The Best Dog Shampoo for Dry Skin to Help Soften and Moisturize the Skin

Here are the best dog shampoo for dry skin we’ll be covering:

No matter where you live, dry and itchy skin can be an issue that haunts your dog year-round. As we head into summer, however, a lot of allergic reactions or skin conditions can be exacerbated by the hot, dry weather, which can leave you and your dog feeling frustrated and at a loss for what to do.

Before you start any at-home treatment, you should absolutely talk to your local veterinarian first. Your vet can give you an explanation as to what’s causing your dog’s dry skin, which can save you a lot of time in figuring out how to deal with the condition at home.

Generally, dry skin in dogs has one of three causes: an allergic reaction, a parasite, or a bacterial infection. Determining which of the three is the root cause for your dog’s dry skin will be massively helpful in helping you choose which products to use for treatment.

Allergic reactions can be triggered by your dog’s food, where you and your dog live, or changes in the weather. Some common allergens include pollen, grain, dust, and animal dander. Unless your dog’s underlying allergies are treated, they may start to develop red, dry, or itching skin.

Mites are the most common parasite to cause dry skin in dogs. Demodex mites cause demodectic mange, which leaves your dog with dry, itching, or flaking skin. Other parasites, like lice or the Sarcoptes scabiei mite, will similarly result in painful irritations along your dog’s skin.

Finally, there are a wide range of bacterial infections that can cause dry or itchy skin. Some of these infections, like ringworm, are transmissible to humans, so you’ll want to take extra care in dealing with potential infections.

Again, getting a veterinarian’s opinion before starting treatment can go a long way towards helping you and your dog get the relief that you need. If you start treatment based on a home diagnosis or a “gut feeling”, you run the risk of prolonging your dog’s discomfort and allowing their condition to get far worse before it gets better.

Our recommendation for the best dog shampoo for dry skin

Once you have your official diagnosis, you can start looking for hair and skin treatments that will have your dog feeling better in no time. While the specific product may vary based on the diagnosis, there are a few factors that you’ll want to keep in mind for any new treatment plan. These include factors like:

pH Level: In many cases, dry skin is linked to a pH imbalance in the upper layers of the skin. Look for slightly acidic shampoos—shampoos with a pH between 5 and 6. This will help your dog’s skin restore its natural balance without being too harsh.

Hypoallergenic formula: Steer clear of any shampoos that contain ingredients you know your dog is allergic to. In addition, look for dog shampoos that are designed for dog’s with sensitive skin or allergies.

Lack of additives: Similar to the above point, try to avoid any shampoos that are packed with fragrance. While they may leave your dog smelling nice, they’re far more likely to irritate their dry skin and leave them feeling worse. Shampoos with lots of different alcohols for a quick dry will often have the same end result.

Smart ingredients: Just because the ingredients are natural doesn’t mean that they won’t hurt your dog. Keep an eye out for anything inflammatory or drying.

Once you’ve got your diagnosis and a basic outline of what you’ll need, you’re ready to start looking for the best dog shampoo available.

Finding the best dog shampoo for dry skin also means finding the best dog shampoo for your dog. Depending on your schedule, your dog’s personality, and the particular nature of their skin condition, you may find yourself drawn to one particular product over another. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite dog shampoos for dry and itching skin, along with the dogs that may benefit the most from each product.

Paws and Pals Dog Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

Made with vegan ingredients and an all-natural process, the Paws and Pals Dog Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner is full of soothing, itch-relieving components that will leave your dog’s coat feeling sleek, shiny, and fully restored. Healthy oils and acids work to restore the natural balance of your dog’s coat overnight!

Pros: aloe vera soothes irritated skin, argan oil “locks in” natural oils of the lipid barrier on dog’s skin, coconut oil and rosemary for a gentle scent, helps remove dander or other irritants trapped in your dog’s coat, smooths and detangles matted or clumping fur.

Cons: strong fragrance may be an issue for dogs with severe allergies, so this may not be the best fit if your dog’s dry skin is an allergic reaction

Perfect For: dogs with dry skin as a result of parasites or infections, dogs who live in dry areas, dogs who live in homes with small children or other animals, young dogs.

Pro Pet Works All Natural Organic Oatmeal Pet Shampoo

The five-in-one formula of Pro Pet Works All Natural Organic Oatmeal Pet Shampoo has all the nutrients your dog’s coat will need to begin the restoration process. This soft, gentle shampoo includes almond oil, aloe vera, oatmeal, and vitamins A, D, and E in order to condition and moisturize skin that may have already been badly damaged.

Pros: soft and gentle formula, vitamin E to restore skin, oatmeal and aloe vera to soothe itching, hypoallergenic formula cleans coat without further irritating your dog’s skin and coat, cruelty free, low in soap, pleasant aroma without being overpowering or exacerbating any skin conditions, professional quality, designed for use on dogs.

