The Best Dandruff Shampoo for Dogs and Pets: Ranked and Reviewed

Written by Austin S.
Updated: December 23, 2022
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Key Points

  • Our pick for the #1 Best Overall pet dandruff shampoo is Pro Pet Works Organic Oatmeal Dog Shampoo.
  • Dandruff is a common problem for dogs and other pets that can be caused by allergies, environmental irritants, or food.
  • There are several shampoos on the market that help relieve dry skin, dandruff, and itching in dogs, cats, and other pets.

Are you the owner of a pet with dandruff? Dandruff can cause your pet discomfort and itching. As with most skin conditions, dandruff can be difficult to handle, especially if the cause is food or allergy-related. Dandruff among pets can lead to hot spots and even infections from continued scratching. 

There is a wide range of products on the market today that claim to be the best for dandruff and other skin problems. This makes it hard for you to tell which product is best suited for your dog’s or pet’s needs. It should be noted that while some shampoos may help with dandruff, other shampoos may cause other problems like dry or oily coats.

To help you make an educated decision when looking for the best dandruff shampoo for your dogs and pets, we have researched high-quality products aimed at treating dandruff and reducing itching while looking for value as well. 

We updated this article to include an all-purpose dog and cat shampoo, as well as our top pick for small animal pet owners. We also added more information on which ingredients to watch out for in a pet shampoo to avoid a negative reactions in your pets.

  1. Organic Oatmeal Dog Shampoo
  2. Organic Oatmeal Dog Shampoo
    • Soap and detergent-free formula
    • Made with natural ingredients
    • Environmentally friendly product
    • Scented without fragrance
    Check Amazon
  3. Hartz Groomer's Best Anti-Dandruff Dog Shampoo
  4. Hartz Groomer's Best Anti-Dandruff Dog Shampoo
    • Contains Salicylic acid, which helps prevent dandruff
    • Budget-friendly option
    • Easy to lather and rinse out
    • Leaves coat soft and shiny
    Check Amazon
  5. Arava Natural Medicated Dog Shampoo – Anti Yeast Anti Itch Dog Shampoo - Healthy Skin & Coat - First Aid in Hot Spots Ringworm Scrapes Abrasions & Dermatologic Infections
  6. Arava Natural Medicated Dog Shampoo – Anti Yeast Anti Itch Dog Shampoo - Healthy Skin & Coat - First Aid in Hot Spots Ringworm Scrapes Abrasions & Dermatologic Infections
    • Contains Dead Sea minerals
    • Specifically designed to fight dandruff
    • Contains 28 active ingredients with antibacterial and anti-fungal properties
    • Deeply cleanses hair follicles
    Check Amazon
  7. Pet Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo & Conditioner in One
  8. Pet Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo & Conditioner in One
    • Made with oatmeal
    • Contains antibacterial and anti-fungal ingredients
    • Shampoo and conditioner in one
    • Veterinarian endorsed
    Check Amazon
  9. Zymox Shampoo with Vitamin D3
  10. Zymox Shampoo with Vitamin D3
    • Uses enzymes instead of detergents
    • Relieves inflammation and reduces dandruff
    • Contains vitamin D3 for a healthier coat
    • Formulated for both dogs and cats
    Check Amazon
  11. J·R·LIGGETT'S Hypoallergenic Pet Shampoo
  12. J·R·LIGGETT'S Hypoallergenic Pet Shampoo
    • Gentle and effective for relieving dry, itchy skin
    • Sulfate, detergent, and GMO-free
    • No harmful tea tree oil
    • Handmade in small batches
    Check Amazon

Top Picks for Dandruff Shampoo for Dogs and Pets

#1 Best Overall: Pro Pet Works Oatmeal Pet Shampoo

In our review, the #1 Best Overall dandruff shampoo for dogs and pets is the Pro Pet Works Oatmeal Pet Shampoo. This product features a formula that’s free from soap and detergent, making it gentle on the skin of your dog or pet. This shampoo, which is made with natural ingredients, also moisturizes and soothes dry and irritated skin, which helps prevent dandruff. It has a light almond cherry scent from botanical cherry extracts, which can help deodorize your pet’s coat, whether they’re a dog, cat, rabbit, guinea pig, or ferret.

