Best Antibacterial Dog Shampoos [2018] Medicated, Natural & Spray

By nature, dogs tend to get into everything they shouldn’t. 🙂

While this is endearing it’s also the reason they can easily develop skin infections and catch certain diseases from time to time.

Depending on what your dog contracted and how it’s presenting, there are different treatments including the use of antibacterial dog shampoo.

If you’re unfamiliar with this type of product, here you’ll find information on it along with some of the best antibacterial dog shampoos currently on the market.

What Causes Infections in Dogs?

1. causes

Before learning about the treatment, it’s important to understand what causes common infections in dogs.

Skin infections are the most common forms of infection your pup can contract. The most common causes for a skin infection are :

  • Predisposition to allergies
  • Constant licking and scratching
  • Floppy ears trapping dirt and moisture
  • Natural skin folds trapping dirt and moisture

In general, allergies play a large role in bacterial infections due to the itching, licking, and biting that occurs while your pup attempts to soothe themselves.

As your dog does those things, they can easily break the skin allowing dirt to settle in and cause an infection.

That being said, any dog at any time can contract a skin infection despite none of the above being present.

For example, an infection could be linked to a parasitic infestation, an alien object they ingested, or a ruptured eardrum.

For this reason, it’s always best to take your dog to a veterinarian if you suspect something is wrong. They’ll be able to give you a specific diagnosis and treatment plan to help your furry friend feel better.

Benefits of Antibacterial Dog Shampoos

2. benefits

While any form of treatment will be beneficial for your sick pup, there are specific benefits linked to antibacterial dog shampoo.

Some of these benefits are :

  • Can be made specifically for certain conditions
  • Provide closer-to-immediate relief for most dogs
  • Manufactured by trusted companies
  • Regulated and monitored by a governing body

Cleaning the affected area

When your dog has a bacterial skin infection, the affected area needs to be cleaned as soon as possible. If your dog has a lot of hair, that restricts the entry to the affected area, clip the hair.

Use topical anti-bacterial shampoo in these areas. Sometimes baths may be needed up to two times a week in conjunction with the antibiotic medicine that your dog might be taking.

Kill bacteria

This is the most important part of the treatment.

The medicines are already doing this but shampoos help in killing bacteria from the fur and skin and preventing them from coming back soon.

Soothing and medicated shampoos which are for topical, anti-bacterial use can be applied. You can use them as much as 2-3 times a day for best results and speedy recovery.

Although before taking these steps on your own we would recommend that you consult a vet.

Couple all of that with the fact of the matter that an antibacterial dog shampoo can clear up your dog’s infection, and you’ll more than likely agree that medicated shampoos are worth keeping in the house as a pet owner.

Top 10 Anti-Bacterial Dog Shampoos in the Market Today

Now that you understand a little more about how antibacterial dog shampoos can help and what it’s meant to do, it’s time to compare some of the top products on the market.

Each of these shampoos has been researched and analyzed for you so you can compare and contrast them on your own to see what fits your specific needs to the best.

Brand Volume Key Ingredients USPs & Uses Our Rating Price

Dechra Miconahex

Dechra Miconahex + Triz Shampoo, 16-Ounce

Best Overall

16 fl oz 2% Chlorhexidine Gluconate, 2% Miconazole Nitrate, TrizEDTA Repairing and restoring dry, damaged skin 9.7 Check Price

Sogeval Douxo Chlorhexidine PS

Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo 16.9 oz.

1,000+ Reviews

16.9 fl oz Chlorhexidine & phytosphingosine salicyloyl (0.05%), chlorhexidine(3%) Stops loss of moisture 9.5 Check Price

Curaseb Antifungal & Antibacterial

Curaseb Antifungal & Antibacterial Chlorhexidine Shampoo for Dogs & Cats w/ Ketoconazole & Aloe, Effective Against Ringworm, Pyoderma & Allergies, #1 Vet Antifungal Dog Shampoo, Satisfaction Guarantee
8 fl oz Ketoconazole 1% & Chlorhexidine 2%

