Skin infections in dogs are more common than many people realize. Whether caused by fungus, bacteria, allergies, or parasites, skin infections can lead to serious itching and irritation.
So, what do you do to make your dog feel better?
One option is to bathe him using a medicated dog shampoo. Dog shampoo exists for every need, including fungal infections like ringworm and yeast infections. You still need to take your dog to the vet to have him properly diagnosed and to determine whether some form of treatment is needed, but the right antifungal shampoo can support his treatment plan and relieve symptoms.
Keep reading to learn more about fungal infections in dogs and to see our top 6 picks for the best antibacterial and antifungal dog shampoo.
Things to Know About Fungal Infections in Dogs
Dogs can develop skin infections any time of year, though they tend to be more common in the summer months when things are hot and humid. Fungus thrives in moisture, so it is important to keep your dog’s ears clean and dry. If your dog’s has deep wrinkles or skin folds, you may need to pay extra attention to keep them dry as well.
Both bacterial and fungal skin infections in dogs are fairly common, but how do you tell them apart? The key difference is that bacterial infections often cause your dog’s skin to become dry and itchy while fungal infections are often wet.
Here are some of the ways you can tell a fungal infection apart from a bacterial infection:
- Fungal infections cause the dog’s coat to become greasy and smelly
- A fungal infection tends to spread in moist areas of the body such as the ears, paws, armpits, and in folds of skin
- Dogs with fungal infections often shake their heads and scratch their ears
- Fungal infections that affect the ears produce a waxy brown discharge
- A dog with allergies is more likely to develop a fungal infection, especially in warmer months.
Now that you know a little more about differentiating between fungal and bacterial infections in dogs, you may be wondering what causes these infections. Fungal infections often affect the dog’s skin but can also spread into the body, causing respiratory symptoms. The two most common fungal skin infections in dogs are yeast infections and ringworm.
Ringworm is a highly contagious fungal skin infection that can be spread back and forth between humans and dogs. It typically presents with ring-shaped lesions on the skin and may progress to include itching, irritation, and inflammation as well as dandruff, scaling, and patches of hair loss. To treat ringworm, your veterinarian may recommend antifungal cream or ointment as well as antifungal medications. Antifungal dog shampoo for ringworm may also help to relieve the skin-related symptoms.
Yeast infections in dogs develop when yeast cells that are naturally present in your dog’s coat start to multiply at a rapid rate. Caused by the Malassezia species of fungus, yeast infections can spread quickly and cause severe skin reactions in dogs. Some of the most common symptoms include extreme itching, irritation and inflammation, sores and lesions, greasy coat, hair loss, and foul-smelling discharge. If you suspect that your dog has a yeast infection, go to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.
For both ringworm and yeast infections in dogs, antifungal dog shampoo is a godsend. The best antibacterial and antifungal dog shampoo will feature gentle, natural ingredients to soothe inflammation and itching with moisturizing ingredients to restore skin and coat condition. It will also contain deodorizers and other natural ingredients to help your dog start feeling better fast.
6 Things to Look for in a Good Antifungal Shampoo for Dogs
Before you start shopping for an antifungal shampoo for dogs, be sure to visit your veterinarian for a diagnosis. Once your vet has determined which type of fungal infection your dog has, you can start the appropriate course of treatment and use antifungal dog shampoo to help relieve skin symptoms. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you which active ingredients to look for and how often it is safe to bathe your dog to speed the healing process.
Once you know what type of antifungal shampoo you’re looking for, there are some other factors you should consider. Here are some things to look for in the best antifungal shampoo for dogs:
- Medication – If your dog is suffering from a fungal skin infection, you should consider a medicated shampoo. These shampoos are designed to help control the spread of fungus while also dealing with some of the physical symptoms of infection.
- Natural Ingredients – When your dog is suffering from a skin infection, the last thing you want to do is make it worse by exposing him to chemicals and other harsh ingredients. Choose a dog shampoo made with all-natural ingredients – one that is hypoallergenic is even better.
- pH Balance – You may not realize it, but your dog’s skin has a different pH than yours and choosing a dog shampoo pH-balanced for your dog’s skin is important to reduce irritation.
- Moisturizers – Though many fungal infections cause your dog to develop wet sores or greasy coat, it is still important to moisturize his skin to speed the healing process. Look for natural moisturizers like oatmeal, tea tree oil, and aloe vera.
- Deodorizers – Many dogs with fungal infections develop an odorous discharge that can be quite unpleasant. Look for an antifungal shampoo that also contains deodorizers to freshen your dog.
- Conditioners – A 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner can help restore and maintain the healthy condition of your dog’s skin and coat. You can also use a separate conditioner or a leave-in conditioner spray for long-lasting protection after each bath.
No matter which type of antifungal dog shampoo you choose, it is important to follow the instructions carefully. Many medicated shampoos need to be worked deep into the coat and then left to sit for 5 to 10 minutes – this is the best way to deliver the medication to your dog’s skin where it can do the most benefit. After bathing, rinse your dog’s coat thoroughly to remove all shampoo residue then let his coat air dry or use the blow dryer on low heat.
