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Top 5 Best Medicated Dog Shampoo Brands

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When shopping for medicated, antiseptic dog shampoo, there are many choices available that it may be difficult to pick the right one for your pup. You have to take your dog's coat and skin types into consideration. Sometimes the pet needs a detangling shampoo and other times it's a shampoo for dry, itchy skin. In most cases, a medicated shampoo will be the right fit.

Why and When to Use a Medicated Shampoo for Dogs

Top 5 Best Medicated Dog Shampoo BrandsOur furry companions are good at getting themselves into trouble. If their curiosity takes them somewhere that allergens are present, they may end up with a rash or skin allergies acting up. These allergies are the most common reason to use a medicated and/or anti-itch dog shampoos, or a type of veterinary dog shampoo that's prescribed.

Further in this article, we'll discuss how to use antiseptic dog shampoos and what their actual benefits are, how to choose the best medicated dog shampoo for your puppy or adult pet, and what veterinarians think about the home use of these products. We've also tested and reviewed a number of brands, and made these five top picks:

Medicated/Antiseptic Shampoos Price Quality Rating
Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo $$$$ A+ 5 stars
DermaPet Benzoyl Peroxide Shampoo $$$ A 4 half stars
DECHRA DermaBenSS Shampoo $$ A- 4 half stars
Davis Benzoyl Peroxide Pet Shampoo $$$ B+ 4 stars
SynergyLabs Veterinary Shampoo $$ B 4 stars

 

How to Use Medicated Dog Shampoos

A medicated shampoo can clear up your pup's rashes, hot spots or inflammation. It will work to clean your dog's skin gently and calm any skin conditions that are making him uncomfortable. There are two universal rules for the use of medicated dog shampoos:

  1. Do not over-bathe your dog
  2. Always follow the directions on the shampoo bottle (or your vet's advice)

Due to the strength of ingredients, medicated dog shampoos must be used exactly as advised on the bottle or recommended by your veterinarian when bathing your pooch for a specific health reason. Because each brand contains a different set of ingredients, there is no one specific way (or amounts) to recommend. Simply look at the bottle for instructions and follow them to a letter unless advised differently by your vet.

Also, remember to avoid using any type of human shampoos on your canine:

“All grooming products (human and animal) are designed to maximize cleaning and minimize irritation. Human products work best on human skin and veterinary products are designed to work best on dog skin. The chemistry of a dog's skin and fur are different than the chemistry of a human's skin and hair.” – Dr  Terese DeManuelle, vet dermatologist at VetMed.

Choosing the right medicated shampoo for dogs isn't too difficult. If your Fido is seen by a veterinary professional for his skin condition, you may be prescribed a specific type of medicated shampoo for a certain skin problem. If the case isn't too serious, you can treat the problem yourself; do a little research on your own before purchasing any brand.

If your dog doesn't have any underlying health issues that are causing his skin condition, he may just need a specialized regular type of shampoo and not a medicated/antiseptic one which shouldn't be used without a good reason.

When bathing your dog is a new task for you, expect for it to be messy. However, bathing your pup yourself will save you a lot of money on professional pet grooming services. If you need pointers and tips on giving your pooch a bath to make this chore a success, I recommend you check out our video instructions on How to Bathe a Dog.

Top 5 Best Medicated Dog Shampoo Brands

Top Rated Medicated Shampoos for Dogs

1Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo

Douxo Chlorhexidine PS ShampooNot only is this prescription-type medicated shampoo from Douxo useful for pet grooming, it is beneficial as well in preventing and treating a variety of skin disorders in animals. This medicated shampoo contains such tongue-twisting formulas as chlorhexidine, lipacide, and phytosphingosine salicyloyl to fight superficial and acute skin conditions that are commonly associated with pyoderma.

Lipacide, in particular, moisturizes and restructures the skin by coating it with lipo-protein. This protects the skin from irritation, severe inflammation and dryness. To ensure the best results, directions must be followed carefully.

A host of users recognize the dramatic results they got after using this medicated shampoo for dogs to treat various skin maladies in their dogs. They found it extremely effective in addressing constant itchiness and acute bacterial or yeast infections that usually led to skin irritations, thickened skin and hair loss. They love that Duoxo Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo has restored their pets’ healthy skin and shiny coat.

Most users usually observed positive results in just over a week or two of using the anti-itch dog shampoo. Possibly due to the advanced stage or due to a particular type of infection, few customers needed to wait three long weeks to a month to see improvement, which was the fastest result compared to other best medicated dog shampoos listed here or elsewhere.

At three weeks, their dog still had staph wounds although the affected area has not worsened. While they had to wait for what seemed like forever, the infection did clear up. It was noted that the animal shampoo was immediately effective when applied to treat a skin condition at its early stage.

