6 Best Dog Shampoos & Conditioners For Akitas in 2019

Akitas are well known for being a loyal, protective breed that loves to self-clean (in a similar fashion to a cat). However, they are also reasonably susceptible to skin conditions and they can shed quite a bit too – which makes picking the best shampoo for Akitas on the market a reasonably important task.

With that in mind, today we are going to provide you with a very detailed guide on how to care for the coat and skin of your adorable Akita. We’re going to talk about general topics like grooming tips and bathing techniques, and we’re going to get into some nitty gritty details about the kinds of properties you want a good shampoo for Akitas to have.

Towards the end of this article, we’re going to provide you with an in-depth and impartial review section where we look at several shampoos and conditioners to provide you with 6 product recommendations that we think are perfect for the breed.

Let’s get started.

Popular Types Of Akita Shampoos

As we briefly mentioned in the introduction to this article, the Akita has two main considerations that need to be taken into account when picking the perfect shampoo for the breed – shedding and skin issues.

Skin Issues

The Akita is generally a very healthy breed, however, they are known to be more at risk of contracting some skin conditions that can end up being reasonably serious. Because of this, you need to be very active in inspecting the condition of your Akita’s skin whenever you groom them. If you see redness or dryness you should consider changing shampoo and check for any potential allergies.

Sebaceous Adenitis is a horrible skin issue that Akitas suffer from and needs professional medical attention. It can easily be misinterpreted for a common allergy or skin condition, so if your dog’s skin problem doesn’t disappear on its own after changing up your shampoo and trying to remove any potential allergens, book an appointment with the vet.

However, 9 times out of 10 redness and dryness can be solved by simply changing your shampoo for one that is designed to treat these conditions. Mild skin issues can often be resolved by simple infusions in formulas like aloe vera and green tea extract. If the problem is more severe you may need a non-prescription medicated shampoo that uses powerful chemicals designed to treat the problem.

Shedding Control

Akitas are a reasonably low shedding breed for most of the year, however, there are potentially two molting seasons that can cause you (and your household cleanliness) a whole heap of hassle.

These two periods usually coincide with the start of summer and the start of winter. When your dog’s body detects temperatures dropping (or rising) they begin to shed their current coat to make way for a new one. Thicker coats will come through in the winter, and lighter coats will come through in the summer.

This may not happen to your Akita, the severity of the shedding and the triggers that cause it are entirely environmental (according to our current understanding). If you live in an area that has very little seasonal climate variation throughout the year then you may escape these huge shedding sessions entirely. Similarly, if your Akita is an indoor dog and only really goes outside when they are walked, there’s a good chance they might not take part in this seasonal shedding (because we keep a reasonably consistent temperature in our homes all year round).

Either way, if you have a pooch that sheds like this – there’s not much you can do to stop it.

However, you can reduce the amount of hair that is shed (and the amount of cleaning you need to do) by using a dedicated deshedding shampoo. They are not a magic bullet, but if you and your Akita are going through a serious shedding session together – they can make a surprisingly noticeable difference.

2 Tips On Maintaining The Perfect Akita Coat

So now we know a little bit about the skin conditions that the breed suffers from, and we know about the shedding issues that can happen throughout the two main molting seasons. Now we’re going to share a few little hints and tips that will make your grooming routine a little bit easier for both you and your pooch.

Remember These Areas When Grooming

The Akita has a few specific areas on their body that require a little more attention when grooming. Just below the ears is one of the most notorious sections, the thicker undercoat of the breed is particularly thick here and tangles very easily. You should also spend a little more time than usual checking around the collar, and where the legs join the body for the same reasons.

If you notice matting or tangling, ensure you get it all out the first time around. Even the slightest bit of matting can cause a compound effect that will make your next grooming session more difficult for you, and more uncomfortable for your pooch.

Groom Them From A Young Age

Grooming is going to be a reasonably large part of your Akita’s life. You’re going to be grooming them almost daily if they are going through one of their two shedding seasons, and at least weekly for the rest of the year.

As you can imagine, it’s important that your pooch is happy with being groomed from a very young age. If they get a dislike for grooming when they are a puppy, it’s difficult for them to unlearn the negative association when they get older.

Within a few days of getting your puppy home, you should start almost daily grooming sessions. These sessions are not required for the grooming benefits – they’re sensitivity training that gets your pooch used to the idea of being brushed. Reward them with treats from the very beginning, if the grooming brush itself is a distraction then “groom” them with your hand at first – when they get used to it, switch to the brush again.

