If you haven’t got time to read the full guide and have a pooch whose scratching is driving you to distraction, we’ll get straight to the point. What is the best shampoo for itchy dogs? We think the Cooper and Gracie Shampoo for itchy skin ticks all the boxes, in fact, it’s the one I use for my itchy Frenchie.
It’s no fun watching your four-legged friend chewing and scratching at themselves, but what can you do to stop the itching and what causes them to scratch like crazy in the first place? Below you will find a variety of the best dog shampoo for itchy skin.
In this guide, we will be reviewing:
We’ve written this article with you and your itchy pup in mind, so we will also look at:
- Reasons your dog is itching.
- Soothing ingredients to look for in the best dog shampoo to relieve itching
- Things you can do at home to help improve your dog’s skin
- Answer some frequently asked questions about itchy dogs
The Best Shampoos for Dry and Itchy Skin
In this guide, you’ll discover what causes dogs to have itchy skin and the steps you can take to tackle the issue. Below you will find the best dog shampoo options that are formulated specifically to stop the itch.
Buyers Guide and Reviews
Top Pick for Itchy Skin – C&G Pets | Dog Shampoo For Itchy Skin Antibacterial And Antifungal | 100% Natural Medicated Low Lather Safe Formula | Fast Absorbing and Skin Cooling First Aid | Great For Cuts Grazes Skin Irritation
This 100% natural vet recommended shampoo is ideal for irritated skin; the non-toxic formula is rich in vitamin E, which moisturises and restores cracked and damaged areas; it doesn’t sting, so it will heal minor wounds and scratches and soothes itching caused by allergies.
PH balanced and free from harsh chemicals, this pet shampoo can be used for puppies; the low lathering blend is easily worked into your dog’s coat and gets to work immediately, soothing your dog’s itchy skin.
Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties help prevent infections and the natural deodorisers leave your canine companion smelling fresh and clean.
Handmade in the UK, like all Copper and Gracie products, it comes with a money-back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied.
- Like many natural products, it produces a low lather.
Best Medicated Shampoo – TropiClean OxyMed Medicated Oatmeal Shampoo Anti-Itch, Deep Cleansing, Fast Acting Allergy Relief For Dogs and Cats, Free from Parabens, Dye, Fragrance, 592 ml
This medicated pet shampoo by Tropiclean provides immediate relief from allergies. It contains a mild yet effective blend of Alpha Hydroxy, Beta Hydroxy, oatmeal and tea tree essential oil that penetrates the pores and exfoliates, ensuring a deep clean
There are no nasties in Tropiclean products, which are free from parabens, artificial colours and dyes so that they can be used safely on puppies from 12 weeks old and even cats, and the gentle deodourising coconut-scented formula will ensure there is no damp dog pong after bathing.
Tropiclean does a great range of dog shampoos and this one has been specifically formulated to calm itchy skin.
- Most negative feedback is regarding the packaging.
Top Pick for a Premium Shampoo to Soothe Itchy Skin –Burt’s Bees For Dogs Natural Itch Soothing Shampoo with Honeysuckle | Anti-Itch Dog Shampoo, 16 Ounces
Burt’s Bees are renowned for making luxury skincare products with the finest natural ingredients and their pet shampoos are no different. This vet-recommended formula cleanses and nourishes your dog’s skin at the same time soothing that infernal itchiness
100% safe and PH balanced, it can be used with topical flea and tick treatments and contains no sulphates, artificial dyes or fragrances,
It’s not the cheapest, but the skin-soothing ingredients and gorgeous fragrance make this allergy shampoo a bestseller
- A bit more expensive than other dog shampoos
Best Dog Shampoo and Conditioner – All Natural Itchy Dog Shampoo, Conditioner & Moisturiser | Patchouli 500ml | Anti Itch & Minor Wound Care For Pets Smelly Sensitive Skin | Treatment of Itchiness, Eliminate Germs, Detangle, Sooth
We love this all-natural anti-itch shampoo with skin-soothing properties to bring instant relief to your dog’s skin. the antiseptic and antifungal properties tackle any underlying issues and it can be safely used to treat minor wounds, bites and cuts
Unlike some dog shampoos, it has no toxic or harmful chemicals, no parabens, it cleanses and moisturises, leaving Fido squeaky clean and the patchouli oil leaves a long-lasting fragrance.
