Dogs love playing around, and in most cases, we find them walking around covered in dirt and stinky smell – and there’s no other way to give them a bath. Although it’s not recommended to wash them every day as this removes the essential oils on their coat and skin, bathing them whenever the need arises can help save your furnishings.
To make sure you give your dog a healthy and refreshing bath, choosing the right shampoo is important. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of the best dog shampoos to help you find the right product for your furry pet.
How to Choose the Best Dog Shampoo
Our furry friend’s skin is a lot more sensitive compared to ours. Thus, you should never ever use your own shampoo or conditioner on your dog regardless of how “mild” they might be. Using your own shampoo on your own pooch can only lead to skin irritation and other possible skin problems.
When looking for a shampoo for your dog, you should take into account the following instead:
Check your dog’s coat and skin type
One of the most important things to consider when buying a dog shampoo is your dog’s coat and skin type. As mentioned earlier, dogs have more sensitive skin, which is why you have to carefully observe your dog’s skin type first. If you can’t determine the type of skin your dog has, you can always consult with your veterinarian.
If your pet has dry skin, you might want to go for a shampoo with a gentle formulation. It shouldn’t be harsh in order to prevent skin irritation. Additionally, a gentle shampoo can help restore moisture into your dog’s skin and coat, thus allowing him to have a less dry and itchy skin.
If your dog has sensitive skin, you want to choose a shampoo with a gentle formulation containing natural substances such as honey, aloe vera, and vitamin E. These ingredients can relieve the itching which is due to a hypersensitive skin. Aside from that, such formulation can provide a soothing effect on your dog’s coat and skin.
You should also consider getting a shampoo with a conditioner if your dog has a furry coat. For dogs with normal skin, opting for general purpose shampoos will do just fine. Or, if your dog spends most of his time outside, a shampoo that offers deep cleansing is ideal.
Consider your dog’s age
Like us, you should also consider your dog’s age when choosing a shampoo. For example, if you have a puppy, you need to use shampoos that are designed especially for puppies. This type of shampoo has a mild and different formulation compared to the ones used for older dogs. Aside from that, it also reduces the risk of eye and skin irritation.
Check your dog for the presence of fleas and/or ticks
You can find plenty of dog shampoos designed to kill fleas and ticks that cling on your dog’s fur. If your dog has these tiny parasites on his fur, you need to opt for a shampoo that contains ingredients designed for killing them. If left unattended, these parasites can greatly affect your dog’s health and can lead to some serious health issues.
However, keep in mind that the use of shampoos is not enough to solve the problem. As such, you should also apply appropriate treatments such as environmental control and other flea medications. You might also want to talk to your vet so he can recommend you some special medications.
Find out if your dog suffers from skin conditions
If you notice that your dog suffers from skin conditions such as blotching, redness, or flaking, then you should consider buying a medicated shampoo intended for dogs. Just like shampoos formulated for killing fleas and ticks, medicated shampoos have substances designed for dealing with your dog’s skin problems.
For example, you can find a dog shampoo that has antimicrobial properties. You can also find shampoos containing anti-inflammatory ingredients for reducing skin redness and inflammation. And lastly, there are shampoos that come with ingredients designed for eliminating pathogenic organisms and prevent itching and irritation on your pet’s skin.
Choose a shampoo with natural ingredients
Another important factor when buying a shampoo is its ingredients. Before you buy a shampoo, make sure you check its ingredients first. Most chemical-based shampoos have artificial fragrances and ingredients that could only cause inflammation, skin irritation, and other skin-related problems. In order to prevent them from happening, going for a more natural option is recommended.
Natural products contain natural ingredients such as vitamins and herbal proteins which can help nourish your dog’s coat and skin. However, some of them may even contain some chemical-based ingredients, so checking the label is always advised.
Go for products that prevent or at least control shedding
Shedding is commonly experienced by any organism that has hair. Our hair, for example, normally undergoes a regular cycle of growth and shedding. However, while most hairs grow, others undergo shedding, and the same goes for our dogs.
The problem with shedding is that your dog’s tiny hair can get airborne pretty easily. Although it’s not an issue if none of your family has hypersensitivity to such particle, it can be quite problematic if you or a family member is.
Therefore, opting for a shampoo which has healthy oils and antioxidants is ideal as it can help reduce the amount of shedding significantly. Aside from that, it can also help improve your dog’s coat, making it shinier and healthier than before.
Consider buying a conditioner
Our dogs also deserve a conditioner designed only for their fur. Such special conditioner helps restore the moisture in their coat as well as replenish all those natural oils which have been washed away during a bath. As a specially formulated conditioner contains active ingredients designed for dogs, it can help reduce hair tangling, thus making it a lot easier to brush your pet’s hair.