Overall Best Shampoo for Akitas

Buddy Wash Relaxing Green Tea & Bergamot Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

So now we are getting to the most interesting and useful part of the article – the product review section. We’ve spent countless hours reading the ingredient lists and deciphering the formulas of almost every reputable dog shampoo on the market to be able to make the recommendations we’re about to share with you below.

Note: We’re an entirely impartial site with no particular affiliation to any shampoo brand – these are our honest recommendations.

We found it reasonably easy to find the products we are going to recommend to you today. The specific requirements of the Akita (skin issues and deshedding) narrowed down the potential options for us significantly. We’re going to talk about the runners up and a few situation specific products in a moment, but our overall recommendation for the best shampoo for Akitas in 2019 is the awesome Relaxing Green Tea & Bergamot Dog Shampoo & Conditioner by Buddy Wash.

Buddy Wash are the kings of the dog shampoo world. You might not have heard of them before, but to those of us in the industry – they’re the champions. Their products are always of an exceptional quality, they’re gentle and natural, and they’re extremely well priced too.

This is a product that lives up to the reputation of the brand with ease. It’s an entirely soap free and alcohol-free formula that’s super gentle on the skin of your pooch. It uses a coconut-based formula that combines with a huge number of other natural cleansing agents to sanitize and deodorize your pooch efficiently and gently.

There are a nice rosemary and mint infusion in this product that leaves your pooch smelling great after the bathing session is completed. However, the thing that we really like about these additions is the aromatherapy style benefits they provide. They’ll soothe your pooch in the tub and make them relaxed (perhaps feeling like they are at a doggy day spa).

While the above features are nice, the real reason we chose this product as our overall recommendation is the conditioner in the formula – it was almost custom made for Akitas.

It’s an all natural conditioner that uses extracts like sage, rosemary, green tea, and chamomile that work in perfect harmony with one another to provide you with some serious benefits. It’s going to nourish each individual hair on your dog’s coat to ensure it’s as healthy as possible – leaving them looking great and reducing shedding at the same time.

There’s also a huge amount of aloe vera in this product, which is something that’s very important considering the skin issues of the breed. Aloe vera is famous for being one of mother nature’s best skin care products that moisturizes, cleanses, and nourishes dry or damaged skin with astounding efficacy. As such, this is a great product to prevent the occurrence of skin issues, and it’s also perfectly suited to treating any mild conditions that may already be present.

It’s a US made product and only uses cosmetic grade natural ingredients. The cherry on top for us is the price of this shampoo, at only around $7 for a 16oz bottle – it’s great value for money.

There’s nothing not to like about this product, it does everything you could want a good shampoo for Akitas to do – and it does it without breaking the bank. Unless you’ve got a specific reason to try something else – we strongly suggest you add this awesome shampoo from Buddy Wash to the very top of your shortlist.

4-Legger Hypo-Allergenic, Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo

Runner Up – We really liked the look of the Hypo-Allergenic, Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo by 4-Legger when we were reviewing the products in this article – and it’s easily the second-best shampoo for Akitas on the market right now.

4-Legger is perhaps a little less well known in the pet shampoo industry when compared to Buddy Wash, but they’re still a respected brand with a great reputation. Like the product we chose as our overall recommendation, it’s an all-natural shampoo without a single solitary chemical anywhere in the product. This is something that 4-Legger take very seriously, and they have even submitted their product to the USDA for certification (who deemed it as “Organic to an exceptional standard”).

It’s a soap-free, alcohol-free, cruelty-free vegan product that uses lemongrass as the main active cleansing ingredient in its formula. As you may already know lemongrass is a kind of super material in the world of natural cleaners – it’s antibacterial, antimicrobial, and it has pest repellent properties too. It’ll deodorize your pooch as good as any other natural shampoo on the market, and it’ll leave them smelling zesty fresh after the bath is over too.

There’s a great conditioner in this shampoo too that is made from an advanced blend of essential oils, vitamins, and minerals. Again, like our overall pick, the conditioner will strengthen the hairs on your pooch and ensure they remain firmly attached to their body (instead of being all over your floor). The conditioner also leaves your pooch with a lovely glossy shine to their coat that will make them look picture perfect for days after the bathing session is over. We really like the fact that there’s a very healthy amount of aloe vera in this product (arguably more than in the Buddy Wash shampoo above) that provides the same skin soothing and healing properties we talked about earlier.

It’s a great product, from a great brand, the only problem is the price – it’s around $15 for a 16oz bottle.

This is a concentrated formula, and you’ll need to use less per bathing session, but there’s no getting around the fact it’s a more expensive product. If you can afford the additional cost we think it’s great value for money, and it’s more than worthy of your consideration.

