Updated October 4, 2023
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Many of the most effective antifungal shampoos contain similar ingredients. Key must-have ingredients for a good antifungal shampoo are:
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 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.
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.
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 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.