7 Best Ringworm Dog Shampoos

Though the name might suggest otherwise, ringworm is most definitely not a worm – it isn’t even a parasite. Technically, ringworm is a fungal infection caused by a kind of fungi known as dermatophytes.

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Ringworm is not a life-threatening condition, but it can cause your dog a little discomfort and a lot of itching. Plus, this is one disease that can actually be passed to humans, so don’t ignore it! At the first sign of ringworm, you need to take your dog to the vet for a diagnosis and then start the recommended course of treatment as soon as possible.

In addition to following your vet’s treatment plan, you may want to consider using a ringworm dog shampoo to help relieve some of the itching and to deal with other symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about ringworm in dogs and to see our top picks for the 7 best ringworm dog shampoos.

6 Things to Know About Ringworm in Dogs

Ringworm is also known as dermatophytosis, and it is a fungal infection of the skin. This condition can be passed back and forth between humans and dogs, and it is highly contagious. The infection usually manifests with lesions, itching, and patches of hair loss which can spread across the body and may contribute to secondary infections.

Here are some of the most common symptoms of ringworm:

  • Itchy, red skin lesions in the shape of a ring
  • Dandruff in the coat
  • Red lesions on the chest, head, forelegs, and back
  • Scaling, crusting, and thickening of the skin
  • Circular patches of hair loss

In mild cases of ringworm, your dog may not present with any outward symptoms. Even if your dog does show the classic ring-shaped lesion, you may not be able to see it under his fur. As the lesions spread, however, your dog is likely to start scratching more often which is always a cause for concern.

Here are some important things you need to know about ringworm:

  1. Ringworm is a zoonotic disease which means that it can be passed back and forth between humans and dogs.
  2. The fungi responsible for ringworm live in the soil, so your dog is more likely to come into contact with it if he digs – it can also be spread through contact with infected animals, bedding, toys, and other objects.
  3. Fungal spores can lay dormant on surfaces for months before being transmitted to humans or to your dog.
  4. Your veterinarian will use a Wood’s lamp to determine whether your dog has ringworm – the lamb will show if there is any fluorescent material in your dog’s coat which are an excretion that sticks to the hair.
  5. Treatment for ringworm depends on the severity of the condition but may involve antifungal creams and ointments, oral medication, and thorough cleaning of the home.
  6. Regularly cleaning your pet’s bedding and vacuuming the house can help remove fungal spores before they cause an infection.

Now that you have a better understanding of ringworm in dogs, you’re ready to deal with it. Talk to your veterinarian for a diagnosis and treatment plan, then consider buying some antifungal shampoo for ringworm to help heal your dog’s skin as he recovers from the infection. Keep reading to learn more about the best antifungal shampoo for dogs.

5 Things to Look for in a Good Ringworm Shampoo for Dogs

Ringworm shampoo isn’t meant to replace medical treatment, but it can certainly help with the symptoms of the infection. A good dog shampoo for ringworm will relieve itching, soothe inflammation, and help heal the skin. Here are some things to look for in a good ringworm shampoo for dogs:

  1. Medicated – To help get rid of a ringworm infection, look for a shampoo that contains antifungal medication like chlorhexidine and ketoconazole.
  2. Hypoallergenic – When your dog’s skin is already itchy and irritated from infection, the last thing you want to do is make those issues worse. Hypoallergenic dog shampoo is designed to minimize the risk of triggering an infection, so make sure to choose a hypoallergenic product.
  3. Natural Ingredients – Chemical ingredients and harsh additives can further irritate your dog’s skin, so look for a shampoo made with natural ingredients that doesn’t contain additives like fragrances, dyes, and alcohols.
  4. Moisturizers – Ringworm can cause your dog’s skin to become dry and itchy, so it is important to find a dog shampoo that will hydrate and restore moisture to your dog’s skin. Natural moisturizers include things like aloe vera, coconut oil, and oatmeal.
  5. pH-Balanced – Your dog’s skin is more neutral than yours, having a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. Choosing a shampoo that is pH-balanced for dogs is important for restoring healthy skin condition.

Before buying a ringworm shampoo, make sure to check the label to see whether it can be used on dogs with active infections. If your dog has open lesions, certain ingredients might irritate the skin even more so be careful which product you choose.

When using ringworm shampoo for dogs, be sure to carefully follow the instructions. Most products need to sit on your dog’s skin for 5 to 10 minutes after lathering for it to provide the maximum benefit. Be sure to use cool rather than hot water to avoid irritating and drying out your dog’s skin even more as well. After bathing, rinse well to remove all shampoo residue then let your dog air dry.

Now that you know what to look for in a dog shampoo for ringworm and how to use it, you’re ready to start shopping! Keep reading to see our top 7 picks for the best ringworm dog shampoos.

Best Ringworm Shampoo for Dogs

The best ringworm shampoo for dogs will be medicated to kill the fungus but will also contain other natural ingredients to relieve itching and to heal the skin. Make sure the shampoo you choose is made with gentle, natural ingredients to avoid further irritation and follow the instructions closely. Here is our top pick for the best ringworm shampoo for dogs:

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo

One of the best antifungal dog shampoos on the market, this Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo is a great option for dogs with ringworm. This shampoo features active ingredients like benzethonium chloride to relieve irritation and odor with ketoconazole to fight fungal infections. It contains natural moisturizers like aloe vera to soothe and hydrate the skin with other ingredients to cleanse and deodorize. This shampoo is 100% paraben-free and, because it features a gentle coconut-based cleanser, it is safe for use twice weekly until the infection has cleared.

