Best Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoos in 2020

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If your dog has sensitive skin and you are trying to avoid dyes, fragrances, and common chemicals that can often trigger an allergic reaction, you could be interested in a hypoallergenic shampoo. Technically the term “hypoallergenic” doesn’t have a legal meaning. Neither ordinary shampoos nor hypoallergenic shampoos are regulated. (Some shampoos that claim to treat an ailment are regulated by the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine; flea and tick shampoos are regulated by the EPA.)

Companies that make hypoallergenic shampoos are usually trying to convey the idea that their products are made without ingredients that often cause a negative reaction in dogs with sensitive skin. However, since there is no legal definition of “hypoallergenic,” none of these products can be guaranteed to be completely free of allergens. That’s not how allergens work. Your dog could be allergic to an ingredient that is completely unique to him. Perhaps no other dog is allergic to that ingredient. It’s virtually impossible for a company to guarantee that one of their products will never cause a reaction in a dog.

All of this means that when it comes to choosing a hypoallergenic shampoo for your dog you should do the following:

  • Know which ingredients are most likely to cause your dog to have a reaction;
  • Read product labels carefully so you can avoid ingredients that would bother your dog;
  • Look for shampoos that don’t contain common allergens.

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What to Look for in a Hypoallergenic Shampoo

In general, a good hypoallergenic shampoo will contain fewer ingredients than a regular shampoo. In the same way that limited ingredient dog foods (LID) contain fewer ingredients so they have less chance of triggering an allergic reaction in a dog with a food allergy, a hypoallergenic dog shampoo should have fewer ingredients so there is less chance that one of the ingredients will trigger a reaction in your dog when you bathe him.

Hypoallergenic products are usually reduced to just the basics. This means that they won’t contain some of the things you normally see in a more luxurious shampoo such as thickeners. They won’t produce as much lather, for example, since they are formulated to rinse out of your dog’s coat quickly.

If your dog has sensitive skin or allergies, you should look for hypoallergenic shampoos that don’t contain fragrances, dyes, or perfumes since these ingredients are not necessary and could trigger an allergic reaction in some dogs.

The Best Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Hypoallergenic Shampoo

Key Features :

  • Tearless
  • Mild
  • Great for allergies or sensitive skin
  • Won’t wash away flea/tick treatments
Why You Should Buy

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Hypoallergenic Shampoo

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Hypoallergenic Shampoo is great for dogs with allergies and sensitive skin. It is mild and tearless and has gentle ingredients.

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Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Hypoallergenic Shampoo gets our pick as the best hypoallergenic shampoo for dogs. It’s free of harsh chemicals, dyes, and fragrances. It won’t irritate your dog’s sensitive skin. It’s perfect for dogs with allergies and sensitive skin. It’s mild and tearless with gentle ingredients. It’s sulfate-free and contains no parabens. It won’t wash away flea and tick treatments. And it helps soothe and heal irritated skin.

4 More Really Good Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoos

HyLyt Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Essential Fatty Acids 

Key Features :

  • Optimal pH balance
  • Maintains skin hydration
  • Won’t remove flea and tick products
  • Won’t strip oils from your dog’s skin
Why You Should Buy

HyLyt Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Essential Fatty Acids

HyLyt Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Essential Fatty Acids contains natural moisturizers to help with hydration and it has the optimal pH balance for a dog’s sensitive skin.

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HyLyt Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Essential Fatty Acids is gentle, hypoallergenic, and soap-free. Controls flaking and scaling, and it contains natural moisturizers to maintain skin hydration. It doesn’t strip the oils from your dog’s skin and coat or dry your dog’s skin. It has the optimal pH balance for your dog’s sensitive skin. And it won’t remove topical flea and tick products.

Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo for Dogs

Key Features :

  • Relieves itching and dryness
  • Smooths brittle coats
  • Tearless and soap free
  • Won’t affect topical flea control products
Why You Should Buy

Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo for Dogs

Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo for Dogs cleans and moisturizes sensitive skin and relieves itching and dryness.

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Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo for Dogs cleans and moisturizes sensitive skin, relieves itching, and helps smooth dry, brittle coats. The formula is tearless and soap-free. It has natural ingredients such as aloe vera and vitamin E to moisturize your dog’s skin. This is a good hypoallergenic shampoo for dogs with dry, sensitive skin and seasonal allergies. And it won’t affect topical flea control products.

Earthbath Hypo-Allergenic Dog & Cat Shampoo

Key Features :

  • Won’t wash away flea and tick treatments
  • No parabens or phosphates
  • Great for sensitive skin
  • 100% biodegradable
Why You Should Buy

Earthbath Hypo-Allergenic Dog & Cat Shampoo

Earthbath Hypo-Allergenic Dog & Cat Shampoo is great for dogs with sensitive skin because it is soothing and free of parabens and phosphates.

