You and I both have hair and skin that needs washing and grooming every once in a while. We are humans, and we can do it ourselves.
But our poor little dogs can hardly groom themselves. You don’t want your furry friend to smell like a pair of socks. And when you share your bed with him, that’s the last thing you want.
Washing your pet dog once a week should be more than okay only if you do it right.
You may ask ‘what to do right about dog washing?’
Dear fellow pet owner, it’s all about using the right shampoo on your dog. Yes, you heard it right.
Many dog owners use human shampoos on their dogs. But that can lead to irritation and other allergies. Because a dog’s skin is more sensitive and has a different PH balance than human beings.
I NEVER EVER use human shampoos on my dogs. And that’s the reason my dogs have bright, shiny and clean coats.
The dog shampoo will add lots of colors and shine to your dog’s fur. It should provide lots of other health benefits without any irritation or discomfort.
The best dog shampoo brands that I trust and use on my dogs.
I have been a dog lover all my life. Keeping a dog has always been a part of our family life. And one thing I learned over these years is don’t treat dogs like humans.
Yes, you can adore them like a human baby, but their food, grooming, and needs are totally different.
So, when I moved out living with my own wife and family, I started experimenting with dog shampoos. I had two dogs and a cat. One of my dogs had a dry skin problem, and the other was allergic.
When I tried about 5-7 dog shampoos, I came across 4 dog shampoos that I think, were best in the market. I use them even today.
‘Wahl,’ ‘Hartz groomer’s brightening,’ ‘Pro Pet works,’ and ‘4-legger certified’ are the top 4 in this list which I have used personally and gave me great results. I use all of them depending on the condition of my dogs’ skin.
The other 6 dog shampoos that I reviewed here will work wonders as well. I listed them by researching the product ingredients and getting expert opinions of other dog owners and groomers. And my own experience also enabled me to cite these shampoos as positive for your dogs.
Top 10 best dog shampoo reviewed.
Not long back I was searching for a natural pet shampoo that can stop my dog’s itching. A friend recommended me Wahl 4 in 1 natural pet shampoo. After I used this two times in a two-week duration, my dog no longer had any itching on his body.
The shampoo is very mild, but that doesn’t affect its cleaning and moisturizing ability. For dog owners who want to avoid harsh chemicals on their dogs’ skin, I would highly recommend Wahl pet shampoo. This property also makes this the dog shampoo for puppies in this list.
The ingredients in this shampoo are all plant-based and 100% natural. For lazy owners, there is good news. The shampoo is easy to apply and even rinse off pretty fast.
Let’s talk about the smell now. I loved the scent, but my dog had a little problem with it. He sneezed for a few minutes when I bathed him with this. But comparing with other shampoos, the smell is still mild.
I bought this to treat itching, but additionally, I saw improvement in my dog’s fur quality.
- Absolutely natural and gets rid of itching.
- Easy to apply and rinse off.
- Control skin dryness.
- We might need more than the recommended amount to make a good lather.
For a quick wash, I recommend this whitening shampoo from Hartz. When I first got hands on it, I was a bit skeptical of the claim this shampoo makes. After a few months passed, I saw changes in my buddy’s fur.
His fur color became prominent and looked cleaner than ever. I still use it at least once a month to ensure my dog’s fur remains bright and glowing.
It’s one of the dog shampoos that are easy on your dog’s skin and also cleans very well. You can’t expect both from a single dog shampoo.
I usually mix this shampoo with water in a ratio of 1 part shampoo and 2 parts water. That works pretty well, and the lather is easy to wash off. Sometimes I even apply twice for better cleaning.
The smell is strong and might affect your dog a bit. A more natural smell is preferable.
I really loved how soft my dog’s skin becomes every time I use this shampoo.
- Softens up your dog’s skin.
- Easy to wash off the lather.
- No risk of irritation on sensitive dog’s skin.
- Very affordable.
- The fragrance is mild, so sometimes need a second application to get rid of bad smells.
The pro pet organic shampoo is best for dogs having skin allergies. This is one of my most favorite shampoos that I used on my dog Max and my little cat Dory. Both had dry and sensitive skin, and this shampoo worked pretty well.
It’s totally worth the money because a little amount of this can create more lather. I loved the fruity smell and also the fact that when you wash off the smell becomes very light. I also used shampoos that had left off a strong smell on my dog’s body. That was pretty disturbing for at least 2 days.
For best results, use this shampoo two times when you wash your dog. The first wash will remove the natural oil on his body and the second wash will make sure it reaches the depth of his skin.
During the time I used this shampoo, I hardly ever needed to go to any professional groomer. It’s soapless, non-toxic and truly refreshing.
- Tear-free bath with soapless and detergent free ingredients.
- The fragrance is very mild and soothing.
- Best for long term cleaning of your dogs.
- A bit pricey when you compare it with others.
If you believe your dog’s food and shampoo can have great effects on their fur quality, then you are in the right place.
