Top 12 Best Antibacterial Dog Shampoo in 2020

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If you’ve ever walked dogs even one time, you already know they’ll purposely walk in mud puddles, snow hills, piles of leaves and dirt. Some will even go so far as to sniff out and try to eat other dog feces.

For a human being, the goal is to try to get away from as much dirt as you can. (Even in fun comic strips, you don’t see a whole lot of the other Peanuts characters hanging out and trying to dance with Pig-Pen.) Keep the bacteria away! So finding the best antibacterial dog shampoo sounds like a logical purchase on the surface.

However, before you purchase an antimicrobial shampoo for dogs or antibacterial antifungal dog shampoo, make sure that this is the ideal shampoo for your dog’s needs. For some dogs, especially the more adventurous of the bunch, this will do wonders to make sure your home and your dog smell nice.

For others, you may want to find out if there are bigger health issues to understand. As long as your veterinarian approves of antifungal shampoo for dogs or similar dog cleansing shampoos, these 12 are highly suggested.

1. Arava Natural Medicated Dog Shampoo

Arava Natural Medicated Dog Shampoo

If your dog has hot spots, inflammation or infection, this all-natural antifungal, anti-yeast, anti-itch dog shampoo has a pet-friendly formula to gently clean your dog.

Key Features

  • Formulated with premium dead sea minerals
  • 28 naturally and environmentally safe ingredients such as pomegranate, kelp, reishi, rosemary, aloe vera, chamomile, fennel
  • Anti-fungal and anti-yeast botanical oils

This biocare formula is good for keeping your dog’s undercoat to enrich the follicles. Created under the strict guidelines of the Food & Drug Administration, this shampoo eliminates dandruff and reduces dry skin. It also creates a shiny coat for your pet. This medicated shampoo also reduces skin infections, abrasions, ringworm, seborrhea, etc.

Pros

  • Natural fragrance from the essential oils
  • Perfect for treating skin problems and irritations

Cons

  • One reviewer’s dog was allergic to one (or more) of the essential oils
  • Several reviewers reported that their dogs broke out into rashes

This dog shampoo is covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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2. Curaseb Chlorhexidine 4% Shampoo

Curaseb Chlorhexidine 4% Shampoo

This antibacterial and antimicrobial medicated shampoo treats various skin-related problems, and eliminates and prevents the growth of diseases that cause microorganisms and bacteria.

Key Features

  • Blueberry scent
  • Contains chlorhexidine gluconate
  • Free of parabens and soap

This 12 oz. container of shampoo deodorizes and gently cleans the skin while eliminating the musty and off-putting odor that may develop on your pet’s skin.

Pros

  • Gently cleans dog skin
  • Deodorizes dog skin

Cons

  • Not evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration
  • One reviewer’s dog scratched even more than before the shampoo was administered

If this shampoo doesn’t work well for your dog, return it for a full refund whether the bottle is still full or completely empty.

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3. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Medicated Shampoo

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Shampoo

If you’re looking for an antiparasitic and antiseborrheic medicated shampoo that will relieve your dog of the skin disease mange and other parasitic infections, this may be a good option.

Key Features

  • pH balanced for pet’s sensitive skin
  • Contains coal tar, salicylic acid, and micronized sulfur to treat skin scaling caused by seborrhea
  • Colloidal oatmeal and allantoin hydrates the skin and promotes healing

This 16 oz. bottle includes ingredients that treat fungal and bacterial infections. While the ingredients say to use the shampoo two to three times per week, ask a veterinarian to make sure this amount of time is suitable for your dog’s needs. Intended for dogs more than 12 weeks old, this shampoo will not remove spot-on flea and tick treatments.

Pros

  • Free of parabens, soap and dye
  • Relieves inflammation, greasy skin, rashes

Cons

  • One user reported that her dog ended up with a urine smell
  • One of three dogs from another user ended up with what looked like a chemical burn (although the other two ended up just fine)

The refund and/or replacement policy is unclear on the site. Ask about this (potential) promise before purchasing this medicated shampoo.

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4. VetMD Medicated Shampoos

VetMD Medicated Shampoo

If your dog happens to have sensitive skin, this medicated shampoo can be used to clean and moisturize your dog while getting rid of fungal infections.

Key Features

  • Made with clinical active ingredients
  • Free of parabens, harsh chemicals and artificial colors
  • Safe to use with a dog’s topical flea and tick treatments

Help your pet prevent infections with the help of this grooming process. The instructions request that the shampoo be left on for five minutes before rinsing it off. However, check with your veterinarian to make sure that dogs with any kind of rash or bruise can withstand the five-minute wait.

