Choosing the Right Shampoo for Your Pet

It is important to select the correct shampoo for your pet, don’t be tempted to use human shampoo, soap or detergents. Animal’s skin and hair growth is very different to our own and using the wrong shampoo can be damaging.The first thing to do when deciding on which shampoo to use is to inspect the condition of your pet’s coat. There are medicated shampoos available for animals with skin problems.

Unless your dog is smelly or dirty, it is not necessary to bathe him frequently. As a general rule a fortnight bath is often enough. However, this can vary from one dog to another. Some may need daily baths while others may only require a bath once a month.

Regular brushing/combing will allow you to monitor the condition of your pet’s coat and skin. If you are in doubt either our receptionists or vets can advise you on the products available.

Below is a brief outline of some shampoos available.

Normal General Use

Dermcare Natural Shampoo

Dermcare Natural is hypoallergenic and does not contain any soap or detergent. It is good for sensitive skins or if you are worried about skin irritation. It is quite soothing and is safe for use on kittens and puppies. There is minimal interference with topical flea treatments. Dermcare Natural has a pleasant coconut fragrance.

Allergroom S

Allergroom S is another hypoallergenic cleansing and moisturising shampoo which is ideal for all skin types. It is soap and fragrance free, therefore ideal for sensitive skins. Allergroom S is flea treatment friendly and can be used safely with all topical (on the skin) flea treatments.

Leave on 5-10 minutes before rinsing off. Allergroom S is also useful for other species as well (rabbits etc).

Aloveen Shampoo

This shampoo contains oatmeal and aloe vera. It is a gentle, hypoallergenic, soothing shampoo which relieves itchiness for about 24 hours and adds moisture to the coat. Leave on 5 –10 minutes before rinsing. Ideal for all skin types or if your pet is hypersensitive or has contact dermatitis. Aloveen leaves coat glossy and tangle free, it has a pleasant fragrance and is safe to use on puppies and kittens.

There is also a leave on conditioner which will prolong the soothing effects of the Aloveen Shampoo.

Epi Soothe Shampoo

Epi Soothe is a soothing shampoo which relieves itchiness and adds moisture to the coat. It is ideal for cats and dogs with a dry itchy coat. Apply to a wet coat, lather freely and leave on the skin for 5-10 minutes. Epi Soothe has a fresh apple scent. There is also has a conditioner for an extra soothing effect and coat manageability with an apricot scent.

Infected Skin Pyohex

This is an excellent shampoo for surface bacterial skin infections. It contains chlorhexidine, an antibacterial agent. The shampoo must remain on the skin for 10 minutes before thorough rinsing. Coat stays soft and healthy.

Pyohex can be useful in the treatment of Hot Spots.


Malaseb is an excellent antibacterial and antifungal shampoo. It aids in the treatment of inflammatory forms of Seborrhoea, bacterial dermatitis, Malassezia infections and fungal infections particularly Ringworm. The shampoo needs to remain on the skin for 10 minutes before thorough rinsing.


Pyoben aids in the treatment of seborrhoeic dermatitis and deep bacterial infection. Tends to dry the skin and can be irritating so only to be used when advised by a veterinarian.

Flaky Skins (Seborrhoea)

The skin can be dry or oily.


Sebazole is used for the treatment of cats and dogs with seborrhoea associated with bacterial and yeast overgrowth. It aids in the treatment of fungal overgrowth and skin infections in dogs and cats.

Flea Shampoo

These shampoos will kill fleas but there is no residual activity, so if there is a heavy flea infestation or the animal is very sensitive to fleas, on their own these shampoos will not be enough for flea control.

Ecto- Soothe

A cleansing shampoo for the control of fleas on dogs with sensitive skin. Specifically intended to help relieve dry itchy skin. Not for use in cats.

Di-flea Insecticidal Shampoo

Kills fleas and lice. It can be used for cats as well as dogs. A useful general shampoo.

Practical Tips for Shampooing your Pet

Thoroughly wet your pet all over. The more water you get into the coat the easier it is to shampoo. You may find it necessary to add small amounts of shampoo as you go, as this breaks down the surface tension due to grease on the skin and allows the shampoo to penetrate down to the skin where it is needed.

Use a sponge to apply shampoo particularly around the face. Pouring shampoo down the back of your pet will mean you use more than you require. Work on a figure of 1-2 teaspoons of shampoo per 5kg dog (the larger amount is for hairier dogs).

When lathering up always add more water before you add more shampoo. A shampoo won’t lather well in absence of water. Rub the shampoo all over including around the muzzle, lips and under the tail. These are the areas bacteria and fungus spread from, and are common causes of infection. It can be easier if you use a sponge.

If using a medicated shampoo allow time for it to work. In general, 10 minutes is required. Your dog can do whatever he likes while waiting, play ball or throw a stick – just to take his mind off being wet.

Rinse thoroughly. It takes time to get rid of all the shampoo from the coat, about 5 minutes in longer haired dogs. A shower rose or hydrobath is excellent. Your pet should be “squeaky” clean. If the hair doesn’t squeak, there is still shampoo residue, which needs to be removed.

Dry gently. Using heat or vigorous towel drying may irritate skin that is already itchy. Commercial driers just blow water out of the coat. They don’t use heat. If you have sensitive skin it is suggested that you wear gloves when shampooing your pet.