What is the best dog shampoo for dry skin?


Does your pet’s skin look like it lacks moisture? Dogs, just like their “hoomans,” may also suffer from skin dryness. If you’re wondering how you can help your buddy without immediately resorting to oral or topical medication, it will help to bathe him with a shampoo that can help bring back the skin’s natural moisture. Even dogs that are not suffering from skin dryness can benefit from moisturizing shampoos.

As the adage goes, preventing is better than curing. But the question is which brand works best for dry skin? There are many types of shampoos out there and they come in different price points. Some are formulated with natural ingredients while some have strong content to effectively treat itching and dryness. Here, we listed five of the most popular dog shampoos known to help treat skin dryness in dogs.

Reviews: 5 Best Shampoos for Dogs with Dry Skin

1. Mighty Petz 2-in-1 Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and Conditioner



Pros: When you’re looking for shampoos with organic and high-quality ingredients, this one should definitely be on your list. With only seven ingredients, this product from Mighty Petz proves there’s power in simplicity. Since it is 100% natural, it’s best to use on pets with sensitive skin. It’s a coconut-based cleanser and also has water and mineral salt in it. Coconut is a natural cleanser that can moisturize the skin at the same time.

The mineral salt can thoroughly cleanse the skin while leaving it healthy-looking. Other key ingredients of this shampoo are aloe, organic oat, and baking soda. As you can notice, oatmeal is used as a primary ingredient in many skincare products and this is because of its many benefits. It’s formulated with lavender fragrance, which makes it smell really good and will give your dog that fresh odor after his bath.

Aside from conditioning the fur, it also relieves itching commonly associated with dry skin. Plus, it’s safe to use for different types of coats, so regardless if your pet has a short coat or long coat, you can use it for him. It produces a nice foam for a more relaxing bath.

Cons: When it comes to price, it’s a bit on the higher end when compared to similar items on Amazon, but because Mighty Petz swears by the quality of their product, this one is worth giving a try. It’s a shampoo and conditioner in one so it somehow saves you money having to buy additional grooming products for your pet.

2. Skin & Itch Relief Pet Shampoo for Dogs by Wahl



Pros: This one comes in a 64-ounce bottle and for its affordable price, it’s already value for money. Like the first one, it also has oatmeal in it which is a good one if you’re looking for oat-enriched pet products. Some of the other ingredients used are cleanser from refined coconut oil and decolorized aloe vera.

It leaves a subtle smell, which is great because cleansers with overpowering or “perfumey” scent are often formulated with very strong ingredients. If your pet has sensitive skin, it’s better to use mild shampoos than medicated ones with a strong formulation.

Wahl is a trusted name when it comes to pet products, so there are no doubts regarding the quality of their shampoo line. These products are made in the USA, in case you’re wondering where it was manufactured.

Cons: It does not have a pump and they don’t have one sold separately, so it helps to have a smaller bottle with a pump, especially if you want to bring some when traveling. Some users claimed the consistency is fairly thin. Still, more users were satisfied with its concentration. User reviews mentioned that a little bit of the shampoo can go a long way. There’s no need to dilute the shampoo to achieve a thick layer.

3. Moosh Natural Dog Shampoo by Fieldworks Supply Company



Pros: If your dog’s skin dryness comes with itching, inflammation, and hot spots, it helps to use a shampoo made with wholesome ingredients like argan oil and bentonite clay. Bentonite is a natural ingredient that works by deeply cleansing the skin, leaving it nourished and healthier. It has detoxifying properties and it’s ideal for treating skin problems because of its healing benefits.

Argan oil, on the other hand, is good for both skin and hair, thanks to its antioxidant properties. Another key ingredient is vetiver, an essential oil used in aromatherapy for pain and stress relief. It has a few more benefits, such as healing wounds and reducing skin inflammation. Rosemary is also included in the ingredients, no wonder it smells really good and even has that lavender-like fragrance.

Cons: It’s a bit costly for a 355 ml bottle. You can buy cheaper ones online, but because it’s formulated with the pure and wholesome ingredients, like argan oil, rosemary, and bentonite clay, this one is still among the best products out there.

