Here are the best hypoallergenic dog shampoo for sensitive skin we’ll be covering:
- For sensitive skin: HyLyt Shampoo
- Medicated shampoo for itchy skin: Dechra Miconahex + Triz Shampoo
- For all skin type: DermaLyte Shampoo
- Burt’s Bees Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo
- Hyponic Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo
According to Merriam-Webster, Hypoallergenic is defined as having little likelihood of causing an allergic response. This creates a complication when it comes to defining what a hypoallergenic shampoo actually contains.
Sure, hypoallergenic sounds great, but it’s important to look at the ingredients of any shampoo before buying it. Hypoallergenic does sometimes cover common irritants, but that doesn’t mean it won’t contain something your dog may be allergic to. So, it’s important not to settle for shampoo just because it has a hypoallergenic label.
Hypoallergenic shampoo and what to look for
There are a lot of common ingredients in dog shampoo that cause allergic reactions, and a hypoallergenic label doesn’t need to cover all of these to be considered a hypoallergenic shampoo. As of now, there is no legal regulation of the word hypoallergenic. Without that regulation, it is difficult to choose a shampoo that is safe for your dog without reading the ingredients and deciding for yourself.
So, let’s talk about some ingredients that you may want to avoid when considering shampoo for your dog.
Much like humans, dogs can be allergic to any ingredient. So, finding the best hypoallergenic dog shampoo can be complicated, but we are going to focus on more common ingredients that cause skin irritation.
Remember that you can follow our guide and still deal with skin allergies because every dog is different, but here are some things that we recommend you avoid to help protect your dog’s sensitive skin.
Fragrance and alcohol are very common ingredients found in dog shampoo that can cause skin irritation. These ingredients tend to dry out your dog’s skin and can make any existing skin conditions worse. Sure, fragrance can make your dog smell really good after bath time, but it’s not worth making them itchy if they have a bad reaction. Instead, you want to find a shampoo that is naturally scented or not scented at all.
Sulfates and soap can also cause skin irritation for dogs because these ingredients are made to strip oils from the skin’s surface. The problem is that these ingredients tend to strip the good oils from your dog’s skin. This will dry out your dog’s skin. So, things like sulfates and soap should be avoided if possible. Many harsh chemicals can be found in shampoo that should be avoided like preservatives and parabens that can also be harmful. Despite the idea that hypoallergenic shampoo should avoid all of these, they don’t always do that.
So, let’s talk about some of our favorite dog shampoos that do avoid these harsh ingredients.
The best hypoallergenic dog shampoos
This is a gentle, soap-free shampoo made for dogs with sensitive skin. Often soap-free brands do not lather well, but this shampoo still lathers despite having no soap. This formula provides extra hydration to your dog’s skin and seals it in to ensure long-lasting hydration. This shampoo leaves your dog smelling like coconuts, but it does contain fragrance which can irritate their skin. There is no specification on whether this product will wash away flea and tick treatment. So, it may be best to use in-between treatments to ensure they don’t wash away.
HyLyt shampoo used to require a veterinary prescription, but it is now available over the counter. So, you don’t have to worry about another trip to the vet. This shampoo is thick, so you don’t need to use a lot of it to get the job done. The thickness allows it to thoroughly cleanse your dog no matter how dirty they are.
Pros: Thick, soap-free, hydration, smells nice.
Cons: Contain fragrance, may wash away flea and tick treatment.
This medicated shampoo helps moisturize your dog’s itchy skin and gives them some relief. There are no perfumes in this shampoo, so it is not going to have a strong scent. There are lavender and lemongrass which provide a nice clean scent but don’t expect it to be as strong as other shampoos with perfumes. It is made solely to clean your dog and give them some relief. This product aims at repairing skin and allowing it to heal by relieving itchiness.
It can be used up to 4 times a week or as needed and should be left on for 5-10 minutes during bath time to ensure it has plenty of time to get to work. This shampoo is antimicrobial and antifungal which means that it is made for dogs with skin issues and irritations. So, it is safe for dogs with skin allergies because it is made to heal the skin rather than just clean it and make them smell good.
This shampoo is great for any skin irritation or itchiness, but it may be too intense for dogs who don’t have any issues with their skin. If your dog doesn’t need medicated shampoo, then it may be better to find something else for them because they don’t need the healing aspect of this shampoo.
Pros: Moisturizing, unscented, itching relief, antimicrobial, antifungal.
Cons: May be too strong for dogs without skin issues, must keep on for 5-10 minutes after lathering.
This gentle shampoo is made for all skin types. It is soap-free so it won’t strip essential oil from your dog’s skin, but it still lathers well. This shampoo contains fragrance that will leave your dog smelling nice but may irritate their skin if they are sensitive. The scent it leaves is a very light coconut smell.
