With plenty of option in the market, picking the best dog shampoo for your dog can be a daunting task if you are not aware of why you are buying shampoo for your pooch.
To help you know how to choose the best shampoo for your dog, we have included this guide to assist in making an informed purchase decision.
There are a couple of common skin conditions that affect dogs, and different types of shampoos cater to different kinds of these needs.
In this post, we will guide on everything you need to know to be able to pick the best dog shampoo. But before we narrow down to the factors to consider when choosing a dog shampoo, let’s discuss some of the most common skin conditions in dogs. Not every dog shampoo is meant to clean your dog’s coat, which is why you need to know which dog shampoo is made for what.
If you are in a hurry, check out our recommendation list below.
For general cleaning, choose a gentle shampoo that is designed to eliminate odor and dirt from your dog’s coat. Shampoo meant for general cleaning contain moisturizers that help keep your dog’s skin gentle.
If even after general cleaning, your canine friend has a smelly coat, he might be having a skin infection or another underlying condition that needs vet intervention. For body odor, go for shampoos with omega fatty acids, oatmeal, and Aloe Vera extracts.
Fungal and bacterial infections are a common thing in pets. If you notice that your dog’s coat has greasiness or flakiness, then you may need to visit your vet to know what it is. Regarding shampoo for skin disease, go for the one targeting a broader spectrum of diseases. It will help minimize the symptoms of skin diseases.
If your canine friend is allergic to dust mites, pollen, and other allergy triggers, then they need to bath him with shampoos that are hypoallergenic.
By knowing the most common dog’s skin condition, you will know the right shampoo to use. Remember that a dog’s health is reflected by its coat appearance. That’s why there are different types of shampoos targeting any of the above problem areas more safely and effectively.
With that in mind, we can now discuss how to pick the right dog shampoo
Guide to Choosing the Best Dog Shampoo
When shopping for dog shampoo, besides choosing the one with safe and mild contents, there are things you need to keep in mind.
1. Identify Your Dog’s Needs
Choosing the right dog shampoo is essential for the skin health and comfort of your pooch. Using a moisturizing shampoo with ingredients such as honey and vitamin E can help treat itchy and dry skin conditions in your dog.
Conditioning shampoos also treat dry and itchy skin conditions because of their full nature. They help curb hair loss and smoothens out tangles. However, don’t use a conditioning shampoo on your dog if it has an oily coat.
Aloe-based shampoos are also great for soothing itchy skins because they make the coat glossy. Wholesome shampoos are full of vitamins, minerals as well as proteins, all of which bring back the shiny appearance to a lack-luster coat.
However, for dogs with skin diseases, use dog shampoos with oatmeal. These offer the safest treatment for all types of skin conditions including dry skin, dandruff, and greasy skin.
Avoid artificially scented shampoos as they mostly contain chemicals. They affect dogs with sensitive skins. Use deodorizing organic shampoos that use flowers, herbs, and fruits extract to deep clean your dog’s coat and control odor by delivering a long-lasting natural fragrance.
For spot cleaning, dry dog shampoos offer the best convenience. They are useful in cleaning off grime and dirt before regular baths.
Stains and dirt are common on dogs with white fur. If you have a dog with bright fur, don’t go for dog shampoos containing peroxide or bleach as they might destroy your dog’s coat. It is good to choose a brightening shampoo with deposits colorants and deep cleans if you have a dog that has a fairer fur.
2. Be Watchful of What Your Dog Doesn’t Want
A good pet owner should be watchful of what their dogs don’t like. Over time, you will know the ingredients that cause allergies and sensitivity to your dog. Avoid dog shampoos with such ingredients to keep your dog happy and comfortable.
Avoid shampoos with many surfactant, parabens, and solvents as they could cause sensitivity and allergic reactions in dogs with sensitive skin.
There are also shampoos with natural ingredients that your dog might react to. Be on the lookout to know which ingredients are unsuitable for your dogs. Some of the ingredients known to cause adverse effects on dogs with sensitive skins to include birch, camphor, and tea tree.
To know if shampoo will not suit your dog, apply it on a patch of its coat, and wait for 24 hours to see if they will cause any reactions.
3. Check What Other People Are Saying
Product reviews are an excellent source of information, and you can use them to know the best dog shampoo as well. It is wise to read what other customers are saying regarding the dog shampoo you are about to buy. Products with more than 60% of their reviews being positive and those from reputable brands are safe options.
Brands that have been in the market for a long duration tend to have a better track record. Also, using reputable sites like ours will also help you in making the best choice.
