Which Dog Shampoo Makes Sense?

Keeping dogs is not just about providing them with the right food and giving them enough exercise. Grooming is also an important part of the duties of dog owners.

Bathing is often part of life, especially for animals that are kept indoors. But even dogs that live outdoors need a bath every now and then to clean their fur. Most dog owners use a special dog shampoo when bathing their pets. But not every dog shampoo is equally suitable for every dog. In this article, you will get helpful tips on which dog shampoo makes sense for you and your dog.

General information about bathing a dog

Of course, dogs have very different ideas about hygiene than we humans do. This means that dirt and the like often do not bother the four-legged friends at all. Of course, while you’re not fond of a little dirt and grime, it still means you shouldn’t bathe your dog as often. Experts even advise bathing dogs as little as possible and only using special dog shampoo. There are several reasons for this.

Your dog’s skin constantly secretes oil through small sebaceous glands. This field has a protective effect and is intended to repel moisture and dirt. The fat coat also has the task of giving the fur a natural shine. If the dog were only washed with regular shampoo, the layer of fat would be destroyed. Simple water and special dog shampoo, on the other hand, are no problem.

In addition, it should be borne in mind that many dogs are afraid of water and do not like bathing at all. For this reason, it is important to always start slowly. In fact, it’s best if you get your dog used to water when they are puppies. When bathing, do not use water that is too cold or too hot, but make sure that it is at a pleasant temperature. In addition, many dogs are afraid of the slippery floor of the bathtub. Furthermore, they usually find it annoying when the water hits the fur from above. This mainly affects the head area, so it may be that your dog is particularly anxious there.

Important to know: Bathing should only be done to clean the fur and skin. Only use a special dog shampoo that suits your dog’s coat. Excessive bathing can damage the hair structure and skin barrier, which can have serious consequences. These include, for example, skin injuries, inflammation, or the infestation of bacteria and germs. Because of this, you should only expose your dog to bathing when absolutely necessary.

Special dog shampoo against dirt on the skin and coat

As a general rule when choosing your dog shampoo, sometimes less is more. So it is advisable to only use dog shampoo if the fur is really dirty. Otherwise, you can also try it with warm water so as not to damage the skin barrier. You should always choose the dog shampoo itself that suits the special needs of your pet.

If your dog tends to have scaly and dry skin, it is important to choose a shampoo that contains moisturizing ingredients. These help to support the skin in the formation of new fat. In addition, the skin barrier is strengthened, which is very weak or even non-existent in affected animals. If your dog has very sensitive skin, you should always make sure that the ingredients are soap-free. Of course, there are also very special ingredients in dog shampoo. This includes, for example, aloe vera, which has an anti-inflammatory effect and is intended to moisturize the skin and coat it. So aloe vera is also useful if your dog’s coat is dull and dull. Special detangling shampoos are ideal for dog breeds with a longer coats that may even tend to become matted. These ensure that you can comb the dog’s fur much better after bathing. Knots and slight tangles can thus be solved. With very stubborn tangles, however, even the best shampoo doesn’t stand a chance.

Human shampoos are harmful to dogs

If the dog has rolled around again in a meadow sprinkled with manure, many dog ​​owners make short work of it and put the four-legged friend directly in the bathtub. Dog shampoos are often not part of the equipment for dog owners who have not bathed their animals before or who only wash them with warm water from time to time. So it makes sense that the normal shampoo that we humans use should also be used for dirty dogs. However, you should be aware that our shampoo should not be used on dogs. This usually contains various fragrances and dyes, which can severely stress and even completely destroy the natural skin barrier of dogs. You should also note that your darling finds the very noticeable and chemical scents very unpleasant anyway, but they also smell much stronger than we do. Because of this, dogs would try to get rid of this scent as soon as possible. As a result, the animals would deliberately roll on the floor after bathing and would choose a surface where there are feces or other natural things that would mask this smell again. So you would of course achieve the opposite effect with bathing. If there is no dog shampoo available, you can use baby shampoo in an emergency.

Dog shampoo for vermin control

If your dog is infested with fleas or other vermin, there are special shampoos that you can use to bathe your darling. These now contain very special ingredients that eliminate parasites such as fleas and the like. When using these special dog shampoos, you should urgently observe the manufacturer’s instructions. This is mainly because the various products contain medicinally active ingredients. In addition, of course, it should be noted that you often have to comply with further protective measures when using different shampoos.

Important to know: Please only use this special shampoo on healthy dogs. As a rule, such shampoo should not be used on pregnant or lactating bitches or small puppies.
In any case, if you buy shampoo from an over-the-counter store, you must pay attention to whether further treatment is necessary afterward. So it is important to know that you can only produce a long-term effect by also destroying the animals that hatched later or the laid eggs. Of course, adhering to the dealer’s instructions also contributes to the health of your dog.

The use of such a dog shampoo on animals that are not infested with parasites is not recommended under any circumstances. This is mainly due to the various side effects that such a dog shampoo has. Very few agents have a caring effect, but contain a lot of chemicals so that the parasites can also be eliminated. They are therefore much more aggressive than a normal dog shampoo, which you can use for example with sensitive or scaly skin. So you must be aware that some of the ingredients in bug shampoos are similar to the active ingredients in neurotoxins that are harmful to health. Furthermore, you should be aware that you cannot take preventive measures against vermin just by using such a dog shampoo.

  • get your dog used to bathing slowly;
  • be especially careful on the head;
  • make sure the water temperature is comfortable;
  • be careful not to get shampoo in your dog’s eyes;
  • use slip mats for the bathtub to calm your dog’s fear;
  • only bathe your dog as a last resort;
  • do not use normal shampoo for your dog, only special dog shampoo;
  • You can use baby shampoo in an emergency;
  • show your dog the shampoo;
  • get your pet used to water from puppy age;
  • start bathing at the paws and slowly work your way up;
  • wash out the shampoo thoroughly;
  • make sure that your dog does not get water in his ears and eyes.

Dog shampoo from the vet

If you have skin diseases, coat problems or other abnormalities, you should of course take your dog to the vet. Especially if your pet’s skin is affected, some veterinarians will prescribe special dog shampoos. These are also used, for example, in the case of fungal infestation or mites. With this special shampoo, too, you should urgently pay attention to the individual dosage, which both your doctor and the package leaflet can help you with. Also use this shampoo only for the period of treatment and definitely not after that. Too long an application as well as an overdose can therefore have harmful consequences for your animal’s health.

Purchase criteria of dog shampoo at a glance:

  • always select the shampoo according to the individual requirements and needs of your pet;
  • buy shampoo that contains no fragrances;
  • pay attention to high-quality ingredients;
  • Aloe vera moisturizes;
  • in case of vermin infestation please use a shampoo made for this purpose;
  • Buy shampoo without soap.


Dog fur and animal skin are not designed for bathing. Of course, one or the other bath in different situations simply cannot be avoided. When just using warm water and a sponge is no longer enough, special dog shampoo is the ideal solution to the problem. However, only use a high-quality shampoo that has been specially manufactured for the needs of the different requirements. Of course, the scent of the shampoo does not matter when you buy it. However, pay attention to the ingredients and the instructions for use. If you are not sure, your veterinarian will be happy to help you and advise you on different dog shampoos.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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