Pros

  • Relieves bacterial and fungal infections
  • Ideal for dog infections, according to the site

Cons

  • Not recommended for dogs under 12 weeks old
  • Should never be used if skin is broken

The refund and/or replacement policy is unclear on the site. Ask about this (potential) promise before purchasing this medicated shampoo.

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5. PetHonesty Antibacterial & Fungus Treatment Shampoo

PetHonesty Antibacterial & Fungus Treatment Shampoo

Protect your dog against hot spots, infections, itchiness and rashes that he may get in and out of the home.

Key Features

  • 2 percent chlorhexidine
  • 1 percent ketoconazole
  • Light cucumber melon scent

If you’re concerned about your dog experiencing smelly skin issues, this 16 oz. bottle of GMP-certifed shampoo can last quite some time to eliminate yeast, bacteria and fungus.

You can also treat your dog with occasional sprays of this all-natural product in between full-length dog baths. The aloe vera in it is not only a good moisturizer but also soothing.

Pros

  • FDA approved
  • Eliminates odors linked to bacteria and fungus

Cons

  • Three users received the shampoo with no pump, regardless of it being advertised with the pump top
  • One reviewer’s dog became itchier after using it

The refund and/or replacement policy is unclear on the site. Ask about this (potential) promise before purchasing this shampoo.

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6. All Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo + Conditioner for Dogs

All Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo + Conditioner

This all-natural dog shampoo is great for dry, sensitive or itchy skin. Just as aloe vera and almond oils are go-tos for relieving human skin, the same rules apply for soothing sensitive pet skin. And your dog will smell pleasant too.

Key Features

  • pH balanced for sensitive skin
  • Cherry almond smell
  • 17 oz. bottle

This soap-less, detergent-free and aloe-enriched conditioner is a combination of almond oil; organic aloe extracts; and Vitamins A, D and E. This product also comes in 100 percent biodegradable and recycled materials. It also comes in handy for detangling fur.

Pros

  • Soothes dry, itchy skin
  • Free of harsh chemicals, fragrance, sulphates, added colors

Cons

  • One user’s Australian Shepherd immediately started shedding enough that she had to vacuum twice
  • Another user had to put a cone on her dog’s head to stop harmful scratching

This shampoo is covered by a 100 percent money-back guarantee.

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7. GNC Pets® Medicated Anti-Bacterial & Anti-Fungal Shampoo

GNC Pets® Medicated Anti-Bacterial & Anti-Fungal Shampoo

Although this GNC product is intended to reduce bacterial skin infections related to allergies and scratching, it also works for grooming. However, if your pet seems to be extremely irritated during the grooming process, you may need to ask your groomer about the products that are being used. Or, switch your own grooming products should you be grooming the dog yourself.

Key Features

  • 17 oz. bottle
  • pH balanced
  • Lavender scent

As pet owners know, a smell that is attractive to us may or may not win over your pet. Before using an anti-fungal shampoo with a fragrance, ask your veterinarian about this product ahead of time. And make sure to observe how your dog reacts to the smell of this anti-bacterial shampoo. (If he tries to roll around in mud or dirt as soon as possible, don’t be too alarmed. That’s pretty normal. But if there’s excessive itching, stop use immediately.)

Pros

  • Helps relieve bacterial skin infections
  • Provides relief from itching

Cons

  • Not recommended for dogs under 12 weeks old
  • Do not use more than once a week without permission from a veterinarian

The refund and/or replacement policy is unclear on the site. Ask about this (potential) promise before purchasing this shampoo.

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8. Richard’s Organics Anti-Bacterial Shampoo for Dogs

Richard’s Organics Anti-Bacterial Shampoo for Dogs

This 12 oz. bottle of antibacterial shampoo is intended to treat bacterial, fungal and yeast skin infections in dogs.

Key Features

  • pH balanced
  • Formulated with tea tree oil and neem oil
  • 100 percent natural active ingredients

This anti-bacterial shampoo provides gentle cleaning, odor elimination and effective antibacterial healing for dogs. Ideally, it will leave your dog’s coat clean, soft and shiny. With a coconut-oil base, it still won’t remove essential oils, or topical spot-on flea and tick treatments.

Pros

  • Free of parabens, soaps, dye
  • Fast-acting to relieve inflamed, dry, flaky skin

Cons

  • Not ideal for dogs under 12 weeks old
  • Gave several dogs hives and allergic reactions

The refund and/or replacement policy is unclear on the site. Ask about this (potential) promise before purchasing this shampoo.

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9. ZPAW Antibacterial Shampoo

ZPAW Antiseptic Shampoo

This antifungal, antibacterial shampoo is intended to eliminate hot spots, itchy paws, skin rashes, and dermatitis. It is especially meant for pets who tend to chew or bite on their paws.

