Dog shampoos seem to come in all sorts of categories nowadays and designed to serve a wide variety of different purposes, all the way from whitening shampoos to shampoos for fleas and ticks, and the topic of this article, medicated dog shampoo for itchy skin.
Medicated dog shampoos, as we'll be explaining further throughout this article, are mainly used by dog owners with pooches that are experiencing skin problems. Examples of those skin problems are irritations, rashes and the like.
So, if this sounds like something your dog is currently going through, then read along, as a medicated dog shampoo may just be the solution for their woes.
Best Medicated Dog Shampoo For Itchy Skin
Top Pick: Paws & Pals Natural Dog-Shampoo And Conditioner
Pick #2: SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Shampoo
Pick #3: Nootie Medicated Dog Shampoo
Pick #4: Sulfodene Medicated Shampoo and Conditioner
Pick #5: Evolution Pets Medicated Dog Mange Shampoo
*Note: The links in the table above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to Amazon.com or Chewy.com where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.
Best Medicated Dog Shampoos - A Closer Look Into Our Top 5 Options
Natural Extract: The water that makes up the substance of this shampoo has been purified many times over and is infused with natural extracts from several plants.
From Rosemary and Aloe to Oatmeal – all of these elements are super duper when it comes to keeping your pup’s skin hydrated.
Your dog’s coat will be shining after a bath. Dog owners often report that this shampoo made a notable difference in their dog’s coat after the first few baths.
No tears: You don’t have to be as worrisome around your dogs’ eyes when using this shampoo.
Not only is it tear-free, but it doesn’t form into a mountain of soapiness – a preference that many dog owners these days tend to look out for.
However, and as the case is with all shampoos out there, try your best to keep them out of your dog's eyes, just for the sake of safety.
Scent is Wonderful, but Short Lasting: Your pooch will surely smell like fresh oatmeal after the first wash, and who doesn’t like the scent of oatmeal?
This may only last for a limited amount of time, though, before you have to get that scent again from another bath. If you want the scent to last a week or more, you may want to consider another product.
Keep in mind though, to even get a hold of a Medicated Dog Shampoo that has a pleasant scent, that in and of itself is a difficult task to accomplish.
Pick #2 - SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Shampoo
Kills Those Darn Bacteria & Parasites: As a dog owner, dealing with mange or scabies is never an enjoyable experience.
You’re virtually helpless as you have to watch your dog pick and itch at themselves all day and night – and the cost of treatment on all fronts is not cheap.
The good news? This formula from SynergyLabs has been proven to effectively treat severe bacterial and parasitic skin conditions and infections.
All you have to do is lather your canine with the shampoo up to three times per week.
Remember, when using a medicated dog shampoo, you have to let the shampoo sit on your canine’s skin for about ten minutes on average before washing it off. (Always refer to the directions on the bottle you buy).
Sulfur, the Mineral of Minerals: This shampoo contains one of the most powerful minerals when it comes to skin care – sulfur.
The only negative that can occur, is that sulfur has the tendency to dry up skin a little bit.
But, the creators of this shampoo combat that potential side effect with the oatmeal that it contains.
This shampoo really is a balance of medicinal chemicals and natural ingredients. It gets the job done and doesn’t leave your canine with unwanted side effects, at least not as much as some of the other formulas out there do.
Scent isn’t the Best: One downside to this formula is that the scent may not be the most appealing to most dog owners out there.
But because this Shampoo is tough against bacteria and parasites, it’s a lot to expect the scent to be the best.
If your only motive for a shampoo is for your dog to come out of the bath smelling like a garden of roses – consider another product.
If your dog is suffering from a serious skin condition and you want to help them as much as possible, then highly consider this formula.
Pick #3 - Nootie Medicated Dog Shampoo
Skin Irritation Be Gone: Is your dog’s none stop scratching driving you bonkers? If so, then it’s time to consider the Nootie Medicated Dog Shampoo.
Reports of improvement upon application in just a couple of bath sessions are fairly common, even with canines who have suffered from long-term skin conditions.
If you’re at your breaking point or have reached your wit’s end looking for a shampoo that will stop your pup from scratching themselves all day, you should consider this product. Fun fact: This stuff works on ring worm too!
