A well-groomed bath using a good quality dog shampoo keeps the coat and skin of a dog clean, healthy, and moisturized.
There are many various types of shampoos available for dogs, however. There are shampoos that are whitening for white fur dogs, shampoos that are designed to eliminate ticks and fleas, and specifically for sensitive puppy skin.
How is the doggy-bath time at your home? For sure, dog owners, this is an enjoyable bonding moment. However, the entire family is soaked for others, and everyone is unhappy.
The right shampoo can simplify things to have an uncluttered pet that does not smell like a wet dog.
“I prefer shampoos that dissolve easily, wash well, and do not leave any residue and have the most natural ingredients they can be and are also inexpensive,” says Kim Flatley, professional dog groomer and the owner of St. Louis-based Fitness with Fido.
We searched for the most effective dog shampoos for dogs.
We found these:
Best Overall:Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Pet Shampoo
Best Natural/Organic: 4-Legger Organic Dog Shampoo
Best for Sensitive and Dry Skin: Rocco & Roxie Calm Sensitive Skin
Best for Odor:Buddy Wash Lavender & Mint Shampoo & Conditioner
Best for Shedding:Furminator deShedding Ultra Premium Dog Shampoo
Best Waterless: The Spruce Waterless Pet Wash
Best Flea Shampoo:Richard’s Organics Flea & Tick Shampoo
Best for Puppies:Pure and Natural Pet Fragrance-Free Hypoallergenic Organic Shampoo
Best dry shampoo :Begley’s Natural No Rinse Waterless Pet Shampoo
Best whitening shampoo:Chris Christensen White on White Dog Shampoo
It’s so easy to find formulations and scents available that there’s bound to be an Earthbath shampoo perfect for your dog and you.
Our top choice is our Oatmeal and Aloe formula, which is a great starting point.
It’s fragrance-free, thanks to colloidal oatmeal and aloe vera, an organic ingredient, to soothe dry and itchy skin.
As with the rest of Earthbath products, this one is made without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and sulfates, as well as synthetic colors.
The products are all 100% cruelty-free and are made in the United States.
Ask Earthbath fans, and many will have their favorite shampoo that ranges from deodorizing to relief from hot spots and shed control to conditioning.
Naturally-scented scents can include mango, vanilla, peppermint, and lavender.
There’s also a very popular almond and vanilla version of this aloe and oatmeal shampoo if you’re looking for something with a scent.
The Earthbath products are backed by a guarantee that if you’re unhappy with the results from your bath, the company will refund the money you paid.
Size: 16 ounces | Scent: Unscented | Usage: For puppies and dogs, 6 weeks and up
“Looking for organic and natural products is the best way to take,” says professional groomer Youngker. “When products are organically certified, they’re not contaminated with substances that could harm the dog’s skin.”
Nine USDA-certified organic shampoos are available in the 4-Legger line. They contain various ingredients, including oatmeal and lavender, to treat rough and dry skin.
This well-known product contains aloe vera lemongrass and coconut oil to moisturize. Eucalyptus and peppermint to the condition, as well as a scentless version that contains aloe vera to soothe fragile facial skin.
All products of 4-Legger contain USDA-approved organic products and are free from parabens, sulfates, artificial colors, phthalates, scents, and harmful preservatives.
Shampoos are manufactured by the United States and have a money-back assurance. They’re cruelty-free and vegan.
Groomer Pro Tips
- The groomer Kim Flatley suggests diluting shampoo in a cup prior to applying it to distribute it to your pet and help it spread later quickly.
- Use lukewarm water, says Groomer Dana Youngker. “Nothing that you would bathe in hot water,” she says. “If you would not wash your child in it, don’t wash your dog with it.”
Size: 16 ounces | Scent: Lemongrass and rosemary scent | Usage: Puppies and adults
This mild formula contains aloe vera extract to moisturize and soothe skin, as well as the calming properties of chamomile.
Rosemary assists in protecting and encouraging healthy skin development.
