If your nose starts running like a faucet out of nowhere, it might be allergy season. Millions of people suffer from seasonal allergies but what you may not realize is that your dog can be affected by allergies as well.
Allergies in dogs cause everything from itchy, irritated skin to causing, sneezing and wheezing. Dogs can be allergic to environmental allergens like mold, dust, and pollen as well as foods, medications, and chemical ingredients. Anything that causes your dog’s immune system to react and release antibodies is considered an allergen, so the possibilities are nearly limitless.
When it comes to allergies that affect your dog’s skin, there are many possibilities. Keep reading to learn more about allergies in dogs and to learn how to relieve the skin symptoms with allergy dog shampoo.
What You Need to Know About Allergies in Dogs
Theoretically, your dog could develop an allergy to just about anything he ingests, comes into physical contact with, or breathes in. Dogs can also develop allergies to flea bites.
Here are the four different types of dog allergies:
- Environmental – Also known as atopy, environmental allergies come from the world around your dog. These can include everything from mold, dust, and pollen to cigarette smoke, perfume, cleaning products, and certain fabrics.
- Food – The most common food allergens for dogs are grains, dairy, legumes, and common proteins like beef, chicken, eggs, pork, and fish. Food allergies can sometimes affect the digestive system, causing vomiting or diarrhea, but they can also lead to skin-related symptoms such as dry, itchy skin and irritation or inflammation.
- Flea – Flea allergies are not caused by the flea itself but by the flea bite. Even a few flea bites can cause serious irritation and itching for your dog, so it is important to use flea prevention.
- Contact – The most common contact allergies for dogs is to certain types of fabrics, though they can also be caused by dander produced by humans and other animals.
The first step in diagnosing your dog’s allergies is to talk to your veterinarian. Your vet will likely perform a combination of blood tests, skin tests, and saliva tests to determine the cause of your dog’s allergies. From there, you’ll be able to determine the best course of treatment. For food allergies, it is generally a matter of identifying and then eliminating the offending ingredient. For other allergies, you may simply need to take steps to avoid them. In severe cases, your dog may need to take some kind of allergy medication or receive an allergy shot.
What is the Best Allergy Shampoo for Dogs?
- Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo for Dogs
- JBuddy Wash Original Lavender and Mint Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
- Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo with Colloidal Oat Flour & Honey
- TropiClean Hypoallergenic Gentle Coconut Puppy Shampoo
- Vet’s Best Hypoallergenic Shampoo for Dogs
- Duoxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog Shampoo
- Richard’s Organics Flea & Tick Shampoo
6 Things to Look for in a Good Allergy Shampoo for Dogs
There are two ways in which a good allergy shampoo for dogs can benefit your dog’s skin. One way is that it can help cleanse the skin and coat to remove allergens like dust, mold, and pollen. The second way is that it can help moisturize and heal your dog’s itchy, irritated skin.
So, what should you look for in a dog allergy shampoo? Here are some suggestions:
- Hypoallergenic – If your dog is already suffering from allergies, the last thing you want to do is worsen his reaction. Hypoallergenic dog shampoo is designed to reduce the risk of triggering an allergic reaction, so they are generally made with gentle, natural ingredients.
- Natural Ingredients – Speaking of natural ingredients, a dog shampoo made with no chemicals or artificial additives is less likely to trigger a reaction and make your dog’s skin problems worse.
- Moisturizers – For dogs with allergies, dry, itchy skin is a common problem, so you want to find a dog allergy shampoo that contains plenty of moisturizers to hydrate and condition your dog’s skin. Look for natural moisturizers like oatmeal, aloe vera, and tea tree oil.
- Conditioners – In addition to cleansing your dog’s skin, you also want to protect it against further damage. Choosing a shampoo that doubles as a conditioner can help restore the condition of your dog’s skin and coat while protecting it against dryness and irritation.
- pH-Balanced – Your dog’s skin is a little more neutral than your own, having a pH between 6.5 and 7.5 as opposed to your own 5.5. Choosing a shampoo that is pH-balanced for your dog’s skin is important to reduce the risk of irritation and to restore and maintain its healthy condition
- Flea Protection – If your dog’s allergies are caused by flea bites, you may want to try a shampoo that is designed to kill and protect against fleas.
There are many different allergy dog shampoos on the market, so you may need to try a few different options to find the one that works best for your dog. Keeping the above things in mind, you’re ready to start shopping! If you’re not quite sure where to begin, check out our top 7 picks for dog shampoo for allergies below.
Overall Best Allergy Shampoo for Dogs
|Our 2019 Picks: Dog Shampoo for Allergies|
Now that you know more about your dog’s allergies, you should have a better idea what to look for in a dog shampoo for allergies. If you need a little help getting started, try one of our top 7 picks for the best dog shampoo for sensitive, itchy skin and allergies reviewed below:
If your dog has serious allergies, you may want to consider a medicated dog shampoo for allergies like this Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo for Dogs. This shampoo features natural ingredients like essential oils as well as moisturizers like oatmeal and tea tree oil to calm skin irritation and soothe itching. It gently cleanses your dog’s skin, washing away allergens and leaves your dog smelling fresh and clean. This allergy relief dog shampoo helps to hydrate and recondition your dog’s skin and coat, so he looks and feels his best. Plus, it is gentle enough for frequent use to help remove allergens from your dog’s coat without the risk of drying out his skin.
