You already know not to use human shampoo on your furbabies, right? Good! Their skin has different pH to humans and our products are possibly irritant to their skin. Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about choosing the best pet shampoo for your furbaby.

How do you define “best”?

The idea of the “best” pet shampoo may vary wildly. We love Aloveen here at My Vet because it’s super soothing. (I was once so desperate to try oatmeal; I put oats in a sock to make a soak for my dog – it didn’t work. Aloveen is just easier.) If your dog has sensitive skin, this should be your go-to. Love it.

Aloveen oatmeal shampoo


Mediderm has personally worked wonders on my dog – because he has terrible skin allergies and gets a skin infection whenever it rains; he’s less crusty and less itchy and his fur is growing so well. But others might find the smell a bit…off. Plus, you might not need it if your dog has normal skin.

Or, you might want to choose a product that reflects your beliefs: organic ingredients only, made in Australia, eco-friendly, or all of the above! And that’s fine.

Much like human skincare, we buy into the hype of certain ingredients. Maybe it’s coconut oil one day or argan oil the next or turmeric or fish oil. That’s fine. I like pampering myself with the occasional fancy mask – even if there’s no science behind it – there’s no reason you shouldn’t splurge on Aesop shampoo for your furbaby. And I have a good source who tells me that the Aesop shampoo smells fantastic.

Mediderm shampoo


Aesop animal shampoo


To the science!

Your furbaby’s shampoo isn’t just for fur, it’s for skin too! But there isn’t a lot of cat or dog-specific science for dermatology, so a lot of it is extrapolated from human dermatology. Much like the mantra of human skincare, though, the ingredients that works miracles in one furbaby might not work for the next.

Plus, you have to consider which ingredients matter. For example, we’ve generally accepted that vitamins B3 (niacinamide) and B5 (pantothenic acid) are powerhouses for skin; they are excellent at maintaining the skin-barrier. But if it’s in shampoo, the efficacy of these vitamins is variable – they might not have adequate time to penetrate deeply enough into skin before getting washed away.

The same goes with many of the other extracts that sound like a good idea – be it yucca or blueberry or rosemary. There might be absolutely nothing to back up the fantastic effects they claim to have AND you might be washing it off before they can do anything.

The shampoo means nothing to me, hooman.


All you really need for a non-medicated pet shampoo to work is:

– a surfactant (to get rid of the dirt)

– an emollient (so the skin doesn’t dry out)

– the right pH

If you need a medicated shampoo, come talk to us! We can pick the shampoo that best targets the issue your furbaby is having.

At the end of the day …

If your furbaby has no issues, pamper them with whatever you please as long as it’s a pet shampoo with nothing toxic in it.

We still, personally, love Aloveen. The science behind Aloveen is sound – oatmeal has excellent anti-inflammatory properties and aloe vera is a nice emollient with anti-inflammatory properties – and that’s exactly why we recommend it.

As a skincare nerd, I’m game for discussing any shampoos. If you have any questions, feel free to call us or e-mail us or just drop by to say hello!

Do you have a favourite shampoo for your furbaby? What do you love about it? Let us know in comments!

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