closer inspection of the brand to see exactly what you are buying.
Benefits of Medicated Dog Shampoos
When you are investing in a product like a medicated dog shampoo, you obviously want to have a clearer idea of what the main benefits include. So, here are some of the main advantages you can expect by using one of these products on your dog.
- Addressing a Specific Problem
Many of the best medicated dog shampoos are designed to address specific problems in your furry friend. For example, your dog could be suffering from an issue like seborrhea or ringworm. In which case, you will need to choose one of the products which specifically addresses these issues. Otherwise, there are the kinds of shampoos which are broad-spectrum and attack a range of harmful microorganisms. Of course, these are still addressing a specific problem as you are buying a shampoo for a purpose beyond simple cleansing.
- Providing Relief from Symptoms
It isn’t pleasant to see your dog in constant irritation or pain, and if you can relieve these symptoms, you will obviously want to do so. Medicated shampoos are topical applications which can offer an immediate impact for your pooch when it comes to problems like itching and skin redness. This is in direct contrast to oral and injectable medications which need to be absorbed through your dog’s blood to reach their intended target. Other negative symptoms which these shampoos can help to relieve include eliminating scaly or crusty skin.
- Safer Alternative to Other Medications
The side effects of oral and injectable medications tend to be more pronounced than topical preparations. When you are using a dog shampoo, it is much more unlikely that you will get negative side effects as they only work on the outer surfaces of your dog’s skin. Obviously, you should always be on the lookout for side effects in case issues do occur and get in contact with your vet if you are concerned. It may be that you need to switch to another product which is less irritating to your dog’s skin.
- Cleansing and Deodorizing
Beyond the medical benefits which we have discussed, many dog shampoos are designed to offer a cleansing and deodorizing effect. In fact, there are some which are gentle enough to be used on a regular basis as part of your dog’s skincare routine. If you have noticed that your dog is starting to smell as a result of their skin condition, these shampoos are often scented and can provide a welcome relief in your home!
Side Effects of Medicated Shampoo
While medicated dog shampoos are topically applied and generally safe, there are some side effects which can occur in dogs. It is worth getting a full picture of what these are before you start using one on your pup.
- Skin Irritation and Itching
Tar and coal-based dog shampoos and those containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid tend to be the main culprits when it comes to causing skin irritation and itching. Discontinue use and consult with your vet if you are at all worried.
- Skin Dryness
Some medicated dog shampoos can cause additional dryness of your dog’s skin which is why they are not advisable to be used on a regular basis. Others offer a moisturising effect can be used more often. These tend to be the more natural shampoos containing ingredients like Aloe Vera and oatmeal.
The more highly concentrated medicated dog shampoos can lead to anything from light to moderate shedding. Monitor your dog closely to see if this is becoming a problem and consider switching to a different brand if this continues.
- Allergic Reactions
If you have a dog who is hypersensitive to any ingredients contained within the medicated dog shampoo, this can lead to allergic reactions which include skin redness, itching etc. Again, you should discontinue use if you notice these side effects and consult with your vet.
Types of Medicated Dog Shampoos
There are a wide range of different medicated dog shampoos out there, and each one offers different effects and provides alternative benefits. Knowing a bit more about them will help out a great deal when choosing the right one for your furry friend.
Stubborn dandruff, reddish skin and scaly patched are the main indicators that your dog is suffering from seborrheic dermatitis. It can be caused by certain types of fungus found in the oil produced by your dog’s skin, and an antiseborrheic shampoo can play a helpful role in killing the fungus directly or dissolving some of the substances which stick in flakes on the skin. Common ingredients include salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, amongst others. Some of these shampoos contain degreasers to reduce the severity of the condition.
A host of different bacteria can survive and thrive in your dog’s skin, but problems occur when the pathogenic bacteria overwhelms the normal bacteria. Most medicated dog shampoos are not specific to certain bacteria types but are instead marketed as antiseptics which kill a greater array of microbial species.
Similar to bacteria, fungi are often present on your dog’s skin, but when the pathogenic fungi take over, this is when an antifungal dog shampoo is needed. Medicated shampoos are designed to interfere with the ability of the fungus to synthesize ergosterol and therefore helps your dog’s immune system in fighting the battle against it.
Specifically designed to reduce itching, organic shampoos of this variety are made from oatmeal, which helps to pull the itch-causing allergens away from the surface of your dog’s skin.
- Cleansing and Moisturizing
Deep cleansing and moisturizing shampoo help to cleanse the dirt and debris which can clog your dog’s pores. This can play a big role in preventing canine acne and seborrhea. Many of these types of shampoo are soap-free and therefore provide a gentler and safer experience for your dog whenever you are giving them a bath.
Best Medicated Dog Shampoo FAQ:
Q: What are medicated dog shampoos?
A: Medicated dog shampoos are hair and skincare products which contain ingredients which are specifically designed to treat and manage a host of conditions that your dog can suffer from including skin irritation, inflammation, crusty skin, hot spots etc. All you have to do is apply the shampoo onto your dog’s skin, massage it in, and leave it for several minutes to get to work. Afterwards, you can rinse it off as part of your dog’s regular bath. Some shampoos are designed to be only used over a short period of time until your dog’s skin condition has cleared up, while others can be used over a more long-term basis.
Q: How do I use medicated dog shampoos?
A: Once you have chosen the right dog shampoo through consultation with your vet, you can get to work using it. Start by reading the instructions on the bottle thoroughly before getting started. Ensure that you wear gloves when using this type of product as it can be harsh and irritating to human skin. As these products often don’t contain soap nor build up the same lather, a common mistake which people often make is to use too much. Often, you only need to use a very small amount, but consult with the bottle instructions for more info.
Since these shampoos are designed to treat skin irritation, you should use a more tepid or even cool temperature of water. When you are bathing your dog, always wash with the grain of their hair and not against it. Rubbing it the wrong way can end up being uncomfortable for your furry friend. Gentle massage using your fingers rather than harsh rubbing is the way to go. Leave the shampoo on your pet’s skin for as long as directed – usually a period of a few minutes. You can play a simple game with your dog in the tub to keep their attention before it is time to rinse the shampoo off once again. Repeat this process as many times as your vet recommends and monitor your dog closely for any side effects which may occur.
Q: Does medicated dog shampoo expire?
A: Like human shampoo, dog shampoo also expires, which is why it is especially important to check the label before using it. Expired shampoo can lead to an uncomfortable skin infection for several days afterwards. It is always better to opt for a newer shampoo rather than risking one which has been sitting at the back of your cupboard.
Our Top Pick
Douxo Sogeval Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo with Climbazole
Our number one pick is this medicated dog shampoo from Douxo, which is a highly effective antiseptic foaming solution. It contains three main active ingredients which contain antiseptic and antiseborrheic properties, as well as helping to control the cutaneous disorders associated with pyoderma.
On top of this, it has also been manufactured to protect your dog’s skin from irritation and loss of moisture. All you have to do it massage it into your dog’s wet coat, leave it to set in for 5-10 minutes and rinse it through with some clean water. It can be used to manage both superficial and more severe skin conditions.
For all these reasons, we have selected this medicated dog shampoo as our number one pick.
- 5 Common Dog Skin Problems - PetMD
- How to Care For a Dog's Dry Skin - howstuffworks
- How to Diagnose and Treat Your Dog's Itchy Skin Problems - wikiHow