- Chewy / Business Insider
- Chewy / Business Insider
- Your dog’s skin is very delicate and susceptible to dryness and damage from any number of causes including insect pests, bacteria, yeast, and fungus.
- A medicated shampoo may be the ideal solution for your dog’s skin problems, but you need to identify the underlying condition first so you can choose the right shampoo.
- Made with powerful active ingredients like salicylic acid and micronized sulfur with the addition of natural moisturizers, this Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic and Antiseborrheic Medicated Shampoo quickly relieves itching and irritation associated with a wide variety of skin problems.
Your dog’s skin is extremely delicate, though you may not think about it because it’s covered in a layer of fur. In reality, a dog’s skin is much thinner than a human’s, which makes it more sensitive to things like pest insects, bacteria, and fungus. Your dog can also develop allergies to certain substances that may manifest in the form of skin-related symptoms.
Whether your dog has developed an allergy, a bacterial skin infection, or a case of seborrhea, medicated dog shampoo may be the solution to the problem. There are a wide variety on the market designed to treat everything from dry, itchy skin caused by allergies or seborrheic skin conditions, to fungal, bacterial, and yeast infections. The key is determining the underlying cause for your dog’s skin problems and choosing the right medicated shampoo for the job.
There are countless dog shampoos on the market, but we’ve done the research to determine the best medicated dog shampoo. Remember, you’ll need to consult your veterinarian to identify the cause of your dog’s skin problems, but then you can choose a medicated dog shampoo formulated for that particular problem. Here’s a quick look at our top-five picks for the best medicated shampoo for dogs.
Here are our top picks for the best medicated shampoo for dogs in 2019:
- Best overall: Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic and Antiseborrheic Medicated Shampoo
- Best for skin allergies: Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Dog Shampoo
- Best bacterial infection: Douxo Chlorhexidine Shampoo
- Best yeast infection: Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic and Antifungal Shampoo
- Best mange: Davis Benzoyl Peroxide Medicated Shampoo
Keep scrolling to read more details about our top picks.
The best shampoo overall
Made with powerful active ingredients like salicylic acid and micronized sulfur with the addition of natural moisturizers, the Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic and Antiseborrheic Medicated Shampoo for Dogs quickly relieves itching and irritation associated with a wide variety of skin problems.
Different skin problems require different treatments, so you should always consult your veterinarian before using a medicated shampoo. If you’re just looking for a shampoo to help your dog’s skin heal following an infection or allergy, a multi-symptom medicated shampoo may be a good choice.
Many medicated shampoos offer antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal benefits – all in one product – with the addition of moisturizers, and cooling agents to help soothe and heal the skin. Our top pick for the best medicated dog shampoo overall is Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic and Antiseborrheic Medicated Shampoo for Dogs.
This Veterinary Formula Medicated Shampoo is one of the most popular on the market and for good reason. It features a fast-acting formula that relieves inflammation and itching associated with numerous skin problems including dermatitis, mange, seborrhea, pyoderma, and parasite infections. This formula utilizes active ingredients like salicylic acid and micronized sulfur with natural moisturizers like colloidal oatmeal and allantoin to hydrate the skin and promote healing. Plus, it is free from dyes, soaps, and parabens and is pH-balanced for your dog’s sensitive skin.
Breeding Business also named this Veterinary Formula Clinical Care shampoo its top pick for the best medicated dog shampoo, stating that it is among the best over-the-counter medicated shampoos for moderate-to-severe skin conditions. Ultimate Home Life reviewed this product favorably, noting that the combination of active and natural ingredients delivers fast relief from a variety of conditions with regular use.
Not only does this Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic and Antiseborrheic Medicated Shampoo for Dogs have over 2,200 reviews on Amazon, but it carries an Amazon’s Choice award and a 4.4-star rating. Customers love how quickly it works to resolve even stubborn skin conditions, though there are some comments that it may not resolve fungal or yeast infections; for this, you may want to consider the Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic and Antifungal Shampoo for Dogs and Cats (more details below in the section about “the best medicated dog shampoo for yeast infection”).