Melon scent, For dogs & cats 9.5 Check Price

Ketohex Shampoo

Ketohex Shampoo 16oz
16 fl oz Ketoconazole 1% & Chlorhexidine 2% For dogs, cats, and horses 9.5 Check Price

Bodhi Dog

New All Natural Pet Ear Cleaner for Dogs and Cats | Eucalyptus & Aloe Vera Cleaning Treatment for Ear Mites Yeast Infection Fungus & Odor | Gentle Solution Cleanser for Ears - 1 Bottle 8oz (240ml)

Best Natural

8 fl oz Aloe-vera and eucalyptus extract All Natural, 100% Money back guarantee 9.5 Check Price

Curaseb Spray

Curaseb Antifungal & Antibacterial Chlorhexidine Shampoo for Dogs & Cats w/ Ketoconazole & Aloe, Effective Against Ringworm, Pyoderma & Allergies, #1 Vet Antifungal Dog Shampoo, Satisfaction Guarantee

Best in Spray

8 fl oz Chlorhexidine Gluconate 2%, Ketoconazole 1 %. Suitable for sensitive skin 9.5 Check Price

SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula

SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic and Antiseborrheic Medicated Shampoo for Dogs – Veterinary Recommended, Fast-Acting Shampoo For Mange, Parasitic Infections, Seborrhea, and Fungal and Bacterial Skin Infections in Dogs (16 oz bottle)

1,700+ Reviews

16 fl oz Coal Tar, Salicylic Acid & Micronized Sulfur Promotes hydration & relieve mange 9.5 Check Price

DermaPet" Benzoyl Peroxide Plus

DermaPet' Benzoyl Peroxide Plus Shampoo (DermaBenSS) (12oz)
12 fl oz 2.5 % benzoyl peroxide, 1% Salicylic acid For dogs, cats, and horses 9.3 Check Price

Davis Benzoyl Peroxide

Davis Benzoyl Peroxide Medicated Dog & Cat Shampoo, 12 oz. – Dermatitis and Demodectic Mange
12 fl oz 2.5 % benzoyl peroxide Relief from demodectic mange and dermatitis 9.1 Check Price

Vetoquinol

Vetoquinol 411627 Universal medic shampoo,16 oz
16 fl oz 2% chloroxylenol, 2% salicylic acid, 2% soluble sulfur Helpful with Keratolytic Activity 9.1 Check Price

Pet MD

Pet MD Antiseptic and Antifungal Medicated Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Horses with Chlorhexidine and Ketoconazole - Soap and Paraben Free - 16 Oz
16 fl oz Chlorhexidine Gluconate 2% and Ketoconazole 1% Astringent Qualities 9.1 Check Price

How to Spot Infections in Your Dog

3. how to spot

Visible infections, whether bacterial or fungal (yeast), are easy to notice just by looking at your dog.

You’ll likely see the infected areas on your pet’s skin as well as scabs, flaking, skin, and residue on their coat.

Noticeable symptoms like excessive scratching, biting, licking, and head shaking are also common signs of an infection.

Your dog may also have more subtle symptoms that are proof of irritation.

Those can be constant head tilting or rubbing (either with their paws or rubbing their head on things like a couch or carpet), or changes in behavior.

If you’re trying to figure out what’s wrong with your dog, look for common symptoms. The symptoms for a bacterial infection are :

  • Open sores, raised bumps, or pimples
  • Yellow or green discharge from the ears
  • Shaking or constant tilting of the head
  • Scratching and/or rubbing of the ears
  • Excessive licking of the bothersome area
  • Symptoms of a fungal/yeast infection are :
  • Greasy skin accompanied by an odor
  • The yeasty infection usually in moist areas or on the paws
  • Shaking/tilting of the head
  • Scratching of the ears
  • Waxy, brown discharge possible in the ear

While some symptoms occur in both instances, look for accompanying symptoms to narrow it down.

For example, if your dog is scratching their ears a lot, it could be either bacterial or fungal, but if that scratching goes along with them biting their paws constantly, it’s safe to assume a yeast infection.

Remember, go to your vet to get a proper diagnosis before trying to treat the issue on your own.