4. Avoid Dog Shampoos With a Lot of Artificial Ingredients
When buying the best dog shampoo, you need to go for the one with very few artificial ingredients. Although you might not see the damage after applying, shampoo with contents such as synthetic fragrances, colors, preservatives, alcohol, etc. can have adverse effects on your furry friend including loss of fur and inflammation.
Read labels and list of ingredients to know the content of the shampoo in question. Also, steer clear of shampoo that hides behind the names ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ yet have artificial ingredients in their labels. Trustworthy and reputable brands disclose a full list of ingredients on their labels.
Dogs self-clean themselves, and with the right dog shampoo, you can reduce the number of times your dog needs a bath.
Organic shampoo can be pricey, but they are the best. Go for shampoos that have been certified by the USDA as they have passed the safety tests.
5. If Your Dog Has Persistent Skin Problem, Go For a Medicated Dog Shampoo
If you have tried multiple dog shampoos and the skin problem still persist, it might be wise to use a medicated shampoo. These shampoos are designed to treat a specific condition. Instead of going for broad-spectrum shampoo, opt for a medicated shampoo that targets a particular skin condition.
However, don’t use medicated shampoos on pregnant dogs and puppies that are below four months. Also, ensure that the medicated or therapeutic shampoo you choose is solely made for dogs. Besides, a dog’s size and weight are other factors you need to put into consideration when selecting the right medical shampoo.
Dog shampoos with hydrocortisone are meant to treat inflammatory conditions such as dermatitis and eczema as well as other fungal infections.
Antibacterial and antifungal shampoos treat smelly and greasy skin conditions. Consult your vet if your dog’s skin condition continues to persist or worsens even after using a medicated shampoo for more advice and treatment.
Once you have understood your dog’s requirement, it is time to dig deeper into what your shampoo should be.
The Best Dog Shampoo for your dog should;
Take care of your dog’s skin issues
If you notice any problem with the skin condition of your dog such as dry coat or presence of insects, the first thing you need to do is consult your vet to know the skin conditions your dog has. After that, select the right dog shampoo for your dog in the market.
With many varieties of shampoos in the market and each focusing on a particular condition, you may choose a wrong type of shampoo if you don’t know the condition you are treating. The shampoo you buy should take care of your dog specific skin issues.
Maintain The Right Skin PH
Skin PH is a critical thing to consider because dogs have sensitive skins. Their skin PH should range from 2.2 to 7.5. The best dog shampoo should make your dog’s fur healthy and shiny while maintaining the right PH within this specified range.
Any variations in PH can cause sensitivities and unnecessary inflammations.
Not Cause Allergies
As a keen dog owner, you should know which ingredients cause an allergic reaction to your dog. Therefore, you should avoid dog shampoos that have the said ingredient in its packaging.
This is important if you want to avoid allergic reactions in your dog. You can patch test before applying the dog shampoo you bought before using it to your dog’s whole body.
Not Cause Sensitivities
Keep in mind that dogs have sensitive skins and some dog shampoos can cause excessive skin sensitivity. You need to focus on shampoo that doesn’t make your dog’s skin overly sensitive. If your dog has skin sensitivity issues, focus on buying dog shampoos that have Aloe Vera as it is known to have a cooling effect and anti-bacterial properties. This will help reduce skin irritation and itching.
Work With Your Dog’s Skin Type
If you have a colored dog breed, then you should use brightening shampoos that are known to remove stains and yellowness in your dog’s fur.
Carefully observe your dog’s skin type before buying dog shampoo. There is different types of skins; dry, oily, and normal skin. Each dog shampoo is designed to work with a different skin type. Using a shampoo meant for a dog with oily skin on a dog with oily skin will worsen the situation.
Be approved by FDA
The dog shampoo you buy should have approval sign from FDA. Any unapproved product is not worth trying because their safety and effectiveness have not been verified. Besides, if the dog shampoo is labeled organic, ensure that it has certifications for being natural from reputable and relevant authorities such as USDA.
Be Organic and Biodegradable
Organic and biodegradable shampoos are the best for your dog’s skin. Chemical-based shampoos might be useful, but they can have adverse effects on your dog’s skin health later. Organic shampoos are not only healthy, but they will also help in nourishing your dog’s coat thanks to the essential nutrients they are packed with.
To wind up our dog shampoo buyer’s guide let’s discuss different types of shampoos.
Types of Dog Shampoos
Here are different types of dog shampoos available on the market today;
These are specially formulated for puppies. They have been made with a no-tear formula to make them safe for small pups. Since puppies might get shampoo in their eyes, the no-tear formula ensures they are affected.