Pros: Works for a variety of skin conditions, relieves itching and inflammation, contains natural moisturizers, free from dyes and parabens, pH-balanced for sensitive skin
Cons: May not resolve fungal or yeast infections, scent may be too strong for some
Buy Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic and Antiseborrheic Medicated Shampoo for Dogs (16 ounces) on Amazon or Chewy for $8.49
The best for skin allergies
Formulated with gentle, natural ingredients, the hypoallergenic Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Dog Shampoo offers fast relief from dryness, itching, and irritation.
Because most dogs’ skin is protected by a layer of fur, you may not think it would be susceptible to allergies, but it is. Dogs can develop environmental allergies to everything from grass and pollen to mold, mites, and medication. In many cases, food allergies also manifest with skin-related symptoms such as dry, itchy skin as well as patches of hair loss and hot spots. Our top pick for the best medicated dog shampoo for skin allergies is Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Dog Shampoo.
This Vet’s Best shampoo features a blend of natural ingredients including oatmeal, aloe, and tea tree oil to deliver fast-acting relief for intense itching. This shampoo relieves dry, itchy skin with the help of natural moisturizers like oatmeal and aloe, with essential oils to soothe and calm the skin. It contains no parabens, chemical dyes, or artificial colors that might irritate your dog’s skin and is safe enough for daily use. Plus, it won’t interfere with your dog’s topical flea and tick treatments. Simply work it into a lather and let it soak into the skin for three to five minutes before thoroughly rinsing – repeat as necessary.
Therapy Pet included Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo in their list of top picks for the best dog shampoo for allergies, noting the fact that it is a hypoallergenic formula safe enough for daily use. Pawster also included this shampoo in their top picks, naming it the best choice for anti-itching due to the inclusion of tea tree oil to relieve irritation and oatmeal to moisturize.
With more than 430 reviews on Amazon, this Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo carries both a 4-star rating and an Amazon’s Choice Award. Customers love the natural ingredients and the fact that it is safe to use daily, though there are some comments that it doesn’t work for all dogs. In these cases, it may be necessary to see a vet to determine whether another underlying skin problem may be at play.
Pros: Natural ingredients, soothes and relieves itching, safe for daily use, will not affect topical flea and tick treatments, cleans and deodorizes
Cons: May not work for some dogs, scent may be too strong for some
The best for bacterial infection
Made with three active ingredients, the Douxo Chlorhexidine Shampoo treats a wide range of superficial and acute bacterial skin infections. It also contains a long-lasting lipoprotein to protect against further irritation and loss of moisture.
When your dog is already suffering from skin problems related to allergies or parasites, he is more susceptible to secondary bacterial skin infections. These can occur when your dog scratches excessively, breaking the skin and allowing bacteria to infect the wound. Your veterinarian will need to perform diagnostic tests to identify the specific strain of bacteria and may also recommend a course of antibiotics. To support this therapy, you may also want to use an antibacterial medicated shampoo help relieve symptoms and speed healing.
Our top pick for the best medicated dog shampoo for bacterial infection is Douxo Chlorhexidine Shampoo. This shampoo features three powerful active ingredients – chlorhexidine gluconate (3%), climbazole (0.5%), and phytosphingosine salicyloyl (0.05%) – to treat both superficial and acute bacterial skin infections. This shampoo contains ceramides to provide antiseborrheic benefits as well as lipoprotein to deposit a long-lasting film protecting against further irritation and loss of moisture.
Reviews Worthy named Douxo Chlorhexidine Shampoo its top pick for the best medicated dog shampoo, giving it a near-perfect score. They commented that it works quickly on a variety of skin problems and even reverses hair loss. My Pet Needs That also gave this product the top slot, noting that it doesn’t just kill microorganisms on the skin but also nourishes and rehydrates the skin to promote healing.
This Douxo Chlorhexidine Shampoo has more than 1,350 reviews on Amazon and carries a solid 4.7-star rating. Customers said it provides fast relief from even severe bacterial infections. There are very few negative comments, primarily related to the price and strong smell.