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Earthbath Hypo-Allergenic shampoo is mild and soap-free. It gently cleans the skin while keeping your dog’s coat fluffy. It’s tearless and a good choice for dogs with sensitive skin and allergies. It soothes skin irritated by flea bites and dermatitis. Won’t wash off topical flea treatments. This formula is 100 percent biodegradable and it’s free of parabens and phosphates.

4-Legger Organic, Hypo-Allergenic, Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo

Key Features :

  • Non-toxic
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty free
  • Naturally moisturizing
Why You Should Buy

4-Legger Organic, Hypo-Allergenic, Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo

4-Legger Organic, Hypo-Allergenic, Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo is all natural and certified organiz. It is nontoxic, vegan, and cruelty free.

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4-Legger Organic, Hypo-Allergenic, Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo is another hypoallergenic shampoo we like. It’s all natural and certified organic so it should appeal to anyone looking for an organic shampoo. It’s also non-toxic, biodegradable, vegan, and cruelty-free. Made in the U.S. Plus it has no detergents or sulfates and no synthetics. It’s also naturally deodorizing and naturally moisturizing. This is a very natural shampoo for your dog. It has lemongrass and aloe vera as cleansers which work well for dogs with all kinds of skin issues including dry, itchy skin and allergies. Plus, it has organic oils and essential oils to soothe your dog’s skin. It won’t strip the natural oils in your dog’s skin and coat. It lathers and rinses out easily and it won’t remove topical flea treatments. This is a concentrated formula so it only takes a little to bathe your dog.

TropiClean Hypo-Allergenic Gentle Coconut Puppy & Kitten Shampoo

Key Features :

  • Maintain pH balance
  • No soaps, parabens, or dyes
  • Cleanses and moisturizes
  • Good for puppies and kittens
Why You Should Buy

TropiClean Hypo-Allergenic Gentle Coconut Puppy & Kitten Shampoo

TropiClean Hypo-Allergenic Gentle Coconut Puppy & Kitten Shampoo is great for puppies and kittens and will cleanse and moisturize while maintaining your pet’s pH balance.

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You can treat your pet to a gentle, luxurious bath-time with TropiClean Gentle Coconut Hypoallergenic Puppy and Kitten Shampoo. It is made just for puppies and kittens but is also suitable for dogs and cats with sensitive skin. You can count on this shampoo to cleanse and moisturize fur and skin, leaving coats soft, clean, and delicious smelling! Made from naturally derived ingredients, it’s pH balanced and contains no soap, parabens or dyes.

Frisco Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Aloe for Puppies & Kittens

Key Features :

  • Great for puppies and kittens
  • No dyes, parabens, fragrance, perfumes
  • Great for sensitive skin
  • Naturally hydrates
Why You Should Buy

Frisco Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Aloe for Puppies & Kittens

Frisco Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Aloe for Puppies & Kittens gently cleans with plant based cleaners and is great for puppies and kittens. It has no dye, parabens, fragrance, or perfumes.

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This Frisco hypoallergenic shampoo gently cleans with plant-based cleansers and is ideal for puppies and kittens.
It is made with zero dyes, parabens, added fragrances or perfumes, so it’s also great for sensitive adult dogs and cats. Frisco Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Aloe is made with lathering coconut and plant-derived cleansers that are gentle on the skin and coat, as well as Certified Organic Aloe Vera juice to help naturally hydrate the skin and coat. It also includes added pro-vitamin B5 and vitamins A and E to support skin and coat health.

Does your dog need a Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo?

Not every dog with itchy skin needs a hypoallergenic shampoo even though there is a lot of overlap with hypoallergenic and other shampoos for sensitive skin problems.

If your dog has red, itchy, irritated skin, it’s a good idea to see your veterinarian so you can get a diagnosis. Your dog could have an allergy. Dogs can have contact allergies and environmental allergies (such as pollen, grass, dust mites). These conditions can benefit from a good hypoallergenic shampoo, along with making other changes in your dog’s life. Finding out what your dog is allergic to can help you and your dog try to avoid those triggers.

However, dogs can also have dry, itchy, irritated skin for other reasons. Hypothyroidism, skin infections, parasites, Cushing’s disease, cancer, even genetics can all cause itchy skin. Food allergies can cause severe itching. Certain shampoos may help relieve these dry, irritated skin problems but a hypoallergenic shampoo won’t necessarily help because contact and environmental allergens are not the issue.

Conclusion

While hypoallergenic shampoos are not regulated and their ingredients can vary, if you read the labels you should be able to find a good shampoo that can help your dog. Look for a shampoo with fewer ingredients. Try to avoid perfumes and dyes. Avoid shampoos that have common allergens. Try the shampoos we have recommended and see if they help your dog.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine Dog News. She's also the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, the Dog Writers Association of America Adoptashelter.com Award winner for 2013. In addition, she's written Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

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