Now that you know what you need to know about antifungal shampoos, you’re ready to start shopping! If you’re still not quite sure where to begin, check out our top 6 picks below:
Best Antifungal Shampoos for Dogs
The best antifungal shampoo for dogs will be made from natural ingredients and medicated to fight the fungal infection. Look for a shampoo that will moisturize your dog’s skin to speed the healing process with gentle cleansers and deodorizers. Avoid anything made with alcohol or harsh chemical ingredients that might further irritate or damage your dog’s skin. Here’s our top pick for the best antifungal shampoo for dogs:
Whether you’re looking for an antifungal dog shampoo for ringworm or something for a yeast infection, this Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo is a great option. This shampoo is designed to treat a variety of skin infections including fungal infections, and it features active ingredients like benzethonium chloride and ketoconazole. This shampoo works to cleanse and deodorize your dog’s coat while aloe vera helps soothe irritation and speed the healing process. It is safe for use twice weekly until the infection clears up and it is completely free from parabens and other harsh chemicals.
Pros: Two powerful active ingredients, soothes inflammation and itching, aloe vera to speed healing, 100% paraben-free, safe to use twice weekly, gentle coconut-based cleanser
Cons: May require multiple treatments for maximum effect, contains some artificial dye and fragrance
5 More Top Rated Antifungal Shampoos for Dogs
If the above option doesn’t seem like the right fit, don’t worry – there are plenty more natural antifungal shampoo for dogs out there. Here are five more top-rated options we recommend:
If you’re looking for a natural antifungal shampoo for dogs, try this Jax n Daisy Antifungal & Antibacterial Dog Shampoo. This shampoo offers antifungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic benefits in a gentle formula that will soothe your dog’s skin. It features natural ingredients to cleanse your dog’s skin and coat while also restoring moisture and hydration. This shampoo is made with essential oils to nourish your dog’s skin as well as other ingredients to relieve itching, soothe irritation, and reduce inflammation.
To relieve the symptoms of fungal skin infections, try this VetMD Medicated Antibacterial & Antifungal Dog Shampoo. This shampoo is veterinarian-recommended in a skin-soothing formula to invigorate skin and soothe irritation and inflammation. It contains medicated active ingredients to fight the infection with natural ingredients to hydrate, moisturize, and relieve itching. This shampoo is pH-balanced for sensitive skin and contains natural ingredients to condition your dog’s skin and coat. Plus, it is completely free from artificial fragrances, chemicals, and parabens.
Made with three powerful active ingredients, this Duoxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog Shampoo is a great option for fighting fungal infection. This shampoo features chlorhexidine, climbazole, and phytosphingosine to manage skin infections ranging from mild to severe. It is a rich-lathering solution that contains lipacid to restore skin’s natural moisture barrier and also helps to reduce inflammation. This shampoo helps to relieve itching while conditioning your dog’s skin and coat with a long-lasting film for protection between baths.
Formulated to support healthy skin for a wide range of skin conditions including fungal infections, this DermaBenSs Shampoo for Dogs is a must-have. It is a soap-free formula that gently cleanses your dog’s skin with ceramides to moisturize, repair, and restore dry and damaged skin. This shampoo contains active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid to clean and degrease your dog’s coat while also controlling fungus. It promotes healthy skin regrowth and is safe for use two to three times a week as needed until the infection clears up.
This TrizCHLOR 4 Shampoo for Dogs is designed to treat superficial fungal skin infections as well as acute moist dermatitis. It features betaine to soothe your dog’s skin with chlorhexidine to kill microbes and TrizEDTA for added support. It is a water-based formula free from alcohol that supports your dog’s normal skin pH and it is gentle enough for regular use. This formula is designed to be tough on bacteria and fungus but gentle on your dog’s irritated skin to relieve the infection along with its physical skin-related symptoms.
FAQ Regarding Antifungal Shampoos
- What can I bathe my dog with for a yeast infection?
When it comes to bathing a dog with a yeast infection, you want to cleanse his skin and take steps to kill the fungus without irritating or drying out his skin. Choose a high-quality antifungal shampoo and bathe your dog in cool to lukewarm water. Follow the instructions on the shampoo to see whether you need to let the mixture sit on his skin after lathering or not. When you’re ready to rinse, use cool water to rinse away the shampoo residue then rinse with water mixed with a little apple cider vinegar.
- Does vinegar kill yeast on dogs?
One of the most popular natural remedies for yeast infections in dogs is apple cider vinegar. To use this remedy, mix a 50/50 solution of water and apple cider vinegar then spray it on your dog’s coat twice a day for a week or until symptoms fade. This remedy works well when paired with an antifungal dog shampoo – you can bathe your dog with the shampoo and use the 50/50 solution to rinse. Make sure to let your dog’s coat air dry, so you don’t dry out his skin too much.
- How do you treat fungal infection in dogs?
Treatment for fungal infections in dogs differs depending on the type of infection and its severity. For ringworm, antifungal creams or oral medications are the treatment of choice, but antifungal dog shampoo for ringworm can help relieve symptoms. For yeast infections, antifungal medications can be applied topically or taken orally and paired with antifungal shampoo to help with scaling, inflammation, and odors. In cases where there is a concurrent bacterial skin infection, antibiotics may also be needed.
If your dog has a yeast infection or ringworm, you need a high-quality antifungal shampoo. The best natural antifungal shampoo for dogs will be made with gentle ingredients to soothe and heal the skin as well as active ingredients to kill the fungus. If you’re not sure where to start shopping, simply try one of our top six picks for the best antifungal dog shampoo reviewed above.