Shampoo Allergies Average Cost

From 493 quotes ranging from $200 - 500

Average Cost

$250

First Walk is on Us!

✓ GPS tracked walks
✓ Activity reports
✓ On-demand walkers
Book FREE Walk

Jump to Section

What is Shampoo Allergies ?

Contact allergies are caused by the aggressive response of specialized immune cells to an allergen. When an allergen activates the immune system, it manufactures a protein that causes the immune cells to release histamine, a naturally occurring compound that has an inflammatory effect on the tissues it comes into contact with. Shampoos for dogs can contain a number of ingredients that can cause skin irritation and even allergic reactions. These reactions usually occur rather rapidly after exposure and often become more intense with repeated applications.

Shampoo allergies are an overactive reaction of the cell of the immune system to a protein within the shampoo that the canine body sees as an intruder.

Book First Walk Free!

Symptoms of Shampoo Allergies in Dogs

  • Bald patches
  • Blister-like lesions
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Chronically inflamed feet
  • Face rubbing
  • Head shaking
  • Hives
  • Obsessive licking
  • Paw biting
  • Skin infections
  • Skin rashes
  • Swelling, particularly around the face
  • Ulcerations on skin

Contact allergies can sometimes progress to anaphylactic shock. If the following symptoms occur, take your pet to the nearest veterinary office or animal emergency clinic

Types

There are several varieties of shampoo available that can help relieve symptoms related to allergies:

  • Glycoprotein shampoos - Shampoos with glycoproteins help to soothe pain and inflammation caused by allergic reactions
  • Hypoallergenic shampoos - Hypoallergenic shampoos are designed to be easy on the skin, and are generally free of the harsher chemicals; hey are often designed to be easier to rinse off and can contain products to ease itching, such as oatmeal and aloe vera 
  • Medicated shampoos - Shampoos that include antihistamines and corticosteroids are helpful in reducing swelling and itching; these types of shampoos should be used with caution as they may cause problems if ingested

Causes of Shampoo Allergies in Dogs

There are several chemicals and other compounds in dog grooming products that can cause contact dermatitis, through either irritation or allergic reaction.

Common irritants

  • 2-Bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (a preservative)
  • Benzyl alcohol (preservative)
  • Cetearyl alcohol (conditioning ingredient)
  • Coal tar (anti-dandruff ingredient)
  • Cocamide DEA (foam booster and foam stabilizer)
  • Cocamidopropyl betaine (foam booster, mild cleanser)
  • Colorants
  • DMDM hydantoin (preservative)
  • Imidazolidinyl urea (preservative)
  • Lanolin and lanolin derivatives (emollient)
  • Propylene glycol (humectant)
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate/SLS (degreaser)
  • Sorbitan palmitate (emulsifier)
  • Stearyl alcohol (conditioner ingredient)
  • Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

Common allergens 

  • 1-Bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (preservative)
  • Botanicals
  • Cetyl alcohol
  • Cocamide DEA (foam booster and foam stabilizer)
  • Cocamide MEA (foam booster & stabilizer)
  • Cocamide MIPA (emulsifier)
  • Coconut oil (emollient)
  • Essential oils
  • Fragrance
  • Glyceryl stearate (emulsifier)
  • Isopropanolamine (preservative)
  • Lanolin
  • Limonene
  • Methylchloroisothiasolinone & methylisothiasolinone (preservatives)
  • Petrolatum 
  • Propylene glycol (emollient)
  • Stearyl alcohol

Diagnosis of Shampoo Allergies in Dogs

The general physical should reveal allergy symptoms that will most likely prompt your veterinarian to collect a skin scraping. The skin samples obtained will then be examined by cutaneous cytology, a microscopic evaluation of the skin cells completed in order to search for problems like mites or yeast infections. Allergies to the compounds found in shampoos can manifest anywhere on the body, although true allergic reactions are often centered around the face and groin areas, as well as under the front legs and between the toes. 

