Itching. Scratching. Redness. Dandruff. If your dog has sensitive skin, that can lead to serious discomfort and irritation for your precious pup. Luckily, we have the list of best dog shampoo for sensitive skin! These cleansers can give your dog some relief from common and frustrating conditions.
The first thing to do is understand why your dog has sensitive skin. What's causing it? After that, you can find a great solution for your dog. One remedy is a healthy, natural shampoo that will soothe their skin. Read on to find out how gentle shampoos can help relieve your dog's itchy, sensitive skin.
Is Sensitive Skin on Dogs Common?
Sensitive skin is pretty common in dogs. It's also fairly simple to spot and diagnose. Skin is essential to your dog's overall health. The skin makes up 13% of an adult dog's body weight, providing a protective layer that is vital for protecting them from environmental factors. Healthy skin also holds your dog's hair better, keeping their coat healthy and strong.
Sensitive skin is usually caused by genetics or environmental factors, including food allergies and parasites. You'll notice your dog is itching a lot, has dandruff, or a dull coat if they are experiencing sensitive skin. Sometimes dogs with sensitive skin will also have an unpleasant odor. One thing is for sure — your dog won't be comfortable!
What Causes Sensitive Skin on Dogs?
There are several reasons your dog may have sensitive skin. It's important to figure out what is causing your dog's delicate skin so you can provide proper treatment. In many cases, you might have to bring your dog to the veterinarian to pinpoint underlying health conditions or concerns.
Sensitive skin is usually caused by genetics or environmental factors, including food allergies and parasites. If your dog has sensitive skin, they'll probably itch, suffer from dandruff, or have a dull coat. Some dogs with sensitive skin will also have an unpleasant odor. All in all, your dog will be uncomfortable!
Many dogs are sensitive to certain foods, most often carbohydrates and corn-based gluten products. Beef, dairy, wheat, and chicken are other common culprits that cause food sensitivities in dogs. Your vet will often provide you with a special diet for dogs with specific allergies, allowing them to eat without discomfort.
Just like us, dogs can have allergic reactions to various environmental factors. Some common allergies are pollen, grass, and dust mites. These allergies are often genetic and uncurable, but medication can help suppress the reaction.
Sometimes indoor heating systems and air conditioning can dry out your dog's skin. The dry skin will lead to irritation and itchiness, even dandruff. That's because there's no moisture in the air. Your dog is usually cooped up inside during the winter, meaning they are exposed to this dry air for the majority of the day.
Changes in the weather can lead to skin allergies. As we said before, sudden dry air can cause dry, irritated skin. Allergic reactions will flare up in the spring and summer because of pollen and other allergens.
Parasites, like worms, can irritate your dog's skin. You might notice dry or scaly skin, causing your dog to bite and scratch at that location. If you think your dog has ringworm, check for circular patches on the skin, inflammation, and hair loss. Ringworm often affects the head, paws, ears, or legs. And of course, the infamous flea bites also irritate your dog's skin.
If you see irritated, itchy, or discolored skin, your dog might have a yeast infection. This often leads to dogs scratching their ears or chewing at their toes.
This is a condition that inflames your dog's hair follicles. You'll see sores, bumps, and scabs on your dog's skin if they are suffering from this condition.
Some dogs may be allergic to the ingredients found in commercial grooming products. Harsh detergents, bizarre additives, and preservatives can damage the skin barrier, leading to dry, flaky skin.
This condition leads to excessive hair loss. You'll see large bald spots on your dog's skin, and it isn't pretty. Stress, poor nutrition, illness, or over-grooming can also cause hair loss, so it's essential to see a vet for an accurate diagnosis. If you notice handfuls of hair all over your house and your dog is the source, seek help immediately.
Also known as canine scabies, this is a skin disorder caused by mites. Your dog will develop itching, red skin, sores, and hair loss. It often starts on the face, legs, and ears. If left untreated, mange can become very painful for your dog.
How Often Should You Bathe a Dog with Sensitive Skin?
If your dog has sensitive skin, you should bathe them once a week to relieve their pain and itching. This will also speed up healing and recovery if they have any infections. When you notice their skin healing, you can reduce their baths to once every two weeks.
What is the Best Dog Shampoo for Sensitive Skin?
When it comes to dog shampoos for sensitive skin, you should look for organic, natural formulas that are gentle on your dog's skin and coat. Commercial shampoos often contain harsh chemicals and artificial ingredients that can irritate your dog's skin further and add to the discomfort.
Luckily, there are safe options for sensitive canine skin! Here are three shampoos that you can use on your dog without worry.
HolistaPet CBD Shampoo
CBD shampoo is a gift for dogs' skin. CBD is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid found in hemp, so it won't get your dog high. Instead, CBD interacts with the receptors right under your dog's skin. It soothes irritations and helps keep the skin in balance.
When CBD interacts with those receptors, it soothes your dog's skin with its anti-inflammatory properties. You'll notice a reduction in redness and irritation. CBD will also create a calming sensational bath experience, reducing your dog's stress. A happier dog scratches less, which gives their skin more time to heal!
