This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Which oatmeal dog shampoo is best?

Oatmeal has soothing and moisturizing properties that are great for your dog’s skin as well as your own. Oatmeal dog shampoo is a favorite for pet owners who have dogs with allergies or sensitive skin. Oatmeal is also a popular ingredient in flea and tick shampoo and is used to alleviate hot spots. The Tropiclean Oatmeal And Tea Tree Pet Shampoo is a product with great ingredients that will leave your dog feeling fresh, happy and clean.

What to know before you buy oatmeal dog shampoo


Oatmeal dog shampoos are made with natural ingredients such as oats, vitamin E, aloe vera, honey and/or milk. Fragrance-free is a good label to look for as it’s gentler for a dog’s sensitive skin. Oatmeal shampoos are typically plant-based and hypoallergenic. Many contain shea butter to give your dog a smooth, shiny coat.

When to use it

It’s a good idea to bathe a short-haired dog about once every two months. If your dog has curly hair or long hair, then more frequent monthly or weekly baths are necessary. If it’s active and spends a lot of time outside, then once every two months might not be enough. Don’t overdo it with bathing, though, as this can lead to dry or irritated skin that leaves your dog scratching. 

How to use it

While you should consult the bottle for specific instructions, in most cases, you can pour a dime’s worth of shampoo into your hand and rub it into your dog’s damp fur. Rub it in all over to create a good lather before rinsing. 

Even a dog shampoo with nourishing ingredients should be rinsed well before your dog gets dried off. Leftover shampoo residue isn’t great for your dog’s skin. It also gives dirt and grime something to cling to and can make your dog’s hair sticky or matted instead of soft and fresh. 

What to look for in quality oatmeal dog shampoo

No harsh chemicals

You don’t want harsh chemicals in your shampoo, and you don’t want any in your dog’s shampoo either. Dog shampoo is always better with natural ingredients that are good for your dog’s health and won’t dry out your dog’s skin. Ingredients to avoid include phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde, mineral oil, artificial colors and preservatives. An alcohol-free shampoo is best, as it’s gentler on the skin. 


A good shampoo that cleans your dog’s fur will remove odors, which is what you want. However, you should avoid perfumed fragrances. Just because a shampoo isn’t artificially scented doesn’t mean it won’t smell good. Natural ingredients like honey, eucalyptus, orange and lavender smell amazing but won’t harm your dog’s skin.

Shampoo and conditioner combo

If your dog doesn’t like getting a bath and you want to limit how long your pup spends in the tub, a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner can help save time. While plenty of oatmeal shampoos are gentle on the skin, they are primarily designed to clean. A dog with extra-dry skin still benefits from a conditioning product. A shampoo and conditioner combo puts all the best ingredients in one bottle.

How much you can expect to spend on oatmeal dog shampoo

Oatmeal dog shampoo generally costs $6-$20 for a 12-20 ounce bottle.

Oatmeal dog shampoo FAQ

Can you use human oatmeal shampoo on a dog?

A. Some human shampoos are safer for dogs than others, but it’s a good idea to refrain from using human shampoo on a pet. The human shampoo will clean fur but might irritate your dog’s skin or cause a reaction. If you must use human shampoo in a pinch, use baby shampoo, as it is the gentlest. 

What is medicated dog shampoo?

A. A shampoo with “medicated” in the title means that there are active ingredients tailored to help with specific skin conditions. Consult a veterinarian before using medicated shampoo.

What’s the best oatmeal dog shampoo to buy?

Top oatmeal dog shampoo

Tropiclean Oatmeal And Tea Tree Pet Shampoo

Tropiclean Oatmeal And Tea Tree Pet Shampoo

What you need to know: This is a 20-ounce bottle of medicated dog shampoo formulated to soothe dry or itchy skin.

What you’ll love: It’s made with natural plant ingredients and helps with itchy skin. It’s paraben, soap and dye-free. It lathers nicely and leaves your dog’s fur feeling soft and clean.

What you should consider: Some people like the smell but others are bothered by it.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Chewy and PetSmart

Top oatmeal dog shampoo for the money

Wahl Dry Skin And Itch-Relief Oatmeal Formula Shampoo For Dogs

Wahl Dry Skin And Itch-Relief Oatmeal Formula Shampoo For Dogs

What you need to know: This is a 24-ounce bottle of oatmeal dog shampoo formulated to moisturize and provide itch relief.

What you’ll love: It’s pH balanced and is great for dogs with sensitive skin. It’s alcohol and paraben-free. It has a fresh coconut lime verbena scent. It doesn’t dry out the skin and leaves fur feeling very soft.

What you should consider: It’s marketed as allergy-friendly but does not work for all skin allergies.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

John Paul Pet Sensitive Skin Formula Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

John Paul Pet Sensitive Skin Formula Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

What you need to know: This is a 16-ounce bottle of oatmeal dog shampoo designed to soothe itchy skin.

What you’ll love: It’s made with gentle ingredients such as aloe, chamomile and other all-natural botanical extracts. It has a pleasant almond scent. It moisturizes well and doesn’t dry out the skin.

What you should consider: The scent doesn’t last once your dog dries. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals. 

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


Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.