Finding the best dog shampoo and skincare for sensitive skin can be difficult. Australia has a plethora of choices from medicated shampoos to natural and not so natural choices.
When finding a dog shampoo that won’t irritate your dog, it’s best to avoid certain ingredients.
Sulphates: highly irritating and produce a high, dense foam and strips the natural protective oils from the skin.
Parabens: preservatives used in many skincare, including methylparaben and any chemical which ends with ‘paraben’.
Synthetic fragrances: often used in essential oils as fillers to make the oil cheaper. Just because a product contains essential oils, this does not mean there are no synthetic fragrances. Ask the brand for a certificate to authenticate the purity. Synthetic fragrances contain highly irritating ingredients to your dog, and the smell can be almost painful for them. If in doubt, take the lid off and have a sniff. If it doesn’t smell like the plants/herbs in your garden, then it’s synthetic.
Chemicals: the longer the chemical name, the less natural. For example many conditioners use behentrimonium methosulphate whereas a natural conditioner would more likely use cetearyl olivate.
Looking for a dog shampoo for sensitive skin requires some research. Ask the manufacturer or brand if they could provide you with a list of full ingredients if you’re unsure of the quality.
Why does my dog have such sensitive, itchy skin?
One cause can be the protective oily layer in the epidermis has been stripped from over washing and using cheap sulphate based shampoos. Once the epidermal layer is exposed your dog is susceptible to bacterial infections, yeast infections and if they have skin allergies, then a walk in the park on some grass will set them off.
If you’ve been using a sulphate based shampoo, your dog’s epidermal layer may not be intact. You can use a cream like our Oatmeal Dermal Itch Cream for Dogs or our Dermal Serum for Dogs to help restore the protective epidermal layer until the natural oils are restored. You should consider using a natural dog shampoo for sensitive skin.
Other tips if you’re on a budget:
After you come home from a walk or your dog has been outside in grassy areas, use a sponge or cloth and wipe down their tummy or area of contact to remove pollens and irritants.
Put a teabag in a cup of hot water, allow it to cool and hold the tea bag on the desired area. You can also soak the tea in a sponge and apply it to your dog’s body. Tea is rich in tannins and has anti-inflammatory properties. I do this all the time!
You can do this instead of giving them a bath as over washing also causes issues. Most vets recommend not washing your dog more than once every 2 weeks.