Top 5 Dog Shampoos for Dry Skin + Buying Guide

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Quick Answer: Best Dog Shampoos for Dry Skin

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  • 2,000+ reviews analysed, 14+ research hours spent, 9 reliable info. sources referred

Dogs are healthy playful creatures that brighten up one’s day and bring joy around everywhere.

But sometimes, they may be suffering themselves which makes them dull and inactive. One such leading problem that is faced by many dogs today is the issue of dry and flaky skin.

Due to this condition, the dogs are itching and scratching themselves incessantly during which they may hurt themselves.

They cannot do anything else about it and hence, they resort to this technique, however, it is up to the owner to recognize the telltale signs and get the correct treatment for the same.

There are specialty dog shampoos made specifically to combat dry skin on your pup.

If you’re used to caring for dogs you’re familiar with the wide range of dog shampoos on the market and know how confusing it can be to shop for one.

Luckily, this short list of top selling products has been compiled to help you find the best dog shampoo for dry skin.

The following sections briefly elaborate more on the issue for dry skin and how certain shampoos can help in eradicating this problem.

What is a Dog Shampoo?

Dog shampoos are the regular cleansing agents designed especially for the dogs for maintaining their regular hygiene.

They are formulated differently from the human shampoos as the dog’s skin is more sensitive and responsive towards harsh chemicals.

They come in a variety of types which deal with all of the different problems but can broadly be classified as medicated and non-medicated shampoos.

Top 5 Dog Shampoos for Dry Skin

Here are our top 5 picks for dog shampoos which help in dry skin

Brand Volume Ingredients Uses & USPs Reviews on Amazon Our Rating Price

Pro Pet Works

Pro Pet Works Natural Organic 5 In 1 Oatmeal Pet Shampoo + Conditioner-Dog Grooming Supplies-Odor Control Tearless Blend wth Aloe Vera Gel For Allergy Relief & Itchy Dry Sensitive Skin-17oz(Soap Free)

BEST Overall

17 oz

almond oil

aloe vera

For dogs with dry skin allergies & smell



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4-Legger Dog Shampoo

4-Legger Organic Dog Shampoo - All Natural and Hypoallergenic with Aloe and Lemongrass, Soothing for Normal, Dry, Itchy or Allergy Sensitive Skin - Biodegradable - Made in USA - 16 oz


16 oz

Aloe vera


Olive oil

Coconut oil


USDA Organic

For dogs with dry and itchy, sensitive, or allergy skin



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Earthbath All Natural

Earthbath Soothing Stress Relief Shampoo for Pets, Eucalyptus & Peppermint, 16oz – Dog Shampoo for Stress Relief – Made in USA

2,500+ Reviews on Amazon

16 oz

Aloe vera




For dogs with dry, irritated skin



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SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Medicated Dog Shampoo, 16 oz – Paraben, Dye, Soap Free – Hydrating and Antifungal Shampoo for Dogs, White

Value for Money

16 oz

Coal Tar

Salicylic Acid

Micronized Sulfur

Colloidal Oatmeal

For dogs with scaling caused by Seborrhea, Mange , fungal & bacterial infections, dandruff



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Paws & Pals Natural

Paws & Pals 5-In-1 Oatmeal Dog Shampoo, Conditions, Detangles, Moisturizes, Anti Itch, Odor Control - Made in USA w/Medicated Clinical Vet Formula - Best for Dog, Cat & Pets w/ Dry Itchy Skin | 20 oz

20 oz


Shea Butter



jojoba and coconut oils

Tear free

For dry, sensitive, skin and coat of your dog



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Best Dog Shampoos for Dry Skin Reviewed

Best Dry Skin Dog Shampoos Today

Shopping for the best dog shampoo for dry skin isn’t as easy as it sounds. When you typically shop for something, you look for an affordable option that says it suits your specific needs.

While this works fine for most things, you might want to be a little more diligent when searching for your dog’s next shampoo.

Here are some of the best products on the market that can treat your dog’s dry skin.

