It is ironic that dogs with allergies need bathing more often than non-allergic dogs, but regular dog shampoos are liable to irritate and inflame the skin.
The answer to this problem is to use a hypoallergenic dog shampoo which is free from the perfumes, coloring agents, and chemicals that have the potential to irritate sensitive skin.
5 Best Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoos
Bathing has an important role to play in keeping your dog itch-free. When pollen and other allergens are in contact with the skin, they directly trigger that irritating itch.
Regularly bathing your pet washes away the allergens and removes the source of that irritation.
Clearly this only works if the shampoo you use is mild and lacks ingredients to which the dog may react. Read on for a guide to the best hypoallergenic dog shampoo.
Veterinary Formula is not a ‘natural’ product but made with synthetic ingredients plus added vitamin E.
However, this mild, soapless, tear-free formulation is gentle enough for use on both cats and dogs.
It is so gentle that it can be used as often as necessary for cleansing, although for maximum coat condition and shine the sister product, the Veterinary Formula pet conditioner should be used.
The ingredients may be synthetic but they are gentle and the shampoo is free from dyes and fragrances, and it should be said it comes with veterinary research behind it and vet authentication about being a suitable product for highly allergic dogs.
To make a dog shampoo hypoallergenic means ideally avoiding chemicals, parabens, sulfates and the like.
This means Earthbath gets off to a great start because the brand prides itself on being earth-kind and making products that are totally natural and 100% biodegradable.
No shampoo can be guaranteed not to trigger an allergic reaction (after all the humble peanut can trigger allergies when eaten).
Ideally, your dog has been patch tested and you know what can upset their skin, in which case it is helpful to know that Earthbath contains a coconut-based cleanser, aloe vera, olive oil, and xanthan gum.
Another great advantage is the formula is soap-free, which makes it tear-free and helps towards a kinder bath time especially for the wriggly dog prone to getting shampoo in his eyes.
The brand offers a choice of three different vet recommended products, including this one for sensitive skin
Rosemary is known for its natural disinfectant properties and helps to keep the skin clean and clear of excessive amounts of bacteria.
Chamomile is calming and soothing, whilst aloe is moisturizing. As well as being a gentle and effective cleanser, the ingredients act together to seal the hair cuticle flat leaving a gorgeously soft and shiny coat.
Made by a family business, this dog hypoallergenic shampoo does not contain parabens, masking dyes, or alcohols which can dry the coat.
Rocco has excellent user feedback and on a practical level is easy to rinse out, meaning no residue is left in the coat which could provoke further skin irritation.
Burt’s Bees is a brand that started out making natural products for people and now use their knowledge about the moisturizing properties of natural ingredients to make dog hypoallergenic shampoo.
It contains honey and shea butter to keep the skin moisturized and fur soft.
This product’s good reputation is based on it containing minimal ingredients, since the less it contains the less there is to trigger a reaction. It’s important to understand that it’s possible for a dog to be allergic to anything, even shea butter or honey.
For those dogs that are fine with the shea butter and honey, it provides an effective shampooing action that is mild enough to use on a weekly basis without stripping the skin of natural oils and actually adds in moisture.
Whilst Burt’s Bees does not have anti-inflammatory properties it will cleanse away allergens from the skin’s surface plus add hydration, and thus increase your pet’s comfort.
Made by Vet’s Best this is a mix of natural and synthetic ingredients that are formulated to be suitable for dogs with allergy issues.
With any dogs that suffer from allergies, it is often a matter of trial and error to see if your dog is sensitive to the ingredients or not.
For the vast majority of such dogs, this product is safe to use and it contains soothing elements such as aloe and vitamin E.
This means Vet’s Best ticks all the boxes that make it hypoallergenic such as being free from soap, detergents, artificial fragrances, and harsh alcohols all of which have the potential to cause irritation and inflammation to cause the sensitive dog to scratch.
Hypoallergenic shampoos have the advantage of eliminating unnecessary ingredients and are therefore less likely to trigger allergic reactions.
All dogs are individuals and just as a person may have an allergy to seafood or peanuts, so a dog can be sensitive to rosemary, chamomile or even aloe vera even though they are natural and pure.
However, regular cleansing of the skin and coat is definitely recommended as it washes away allergens from being in contact with the skin where they act as a constant source of irritation, so choosing a reputable hypoallergenic dog shampoo is a good start.