Supreme Odor Control Natural Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner

Best Akita Puppy Shampoo – Puppy Akitas are a little more delicate than adult Akitas, and as such, they need a gentler shampoo that’s specifically designed for their younger more fragile skin. The Supreme Odor Control Natural Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner by Nature’s Miracle is our recommendation for young Akita pups – and it’s a great product at a great price.

It provides all natural, soap-free cleaning performance and it has an excellent conditioner in the formula too. It’s not as powerful as the products above (which is intentional) but it’ll ensure your pup stays happy and clean throughout the messiest and most adventurous time of their life.

The best thing about this product for us is the fact that it’s a tear-free formula – getting shampoo in the eyes hurts dogs the same way it hurts us humans. It’s important that your pooch enjoys bath time from a young age – because it’s hard to get rid of the negative associations that can be created from painful soapy eyes when puppies become adults.

3 More Top Rated Dog Shampoos For Akitas

We’re going to quickly conclude our recommendation section with a few other products that didn’t quite make it to the top spots above that are still worthy of your consideration.

Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo By Earthbath

This is a great product from a great brand that helps reduce itching caused by dry skin. It’s all natural and uses the cleaning power of oatmeal to deodorize and clean. It creates a nice thick lather, and the conditioner inside the formula will nourish your dog’s hair and skin effectively.

We love the delicious vanilla and almond scent this product leaves behind, the bottle almost smells good enough to drink (but don’t do this, regardless of how tempting it is). It’s a nice alternative to our overall pick if you wanted a little more choice and we think that you should consider adding it to your shortlist.

Paws & Pals Oatmeal, Shea Butter & Aloe Vera Shampoo

This is a great product if your pooch is suffering from skin issues that are mild to moderate in severity. It’s got a huge amount of power inside the formula that has been designed to soothe and nourish damaged skin with ease. There’s aloe vera, shea butter, green tea extract and a bunch of other essential oils inside that’ll do all they can to reduce redness, discomfort, and dryness without resorting to harsh chemical compounds. The cleaning power of this product is also top class, and it’ll deodorize your pooch without breaking the bank at $11 for a massive 20oz bottle.

Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog & Cat Shampoo

If your dog’s skin doesn’t get better after using the product above (or if it’s an issue that’s a little more serious) then this is a product that you should consider.

This is a chemical based shampoo that’s one of the most powerful over the counter (non-prescription) products you can find designed to treat skin issues. It’s not cheap, it’s not gentle, but it’s one of the best products on the market if your pooch is seriously suffering.

Note: If the redness doesn’t improve after using this product, you should book a vets appointment – it could easily be something more serious.

6 Tips On Bathing Your Akita

Now we’ve shared with you what we think are 6 of the best Akita shampoos on the market we wanted to give you a few handy hints and tips to make your life easier when bathing the breed.

Brush Before Grooming

Some people think that grooming before bathing is only required for long-haired breeds, but that’s not the case. The Akita needs to be properly groomed before any bathing session can begin.

Removing loose hair is one of the main benefits of this that any breed will benefit from, but the Akita has some pretty specific matting points that we talked about earlier – which need special attention before getting wet (the bottom of the ears, the collar, and where the legs join the body).

If you fail to groom these areas properly before bath time the matting that is very common there effectively becomes a big sponge. It can hold on to water extremely well, which can cause some pretty undesirable consequences. The matted areas will take much longer to dry than the other areas of the body, even if you towel dry your pooch. Because of this bacteria will grow there very quickly, and your pooch will start to stink much sooner than they should.

Give them a quick groom before bathing begins, and this issue goes away entirely.

Put Steel Wool In The Sink

The medium-sized hairs of the Akita may not seem like a huge issue for drainage systems, but over time they can cause havoc with your plumbing. There’s nothing you can do to stop your pooch shedding in the tub when you scrub and rinse them (and you shouldn’t try to stop it either), however, you can stop the hairs making it down the drain in the first place.

Simply place a piece of steel wool in the plug hole before you start bathing your pooch and you’ll catch almost all the hair that is removed from your dog before it causes issues. The first time you do this can be quite an eye-opening experience, we can pretty much guarantee that you’re going to discover that more hair was going down your plug hole than you previously thought.

Put A Towel Down In The Tub

We are willing to bet that you’ve slipped in the tub or shower at least once in your life. The combination of super smooth ceramic or plastic combined with a layer of warm soapy water isn’t the easiest thing in the world to stand on. Our feet are not designed for such smooth slippery surfaces – and neither are the paws of your pooch.

