Types of Dog Shampoo

Many dog owners are trying to save money on grooming costs by bathing their dogs themselves. This is a great solution for the budget-wise dog owner, but if you do not want to sacrifice quality for a lower price tag it is important to select the right dog shampoo.

Many shampoos designed for humans contain perfumes and other additives which can irritate your dog's skin, so you should only use shampoos designed especially for dogs when bathing your canine companion.

There are dozens of types of dog shampoo on the market and each one serves a slightly different purpose. In order to determine which type is right for you and your dog, it is wise to learn a little bit about the various types before you make a decision.

Flea/Tick Shampoo

These shampoos are specifically designed for dogs that have problems with fleas and/or ticks. Flea/tick shampoos typically contain ingredients like pyrethrin, a natural insecticide which kills fleas and ticks without damaging or irritating your dog's skin.

These shampoos may have the additional benefit of cleaning and conditioning your dog's coat, leaving him smelling fresh instead of smelling like chemicals.

Conditioners and Deodorisers

Dog conditioners can be used in addition to regular dog shampoos to help relieve dry, irritated skin and to improve the health of your dog's coat. Conditioners often include natural ingredients like baking soda and oatmeal which moisturise your dog's coat, removing odours and leaving the fur silky smooth.

Some conditioners come in a spray-on, leave-in formula which serves to detangle your dog's fur and add sheen. Deodorisers for dogs are often incorporated into conditioners and shampoos to neutralise odours rather than just covering them up. These products may include ingredients like baking soda and Ordenone to eliminate odors as well as aloe and soy proteins to moisturise your dog's coat.

Hypoallergenic Shampoos for Sensitive Skin

Some breeds of dog have sensitive skin that cannot tolerate the perfumes and dyes added to many dog shampoos. Hypoallergenic dog shampoo omits these ingredients and is mild so as not to irritate your dog's skin.

This type of shampoo is great for use on puppies and, though it may be mild, still leaves your dog smelling clean and fresh. In addition to hypoallergenic shampoos, some dog shampoos are also available in formulas for sensitive skin. These formulas often contain soothing ingredients like coconut extract, oatmeal and rice flower to clean and moisturise your dog's coat without irritating his delicate skin. Many sensitive skin formulas are also hypoallergenic because they do not contain irritating dyes and perfumes.

Medicated Shampoo

Medicated dog shampoos come in a variety of formulas to serve different purposes. Some formulas contain antibacterial ingredients that help to control and prevent hot spots, flea dermatitis and ringworm.

Hydrocortisone shampoos help to relieve itching associated with fleas as do other anti-itch formulas. Other medicated shampoos are designed to soothe and heal irritate skin or to promote healthy fur growth. Before using a medicated shampoo it is always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian to make sure he recommends the product for your dog and to be sure your dog isn't allergic to any of the ingredients.

Spray Shampoo

The benefit of spray shampoos for dogs is that they do not require water - they are the perfect solution if you just want to freshen up your dog's coat in between baths. Spray shampoos can be applied directly to your dog's dry coat, then all you need to do is towel-dry your dog and brush out his coat.

These products leave your dog's coat looking and smelling fresh and clean without having to go through the hassle of bathing your dog completely.