How to Treat These Bacterial Infections?

4 how to treat

While your vet will work out a whole treatment plan for your furry pal, there are different ways to treat these common kinds of infections. One of the best ways is with medicated dog shampoo.

Anti-bacterial dog shampoo is a medicated shampoo that is made specifically to clear up skin infections.

These can be further narrowed down to specific conditions or they can be general medicated shampoos.

Due to a saturated market, it’s best to try to get something specific to your dog’s needs so you’re not choosing from such a broad range of general anti-bacterial dog shampoos.

What to Consider when Buying Antibacterial Dog Shampoo

5. buying guide

When looking to buy an antibacterial dog shampoo, you have to keep certain things in mind.

You’ll notice that there are a lot of products available but not all are created equal and some are always better than others.

By keeping certain considerations in mind you can narrow down your options easier and find the best antibacterial dog shampoo for you and your canine companion.

What to Look for in the Description

When comparing dog shampoos, you should look for ones that are soap-free, fragrance-free, and paraben-free if possible.

These are all ingredients that can irritate your dog’s skin and possibly make their infection worse.

You may also want to pick a dog shampoo that is hypoallergenic if your dog suffers from allergies frequently.

Consider looking for options with the following ingredients, too :

  • Aloe vera
  • Coconut oil
  • Oatmeal
  • Olive oil
  • Omega-3 Fatty acids
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E

Why Use Natural Antibacterial Dog Shampoos?

6. natural

While medicate dog shampoos tend to have synthetic ingredients or harsh medications in them to help clear up an infection, there are natural antibacterial dog shampoos that use natural ingredients with antibacterial properties to fight back mainly against bacterial and fungal infections.

Usually, they work just as well as the harsher formulas but are less likely to irritate overly sensitive dogs.

In order to be deemed a natural shampoo, there should be no artificial ingredients.

These shampoos are biodegradable and shouldn’t contain things like soap, fragrances, dyes, parabens, or sulfates.

Those types of ingredients can irritate your dog by throwing off their pH levels and preventing their natural oils from conditioning their skin.

The benefits of a natural antibacterial dog shampoo are :

  • Gentle formulas that won’t cause irritation
  • Soothing sensations for itchy skin
  • Ability to balance skin pH naturally
  • Provides relief from allergy symptoms
  • Rids bacteria from the skin and coat

How Frequently and for How Long Do You Use These Shampoos on Dogs?

7 how long to use

In general, you’ll need to use an antibacterial dog shampoo until the infection in question clears up.

If you’re under a vet’s care, they may tell you to bathe your dog with a medicated shampoo two times a week, once a week, or at a similar frequency.

It’s important that you follow those instructions first instead of following other recommendations or the shampoo’s label.

While healthy dogs shouldn’t be bathed too often, frequent bathing in the treatment of skin infections is recommended because it helps clean off scabs and flaking skin that carries bacteria and spread the infection .

It’s also shown that frequent medicated baths help oral antibiotic treatments work better since they help keep the infection localized.

Similarly, your vet will tell you how long you should use the shampoo. Oftentimes, you’ll be told to use the shampoo until the infection is gone, but there are some shampoos that can be used for normal baths even after the infection clears up.

You should take note of any adverse side effects your dog might show and discuss them with your vet.

For example, since some antibacterial dog shampoos can be harsh due to the medication in the formula, it could end up irritating your dog more than it soothes them.

If this happens, your vet might tell you to stop using that particular shampoo and replace it with a gentler one or tell you to reduce the frequency of use (once a week instead of twice a week, for example).

Can Chemicals in Antibacterial Shampoos Harm a Dog’s Skin?

8. can chemicals harm

Since antibacterial dog shampoos are meant to treat infections, they’re generally safe to use, especially the ones prescribed by your vet.

However, unless you’re using an all-natural dog shampoo, there is a chance that the synthetic ingredients in your antibacterial dog shampoo can harm your dog’s skin.

The issue here is that there are no governing regulations for pet grooming products, including antibacterial dog shampoos.

This means that there are no set standards to meet, the manufacturers don’t have to list all of the ingredients, and that there are instances of companies claiming to be natural when they really aren’t.