15 Best Shampoos for Dogs
Paws & Pals Natural Dog-Shampoo and Conditioner
An Excellent Shampoo and Conditioner Combo
The Paws & Pal shampoo and conditioner is an affordable option but an excellent one nonetheless. It helps with dogs who have dry and sensitive skin, especially those who are prone to allergies.
Its formulation consists of natural ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about any possible skin irritation and inflammation when using it on your pet. Lastly, it comes with a soap-free and tearless formula, allowing your dog to enjoy his bathtime without worrying about irritation in the eyes and nose.
Why We Like It:
- It’s made of non-toxic and natural ingredients
- Its tear-free formula ensures a fun and playful bathtime experience for your pet
Wahl Dog/Puppy Shampoo
A Variety of Formulation for Different Conditions
Wahl is known for creating a number of quality hair care products, and this natural shampoo is one of them. There are 7 different variants to choose from, each formulated to deal with different conditions.
The shampoo has all the benefits you can get from an organic product all packed in one single package. Due to its natural formulation which includes lavender, chamomile, aloe vera, and lime among others, you can make your dog’s skin and coat healthier and shinier without the risk of inflammation and irritation.
Why We Like It:
- There are a variety of scents and formulations available
- It’s ideal for dealing with dry and itching skin
- The formulation is made of all-natural ingredients
Sogeval Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo with Climbazole
An Anti-Seborrheic and Antiseptic Formulation
The Douxo chlorhexidine shampoo contains chlorhexidine along with phytosphingosine salicyloyl to deal with skin conditions like Seborrhea and pyoderma. As it has an antiseptic foaming solution, rest assured your pet won’t experience excessive dryness and irritation.
Why We Like It:
- Its unique formulation prevents moisture loss and irritation on your dog’s skin
- Ideal for dealing with certain skin conditions
Pro Pet Works Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
Natural Oatmeal Formulation Designed for Skin Irritation and Allergy
Designed for treating allergies and skin sensitivity, this natural oatmeal shampoo from Pro Pet Works is what you need if your dog is allergic. It’s made using natural ingredients such as almond oil and aloe vera to help prevent dryness and itching.
Aside from that, it’s also pH-balanced and soap-free. As a result, your dog won’t suffer from nose and eye irritation when taking a bath. Lastly, it’s known to efficiently deal with dirt and odor as well as fleas.
Why We Like It:
- It’s an effective combination of a shampoo and conditioner in one
- Contains natural ingredients and is pH-balanced for sensitive skin
- Keeps your dog smelling fresh and clean for days
Odie and Cody Natural Dog Shampoo
Chemical-Free and Vet-Recommended
The Odie and Cody is one of the best natural dog shampoo you can find on the market. It’s vet-recommended, meaning you can trust its effectiveness. It’s formulated to deal with dry skin and itching. It also helps moisturize your dog’s skin, allowing him to remain fresh and itch-free.
This shampoo is made of only natural ingredients, making it safe and effective not just for dogs but also for cats and even guinea pigs. If you’re looking for a natural shampoo that will keep your buddy’s coat healthier and fragrant, then this is definitely one of your best choices.
Why We Like It:
- It’s vegan, gluten-free, and biodegradable at the same time
- Can be used not just on dogs but on cats and guinea pigs too
Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo
100% Biodegradable and Cruelty-Free Hair Care
Aloe vera and oatmeal are both known to be effective in dealing with skin irritation and dryness. The combination of both makes for an even effective formulation, and that is exactly what Earthbath is.
It doesn’t just keep your dog clean and smelling fresh, it also helps combat irritation and dryness. It can be used on puppies, adult dogs, and even kittens. It also doubles as a conditioner for that silky smooth and flake-free fur.
Why We Like It:
- The combination of aloe and oatmeal effectively moisturizes your dog’s skin
- It’s made of natural ingredients and is pH-balanced
Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control Natural Oatmeal Shampoo & Conditioner
Supreme Formulation for Supreme Cleaning
The Nature’s Miracle shampoo and conditioner combo has an oatmeal formulation that’s designed to deeply clean your dog’s skin and coat, thereby preventing frizz. It comes with a soothing effect which also provides hydration at the same time.
Aside from serving as a shampoo and conditioner, it also works as a deodorant and can be used for killing fleas and ticks.
Why We Like It:
- Also effective for dealing with fleas and ticks
- Functions as a deodorant to keep your dog smelling fresh at all times
- Cleans and conditions your dog’s skin and fur
Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo
No-Tear Shampoo Designed for Skin Allergies and Sensitivity
Vet’s Best is a no-frills hypoallergenic shampoo that’s formulated to effectively clean your pet while helping restore moisture and essential oils to his skin and fur. It’s also tear-free, which means your dog can enjoy his bath time moments.