The timing of the response combined with the dog’s symptoms may help make a preliminary diagnosis, at which time your veterinarian may recommend a patch test, also known as an intradermal skin test. Miniscule amounts of the suspected antigens are injected under the skin so that a localized reaction can be induced. The antigens introduced in this situation are likely to be ingredients within the shampoo or other grooming products that your dog appears to be reacting to. Many doctors choose to try to diagnose which allergen is causing the reaction by eliminating suspected allergens from the environment first, in this case, changing to an entirely different shampoo.

Treatment of Shampoo Allergies in Dogs

If you are able to determine the cause of the allergic reaction, you may be able to treat it without a visit to the veterinarian. Any skin that had contact with the shampoo should be completely rinsed in cool water as soon as possible to minimize exposure. Your veterinarian may be able to recommend an appropriate dosage of over-the-counter antihistamine like Benadryl to give your pet to ease the symptoms, or may choose to prescribe topical or oral antihistamines or corticosteroids. Caution should be employed during application of hydrocortisone creams, as ingestion could cause gastric distress. 

Medications such as corticosteroid injections or oral tablets are usually very efficient in reducing the signs and symptoms of allergy, but they are only recommended when other treatments have failed as they have some serious side effects. If your pet is showing signs of anaphylactic shock, treatment will need to begin before a definitive diagnosis is received. Epinephrine will be administered upon your arrival to the veterinarian’s office and supportive therapies such as IV fluids and oxygen are likely to be started at that time as well.

Recovery of Shampoo Allergies in Dogs

Canine contact allergies can be just as unsightly and uncomfortable for our canine companions as they are for us and continuing treatment can be more than just cosmetic. Skin that has been damaged by allergic reactions is prone to developing bacterial infections, and either oral or topical antibiotics will be prescribed if this occurs. It is essential that your pet completes the full measure of their antibiotic medication even if the symptoms seem to have subsided. Stopping the medication before the infection is completely eradicated may cause the infection to reoccur. Quite often a simple switch in the choice of shampoos is enough to ease the allergic response.

Shampoo Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Isabella
Pug poodle mix
1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Swollen paw
Red skin,red paws,irritating skin, chews on paws

i showered my dig with hartz shampoo and she strated to get red skin and paws her paws look ablittle swollen I want to know if she's having an allergic reaction what can i do about without going to the vet her skin looks a little irritating and she bits her paws

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2950 Recommendations

Thoroughly rinse Isabella’s body to ensure that all traces of the shampoo has been removed from her body; give her 1mg/lb of Benadryl twice per day to see if there is a reduction in the level of irritation. If you see no improvement by tomorrow (Monday) morning, take her to your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Isabella 's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Belle
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
8 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Bathed in Malaseb earlier today - hours later her paws are swollen and sore and licking excessively . Face throat swollen with lesions to cheeks and gums swelling and sore.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2950 Recommendations
If you are noticing swelling around the throat and face I would highly recommend you visit your Veterinarian immediately for evaluation; you should also call the Bayer Veterinary Technical Services on 800-422-9874 (USA) to report this event and to get advice based on previous events. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Belle's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Mudder
Boxer Mix
3 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Irritation
red underneath paws
bare spots
Itching

My dog has developed bare spots on his rib cage area and flanks on both sides. His feet have also turned to a reddish color. We are not sure what is going on. I have been browsing the interweb and can't quite figure it out. Stuck somewhere between allergies, reaction to shampoo, and canine alopachea. Any help would be great.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2950 Recommendations
There are many different possible causes for the symptoms you’re describing which may include food allergies, parasites, infections, hormonal conditions, other allergies (shampoo, environment etc…) among other causes. Without an examination it is difficult to say what the cause may be, if the alopecia is symmetrical it may be indicative of a hormonal condition; however, you should visit your Veterinarian to fast track to an underlying cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Mudder's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Cooper
Golden Retriever
11 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Bumpy skin

