How to Choose a Dog Shampoo

How to Choose a Dog Shampoo

The shampoo aisle at the

pet store

is not unlike the shampoo aisle at the drugstore. There are tons of brands to choose from, various formulas, numerous scents, and lots of promises. While it might seem like choosing a shampoo at random is the easiest way to go, the truth is that the shampoo you choose for your dog


matter.So how can you choose the right dog shampoo for your furry friend?

1. Evaluate Your Dogโ€™s Skin

Healthy fur comes from healthy skin, so the first step in choosing a dog shampoo should be evaluating your pupโ€™s skin. Is their skin normal? Greasy?

Dry? Flaky? Itchy

? Does it have a funky odor? When it doubt, ask your veterinarian to take a look at your petโ€™s skin and give you the rundown. This will help you start zeroing in on a good dog shampoo.

RELATED STORY: DIY Dog Dry Skin Treatment (And Handy Medications)

2. Evaluate Your Dogโ€™s Coat

Some dogs have smooth, silky fur. Other dogs have coarse, curly hair. Some dog fur is prone to tangling and mats, while others is greasy to the touch. Feel your dogโ€™s fur, and ask your veterinarian for their opinion. Youโ€™ll be one step closer to choosing a dog shampoo.RELATED STORY: The Causes of Dog and Cat Dandruff

3.ย Consider Your Options

Once youโ€™ve evaluated your dogโ€™s skin and coat, you can take a look at different shampoo choicesย for your dogโ€™s particular pampering needs:

If your dogโ€™s skin and coat are normal:

Choose a basic cleansing shampoo, like

Perfect Coatโ€™s Tearless Dog Shampoo

. A basic cleansing shampoo will clean the coat, strengthen it, and leave your dog smelling fresh.

If your dogโ€™s skin or coat is dry/itchy:

Choose a soothing shampoo, like

Veterinary Formula Soothing & Deodorizing Oatmeal Shampoo

. A soothing shampoo will clean and moisturize the skin and coat without stripping skin oils. Most soothing shampoos contain emollients that increase moisture in the skin, as well as soothing ingredients such as oatmeal, Vitamin E, aloe vera, and fatty acids. If your dogโ€™s dryness or itching is severe, your veterinarian may recommend a medicated shampoo such as

Epi-Soothe Oatmeal Shampoo.If your dogโ€™s skin or coat is greasy/oily:

Choose a shampoo specially formulated to remove excess sebum and grease from the skin and coat, like

Ark Naturals Neem Protect Shampoo

. In severe cases, your veterinarian may recommend a medicated shampoo such as


, which removes secretions from the coat and flushes grease from the hair particles.

If your dogโ€™s coat gets tangled:

Use a 2-in-1 shampoo and condition, like

Fresh nโ€™ Cleanโ€™s 2-in-1 Oatmeal Conditioning Shampoo

, or a soothing shampoo followed by a conditioner,

like Richardโ€™s Organics Nourishing Conditioner

. Just remember that matted fur is not easy to detangle even after a conditioner is used, so brush your dogโ€™s fur


bathing them and cut out problem mats.

What shampoo do you use on your dog, and why? Leave a comment and let us know. And to save 20% on dog shampoo, sign up for PetPlus


PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more at


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