Pros: Two powerful active ingredients, soothes inflammation and itching, aloe vera to speed healing, 100% paraben-free, safe to use twice weekly, gentle coconut-based cleanser

Cons: May require multiple treatments for maximum effect, contains some artificial dye and fragrance

6 More Top Rated Ringworm Shampoos for Dogs

If the shampoo reviewed above doesn’t seem like the right fit for your dog, don’t worry! There are many more antifungal dog shampoos on the market. Here are six more that we recommend:

VetMD Medicated Antibacterial & Antifungal Dog Shampoo

If you’re looking for a medicated dog shampoo to help relieve your dog’s ringworm infection, try this VetMD Medicated Antibacterial & Antifungal Dog Shampoo. This shampoo features active ingredients like chlorhexidine and ketoconazole to fight the fungal infections along with soothing natural ingredients to relieve itching and irritation. It is veterinarian-recommended and contains a combination of tea tree oil and lavender to invigorate skin with a calming scent. Plus, it is pH-balanced for dogs.

Zymox Veterinary Strength Enzymatic Dog Shampoo

For itchy, irritated skin, try this Zymox Veterinary Strength Enzymatic Dog Shampoo. This shampoo features a soothing, gentle formula to relieve dryness and itching while also restoring moisture to your dog’s skin. It is free from harsh ingredients but leaves your dog smelling fresh and clean. This shampoo offers quickly relief from fungal infections and will cleanse your dog’s skin to relieve irritation as well. Plus, it features the patented LP3 Enzyme System to protect against further infection.

Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog Shampoo

Effective against both bacteria and fungal infections, this Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog Shampoo is a great choice for ringworm. This shampoo features active ingredients like chlorhexidine and climbazole to kill fungi with phytosphingosine-salicyloyl to reduce inflammation and itching. It contains ceramides that create a long-lasting protective barrier with natural moisturizing ingredients to hydrate and heal the skin. Plus, it lathers well for a deep clean and it leaves your dog smelling fresh.

Jax n Daisy Antifungal & Antibacterial Dog Shampoo

If you’re looking for a natural dog shampoo that offers antifungal benefits, consider Jax n Daisy Antifungal & Antibacterial Dog Shampoo. This shampoo features a gentle formula designed to relieve itching and irritation without the use of harsh ingredients. It contains natural plant extracts to condition the skin with natural moisturizers to restore hydration. It also contains essential oils and nutrients that support skin and coat health like Vitamins A, D, and E.

Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Shampoo & Conditioner

If your dog has an active ringworm infection and is undergoing treatment, you may not want to use a medicated shampoo on open lesions. This Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Shampoo & Conditioner is a good option because it will relieve itching and help hydrate your dog’s skin. This 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner features natural ingredients in soap-free formula that is gentle on your dog’s skin and designed to hydrate it to speed the healing process. It also comes with a natural deodorizer and has a pleasant lavender and mint fragrance.

EarthBath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog Shampoo

Another option to soothe and hydrate your dog’s itchy skin is EarthBath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog Shampoo. This shampoo features soothing natural ingredients like aloe vera and oatmeal to relieve itching and hydrate the skin for speedy healing. It contains natural ingredients to gently cleanse and restore moisture while also deodorizing your dog’s coat. It is 100% biodegradable and free from both phosphates and parabens, so you can feel good about using it.

FAQ Regarding Ringworm Shampoos

  1. Can you bathe a dog with ringworm?

Yes! Not only can you bathe a dog with ringworm, but it is actually highly recommended as long as you use the right antifungal shampoo for dogs. Bathing your dog with antifungal shampoo can help kill the fungus responsible for the infection and may help to relieve symptoms such as dandruff and itching as well. Just be sure to follow your vet’s recommendations as well as the directions on the shampoo.

  1. What home remedy kills ringworm on dogs?

Before starting a natural remedy for ringworm, you should talk to your veterinarian to confirm the diagnosis. In very severe cases, antifungal medication may be required but, in mild cases, natural treatments may work. In addition to using antifungal shampoo for ringworm, you can try spraying a 50/50 mix of apple cider vinegar into your dog’s coat two to three times a day. Another option is to dilute tea tree oil at a 1% concentration in water then apply it to the infected area twice daily.

  1. How long does it take to get rid of ringworm in dogs?

The length of time it takes to get rid of ringworm in dogs depends on the severity of the infection and the treatment method you choose. In mild cases, you may see an improvement in as little as a week if you consistently follow your vet’s treatment protocol and use ringworm dog shampoo to relieve your dog’s symptoms. In more severe cases, it may take up to 6 weeks for the infection to completely go away.

Remember, ringworm is very contagious, so you need to be careful about contact with other pets and people until the infection is completely cleared.


Ringworm is a highly contagious fungal skin infection in dogs that can also be passed to humans. In addition to seeking veterinary care for your dog, you should also consider buying an antifungal shampoo for dogs to help relieve the symptoms of the infection. If you’re not sure where to start shopping, try one of our top 7 picks for the best ringworm dog shampoo reviewed above.

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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