Best Dog Shampoo For Dandruff and Dry Itchy Skin

Best Dog Shampoo For Dandruff

Dandruff in dogs is more common than you might think. In fact, if your dog's coat is too oily or dry, he's at a high risk of developing seborrhea, or dandruff. This condition is the result of too much or too little oil production in the skin.

While any dog can become a victim, dandruff is more common in dog breeds, such as pugs, Scottish terriers, and bulldogs. Not taking timely measures could cause excessively dry skin and start an itch-scratch circle for your dog, which can have serious consequences. You can try a number of home remedies, but you will ultimately have to turn to the best dog shampoo for dandruff.

 Here are a few good suggestions for you to consider:

Mika Pets Oatmeal and Aloe Shampoo

Best for ingredients

  • Colloidal oatmeal
  • Suitable for all dog breeds

Rated by: Amber

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Shampoo for Dogs


  • High quality ingredients
  • Antimicrobial properties
  • No harmful chemicals

Rated by: Amber

Hartz Groomer's Best Shampoo

Best with Natural Ingredients

  • Easy to use
  • Natural ingredients
  • Suitable for all dogs

Rated by: Amber

The Best Dog Toothbrush: Our Top Picks

1. Mika Pets Oatmeal and Aloe Shampoo

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

What makes it one of the best shampoos for dogs is the use of colloidal oatmeal. Other ineffective dog shampoos rely on cheaper quality oatmeal extract, but that's not the case with Mika Pets shampoo. The oatmeal is also the reason why it's one of the most effective shampoos for dogs with itchy skin.

The natural ingredients in this shampoo also make it a great product to treat shedding puppies. It works great for grooming and helps deodorize your dog. The use of fresh, therapeutic oatmeal aloe formula means it's perfectly safe for dogs with allergies.

Another thing many pet owners are often quite concerned about is the scent of the shampoo. It does great in this regard as well because even your sensitive dog will like its coconut scent. 

Overall, it is one perfect product to deal with most issues caused by different skin conditions, including dog's dandruff, but the only minor issue is that the price is a bit on the higher side. Not a big issue though if you're willing to pay for quality stuff!


  • It uses high quality colloidal oatmeal
  • It has hypoallergenic ingredients
  • It is suitable for all dog breeds


  • The price could've been lower

2. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Shampoo for Dogs

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

If you're searching for one of the best medicated shampoos for dog's dandruff and other skin issues, this product from Veterinary Formula Clinical Care will surely serve you well.

Its ingredients list is quite impressive and, surely, the reason why it works great for dogs with sensitive, itchy skin and dandruff. It uses micronized sulfur as well as salicylic acid, and coal tar for improved antibacterial and antifungal properties. Its regular use promotes healing and prevents dandruff infestation.

The presence of oatmeal and micronized sulfur is the big reason why it works fast to relieve greasy skin and inflamed scalp. Many users have found it to be quite effective against red skin rashes, flaky skin, and bald spots. You just need to use it thrice a week initially, but then you can use it less frequently to continue getting its good effects.

Even though it's a medicated shampoo, it is still safe to use even if your dog has sensitive skin. It doesn't contain any harmful ingredients, so you can also use it for dogs with allergies. The only minor issue is that its scent may be a bit strong for sensitive puppies.


  • It has ingredients with antimicrobial properties
  • It offers relief from different skin issues
  • It contains no harmful ingredients


  • The scent may be a bit strong

3. Hartz Groomer's Best Shampoo

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

It is also one of many popular dandruff shampoos with natural ingredients. It works against dandruff and improves the overall quality of your dog's coat. It is extremely easy to use, as you just need to apply it directly to the itchy coat of your dog and rinse it without hassle. It will leave the fur silky and soft with no more itching or flaking.

To get good results, it's recommended to apply the shampoo to your dog's skin and then leave it there for at least five minutes. Then, rinse it nicely to improve his skin quality. The good thing is that you won't need any conditioner with this dog dandruff shampoo.

It is available in an 18 fl.oz bottle, so it is going to last for quite some time. As it contains salicylic acid, it leaves your dog's coat well moisturized and clean. You can use it for all dog breeds and hair lengths. It's also quite affordable, but the only issue is that some users have complained about the way it smells.


  • It contains no harmful ingredients
  • It is quite affordable
  • It has moisturizing and cleansing properties as well


  • The scent may not work for everyone

FAQ - A Buyer's Guide

Can You Use Human Dandruff Shampoo on Dogs?

No, it is not a good idea to use shampoos formulated for humans to treat dandruff in dogs.

When choosing a shampoo for dog, it all comes down to the pH balance of the skin. In humans, the outer most layer is lightly acidic, which mainly helps to protect the porous skin layer from microorganisms and other environmental contaminants. During the bath, you remove that layer of the acidic oil, which leaves the layer underneath a bit exposed. It is important to use soaps and shampoos with moisturizers to help protect that layer. What you need to understand is that the outer acidic layer on your body has the pH levels between 5.5 and 6.2, but the pH levels for dogs may go up to 7.5 in some cases, making their skin a bit more alkaline than acidic.

