Different Types of Dog Shampoo – How to Choose The Right Shampoo for Your Dog..?

Dogs are one of the best pals any human can have. Though this creature is great at keeping themselves clean, at times we humans need to intervene in their cleaning processes for the pooch’s better health. a lot of grooming pet products are available in the market, but a prerequisite grooming product is the pet shampoo. This article will provide insights into the dog shampoos and will also help an individual to choose one that suits their pet pal.

What is Dog Shampoo?

Dog shampoo is a hair care product that is typically in the form of a viscous liquid and is used for cleaning hair. They are most prominently used to remove impurities like dirt, lice, dandruff and so on for maintaining healthy hair. Specialized shampoos are flooded in the market for grooming one’s pooches.

Difference Between Dog Shampoo vs Human Shampoo

Though we share the same spaces and light with our dogs the shampoos we use on ourselves cannot be used on these pet pals. The section beneath will explain the common differences that differentiate dog´s shampoo from its human counterpart.


A dog shampoo could have specific or several ingredients that rejuvenate, cleanse, sooth or purify one´s dog’s skin.

pH scale balancing

Human skin has a pH of around 5.5 to 5.6, on the other hand, dog skin has a higher pH of between 6.2 and 7.4, making it way more neutral. Hence even the mildest baby shampoo can result in a pH imbalance in dogs.

Skin thickness

Human skin is composed of 10-15 layers whereas a dog skin only has about 3 to 5 cell layers, hence the latter has sensitive skin. Common detergent-based cleaning agents are proven too harsh for the pet pal´s skin as it is seen to dry it out and cause various other problems. On the other hand, dog shampoos are composed of ingredients that not only go well on the sensitive skin but are also specific in curing certain skin ailments.

Difference Between Puppy vs. Dog shampoo

A puppy’s needs are quite different from its adult counterpart. Hence the shampoo too. A puppy shampoo contains those ingredients that are gentle on the tiny paws, have a balanced pH that suits the puppy skin and are tearless. 

How To Choose a Dog Shampoo?

Dog shampoos come in various flavors, shapes and varied components based on the size, weight and the specific skin ailments. One needs to thoroughly research the net or consult a vet to zero on the right type of shampoo for their pooch. 

Before checking on the points an individual need to bear in mind while choosing a shampoo the section beneath aids in understanding the various dog shampoos that are flooded in many pet parlors and spas.

Dog shampoo variants

Some of the main shampoo types differentiated based on the components and skin issues.

Antifungal shampoos  

These contain miconazole, ketoconazole, chlorohexidine, selenium sulfide and so on are used on pets with ringworm or yeast infections.

Antibacterial shampoos 

Shampoos with ethyl acetate, benzoyl peroxide, triclosan, etc. are termed as antibacterial shampoos. These are used on pets infected with bacterial infections.

Antipruritic shampoo 

Antipruritic like aloe vera, oatmeal, menthol, sulfur, etc. aid in reducing inflammation and help to soothe the pet form the skin disorder. The oatmeal-based shampoo is quite useful in treating all skin ailments of the paws. They help to combat dandruff, greasy skin and work well on all skin types. 

Medicated flea or tick shampoo

Flea shampoo aid in eliminating fleas or ticks that attack the dog’s skin. 

Skin maintenance shampoos

General shampoos like antiseborrheic (sulfur, salicylic acid, refined tar…) and emollient shampoos (almond, cottonseed, olive, cotton and so on.)  are the ones that maintain the overall coat of the dogs are available with different scents and ingredients. 

Tearless shampoo

Puppy shampoo is like baby shampoos that need to be exclusively used on puppies as they are extremely mild, tearless and are kind on the skin of any tiny pet.

Medicated shampoo

A special medicated shampoo is one that is prescribed by the pooch´s vet. This will help to combat a specific skin disorder.

Moisturizing shampoo

These shampoos with vitamin E and honey are seen to easily combat dry and itchy skin ailments.

Conditioning shampoos

The thicker shampoo variants are seen to not only treat dry and itchy skin issues but also aid in detangling curls and combat hair loss.

“Note: This shampoo variant is not suitable for dogs with an oily coat.”

Wholesome shampoos

Shampoos rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins plays a critical role in not only repairing a luster lacking coat but also helps to maintain them.

Deodorizing organic shampoos

These shampoos contain flower, fruit and herb extracts that help in eliminating the body odor and aid in deep cleaning to deliver a long-lasting fragrance. Most of the deodorizing organic shampoos available today promise a 14-day scented coat.

