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Which dog shampoos for dry skin are best?

If your dog has dry skin, you might be wondering what shampoo you can use without exacerbating the issue or if there’s a shampoo that would help. The best dog shampoo for dry skin is one that’s gentle with moisturizing properties. 

It’s important to choose carefully so that you don’t make your dog’s skin worse. Rocco & Roxie Soothe Dog Shampoo is a gentle, nourishing shampoo formulated for dogs with dry skin. 

What to know before you buy dog shampoo for dry skin

Moisturizing ingredients

Look for moisturizing ingredients in dog shampoo for your dry-skinned pooch. Any oils or plant butter, such as olive oil, almond oil, shea butter or cocoa butter, are all excellent ingredients for nourishing dry skin. Oatmeal dog shampoos are often great for dogs with dry skin, especially if they’re also suffering from some itchiness because colloidal oatmeal soothes and nourishes skin. Other moisturizing ingredients include aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, lecithin and honey. 

Gentle formula

Canine dry skin can be caused by skin irritation. Harsh formulas can worsen this and end up drying out the skin even more. Look for gentle formulas that are made without drying alcohols, parabens and other ingredients that might irritate the skin. Shampoos designed for sensitive skin are a safe bet, as are those specifically designed for dry or irritated skin. Some itchy skin formulas are fine, but others are medicated and contain ingredients that will ultimately dry out your dog’s skin even more. 


Let’s face it, dogs can be stinky. It’s natural to want a shampoo that will leave your dog smelling fragrant. However, overly fragranced shampoos are sometimes harsh on the skin and can lead to even more drying. Instead, select canine shampoos that are lightly fragranced or that only have scents that come from the natural ingredients in them rather than added synthetic fragrances. For dogs with exceptionally sensitive skin, it’s even better to choose a fragrance-free formula. 

What to look for in quality dog shampoo for dry skin

Added conditioner

Some dog shampoos have 2-in-1 formulas with added conditioner. While the conditioner element is primarily designed to soften the coat, it may contain extra moisturizing ingredients that nourish the skin. While there’s no need to seek out a dog shampoo with added conditioner for your dog with dry skin, it shouldn’t hurt. 


If your canine companion has sensitive skin, hypoallergenic shampoo is less likely to dry out their skin even more. 

Natural ingredients

Good dog shampoo for dry skin will contain a range of natural ingredients with moisturizing properties. While it doesn’t have to be made from 100% natural ingredients, those that contain a greater proportion of plant ingredients are generally milder and won’t exacerbate your dog’s dry skin. 

How much you can expect to spend on dog shampoo for dry skin

An average bottle of dog shampoo costs $5-$20. You’re more likely to find natural formulas at the higher end of the price spectrum. 

Dog shampoo for dry skin FAQ

What can I bathe my dog with to tackle dry skin? 

A. To take on your canine companion’s dry skin, try bathing them with an oatmeal shampoo or a shampoo with other moisturizing ingredients, such as coconut oil, aloe vera and almond oil. Shampoos designed specifically for dogs with dry or itchy skin are good choices. 

How often should you bathe a dog with dry skin? 

A. In some cases, bathing a dog can help its dry skin, particularly if you use shampoo with moisturizing ingredients. However, bathing dogs can strip their coats and skin of their natural oils, leading to dry skin. If you bathe your dog more than once every few months, try giving them a break from their bathing schedule, as it could be causing more harm than good. 

Dogs don’t need a huge amount of bathing, so dogs with dry skin only need to be bathed once every three to six months. If in doubt, ask your dog’s veterinarian whether you should bathe them more or less frequently. 

What’s the best dog shampoo for dry skin to buy?

Top dog shampoo for dry skin

Rocco & Roxie Soothe Dog Shampoo

Rocco & Roxie Soothe Dog Shampoo

What you need to know: Fortified with a range of soothing and moisturizing ingredients, it’s perfect for dogs with dry skin. 

What you’ll love: Ingredients such as oatmeal, aloe, shea butter and olive oil work together to nourish dry skin. Argan oil leaves dogs’ coats soft and shiny. It’s also free from parabens and alcohol, which can dry the skin. 

What you should consider: Some users wish it had a stronger scent. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top dog shampoo for dry skin for the money

Burt’s Bees for Dogs Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo

Burt’s Bees for Dogs Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo

What you need to know: The hypoallergenic formula won’t more aggravate dry skin. 

What you’ll love: This shampoo offers excellent value for money, containing 99.7% natural ingredients but at a low price. The added shea butter is deeply moisturizing, while honey can soothe skin irritation. 

What you should consider: You need to use quite a lot of it, as the consistency is thin. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Natural Dog Company Sensitive Skin Shampoo

Natural Dog Company Sensitive Skin Shampoo

What you need to know: This shampoo gently nourishes dogs’ skin and won’t cause more dryness to sensitive skin. 

What you’ll love: It contains an array of moisturizing and soothing ingredients, including aloe vera, chamomile, argan oil and colloidal oatmeal. It’s free from sulfates and parabens. Thanks to its natural deodorizing properties, it will leave your dog smelling fresh.

What you should consider: It’s on the pricey side, but it’s thick and goes a long way. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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