Key Features

  • 16 oz. bottle
  • Includes chlorhexidine
  • Includes ketoconazole

This alcohol-free, antiseptic, medical dog shampoo disinfects both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, and use it to kill bacteria and yeast. This shampoo also treats dermatological conditions immediately and manages malassezia and pyoderma.

Pros

  • Made in a GMP certified facility
  • Instant soothing relief

Cons

  • Do not use if the dog has open wounds, cuts or raw areas
  • May need to put a cone on dog’s head to avoid him licking the shampoo before it can dry

The refund and/or replacement policy is unclear on the site. Ask about this (potential) promise before purchasing this antibacterial shampoo.

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10. All Natural Hypoallergenic Puppy Shampoo + Conditioner

All Natural Hypoallergenic Puppy Shampoo + Conditioner

This two-in-one puppy shampoo and conditioner comes with aloe vera to both soothe and detangle.

Key Features

  • pH balance
  • Deep cleaner
  • Aloe vera included

This two-in-one puppy formula is tear-free and antibacterial, and it’s specially formulated for a puppy’s delicate skin and coat. Considering that this shampoo is tearless, it’ll be less worrisome about getting it into your dog’s eyes by accident.

Ideally, the clean fragrance lasts long enough that you won’t have to worry about your dog’s unwanted odors for at least two weeks. The all-natural ingredients include natural fruit extracts, plant extracts, and oils. But as with any dog, the two-week doggy bath vacation is on a case-by-case basis.

Pros

  • Odor eliminator
  • Stays on the coat for up to two weeks

Cons

  • Two reviewers weren’t thrilled with the fragrance
  • Not particularly intended for adult dogs

The refund and/or replacement policy is unclear on the site. Ask about this (potential) promise before purchasing this product. Check out our puppy shampoo reviews here.

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11. Truseb for Dogs

Truseb Shampoo for Dogs

This antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic medicated shampoo can help to eliminate fungal infections, acne, hot spots, pyoderma, ringworm and yeast.

Key Features

  • Available in three sizes (8 ounces, 12 ounces, 16 ounces)
  • 2 percent of Chlorhexidine Gluconate
  • 1 percent of Ketoconazole

This shampoo can be used to treat skin-related problems and bacterial dermatitis. In addition to abrasions, insect bites and cuts, it can also be used to help a dog maintain a healthy coat while he participates in water sports. Use this product for both skin treatment and a deodorizer; it has a cucumber melon scent that may make you even happier to see (and smell) your dog.

Pros

  • Relieves skin infections
  • Eliminates odors caused by bacteria, fungal and yeast

Cons

  • Should not be used on broken skin or in bloody (sore) areas
  • One reviewer said that the shampoo is sticky, so it may be a bit challenging to leave on your dog for a short time

The refund and/or replacement policy is unclear on the site. Ask about this (potential) promise before purchasing this antibacterial shampoo.

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12. Command Antifungal Medicated Dog Shampoo

Command Antifungal Medicated Dog Shampoo

In addition to using this antifungal medicated shampoo for hot spots, inflammation, rashes and dandruff, this combination may also come in handy for dog seasonal allergies.

Key Features

  • Free of fragrances
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Anti-itch shampoo for dry, itchy skin

This clinically tested formula can aid in the treatment of pyoderma or skin infections, and their resulting odors. It will also help relieve symptoms associated with fungal yeast infections and ringworm. During allergy season, this Command product can be used to treat itchy hot spots and dandruff associated with atopic dermatitis.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic formula gentle on sensitive skin
  • Reduces clinical lesion severity

Cons

  • Not recommended for dogs that are less than six weeks old
  • For dog owners who like fragrances, this one may be too plain

The refund and/or replacement policy is unclear on the site. Ask about this (potential) promise before purchasing this shampoo.

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Key Information

When to use Antibacterial Shampoo vs normal dog shampoo

For human beings, the overuse of antibacterial products can reduce the number of healthy bacteria on a person’s skin. In turn, this can make antibiotics less effective in the fight against superbugs (i.e. new strains of bacteria). But just because an antibacterial shampoo or soap works wonders on your skin does not mean it’ll do the same thing for dogs.

First things first, do not use human shampoo on your dog. Concentrate on finding a shampoo with a pH balance that is specifically balanced for your dog’s skin. Pet MD recommends dog shampoos within the neutral range, around 7 (1). (Even if the shampoo manufacturer’s label does not identify the number, the bottle should state that the shampoo is pH-balanced for dogs.)