Dry dog shampoos

These specialized shampoos work well for spot cleaning, time and water constraints.  As convenient powder-based shampoos this successful aid in wading off dirt and grim in between actual bathing sessions in all pets.

In some special pets, water is a constraint to dry off the already sensitive skin in such cases an oatmeal dry shampoo is seen to effectively clean and moisturize this area. 

Whitening and brightening shampoos

These shampoos help in removing the stubborn stains and dirt in the white-haired as well as all color variant pooches pets. One needs to carefully choose this shampoo with less or no harmful chemicals.

What are the points to be borne in mind while choosing a pet shampoo?

Five golden points are needed to research before zeroing on the right product. The following sections provide the complete insights of these rules.

1.  Identify the requirements of the pooch

Based on the needs of a dog the perfect shampoo with the apt contents needs to be zeroed on.  The different shampoo types section above will clearly help in fulfilling this clause.

2.  Non-requirement components of the paw

Over a period, a pet owner will know the products and ingredients to which his or her pet is sensitive or allergic to. Try to avoid these products or ingredients in the grooming products of the pet. The best option to check to resolve this is to conduct a skin patch test for the effectiveness over a period of 24 hours.

3. Product reviews 

Product reviews of all dog shampoos online make things easier for the first time as well as experienced pet parent in choosing the right pet grooming shampoos.  products with more than 60 percent reviews are the safest and trustable brands.

4.  Avoid harsh chemical-based shampoos

 The best shampoo is one that not only resolves the intended usage but also doesn’t cause any side effects like inflammation, fur loss and so on. 

5. Opt for prescribed medicated shampoos

If in some cases the skin ailments are uncontrollable one needs to opt for the right medicated shampoos prescribed by a vet.

How Often Should a Dog be Shampooed?

Dog baths depend on several factors that include health, breed, coat, size and activity level, as well as the place where the activities take place. Dogs that spend more portion of the day outside rolling around in things they shouldn’t are going to need a bath far more often than ones who spend most of their time on the couch. The best advice on a dog grooming and grooming products can be sought from a vet.

Frequently asked questions

Q. What can be done in cases where a pet owner doesn’t have dog shampoos?

A. Using human shampoos once a while on pooches are not going to make things toxic. Hence in such cases, human or baby shampoos can be used. But one needs to not make this a habit. Another option is to make use of DIY dog shampoos. Browse the net for this and pick one that will suit your pet.

Q. How often should a pet be bathed when it shares a house with a pet allergic human?

A. Every dog has a specific bath schedule or chart that a vet will prescribe. Determine the allergy-causing agent in humans and resolve that problem with the aid of a certified vet.

Q.  Some dogs smell worse after having a bath with shampoo. Is there a need to change the prescribed shampoo?

A. One can certainly experiment with different brands of dog shampoos, but one needs to always bear in mind is to address the pet’s specific skin conditions. Some medicated shampoos are very effective against parasites or dander but fail to have an appealing scent. Sometimes choosing the wrong type of dog shampoo can make a dog’s smell worse because the shampoo components fail to address the specific skin disorders.

Q. How much of shampoo should one use?

Shampoos that are concentrated can be used directly or can also be diluted for longer usage.  It is always recommended to follow the instructions provided on the label of the bottle as the amount of shampoo varies on the breed, coat size and size of the dog. 

Q. Can dog shampoos be used on cats too?

A. Not all dog shampoos are safe to use on cats. Check the pet products to see if it mentions them.

Final thoughts

Choosing the right pet shampoo based on the four-legged creature´s personal requirements not only improves the overall health of the pet but also increases the liveliness of a home.


  1. https://yourpetaccs.com/dog-shampoo-guide/
  2. https://www.amazon.com/ospublishing/story/726cad5d-4ace-4626-b495-7040e37a8d52/
  3. https://www.timeforpaws.co.uk/s/Different-Types-Of-Dog-Shampoo
  4. https://www.reviewsworthy.net/dogs/shampoo/how-to-chose-right-dog-shampoo

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Yeshwanthi Kamalraj
Yeshwanthi Kamalraj is a freelance copy editor, Pet sitter, and content writer who mainly focuses on scientific journals and health-related web pages. Before becoming a freelance content writer Yeshwanthi worked for Cenveo publishers as document analyst for various science journals published by Taylor and Francis Journals and later continued as a freelance copyeditor for the same publishers. Post marriage in 2009 Yeshwanthi developed a keen interest in pets after her husband and she brought a labrador puppy home. This interest helped her to explore a new niche of the pet sitting world whose journey is still on. Yeshwanthi is a dog lover who in her freetime enjoys listening to music, cooking, and meeting new people.


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