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Choosing the Best Anti-Itch Dog Shampoo

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How to Choose the Best Anti-Itch Dog Shampoo

Choosing the best anti-itch dog shampoo can be difficult. Even trying to pronounce the names of the active ingredients can be overwhelming. I sat down with the folks from Davis Manufacturing to talk about the active ingredients in their anti-itch shampoos and to understand what the best anti-itch dog products are. Continue reading to find out what I learned.

Top 6 Davis Anti-Itch Dog Shampoos and Their Ingredients

1) Chlorhexidine Gluconate

Chlorhexidine shampoos address conditions associated with bacteria. Chlorhexidine is a topical disinfectant, which is effective against both gram-negative and gram-positive organisms. The only type of itch this active ingredient helps is to heal an open sore, such as a hot spot. If you are trying to decide between the 2% and 4%, look at the recurrences of skin issues.  If the 2% has not been effective, try the 4%. It battles the tougher occurrences of microorganisms and bacterial skin conditions.

Davis Chlorhexidine Shampoo 2% in both the gallon and 12 ounce versions.Davis Maximum Chlorhexidine 4% Shampoo in both the gallon and 12 ounce versions.

2) Miconazole

Miconazole addresses itchy skin conditions associated with fungi. Miconazole is good if your dog’s itching is caused by ringworm, (the most common skin condition in dogs who spend time around cats), or yeast which is caused by moisture. If you have tried chlorhexidine and it did not help, try Miconazole shampoo or spray.

Davis Miconazole Shampoo in both the gallon and 12 ounce versions.Davis Miconazole Spray in both the 4 ounce and 16 ounce versions.

3) KetoHexidine Shampoo

KetoHexidine is a combination of Chlorhexidine and Ketoconazole. This anti-itch shampoo helps manage conditions caused by bacteria, yeast, and fungi. If your dog is suffering from itching that is related to multiple conditions, such as a ringworm and hot-spots,  KetoHexidine shampoo is a good choice.

Davis KetoHexidine Shampoo in both the gallon and 12 ounce versions.

4) Pramoxine Anti-Itch Shampoo

An excellent all-around anti-itch shampoo is Pramoxine. The 1% Pramoxine Hydrochloride is the same active ingredient you will find in most human hemorrhoid treatments.  This product makes your dog more comfortable and can be used in addition to any of the other shampoos. Have you ever heard the “thunk”, “thunk”, “thunk” sound at 2am of your dog scratching, and hitting his foot on the floor? This product will provide soothing relief for your dog’s discomfort. The pramoxine shampoo contains colloidal oatmeal which also aids in soothing the skin.

Davis Pramoxine Anti-Itch Shampoo in both the gallon and 12 ounce versions.

5) Sulfur Benz Shampoo

This shampoo contains 2.5% micronized Benzoyl Peroxide & 1% micronized Sulfur & Salicylic Acid. Sulfur Benz is best when you don’t know the source of the itching. Pets are often diagnosed with non-specific dermatitis, which means your dog is itching. Sulfur Benz shampoo is a good choice if your dog has greasy skin. It opens the hair follicle allowing treatment to be more effective by deep cleaning and exfoliating.

Davis Sulfur Benz (Benzoyl Peroxide) Shampoo in both the gallon and 12 ounce versions.

6) Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo

Davis Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo contains 2% Colloidal Oatmeal & Aloe and is soothing and moisturizing. These ingredients help reduce inflamed skin. If your dog is suffering from severely inflamed skin, Oatmeal & Aloe is a good choice for anti-itch dog shampoo to soothe the skin before treating with other products.  The Oatmeal & Aloe shampoo is an inexpensive treatment that works for many mild skin irritations. It is a great shampoo to try first, if the itching is not severe.  If it is more severe, the Pramoxine is a good first choice.  The Oatmeal & Aloe is also a great first choice for severely inflamed skin that needs a little TLC before using any other shampoos or treatments.

Davis Oatmeal and Aloe Shampoo in both the gallon and 12 ounce versions.

Choosing the best anti-itch shampoo is just one part of the solution.

I have spent hours asking questions about itching.  We definitely are asked more questions about the best anti-itch dog shampoos, but choosing the best anti-itch dog shampoo is just one piece of the solution.  After you pick the best shampoo for your dog’s needs, make sure to follow the next few steps:

  1. Make sure your dog is eating food he is not allergic to.  My Lab, Saba, used to itch terribly anytime I tried switching his food.  As long as I kept him on a limited ingredient diet, he was fine.
  2. Using a good skin and coat supplement, such as Davis TheraCoat, K9 ShowStopper, or The Missing Link, quite often helps as much as the right anti-itch shampoo. You have to heal from the inside out.
  3. A spray, such as Jeffers Itch-Halt, is a tremendous help in-between shampoos.  Our own Renee Jones-Lewis helped develop this product and it works really well.
  4. Make sure you are not bathing your dog too frequently.  Many times folks aggravate their dog’s itchy skin condition by over-bathing. You can make a small problem much worse by washing too frequently, as this dries out your dog’s skin. No matter how moisturizing any dog shampoo is, bathing too frequently removes the natural protective oils from your pet’s skin, resulting in dry itchy skin.
  5. If over-the-counter remedies don’t work, consult your veterinarian.

Final Thoughts on the Best Anti-Itch Dog Shampoo

Choosing the best anti-itch dog shampoo can be confusing. I’ve probably asked as many questions about itching over the years as anyone. The best way to pick the correct solution is to clearly understand the problem.  Some things like ringworm and hot spots are easy to spot, no pun intended 🙂 Sometimes it is a little more difficult. I hope this makes your decision a little less confusing. If you still have questions about choosing the best anti-itch shampoo or any questions related to itchy skin, feel free to call 1-800-JEFFERS and talk to our pet specialist, Renee Jones-Lewis.