Last Updated on
Having a good dog shampoo is crucial, especially if your pet lives inside your house. It’s no secret that dogs like to dig holes in the ground and enjoy getting dirty. So, it’s important that you know how to bathe your dog properly, and be sure to wash them with a good quality shampoo that will make you and your pet happy.
From the first use, you can easily tell if you’re using a lousy shampoo. Some shampoos, for example, lose that fresh, clean smell days after bathing your pet.
Keep in mind, the perfect shampoo is more than just a pleasant scent. There are many brands out there that make shampoos for dogs, so it can be a little tricky to find the perfect one.
You might wonder, what is the best dog shampoos available? Well, we’ve done some research, in order to compile our top list. Hope you enjoy reading!
|Fresh N Clean||Fresh Aloe Vera Scent||Aloe Vera||1 Gallon||Removes Mats and Tangles|
|Pupkiss Pets All in One Natural Shampoo||Coconut||Oatmeal, Palm Oil, Coconut||16 fl oz||Detangles, Moisturizes|
|Charlie & Shmitty||Citrus||Aloe, Oatmeal||16 fl oz||No allergies, itchy and dry skin|
|Bubis Pet Supplies Plant Based Shampoo||Tropical Breeze||Essential oils, Coconut, Oatmeal||16 fl oz||Detangles, Alleviates|
|Apple||Oatmeal, baking soda, cocnut||17 fl oz||Conditions, Deodorizes|
Best Dog Shampoo Reviews
Fresh N Clean
The Fresh N Clean is a favorite among owners in 2018. This shampoo is refreshing, helps remove tangles, and makes your dog’s fur shiny and silky. One benefit of Fresh N Clean is that it’s available in a 1-gallon jug, which means it will last longer, especially if you have a large breed. Or you can buy the 16 fl oz bottle if 1-gallon is too much.
This is the perfect shampoo for canines with long hair due to its antistatic agents, which means that you won’t have any problems detangling or brushing your pet’s fur. Its long-lasting aloe vera scent won’t bother your canine, and it’s refreshing.
All in all, this shampoo works for both small and large breeds, and it’s an efficient way to keep their fur and skin, nice and fresh.
Pupkiss Pets All In One
One of the best things about this shampoo, is that it can also be used on cats. Its ingredients and effectiveness are the reason why so many people choose it for their dogs, too. It’s made of coconut, oatmeal, aloe extract, and palm oils.
All of these ingredients soothe and calm your pet’s skin. Also, it’s good for canines with allergies, and those with flaky skin.
This shampoo is PH balanced, with a light scent of coconut. It hydrates dry skin and leaves your dog’s coat soft, silky and shiny. It is free of soap and won’t irritate or cause itchiness for your pup.
The Pupkiss is convenient because it can be used on large or small breeds, as well as cats, so you can wash all your pets with only one bottle of shampoo for extra convenience. It has no DEA, MEA, Phosphate, Parabens, or Sulfate.
Besides, professional groomers claim that dogs are always more calm and happy to enjoy their baths when they’re using the Pupkiss Pet’s shampoo.
Bodhi Dog Hypoallergenic
If your pet is prone to itching and dry skin, this is the right shampoo for you. It’s plant-based and made to moisturize dry and itchy skin. The natural ingredients are aloe vera, coconut, oat proteins, fruit extracts, and vitamins A, D, and E.
This combination soothes and calms the inflamed skin. Because it also has baking soda, it quickly relieves itching and leaves your dog with shiny fur. The formula is non-toxic and has no harsh chemicals, parabens, SLS, sulfates, or Ethyl alcohol.
This product is suitable for puppies, small and large breeds, cats, rabbits, kittens, and ferrets. Its fresh aroma and apple scent make every bath a pleasant and enjoyable experience for your companion.
Top Dog Conditioners
Martha Stewart All-Purpose Conditioner
Customers find comfort in this product because it bears the Martha Stewart name, who has been a trusted lifestyle icon for over 30 years. This product is suitable for all dogs and made with the highest quality ingredients, such as oatmeal and aloe.
