Best Dog Shampoo: 4 Best Dog Shampoos for Dry and Itchy Skin

Pet parents only want the best for their four-legged friends, especially when caring for their silky coats and delicate skin.

The pet care market is booming, and with various formulations, scents, and active ingredients, knowing what shampoo is best for your dog can be difficult.

We’ve researched dozens of premium pet care brands to help make bathtimes for your furry friends pawsome with a selection of the best dog shampoos on the market today.

Best Dog Shampoos For A Dog’s Sensitive Skin

  1. Best Overall Dog Shampoo Bundle: Holistapet “Doggy S’paw Day” Bundle
  2. Best Dog Shampoo for Puppies: Burt’s Bees Tearless Puppy Shampoo with Buttermilk for Dogs
  3. Best Medicated Dog Shampoo: Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo
  4. Best Smelling Dog Shampoo: BUDDY WASH Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

Best Dog Shampoo Ingredients

Flaky skin might be hard to see if your dog has a puffy coat, but they may have allergy-prone skin if they are constantly itching. Here are some effective and safe ingredients that will benefit your skin’s dog and coat without irritating even the most sensitive puppy skin.

  • Aloe Vera: The succulent plant is incredibly hydrating and promotes the healing of your dog’s skin. It’s packed full of vitamins and minerals and is suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Oatmeal: This grain is deeply moisturizing and supports the skin barrier. It contains plenty of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and healthy fats that keep your dog’s skin soft and help repair any skin damage. Even better in an oatmeal shampoo is colloidal oat flour to help heal broken skin. 
  • Phytosterols: These plant molecules are extremely beneficial to dry and irritated pet skin by speeding up healing. They can be found in nuts, oils, seeds, and fruits. 
  • Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids, and also has anti-microbial properties. This is the best place to start if your dog’s hair is dry or needs extra attention. 

Best Dog Shampoos

1. Best Overall Dog Shampoo Bundle: Holistapet “Doggy S’paw Day” Bundle

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What we love

Bundles help you get what you need without keeping track of several different items from different places. Give your pooch the pampering it deserves with the Doggy S’paw Day Bundle from Holistapet. The bundle includes:

  • CBD Rejuvenating Shampoo – Formulated to suit all dog breeds,each shampoo bottle is infused with 200mg of broad-spectrum CBD to promote healthy skin and coat. Suitable for even the most sensitive of skin, the mandarin and berry scent will leave your pup feeling fresh and rejuvenated. It can also help when your pup has itchy skin and needs to calm down. 
  • Fresh Breath Dental Sticks – Made from natural plant-based ingredients, these minty fresh dental sticks provide long-lasting mouth-cleansing, helping to remove tartar and plaque buildup, while also strengthening teeth for improved dental and overall oral health.
  • Skin, Coat, and Nails Soft Chews – The soft baked chews include essential ingredients such as aloe vera, fish oil, and biotin to help support healthy skin, a smooth coat, and strong nails. Aloe vera juice can keep skin and coat supple and soft. 

What customers love

Users appreciate saving money when purchasing a bundle that benefits their dog’s health and wellness. With regular use of all products, pet owners notice a smoother coat, softer skin, and better dental health. This gentle formula with CBD keeps your dog’s fur fresh and will loosen tangles, no matter what the coat type. Furthermore, if you have squirmy dogs when it comes to bathtime, the CBD will help promote a calming atmosphere among the shampoo lathers. 

About Holistapet

The mission of Holistapet is to help all pets live their best lives. They make all-natural, holistic health and wellness products for pets to target a number of concerns including joint health, anxiety, and skincare. Holistapet also supports shelter animals by donating meals and providing funding for emergency treatment.


  • Comes with multiple products
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Cruelty-free and non-GMO
  • Subscribe and save 25%


  • No fragrance-free option


  • Size: 8 oz/bottle
  • Scent(s): Mandarin Berry

Learn more about Holistapet “Doggy S’paw Day” Bundle today

2. Best Dog Shampoo for Puppies: Burt’s Bees Tearless Puppy Shampoo with Buttermilk for Dogs

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What we love

Soothe and moisturize delicate puppy skin with the Tearless Puppy Shampoo from Burt’s Bees. The gentle cleanser features buttermilk, which helps soothe and soften skin, and honey, which helps retain moisture and strengthen hair follicles for a healthy coat. Burt’s Bees oatmeal shampoo has a reputation among pet owners for being good for skin concerns, but it’s still not quite what your puppy needs. 

The formula is pH-balanced specifically for dogs, which is important because they have much less acidic skin than humans. This helps avoid overdrying the skin and prevent irritation. Furthermore, the shampoo won’t wash away flea and tick treatments for a happy, pest-free pooch. Despite the puppy label, this is also safe for adult dogs. 

Free of sulfates and colorants, the cleanser is 99.7% natural to protect sensitive puppy eyes, nose, and pads.