Our CBD shampoo for dogs is great for dogs with sensitive skin because it's formulated with a soy-based protein conditioner that moisturizes all coat types. Without any artificial scents or harsh chemicals, it won't irritate your dog's skin further. Instead, it has ingredients (like rice quat) that provide further benefits for your dog's skin and coat.
Did we mention that the formula smells like mandarin berries? This shampoo is guaranteed to leave your dog looking and smelling fresher than any other pup at the park!
Vet's Best Hypoallergenic Shampoo
This natural shampoo contains naturally soothing aloe vera and Vitamin E. These ingredients keep your dog's skin moisturized and silky smooth. What makes this formula great for dogs with sensitive skin is that it's designed for pups with seasonal allergies. It's a gentle cleanser that can soothe itchy skin with its tearless and soapless cleanser.
Fieldworks Moosh Natural Shampoo
This all-natural shampoo contains ingredients specifically made for soothing and healing your dog's skin. These include neem, argan oil, and bentonite clay. This shampoo is rumored to repel fleas and ticks, but it's still very gentle. Some people say they don't like the smell, so you'll have to decide if you can tolerate the aroma of Fieldworks Moosh!
Paws & Pals Natural Oatmeal Shampoo
Oatmeal shampoo is great for dogs with sensitive skin thanks to its gentle, soothing formula. This shampoo is all-natural and vegan, with oatmeal and aloe vera that hydrate and protect your dog's coat. This soapless formula will detangle matted fur, soothe hot spots, and NOT irritate your dog's skin any further.
Are There Other CBD Products That Help With Sensitive Skin on Dogs?
Definitely! You can help soothe your dog's skin and relieve some of their discomfort with other CBD products for dogs.
CBD calming chews are a great way to help your dog feel calm and relaxed. These treats can help cut down on anxiety-induced behaviors like obsessive licking, chewing, and scratching. The chews are easy to digest and delicious, making it simple to regularly provide them to your dog. When your dog isn't scratching like a maniac, their skin gets a chance to heal!
In addition to the chews, you can also put Holistapet's premium CBD oil on your dog's food each morning and night. Most pet owners give their dogs CBD oil every eight hours or just twice a day. Creating a routine will enhance the benefits of CBD, which includes reducing physical discomfort and minimizing stressful thoughts and behaviors.
HolistaPet also has a variety of CBD dog treats that provide a wide range of benefits for your dog. We carry one specifically formulated to help curb nervousness and panic attacks (CBD Dog Treats +Stress & Anxiety Relief), which will reduce compulsive grooming.
CBD, in general, will also reduce skin irritation by promoting balance throughout the whole body, including their skin.
Ingredients to Avoid When Searching for a Sensitive Skin Shampoo for Dogs
As mentioned previously, it's important to look for a dog shampoo that has soothing, gentle, natural ingredients. The following ingredients are even harmful to dogs without sensitive skin, so you should avoid them whenever possible.
- Artificial fragrances. Often, these synthetic fragrances are not even listed on the label. But most commercial brands include them. These chemicals have been linked to cancer and other harmful health conditions.
- Phalates. This is another ingredient that's often kept off of the label. But if you see "fragrance" listed on the shampoo, it often means the formula contains phalates. These are known hormone disruptors, which can cause endocrine system issues and other health problems.
- Artificial colors. Most artificial colors are contaminated with byproducts that are linked to organ damage, cancer, and allergic reactions. While they might make the product look better, they will leave your dog feeling worse.
- Formaldehyde preservatives. This hidden ingredient causes burning, itching, blistering, and scaling of the skin. Avoid these names: bromopol, doazolidinyl, and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate.
- Isothiazolinone preservatives. Methylisothiazolinone and methychloroiosthiazolinone are both skin irritatants that cause allergic reactions.
- Triethanolamine. This ingredient is often contaminated with harmful substances like nitrosamines. It will often be listed as Cocamide-TEA, so be on the lookout.
- Mineral oil. This can often irritate your dog's skin by stopping the skin from releasing its own natural oils. This means toxins won't be eliminated as easily. Many people think mineral oil is healthy, but you might want to avoid this one.
Final Thoughts - Best Dog Shampoo for Sensitive Skin
Dogs are playful, loyal, smart, and kind. They hide their pain and discomfort well. But for many dogs, it's hard to hide sensitive skin. You will often notice their skin being red and inflamed. Sometimes they will have missing fur or dandruff on their coat.
When your dog has sensitive skin, it's essential to find the reason behind their condition. Next, contact a veterinarian to determine a solution for your dog. Meanwhile, you can bathe your dog to reduce their sensitive skin symptoms. But when it comes to washing your pup, make sure you're using the right shampoo for their skin!
Quality dog shampoos for dogs with sensitive skin include CBD and oatmeal-based formulas. You want to avoid harsh ingredients that can further irritate your dog's skin. Instead, wash your dog with natural, organic cleansers that include gentle, skin-supporting ingredients. Your dog will feel a sense of relief after a bath with any of the quality shampoos we recommended, so give one a try and see for yourself how it can help!