If your pooch smells awful and has odor problems even after bathing him regularly, then this is the right type of shampoo for them. They are designed to remove bad smell on your dog’s fur and replace it with a fresh, pleasant fragrance.
This is designed to make your dog’s coat shine and appear bright. Sometimes, a dog fur might appear dull due to poor diet or a couple of external conditions such as staying outdoor a lot when he was not used to that. If it has become dull due to external factors, then this type of shampoo will definitely help. It also helps to remove stains.
Herbal Protein shampoo
These shampoos are helpful in conditioning a dog’s coat naturally because of their natural ingredients.
Because of their enriching proteins and lack of chemicals, they are better than chemical-based shampoos. They do not contain harsh chemicals or strong fragrances.
If you notice red spots, inflammation or irritations on your dog’s skin, then it is best to use a soothing septic shampoo rather than a medicated shampoo. This will not only help soothe the itching but also prevent your dog from injuring itself while scratching.
Other types of shampoos include;
- Ticks and Fleas shampoos that are applied to dogs that are in areas with insects
- Itching Shampoos for dogs with itching problems caused by insect infestation or excessively dry skin
- Premium Conditioning Shampoo for dogs with overly dry skin
- Nourishing Shampoos – they have extra minerals, vitamins and proteins to make your dog’s coating healthier and shiny.
Before deciding to buy a specific shampoo, ensure that it has met most of the conditions we have outlined here. Remember that choosing the best shampoo for your dog is of utmost importance.
10 Best Dog Shampoos
There are many brand making dog shampoos- some are all-natural, others are organic, others come with conditions, some smell fresh, etc. With all these brands to choose from, it might be hard to select the best shampoo for your dog. That’s why we have compiled the top 10 best dog shampoos to make your work easier.
Flesh ‘N’ Clean is one of the best dog shampoos on the market. It offers refreshing and long-lasting scents that keep your dog smelling nice after baths. This dog shampoo is made of natural ingredients, and it comes at a relatively lower price as compared to other shampoos in its category. Therefore, if you are looking for a cheaper option that will still give you better results, then this is the best bet for you.
It comes with both natural ingredients and chemical agents that are healthy and safe for your dogs all formulated in a way that enhances the effectiveness of this shampoo. This makes it an ideal shampoo for dogs that get themselves dirty easily.
This shampoo helps in getting rid of tangle and mats, and it features a sweet smell that lasts for a long time.
Its foam rinses off easily making it easy to use. Besides, it acts as a good conditioner by offering extra moisturizing effect for the skin and coat. Coming in a larger bottle, this shampoo provides you service for a long time. Therefore, you don't need to be buying shampoo now and then.
However, one downside of this product is its poor packaging. Its lid gets faulty easily, and therefore you have to be careful when opening it.
Pros of Fresh N Clean Shampoo
- It offers a long-lasting scent and freshness
- This shampoo is relatively affordable
- Comes in a sizeable bottle
- Removes tangles and mats
- Easy to wash off as it rinses easily
Cons of Fresh N Clean Shampoo
- Has a faulty lid
- Its scent can be too strong for sensitive dog owners
Do you need a dog shampoo that offers fast relief from issues with the dog’s skin? Dechra Micohanex fit’s the ticket. It combines various active ingredients including chlorhexidine and miconazole which helps in treating bacterial and fungal skin infections. The Chlorhexidine acts as a disinfectant and helps in fighting yeast. As such, this is a suitable shampoo for dogs with any tropical fungal and bacterial skin infections and can save you a trip to the vet.
Another impressive ingredient is the TrizEDTA which is an antibacterial agent. The formula also contains lemongrass and lavender oil to keep the coat looking smooth and fluffy. The presence of ceramides ensures that your dog’s skin stays moisturized and restores damaged skin. The MiconaHex Triz Wipes works well in hard to reach areas such as skin folds, armpits, elbows, and toes. The package contains 50 wipes to ensure that you can keep your dog healthy and happy. The shampoo comes in various sizes and even a multipack if you need several.
Pros of Dechra Miconahex Shampoo
- Made in the US
- Offers antimicrobial and moisturizing properties
- Long lasting shampoo
Cons Dechra Miconahex Shampoo
- Some dogs may find it irritating, but manufacturers recommend that you shake it well before use.
For less than twenty dollars, Ketohex Shampoo offers excellent quality and keeps your dog's coat looking glossy. The high-quality product performs even better for dogs with antifungal and antibacterial infection due to its formulation.