Due to its hypoallergenic formulation, it’s ideal for dogs with allergies and skin sensitivity. It relieves dryness and itching to help give your dog a shiny and healthy skin and coat. Lastly, it works perfectly with other dog hair care products and treatments.
Why We Like It:
- Effectively moisturizes and soothes your dog’s skin
- Won’t affect any ongoing tick or flea treatment
Oster Oatmeal Naturals 4-in-1 Shampoo
Effective for Removing Static and Tangles
Made in the US, the Oster natural shampoo comes with built-in conditioners for effectively removing static and tangles. It’s also free of alcohol, dyes, and any toxic material to provide your dog with a shiny and healthy skin and hair.
Since the shampoo contains vitamin B5 and natural conditioners in its formulation, it will leave your dog’s coat and skin a lot healthier, smoother, and fresher than before. Additionally, it’s 100% natural oatmeal formula helps nourish your pet’s otherwise sensitive skin.
Why We Like It:
- Comes with 100% oatmeal formulation
- Contains no toxic ingredients like alcohol and parabens
Isle of Dogs Tearless Puppy Shampoo
Tearless Formulation for a Fun and Relaxing Bath Time
The Isle of Dogs shampoo is the perfect choice for your little pal. Its tearless formula makes sure that your cute, little puppy won’t experience irritation on his nose and eyes during bath time. It’s also sulfate and paraben-free.
Although its name is tearless puppy, it can actually be used on dogs of all ages. Lastly, its cotton and fresh orchid scent ensures a fresh smelling dog that can last for a few days.
Why We Like It:
- Features natural odor neutralizers
- A sulfate and paraben-free formulation
- Its tearless formula allows your pet to enjoy a fun bathtime activity
SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Medicated Shampoo
An Effective Seborrhea and Parasite Medication
SynergyLab’s shampoo is formulated for dealing with skin scaling which is due to mange, seborrhea, and other skin infections caused by parasites, bacteria, and fungus. To use, it should be applied 2-3 times a week for the first few weeks. After noticing some improvements on your dog’s skin, you can limit the use to only once a week.
Due to its antiparasitic and antiseborrheic properties, the SynergyLabs shampoo is one of the best dog shampoos on the market. It’s even made of veterinary-grade ingredients, further reinforcing its effectiveness.
Why We Like It:
- It’s ideal for dogs suffering from seborrhea and other skin infections
- It’s available at a very affordable price
Fieldworks Supply Company Natural Dog Shampoo
The Only Dog Shampoo that Contains Bentonite Clay!
For dogs suffering from bacteria and fungi-induced skin problems, the Fieldworks Supply Company shampoo is an excellent choice. In fact, it’s designed primarily for dealing with and preventing fungi and bacterial infections on your dog’s skin and fur.
Aside from that, the shampoo also contains natural ingredients which help provide your pet with a healthier and shinier skin and coat. It features bentonite clay which is known for its effective and natural healing abilities.
If your dog has skin allergies or perhaps dermatitis, you might want to consider getting this shampoo.
Why We Like It:
- Mainly designed for treating fungal and antibacterial problems
- Contains bentonite clay which helps in its antibacterial properties
- Relieves itching and hot spots, giving your dog with clean and shiny hair and skin
4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo
Certified Hypoallergenic Shampoo for Your Allergic Buddy
The 4-Legger is an organic shampoo that contains natural ingredients like olive oil, coconut, aloe vera, and essential oils. It’s also free of toxic chemicals like alcohol, artificial fragrances, parabens, and more. Since it’s an all-natural formulation, you can be sure that it’s one of the safest hair products for your dog out there.
It’s 100% safe and effective for dealing with skin allergies and irritations even on puppies. As it doesn’t contain any artificial thickeners, you can lather and rinse it easily without adding any toxicity to your dog’s bath.
Why We Like It:
- It does not contain any toxic substance
- It’s also proven to work on dermatitis conditions
- It’s hypoallergenic and can be used on all skin types
Furminator deShedding Ultra Premium Dog Shampoo
The Ultimate Deshedding Formula
If your dog suffers from shedding issues, this deshedding shampoo from Furminator is your best option. It’s enriched with calendula and papaya leaf extract along with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to keep your dog’s fur looking shiny and healthy. It also helps prevent shedding and breakage.
However, you should only use it if your dog sheds naturally. If it’s become too excessive, you have to consult your vet for medication and any other solution. Aside from that, it also removes any foul odor, keeping your dog smelling fresh for days.