Pros: Three powerful active ingredients, treats both superficial and acute infections, lipoprotein deposits a protective film, fast-acting relief from symptoms
Cons: Fairly expensive compared to similar products, scent may be too strong for some
The best for yeast infection
Formulated with benzethonium chlroide and ketoconazole, the Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic and Antifungal Shampoo for Dogs and Cats cleans and deodorizes the skin while neutralizing both bacteria and fungal infections for fast-acting symptom relief.
Yeast infections in dogs are caused by the fungus Malassezia pachydermatis. This yeast is found naturally in the skin of most dogs, but it doesn’t cause a problem until skin conditions change, resulting in abnormal overgrowth that leads to dermatitis, or skin inflammation. Yeast infections in dogs cause itching and redness of the skin as well as a musty odor, hyperpigmentation, and recurrent ear infections.
The most effective treatment for yeast infections in dogs is a medicated shampoo that contains selenium sulfide or benzoyl peroxide. Our top pick for the best medicated dog shampoo for yeast infections is Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo. This shampoo is formulated with benzethonium chloride to eliminate bacteria and ketoconazole to relieve fungal infections. It cleans and deodorizes while soothing and hydrating the skin for fast-acting symptom relief. Plus, it is free from parabens, soaps, and harsh chemicals.
Pawster named this Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo its top pick for the best Antifungal shampoo, commenting on the inclusion of benzethonium chloride to fight secondary infections and odor-causing bacteria.
This Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo maintains a 4.4-star review on Amazon with more than 80 reviews. Customers said it works and love that it comes in a spray, though there are comments that it may be too harsh for very small dogs or dogs with very sensitive skin.
Pros: Contains powerful active ingredients, soap-free coconut-based cleanser, cleans and deodorizes the skin, soothes itching and irritation, free from parabens
Cons: May be too harsh for very small dogs or dogs with very sensitive skin, contains some artificial color
Buy Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic and Antifungal Shampoo for Dogs and Cats on Chewy for $7.50
The best for mange
With a powerful 2.5% concentration of benzoyl peroxide, Davis Benzoyl Peroxide Medicated Dog & Cat Shampoo degreases the coat, flushes the hair follicles, and moisturizes the skin to soothe and heal even the most severe cases of mange.
Mange is a painful skin disease caused by mites, and there are two primary forms – sarcoptic mange and demodectic mange. Sarcoptic mange is extremely contagious and causes symptoms including extreme itching, redness, hair loss, and lesions on the skin. Demodectic mange typically occurs in dogs with weakened immune systems and may cause patches of redness, hair loss, and scaling skin. Treatment for mange involves topical applications to eradicate the mites as well as medicated baths to relieve symptoms and heal the skin.
Our top pick for the best medicated dog shampoo for mange is Davis Benzoyl Peroxide Shampoo. This shampoo offers deep-cleansing action powered by a 2.5% concentration of benzoyl peroxide to degrease your dog’s coat and flush the hair follicles to relieve inflammation. It penetrates the skin and coat deeper than other shampoos to deliver the most effective treatment possible while also moisturizing the skin to promote healing. Because this formula is so strong, however, you need to use caution around your dog’s eyes and nose.
K9 of Mine included Davis Benzoyl Peroxide Shampoo in its top-five picks for the best dog shampoos for mange, commenting on the fact that it is made with a 1-to-3 micron benzoyl peroxide powder that is much finer than what most shampoos use – this is what enables it to penetrate more deeply. Top Dog Tips also reviewed this product favorably but highlights the importance of wearing gloves and avoiding the dog’s eyes and nose when bathing due to the product’s high potency.
This Davis Benzoyl Peroxide Shampoo has a solid 4.5-star rating on Amazon with more than 325 reviews and carries an Amazon’s Choice award. Customers love the powerful formula, though there are some comments about the product bleaching fabric.
Pros: Powerful 2.5% benzoyl peroxide active ingredient, penetrates deeper than other formulations, flushes hair follicles to relieve inflammation, hydrates and moisturizes skin
Cons: Very strong formula may irritate the eyes and nose, may not kill sarcoptic mange mites, may bleach fabric if spilled