Medication Used

none

I used this foamy good smelling dry dog shampoo on Cooper this past weekend when we went to visit my dad before putting him in the car bc we played him hard and he was a little smelly. Then like 2 days later I noticed he had bumps on his skin. They don’t seem to hurt him he lets me look at them pretty good under the fur. The look kind of whiteish and crusty but from the surface when I let him they feel like “pimples or bumps” I guess. Could he have had a reaction to the dry shampoo? We r going to the vet tomorrow morning to have her take a look but should I give him a good bath tonight? I’m worried that the dry shampoo will give him cancer after some of the things I’ve read on other sites!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2950 Recommendations
It would be useful to give Cooper a thorough rinse after bathing him with a sensitive shampoo; it is possible that Cooper had a reaction to the dry shampoo which lead to some skin irritation. You should visit your Veterinarian for a check in the morning to see if the underlying cause is anything different or anything to be concerned about, but still give him a good bath tonight. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Cooper's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Zeus
English Bulldog
4 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Red Bumps

My little brother showered my bulldog with human shampoo and his skin started getting red and irritated and he's getting bald spot on his legs and back, is there an allergy medication OTC we can give him

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2950 Recommendations
Bathe Zeus again with a canine sensitive shampoo and give him some Benadryl at a dose of 1mg/lb twice per day; bathe him twice today and after keep a close eye on him. Check the ingredients on the shampoo bottle to see if there are any ingredients dangerous to dogs (there are a lot) as you may need to visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

I have tried lots of different sensitive dog shampoos, I still have not found one that does not make my chief breakout in hives what should i use on him he is so sensitive?

Add a comment to Zeus's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Bella
Yorkshire Terrier
4 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Redness
Biting
Itching

My dog has fleas. So I bathed her in some flea and tick shampoo, however I noticed her belly is becoming more red and she’s still itching. I’m not sure if this is from the fleas, the shampoo I used, or a combination of both. I think it could be both and she has a skin sensitivity to the shampoo but I’m not sure what else to do.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1375 Recommendations
Bella may be having an allergic reaction to the fleas, the shampoo, or something unrelated. Since the shampoo hasn't helped, it would be a good idea to have her seen by a veterinarian, as they can look at her, determine what might be happening, and recommend any treatment that she may need.

Add a comment to Bella's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Chief
Pit bull
2 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Hives

We have tried so many sensitive puppy and adult dog soaps and Chief breakouts in hives every time what should we use? should we just use baby shampoo? what recommendations do you have for a pit bull with very sensitive skin?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2950 Recommendations
It really is a case of trial and error until you find a shampoo which he can tolerate (sometimes there are no shortcuts (try to track ingredients to see if you can narrow in on ones which may be causing a reaction, there are so many I couldn’t recommend just one and I don’t know what you’ve already tried; as for baby shampoo, read our article linked below on the subject. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM https://wagwalking.com/sense/can-dogs-use-baby-shampoo

Add a comment to Chief's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Pepa
Mixed
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Red Bumps
Hair Loss

I have just bought a shampoo that was suppose to help with deskunking my dog, I've washed him in it for a few weeks. I have major hair loss on his neck. Should I start shampooing him in oatmeal and aloe? Or should I ask the vet what to use.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2950 Recommendations
You should bathe Pepa with a mild sensitive hypoallergenic canine shampoo available from a local pet shop; bathe Pepa two or three times over the next week and look for any improvement. If there is no regrowth of hair or hair continues to fall out you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Pepa's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Wrigley
Shih Tzu
2 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Itching, hot spots, watery eyes.

Shampoo ingredients that cause my dog to be extremely itchy after bathing are aloe vera and coconut oil (or derivatives of coconut). Fragrances also irritate him and we avoid any shampoos with oatmeal contained in it because it also makes him itch. He has an allergy to grains. I need assistance in finding a shampoo that is fragrance-free with no coconut or aloe. We found that the Chris Christensen Peace & Kindness shampoo works great for him but it should not be used near his eyes. So I'm also looking for a tear-less shampoo to use on his head and face. Any help would be great. We've tried numerous shampoos and even a medicated one from our vet, but the medicated one even had fragrance in it and caused him to itch.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2950 Recommendations
It is very difficult to find a shampoo which fulfils all of your criteria, there are shampoos which have natural fragrance (not artificial or chemical) but the closest I was able to find is linked to below. Also, speak with pet shops in your area as there may be locally available natural companies which may have a suitable product for you. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.anicura.co.uk/dogs/product/shampoo/