What customers love

Customers appreciate that the Puppy Shampoo from Burt’s Bees is kind to their pet’s eyes, which has previously been a problem for them. Customers report that it lathers well and leaves the skin and hair clean and fresh. Moisturizing ingredients relieve dry skin and flakes, regardless of coat type. 

About Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees is an earth-friendly, natural personal care company that makes health, beauty, and hygiene products for humans and their four-legged friends. All its products are over 95% natural, without phthalates, parabens, and sulfates.


  • Tearless formula
  • Cruelty-free
  • No sulfates or colorants
  • Subscribe and save discount


  • Not medicated shampoos


  • Size: 16 oz/bottle
  • Scent(s): Unscented

Learn more about Burt’s Bees Tearless Puppy Shampoo with Buttermilk today

3. Best Medicated Dog Shampoo: Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo

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What we love

When your dog has red, scaly, greasy, or smelly skin or shows signs of irritation, reach for the Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo from Veterinary Formula. It works fast to soothe skin affected by environmental stressors or fungal agents that might contribute to itchy skin.

The formulation contains benzethonium chloride, an antiseptic ingredient that is active against bacteria, fungi, and viruses and has surfactant properties. Plus, ketoconazole provides antifungal properties to help treat various fungal and yeast infections. Furthermore, lanolin and aloe vera work to soothe irritated skin, restore moisture, and support a healthy, shiny coat, no matter what your dog’s coat type may be.

The pet shampoo is pH-balanced and paraben and soap-free, formulated to promote overall skin and coat health without damaging detergents. It works best on adult dogs. 

What customers love

Pet parents of dogs with irritated skin saw noticeable improvements in the skin and coats of their pets with just one wash of the medicated shampoo from Veterinary Formula. It has helped clear up several skin conditions, including dry skin, fungal infections, and other irritations. The concentrated formula means that it can help prevent bacterial infections in most dogs. However, it will not replace consulting a veterinarian for bacterial infections. 

About Veterinary Formula

The brand’s goal is to put veterinary-grade products within the reach of every loving pet parent. Every ingredient is carefully chosen and backed by science to help pets live their best and longest lives. 


  • Paraben and soap-free
  • Antifungal and antiseptic ingredients
  • Won’t remove topical flea and tick treatments
  • Subscribe and save


  • No unscented option available


  • Size: 16 oz/bottle, 1 gallon/bottle
  • Scent(s): Lightly scented

Learn more about Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo today

4. Best Smelling Dog Shampoo: BUDDY WASH Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

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What we love

Dogs get smelly sometimes, especially when they spend much time outdoors or in the rain. Your dog can’t help it, but a nice bath in lavender and aloe vera will change the smell and soothe any itchiness. The ingredients will not only keep your dog’s skin treatment but can also help to keep a healthy skin barrier. This way, your dog is less susceptible to bacterial infections and parasites. 

The BUDDY WASH Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner has a mild formula containing sage, aloe vera, rosemary, green tea, and chamomile. If your dog has a long coat and needs a professional dog groomer from time to time, this shampoo and conditioner keeps their fur soft and supple. 

What customers love

Customers love the smell of this product. They also love how it moisturizes their hands while they are giving their dogs a bath! The calming effects that come with the shampoo help to calm wriggly dogs who might not want a bath. Furthermore, the shampoo works well with coats of all shapes and sizes. 


BUDDY WASH specializes in delicious smelling, soothing shampoos and hair products for your pooch. These products are gentle, calming, and safe for most dogs. 


  • Natural deodorizer
  • Alcohol-free
  • Safe for all breeds and ages
  • Rich lather for extra dirty dogs


  • May make some dogs itchy


  • Size: 16 oz/bottle, 1 gallon/bottle
  • Scents: Lavender & Mint

Learn more about BUDDY WASH Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

How We Picked the Best Dog Shampoos

Only the finest dog shampoos are good enough for a man’s best friend. Therefore, we researched brands carefully to ensure only the best products made it onto our list. 

Quality Ingredients

We ensured each dog shampoo that made it onto our list features a formula consisting of evidence-backed ingredients, known to have a benefit to the unique needs of dog skin. Furthermore, we only chose products that contain as few artificial ingredients as possible, to prevent further irritation to sensitive or itchy skin. Most shampoos claim to have moisturizing ingredients, but we wanted natural ingredients with a strong reputation. We looked for types that included cornflower aloe, vitamin E, jojoba oils, colloidal oatmeal, tea tree leaf extract, and hydrolyzed vegetable protein. 

Customer Reviews

Reviews from verified customers provide insights into how well a dog shampoo works, including how well it lathers and removes dirt, as well as how kind it is to sensitive skin, and how fresh it makes your dog smell. We only chose pet safe shampoo with a long history of primarily positive customer reviews.

Non-Interference with Treatments

We know how important it is to keep up with flea and tick treatments for your dogs. Therefore, we checked that the dog shampoos we recommend—when used correctly—don’t wash away treatments recently applied to your dog to protect against parasites. Coconut and jojoba oils are good for many dogs without affected medical treatment. 