Now, if you use a human shampoo designed to deal with the acidic nature of the outer layer oils, it is surely going to damage the alkaline concentration of your dog's skin. It may disrupt the balance and create an environment feasible for parasites, bacteria, and viruses to thrive.

It also highlights another problem, which crops up from excessive bathing or washing of your dog. Many pet owners think washing their dogs often would help eliminate the bad odor, but that is not the case. Excessive washing is only going to affect the pH levels negatively, which may lead to a proliferation of odor-causing bacteria. Therefore, you should never use your regular shampoo to deal with dandruff or any other skin condition affecting your beloved dog.

Can You Use Head & Shoulders on a Dog?

As mentioned already, your everyday shampoo, be it Head & Shoulders or another shampoo, can disrupt the pH balance of your dog's skin. Your shampoo is a bit too rough for your pup, and you should avoid it at all costs.

Know that your dog might be suffering from a skin condition, such as seborrhea, if you notice itchy, greasy, scaly skin with an unpleasant odor. This chronic condition can often lead to yeast or fungal infection of the skin. In this situation, if you have nothing else available, you may be able to get away with Head & Shoulders.

It contains 1% pyrithione zinc, which has anti-seborrheic, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.  It may help clear the infection and soothe the skin, but again, you should avoid overuse and switch to a medicated dog shampoo as soon as you can to get better results without further complicating the whole situation.

Why Does My Dog Have a Lot of Dandruff?

Dog dandruff is common and could be the result of so many underlying factors. Here are some of the reasons why you may have to look for the best dog shampoo for dandruff.

  • Dry Skin: Excessively dry skin is often the major reason of dandruff for dogs. Your dog is likely to have skin dryness in the winter season, as that's when the heat inside your house can dry up the cold air. However, skin conditions can also cause dryness, resulting in dandruff in dogs. An obvious solution would be to make your dog drink plenty of fluids. Understand that it may require some effort because dogs can be quite fussy, but buying them special gadgets and even using attractive bowls can convince them to drink more.
  • Skin Allergies: Various skin allergies can cause dandruff in dogs. Sometimes, your dog is allergic to a contaminant in the air and that can increase sensitivity. Sensitive skin is likely to get irritated, dry, and itchy. If your dog starts scratching his skin, an infection may develop before long.
  • Food Allergies: Many pet owners don't know but food allergies can also cause dog dandruff.  For instance, meats like pork, fish, and beef can trigger allergies in some dogs. It is a good idea to talk to the vet about dog food allergies and take precautionary measures to avoid a flare-up.
  • Bacterial and Fungal Infections: Any bacterial or yeast skin infections can also cause dandruff.  Even if your dog doesn't develop dandruff immediately after a yeast or bacterial infection, he will be more susceptible to developing it in the future.

Besides these causes of dog's dandruff, your dog may have to deal with this skin condition if you don't pay attention to his diet. A lack of proper nutrition can directly affect the quality of your dog's skin and fur. But, be sure to make the right food choices or else you will have to deal with obesity. Moreover, certain health conditions, such as hypothyroidism and Cushing's disease can also cause skin problems and dog dandruff.

What is the Best Shampoo for Dry Itchy Skin?

Treating the underlying cause is usually the best way to treat dandruff in dogs but it is equally important to use the best dandruff shampoo for dogs to prevent itching and treat dryness to some extent.

In order to buy the best dog dandruff shampoo, check the ingredients before finalizing your decision. Whether you're looking for a shampoo specifically formulated for dry, itchy skin or you want something to treat dandruff, check the ingredients carefully. The best shampoo is the one that contains ingredients such as aloe, oatmeal, vitamin E, peppermint, honey, and various other antiseptic ingredients. These ingredients soothe your dog's skin and control dandruff at the same time.

You may want to use a dog shampoo that contains anti-parasitic ingredients as well. For instance, the best shampoo for dry skin due to skin infections will come with ingredients that have anti-parasitic and antibiotic properties. You may have to use medicated shampoos to get rid of pests that may be causing dry skin. A benzoyl peroxide shampoo may help mainly because benzoyl peroxide has antimicrobial properties and reduce scaling. Moreover, the presence of benzoyl peroxide means it offers antiseptic cleansing and deodorizing benefits as well.

The best dog shampoos for dry skin will also come with some moisturizing ingredients. Some of the most common ingredients to check, include aloe vera, shea butter, coconut oil, and oatmeal. Keep in mind that using natural moisturizers is a much better option than using other commercial products that could irritate your dog's sensitive skin.

It is equally important to ensure that the shampoo you're using for your beloved dog doesn't contain any harmful chemicals or ingredients. For instance, it should be free of any alcohol, soap, or parabens because they can dry out the skin and increase the inflammation and itchiness.


Quite like humans, it can be quite difficult to get rid of dog's dandruff. Though it is a common condition, it stems from excessive skin dryness.  You need to take action if you notice symptoms of dry skin, such as flaking, scabs, hair loss, oily coat, scaly skin, inflammation, and redness. If you're going to use an anti-dandruff dog shampoo, be sure to check its ingredients and ensure that it has hypoallergenic properties to be safe for your furry friend.

About the Author Steven