It comes with ingredients such as Ketoconazole and Chlorhexidine, which offer quick relief from itching. If your dog has issues with paw fungus, this is the dog shampoo you can rely on, thanks to its antimicrobial benefits. Better yet, you don’t need medicines or injections to use this product. The suitable time to use it is when bathing your pet.
The pleasantly smelling shampoo comes with ceramides that keep the skin moisturized. The USA made shampoo is safe to use and leaves the skin soft after a bath. A majority of dogs respond exceptionally well to the Ketohex shampoo even when used regularly.
Pros of Ketohex Shampoo
- Pleasantly fragranced
- Relatively affordable
- Contains medicinal properties for antifungal infections
Cons of Ketohex Shampoo
- May not work well with some dogs as it’s heavily medicated.
This is a 2-in-1 dog shampoo and conditioner and has been formulated especially for dogs that suffer from food allergies, flea bites, and those with sensitive and dry skin. This dog shampoo + conditioner from Pro Pet Works has a perfect combination of Aloe Vera, almond oil, as well as Vitamin A, E, and D that makes it hypoallergenic in nature. It does not irritate the eyes, and thus your pet will experience no-tears while bathing. In addition to this, it is an all-natural product made of organic ingredients.
These organic ingredients soothe your pet’s coat and skin thanks to their healing ability. It will help save you from having to go to a professional groomer to have your pet groomed. It is a detergent-free and soap-less formula, which means you will have a pleasurable bathing time.
We recommend this dog shampoo because its manufacturers ensured that it is all-natural and 100% biodegradable. It is also made using some recycled materials. Being non-toxic and cruelty-free nature, you can be assured that this shampoo is the best option for your dogs.
Pros of Pro Pet Works Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
- It gives your dog a no-tear experience when bathing because it doesn’t irritate the eyes
- Leaves a long-lasting mild scent on your dog coat
- Cruelty-free and non-toxic formula
Cons of Pro Pet Works Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
- It is quite expensive as compared to other shampoos in its category
For its price, this is the best dog shampoo for skin allergies and itching. Being a medicated shampoo, it is cheaper than what your vet would prescribe to your dog if it has skin disorders. Sogeval Douxo Shampoo is made with a powerful formula that targets skin disorders.
With natural ingredients that are not only safe but also healthy for your dog, this shampoo helps promote healthy skin and discourages flaking and itching. Some of the ingredients used to make this shampoo, such as Chlorhexidine, has strong antiseptic properties.
This shampoo moisturizes your dog’s coat by depositing lipoprotein films on the skin, which keeps your dog’s coat and skin healthy and shiny.
If your dog has a chronic irritating skin condition and unbearable skin condition, then Sogeval Douxo Shampoo is the perfect product for that.
Not only is this shampoo manufactured by a reputable company, but it is also known to be of high quality and has garnered a lot of positive customer feedback.
It not only give your dog the relief he/she needs but also leaves its fur coat looking healthy and silky.
Pros of Sogeval Douxo Shampoo
- It protects your dog’s skin from loss of moisture and irritation
- Promotes coat and skin health
- Creates an excellent lather to enable you to wash your dog well
- It works well with dogs that have itchy and sensitive skin
- Fur is left shiny and soft and has no scaly patches
- Leaves your dog with a mild sweet smell that lasts for a long time
- It is the best dog shampoo for sensitive skin
Cons of Sogeval Douxo Shampoo
- It is heavily medicated and thus should be used as per its specification
- It should not be used for dogs with no skin conditions
It's hard to find a product that delivers what is written on the bottle. Luckily, the Fresh 'N Clean Shampoo offers a long lasting scent as well as keeping the coat fluffy and soft. Made with naturally sourced plant-derived ingredients, it is safe to use on your dog’s coat without side effects. The formula contains soothing aloe leaf juice to keep your dog hair looking manageable and tangle free. Other ingredients used include purified water, fragrance, thickening agents and soothing agents.
What’s more, it contains vitamin E as well as aloe barbadensis to offer moisture for the flaky skin. The dog shampoo is made for all dogs and particularly for dogs with sensitivities and itchy skin. It’s designed for dogs with brittle and dull looking coats and will restore the natural and young shine. Better yet, it acts as a hair strengthening agent to keep the skin looking smooth. The floral scent stays fresh for a fortnight where you turn bath time into spa time. All you need is wet coat and lather thoroughly for an easy rinse.
Pros of Fresh 'N Clean Shampoo
- Offers long lasting scent
- Keeps your dog's skin hydrated
- It’s natural
Cons of Fresh 'N Clean Shampoo
- Can be easily damageable when shipping
- A few customers said that it caused itching to some dogs.