This shampoo is conceived for dogs and puppies who have sensitive skin. It has a light pet and coconut fragrance.
This formula is free of phthalates, paraben, formaldehyde, mineral oils, artificial colors, dyes, and other ingredients. They’re pH balanced, so they’re safe for the dog’s skin.
Size: 16 or 32 ounces | Scent: Coconut and honey scent | Usage: Puppies and adult dogs
This conditioning shampoo comes with the soothing mint and lavender scent that comes from a mixture of essential oils and essences, including lavender, sage, and rosemary extract.
The aroma should aid in removing the smell of a wet dog that drove you and your dog to the tub in the first place.
It is soap-free and alcohol-free and is based on coconut as the base. It lathers nicely and is easy to wash out, leaving a silky coat.
The Buddy Wash is manufactured in the United States and hasn’t been tested on animals.
It’s safe for humans if bath time is challenging, and it’s also easy to wash your dog in the shower with you!
Size: 16 ounces | Scent: Lavender and mint scent | Usage: Puppies and adult dogs
If your dog’s coat isn’t as good as the season, it can feel as if you’re living in a continuous cloud of hair from your dog.
If you’re a heavy shedder, the solution to reducing it is “brush on your pet more frequently, not bathe it more often,” says Youngker.
However, this shampoo by a company that creates popular tools for deshedding could assist you during bath time.
It is a mix of natural components that help promote healthy skin. It includes omega-3 and omega-6 fats found in sunflower, cranberry, safflower oil, the aloe vera plant, and Vitamin E.
The most important thing is to soak your pet’s skin with water and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, then use the brand’s conditioner ( view on PetSmart).
There will be hair clumps in the tub, which will get even more significant when you clean the process with a brush, as well as the Furminator Rogue ( view on PetSmart).
Size: 16 ounces | Scent: Papaya scent | Usage: For puppies and dogs over 6 weeks old
Sometimes, you cannot provide your pet with the entire spa experience, or perhaps your dog requires a bit of freshening. Our water-free pet wash will make the whole experience much more enjoyable for both of you.
It is a plant-based, pH-balanced formulation; The Spruce Waterless Dog Wash does not contain parabens, phthalates, or dyes. It’s Leaping Bunny accredited. To apply, shake up the container, spray your pet’s coat with a generous amount, let it pose for one minute, then use a gentle, clean cloth to clean them. It cleans, conditions, and moisturizes, all while taking away dirt and other particles.
It comes in three scents: lavender (with clary sage) and oatmeal (with fresh mango), and new (neroli apple, neroli, and orchid) made using natural essential oils.
Size: 17 ounces | Scent: Fresh fruity scent | Usage: Adult dogs
Shampoos for fleas are often laced with harsh chemicals that could affect your pet’s skin and trigger an allergic reaction.
Even those that use healthier, natural essential oils can only remove the fleas present within your pets.
Because your home and yard remain infested with the pests, your pet is likely to be infected again, so it’s crucial to find a second method of controlling fleas, such as chewable every month or spot-on treatments suggested by your veterinarian.
However, it is an excellent method to eliminate your dog’s fleas in your home.
It’s not loaded with dyes, parabens, or soap and is soft, meaning it will not wash away any treatment for ticks and fleas applied to the skin.
The 5 Best Flea Shampoos for Dogs of 2022
It’s got Vitamin E, lanolin, and other moisturizers that help ease irritation to the skin. Instead of adding scent, the scent is from clove, cinnamon, cedar, peppermint, rosemary, and cedar oils.
Size: 12 ounces | Scent: Cinnamon, clove, peppermint scent | Usage: For puppies and dogs at least 12 weeks
Pure and Natural makes several USDA-certified organic shampoos and conditioners free of parabens, formaldehyde, sulfates, chemicals, and other dangerous chemicals.
Pure and Natural makes an utterly natural puppy shampoo; however, we prefer the gentle, hypoallergenic formulation.
