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Is oatmeal shampoo good for dogs?

Should I use oatmeal shampoo on my dog? 

If you've seen oatmeal shampoo on the market, you might be asking yourself if an oatmeal shampoo is good for your dog? Oatmeal is a naturally soothing and moisturizing ingredient, and any oatmeal shampoo designed for dogs is an excellent choice for your canine companion. 

Why use oatmeal dog shampoo? 

People use oatmeal dog shampoo over other types of canine shampoo for a range of reasons. Although touted for its soothing properties, it's essential to consult a veterinarian if your dog has itchy or irritated skin that hasn't received any veterinary attention. If your dog has a diagnosed skin condition, check with your vet whether regular bathing is a good idea or could make your dog's skin worse. 

Soothes itching

Oatmeal is a known soothing ingredient with some anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it great for itchy skin. If your dog has a general case of itchiness from flea bites, dry skin, or exposure to large amounts of pollen, oatmeal shampoo is a great first step to soothing their itchy skin. However, as stated above, it's best to consult your vet before trying oatmeal shampoo if your dog has a more severe skin condition or broken skin.

Moisturizes skin

Due to its excellent moisturizing properties, oatmeal shampoo is ideal for dogs prone to getting dry skin for whom standard shampoos can be overly drying. It's also great if you're simply worried about drying out your dog's skin or disrupting their coat's natural oils since oatmeal shampoos are usually gentler than standard options. That said, if your dog's dry skin is a result of over-bathing, even mild oatmeal shampoo won't solve that. Instead, you'll need to give your dog a break from baths altogether.

Softens coat

Not only does oatmeal dog shampoo moisturize the skin, but it also conditions the coat, leaving it feeling beautifully soft. If you love the feeling of your dog's coat when it's freshly washed and super soft, you should give oatmeal shampoo a try. Use a rubber brush, such as the Kong Zoom Groom to work the shampoo through the coat for even better results.

Other soothing ingredients

We've already ascertained that oatmeal is a soothing ingredient, but what other ingredients can you look out for in dog shampoo that are soothing, nourishing and gentle? 

Aloe vera is a common addition to soothing shampoos due to its natural calming and healing properties. It's known for its anti-inflammatory properties and can also boost the production and release of collagen in the skin. 

Chamomile is another ingredient known for its skin-soothing properties. It's a natural anti-inflammatory used as a herbal remedy on burns and scalds for hundreds of years. 

Shea butter has excellent moisturizing properties and makes a fantastic addition to oatmeal dog shampoos meant for nourishing dry skin. 

Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory that you'll sometimes find in dog shampoos, but only in small quantities as too much could stain the coat. 

How often should I bathe my dog? 

You might shower daily, but how often should you bathe your dog to keep them clean? Bathing a dog too regularly can dry out the skin, disrupt natural oils in the skin and coat and ultimately lead to dry skin or other skin issues. It's best to leave as long as possible between baths. All dogs are different, but once every three months is fine for most dogs, although you may need to squeeze in an extra bath if your dog gets extremely dirty.

Can I use human shampoo on my dog? 

Where possible, you should always use a dog shampoo, rather than a human shampoo, on your canine companion. The natural pH balance of a dog's skin is higher than that of a human's skin. Therefore, human shampoo can disrupt the acid mantle of a dog's coat. What's more, dog's skin is more sensitive than ours, so human shampoo is more likely to irritate their skin.

If you must use a human shampoo in an emergency, choose one that's as gentle as possible with natural ingredients. Baby shampoo is often the best bet because it's mild and has a non-stinging formula. Keep in mind that it may take longer to rinse out than dog shampoo. 

Where should I bathe my dog?

It's best to bathe your dog using warm water unless it's extremely hot outside, and they could use the relief of a cold bath. If you have a small dog, you can wash them in a sink. Otherwise, you'll need to use a bathtub. You can buy shower attachments that fit sink or tub faucets to make your job easier. If you don't want to use your sink or tub, you can also buy dog bathtubs, like the Flying Pig Portable Pet Tub.

Best oatmeal shampoos for dogs

Paws & Pals Oatmeal, Shea Butter & Aloe Vera Shampoo

It is a calming oatmeal dog shampoo with the welcome addition of other soothing ingredients, such as aloe and shea butter, plus turmeric for its anti-inflammatory effects. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy

Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Fragrance Free Dog & Cat Shampoo

This shampoo is perfect for dogs with sensitive skin, containing simple ingredients and fragrance-free formula. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy

Burt's Bees Oatmeal Shampoo with Colloidal Oat Flour & Honey

Made in the USA with quality ingredients designed to soothe skin, this shampoo will help dry skin and leaves dogs’ coats beautifully soft.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy


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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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