Doesn’t Smell Like Medicine: Medicated shampoos that “get the job done” and effectively combat skin irritation smell, well, smell like medicine. And let's face it, no one likes the smell of medicine, even though with our #2 pick above, it's really worth it for you to withstand this negative.
With the Nootie Medicated Dog Shampoo, you get the best of both worlds – a shampoo that works and that leaves your canine smelling fresh and not like you're in a hospital.
Causes Skin Irritation in a Small Percentage: On the rare occasion (and we mean rare by every sense of the word), some dog owners noticed that this formula caused further irritation to their dog’s skin.
These people report that their canines itched worse after bathing with the shampoo than prior.
If your pup has extremely sensitive skin, then you may want to opt for something that is all natural instead.
Gentle: Medicated dog shampoo regimens call for sparse use most of the times. This Sulfodene Medicated Shampoo is different.
Manufacturers state that you can use this shampoo up two twice a week, every week - which is a significantly higher frequency than other formulas allow you to use.
It’s also a shampoo & conditioner both in 1 – so you will not have to stress about your canine’s skin becoming dry either.
Combats Allergies Well: There are many reasons why your dog may be itching at their skin. Amongst them is allergies and the symptoms that surface most in the Spring!
If your dog has allergies that worsen when the flowers are blooming then you'll want to highly consider this product.
Of all of the benefits of this shampoo, the strongest is the effective way it combats allergy related skin irritation.
The Natural Way: Don’t want to treat your dog’s skin condition with harsh chemicals? Then you will want to consider this formula.
All of their ingredients are natural – a healthy and balanced mix of extracts, vitamins and essentials oils from Lavender to Omega-3 and Avocado – all of which will heal and hydrate your canine’s skin.
It’s a nice plus that this shampoo leaves your pup smelling nice and clean as well.
Designed to Combat Mange: Mange is a pain! Not only was this shampoo specifically designed to combat mange – many dog owners note that when their pup's fur grew back (after the spots were healed) it was shinier and the coat overall had a healthy appearance.
Many dog owners also experienced that this formula worked against flees as well.
Slowly but Surely: Prior to purchasing this shampoo, keep in mind that it may take up to a month before seeing significant results.
Remember, this does not contain nasty chemicals – It’s natural, it works, but it just may require a little bit more time.
The creators suggest that throughout the first week, you bathe your dog with this shampoo three times, then once a week for the next three weeks.
Why Should I Use A Medicated Shampoo For Dogs?
Medicated dog shampoo isn't the absolute best choice for all dog owners to start using on their pooches starting today, as it goes without saying that there are different types of dog shampoo that are best for different cases.
So, the following list will let you in on who is a good candidate and should really consider using medicated dog shampoo on their four legged friend, and who, on the other hand, should stick to the shampoo they're already using now.
Curious Dogs: If you've got yourself a curious dog at home that just loves discovering new stuff each and every day and sticking their nose in places they shouldn't really be doing so, then chances are you're going to need a medicated dog shampoo to use on them sooner or later.
Skin problems, such as all sorts of irritations, are often developed in dogs due to them going places that aren't exactly clean (to say the least), and getting themselves in trouble that way.
Allergies: If you've got a dog that happens to suffer from skin allergies, your veterinarian may very well recommend that you ditch the current shampoo you're bathing them with and just stick to a medicated shampoo till their condition starts getting better.
Some of these skin allergies are also going to be because your dog's curiosity and adventurous personality managed to get them into places they're not supposed to be in, while other times it's just going to be nature running its course - but either way, medicated dog shampoos do a very good job in treating many dog skin allergies.
Skin Irritation: You should always monitor your dog for itchy skin and see if they're excessively scratching away at one specific part of their body, and if that part looks red in color.
If that's the case with your dog, they may very well need a medicated dog shampoo for itchy skin to help ease that situation.
Skin Infections: This type of shampoo, and depending on the formula you're looking at (this varies between formula to formula - some formulas do it better than others because of different ingredients that go in their making), is known for treating bacterial infections and fungal infections your dog may have.
Hot Spots: Hot spots that manage to grow on your dog's skin may be there due to many different reasons, but using a medicated shampoo on their skin during bath time has been proven to help with this skin problem.
Bad Reaction To Current Shampoo: Plain and simple - if you've been trying a formula (or different formulas) of regular dog shampoo and have been noticing that your dog's skin is negatively reacting to these formulas, then it may just be time to switch to a medicated dog shampoo formula that helps dogs with sensitive skin issues.