The shampoo and bottle are made with biodegradable ingredients and materials, making this product environmentally friendly. However, the major downside of this product is that it has a watery consistency that does not lather well, which makes it a bit hard to use. Overall though, the Pro Pet Works Oatmeal Pet Shampoo remains the best overall pet shampoo for dandruff. 

Pros and Cons of Pro Pet Works Oatmeal Pet Shampoo

ProsCons
This pet dandruff shampoo features a soap- and detergent-free formula.It has a watery consistency that does not lather well.
It moisturizes pets’ skin to prevent dandruff.
It’s made with natural, cruelty free ingredients.
This shampoo is scented with botanical cherry extracts, not manmade fragrance.
It’s environmentally friendly since it’s made with biodegradable materials.
Overall Best
Organic Oatmeal Dog Shampoo
  • Soap and detergent-free formula
  • Made with natural ingredients
  • Environmentally friendly product
  • Scented without fragrance
Check Amazon

2. Best for Affordability: Hartz Groomer Anti-Dandruff Dog Shampoo

Hartz Groomer Anti-Dandruff Dog Shampoo is specifically designed to eliminate dandruff and dry, flaky skin. It contains salicylic acid, which is a powerful, dandruff-fighting ingredient that does not damage dogs’ skin. The Hartz Groomer Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is easy to lather and rinse out, so it won’t leave an oily residue on the skin of your dog. This product is less expensive than other dog shampoos without sacrificing quality. The Hartz Groomer Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is formulated to give your dog a salon-fresh look with a shiny and soft coat after each bath

This product, however, contains sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), which is a detergent that can be harsh to dogs and other pets with sensitive skin. It also has a slight chemical odor that some pet owners may find unpleasant. 

However, if you’re looking for the best dog shampoo in terms of affordability, then the Hartz Groomer Anti-Dandruff Dog Shampoo remains our top pick. 

Pros and Cons of Hartz Groomer Anti-Dandruff Dog Shampoo

ProsCons
This pet shampo contains salicylic acid, which helps prevent dandruff.It contains sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), which can be harsh to dogs with sensitive skin.
It leaves your pet’s coat soft and shiny.It has a slight chemical odor that might be unpleasant to some pet owners.
It’s less expensive than other shampoos.
This pet shampoo is easy to lather and rinse out.
Best for Affordability
Hartz Groomer's Best Anti-Dandruff Dog Shampoo
  • Contains Salicylic acid, which helps prevent dandruff
  • Budget-friendly option
  • Easy to lather and rinse out
  • Leaves coat soft and shiny
Check Amazon

3. Best Limited Ingredient: Arava Natural Medicated Dog Shampoo

Arava Natural Medicated Dog Shampoo is specifically designed to fight dandruff and other skin conditions. This shampoo makes it on our list because it’s formulated with vitamins and minerals from the Dead Sea, which are known for their skin healing properties. It’s designed to deeply cleanse and repair the hair follicles without using harsh chemicals, helping to prevent dandruff and dry skin. 

Arava Natural Medicated Dog Shampoo also contains 28 active ingredients with antibacterial and anti-fungal properties to help prevent painful skin conditions and infections. You should note, however, that it contains butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), which is a preservative with questionable data on its safety with human and pet products. 

Another drawback of this product is that it needs a conditioner after each use, which will add to the cost of your pet’s baths. It’s also quite expensive when compared with other shampoos. 