Pro Pet Works Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo + Conditioner

Top Seller

Pro Pet Works Natural Organic 5 In 1 Oatmeal Pet Shampoo + Conditioner-Dog Grooming Supplies-Odor Control Tearless Blend wth Aloe Vera Gel For Allergy Relief & Itchy Dry Sensitive Skin-17oz(Soap Free)

Ranked as the top-selling dog conditioner, Pro Pet Works is a shampoo and conditioner made for dry, itchy skin.

It contains natural ingredients like oatmeal and aloe vera to combat dry skin while leaving out known problem-causing ingredients like commercial soap. It’s a hypoallergenic product and shouldn’t trigger allergies or poor reactions in your dog.

Pro Pet Works is committed to making natural products that leave only a small footprint on the environment.

Besides their natural ingredients, their bottles are also completely biodegradable. Everything is also cruelty-free and contain no animal by-products.

The shampoo is considered to be powerful enough to clean your dog, clear up odors, and remove bacteria and even parasites while alleviating your dog’s dry skin.

Its combined conditioner will also leave your dog’s coat looking and feeling great. The natural ingredients won’t irritate your dog’s eye or nose during bath time, either.

[wpsm_reviewbox title=”Pro Pet Works Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo” pros=”Vet recommended;Rick in aloe and nourishing vitamins;No soaps, alcohols, or parabens;Can get rid of dandruff;Beneficial ingredients like oatmeal and essential oils;Formulated for dogs with allergies;Safe for use on other pet;” cons=”No serious issues!;” score=”9.7″ ]

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SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care

Value for Price

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Medicated Dog Shampoo, 16 oz – Paraben, Dye, Soap Free – Hydrating and Antifungal Shampoo for Dogs, White

This medicated shampoo was made specifically to treat seborrhea in dogs.

SynergyLabs is known for their quality medicated products made with veterinary-grade ingredients offered at affordable prices. This shampoo is no exception.

It is paraben-, dye-, and soap-free using salicylic acid, micronized sulfur, and coal tar to create a medicated shampoo that will get your dog clean while treating dry skin (seborrhea) and parasitic and fungal infections.

This is great because it means that it can alleviate the dry skin while also treating any possible underlying conditions that might be causing the dry skin.

This shampoo also has colloidal oatmeal and Allantoin in it in order to hydrate your dog’s skin and aid in its healing.

You have to use the shampoo a few times a week at first to see results but can lower the frequency over time.

[wpsm_reviewbox title=”SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care” pros=”Treats seborrhea and scaling skin;Can relieve Mange and other infections;Can help diminish greasy skin, rashes, dandruff, and inflammation;Contains hydrating ingredients as well as vet-level components ;Affordable price compared to other similar shampoos;” cons=”Not considered hypoallergenic or organic;;” score=”9.5″ ]

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Paws & Pals Natural Dog-Shampoo and Conditioner

Paws & Pals 5-In-1 Oatmeal Dog Shampoo, Conditions, Detangles, Moisturizes, Anti Itch, Odor Control - Made in USA w/Medicated Clinical Vet Formula - Best for Dog, Cat & Pets w/ Dry Itchy Skin | 20 oz

This shampoo and conditioner from Paws & Pals is a natural formula made specifically for dogs with sensitive, dry skin. It was developed to be gentle on your pet so it won’t burn their eyes or nose or cause allergic reactions.

The formula contains a number of essential oils as well as aloe and oats meant to soothe your dog’s dry skin while also ridding it of dirt, debris, and odors.

Since this is a shampoo and conditioner together, it will also condition your dog’s coat leaving it clean, shiny, and soft.

[wpsm_reviewbox title=”Paws & Pals Natural Dog-Shampoo and Conditioner ” pros=”Features aloe, oats, and essential oils ;Deodorizes, cleans, and conditions ;Bottle made of recycled materials;Paraben-, cruelty-, and soap-free;Tearless formula;Nontoxic, vegan ingredients;Relieves itchy, dry, inflamed skin;” cons=”Contains sulfates and fragrance which can cause reactions in some dogs;;” score=”9.5″ ]

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Why do some Dogs have Dry Skin?