If your pup suffers from skin allergies and suffers from dry or itchy skin, this pet shampoo packed with natural ingredients is definitely one you should consider adding to your basket.
- Seems to have mixed results
Top Choice to Soothe Sensitive Skin – Vetnique Labs Dermabliss Anti Itch & Allergy Relief Medicated Dog Shampoo for Allergies and Itching with 1% Pramoxine HCL, Safflower Seed Oil, and Oat Extract for Dogs and Cats 16oz
Dermabliss Anti-Itch Shampoo is formulated by vets and has the highest amount of Pramoxine Hydrochloride available without a prescription; this temporarily numbs the skin and provides relief from itchy and inflamed skin.
Other skin-soothing ingredients include colloidal oatmeal, which soothes irritations including atopic dermatitis, plus safflower oil and fatty acids, which help moisturise and nourish the skin and coat.
The soap-free formula will not strip your furry friend of their natural oils and is gentle enough to be used on puppies; it can cause serious eye irritation though, so be careful to avoid the face area.
- Not the cheapest of anti-itch shampoos
Top Pick for a Hypoallergenic Shampoo – Mighty Mutt Natural & Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo and Conditioner, Anti-Itch, Soothing and Deodorizing (9oz)
This hypo allergenic shampoo is free from parabens, sulphates dyes, phthalates and other harmful chemicals and packed with naturally soothing ingredients that will keep your canine companion itch-free
The concentrated formula is biodegradable and comes in a resealable pouch, great for those cutting down on plastic and there’s no messing around diluting it.
The baking soda not only gently cleans but also removes any unpleasant odours without being harsh on sensitive, itchy skin and it leaves your pup smelling fresh as a daisy. Mighty Mutt is a brand popular with groomers across the world who love the sensitive skin formula.
- Not much lather, which is common with natural shampoos
Best Dog Shampoo Bar – Petnat Dermacton Dog Shampoo for ITCHY Irritated Skin | Natural Relief From Itching, Antibacterial and Antifungal, Long Lasting Bar Format, Great for Sensitive & Dry Skin, Professionally Recommended
Perfect for dogs that suffer from dry, itchy skin and those suffering from seasonal allergies, this concentrated shampoo bar is equivalent to a 500ml bottle. The rich and creamy lather removes stains, dirt and allergens from your dog’s furs without stripping the natural oils.
The unique anti-itch formula contains plant-based ingredients chosen for their healing and soothing properties, so it can even be used on areas where the skin is broken.
Soap-free, this hypo allergenic shampoo contains no nasties. It also has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial qualities that can prevent infections and deodourise the coat leaving it gleaming and smelling sweet.
- As with all-natural options, lack of lather may be an issue.
Best Smelling Pet Shampoos for Skin Inflammation – Pet Head Life’s An Itch Soothing Shampoo, 16.1oz Watermelon, red.
Another shampoo review, another Pet Head product, this one is specially formulated to soothe itchy pups with a blend of oatmeal and aloe vera, wheat proteins, vitamins and chamomile to nourish the skin and tea tree oil which purifies the hair follicles.
Like all Pet Head shampoos, it is PH balanced to be gentle on your pet’s skin and is made using human-grade quality ingredients which are free from petroleum derivatives and DEA.
The Life’s an Itch shampoo gets some fantastic reviews with customers loving how soft and clean their four-legged friends are after use and of course, there is that unique Pet Head fragrance; this one is watermelon which leaves your dog smelling good enough to eat.
- Some reviews mention you need a lot of product
Best Medical Grade Shampoo – DermOpt Itchy Dog Shampoo, Conditioner, Moisturiser (250ml)
Using medical-grade ingredients, this shampoo has been specially formulated for dog’s sensitive skin; customers compare this to Malaseb shampoo, which vets prescribe for pups with skin conditions but without the price tag.
It won’t irritate as it’s 100% safe and free of SLS, parabens and artificial fragrances and the blend of ingredients lift dirt and debris from your dog’s coat with almost immediate relief from itching and removing that yeasty odour.
It’s super concentrated, so a little goes a long way and it’s easy to rinse out, saving you precious time; there’s also a no-quibble money-back guarantee to give you extra peace of mind.
- Small bottles so may be a bit expensive for larger dogs.