Pros and Cons of Arava Natural Medicated Dog Shampoo

ProsCons
This pet dandruff shampoo is formulated with Dead Sea minerals, which are renowned for their healing properties.It contains butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), a preservative with questionable safety data regarding its use in human and pet products.
It deeply cleanses hair follicles.You will need to use a conditioner after each use.
It contains 28 active ingredients.It’s quite expensive.
Best Limited Ingredient
Arava Natural Medicated Dog Shampoo – Anti Yeast Anti Itch Dog Shampoo - Healthy Skin & Coat - First Aid in Hot Spots Ringworm Scrapes Abrasions & Dermatologic Infections
  • Contains Dead Sea minerals
  • Specifically designed to fight dandruff
  • Contains 28 active ingredients with antibacterial and anti-fungal properties
  • Deeply cleanses hair follicles
Check Amazon

4. Best Anti-Itch: Pets Are Kids Too Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo

Pets Are Kids Too Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo is formulated to soothe itchy skin. It’s a shampoo and conditioner in one, so you won’t have to buy an additional product for conditioning fur. Pets Are Kids Too Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo is made with oatmeal and other anti-itch ingredients to treat dandruff and skin problems that cause itching. It also contains antibacterial and anti-fungal ingredients that can help prevent infections.

Although this shampoo has many benefits, it may be unsuitable for dogs with sensitive skin. Another downside of this product is that it takes longer to wash out than other shampoos and leaves a slightly oily residue after washing it out twice. In addition to this, it has a thin, watery consistency that makes it difficult to lather and wash your dog with. 

Pros and Cons of Pets Are Kids Too Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo

ProsCons
This product is a shampoo and conditioner in one.This dandruff shampoo may irritate the skin of pets with extremely sensitive skin.
It’s made with oatmeal and other anti-itch ingredients.It takes longer to rinse out than other shampoos.
It has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.It has a thin, watery consistency.
Best Anti-Itch
Pet Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo & Conditioner in One
  • Made with oatmeal
  • Contains antibacterial and anti-fungal ingredients
  • Shampoo and conditioner in one
  • Veterinarian endorsed
Check Amazon

5. Best All-Purpose: Zymox Shampoo for Dogs and Cats

Zymox Shampoo for Dogs and Cats soothes dry, irritated, or inflamed skin without using any harsh chemicals or detergents. It contains enzymes that reduce inflammation caused by dermatitis, hot spots, skin infections — even mange! It also contains vitamin D to keep your pet’s skin and fur healthy. Since it is safe for use on both cats and dogs, Zymox is an excellent choice as not only a treatment for current skin issues, but also as a maintenance shampoo between outbreaks.

One thing to note about Zymox is that it does contain fragrance. While they were chosen to be less harsh than the usual scents used in pet shampoos, some animals are extremely sensitive to any added fragrances in their care products. If your pet falls into that category, use this or similar products with caution.

That being said, Zymox shampoo is gentle enough for most dogs and cats, and an effective solution for reducing symptoms of many common skin conditions.

Pros and Cons of Zymox Shampoo for Dogs and Cats

ProsCons
This dandruff shampoo features a gentle enzyme formula.It contains added fragrance.
It’s safe for both cats and dogs.
It treats most pet skin conditions.
Best All-Purpose
Zymox Shampoo with Vitamin D3
  • Uses enzymes instead of detergents
  • Relieves inflammation and reduces dandruff
  • Contains vitamin D3 for a healthier coat
  • Formulated for both dogs and cats
Check Amazon

6. Best for Small Animals: J.R.Liggett’s Pet Hair Shampoo

J.R.Liggett’s Pet Hair Shampoo is specifically designed for use on guinea pigs, ferrets, rabbits, and other small animals. It doesn’t contain any harsh detergents, so it is gentle enough for small animals’ delicate skin and coats. It also doesn’t contain tea tree oil (a common ingredient in dog and cat shampoos), since it is toxic to some small pets.

Keep in mind that small animals are susceptible to pests like mites, so it is important to rule out live causes for your pet’s skin issues first. Products like this will have little effect on them and should be primarily used to remove irritants from their skin.