Pros: Washes away allergens, contains soothing natural ingredients, calms and moisturizes skin, fresh spa fragrance, can be used regularly, won’t affect flea and tick treatments
Cons: May not lather as well as some shampoos, needs to be left on for several minutes
6 More Top Rated Allergy Shampoos for Dogs
If the allergy dog shampoo reviewed above isn’t the perfect fit for your dog, don’t worry! There are many more options to choose from. Here are six more top-rated allergy shampoos for dogs:
If you’re looking for a product that will soothe, hydrate, and condition your dog’s skin and coat, try Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo and Conditioner. This 2-in-1 product features natural ingredients like essential oils and botanical extracts to relieve your dog’s itchy, irritated skin and restore its natural moisture. This shampoo is soap-free but builds a rich lather to cleanse and rinse allergens out of your dog’s coat. You’ll also be glad to know that it is a coconut-based cleanser and contains natural deodorizers as well as a rejuvenating lavender and mint scent.
Natural, hypoallergenic ingredients are a must if your dog suffers from allergies which makes this Burt’s Bees Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo an excellent option. This dog shampoo features 97% natural ingredients and is pH-balanced for your dog’s skin. It contains shea butter to deeply hydrate your dog’s skin with no sulfates, colorants, or artificial fragrances. It also contains honey to give your dog’s coat a nice shine with other natural ingredients to hydrate, soothe, and moisturize.
Puppies have extra-sensitive skin, so if your puppy has allergies as well, you need a gentle shampoo like this TropiClean Hypoallergenic Gentle Coconut Puppy Shampoo. This shampoo is ultra-gentle and made with soothing natural ingredients in a soap-free cleanser to clean and hydrate your puppy’s skin. It features a coconut-based cleanser with aloe vera to replenish the skin’s natural moisture for a fresh, healthy clean. Plus, it is tear-free and gentle enough to use regularly.
Designed specifically for dry skin and allergies, this dog shampoo for sensitive, itchy skin is a great option. Vet’s Best Hypoallergenic Shampoo for Dogs features a soap-free, tearless formula made with natural ingredients like aloe vera and vitamin E to hydrate and moisturize the skin without causing any irritation. It helps soothe itchy skin while replenishing natural moisturizer and conditioning your dog’s dry, brittle coat. It is completely hypoallergenic and gentle enough for regular use, plus it won’t affect your dog’s flea and tick control products.
For severely itchy skin caused by allergies and other skin conditions, this Duoxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog Shampoo may be a good option. This medicated dog shampoo for allergies and other conditions features active ingredients like chlorhexidine and climbazole as well as phytosphingosine-salicyloyl for maximum itch relief. This shampoo lathers richly and deposits a long-lasting film to protect against irritation and moisture loss as well to keep your dog’s skin hydrated and itch-free.
If your dog has a flea allergy, you may want to try a flea shampoo like this Richard’s Organics Flea & Tick Shampoo. This shampoo is made with organic natural ingredients and is completely free from sulfates and parabens, so you don’t have to worry about irritating his already itchy skin. This flea shampoo features 100% naturally derived ingredients including five essential oils to soothe and condition your dog’s skin and coat. This shampoo contains peppermint oil, clove oil, cinnamon oil, rosemary oil, and, most importantly, cedarwood oil which is particularly good for skin conditions and dermatitis.
FAQ Regarding Allergy Shampoos
- How do you bathe a dog with skin allergies?
If your dog has skin allergies, his skin is already likely to be itchy and sore, so you want to avoid making it worse. To bathe him, start by brushing his coat gently to remove any dead or loose hair as well as allergens that may be settling into his coat. Use a hypoallergenic dog shampoo and cool water, making sure to work the shampoo into his coat – you may even need to let it sit for a few minutes if it’s medicated, so your dog gains the maximum benefit. When you’re done, rinse thoroughly and let your dog’s fur air dry to avoid over-drying it with the blow dryer.
- What can I bathe my dog in to stop itching?
Hypoallergenic dog shampoo is one of the best methods for relieving dry, itchy skin but there are some home remedies you can try as well. One option is to make a 50/50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water then spray it on your dog’s coat and let it air dry. You can also make your own oatmeal bath by sprinkling ground oats into a warm bath then letting your dog soak for 10 to 15 minutes. You might even massage a little coconut oil into his skin and coat for hydration and protection.
- How often should I bathe my dog with skin allergies?
There is a great deal of controversy out there regarding how often to bathe a dog. The truth of the matter is that there is no right or wrong answer – it all depends on the condition of your dog’s skin and the type of shampoo you use. If you’re simply trying to keep your dog’s skin and coat clean, you’ll probably be bathing him every 8 to 12 weeks. If you’re trying to treat a skin problem, however, you may need to bathe him several times a week with special shampoo until the condition is resolved. If you’re not sure how often you should be bathing your pet, ask your veterinarian.
Though many people don’t realize it, dogs can be affected by allergies in much the same way people can. About 10% of dogs suffer from some type of allergy, so being able to identify allergies in dogs is important. If you’re concerned that your dog might have allergies, start by talking to your vet than consider using one of the dog shampoos for allergies reviewed above.