Add a comment to Wrigley's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Pippin (pip)
Small chichuaua mix
8 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Feverish, splotchy skin,no appetite

Medication Used

none

I noticed my dog scratching and biting herself constantly she also would lick herself and I bathed her in a oatmeal shampoo to see if it would calm it down and it didn’t work I have also had to treat her for ear mites and wasn’t certain of what would be the cause for her to do this so while searching for something to ease her itching I found a spray called Natural Care ➕ hot spot and itch relief with tea tree oil aloe Vera and chamomile and alcohol free it says it helps with all types of allergies and it seemed to help her but didn’t last very long and says not to spray near the eyes gentials or mouth but she still chewed herself even after being stayed but never seemed to bother her so I ran across a Medicated shampoo called Veterinary formula clinic care hot spot & itch relief medicated shampoo hoping to stop her digging and stuff all together that your to use twice a week it also contains lidocaine hydrocortisone and colloidal oatmeal says it’s paraben and soap free and a anti inflammatory and analgesic I have bathe her in it and it seemed to calm her itching and made her coat shinny the second time it done the same but I. Noticed a couple of days after she seemed like she was feeling bad that was about 4 or 5 days ago the past 3 days she hasn’t been herself at all she is sleeping all the time not very active and when she breaths sound like she had a cold they are short breaths but not rapid or anything..she also feels a little feverish..she don’t have much of an appetite and hasn’t eaten anything day but still drinks water. I bathe her hoping to make her feel a little better in the shampoo again last night and this evening I noticed little red dots on her stomach and genitalia but she doesn’t seem like it’s bothering her could all her symptoms be from an allergic reaction to the medicated shampoo

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1375 Recommendations
Pip's signs could be from a number of things, including a bacterial or fungal infection, parasites, allergies, or a reaction. Since I can't see her, and there are a number of possible causes, it would be best to have her examined by a veterinarian, as they will be able to look at her, recommend any needed tests or treatments, and get her feeling better.

Add a comment to Pippin (pip)'s experience

Was this experience helpful?

Gwen
Chiweenie
6 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

scratching
Biting
Bits of dried blood
Red skin near tail

Bathed my dog with a flea and tick shampoo. She doesn’t have fleas, just had that shampoo on hand and used it. She’s been scratching and biting ever since, for about 3 days now. It’s calmed down but I can tell it’s still bothering her. She’s mostly biting and scratching around the base of her tail. I noticed today that she has some dried bits of blood near the base of her tail. We gave her half a benedryl the day we bathed her and the next day I gave her an oatmeal bath. I’m concerned about the dried blood near her tail.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2950 Recommendations
If Gwen is biting herself this much, it may be a case of placing a cone on her to stop her from injuring herself; you should bathe the area where she bit herself with a dilute antiseptic and give her another general bath with a sensitive shampoo to try and get everything out. Other than that, it would be a case of waiting for the effects of the shampoo to decrease in severity. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Gwen's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Max
American Stafforshire bull terrier
1year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Skin Lump

Washed my dog with Purina medicated dog shampoo and now has raised bumps on a majority his body, not sure if it's an allergic reaction or skin parasite. He doesn't show any sign of discomfort

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2950 Recommendations
It is possible that Max has had an allergic reaction to the shampoo; you can try giving him some Benadryl at a dose of 1mg/lb two to three times per day to see if there is any improvement. If there is no improvement, rinse him again to remove any remaining shampoo; if the bumps do not disappear, visit your Veterinarian for an examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Max's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Bean
Chiuawa
12 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

I took my dog to a new groomer and now he’s been non stop scratching for weeks.. there are no signs of anything on his skin besides 1 scab that looked like it was scratched off and blood.. but how can I make this go away?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2950 Recommendations
It is possible that Bean is having a reaction to a shampoo or other product used in the new groomers; you should bathe Bean with a sensitive shampoo weekly until the itching stops. Also find out from the groomer which product they used so that you can prevent this being used on Bean in the future. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Bean's experience

Was this experience helpful?