Bad Smell: At many times, your veterinarian may simply recommend that you switch to using a medicated dog shampoo on your furry buddy if they just have a tendency to smell bad.
Foul odor coming from a dog's skin seems to be one of the more common problems that get solved after dog owner switch to using this type of shampoo.
It must be made very clear, though, that if you notice any of the above mentioned symptoms in your dog, this does not necessarily always mean that you should switch the type of shampoo you use to bathe them with and should begin using medicated dog shampoos on them.
Many times, it's not about the type of shampoo you're using or the brand, it's about something much more complicated than that, an underlying health condition that's causing all these symptoms that you're noticing.
Symptoms dog owners often notice in their dogs and their skin are often not taken too seriously and written off as something that will "go away on its own".
Sometimes they could be more serious so you should definitely have them checked to make sure its nothing serious going on.
So, and in an ideal world, if you notice any of the above mentioned symptoms in your dog, check with your veterinarian first before making any changes related to which shampoo you're bathing them with, and let your veterinarian determine whether there's something serious wrong with their health that they need proper treatment with, or whether it's any other practice that needs addressing as well.
How Can I Use A Medicated Shampoo On My Dog?
Because of the fact that medicated shampoos often require a veterinary prescription, it's always best that you ask your veterinarian about everything related to this, including (but not limited to) the following questions.
- How long is the course of treatment I should subject my dog to using a medicated dog shampoo?
- How often should I be bathing my dog with this type of shampoo?
- How much of this shampoo should I be using on my dog during bath time? (i.e ask them to tell you about all the details related to dosages)
- Throughout the course of treatment with this medicated dog shampoo, should I be using any other medication on my dog to complement the shampoo and get better results?
Of course, a competent veterinarian will always inform you of all these details and much more before you get the chance to ask about them, but it never hurts to know beforehand what are the important topics you should be informed about before starting to use this type of shampoo on Fido.
Also, dosages and treatment length should be left for your veterinarian to determine, or at the very least you should follow the directions found on the bottle so you get the results you're looking for with your dog.
Don't attempt to put your own treatment schedule and dosages that you believe will work for your dog, as chances are high that you (or anyone else that isn't an expert in the field) will do more harm than good to their pooch.
Depending on the severity of the situation that your dog is experiencing, your veterinarian may deem it necessary to administer higher dosages and/or a lengthier treatment course, or lower dosages and/or a shorter treatment course if they run a diagnosis and conclude that your dog's situation is not that dire.
It's also extra important that you carefully read all you can about how to properly use this shampoo during bath time, as different medicated dog shampoo formulas will have different ideal ways and methods of application, so you should apply them as specified to the T in order to see best results.
Important Note About Dog Hygiene
Besides making use of a medicated dog shampoo, and even possibly before you make the switch to begin using one, ask yourself if you're properly taking care of your dog's hygiene & cleanliness and staying on top of that situation.
Truth be told, one too many dog owners often begin to look at the advanced stuff (such as medicated dog shampoos in this case) before they've even gotten the basics of proper dog hygiene and cleanliness down to begin with.
And we all know that seeking the advanced stuff before we have the basics covered is both setting us up (and our dogs) for failure in the future, and a waste of time and money in the present.
So, before searching for the best medicated dog shampoo formula, make sure you're properly bathing your dog the way you should be, are giving them baths in the frequency you should be (not too many to damage their skin and not too few to cause poor hygiene), have their flea & tick medication checked and are on top of that situation, etc ..
Side Effects You Should Keep Monitoring For
When making the switch to using medicated dog shampoo on your pooch, you should actively monitor for a few symptoms that signal something's not going to plan. We've noted the most common of these symptoms in the following shortlist below.
- Redness & irritation around the eyes (keep note, though, that this is usually due to the shampoo getting in your dog's eyes, which shouldn't be happening in the first place - not with this type of shampoo nor with any standard shampoo out there).
- Skin redness & irritation
- Different parts of the body become visibly swollen
If you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms in your dog, whether it's one symptom only or a whole bunch of them, mild or extreme, notify your veterinarian right away. Your dog may be negatively reacting to the specific formula, the dosage may need a little bit of tweaking, or something else is possibly going on that only your veterinarian is able to diagnose when you report to them what you're noticing in your dog.