Cons: while the perfume smells nice and clean, it’s also known to attract flies, so be careful if you live in a bug-friendly area.

Perfect For: dogs with sensitive skin, dogs with allergies, dogs who are particularly prone to that “wet dog smell”, dogs with damaged skin as a result of constant itching and scratching.

Wahl Dry Skin & Itch Relief Pet Shampoo

Similar to the previous products, Wahl Dry Skin & Itch Relief Pet Shampoo uses an oatmeal and aloe vera blend in order to soothe and restore your dog’s skin and coat as it cleans.

The formula was originally developed for a dog with severe allergies, which makes it a good fit for dogs with extremely sensitive systems.

Pros: no allergens, gentle formula, thick lather and easy rinse-off to significantly cut down the amount of time spent in the tub, quick-cleaning for a visibly clearer coat, oatmeal formula is great for soothing itching skin, coconut lime scent, low soap content for a lower risk of irritation

Cons: this shampoo is designed for use with allergies, which means that it won’t be very helpful for flea or lice infestations

Perfect For: dogs with severe allergies, dogs who don’t like bath time, dogs whose dry skin is a result of either allergies or bacterial infections instead of parasitic infections, owners who struggle at bath time

Honest Paws 5-in-1 Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and Conditioner

The “5” in Honest Paws 5-in-1 Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and Conditioner refers to this product’s five benefits: it cleans, deodorizes, conditions, detangles the coat, and moisturizes skin for a safe, healthy end result. 

Another aloe, oatmeal, and coconut blend, this shampoo is full of only the highest-quality natural ingredients in order to keep your dog’s skin safe!

Pros: eco-friendly formula, effective cleaning agent, all-natural ingredients, designed by veterinarians, stronger formula fights against parasites and changes the pH balance of your dog’s coat, replenishes skin’s natural moisture to protect against future attacks of dry or itchy skin, non-toxic, easy to clean up.

Cons: dogs with already damaged skin may find the strong formula a little bit too harsh or abrasive for raw, red, sensitive areas. 

Perfect For: dogs with allergic reactions to non-natural products, dogs with parasites, dogs with severe skin conditions, owners who are tired of finding chemical additives in their “natural” products, older dogs or mixed-breed dogs with unique coats. 

Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo for Dogs

Entirely plant-based and full of all-natural ingredients, Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo for Dogs was designed by veterinarians and intended for use on dogs with severe allergic reactions to typical products. 

The high amounts of vitamin E work to restore your dog’s skin and boost the natural protective layers found in their coat in order to stop any itching.

Pros: won’t interact with other skin treatments, designed by veterinarians to work with flea or lice medications, hypoallergenic, plant-based formula, can be used multiple times within a short time span without irritating or drying out your dog’s skin, helps to restore dry and brittle coats, relieves itching. 

Cons: for dogs with bacterial infections, this shampoo may actually make the issue worse on areas of exposed or damaged skin. 

Perfect For: dogs who take a lot of baths, dogs who need a lot of extra cleaning, dogs who are already using some form of skin medication, dogs who are suffering from parasitic infections, dogs with allergies.

Once you’ve got your dog’s shampoo ready to go, you may still have some lingering questions as to how you should proceed. It’s perfectly normal to still have some concerns, and it’s always a good idea to do a little bit of extra research before you start any sort of veterinarian-recommended or home-brewed treatment plan. Some of the most frequently asked questions include concerns over issues like the following.

What if my dog has extremely itchy skin?

If at-home treatments and restorative shampoos aren’t doing anything to help your dog, take them in to see your local veterinarian again. Your vet may recommend immunotherapy options or refer you to a canine dermatologist who can help to provide an even more in-depth look at what’s bothering your four-legged friend.

In extreme cases, your dog may have to go on a treatment of allergy shots or make greater lifestyle changes in order to accommodate their condition. You may find yourself switching up your dog’s diet or routine in order to ensure that they get the relief that their skin needs.

How do I moisturize my dog’s skin?

Obviously, the first go-to should be a cleaning, soothing shampoo that removes any parasites or bacterial infections while giving your dog’s skin the nutrients and moisture that will make it stop itching. However, there are other steps you can take to help speed the process along!

Look for dietary supplements that will help restore your dog’s natural skin balance and leave them feeling healthy and refreshed. You may also want to look for a humidifier to place near your dog’s crate or in any part of the house where they like to hang out to keep them from drying out.

Are there any natural remedies?

There are tons of natural remedies available for treating dry skin! Once again, it bears repeating that a veterinarian’s diagnosis is still your best bet for quick and effective treatment. However, there are still things you can do at home that don’t involve a lengthy prescription process.

Something as simple as switching your dog to a natural, all-raw diet can go a long way towards removing some of the more common allergens. You can also look for supplements and vitamins that are specifically designed to help with dry skin and are packed with healthy oils and acids.