Why do some Dogs have Dry Skin

The following are some causes that reflect on why some dogs have dry skin.

Bacterial Infection: This is often a result of some termite bite or parasitic attack.

Alopecia: This is a rare hereditary disease in which the common symptoms include hair loss and scaling.

Canine Distemper: The symptoms of this disease are thickening at the end of the nose and the foot pads. The end result is dry, flaky and scaly skin.

Castration Responsive Dermatitis: This can occur in unneutered puppies and the common symptoms are loss of hair around the genital area, skin appears darker, the hair color may fade and severe scaling all across the body.

Rabbit Fur Mite Mange: This is due to the infection of Cheyletiella mite. The symptoms are severe itching and scaling.

Cushing’s Disease: This is caused due to hormonal and glandular changes. The common reason is the imbalance in the production and regulation of corticosteroids.

Demodectic Mange: This is caused due to infection with the Demodex mite and occurs easily with a low immune system efficiency.

Flea Bit Hypersensitivity: The scaling and crusting of the skin occurs due to a severe allergic reaction towards the saliva of fleas.

Fish Scale Disease: This disease is particularly characterized by the excessive scaling of the skin.

Ringworm: This usually causes the skin to grow crusty and there is increased hair loss and itchiness.

Vitamin responsive dermatitis: The deficiency of Vitamin A causes the skin to grow flaky. The dog also starts to shed more hair and there are odor problems.

Zinc-responsive dermatitis: The deficiency of zinc also causes redness and increased oiliness of the skin alongwith rapid hair loss.

If your dog lives in a region of low humidity, it can lead to dry skin. The dryness can also be caused by improper diet and ingestion of unsuitable food.

One can easily see that a few of these problems are genetic, hereditary or dietary or caused due to various external and internal factors.

The scaling that is caused by external factors can be corrected by using the properly medicated shampoo available for addressing the dry skin issue.

Symptoms of Dry Skin in Dogs

Symptoms of Dry Skin

Every dog is different so one might not have the same dry skin symptoms as another.

However, there are some common symptoms that you can look for if you think your dog is suffering from dry skin. The two most common symptoms are itchiness and excessive scratching. Other common symptoms are :

  • Dandruff
  • Flaking
  • Hair loss
  • Inflammation
  • Increased bad odor
  • Oily coat
  • Pimples
  • Scabs
  • Scaly skin

Some dogs might have all of these symptoms while other dogs might just experience itchiness.

Keep a close eye on your pup and look for these issues. If you’re not sure what you’re dealing with, visit your vet to make sure it isn’t something other than dry skin.

Dry Skin vs Allergies

Dry Skin vs Allergies in dogs


While your dog might just have dry skin, it’s possible that they don’t and are suffering from an allergic reaction instead. Allergies can lead to dry skin and excessive scratching while also causing oily coats.

Your dog can be allergic to an ingredient(s) in their food, a new shampoo or flea and tick treatment, pollen or similar allergens in the air, or something you use like a perfume, air freshener, or even a carpet cleaner.

If your dog is suffering from allergies and not just dry skin, they may need specific medication from your vet along with topical care like special shampoos or lotions.

This is why it’s important that you determine whether or not your dog’s dry skin is from an underlying condition before you begin treating it on your own.

How Can Dog shampoos help in Dry Skin?

How Can Dog shampoos help in Dry Skin

The following are certain points that elaborate on how shampoos can help with dry skin problems.