The extra gentle, yet effective formula contains vitamin E, to add moisture and shine to your pet’s coat. It is hypoallergenic and biodegradable and made with natural botanicals. This item is free of sulfates and parabens.
This conditioner is pH balanced and perfect for dogs with sensitive skin. Each one of Martha Stewart’s products is hand selected to ensure best in class quality and design. The soap-free formula is safe to use with flea and tick treatments.
The reviews for this product have been generally positive. Pet parents that have dogs with sensitive or dry skin have noticed an improvement in the quality of their pet’s fur after a couple uses.
The soap-free formula is made with probiotics. Probiotics protect the body from harmful bacteria, allowing the good bacteria to thrive. The product is 98.5% natural, paraben and sulfate-free, pH-balanced for dogs, and soap-free.
The gentle conditioner moisturizes and hydrates the coat, leaving your pet’s fur silky and smooth. Also, this product supports the skin’s natural defense against excessive shedding, itchiness, dryness, hot spots, and odor. Results should be noticeable within 2-4 weeks after first use.
There is nothing to lose with this product as the manufacturer offers a full money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with your purchase.
Some customers suggest purchasing other KORE products, such as the Deodorizer and Detangler for the most effective results. Some customers noticed a definite improvement in the smoothness and softness of their pet’s coat after a couple uses.
Isle of Dogs Everyday
This silky coating conditioner is made in the USA. It is formulated to moisturize, protect, and add shine; even to tangle-prone hair. In addition, its formula will help reduce shedding. Also, it features the Isle of Dogs signature warm floral Jasmine + Vanilla scent.
Overall, this product received positive reviews and highly recommended product among consumers. Customers appreciate that this product does exactly what it is intended to do, in that it leaves the fur feeling soft and silky, with no tangles.
Also, it makes the hair easy to brush through. However, this conditioner is not meant for treating itchiness so you might need to look at other medicated conditioners. One concern is that this product contains artificial dyes and fragrances. So we strongly suggest monitoring your pet’s fur and skin after each use to see if they have any allergic reactions.
Paws & Pals
This conditioner by Paws & Pals features a tear-free formula that will not irritate your dog’s eyes or nose. This is made possible by its natural oils and extracts. This organic blend is full of natural and healthy ingredients, such as aloe vera, rosemary, and shea butter.
It has a long-lasting fresh aroma of honey and vanilla. This conditioner is designed to detangle and moisturize to give your pet soft and smooth fur.
This product received plenty of positive reviews. Owners of dogs with sensitive skin love that this formula helped get rid of dandruff, and dry, irritated skin. Overall, making their fur silky and soft, with no tangles.
However, we suggest you monitor your pet after the first couple uses since some customers’ pets did have allergic reactions, getting itchy hives.
Sofee & Co.
This product by Sofee & Co. features a gentle, all-natural formula that moisturizes and gently cleans and deodorizes your canine’s coat. It is fresh, pure, and mild and will leave your pet with a soft and silky smooth coat.
Also, it is safe for use on puppies, cats, and kittens. Oatmeal is added to the original formula to help moisturize and condition dry, itchy, flaky, and sensitive skin. All of the ingredients are naturally derived and free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, phthalates, and artificial colors and dyes.
It is especially useful for long-haired and hypoallergenic breeds, such as a Shih Tzu and Maltese. It is also safe to use on puppies.
Customers love this product, stating it leaves their dog’s coat soft and smooth, with a fresh scent. They appreciate the all natural formula and it how it rinses well, without leaving any residue.
Odie and Cody
This shampoo is veterinarian recommended and is certified organic with 100% natural ingredients. It is proudly made in the USA and is safe to use on a variety of other animals such as cats and guinea pigs.
More importantly, it is safe to use on adult dogs and puppies. This concentrated formula is hypoallergenic and great for moisturizing, deodorizing, and providing relief for allergies and itchy skin.
This product is perfect for vegans, is gluten-free, biodegradable, and cruelty-free, and does not include any chemicals or artificial chemicals, fragrances, or dyes. Some of its ingredients are made from organic oils, organic aloe vera, essential oils and rosemary extract
Customers love that you don’t need to use a lot per wash, as it is very concentrated, yet watery and thin. Reviews claim this organic dog shampoo lathers well and rinses easily, leaving your pet’s skin smooth and soft.