PROS:

  • Beneficial in preventing and treating a variety of skin disorders in pets
  • fights superficial and acute skin conditions associated with pyoderma
  • Contains lipacide, which moisturizes and restructures the skin by coating it with lipo-protein
  • Users found it effective in addressing itchiness and bacterial and yeast infections
CONS:

  • Usually takes 1-2 weeks before results are noticeable; some customers waited 3-4 weeks before seeing results

Most helpful owner’s reviewMost helpful owner’s review (read the full review): “Our 12 year old dog has BAD enviromental allergies during the spring/summer, where she is constantly itching and biting herself which results in hair loss and small open sores. We have been using Malaseb shampoo in…

 

2DermaPet Benzoyl Peroxide Shampoo

DermaPet Benzoyl Peroxide plus Shampoo (DermaBenSs)An enhanced version of DermaPet’s DermaBenSS product, Benzoyl Peroxide plus Shampoo has added Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant. This shampoo is the only Benzoyl Peroxide formula on the market today that contains both sulfur and salicylic acid in an all-natural base.

With natural herb fragrance and moisturizers, this antimicrobial shampoo for dogs helps in the topical management of pyodermas, skin fold ailments, and staph infections. It aids in opening pores and flushing out contagious bacteria from the hair follicles before they can even develop into full-blown conditions.

Customers reveal the shampoo’s efficiency in protecting and treating various pet skin diseases, particularly staph infections and mange. Pet owners have reported serious cases of demodectic mange in their dogs, and demodex mites are notorious for really causing oozing pustules and problematic sores. Through DermaPet Benzoyl Peroxide Plus Shampoo's flushing ability to rid out hair follicles filled with contagious microbes, users are pleased that they can control any outbreak of infectious diseases on the skin.

A few buyers believe that this anti-itch dog shampoo is not potent enough and opted to find stronger formulations for their dogs’ skin ailments. They do like the non-drying and non-stinging quality of this shampoo. Overall, customers recognize its exceptional flushing quality. For instance, it does not kill mites; instead, it flushes them out from being burrowed deep in the skin. After healing affected spots, hair is given a chance to grow back. There is also no skin drying as is commonly observed from other medicated shampoos.

PROS:

  • Includes Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant
  • Natural herbal fragrance and moisturizers
  • Helps in the topical management of pyodermas, skin fold ailments, and staph infections
  • Aids in opening pores and flushing out contagious bacteria
CONS:

  • Some consumers in medicated dog shampoo reviews said this brand was not potent enough to clear up their dog's skin condition

Most helpful owner’s reviewMost helpful owner’s review (read the full review): “Adopted a 3 month old puppy from the animal shelter whose localized demodectic mange around eyes rapidly spread to generalized mange all the way to her tail with oozing sores, thickened skin, hair loss and serious…” 

 

3DECHRA DermaBenSs Shampoo

DECHRA DermaBenSs ShampooDechra’s DermaBenSs Shampoo is a 12-ounce formula that helps promote healthy skin in cats, dogs, and horses. It is antimicrobial and anti-seborrheic, and contains vitamin E, salicylic acid and sulfur. It comes with a natural herbal scent and conditioners that make it gentle on the skin.

This soap-free pet shampoo is best in topical management of skin infections and inflammation, lick granulomas, greasy skin, oily seborrhea, staph and skin fold infections. Also, compared to other best medicated dog shampoos listed, vets claim that this one washes out hair follicles better – this is where usually lice dig in and breed if left unchecked, thereby causing contagious disorders in pets.

Customers who have tried countless other products to no avail, were happy to discover Dechra’s DermaBenSs Shampoo’s efficacy on various cases of skin infections. Some of these problematic cases included pus-filled pores that got worse after erupting, inter-digital cysts that flared every now and then, allergies and other bothersome conditions. Continuous use of this medicated shampoo helped these dogs get over their ailments. Users consider the shampoo a miracle for treating what antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicines failed to do.

DECHRA DermaBenSs ShampooA minor drawback, observes one user, is that the veterinary dog shampoo leaves her canine a tad too dry. But considering that the dog’s seemingly incurable mange was gone after regular use of the shampoo, the dryness does not seem to be such a big deal. There are many remedies for dryness. In general, customers are only too happy to find the ultimate solution to their dog’s skin problems.