Top Pick for Hotspots –Vet’s Best Dog Itch Relief Shampoo |Relieves Dog Dry Skin, Rash, Scratching, Licking, Itchy Skin, and Hot Spots | No-Sting and Alcohol-Free, 470 ml
This vet-recommended shampoo gets fantastic reviews and is ideal for dogs with dry skin or hotspots. Jam-packed with natural ingredients, including chamomile and aloe vera, it provides quick relief from irritated skin.
The no tears soothing formula can be used on puppies from the age of 12 weeks and it will not affect any topical flea or tick treatments.
It contains vitamin E to strengthen the hair follicles and provides a protective barrier to retain the skin’s moisture. Eay to use; just apply to the wet coat massage for approximately 5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly and you should see results after 2-3 washes.
- Not much lather, a common issue with natural products
Most Eco-friendly Shampoo – Oatmeal & Aloe Dog Shampoo & Conditioner for Sensitive Dry Itchy Skin Antibacterial & Antifungal | Natural Scent for Smelly Dogs | Repels Fleas | Reduces Dandruff | Hypoallergenic (400ml)
For those wanting to reduce their use of plastic and help your pooch with their incessant scratching, these handy pouches are a great alternative to other shampoos for itchy skin.
The blend of oatmeal and aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties, which can soothe insect bites and inflamed skin caused by allergies; it leaves your best friend clean and smelling fresh without any harsh chemicals or stripping away natural oils.
There is a safe amount of tea tree oil (less than 1%) and mixed with lavender and chamomile; it works as a natural flea repellent and antiseptic reducing the risk of secondary infections.
PH balanced it contains only natural ingredients making it vegan friendly and it contains no nasties, which can often be found in cheaper options; the brand also runs a reuse and recycle program.
- Leaves your pet’s coat smelling fresh
- Promotes healthy skin
- Some customers have found the pouches a bit fiddly
Top Choice for Groomers – Wahl Dog Shampoo Oatmeal Showman Shampoo for Pets 500 ml Concentrate/7.5 Litre Diluted
With over 70% 5 star reviews, this super-concentrated shampoo containing oatmeal gently removes dirt, stains and odours from your pet’s coat whilst at the same time reducing irritation and soothing sensitive skin.
Wahl is a popular brand used by both groomers and pet parents and the “showman” shampoo is one of the most popular of their range. It’s super concentrated with a dilution ratio of 15.1, meaning it will last. There are bigger bottles available at a reasonable price if you have a large breed or multiple dogs.
It’s gentle enough to be used on all types of animals, including cats and rabbits and leaves a light coconut scent after use.
- Some customers are not keen on the smell
Is it Normal for a Dog to Scratch?
Like us, all dogs enjoy a good scratch now and then and if it’s only a couple of times a day that you notice them scratching its probably nothing to worry about; however, if your pooch is scratching like crazy, chances are there’s an underlying issue, it could be anything from boredom or yeast infection to fleas or allergies.
Some dry shampoos for dogs can soothe the irritation, but it’s a good idea to consult your vet, who will diagnose the underlying cause.
10 Reasons Your Dog is Scratching
Below, we will look into reasons your furry friend might be scratching more than usual; some may require intervention by the vet, whilst others can be solved with a good shampoo for itchy skin.
If your pet suffers from either food or environmental allergies, it will show in their skin and coat. Poor quality foods may not provide the correct nutritional balance, or Fido could be allergic to one or more of the ingredients. Dogs can also be allergic to pollen, dust mites and chemicals, which can also be the cause of your dog’s itchy skin.
These pesky parasites are one of the most common reasons for itchy skin, as most dogs are allergic to their saliva; the bites can drive your pup to scratch themselves to distraction. You will need to apply a topical flea treatment to address the issue and a soothing neem oil shampoo will relieve the itching.
Don’t forget to treat your home too, as the little blighters can live in carpets and your dog’s bedding.
Your dog’s skin is home to many different types of bacteria, which normally don’t cause a problem. However, if the skin becomes damaged and moist, these bacteria can grow and infections develop. One-off infections can be treated with antibiotics, but if your pooch has allergies or a disease like Cushing’s, you should use an anti-bacterial shampoo to prevent flare-ups.
Dogs are also susceptible to yeast infections which again cause them to scratch, chew and bite. A good anti-fungal shampoo can prevent these from becoming a common occurrence.