Some customers consider this product a great natural bug repellant, due to the lemongrass and other essential oils. However, some customers complain that the odor is a little bit too strong. Monitor your pet after the first couple of uses to ensure your pet does not have an allergic reaction.
This shampoo is made from organic oils and certified organic according to the USDA organic food standards. It is a conditioning shampoo is highly concentrated, yet synthetic free and made to promote a healthy and hydrated coat. It is hypoallergenic and safe to use on puppies and adult dogs to treat itchy or sensitive skin.
This is possible due to the absence of any harmful, artificial ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, phosphates, sulfates, petrochemicals, and synthetic fragrances. Fluppets uses a long list of natural ingredients, such as organic coconut, olive, and jojoba oils.
Also, it features a natural essential oil blend of lemongrass, rosemary, and organic aloe vera. It is proudly manufactured in the USA and donates money to the Best Friends Animal Society with every purchase.
The shampoo received many positive reviews, except that some customers were disappointed in how much eye irritation it caused after accidentally getting some in their pet’s eyes. Also, it comes with a money back guarantee if you’re not 100% satisfied with the product.
Just like the previous shampoo, this product is USDA certified organic and contains 100% natural ingredients. This product is completely safe, non-toxic, and free of GMOs. Also, it does not contain any harsh chemicals, sulfates, or alcohol.
Its non-irritating formula is excellent for all skin types, especially sensitive skin. The highlighted ingredient is Manuka honey, which is made by bees from the mountains and forests of the island country of New Zealand. Manuka honey is known for its antibacterial and antifungal qualities and promotes healthy skin.
It contains the soothing ingredients of coconut, jojoba, and olive oil; as well as aloe vera to help with itchy skin. It is made in the USA and comes with a fresh berry scent.
Customers gave positive reviews about this product, stating it is excellent for pets with sensitive and allergies. They like that the scent is not overwhelming as well as lathers and rinses nicely, leaving their coat soft and shiny. However, some customers did say the shampoo was too greasy for them. But overall, this is a quality product for dogs with sensitive skin.
This oatmeal pet shampoo and conditioner comes highly recommended by veterinarians to treat dry and itchy skin. Its coconut lime formula is pH balanced, which is excellent for dogs with sensitive skin. The lavender and aloe vera work together to soothe your pet’s skin and keep them smelling fresh. Earth Vibes’ shampoo is free of parabens, other harmful chemicals, and completely safe in that it will not irritate your dog’s eyes or noise. Also, this product is cruelty-free and made in the USA.
This organic shampoo received nothing but positive reviews. Customers love how this product left their pets’ coats feeling soft and looking shiny, with no adverse effects. Also, the fragrance from the shampoo lasted about 5 days after use.
This all-natural shampoo was formulated by shampoo-scientists and environmentalists in the USA. But more importantly, the makers of this product love dogs too. All of Olive’s Own ingredients are 100% natural.
It contains organic coconut, jojoba, and olive oil to help your dog’s coat shine without stripping it of natural protective oils. The aloe vera makes this the perfect shampoo for dogs with sensitive, dry, or irritated skin. The essential oils of rosemary and lemongrass combine to create a natural uplifting scent, along with a flea and tick repellant.
What makes this product even better is that it is perfect for Vegans, for it is cruelty-free, and does not contain any parabens or GMOs.
Customers, which include professional groomers, vouch for this product. They love how it lathers, rinses, and leaves a refreshing scent on their pet friends. However, some customers have noted the smell can be kind of overbearing if you are overly sensitive to smells.
Why Not Human Shampoo Instead?
The reason why you should not use human shampoo to clean your dog comes down to maintaining pH levels in your pet’s skin. We measure pH using a scale ranging from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. The closer to 0 something measures on the pH scale means it is more acidic. On the other hand, the closer to 14 an item measures on the spectrum means it is more alkaline.
For reference, in general, pH levels in humans are more on the acidic side, ranging anywhere from 5.2 to 6.2. However, canines have higher pH levels, from 5.5 to 7.5.