4. HONEYDEW Colloidal Oatmeal Dog Shampoo



Pros: It comes with pure lavender extract, which gives it a really nice smell. The lavender oil in it can effectively eliminate any odor, so if your dog stinks aside from having dry skin, this can be a great product to use. This way, your pet will smell nice after bathing. Lavender also has calming effects, which is a plus if your pet hates bath times.

HONEYDEW is also one of the few manufacturers that offer a money-back guarantee, so you can trust they are after the quality of their product. Some of the ingredients listed, aside from lavender oil and colloidal oatmeal, are jojoba oil and Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, a gentle surfactant used in many skincare products for humans. It’s free from sulfate and paraben that can further dry or damage the skin.

Cons: Some users claimed the bottle is too small for its price. But if you are looking for products made of premium ingredients, it’s among the best shampoos to use for your buddy.

5. Hot Spot Shampoo by Vet’s Best



Pros: Dry skin in canines is often associated with hotspots and this is when it’s best to use a shampoo with skin-soothing ingredients like this one from Vet’s Best. Hotspots, also called moist dermatitis, can leave your dog in pain and aside from dryness, you will notice intense itching.

What’s nice about it is it comes with natural contents like chamomile, tea tree oil and aloe, plus it does not contain any amount of alcohol that can further dry the skin. The no-sting formula can help in dealing with skin inflammation and redness. It lathers well so it can last for long and, for its price, it’s already a good deal. It promises to relieve not just dryness but also itching, rashes, and scratching.

Cons: Tea tree oil, which is one of the ingredients of this shampoo, is safe to use but it may cause adverse reactions if your dog’s skin is sensitive. If your pooch does not have any negative reaction to tea tree-infused products, you may give it a try.

What You Need to Know About Canine Skin Dryness

When your pooch gets dry skin, it’s best to seek a vet’s advice to determine the real cause of the dryness. This way, your dog will be able to receive the right type of medication. Some cases of dry skin are often associated with itchiness and hotspots. Depending on the seriousness of the dryness, your vet will prescribe topical treatments in spray or cream form. In addition to topical medications, your vet will eventually suggest using shampoos, like the ones we suggested above to moisturize your pet’s skin. 

Common causes

Finding out the true reason for skin dryness can be a long and tedious process but getting to the bottom of the problem is the only way you can deal with it. These are the common reasons why canines lack skin moisture:

Dehydration – a skin elasticity test can confirm if the dog’s skin dryness is due to a lack of enough water. This test can be done at home. One of the ways to do it is by lifting an inch of your pet’s skin. It should go back immediately as a sign that your pooch is well-hydrated. On average, dogs should drink one to two cups for every 10 lbs. of weight. For example, a dog weighing 40 pounds may consume up to eight cups of water per day.

Allergy – food is the leading cause of allergy in dogs but the concern about food allergy is that it’s not so easy to determine. A food elimination diet, which may take months, is the only way your vet can confirm if a food item is the culprit or not. The usual types of food that cause hypersensitivity in dogs are beef, dairy, and soy but this still varies depending on the dog.

Fleas and mite bites – the saliva coming from parasites can cause itching and skin irritation in other animals. While it’s not easy to confirm if a dog was infected by a parasite, you will notice that your buddy is scratching excessively.

Nutrition – dogs with poor nutrition are at risk of developing skin problems like dryness and itching. If your dog is not getting enough vitamins and essential fats, like Omega-3 and Omega-6, you will notice dryness and flaking on certain areas of the skin. If nutrition causes it, your vet might recommend taking supplements like Omega-3.

Signs of skin dryness in dogs

  • Excessive scratching due to flaking
  • Hair loss on affected areas
  • Skin redness making the dog sensitive when touched
  • Inflammation
  • White flakes or dandruff coming from the skin
  • Unusual odor from the affected area


Finding the exact cause of your buddy’s skin dryness is the best way to address the problem. Aside from topical and oral medications, it helps to use the right kind of shampoo for your pet. When choosing a brand of shampoo, always check the label and see if the ingredients are pure and wholesome. A strong formulation might leave the skin more irritated.


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