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The best antifungal shampoos for dogs

Updated November 2, 2020

Created By

Kaitlyn Arford,
You can trust these medicated and veterinary grade shampoos to soothe your dog’s sensitive skin, heal infection, and take care of that pesky itch and odor.
dog getting a shampooing

This pooch loves getting her bath on 🧼

The essentials

  • Skin infections are common in dogs— They can be caused by fungal, bacterial, or yeast infections.
  • Talk to your vet to figure out what’s causing your dog’s skin condition — If your dog has itchy skin, allergies, hot spots, or dandruff, a veterinarian can help.
  • An antifungal dog shampoo helps clear up skin issues — Your dog’s skin is sensitive. If your dog has been diagnosed with yeast, fungal, or bacterial infection, it’s time to start regularly bathing them with veterinary-grade or medicated shampoos.
  • It’s best to use a shampoo specifically for dogs — Dogs will lick their sensitive skin, so anything on a dog’s coat will end up inside their body. That’s why we recommend using only the best antifungal shampoo formatted especially for dogs.
  • The best antifungal shampoos have active chemical ingredients that fight skin infections — These shampoos give your canine companion itch relief and solve that corn chip smell.

At a glance: The best antifungal shampoos for dogs

Antifungal products 101: What makes a good shampoo?

Many of the most effective antifungal shampoos contain similar ingredients. Key must-have ingredients for a good antifungal shampoo are:

  • An antifungal ingredient (like ketoconazole or miconazole) to help your dog’s skin problems
  • Moisturizers to help repair and replenish the skin
  • Soothing additions (like aloe vera) to comfort, cool, and reduce your dog’s inflammation
  • Deodorizing agents to cure odors caused by skin infections

Generally, antifungal shampoos should have active ingredients to fight fungal and bacterial infections, even mange. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations about specific ingredients to look for depending on your dog’s infection. You’ll want to avoid fragrances as artificial fragrances may irritate your dog’s skin more. These fragrances just add a scent, while deodorizers absorb or eliminate odors.

Antifungal shampoos can affect how effective flea and tick prevention products are, so your pup may need to take oral flea and tick medication instead.

👉 Don’t use any human shampoos on your dog. They can harm your pup.

It’s best to talk to a veterinarian. If they have a yeast infection, your dog must be seen by a vet. Also, check to see if the shampoo is safe for puppies or small breeds.

The difference between veterinary grade and medicated products

The two terms are interchangeable, but veterinary-grade shampoos have a higher concentration of medicating ingredients. Most veterinary-grade shampoos are available on Amazon and Chewy, though sometimes these shampoos are prescriptions.

Medicated dog shampoos have ingredients that treat skin diseases. All antifungal shampoos are medicated since they are formulated to treat fungal conditions. Shampoo may be antifungal but not medicated if it only has natural ingredients.

The difference between antifungal and antiparasitic

Antifungal and antiparasitic are not the same thing. Antiparasitic products are what they say: medications that treat parasitic diseases. Antifungal medications are used to limit or prevent the growth of yeast or another fungus.

The two most common types of fungal infections

Yeast infections

Yeast infections (Malassezia) are very common causes of skin disease in dogs. While yeast is normally found on the skin, abnormal overgrowths can lead to inflammation. Yeast infections are not contagious.

Yeast infections may develop in dogs because of hot weather, skin irritation, skin folds, bacterial infections, or medication. Underlying skin diseases like atopic dermatitis can also lead to yeast infections.

Certain breeds like the basset hound, golden retriever, and cocker spaniel are more likely to develop yeast infections.

Ringworm

Ringworm is another common type of fungal infection that affects the top layers of the skin, hair, and nails. Don’t worry, it doesn’t involve worms: ringworm gets its name because it causes ring-shaped patches of hair loss and skin lesions. Unlike yeast infections, ringworm is contagious to both dogs and humans.