Medicated dog shampoo

The Best 7 Medicated Dog Shampoos: Uses, Benefits, and Reviews

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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See our advertising disclosure.

Best Medicated Dog Shampoos Summary

How does Medicated Dog Shampoo Work?

How does Medicated Dog Shampoo Work

Yes, the medicated dog shampoo works.

The dog skin is very sensitive, and the thick coat hides and harbors dirt and pathogens. The combination is often beyond the scope of regular shampoos. This is where medicated dog shampoos kick in – they have special formulas that help in the treatment of skin problems.

For example, medicated dog shampoos often contain chlorhexidine (a potent antiseptic that cleans and prevents pathogen multiplication), antimicrobials (antibacterials and antifungals), and anti-inflammatory and anti-seborrheic agents.

What are the Types of Medicated Dog Shampoo?

The different types of medicated dog shampoos are antibacterial, antifungal, anti-parasitic, and allergy relief.

  • Antibacterial Shampoos. Antibacterial shampoos are used when dealing with bacterial skin infections, which are usually caused by bacteria from the Staphylococcus family.
  • Antifungal Shampoos. Antifungal shampoos contain ketoconazole or miconazole and are used against fungal skin infections (especially common in dogs with wrinkles).
  • Anti-Parasitic Shampoos. The anti-parasitic shampoo is used against ticks and fleas. It can contain benzoyl peroxide to help remove Demodex mites from the follicles.
  • Allergy Relief Shampoos. Anti-allergy shampoos are made with soothing (pramoxine, hydrocortisone) and nourishing (aloe vera, tea tree oil, vitamin E, oatmeal) ingredients.

When can I Use Medicated Shampoo on My Dog?

Medicated shampoos are recommended when dealing with skin problems due to infections, allergies, or injuries. Here is a list of skin conditions that could benefit from a medicated dog shampoo:

  • Skin infections and dermatitis
    • Bacterial infections
    • Fungal infections
    • Parasitic infections
  • Canine allergies
    • Seasonal allergies
    • Food allergies
    • Atopic dermatitis
  • Physical injuries
    • Minor cuts, scrapes, and abrasions.

The Best Medicated Dog Shampoos Reviewed

From tearless to soap-free medicated dog shampoos – the modern pet market is loaded with products. To make the choice easier, we reviewed the best medicated shampoos for dogs.

Pet MD Medicated Shampoo for Dogs

Pet MD Medicated Shampoo for Dogs

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Summary: A pleasantly scented medicated shampoo with active ingredients for eliminating infections and the perfect cleansing even in the most difficult to reach areas such as skin folds and paws of your dog. Astringent qualities dry the infected skin and help reduce the inflammation with each use.

Shampoo Uses: Skin infection, dermatitis, hotspots, superficial cuts, insect bites

Active Ingredients: Chlorhexidine gluconate 2% and ketoconazole 1%

Scent: Cucumber melon

Pros

  • Helps with a wide range of skin issues
  • Cleansing and alcohol-free formula
  • Has a mild and pleasant scent
  • Can be used for dogs and cats
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Might be harsh for dogs with sensitive skin

Review: An average rating of 4.6 / 5 based on 2.826 customer reviews on Amazon. Owners love its effective and quick relief formula and overall improvement in the dog’s coat health.

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic and Antifungal Shampoo for Dogs

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic and Antifungal Shampoo for Dogs

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Summary: A vet-approved pH-balanced antibacterial and antifungal formula, especially for hypoallergenic dogs with sensitive skin. It is helpful for various conditions causing itchy skin. It is available in the form of a liquid shampoo and spray bottle. Plus, the formula is paraben-free and vet-recommended.

Shampoo Uses: Bacterial pyoderma, fungal dermatitis, ringworm

Active Ingredients: Benzethonium chloride(0.2%) , ketoconazole(1%)

Scent: No added scent

Pros

  • Fast-acting and effective
  • Hypoallergenic formula for sensitive skin
  • pH balanced and paraben-free
  • Suitable for both dogs and cats
  • Available at an affordable price

Cons

  • Not suitable for young pups

Review: Based on 26.365 global ratings, the average rating is 4.5/5. Customers are raving about its affordability and quick results with continued use.

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Medicated Dog Shampoo

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Medicated Dog Shampoo

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Summary: An anti-parasitic, paraben, and dye-free shampoo that helps dogs with mange and seborrheic dermatitis. The shampoo features a vet-approved formula and is available in two different sizes. It is reasonably priced and ensures fast action, thus providing your dog with the much-needed quick relief.

Shampoo Uses: Seborrhea, parasitic infections, mange

Active Ingredients: Salicylic acid, micronized sulfur, and coal tar

Scent: Coconut

Pros

  • Fast-acting formula for quick relief
  • Forms a good lather
  • Paraben, dye, and soap-free
  • Does not wash away flea/tick treatments
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Cannot be used for dogs below 12 weeks of age

Review: An average rating of 4.5/5 based on 49.774 ratings. Customers love its scent, moisturizing effects, and vet-recommended effective formula.

Arava Natural Medicated Dog Shampoo

Arava Natural Medicated Dog Shampoo

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Summary: A formulation with 28 natural ingredients that can treat a wide range of dog skin problems and infections. Plus, the shampoo has a potent moisturizing effect and can relieve skin irritation.

Shampoo Uses: Hotspots, skin irritation, ringworm, dandruff, abrasions, mange

Active Ingredients: 28 active natural ingredients like chamomile, calendula, kelp, rosemary, pomegranate, rosemary, Aloe vera, fennel, tea tree, Dead Sea minerals, etc.

