Young pups have very sensitive skin, so when you bathe them, you don't want to use anything that will irritate it. The best types of shampoos for our juvenile canine companions contain skin-soothing ingredients in the proper balance, which will keep Rover smelling delicious and feeling good as well.
Best Kinds of Shampoos
The best shampoo for puppies is one that's designed specifically for them or at least for canines. Doggie shampoos won't disrupt the delicate barrier, called the acid mantle, which covers your pup's outermost layer of skin and protects it from irritation and infection, according to petMD. While the average pH of a human's acid mantle ranges from 5.2 to 6.2, Rover's acid mantle has a pH of around 5.5 to 7.5, which is much more alkaline to neutral than our own. Using a human shampoo on your pooch can cause dryness, itching and even lead to skin infections. Instead, always choose a shampoo developed for dogs.
Best Shampoo Ingredients
Not all doggie shampoos are created equal and the best ones for pups contain skin-soothing and moisturizing ingredients. When choosing a shampoo for your growing pup, look for one containing colloidal oatmeal, aloe vera, honey, olive oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E or vegetable glycerin. All of these ingredients not only help to moisturize the skin, but to calm any skin irritations present as well. Plant-based, sulfate-free cleansers will clean away dirt without stripping Rover's skin of its natural oils. Hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and dye-free dog shampoos won't contain any ingredients that potentially will irritate your little one's sensitive skin, recommends Rocky Mountain Veterinary Dermatology. When it comes to puppies, you also want to stick to tear-free formulations because puppies can be rambunctious during baths, getting soap in their eyes.
Best Shampoos for Flea Control
Fleas are something you want to avoid, especially because they can cause anemia in young puppies. Simply bathing Rover with mild shampoo regularly can remove fleas, without having to use one containing an insecticide. Insecticides potentially are harmful to puppies and some are toxic to pups younger than three months of age. Common flea-shampoo ingredients like pyrethroids, organophosphate insecticides and carbamates are undesirable and should be avoided in puppy shampoos, recommends the Humane Society of the United States. If fleas are an issue, choose a puppy shampoo that contains natural flea-fighters such as citrus or peppermint essential oils, derived from plants, instead of synthetic insecticides.
Shampoos and Skin Issues
If your little puppy suffers from itchy, red, irritated or smelly skin and hair loss, bring him to the vet. He'll likely need a special prescription veterinary shampoo to heal his skin condition. Bathing him in a gentle puppy shampoo won't help these issues and could make the problem worse. Even when using the best puppy shampoo with gentle, natural ingredients properly balanced for Rover, it's important to rinse his coat thoroughly after lathering him up. Residual soap residue can cause skin irritation if left on your pup's skin, warns Dogster. While soap-free cleansers for pooches may not lather as much as other shampoos, they rinse out more thoroughly and make a better choice for pups.
- petMD: Maintaining Your Dog's Skin pH
- Partnership for Animal Welfare: Bathing and Shampooing Your Dog
- DogChannel.com: Dish Soap As a Dog Shampoo?
- Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine: Bathing Your Dog
- The Whole Dog Journal: Dog Shampoo Tests and Whole Dog Journal's Recommendations
- Muller and Kirk's Small Animal Dermatology; William H. Miller, Jr. et al.
- Dogster: Dog Shampoo Can Be More Hazardous Than You Think
- Rocky Mountain Veterinary Dermatology: How to Bathe Your Dog
- The Humane Society of the United States: Flea and Tick Product Ingredients: What You Should Know
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.