  • Certain shampoos are designed to contain [wpsm_highlight color=”yellow”]moisturizing agents[/wpsm_highlight] which hydrate the skin and fur thus, effectively removing the dryness and flakiness of the skin.
  • Shampooing with the correct shampoo [wpsm_highlight color=”yellow”]stimulates the sebaceous glands[/wpsm_highlight] to secrete the proper amount of natural oils that should be present on the skin’s surface.
  • Shampooing [wpsm_highlight color=”yellow”]removes the infestation[/wpsm_highlight] of parasites like fleas and ticks which may be present. Since some of the dryness and scaling is caused by the reaction towards the saliva of these parasites; removal of these can at once improve the condition of the pet.
  • Shampooing also helps to [wpsm_highlight color=”yellow”]treat bacterial and fungal infections[/wpsm_highlight] (eg. Ringworm) which are sometimes the case of the scaling and dandruff. The use of these shampoos will lead to an instantaneous improvement in the skin condition.
  • Shampoos also act to [wpsm_highlight color=”yellow”]restore the pH of the skin[/wpsm_highlight] to the normal range and when this pH is out of the required range, flakiness occurs.
  • The specially formulated medicated shampoos can treat whatever is ailing the dog to improve its condition by [wpsm_highlight color=”yellow”]soothing it’s itching and scratching[/wpsm_highlight]. Excessive itching can also damage the skin and aggravate the condition.

Why Dry Skin Shampoos can Help your Dog

Why Dry Skin Shampoos can Help your Dog

Dog shampoos that treat dry skin typically contain oatmeal or aloe vera. These ingredients help in soothing the skin. The following points demonstrate how they help.


Oatmeal is effective when it comes to providing relief from itching because it contains chemicals like avenanthramides and phenols.

It also balances the pH of the dog’s skin. Often many problems are caused by the imbalance in pH levels. Oatmeal resolves this issue.

It relieves the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis. Its grainy structure helps in removing flaky skin and softening the dog’s coat. It also helps in treating the symptoms of hot spots, allergies and tick problems.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is often applied to the dog’s wounds. It has healing and soothing properties. It contains several vitamins and minerals that enrich the dog’s skin and it treats the flea bites and allergies of the dog.

Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Dog Shampoo for Dry Skin

Buying Guide Choosing the Best Dog Shampoo for Dry Skin

Once you’ve determined that your dog does, in fact, have dry skin, using a dog shampoo made to treat dry skin is an important tool to have in your home.

However, not all shampoos are created equally. You have to know what to look for when shopping for one so you’re guaranteed to get one that works for you and your pup’s needs.

The Two Best Formulas

The way a shampoo is made is one of the most important factors when looking for something that will alleviate your dog’s dry skin.

For your purposes, there are two basic forms of shampoo that you should look for: organic shampoos and hypoallergenic shampoos.

Either of these options should ensure that the shampoo will stop your dog from scratching and that they won’t have any allergic reactions to the new shampoo.

While a shampoo might be one or the other, there are shampoos on the market that are labeled as both.

Organic Dog Shampoo

This type of formula is made only from natural ingredients without the use of artificial additives or chemical ingredients. They are considered safe to use on all dogs and aren’t supposed to cause allergic reactions.

More so, they tend to contain nourishing ingredients that soothe the skin and naturally hydrate it.

If your dog has especially sensitive skin or if you’d simply like to stay away from chemical-based products, organic shampoos are a great choice.

Hypoallergenic Shampoos

If your pet is known to have allergies, a hypoallergenic shampoo is the best way to go. This is because these formulas are made with ingredients that aren’t linked to allergic reactions.

While these can be natural ingredients, there can be artificial or chemical ingredients in these formulas so it’s important to read the labels if you’re looking to avoid non-natural ingredients.

It should be noted that while these shampoos are less likely to cause allergic reactions, there is always a chance that your dog might react badly to something new.

Things to Consider When Shopping for a Shampoo

As you compare shampoos, keep a few things in mind. Look for certain ingredients while avoiding others and see if the shampoo has any additional benefits. Some things to look for are :

Anti-parasitic properties

Some shampoos that combat dry skin may also have special ingredients that get rid of parasites.

If your dog’s dry skin is linked to a parasitic infection, this kind of shampoo can do two jobs at once by alleviating your pet’s dry skin and eliminating parasites from their skin and coat.

Healing formulas for rashes or infections

If your dog has a rash from their dry skin or an infection, you can try to find a shampoo that is able to treat both of these things as well as your dog’s dry skin.

These can be medicated shampoos that you get from your vet or you can find ones to purchase that offer these benefits.

