How to Choose a Dog Shampoo

PetPlus

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 does matter.

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

1. Evaluate Your Dog’s Skin

Healthy fur comes from healthy skin, so the first step in choosing a dog shampoo should be evaluating your pup’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 pet’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 Dog’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 dog’s fur, and ask your veterinarian for their opinion. You’ll be one step closer to choosing a dog shampoo.

RELATED STORY: The Causes of Dog and Cat Dandruff

3. Consider Your Options

Once you’ve evaluated your dog’s skin and coat, you can take a look at different shampoo choices for your dog’s particular pampering needs:

If your dog’s skin and coat are normal: Choose a basic cleansing shampoo, like Perfect Coat’s Tearless Dog Shampoo. A basic cleansing shampoo will clean the coat, strengthen it, and leave your dog smelling fresh.

If your dog’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 dog’s dryness or itching is severe, your veterinarian may recommend a medicated shampoo such as Epi-Soothe Oatmeal Shampoo.

If your dog’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 Pyoben, which removes secretions from the coat and flushes grease from the hair particles.

If your dog’s coat gets tangled: Use a 2-in-1 shampoo and condition, like Fresh n’ Clean’s 2-in-1 Oatmeal Conditioning Shampoo, or a soothing shampoo followed by a conditioner, like Richard’s Organics Nourishing Conditioner. Just remember that matted fur is not easy to detangle even after a conditioner is used, so brush your dog’s fur before 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 PetPlus.com.

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