But why do you need to use an antibacterial dog shampoo or any medicated shampoo altogether? Why not just use regular dog shampoo? Some of the most common are bacterial skin infections, skin yeast infections and skin allergies. Your veterinarian will usually send suggestions for a wide variety of dog shampoos, and some over-the-counter options may do the trick.

Key Ingredients to look for

Common terminology you may see on antibacterial dog shampoo containers are chlorhexidine and ketoconazole, which help relieve current skin infections and prevent new dog infections.

Boric acid, olive oil, rooibos tea extract, vitamin E and salicylic acid are often used for dogs with extremely dry skin who need moisturizer. Check out our dog paw moisturizer reviews here! Oatmeal and tea tree oil prevent parasites and can act as moisturizers.

Sulfodene medicated dog shampoo and conditioner can be used for dogs who tend to get itchy a lot.

These are just a few of many ingredients, but before using any of these products, ask a veterinarian. Make sure all ingredients match up with your dog’s current health condition. Otherwise, an antifungal dog shampoo or other medicated dog shampoo may do more good than harm.

Should you be someone who may leave your dog with a groomer or a dog walker, emphasize which key ingredients may not be used. If you don’t speak up immediately, you may risk that your groomer or dog walker will unknowingly use a product that is not compatible with your dog. Just as all dogs cannot eat every treat, even the safest medicated shampoo just may not be effective on some dogs. All dog shampoo ingredients aren’t.

Ingredients to avoid

Some of the key ingredients that are ideal for some dogs may be the worst ideas for others. A moisturizing dog shampoo works wonders for a dog with dry skin, but it may make an oily dog (ex. one with Seborrheic Dermatitis) even more uncomfortable. That waxy, greasy condition that comes with Seborrheic Dermatitis can make a dog smell and you’ll notice dandruff on his fur.

This condition can also be linked to secondary bacterial or yeast skin infections, especially for untreated dogs who have skin folds in their armpits, neck, feet, lips, thighs and the stomach area. Talk to a veterinarian first before trying to fix this health issue on your own. A veterinarian may prescribe anything from a certain dog shampoo to omega-3 fatty acid supplements.

Additionally, make sure your dog and you like the fragrances that are included in the shampoo. Dogs tend to like the smell of things that humans may find to be smelly (ex. mud, dirt, feces), so it’s not uncommon that your dog will not be thrilled with a fragrance.

But more importantly, even natural ingredients such as essential oils may make your dog react. If your dog has sensitive skin or you’re not sure how he’ll react to a combination of essential oils, test them one-by-one instead. We’ve also reviewed the best natural shampoos for sensitive skin here. Once you’re sure that your dog will not break out or have an allergic reaction to the kind of essential oils that are included in some dog shampoos (including ones above), then you can use more fragrance-friendly products.

 How often can you use Antibacterial shampoo

While the instructions on an antibacterial dog shampoo may state how often it should be used, be careful with these instructions. Ask a veterinarian just to make sure. Just as human hair care products have directions for one person’s type of hair, that doesn’t mean it works the same for another.

There’s a reason shampoos are curtailed to curly hair, straight hair, dry hair, color-treated hair, relaxed hair, natural hair, etc. The same can be said for dog breeds. A poodle has “hair” while a Labrador Retriever has “fur.” Just as you would not treat these two totally different breed’s overcoat or undercoat with the same grooming techniques, the same can be said for antibacterial antifungal dog shampoo.

For some medicated dog shampoos, treatment should only be used for the length of the time to heal the rash or sore. For other antifungal shampoos, there may be instructions to leave it on for a little longer. Do not overuse the product. And even if your veterinarian tells you to, double-check with him again if the instructions clash with his own guidance.

Bottom Line

Whether you use any of the 12 medicated dog shampoos above or one of your own choosing, an antibacterial dog shampoo may only be part of your dog’s problem. Anytime your dog needs a medical dog shampoo to take care of his coat and/or skin, there may be underlying issues. For this reason alone, it is imperative to become familiar early and often with how your dog’s “normal” coat is versus when something is out of whack. Keep an eye on when your dog seems to be shedding more than usual, as well as where thin patches of hair tend to show up. And never let your dog’s hair get matted. Even without a professional groomer, if you keep a dog comb or dog brush around, you should be OK.

Being able to catch any bruises, bumps, patches, dandruff or dry skin before it can become a larger issue is absolutely necessary. If you’re trying to get work done and your dog is pushing his snout under your hand, consider giving him a pat or two if you haven’t done so already. Even if it’s just a couple of minutes a day, you may find that your dog is trying to get your attention due to a health issue and not just looking to distract you. And the extra affection doesn’t hurt either.

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