The only dog shampoos that are governed by any regulating body are certified-organic dog shampoos.

In order to get the designation “certified organic” the shampoo has to meet the FDA’s standards for an organic product.

This means that all of the ingredients must be listed and everything had to meet quality standards in terms of purity and product integrity.

There are no clear-cut studies to prove that chemicals in these shampoos can cause harm to a dog’s skin, but there are reports with all products from users who say their dog had an adverse reaction to a shampoo.

However, for every review that reports skin damage, there are other reviews that claim the shampoo worked perfectly for their pet. So, really, this is more of a case-by-case basis than anything else.

To see how a shampoo affects your dog, start with a patch test.

Use the shampoo on a small part of your dog (preferably an area without visible irritation) and see if they react poorly to it. Look for new irritation like redness, raised bumps, and burns.

Continue to monitor your dog for an hour or so after the patch test and see if they’re scratching or licking the tested area.

If any of this occurs, your dog is having a bad reaction to the shampoo and you should discontinue it.

Types of Bacterial Infections in Dogs

9 types of infections

Let us look at some of the common cause of bacterial infections in a dog.

Although there a numerous diseases that can happen, there are very common ones that we will tackle in this article.

Salmonella

They cause an acute and infectious version of diarrhea in dogs. It affects dogs when they consume raw meat, contaminated food, animal manure or by contact with diarrhea residues of another dog.

Puppies, young adult dogs or those who are already sick are more likely to contract this disease. Antibiotics that include sulfa drugs and quinolones are used for the treatment process.

The dog owner should always wear gloves when dealing with a dog that has salmonella.

Bodetella

This disease is caused by the Bodetella bronchiseptica bacteria. This is most common in puppies or adult dogs whose immune system has been compromised. This is an air-borne disease.

Symptoms include coughing, nasal or eye discharge and fever. Vaccinations may be given to those dogs who live in kernels or show dogs. Antibiotics are used to cure this disease.

Campylobacteriosis

This disease affects puppies and causes an acute version of diarrhea. This disease is transmitted by water, food or uncooked meat.

Treatment requires the basic treatment for diarrhea. If the condition is too severe, antibiotics may be used.

Coliobacillosis (E. Coli)

This disease is caused by E. Coli bacteria and is transmitted through contaminated water, fecal matter or food. Thos dogs who consume a lot of raw food are at risk for these diseases.

Review of Best Anti-bacterial Dog Shampoos

Here some of the most popular shampoos that tackle bacterial infections in dogs. Consult your doctor before using these on your pets.

These are discussed in detail below –

Curaseb Antifungal & Antibacterial Chlorhexidine Shampoo for Dogs

Curaseb Antifungal & Antibacterial Chlorhexidine Shampoo for Dogs & Cats w/ Ketoconazole & Aloe, Effective Against Ringworm, Pyoderma & Allergies, #1 Vet Antifungal Dog Shampoo, Satisfaction Guarantee

This is a veterinarian-recommended shampoo that is made to fight yeast, pyoderma, ringworm, and general fungal and bacterial infections in dogs as well as cats.

On top of its ability to clear up infections, this shampoo also works to cleanse and deodorize your dog’s skin much like a normal shampoo does.

The deodorizing effect is especially beneficial for fungal infections that come with a musty odor.

Made by Bexley Labs, the shampoo is manufactured in the USA and comes with a money-back guarantee if you don’t like the product.

It should be noted that this isn’t an all-natural product and does contain synthetic ingredients in the formula.

According to user reviews, the pros and cons of this shampoo are:

PROS:
  • Effective in clearing up infections, especially yeast
  • More affordable than similar shampoos
  • Deodorizes dogs immediately
  • Helped decrease hair loss in some dogs

CONS:
  • Need to bathe dog often at the start of treatment
  • Infections came back if the product was stopped too early

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Pet MD Antiseptic and Antifungal Medicated Shampoo for Dogs

Pet MD Antiseptic and Antifungal Medicated Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Horses with Chlorhexidine and Ketoconazole - Soap and Paraben Free - 16 Oz

This medicated shampoo is great for dogs, cats, and even horses.