Manufacturing Process

Regulations are not nearly as strict on pet products, so it’s easy for brands to label shampoo as “all-natural” when in reality, it could contain potentially harmful chemicals and artificial ingredients. We made sure to look at trusted companies that sourced safe, effective ingredients, like tea tree oil and colloidal oatmeal, from reputable suppliers. 

How to Find the Best Dog Shampoo for Your Pup

Your dog has many unique factors that may not be addressed by a basic shampoo. Here are some tips to help you choose the right shampoo for your dog.

Skin Conditions

If your dog has an existing skin condition, it’s important to choose a shampoo that won’t further irritate their skin. Look for a shampoo specifically designed for dogs with sensitive skin. You may also want to speak with your vet for recommendations for a good medicated shampoo.

Pet Age

Puppies and older dogs have different needs when it comes to shampoo. For example, puppies are likely to need a gentler shampoo to prevent irritating their sensitive skin. Older dogs may need a medicated or nourishing shampoo to help address dry skin or other skin concerns.


Some shampoos have strong, artificial scents, which can be unpleasant for your dog’s sensitive nose and irritate the skin. Choose a shampoo with a light, pleasant scent that won’t be too harsh for your dog, while still leaving your dog smelling fresh. Mint shampoo is strong enough to overpower even the smelliest of dogs, while vanilla fragrance might not affect a stinky pooch. 

Coat Color and Condition

If you have a light-color or white coat, you might want to choose a shampoo specifically targeted to wash light coats to enhance the vibrancy.

Furthermore, you should take into account your dog’s coat condition, as each type of coat will be best washed with a different kind of shampoo. For example, if your dog has an oily coat you will need a clarifying shampoo, or a dog with a dry coat will need a moisturizing shampoo. It also might depend on a dog’s breed–a golden retriever needs more work than a dog with short hair, like a bulldog. Dogs with long hair might require detangling spray after a bath, especially if you see mats in their fur on a regular basis. 

Ingredients to Avoid in a Dog Shampoo

Your dog might have allergens to specific ingredients, which may cause skin issues. While most dogs are ok with mild soap, not every shampoo is created equal. Here is a list of ingredients that can be toxic to your dog and should be avoided in a dog shampoo:

  • Formaldehyde – Often described under other names such as diazolidinyl urea and quarternium-15 – this preservative can cause your dog’s skin to blister and dry out.
  • Isopropyl alcohol – Also known as rubbing alcohol, this ingredient is very drying to delicate pet skin. It can also make the skin more porous, making it easier for other toxic ingredients to absorb into the skin. Your dog can also lick the soap off its skin, causing digestion and problems to occur. 
  • Parabens – The well-known preservatives are known to build up in the body and over time can lead to reproductive and increased cancer risk.
  • Phthalates – These fragrance-bonding ingredients are known hormone disruptors that can cause problems to your pet’s endocrine system. Phthalates are also classed as carcinogens.
  • Sulfates – Common foaming agents, sulfates are extremely drying, which can irritate skin.
  • Synthetic fragrances – If fragrances are in your dog shampoo they should come from plants or essential oils as artificial fragrances can be too potent for sensitive pet noses and contain toxic ingredients. Many fragrances contain allergens for dogs, and more fragrances are not safe for animals–especially those derived from bulb plants. 

Other ingredients best avoided include: synthetic dyes, silicones, petrochemicals, ethanolamine compounds, and GMOs.


Is dog shampoo safe for my pup?

Yes, dog shampoo is safe if it contains ingredients suitable for your dog’s unique needs and potential allergies. The list above shows common shampoo ingredients that should be avoided as they are potentially toxic to dogs. 

Can my dog use my shampoo?

Human shampoo can irritate your dog’s skin as they have a different pH balance to us. It can also increase their chances of catching skin parasites and viruses. Therefore, unless it’s only on the rarest of occasions, you should only use specialized dog shampoo when bathing your beloved pets. We don’t recommend that a dog use human shampoo, especially since your dog has different needs than you do. The best options if you can’t find dog shampoo are gentle baby shampoos and very generic soaps with zero fragrance. 

How often do I need to bathe my dog?

How often your dog needs a bath depends on breed, lifestyle, and coat. If you’re dog likes to roll in the mud and other unpleasant things regularly, baths as required are okay, as long as you use a gentle cleanser.

Generally, medium—and long-haired dogs should be bathed every four to six weeks, and short-coat dogs should be bathed every one to three months.

However, you shouldn’t shampoo your furry friends too often, particularly if they have a thick coat e.g. golden retrievers and huskies, as regular washing can strip oils from the skin that provides natural insulation.


Choose a top-quality dog shampoo to ensure your beloved dog has a healthier coat and skin. The best dog shampoos contain natural ingredients that support skin health without causing excess dryness or irritation.

Before you start using a new dog shampoo, we recommend doing a patch test on a small area of skin to ensure your furry friend doesn’t have an adverse reaction. 

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