It does not contain artificial dyes or fragrances and no preservatives or other additives, and the essential ingredients are organic aloe water, organic castile soap, and organic calendula, jojoba, and calendula oils.
Since it’s pH-balanced for coats of dogs and coats, it will not strip your dog of essential oils. It hydrates and eases itching while leaving the fur soft and shiny.
Size: 16 ounces | Scent: Unscented | Usage: Puppies and adult dogs
The natural shampoo from Begley’s Waterless No-Rinse Pet Shampoo offers a deep waterless cleanse using organic ingredients.
Advantages: Natural components, quickly distributed over the coat and skin, leave no residual, are biodegradable, 100, and cruelty-free.
Cons: Sprayer may break, scents last only a short time
There are instances when a complete bath for your dog isn’t practical or convenient.
Begley’s Natural No-Rinse Waterless Dog Shampoo is a simple-to-apply, light-scented, mildly fragranced shampoo that cleanses, deodorizes, and doesn’t dry the skin.
This shampoo for puppy and adult dogs comes with a unique naturally-derived enzyme mixture that gives an intense clean by eliminating the remnants of protein, fat, and starch from the pet’s skin and fur.
It also has biosurfactants that naturally occur in the body. They are created by microbes and provide an additional boost to the shampoo’s power cleaning.
Chris Christensen White on Shampoo for dogs is formulated with care to brighten and whiten dogs’ coats.
Advantages: Free from bleaching agents, the Gentle formula doesn’t dry skin, is easy to lather, and rinses with a light scent. It is suitable for any color coat and can last up to 4 weeks.
Cons: It May leave a purple shade on the fur when not used correctly; the puppies aren’t able to sit still for the entire 10 minutes. The product has to be on Whitecoat dogs require more than just regular shampoo.
They need a shampoo that removes staining discoloration (e.g., urine, urine, and food staining), which is more noticeable on coats of white.
Chris Christensen White on White Shampoo for pets will brighten and whiten dogs’ skin for four weeks without resorting to harsh chemicals such as bleaching agents.
It also gets rid of yellow stains and offers an intense cleanse.
Additionally, shampoo can be used on dogs of any color to improve the luster of their fur.
Shampoos that are enzyme-based breakdown protein and cause discoloration.
Whitening shampoos are typically classified as bluing, enzymatic or clarifying. Bluing shampoos, also known as optical brighteners, are made up of purple or blue color enhancers which absorb light and reflect it to conceal the stains.
Clarifying shampoos remove dirt from the cuticles of the hair.
Earthbath Oatmeal, along with Aloe, can be the most effective all-around choice. It is free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, or other ingredients. It is available in unscented, vanilla, and almond version if you like a subtle scent. Another option is 4Legger Aloe Vera and Lemongrass Organic Coconut Dog Shampoo. It’s certified organic by USDA, foams well, is easy to rinse, and leaves fur silky and soft.
Things to consider when shopping for dog shampoos
Dana Youngker, a groomer at Petworking & Co in Cumming, Georgia, outside of Atlanta, looks at natural components in the shampoos she uses and opts for organic whenever possible. While shampooing, she suggests that you get your dog clean and clean, begin with the head and proceed to the lower areas making sure you get all over the paw pads, including private rooms.
Rinse at the bottom of the head to ensure all the filthy water doesn’t get onto clean surfaces.
It’s not enough to search for a product that’s “natural.” When you’re looking for a gentle product that won’t cause health issues, take a look at the ingredients. “A majority of shampoos for dogs contain parabens, mineral oils as well as phthalates, sulfates, and they can lead to skin problems and other health issues.
They can also be very harmful to dogs.” Youngker says.
Also, make sure to search for essential oils rather than artificial scents. Avoid synthetic dyes and coloring of any kind.