It contains antifungal and antibacterial ingredients and can treat acne, hot spots, yeast, ringworm, dermatitis, insect bites, and similar fungal and bacterial infections.

Not an all-natural product, this shampoo contains chlorhexidine and ketoconazole which, when combined, actively clears up fungi and bacteria on your dog’s skin.

Similarly, the antiseptic and astringent properties in the shampoo can dry up excess moisture in skin folds preventing the growth of bacteria in those areas.

The shampoo is made in the USA and is soap-free and paraben-free. It should be used two to three times a week until the skin infection begins to heal. Once it calms down you can reduce the frequency until it clears up completely.

According to user reviews, the pros and cons of this shampoo are:

PROS:
  • Soothes irritated skin
  • Leaves clean smell behind
  • Comparatively affordable
  • Lathers better than others

CONS:
  • Dried out some dogs’ skin too much

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Dog Shampoo by Vetoquinol

Vetoquinol 411627 Universal medic shampoo,16 oz

This antibacterial dog shampoo is strong enough to heal your dog but gentle enough for continuous use even after their infection clears up.

It is able to remove crusts and flaking skin caused by infections while also deodorizing and cleansing your dog’s skin and coat of daily dirt and grime.

The shampoo contains chloroxylenol, salicylic acid, and soluble sulfur to fight against fungi and bacteria associated with common skin infections.

While it’s not considered a natural shampoo, its proven effectiveness makes it quite useful to pet owners.

According to user reviews, the pros and cons of this shampoo are:

PROS:
  • Effective in most reports
  • Scent isn’t overpowering
  • Immediate relief for itchy skin
  • Good for other pets besides dogs

CONS:
  • Too strong for some sensitive dogs
  • Didn’t work on extreme infections

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care

SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic and Antiseborrheic Medicated Shampoo for Dogs – Veterinary Recommended, Fast-Acting Shampoo For Mange, Parasitic Infections, Seborrhea, and Fungal and Bacterial Skin Infections in Dogs (16 oz bottle)

Made specifically to treat seborrhea and similar skin infections in dogs, SynergyLabs’s shampoo is a medicated shampoo that uses prescription-grade ingredients in an affordable formula.

It isn’t an all-natural shampoo but it is soap-, dye-, and paraben-free. It contains coal tar, micronized sulfur, and salicylic acid to create an effective shampoo perfect for clearing up fungal and parasitic infections.

With colloidal oatmeal and Allantoin, it’s great for itchy skin and adds moisture to dry skin to alleviate issues upon contact.

Use the shampoo two to three times a week to start seeing results then lower the frequency once you see initial healing.

According to user reviews, the pros and cons of this shampoo are:

PROS:
  • Treats seborrhea, scaling skin, Mange, and similar infections
  • Helps balance greasy skin and decrease dandruff
  • Hydrates dry, itchy skin quickly
  • Good value for the price

CONS:
  • Can’t be used on other pets like cats

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Ketohex Shampoo

Ketohex Shampoo 16oz

Made by one of the top pet supply companies, Vet One, this shampoo is a medicated shampoo specifically made for treating fungal and bacterial infections in dogs, cats, and horses.

It contains chlorhexidine and ketoconazole to offer strong and effective help for ailing pups.

Besides fighting infections, this shampoo also leaves your dog clean and fresh-smelling.

It’s recommended to use this shampoo a few times a week to see positive effects before lowering the use to once a week until the infection or condition in questions clears up.

According to user reviews, the pros and cons of this shampoo are:

PROS:
  • Pleasant scent
  • Effective for infections
  • Soothes irritation quickly

CONS:
  • No serious issues!

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Dechra Miconahex + Triz Pet Shampoo

Dechra Miconahex + Triz Shampoo, 16-Ounce

This medicated shampoo is made with the antifungal miconazole and chlorhexidine for antibacterial benefits making it great for a wide range of skin infections.

There is also ceramides in the formula to help hydrate your pup’s skin and repair damaged skin. It’s safe to use on dogs, cats, and also horses.