So you’re probably wondering what the big deal is. First, shampoo for humans is made to maintain that pH level. So, if you use shampoo for humans on your dog, then you risk lowering the pH of your canine’s skin.
Changing those pH levels can affect your dog’s acid mantle, which is the thin protective layer of its outermost skin. So, if that thin protective layer is compromised, you expose your dog to parasites, viruses, and unwanted bacteria. Also, your pup may experience dry or irritated skin, which can lead to more undesired scratching.
Different Types of Dog Shampoos
Nowadays, the market is full of options as far as dog shampoos. One can buy organic shampoos or shampoos with conditioner. Also, you can purchase special shampoos with specific ingredients due to allergies, sensitive skin, or other skin disorders.
Below are some of the particular types of dog shampoos that are commonly bought among pet owners.
Deodorizing for Smelly Dogs
Sometimes a regular strength shampoo may not do enough to eliminate that foul stench and odor. A dog with smelly skin can sometimes be a result of its breed type or active lifestyle. For example, a type of canine that is known to smell is a Saint Bernard. A combination of its excessive drooling, thick double-coat, and active outdoor lifestyle makes the Saint Bernard a perfect candidate for deodorizing shampoo.
Each brand may use various combinations of ingredients. Which may include natural or artificial ingredients, or maybe a combination of both. Whatever brand you choose, check the label to ensure your dog won’t have any adverse reactions to the product’s ingredients.
You can see some of those brands through our best dog smelling shampoo guide.
If you notice your dog constantly scratching, nibbling, or licking a certain patch of skin on its body, those are symptoms of dry skin. Also, if you observe reddened or raised spots on their coat, that can be another sign of irritated skin. Before purchasing shampoo for dry or itchy skin, we suggest first seeking the advice of a veterinarian.
To help with dry skin, look for a moisturizing shampoo to help relieve the discomfort from the irritated skin. Stay away from scented shampoos because that can further aggravate your dog’s skin. Look for a shampoo with natural oils to help maintain a shiny coat.
Other soothing ingredients to help with dry skin are aloe vera, Vitamin E, and honey. For example, a common cause of dry skin in canines is excessive dandruff. A product that is typically used is a dog dandruff shampoo.
Oatmeal shampoos are other excellent products to help with dry skin and keep the coat looking smooth. It is one ingredient that has been used for hundreds of years. Oatmeal dog shampoos are carefully crafted and effective in balancing pH levels, featuring chemicals such as avenanthramides and phenols.
Some of the better oatmeal shampoo brands include Vitamin E and aloe vera to help soothe itchy skin.
Depending on the type of breed, a dog may shed either frequently, seasonally, or very minimally, which is entirely normal. However, unwanted or excessive shedding may be the cause of stress, fleas, fungal infections, etc. What you need is a special shampoo to control excessive shedding.
These shampoos are full of ingredients that promote a healthy skin and coat. They may use a combination of artificial and natural ingredients, so we suggest checking for any ingredients that your dog might be allergic to. Some examples of typical ingredients to help with excessive shedding include omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, calendula, or papaya leaf extract.
How to Pick the Right One?
Finding the right shampoo can be difficult, especially if you’re unsure of what ingredients you’re looking for. Certain shampoos are meant to help different types of coats or skin conditions. Without doing your homework first, you might choose the wrong product, which might end up causing more harm than good. Read through some of the factors to consider when finding the shampoo for your pet.
Some dogs have thin or fine coats, like chihuahuas. Their coats are single-layered with no thick undercoat. This low-density coat makes it easy to see through the hair and down to the skin. The best part about having a dog with thin fur is that it doesn’t need to be bathed as frequently as other canines with thicker coats. So, pups with thin coats need a formula that will condition their skin and coat, repel dirt, and leave them clean and shiny.
Canines with a medium or regular coat need a shampoo that is a little bit stronger than shampoo you would use on a thin coat. Dogs with a medium coat, such as poodles and rottweilers, need a bottle of shampoo that will build a nice lather.