Scent: Citrusy fresh

Pros

  • A long list of active ingredients
  • All-natural formulation
  • Treats various skin conditions
  • High moisturizing effects
  • Free from hazardous chemicals

Cons

  • Not fit for dogs allergic to certain natural ingredients

Review: Based on 5.474 global ratings, this shampoo has 4.4 / 5 stars. Customers love its scent, anti-allergic properties, and value for money.

PetHonesty Chlorhexidine Shampoo

PetHonesty Chlorhexidine Shampoo

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Summary: A highly deodorizing medicated shampoo eliminates dandruff and skin allergies and heals irritated skin. Promotes coat health and shiny fur. The dog shampoo also ensures effective cleaning that deodorizes and removes knots from fur. Plus, it has a pleasant and mild scent.

Shampoo Uses: Shedding, allergies, skin infections, itchiness, hotspots, and dandruff.

Active Ingredients: Chlorhexidine (2%) and ketoconazole (1%)

Scent: Cucumber melon

Pros

  • Promotes healthy skin and coat
  • Veterinary strength formula
  • Deep cleans and deodorizes
  • With aloe vera for a soothing effect
  • Made in the USA with an NASC-seal

Cons

  • The fragrance can be a miss with some dogs

Review: This shampoo has an average rating of 4.6 / 5 based on 4.078 global ratings. Customers love its value for money and deodorizing effect.

Jungle Pet Antiseptic Shampoo for Dogs

Jungle Pet Antiseptic Shampoo for Dogs

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Summary: A potent antiseptic shampoo for the best cleansing effect and elimination of skin infections and abrasions. The shampoo can also be used to ensure thorough cleaning of folded skin areas. It is available in two different bottle sizes and features a tropical cucumber melon fragrance.

Shampoo Uses: Hot spots, ringworm, fungal dermatitis, mechanical injuries

Active Ingredients: Chlorhexidine gluconate (2%), ketoconazole (1%)

Scent: Cucumber melon

Pros

  • Antiseptic and anti-itch shampoo
  • Provides safe and quick itch relief
  • Hunts down the specific problem
  • Free from harsh chemicals
  • Made in the USA in small batches

Cons

  • Often out of stock due to high demand

Review: 443 customers worldwide have given an average rating of 4.6/5. The scent, ease of use, and cleansing properties of this product make it a customer favorite.

VetWELL Ketoconazole Chlorhexidine Shampoo for Dogs

VetWELL Ketoconazole Chlorhexidine Shampoo for Dogs

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Summary: A multitasker-medicated shampoo that treats skin conditions, infections, and abrasions while promoting a healthy and shiny coat. It is made with added oatmeal and aloe that promote quick relief and healing from painful skin conditions. The soothing formula is suitable for sensitive dogs too.

Shampoo Uses: Abrasions, superficial cuts, bites, irritation, itchiness

Active Ingredients: Chlorhexidine gluconate (2%), ketoconazole (1%)

Scent: Mint

Pros

  • Soothing aloe & oatmeal shampoo
  • Effective for multiple skin conditions
  • Promotes healthy skin and coat
  • Lathers really well
  • Can be used for dogs and cats

Cons

  • Not suitable for dogs below 12 weeks of age

Review: An average rating of 4.6 /5 based on 1.884 customer reviews. The most applauded features include its suitability for sensitive skin, ease of use, and scent.

What Should I Look for When Buying Medicated Dog Shampoo?

If you’re confused about the most suitable medicated shampoo for your dog, you need to consider these few aspects before your purchase:

  • Requirements. Ensure that the shampoo formula suits your dog’s requirements. Go for an antibacterial shampoo for bacterial infections or anti-fungal shampoo if dealing with yeast infections.
  • Ingredients. Look for effective active ingredients such as chlorhexidine gluconate and ketoconazole. Also, make sure the shampoo is free from harmful chemicals such as DEA, parabens, artificial dyes, etc.
  • Special Needs. Think about any special requirements on your dog’s end. For example, if your pooch is sensitive and prone to allergic reactions, you should get a hypoallergenic medicated shampoo.
  • Brand. Finally, pay attention to the brand. A trustworthy brand will be open about its ingredients and manufacturing practices. It will also display reviews from previous dog owners that have used its products.
Pet MD Medicated Shampoo for Dogs
  • Medicated Shampoo for the Topical Management of Skin Problems, Skin Infections, and Dermatitis.
  • Helps Relieve Skin Infections and Skin Conditions Like Hot Spots, Acne, as well as Superficial Cuts, Abrasions, and Insect Bites.
  • Useful for the Cleansing of Face Folds, Finger Folds, as Well as Underarm and Groin. Astringent Qualities Also Help to Dry the Affected Area.

How Often Should You Use Medicated Shampoo for Dogs?

Medicated shampoos are essentially a treatment for your dog’s skin condition, much like a medical treatment regime. Thus, it is not for daily use.

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Most shampoos will have indications about the frequency of use, such as two times a week or once a week. In general, the length of use is until the symptoms subside.

Using medicated shampoos in the absence of symptoms may be harsh on your dog’s skin due to active ingredients; a lower pH makes them acidic and unsuitable for daily use.

How Long Does it take for Medicated Dog Shampoo to Work?

How Long Does it take for Medicated Dog Shampoo to Work

Recommended contact with medicated shampoos during each bath varies from five to 15 minutes. You should follow the instructions and user guide for your shampoo.

The efficacy of such shampoos may be visible after the first few uses; however, complete healing takes time, depending on the severity of the skin condition and the shampoo itself.

On average, most medicated shampoos claim 12 weeks as the optimal time to completely heal skin conditions.