Pros and Cons of J.R.Liggett’s Pet Hair Shampoo

ProsCons
Unlike some pet shampoos, this formula doesn’t include tea tree oil, which is toxic to some small pets.It’s not effective against mites or fleas.
It’s available as a liquid or solid bar.
This small pet shampoo is handmade in small batches.
Best Small Animal
J·R·LIGGETT'S Hypoallergenic Pet Shampoo
  • Gentle and effective for relieving dry, itchy skin
  • Sulfate, detergent, and GMO-free
  • No harmful tea tree oil
  • Handmade in small batches
Check Amazon

Choosing the Best Dandruff Shampoo for Dogs and Pets: What to Consider

There are three major factors to consider when choosing the best dandruff shampoo. These factors are price, effect on your pet’s skin, and shampoo ingredients. Here is how to consider the best shampoo across each of these factors. 

Price

When searching for the best dandruff shampoo for your pet, it is important to have a budget. This helps you search for a shampoo that provides the best quality for your pets while remaining cost-friendly. 

Effect on Your Pet’s Skin

There is a wide range of dandruff shampoo available on the market today, and some of these shampoos are not suitable for pets with sensitive skin. It is important to take note of this fact when searching for shampoo for your pet. Look for products branded as sulphate and detergent-free for the best results.

Shampoo Ingredients 

When searching for pet shampoo, it is also important to take note of its ingredients, as some shampoos contain some ingredients that might be potentially harmful to your pets. You are also advised to take note of the features of any shampoo you want to purchase, such as if it lathers well or requires an additional product like a conditioner.

While some pets have specific allergies or sensitivities, there are a few common ingredients in pet shampoos that tend to cause widespread issues. Shampoos containing detergents, sulphates, and added dyes or fragrances are often irritating to dogs with sensitive skin.

Also keep an eye on products with essential oils in them, since some pets may have individual intolerances toward certain oils. You should never use a product with tea tree oil on small animals like guinea pigs, rabbits, or ferrets, since it is highly toxic to these pets.

Our Criteria, How We Chose the Best

While working as a professional dog groomer, I encountered dogs and cats with several different skin issues. Hot spots, flea bites, dermatitis, lesions from severe matting… I saw it all. While the most common culprit for skin issues was food-related allergies, I knew how important it was to choose a gentle shampoo that would nourish the area to relieve some of their discomfort without causing any further irritation.

For most pets who came into the shop with skin issues, I used Zymox shampoo for their wash. It worked well for soothing any sores or irritants and gave their coats a lovely shine (thanks to the added D vitamins).

Of course, not all pets can tolerate care products with added fragrances (even ones formulated for gentleness, like Zymox), so I always kept a gentle scent-free formula like our best overall pick close by. And for the dogs and cats who needed a little extra love, care, and nourishment for their skin and coat, I would opt for a premium dead-sea mineral wash like our limited ingredient choice instead.

For this article, we chose products that are easily available to everyday consumers while keeping the high-quality formulas and ingredients that I used in my shop. While the Hartz shampoo sacrifices some gentleness for affordability, the other products are made with premium-quality ingredients and thoughtfully formulated to ensure relief for your uncomfortable pet.

Up Next…

About the Author

Growing up in rural New England on a small scale farm gave me a lifelong passion for animals. I love learning about new wild animal species, habitats, animal evolutions, dogs, cats, and more. I've always been surrounded by pets and believe the best dog and best cat products are important to keeping our animals happy and healthy. It's my mission to help you learn more about wild animals, and how to care for your pets better with carefully reviewed products.

The Best Dandruff Shampoo for Dogs and Pets: Ranked and Reviewed FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Can you use human dandruff shampoo for dogs?

It is not advisable to use human dandruff shampoo for dogs. This is because the ingredients in these products may damage dogs’ skin as they were not formulated for them.

How often should you bathe your dog to prevent dandruff?

Bathing it once or twice a week should be sufficient when trying to prevent dandruff in your dog. However, suppose your dog already has dandruff. In that case, regular bathing and shampoo therapy should be done every day for about a week or until the dandruff is noticeably reduced, after which bathing can be done once or twice a week.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.