Avoid shampoos with alcohol

Alcohol can dry out a dog’s skin making it itchy and sensitive. Shampoos without alcohol are usually much better for your dog’s skin and coat.

They’re less likely to cause bad reactions and won’t make your dog’s condition worse. Look for shampoos that are alcohol-free when shopping for the best dog shampoo for dry skin.

In general, you want to stick to shampoos that are labelled safe for sensitive skin as your dog will be affected by harsh formulas while dealing with dry skin. Always read the ingredient list and all labels when looking at shampoos.

If you need more guidance, talk to your vet to find out about anything else you should avoid for your specific needs or talk to a groomer and get their recommendations for great dog shampoos.

Natural Ways to Hydrate Your Dog’s Skin

Natural Ways to Hydrate Your Dog’s Skin

When looking to hydrate your dog’s dry skin naturally there are a lot of things that you can do.

Changing your dog’s food from dry food to wet food or natural food can help hydrate your dog’s skin as can increase their daily water intake.

Running a humidifier in your home can add moisture back into your daily environment and hydrate your dog’s skin naturally.

Massaging Vitamin E oil into your dog’s coat frequently can also help with dry skin as well as other skin conditions like warts, hot spots, and calluses.

This is perfectly safe on their skin and won’t cause any internal issues if your dog licks at the oil after you rub it in. It can also offer protection against UV radiation from the sun.

Other things you can do to hydrate your dog’s skin naturally are :

  • Add electrolyte liquids to your dog’s diet
  • Give your dog plain yoghurt or probiotic supplements
  • Grind oatmeal, mix it with water and apply it to the affected skin
  • Treat the skin with diluted essential oils that are safe for dogs (tea tree oil, and lavender oil can help)
  • Give your dog licorice root in their water to help relieve itchiness

Skin Problems Caused by Dry Skin

Skin Problems Caused by Dry Skin

While you might think dry skin is harmless, it can be linked to other problems like systemic disorders including cancer, Cushing’s disease, and hyperthyroidism.

Dry skin can also lead to other conditions.

For example, when dry skin is left untreated it can lead to atopic dermatitis. This causes itchiness, inflammation, redness, and more dry skin.

It can also cause skin infections.

Similarly, if your dog’s dry skin is caused by an underlying condition, it needs to be treated and shouldn’t be left to fester as it can cause more health problems in the future.


How often should I shampoo my dog?

A dog must be shampooed once every three months. You can also wash them every week if they start to smell bad. However, bathing your dog every week could be harmful, as your pets need their natural oils for a healthy fur coat.

How often should you bathe a dog with itchy skin?

You should start by bathing a dog with itchy skin twice a week and see how the dog’s skin reacts to that. Bathing an itchy dog too often can lead to unwanted dry skin that aggravates their need to itch.

Why does my dog itch after a bath?

A dog may itch after a bath for a couple of reasons. Vigorously rubbing them dry with a towel can increase their itching. Bathing your dog in warm water can also irritate the itching skin; hence, cool water is mostly recommended. Thus, cool water and drying their fur with a cool dryer setting should not cause more itching.

How to diagnose and treat a dog’s itchy skin?

Diagnosing your dog’s itchy skin may take up to a few weeks since a veterinarian shall ask its lifestyle and run certain tests before determining a cause. Treatment for a dog’s itchy skin includes all-inclusive care ranging from maintaining dietary restrictions to using suitable dog shampoos.

Is your dog itchy because of your shampoo?

The ingredients in the shampoo you use on your dog greatly determine your dog’s reaction to the wash. Potential irritants include parabens, sulfates, peanut oil, dyes, gluten, etc. Steer clear of such ingredients when looking for dog shampoos for itchy skin.

In the end..

While any of these top-selling dog shampoos can potentially help relieve your dog’s dry skin, be sure to compare each of them in order to find the best dog shampoo for dry skin for you and your dog.

Keep your individual needs in mind and consider consulting a vet or groomer to help you decide what is best for you and your pet.

Here are our top picks again for you – 

Last update on 2023-01-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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