PROS:

  • Can be used on cats, dogs and horses
  • Antimicrobial and anti-seborrheic, as it contains vitamin E, salicylic acid and sulfur
  • Soap-free
  • Treats topical management of skin infections and inflammation, lick granulomas, greasy skin, oily seborrhea, staph and skin fold infections
CONS:

  • In some dog shampoo reviews, said this medicated shampoo for dogs left her pup's skin too dry

Most helpful owner’s reviewMost helpful owner’s shampoo review (read the full review): ” Well, I have bathed her now with this shampoo twice!!! JUST TWICE!!! In the past 2 weeks! And I am so THRILLED to say that the cyst on her back paw is almost completely GONE!!! I just bathed her last night for the 2nd time…”

 

4Davis Benzoyl Peroxide Shampoo

Davis Benzoyl Peroxide Pet ShampooThis shampoo is formulated with 2.5% benzoyl peroxide and other ingredients to help relieve infections associated with seborrhea dermatitis – an abnormally increased secretion and discharge of fatty matters – and other skin conditions in pets. These medicated dog shampoos from Davis Veterinary Products help in opening and flushing out hair follicles that may contain harmful microbes and removes grease in problematic canine coats.

It contains natural fragrance and moisturizers to hydrate the skin and coat. Achieving healthy and enviable coats for pets has never been easier. This deep-cleanser is available in a 12-oz bottle and is recommended for pets suffering from seborrhea dermatitis and acne. It is safe to use for cats and dogs, but it is important to avoid the area around the pets’ eyes or mucous membranes.

Loss of hair due to clogged pores and pyoderma are two of the most common conditions in pets. So a number of customers are just too grateful these infections can be treated using Davis Benzoyl Peroxide Pet Veterinary Shampoo. For these pet parents this stuff works great and is a much better alternative than those noxious baths and meds prescribed by some vets.

Davis Benzoyl Peroxide ShampooThe formulation can be quite strong, the reason why it must not get into the dog’s eyes and mucous membranes. Wearing gloves is also a must. However, there’s no denying its efficacy judging from the satisfied experience of customers who used this shampoo on their dogs. It works effectively on most skin disorders even without the accompanying medicines from the vets. Thus, it has helped users save on money and time.

PROS:

  • Made with 2.5% benzoyl peroxide
  • Helps relieve infections associated with seborrhea dermatitis
  • Contains natural fragrance and moisturizers to hydrate the skin and coat
  • Safe to use on dogs and cats
CONS:

  • Very potent formula that cannot get into your dog's eyes or mucus membranes as it will cause damage
  • You will need to wear gloves when applying this puppy shampoo to your pet

Most helpful owner’s reviewMost helpful owner’s review (read the full review): “This shampoo works great. The price on this shampoo is very acceptable for the great job it does on opening the pores and letting the hair follicles grow back. I have a 4 year bulldog that has had mites since he was…”

 

5SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Shampoo

SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Medicated ShampooThe last of our recommended medicated dog shampoos may be one of the cheapest on the market, but it is a proven remedy for treating mange and other parasitic conditions in dogs. With combined properties of salicylic acid, micronized sulfur, and coal tar, this canine shampoo from SynergyLabs is proven effective in fighting scaling caused by seborrhea, and against bacterial, parasitic, and fungal infections.

It also includes allantois and colloidal oatmeal that enhance skin hydration and support healing. However, this shampoo is not recommended for cats because of its coal tar substance. Customers, who have tried every different remedy on their dogs with skin inflammation, were relieved to finally find the solution to their problems.

These best medicated dog shampoos has solved cases of mange, seborrhea infections, fungal infections, and scaly, red or greasy skin, to name just some of the skin disorders treated. Best results were observed after continual use of the shampoo. SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Medicated Shampoo does not contain parabens, artificial color or soap, so pet owners who look for this feature in products they use, were especially drawn to this brand.

SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic ShampooTo avoid recurring disorders, this anti-itch medicated shampoo for dogs must be used regularly. As a user observed, the shampoo cleaned their dog effectively and relieved it from itching. However, the miserable situation recurred when other shampoos were used. Summing up, this is an affordable medicated shampoo that cleans and keeps dogs’ skin and coat healthy. It relieves them of inflammation, irritation, sores, fleas and mites, itching, and other skin problems.

PROS:

  • Does not contain parabens, artificial color or soap
  • Made with salicylic acid, micronized sulfur, and coal tar
  • Proven effective in fighting scaling caused by seborrhea, and against bacterial, parasitic, and fungal infections
  • Includes allantois and colloidal oatmeal that enhance skin hydration and support healing
CONS:

  • Only recommended for use on dogs
  • Must be used regularly in order to prevent the issue from recurring, but the same could be said for all the products on this list

Most helpful Most helpful owner’s reviewowner’s review (read the full review): “…Okay, so after the second bath, their condition got a lot better. There was actual noticeable improvement after about four (4) days. I started bathing them with the shampoo every five (5) which ticked off my vet…”

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