The breed of your dog and coat type could affect the kind of shampoo you choose to use and the frequency with which you clean the pet. Certain breeds of dogs, such as Labrador retriever breeds, have naturally greasy coats that help keep water out. The groomers recommend avoiding shampoos that have conditioners built in for dogs with these breeds. Cleaning them too often could produce excessive natural oils in their skin.
A bath-time brushing routine can be more important than the shampoo you pick, suggests Flatley.
It assists in removing and loosening mats that are used for dogs with long hair or loose hair for shed dogs. “Then to bathe, you need to really scrub, scrub and scrub again, then rinse. When you think you’re done, wash again, making sure you don’t leave behind any shampoo,” she suggests.
Many brands claim to be puppy safe or soft; however, the most important thing is to verify the ingredients, advises Youngker. “Always look over the label. Be sure to avoid harmful ingredients. Make sure to use something mild and organic.”
Most shampoos can be used on puppies older than eight weeks and all dogs of adult age; however, you may notice that medicated shampoos or ones targeted at fleas should not be used until pups are a bit older. If you are uncertain, consult your vet before applying the product.
Other dog shampoos we considered
Oster Oatmeal Essentials 4-in-1 Dog Shampoo is made of organic oatmeal Vitamin B5 and coconut-based cleaners to cleanse and condition, soften, and untangle.
We were impressed by the fact that this shampoo can be used for multiple purposes.
The label did not mention if it was suitable for puppies and dogs, which gave it a low score.
Natural Chemistry’s Flea and Tick Shampoo is free of pyrethrin. It also contains natural extracts of plants, like cedar oil, which helps keep ticks and fleas away.
Additionally, it targets other insects, like mosquitoes and mites. But, the natural products for fleas and repellents against ticks are not as effective as synthetic insecticides.
“By the time that a homeowner is trying for weeks or even months to make use of a natural product to fight the fleas in their home, they (and the pets they have) may be infested,” says Todd-Jenkins.
Greenbone Lavender and Chamomile Dog Shampoo is made of natural ingredients that repel fleas and ticks.
It didn’t make our top spot due to the fact that, as with Natural Chemistry Natural Flea and Shampoo for Dogs, its natural repellants aren’t as efficient as synthetic insecticides. Furthermore, products with essential oils aren’t safe for use in homes that have pets, Sullivan informed us.
Well & Good Hypoallergenic Shampoo has natural ingredients such as shea butter to nourish the skin and honey to give shine and luster to the coat.
It’s not scented, making it an ideal option for dogs sensitive to scents. The shampoo is not as popular as earthbath Oatmeal as Aloe Pet Shampoo because it’s more expensive for the same amount of product.
This shampoo has natural ingredients, like lactic acid, to help maintain moisture on the skin and allantoin to relieve dry, scaly, and itchy skin. It didn’t earn our top spot since it’s intended to be used on adult dogs only.
Burt’s Bees Waterless Shampoo is a 99.7 percent natural shampoo that is suitable in situations where a bath isn’t an option.
We enjoyed the natural ingredients used in the shampoo. However, the smell of the shampoo is off-putting and lingers for a short time.
Hartz Waterless Shampoo cleans, refreshes, and neutralizes the smell without the requirement for water. A little can go quite a distance, and the shampoo does leave no residue on a pet’s skin or coat.
However, the ingredients are mostly artificial, except for synthetic fragrances, which gives this product a lower grade.
Synergy Lab’s Puppy Shampoo is a mild and tear-free formulation suitable for puppies at least six weeks of age.
It is well lathered; however, its thick consistency makes it difficult to wash out. The scent of the shampoo may last for as long as an entire week after bathing; however, the mild scent might not appeal to sure pet owners.
Wahl’s White Pear Brightening Shampoo is made of plant-based ingredients and has a delightful pear smell. While the shampoo’s color appears purple, the shampoo will not change the color of the dog’s coat to violet.
It is thick in consistency and is well lathered, but it might leave the bottle too quickly during bath time.
It also contains more chemical ingredients than those we discovered inside Chris Christensen White on White Shampoo for pets, the top pick of white shampoos.