Why We Like It:
- Effective for dealing with shedding
- Comes with a chemical-free formula to keep your dog’s fur shiny and healthy
Wahl Natural Pet No-Rinse Waterless Shampoo
Rinse-Free and Water-Free Hair Care
If you want to bathe your dog but can’t do so because there’s no water, then the Wahl waterless shampoo is the ideal choice. As the name implies, it doesn’t require water and rinsing. You simply have to apply it on your dog’s fur and brush for a quick bath.
Since it’s a 100% natural oatmeal formula, you can certainly give your dog a pleasant bathtime experience while keeping his hair and skin healthy and shiny. There are two scents you can choose from: coconut lime verbena and lavender chamomile.
Why We Like It:
- Requires no water to bathe your dog
- Its oatmeal formulation helps deal with your dog’s skin irritation and dryness issues
- Can be used for cleaning, moisturizing, conditioning, and detangling
How to Wash Your Dog the Right Way
Most dogs won’t really prefer a bathtime. However, it certainly plays a huge role in the health of your dog’s skin and fur. Aside from keeping it shiny and healthy, it also helps rid of any parasites and dirt that might be present.
We all know how time-consuming and hassling bathing our dogs is. Fortunately, there are always things you can do to make it a lot easier and quicker. Here are some tips you can follow on how to wash your dog the right way:
1. Before you start bathing your dog, tire him out by engaging him in an active play. This could be a game of catch or fetch. The point is to drain him of any excess energy so bathing will become a lot easier.
2. Brush your dog’s hair to remove any dirt and tangles present.
3. Make sure his ears are protected from the entry of water. You can insert a cotton ball to help prevent water from entering.
4. Prepare a lukewarm water. Don’t make it too hot as it can burn his skin nor too cold as he might shiver. For larger dogs, however, you can use a slightly colder water.
5. With the appropriate dog shampoo, apply it evenly throughout his fur. Remember not to use a human shampoo ever.
6. Rinse properly. Don’t leave any residue as it can cause skin irritation. Generally, you want to rinse your dog’s hair at least 3 times.
7. Air dry or use a specially designed dryer for dogs. Don’t use your own hairdryer as it’s too hot for your pet even at the lowest setting.
Q: Why can’t I use human shampoo?
A: As mentioned earlier, a dog’s skin is far more sensitive compared to humans. Therefore, even the mildest shampoo can cause skin irritation and itching. Also, the pH balance of your own shampoo is too acidic for your use on your dog.
Using a shampoo that’s designed for a human skin on your dog will cause his acid mantle to disrupt. The result will be an environment where bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses can multiply quickly.
Q: What ingredients to avoid in dog shampoo?
A: You should avoid buying dog shampoos that contain any of the following substances:
- Artificial Colors
- Cocomide DEA or MEA
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Methylparaben and Parabens
- Mineral Oil
- Polyethylene glycol
- Propylene Glycol
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
These substances are known to be toxic and can cause skin irritation instead of solving it.
Q: How often should I bath my dog?
A: It’s not advised to bathe your dog daily as it strips him of the natural oils in his skin. Most dogs can benefit from taking a bath at least once a week. However, it could depend on a lot of factors. For example, dogs who tend to stay outdoors and get dirty need a bath more than those who often stay inside on their couch.
Also, dogs with skin problems might be required to take a bath more often than those that don’t.
Q: What can I use to wash my dog if I don’t have dog shampoo?
A: Under no circumstance should you use your own shampoo on your dog if you don’t have a dog-exclusive shampoo available. Instead, just plain water will be enough to remove dirt and any debris on his fur.
You can also use a simple vinegar rinse to rid of any foul odor if your dog starts to smell. A dry bath using baking soda also works fine. Aside from removing any dirt on his hair, it can also help him smell clean.
Like other dog care products such as dog cologne, dog toothpaste, and dog paw balm, you can find hundreds of dog shampoo products out there. However, only a few of them can be considered effective and safe for your pet.
Hopefully, our list of the best dog shampoos along with a quick buying guide can help you choose which product is perfect for your furry friend.
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- Paws & Pals Natural Dog-Shampoo and Conditioner
- Wahl Dog/Puppy Shampoo
- Sogeval Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo with Climbazole
- Pro Pet Works Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
- Odie and Cody Natural Dog Shampoo
- Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo
- Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control Natural Oatmeal Shampoo & Conditioner
- Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo
- Oster Oatmeal Naturals 4-in-1 Shampoo
- Isle of Dogs Tearless Puppy Shampoo
- SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Medicated Shampoo
- Fieldworks Supply Company Natural Dog Shampoo
- 4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo
- Furminator deShedding Ultra Premium Dog Shampoo
- Wahl Natural Pet No-Rinse Waterless Shampoo