Dogs with thick or double-coats need to be bathed more frequently than the previously mentioned coat types. German Shepherds and Huskies are examples of breeds with heavy coats and need a shampoo that lathers well and penetrates down to the undercoat. You will also want a shampoo that rinses well and a formula that includes conditioner to keep the thick coat look clean and shiny.
Fleas or Ticks
A dog’s fur is the perfect environment for fleas and ticks to thrive. Although fleas are a problem year-round, they are more common during the warmer months. These pests should not be taken lightly. If not dealt with correctly, a variety of things may happen, like intense itching, hair loss, scabs, and rashes may occur. Anemia may also become a concern for severe flea and tick problems.
To spot a flea and tick infestation, check your pet’s fur for signs such as dark specks for flea droppings or white dots for eggs. Other ways to check for infestation is by looking for hot spots on the skin, excessive itching or licking, and scabs.
To help with this problem, use dog flea and tick shampoo. The best ones on the market will not only kill fleas and ticks but also repel mosquitos. I usually stick to brands with natural formulas, free of sulfate and parabens. Also, some useful formulas include pyrethrins, which are organic chemical compounds that serve as natural insecticides. Also, for skin that needs help recovering from numerous bites, quality shampoos include aloe vera or lanolin to comfort and soothe irritated skin.
Consider the age of your pup as well. For puppies, there are special tearless, extra-gentle formulas for their delicate skin and coat. These shampoos generally moisturize without being too harsh or drying the skin. We strongly suggest using an organic or all-natural formula that is free of dyes, parabens, alcohol, and other artificial ingredients that may be harmful to your puppy’s sensitive skin. You can also use a regular dog shampoo on a puppy, just don’t use the heavily medicated ones that you would use for flea and ticks. Also, stay away from heavily scented shampoos.
An essential factor to consider is your dog’s skin type. Does your dog have dry, itchy, or excessive dandruff? Then a moisturizing shampoo, such as dog dandruff shampoo, is the way to go. Like we said in the previous section, shampoos for dry skin should include ingredients that will relieve the discomfort and itchiness of dry skin. So, look for products with Vitamin E, aloe vera, oatmeal, or honey. Consult your veterinarian to help you decide what type of shampoo you should use on your pet.
Like we said earlier, shedding is typical for some breeds. Some just shed more than others. However, there is such thing as excessive shedding, and you should consult your veterinarian for shampoos to limit such cases. Unnecessary shedding can be the result of an imbalance in the skin’s pH levels, allergies, and stress, to name a few. The formula used in shampoos to treat shedding have a balanced pH to make sure your pet’s skin does not dry out. Also, they are full of essential ingredients to moisturize irritated and dry skin, such as Vitamin E, oatmeal, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
If you flip the shampoo bottle over, you’ll probably see a long, confusing list of ingredients the product contains. But, there are some ingredients to stay away from because they can irritate or damage your dog’s skin or coat, or cause an allergic reaction. Overall, try to choose formulas with natural fragrances such as citrus or lavender. Also, try to avoid shampoos with artificial dyes and preservatives, like parabens. Some pet owners try to avoid unwanted, harmful ingredients by purchasing organic or all-natural formulas.
Continue reading below about ingredients to avoid in a canine shampoo.
Companies add preservatives to their products to extend the shelf-life of the product by protecting against all the possible microbes that can cause the growth of mold, fungi, and both.
So the question is, are preservatives good or bad? The one misconception is that all preservatives are bad. The truth is that anything that can kill living cells has the potential to be toxic. But it is the dose or amount of the preservative that makes them poisonous for your pet.
For example, parabens, which are low-cost synthetic chemical preservatives, were developed to keep the cosmetics from growing bacteria, fungus, and mold. Now, the opinions of parabens have been mixed. Some claim the amount used in pet shampoo is not enough to poison your pet. While some argue, that if used enough, parabens can cause cancer. To the point where manufacturers are beginning to promote “paraben free” formulas on their label. When honestly, the real concern should be that some of these preservatives are sensitizers or can cause allergic reactions, such as Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone. So we strongly suggest doing your research.
So, here is a quick guide to follow as you decide which preservatives are okay and which ones you need to avoid.