Nature’s Miracle Whitening Shampoo is made up of natural ingredients extract of awaphui, which helps to lighten the coat of a dog. It lathers up, rinses quickly, and is scented with a pleasant aroma that’s not overwhelming.
It didn’t get the top spot since it’s designed to be used only by adult dogs.
Dog shampoo FAQs
Do I have to apply human shampoo to an animal?
The simple answer is no. The skin’s pH tells you how acidic an item is, and the lower the pH is, is more acidic it. Human skin pH is around five, while the canine’s skin’s pH can be a bit higher (5.5 between 5.5 and 7.5). This means humans’ skin tends to be more acidic than the skin of canines.
Shampoos for human skin are too acidic for dogs’ skin and can cause irritation to dogs’ eyes. “In all, I recommend dog owners to apply special shampoos as often as they can,” says Todd-Jenkins.
When should I visit the vet regarding my dog's skin issues?
Dog shampoos are effective in treating various skin conditions for dogs; however, they’re not the only solution for skin conditions. Skin issues often require medical attention to ensure they are managed and managed. Here are some guidelines for the time to take your dog to the vet for skin concerns:
- Hair loss
- The skin has a foul odor.
- Skin lesions, like ulcers
- Bumps and lumps on the skin
- Insane chewing, scratching, and the habit of licking
- Skin issues that manifest abruptly and then get worse
The earlier you bring your dog to the vet, the better, says Sullivan. “Early intervention can lead to faster recovery, comfort, and often lower costs,” she says.
What is the best type of shampoo for my dog?
Dogs require a special puppy shampoo designed to treat their skin’s sensitiveness. It’s based on various variables, like coat and skin health.
For example, a sensitive skin product could be an ideal option if your dog is suffering from itchy and dry skin due to allergic environmental reactions.
If you reside in an area that is prone to ticks and fleas, then a shampoo for ticks and fleas can be used in conjunction with your dog’s preventative treatment for ticks and fleas.
Your vet can help you decide the type of shampoo best for your pet.
Why you should give your dog baths
Bathing is a part of the general grooming process that includes regular brushing and nail trimmings. Why is bathing so crucial? Bathing can provide many benefits that our experts have explained:
- It helps prevent matting of hair
- Promotes skin exfoliation
- Removes loose hair
- Get rid of dirt and dust off the coat
According to Todd-Jenkins, bathing your dog allows you to look for external parasites like ticks and fleas. She says that bathing can also make the dog familiar with being touched and encourage a stronger bond between animal and human.
Do's and don'ts for bathing a dog
If you’re beginning to learn about bathing your dog or bathing your dog for some time, There are some bathing rules and guidelines which are essential to be aware of, in the opinion of our professionals.
- Make sure to bathe your dog frequently to keep them from matting. Most dogs are well with a single bath per month; however, you should consult your veterinarian for an appropriate bathing schedule for your pet.
- Contact your doctor If you spot any skin anomalies like scabs, hot spots, or bald spots when you bathe.
- Do use age-appropriate shampoos. This is crucial for puppies since shampoo labeling may not be clear on the minimum age (e.g., six weeks old). “When you’re unsure, stay in the direction of caution,” advises Todd-Jenkins.
- Be aware of your dog’s behavior at bath time. Are they anxious or uneasy? Your vet can suggest strategies to help reduce the anxiety of bathing your dog.
- Take your dog to the groomer if bathing your dog at home has proven to be difficult for you. If your dog requires a shampoo that is medicated, bring the shampoo to a groomer.
- Avoid using human shampoos unless your veterinarian has advised you because the pH is too acidic for a dog’s skin.
- Do not use shampoo with a medicated ingredient unless it is prescribed or recommended by your doctor.
- Do not assume that all the herbal or natural ingredients in shampoos for dogs are safe. Talk to your vet if you’re unsure of the safety of a particular shampoo’s ingredients.