Itchy, flaky skin can be a symptom of health conditions in dogs caused by hormonal imbalance, the most common being Cushing’s Disease and Hypothyroidism. However, autoimmune conditions like pemphigus and lupus can also cause a dog’s skin to be extremely sensitive and itchy. Obviously, these need intervention by a vet, but a good shampoo can help relieve the symptoms.
Ingredients that can Soothe sensitive Skin
If you look at the list above, you’ll find many dog shampoos designed for itchy skin contain colloidal oatmeal.
Oatmeal has been used for hundreds of years as an effective treatment for sores and itching. However, it’s not the type eaten for breakfast; colloidal oatmeal is made by grinding organic oatmeal and suspending it in liquid so it can be more easily absorbed into the skin.
This video shows how to make a colloidal oatmeal bath for your dog at home
Aloe vera is often found in anti-itch shampoos for dogs; it can help speed the healing of minor wounds, rashes and its cooling effect can be very beneficial to dogs with sensitive skin. It’s antimicrobial, so it kills the bacteria that can cause infections in inflamed skin and it also contains acemannan, a sugar that prevents yeast growth.
Some dogs may suffer a reaction to aloe vera, so always do a patch test if you choose a shampoo containing this as the primary ingredient.
This amazing natural ingredient has anti-inflammatory qualities, which are perfect for dog’s with sensitive skin, plus it neutralises acids that can restore the PH levels of your dog’s skin. Another fantastic benefit of this cure-all is that it absorbs and neutralises odours. Choose a dog shampoo with this as the main ingredient to get rid of unpleasant odours.
Instead of the harsh chemicals that can sometimes be found in human shampoo, many dog shampoos use natural ingredients and a blend of essential oils like chamomile and lavender to help soothe damaged or sensitive skin. Be careful of those containing tea tree oil, as, like aloe vera, it can produce an adverse reaction, so always do a patch test first.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and is essential for cell health in dogs; no wonder then that it’s a common ingredient found in the best dog shampoo; it can relieve itchiness and reduce flakes. It also moisturises and forms a protective barrier.
10 Things You Can Do at Home to Help your Pooch Stop Scratching
- Spray daily with diluted apple cider vinegar
- Make sure you are feeding a good diet
- Add omega 3 and 6 supplements
- Buy a humidifier
- Try Piriton
- Use natural cleaning products and hoover daily to remove dust mites
- Keep fleas at bay
- Make an oatmeal paste
- Groom daily
- Add a little coconut oil to their food
How often should I bathe my itchy Staffy?
Too much bathing can make matters worse; you should find out the underlying cause of the itching, then use a mild shampoo to relieve the symptoms, one that can be used as and when necessary without stripping your dog’s natural oils.
What’s the best allergy itch relief shampoo?
There are a few options like Vet’s best allergy itch shampoo, which gets great reviews and is gentle on your dog’s skin.
Is a hypoallergenic shampoo best for itchy dogs?
It won’t hurt to use a hypo allergenic dog shampoo but remember this means it’s less likely to cause allergies, not that it won’t cause them at all; some hypoallergenic shampoos contain wheat proteins which can still cause a reaction.
Why is my dog itching all the time?
There are lots of reasons your pup is itching; it could be a yeast infection, allergies, fleas or an underlying health condition. Check with your vet, who can advise you of the best treatment.
Last Word and Top Pick
Whether you are a professional dog groomer or owner, chances are you will need the best dog shampoo and conditioner to combat itching at some point; as we’ve mentioned, it could be any number of reasons your poor dog starts scratching, from dog food allergies to fleas.
The first thing you need to do is establish the cause; then, you can use a specially formulated shampoo to help solve the symptoms. Never use human shampoos on your dog as human skin is very different to dogs and they are much too harsh.
Our top pick is C&G Pets Dog Shampoo For Itchy Skin. It’s reasonably priced, mild and has a lovely scent definitely one of the best dog shampoos for itchiness and damaged skin.
If your dog’s scratching is driving you and them to distraction, an itch relieving shampoo is a great solution, as you don’t want infections to develop or hair loss. Whether it’s soothing shea butter, oatmeal or aloe vera, you are sure to find a shampoo to stop the itch! If you are feeling really adventurous, you could learn how to make a natural dog shampoo which will make sure there are no harmful chemicals.