When your dog is in the tub, they are having to concentrate to maintain their balance. It’s an additional stress factor that adds to what is usually already an unpleasant experience for your pooch.

It’s super easy to remove all this stress, and all you have to do is place a towel down in the bottom of the tub before they get in. This provides a grippy surface for your pooch to stand on, and it’s going to make things much more “enjoyable” for them.

Run The Bath Before Calling Your Pooch Into The Room

Like most things in life, the anxiety of waiting for something to happen is much worse than the actual event itself. Even our brave and fearless Akitas dislike bath time, and making them sit in the bathroom waiting for the tub to fill up is an unpleasant, stressful experience for them.

Be sure to run the bath before you call your pooch over, and when you finally do call them in, place them in the tub immediately. Like ripping off a band-aid, the anxious period of waiting around for the bath is over in an instant, and you can get on with the job.

Use Two Towels For Drying

The instinctive reaction of a dog to having their hair soaked is to give themselves a good old shake to get the moisture off of them. This is an incredibly effective motion that has been evolved over countless thousands of years – and it’s impossible for your pooch to control. It’s an instinct like any other, and all you can do as an owner is prepare for the inevitable instead of trying to prevent it from happening.

Get a towel ready (and very near to you) when you decide to turn off the water from the final rinse. Throw it over the back of your pooch and wait for the inevitable shaking to start. It’s not going to catch all the water, but it makes a huge difference to the saturation levels of you, your clothing, and your bathroom. Once the shaking has completed, use a separate towel to dry them by hand.

Get Everything Ready Before Putting Your Pooch In The Tub

When you’ve run the bath (but before you’ve called your pooch into the bathroom) double check that you’ve got absolutely everything you need at hand to get the entire bathing process complete from start to finish. Check you’ve got your grooming brush, your shampoo, your towels, and anything else you need before you get your pooch wet.

The consequences of not doing this are so severe that it’s a mistake you’re not going to make twice. Having your soaking wet pooch stay put in the bathtub while you run to another room is something that’s unlikely to happen. When they run around your home shaking themselves dry all over your furniture – you’ve got no one else to blame but yourself.

FAQ Regarding Bathing an Akita

In this final section of the article, we’re going to quickly answer a few frequently asked questions that we get from our readers (on a regular basis) about the bathing and grooming requirements of the Akita.

How Often Should I Bathe An Akita?

Previously the majority of dog shampoos on the market were chemical based, and many of them used soap like substances in their formula. These products were reasonably harsh, and could only safely be used infrequently.

However, these days consumer demand has grown for organic shampoos and conditioners that are much gentler on the skin. These products can safely be used much more often than their more powerful (and harmful) predecessors, and almost all shampoo on the market these days is soap free, alcohol-free, and made from mainly natural ingredients.

You should always follow the advice on the bottle of shampoo that you’re using, but as a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t really bathe your Akita more than once every 2 weeks at most.

However, bathing your pooch this much isn’t really required…

Akitas are an exceptionally clean breed that will lick and clean their coat in a similar fashion to a cat. Most Akita owners will only bathe their pooch once every two to three months – which is usually more than adequate.

Should I Use A Hairdryer On My Akita?

There’s no real need for you to use a hairdryer on an Akita, they’re a medium length breed that will shake off most of the moisture in their coat on their own. Combine this with a good rub with a dry towel and your pooch is going to be 95% dry before they leave the bathroom.

However, for some people with particularly clean homes (or delicate furniture), nothing less than 100% dry is acceptable – and in these cases, you can use a hairdryer.

However, you cannot use human hairdryers for this purpose. The skin of a dog is much more sensitive to heat than the skin of a human, and it’s very easy to burn your pooch if you try to dry them with one. If you can’t deal with a very slightly damp dog running around your home, then invest in a dedicated doggy hairdryer – they’re not very expensive.

Note: Dogs often react to hairdryers the same way they react to vacuum cleaners – it’s very difficult for them to stay still during the drying process. Try and get them introduced to the drier at a reasonably young age if you’re planning on using one with them – and remember to reward good behavior (standing still) with treats throughout the process.

Conclusion

So there you have it, that’s about all there is to know about bathing and grooming the Akita. We’re sure you’ve learned a thing or two today, and if you follow the hints and tips we’ve given above, you and your pooch are going to have a happier and healthier life together.

Any of the product recommendations we’ve mentioned above are more than worthy of your consideration – they are really the cream of the crop that went up against some other excellent products to make it into this article today.

We’re confident you’re going to be impressed by the value and performance all of them provide, and they’re all more than worthy of your consideration.

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