This is a soap-free dog shampoo that works well on most dogs with sensitive skins. It has no sulfates or parabens, and therefore it’s safe for your dog. You can use it to control your dog’s itchy, flaky skin for her/him to live comfortably. Being a pharmaceutical shampoo, this product is designed for dogs with problematic skin. It is ultra-gentle and is manufactured using natural ingredients that prevent moisture from leaving the skin thereby solving the problem of dry skin.
This shampoo is safe to use on all dog breeds irrespective of the coat texture or color. It is the best dog shampoo for fleas and ticks. According to Bayer Animal Health, this shampoo can be used even on puppies that are over 12 weeks old. Still, you may need to consult your vet before using it on pregnant, aged, or nursing dogs. After using it, it is recommended that you don't use it on your dog for up to 7 days as this might be harmful to your pet.
Pros of Bayer Animal Health Shampoo
- It has hypoallergenic formula thus it’s great for dogs with sensitive skin
- Promotes moisturizing of coat and skin
- It is safe for all dog breeds
- It is the best dog shampoo for fleas and ticks
Cons of Bayer Animal Health Shampoo
- It is only available in 16-ounce bottles
- It is a bit pricey as compared to other dog shampoo brands
The best shampoo doesn't just act as shampoo, but as a powerful conditioner as well, and Nature's Specialties Shampoo is one of the best products. Thanks to its perfect blend of Aloe Vera, Vitamins A, D, and E, as well as silk proteins, this shampoo will take care of your dog’s coat and skin effectively.
It is the best dog shampoo for puppies aged at least six weeks. Besides cleaning your dog, it moisturizes his/her coating and gives them a pleasant, plum scent.
This shampoo needs to be diluted with warm water, and you can dilute it with 24 parts of water. After thoroughly massaging it on your dog’s coat, rinse it with warm water.
Pros of Nature's Specialties Shampoo
- It leaves your dog’s coat soft and silky
- It is the best dog shampoo for skin allergies; no more rashes
- It leaves a pleasant, mild scent
Cons of Nature's Specialties Shampoo
- This shampoo doesn’t offer great conditioning qualities
- Its mild scent doesn't work well on stinky dogs
This all-in-one natural shampoo is made from high-quality, natural ingredients and is used by professional groomers due to its many benefits. The product is excellent in helping relieve irritation caused by dry, itchy skin.
Made from plant-based surfactants derived from palm and coconut, as well as Aloe Vera and oatmeal extracts, this shampoo will have a soothing and calming effect on your dog’s skin. It will relieve him of excessive scratching.
This shampoo is not only great for keeping your dog clean, but also for keeping your pooch’s skin and coat hydrated and feeling soft. It is the best dog shampoo for dry skin as it has moisturizing effects.
With this shampoo, you will get your pooch cleaned, moisturized, deodorized, conditioned, and de-tangled. And above all, it will nourish your dog’s skin regardless of whether it has allergies or dry skin. It can be used on puppies as well.
Pros of Pupkiss Pets Natural Dog Shampoo
- It cleans, moisturizes and deodorizes your dog’s skin
- It is excellent for dogs with itchy and dry skin
- It leaves your dog’s fur feeling soft and fluffy
- This is an all-in-one shampoo
Cons of Pupkiss Pets Natural Dog Shampoo
- It is not great for really stinky dogs
If you are looking for a multi-purpose dog shampoo that is safe and effective, then Dechra TrizChlor 4 Shampoo is the best bet. Not only can this product be used on your dogs but it can also help horses and cats, thereby making it an economical product to have at home.
One of the most outstanding features of Dechra TrizChlor 4 is that is a medicated dog shampoo. This means it can clear up any bacterial or topical fungal skin infection on your pooch, thereby saving you trips to your vet. It also has ceramides, which moisturizes your dog’s coat and skin. It is one of the cheapest dog shampoos on the market.
Pros of Dechra TrizChlor 4 Shampoo
- It is made in the USA and thus has passed all the safety tests
- It has antifungal and antimicrobial properties and therefore great for dogs with sensitive skins
- Leaves a mild scent on your dog’s coat
Cons of Dechra TrizChlor 4 Shampoo
- It should only be used on dogs with sensitive skin due to its antimicrobial properties that can cause irritation in some dogs
- You must shake well before using it
The best dog shampoo is the one that addresses all of your pooch’s skin needs, and one that is effective and safe on him/her.
All the shampoos we have recommended here are safe and effective and do not contain harsh chemicals. They are the best in the market and have been proven to be effective.
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)
- Click to print (Opens in new window)