Are You Using The Right Shampoo For Your Dog?

Unlike most breeds of cats, dogs need our help to keep them looking and smelling their best. And although your dog may prefer to be as smelly as possible, sometimes it is necessary for them to endure the dreaded bath. When that dirty dog smell becomes too much to bear, check out this article to ensure you are using the right type of shampoo to freshen up your furry friend.

A dog sitting in a bath tub is wearing a wig with rollers and pins in it and

Can I use my shampoo on my dog?

One of the first things you should consider is if the shampoo is safe to use on dogs.

A dog’s skin is more alkaline than a human’s, so it's important to select a shampoo that has the right pH balance making it safe to use on your dog. If you use a shampoo designed for humans on your dog, you may find their coat dries out and their skin becomes itchy and irritated. Therefore, it is recommended that you select a shampoo that is specially designed for dogs.

A Golden Retriever is being rinsed off in a bath

Shampoo for puppies

Just like babies have more sensitive skin than adults, puppies have more sensitive skin than adult dogs, meaning a regular dog shampoo may be too harsh for their skin. There are a variety of specialty puppy shampoos available on the market today, all of which are extra gentle on your puppy’s skin. 

Brands we stock include PAW Gentle Puppy Shampoo, Fido’s Puppy and Kitten Shampoo and Frontline Puppy and Kitten Shampoo.

A black and brown puppy splashes around on the edge of a pool

Shampoo for dogs with dry, sensitive or irritated skin

Dogs that have allergies, sensitive or dry and flaky skin will also require a specialised shampoo to avoid irritating their skin further. Shampoos that are suitable for dogs with sensitive skin types often contain soothing ingredients such as oatmeal and aloe vera. They are also often soap-free, hypoallergenic and contain added moisturisers. 

Brands we stock include Dermcare Natural Shampoo, PAW Sensitive Skin Shampoo, PAW NutriDerm Replenishing Shampoo, Fido’s Aloe Vera Gel Shampoo, Fido’s Gentle and Mild Shampoo, EpiSoothe SIS Shampoo and Aloveen Oatmeal Shampoo.

A brown dog is shaking off a lot of water

Flea and tick shampoos

If your dog struggles with fleas or ticks, there are a number of shampoos on the market that can help. Pyrethrin and permethrin are two ingredients commonly found in flea and tick shampoos for dogs. Pyrethrin is a naturally occurring insecticidal found in varieties of the Chrysanthemum flower and permethrin is the man-made version of pyrethrin. Both pyrethrin and permethrin work by paralysing the fleas or ticks on your dog, however, you should use it with care as it is also toxic to fish, frogs and other insects such as bees. 

Cats are also sensitive to pyrethrin and permethrin, so products that contain high levels should be avoided on dogs that share their home with a cat. There are some products on the market that are safe to use on cats and dogs that share their home with cats because they contain a low dose of pyrethrin or permethrin. 

Brands we stock with low levels of pyrethrin that are safe to use on cats and dogs that share their home with cats include Fido’s Fre-Itch Pyrethrin Shampoo, Fido’s Fre-Itch Rinse Concentrate and Fido’s Flea Shampoo.

A terrier dog is digging in sand

Medicated shampoos

Medicated shampoos contain ingredients to control fungal, bacterial or yeast infections that are present on the skin of your dog. It is advised that you do not use medicated shampoos unless instructed to do so by your veterinarian and you should ensure you always follow the instructions closely. 

Brands we stock include Malaseb Medicated Shampoo, Pyohex Medicated Shampoo, Topizole Medicated Shampoo, Triocil Medicated Wash, PAW MediDerm Gentle Medicated Shampoo, RSPCA Medicated Shampoo and Frontline Medicated Shampoo.

A brown dog sits on the sand at the beach

Herbal and natural shampoos

As the name suggests, herbal shampoos and rinses contain a variety of herbal ingredients that all have different effects and benefits. Herbal shampoos do not have some of the harsh chemicals that can be found in other shampoos. The combination of herbal ingredients in these shampoos and rinses leaves your dog’s coat looking and smelling great! 

Brands we stock include Fido’s Herbal Shampoo and Fido’s Herbal Rinse Concentrate.

A small puppy in a blanket sits on its owners lap in a car

Shampoos for dogs with white/light or black/dark fur

Owners of dogs with white or very light coloured fur might notice that over time, their dogs’ fur just isn’t as white as it used to be or it seems dull or stained. Luckily, there are a variety of shampoos on the market that can help restore your pups’ fur to the brilliant snowy white it once was. Many of these shampoos contain optical brighteners to enhance the whiteness of your dogs' coat. Some shampoos are even a blue or purple colour which reduces yellow tones. 

Brands we stock include Fido’s White and Bright Shampoo and Frontline Whitening Shampoo

At the other end of the colour spectrum, dogs with black and very dark coloured fur can also benefit from using specific shampoos to help enhance their dark colouring and make their coat shine. 

Brands we stock include Fido’s Black Gloss Shampoo.

A fluffy dog with very white fur is being held by its owner

Shampoos for dogs with no skin or other concerns

If you are lucky enough to own a dog with no skin concerns, no flea or tick problems and you are just searching for a general shampoo for regular use, you are in luck, as this category boasts the widest variety of shampoos suitable for use on your dog. 

Brands we stock include Fido’s Everyday Shampoo, PAW 2 in 1 Conditioning Shampoo, Fido’s Emu Oil Shampoo, Frontline Nourishing Shampoo and Frontline Fresh Cleansing Shampoo.

A brown and white dog is standing in the shallow waters of a rocky river

Shampoo alternatives

If you live in an apartment or own a dog that is particularly averse to bath time, there are options available that can extend the time between baths. Sprays, wipes and waterless washes are suitable for use on most dogs but may not be ideal for dogs with skin concerns. 

Brands we stock include Fido’s Fresh Coat Spray, Dermoscent Essential Mousse, Fido’s Bathing Wipes and Frontline Waterless Shampoo.

A black dog with brown eyes is looking into the camera

Does my dog need to use a conditioner?

There is no straightforward answer to this question as it varies from dog to dog. There are conditioners available in a variety of brands and for almost every category we have considered in this article. If your dog has dry skin or fur, a conditioner can be especially helpful at adding extra moisture to the fur or skin. Dogs that require a medicated shampoo for control of skin conditions may also find a conditioner aids in the treatment of the skin condition. 

Brands we stock include PAW Gentle Puppy Conditioning Spray, PAW Sensitive Skin Conditioner, PAW Conditioning and Grooming Spray, PAW NutriDerm Replenishing Conditioner, Fido’s Creme Conditioner, Aloveen Oatmeal Intensive Conditioner, Epi-Soothe Oatmeal Cream Rinse and Conditioner and Pyohex Medicated Lotion.

You can view our full range of shampoos suitable for your dog here.

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