Besides fighting skin infections, Dechra Miconahex also deodorizes your dog taking away the foul odor that some infections cause.

This is not an all-natural product so use caution if you’re concerned about synthetic ingredients.

According to user reviews, the pros and cons of this shampoo are:

PROS:
  • Continues working after rinsing
  • Made in the USA
  • Great for other pets
  • Clears up different skin infections

CONS:
  • Slightly expensive

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

DermaPet” Benzoyl Peroxide Plus Shampoo (DermaBenSS)

DermaPet' Benzoyl Peroxide Plus Shampoo (DermaBenSS) (12oz)

This medicated shampoo starts with a natural base of moisturizers to help hydrate dry, flaky skin.

Mixed with that is sulfur and salicylic acid great for seborrhea, pyodermas, and even Staph infections. It’s even great for flushing out hair follicles that can get infected with microbes.

Besides offering antibacterial benefits, this shampoo will also deodorize your pet and leave them smelling clean thanks to the herbal fragrances derived from the natural herbs in the formula.

It will also clean dirt and grime from their skin and coat leaving behind soft and shiny fur.

According to user reviews, the pros and cons of this shampoo are:

PROS:
  • Hydrates dry skin nicely
  • Smells nice
  • Helps clear up oily/greasy skin

CONS:
  • Didn’t work on certain parasitic infections (demodex mites)

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Davis Benzoyl Peroxide Medicated Dog & Cat Shampoo

Davis Benzoyl Peroxide Medicated Dog & Cat Shampoo, 12 oz. – Dermatitis and Demodectic Mange

Safe for dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens this shampoo is made with benzoyl peroxide to help clear up skin issues like acne and dermatitis.

It also helps to balance your dog’s skin to fight back against greasy skin as well as dry, flaky skin.

This is also a great shampoo to fight Mange and flush out clogged hair follicles that can cause folliculitis.

Since this formula contains benzoyl peroxide, it might be harsh for some including owner’s with sensitive skin so you might want to use gloves when bathing your pet.

That being said, it’s safe enough for daily use but be sure to follow your vet’s frequency recommendations.

According to user reviews, the pros and cons of this shampoo are:

PROS:
  • Natural coconut lathering agent used
  • Tearless formula won’t hurt your dog
  • Helps restore hair loss associated with infections

CONS:
  • Might smell too medicinal for some

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Precautions to be taken

11 precautions

It is essential that pet owners take the advice and consultation of a specialist when they are dealing with cures for bacterial infections in dogs.

If you want to buy a product off the shelf, then you need to take a number of precautions so that you fight the disease without creating space for another disease to attack.

  • Do not use products that are meant for humans on your dogs since their anatomy is very different from ours and may result in adverse effects.
  • Always try to consult your vet for any problems regarding your pet
  • Some compounds in the shampoo and on your dog’s skin may affect your adversely so always wear gloves and take necessary precautions.
  • Those shampoos that contain alcohol should be avoided
  • Some shampoos which offer a cure for one disease may cause another
  • Make a note of the compounds that your dog is allergic to so that you only buy products that suit your dog and does not cause allergies.
  • Natural and organic shampoos are the safest and they should be used as much as possible
  • Make sure that your dog does not ingest the shampoo while taking a bath

In the end..

Defending your dog against bacterial infection is a tedious job. It becomes more tedious when the dog is affected by a bacterial infection.

With all of the great options on the market, you can find an antibacterial dog shampoo that will fit your needs.

Remember, it’s important to diagnose your dog’s infection properly with your vet so you can treat it properly.

Once you know what you’re dealing with you can pick the best shampoo for your dog’s specific condition.

Take extra precaution when you are dealing with dogs that have a bacterial infection because some can be transferred to you too.

Here is the list of popular anti-bacterial dog shampoo again for you, check them out –

Last update on 2018-11-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Our team consists of enthusiastic and passionate people from different fields and experience. Some are geeks and spend most of their time among gadgets while others love nature and are always on the move! We spend 10s of hours researching and writing on each topic. The articles are then quality checked by our editors. View our "About us" section for more details about process and team.

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