Preservatives that are not bad for your pet’s health should be:
- Broad spectrum of activity
- Effective and safe at low concentrations
- Does not negatively interact with any other ingredients or become inactivated by other ingredients.
- Water soluble and oil insoluble
- Stable under all temperatures and pH conditions that would occur during manufacture and use.
- Colorless and odorless
Is an organic compound derived from coconut oil. It is a medium-strength foam booster used in shampoo and hand soap. However, some studies show that it can be an allergen and has been linked to causing cancer.
Sulfates are synthetic ingredients that derive from petroleum or lauryl alcohol (from coconut oil or other plants). These can be found on the label as “coconut-based cleaners” or “naturally derived from coconuts.”
Manufacturers use sulfates, or detergents, in dog shampoo because they make the product sudsy. In addition, they make your pet’s coat sleek and shiny. However, sulfates are used to remove excess oil and dirt, and also strip the fur of its natural oils, which can lead to irritation of the skin, and maybe infections. The most common ones used are Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate. Side effects include dryness, redness, itchiness, cause irritation to the eyes, and have been linked to cancer.
Companies use ethanolamines in their dog shampoos as a foaming agent and to help give the product a creamy texture. Also, they are used to balance the pH in shampoo formulas. The concern with ethanolamines is that when they are combined with other preservatives and break down into nitrogen, they form nitrosamines, which are absorbed through the skin. They have been linked to cause cancer and cause damage to organs and the reproductive system. Some examples of commonly used ethanolamines would be cocamide DEA or MEA.
Artificial Colorings and Fragrances
Both are known to be allergens and cause cancer. Artificial colorings are used in products for aesthetics, or to give the product more customer appeal. Many of the FDA approved dyes raise health concerns, from organ damage, cancer, birth defects, and allergic reactions. Fragrances are used to give the shampoo a pleasant scent in place of essential oils. Phthalates are used in products to mesh the fragrance to the other ingredients. However, phthalates are also known to be hormone disruptors, which means they are bad for your pet’s health.
How to Bathe Your Dog Properly?
This task can be somewhat time consuming and stressful. But there are some things you can do to help make this process a more positive experience.
I like to do some kind of physical activity that will tire my dog out, that way they are not hyper during their bath. For example, I usually take my dog for a walk or run with me. To prepare them, put cotton balls in their ears to prevent any water from entering the ear canal during their bath. Then, give a brush of their coat to get rid of any mattes or tangles, which are places dirt can get trapped.
Once you’ve completed those steps, apply the shampoo to your pet’s fur and begin using your fingers to lather the shampoo, deep into the coat thoroughly.
Be sure to rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water, ensuring no residue is left behind. Then air dry or use a blow dryer for dogs. Try to refrain from using your personal hair dryer because those might be too hot for your pet.
Below, is a little overview on how to properly wash your dog.
How Often Should You Wash Them?
This answer will vary depending on the type of dog you have. This depends on the activity level and coat type. I try to give my dog a bath once a week. Bathing your pup too much might irritate their skin or coat. But if your dog is small with a thin coat, you might be able to get by with bathing them every 2-3 weeks. But sometimes your dog, especially if they spend most of the time outdoors, can get dirty easily so you might have to bathe them sooner than expected.
No doubt, it’s important to wash your pet regularly, so it has nice fur and healthy skin. Of course, there are some things you must think about before buying shampoo for your breed. Think about your pet’s skin and if it’s prone to any allergies. Also, consider the scent you’d like the most if you’re sensitive to any strong scents. So for 2018, we recommend the Fresh N Clean Pet Shampoo for most breeds.
Its formula and ingredients sooth the skin and eliminate any tangled hair and irritation. What’s most important, it comes in a large, 1-gallon bottle so you won’t have to constantly buy another one. Overall, any of these shampoos are great choices depending on the formula and scent you prefer.
Your dog’s well-being and health is the most important thing, and are a priority to every one of these brands. We hope that you found some information on our best dog shampoos guide!
- How to Bathe Your Dog Correctly – msue.anr.msu.edu
- 7 Common Causes of Dry Dog Skin. – petcarerx.com
- PRESERVATIVES: GOOD, BAD, AND UGLY – groomblog.blogspot.com