Your dog’s needs include much more than just feeding and watering for optimal health. Grooming is required to help maintain your canine’s healthy and shiny coat. When purchasing grooming supplies, you will encounter many different brands of dog shampoos, and making a choice can seem like an arduous task.
You may find yourself wondering why your dog needs his own shampoo rather than just sharing yours. However, it is important for owners to know that human shampoos can dry out your dog’s skin, leading to several issues such as itching and flaking. Shampoos for humans can also leave a soapy buildup, making your pet’s coat dull and coarse.
If your pet already suffers from dry and/or itchy skin, improper shampoos can make these issues far worse. How do owners choose the right dog shampoos for the furry four legged friends? In the information below, you will find the criteria for choosing the very best dog shampoo for your pet!
Finding Your Dog’s Skin Type
Just as humans have multiple types of skin and skin care issues, dogs may have the same characteristics and problems. It is important for owners to know their dog’s skin types, and be aware of any skin issues, so the proper dog shampoos can be purchased. Below you will find four very different skin types, each requiring very different dog shampoos and grooming needs.
If you dog’s coat appears to be healthy and shiny, and he doesn’t scratch excessively, his skin type is most likely normal. There is a vast array of dog shampoo brands to choose from when your dog’s skin is normal. You should help maintain your dog’s healthy skin condition by avoiding dog shampoos that contain chemicals, dyes or colorants. Try to use shampoos that contain organic essential oils. Once you know the right type of shampoo to buy, you can alter between brands when giving your dog a bath until you find the one that is perfect for your pet.
It is not difficult to diagnose your dog’s oily skin issues. Check your dog’s hair carefully, paying close attention for issues such as an unpleasant odor or very bad dandruff. These symptoms could point to oily skin, which is also called seborrhea in canines. Choose a shampoo that contains ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicyclic acid, sulfur and urea compounds. If you are overwhelmed by the many dog shampoos for oily skin, your veterinarian should be able to recommend some products for you.
Dog Breeds known to suffer from seborrhea due to genetic predisposition include the Cocker Spaniel, the Doberman Pinscher, and the Basset Hound.
Dry and Itchy Skin
Just as human skin often requires care in the winter to avoid uncomfortable issues such as drying and peeling, your dogs’ skin can easily develop these same uncomfortable issues. It is important to find a special dog shampoo for dry and itchy skin to soothe and treat the pain and discomfort. When your canine suffers from dry and itching skin issues, you should limit shampooing to preserve the natural layer of oils found in your dog’s skin and coat. Often times, the best dog shampoos for this skin type will include Oatmeal or lanolin based products, designed to provide relief for your dog’s itching and dandruff.
Among the Dog Breeds known to have dry and itchy skin are the Chihuahuas, Akitas, Lhasa Apsos.
Extremely Itchy Skin
If your dog is constantly licking, scratching and possibly even chewing on himself and fleas are not the problem, he could be suffering from a serious and uncomfortable skin issue. Your dog could possibly be suffering from allergies, making his skin extremely dry, greasy and/or itchy. If your dog seems uncomfortable inside his own skin, consult your veterinarian to find a hypoallergenic diet, and purchase only dog shampoos containing hydrocortisone. The right dog shampoo will provide relief from inflammation and soothe your pet’s skin. Other than making huge changes in your dog’s diet and shampoo, many dog allergies can be controlled with high doses of fish oils, and in some cases, your dog’s vet may opt for regular doses of antihistamines.
Understanding Dog Shampoo Types
Once you know your dog’s skin type and issues, you should have no problem finding the best dog shampoo for your four legged friend. However, if the task still seems daunting, return to the list below which describes each type of dog shampoo in detail. If your dog has more than one skin issue, you may want to choose two or more brands of dog shampoo and alternate between for best results.
Medicated Dog Shampoo
Medicated dog shampoos are designed to address your dog’s skin problems at the location. Most medicated shampoos will incorporate such itch-relieving ingredients as eucalyptus, peppermint, aloe, and coal tar. Because there are many different skin problems and and a large variety of dog shampoos, the components of each product will likely differ.
Medicated shampoos have been prepared with special ingredients to help your pooch find comfort and relief from his skin problems, including such issues as dry skin patches and allergic rashes.
Waterless Dog Shampoo
Waterless dog shampoos are popular options because they require no wetting or rinsing, adding convenience and cleanliness to your dog’s regular bath times. While using a waterless dog shampoo can be great when you don’t have the time or energy to give your dog a wet and soapy bath, you should keep a second type of dog shampoo on hand. Waterless dog shampoos can be purchased in liquid spray or powder spray form.
There are two primary reasons for owners to prefer this kind of dog shampoo. Waterless grooming products are great for bathing canines in the winter to prevent him from catching a cold or becoming ill. This is also a great option if you live in an area known for extremely low temperatures.
Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs
Flea and tick shampoos are designed to help solve uncomfortable skin problems caused by flea and tick infestations on your dog. These dog shampoos normally contain medication and chemical ingredients which can kill ticks and fleas on contact. Most brands of flea and tick shampoos work quite well, as owners often see results immediately.
Flea and tick shampoos can be a great money-saving option for protecting your dog year round, but the effective ingredients last a shorter length of time than other methods, such as spot-on or oral medication. Using a flea and tick shampoo also means bathing your dog more often.
Before choosing a flea and tick shampoo, consider your dog’s skin type. Will the chemicals irritate any skin issues or problems? Will frequent bathing compromise or irritate the health of your dog’s skin? Other facts to consider include the age and size of your dog.
Whitening and Color Enhancing Shampoo for Dogs
Many dog shampoos offer whitening or color enhancing effects to help keep your dogs’ fur looking clean and attractive. White dog breeds such as the American Eskimo or Shih Tzu will use these whitening shampoos to remove yellow or brown stains and maintain their beautiful snow white coats.
Many whitening shampoos have a built-in color enhancer often referred to as a bluing component, which can provide an optical illusion, making a white coat look even whiter than it really is.
Please be aware that some whitening and color enhancing dog shampoos can be harsh and unsuitable for regular use. To prevent the onset of new skin issues, use these dog shampoos only as needed.
Choosing the right dog shampoo is vital for the health of your pet, providing the perfect way to treat numerous skin and coat conditions. You may find that, since your dog has more than one skin issue, you may want to purchase more than one dog shampoo.
In order to limit your dog’s exposure to harsh chemicals, read the shampoo labels and learn which ingredients to look for and which ones to avoid. Knowing your dog’s skin issues and providing the right dog shampoos as treatment can help ensure a happy and healthy canine companion.