This shampoo does not use any harsh chemicals, but rather it allows you to bathe your dog in an all-natural shampoo that is safe for all skin types. Dermalyte shampoo is great for your dog’s coat, and despite having no soap, it still makes your dog’s coat nice and shiny.
Pros: All skin types, fresh coconut smell, all-natural, good for coat.
Cons: Contains fragrance.
Burt’s Bees shampoo is great for dogs with sensitive skin because it contains no fragrances, parabens or sulfates. It is pH balanced so it will not make known skin issues worse. This shampoo is gentle enough to be used with dogs and puppies, and there is no leave-in period during bath time.
So, if your dog gets restless during bath time, then this will be a quick one-step bath. This product contains shea butter which helps moisturize skin and honey to help their coat really shine. Burt’s Bees shampoo will not wash off flea and tick treatment, so you don’t have to plan your baths around your treatments.
Because this shampoo doesn’t contain soap, it may not lather as well as other shampoos that do. This shampoo contains 99.7% natural ingredients. So, it is one of the most naturally based shampoos out there.
Pros: No harsh chemicals, no leave-in period, moisturizing, doesn’t wash off flea/tock treatment.
Cons: May not lather well, no strong scent.
This natural dog shampoo is sulfate, paraben and perfume-free. Despite not containing perfumes, this shampoo leaves your dog smelling good after bath time. The scent is also long-lasting, which is helpful if your dog starts smelling quickly after their bath.
Although, some long-lasting scents tend to smell really strong compared to other shampoos. It does not need a conditioner with it as it acts more like a 2 in 1 formula with its rich lather and moisturizing ingredients.
This shampoo is made to not strip essential oils from your dog’s skin, so it won’t cause irritation or itchiness. There is no waiting period for this shampoo. So, when bath time comes, those more squirmy pups will do just fine. If you’re looking for a shampoo with no harmful ingredients that is not medicated, then this is a great option for you.
Pros: All natural ingredients, designed to not need conditioner, can be rinsed out right away.
Cons: Scent may be very strong.
Hypoallergenic shampoo is meant to be safer for dogs with sensitive skin compared to regular shampoo, but as we talked about earlier there aren’t any regulations on what can be considered hypoallergenic. So, it is best to always do your research when trying to find the best hypoallergenic dog shampoo for your furry friend. Make sure you read the ingredients carefully and look for the ones we mentioned above that tend to make allergies worse. Start with avoiding more common irritants and go from there.
Often, people question whether hypoallergenic dog shampoo actually works considering the lack of regulations, and it still can work very well for your dog. As long as you are monitoring the ingredients, a hypoallergenic dog shampoo can be exactly what your dog needs for their sensitive skin. The goal is to find out which ingredients are negatively affecting your dog. Hypoallergenic shampoo tends to get rid of the more common ingredients that cause irritation, but more research may be needed on your part if your dog continues to have issues.
There are several ways that your dog will react if they are allergic to a shampoo. Each dog is different, but it is commonly found through excessive licking, excessive scratching, inflamed areas of the skin or fur loss. We can always tell when our dogs are restless or uncomfortable, and skin allergies will certainly make them behave that way.
You should always talk to your veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms, but even before you can get them to the vet, consider changing their shampoo to see if another option works for them. It will be difficult to pinpoint exactly what ingredient is causing their reaction, but trying a hypoallergenic shampoo that has less common irritants can get your furry friend feeling better quickly.
These are just some of our favorite options for the best hypoallergenic dog shampoo, but now you know what ingredients to try to avoid. Things like fragrance can be great for making sure your pup doesn’t stink, but if it is making them itchy, then it isn’t worth it. There are plenty of naturally scented shampoos that are still effective. No, you won’t get that fresh fruit smell, but you can make sure your dog doesn’t smell bad without perfumes and fragrance.
Ingredients like sulfates and soap can strip your dog’s skin of the necessary oils that help with hydration. So, there are plenty of ingredients to avoid, and hypoallergenic shampoo can help you do that more easily.
So, check out the list of our favorite hypoallergenic dog shampoos and find something that would work for your furry friend. Remember that every dog is different, and just because an ingredient is a more common irritant doesn’t mean that it is what is causing your dog to be itchy. If skin allergies develop or continue, keep looking for more hypoallergenic options until you find the one that works for your dog.
And remember, allergies can develop over time, so something that worked when they were a puppy might not work now.
Aiming for hypoallergenic can save you from issues in the future, even if they haven’t developed any allergies yet. Our pets are our family, so it’s always better to be careful when it comes to their skincare. Check out our favorite hypoallergenic shampoos and get your furry friend some relief from dry, itchy skin.