According to the vet, my dog might have had an insect infestation. I started using this shampoo, and after 3-4 applications in a month, I could see positive results. The places where my dog lost fur and had itching, all started healing.
The ingredients contain no synthetic components, so that makes this shampoo risk free. Ideally, you should make sure the shampoo doesn’t get in the ears or eyes. But as it is sulfate-free, there is less risk of any mishap.
I would say it’s one of the best dog shampoos for puppies that works like a miracle.
- It improves fur quality and helps control insect infestation.
- 100% natural and free from toxic ingredients.
- The lemongrass smell is strong but not overpowering.
- Not all dogs love lemongrass smell. You can go for the unscented or lavender version.
I love the combination of ingredients in this dog shampoo. Oatmeal, aloe vera, and coconut all are good for the skin.
The pet wash also has a light fragrance that can control odor. Though I do not recommend this for dogs that are super smelly.
The ingredients are all-natural and plant-based. So, it’s safe to say that your dogs will have no reaction to this cleaner agent.
It’s a shampoo recommended by most vets especially if your dog has an allergy issue. Judging by the ingredients used and how quickly it soothes the itching areas, this is the dog shampoo I have for skin allergies.
The company also donates to sick pets from every profit they make. That should be an inspiration too.
- Highly suitable for dogs with skin allergies.
- All-natural and suitable for dogs that have sensitive skin.
- The smell is natural like an oatmeal cookie.
- It provides instant relief from itching pain.
- Some dogs might be allergic to the ingredients used in this shampoo. Alternatively, you can try 4-legger (previous in this list) which is comparatively similar to this.
It’s made entirely from natural ingredients, and hence there is no risk of further irritation. The oatmeal and baking soda in the shampoo helps relieve itching and cleans your dog’s skin. What’s good is the damaged skin also gets a cooling relief from the shampoo.
If your dog has sensitive skin, you don’t need to worry. This pet wash is very gentle on the skin is totally soap and detergent-free.
It’s the dog shampoo for skin allergies as your dog will almost immediately get relieved from itching. In most cases, you can see positive results in the first wash.
Though I’m not sure about its odor-controlling property, if your dog is becoming red from scratching and licking, get this shampoo ASAP! That will save you from vet appointments!
- All-natural ingredients and Hypoallergenic.
- Soothes damaged skin areas.
- Gets rid of itching and cleans the skin gently.
- It has antifungal and antibacterial properties.
- Preferred as an odor controller.
The pet wash is totally free from soap and dye. So, I can say that there will be no irritation if you use this.
The ingredients include tea tree oil and Colloidal Oatmeal. Colloidal Oatmeal is great for providing relief to dry and itchy skin. Although tea tree oil can kill bacteria and fungus, I’m a little skeptical about this. Some dogs might be allergic to tea tree oil and you need to be sure about this before purchasing any product that has tea tree oil.
The best part about this pet wash is it takes ages to end one bottle. That means you will be saving a ton.
- Rinse off easily, yet cleans pretty well.
- Soothes long term dry and itchy skin.
- Feels great on your dog’s skin, heals him more on every wash.
- Each bottle lasts longer as less is needed for each wash.
- Some dogs might be allergic to Tea tree oil.
If your dog smells super bad and you need a shampoo that acts gentle and removes odor, Hartz Groomer’s Odor shampoo is for you.
As I researched deeper, I found this shampoo similar to the one I regularly use: Hartz groomer’s whitening. The only difference is it removes extremely bad stink with an odor destroyer technology.
If that doesn’t give you enough reason to use this shampoo, the smell should make your and your dog happy. It’s green apple scented which can absolutely make your dog smell really good.
Judging by the formulas used in every Hartz Groomer’s shampoo, your dog’s skin will get shiny and soft if you use it for a few weeks.
- Easy to wash off.
- Acts gently on the skin, good for dogs with sensitive skin.
- Kills extreme bad stink with confidence.
- Has skin softening properties.
- The fragrance might go away quickly after rinsing.
The best thing about pet wash is its light pear smell that will not irritate your dog.
It’s not an over the top dog grooming product but still does well what it says. Dogs with dry and itchy skin will reap most benefits from it.
This is why I love oatmeal in any type of dog shampoo or conditioner because it cleans and at the same time softens skin.
Whatever grooming products that I used for my dog that had oatmeal as an ingredient was well worth the money.
- Specially made for long-haired dogs or puppies.
- All-natural ingredients with no toxic effects.
- Moisturizes dry skin.
- Mild and fresh fragrance.
- A bit overpriced compared to others on this list.
If your dog has a yeast infection or any sort of itching on his skin, this shampoo should act as a cleanser and reliever to him.
The shampoo is not just a good cleaner, but it’s also one of the dog shampoos for odor removal. I have seen dogs that are way too smelly and develop wet spots on their bodies get super positive results from this shampoo.
The reason behind such great odor control is the way the shampoo works on the skin. The yeast and bacteria from underneath the skin folds are destroyed, and your dog is left with a soothing smell.
Because this Strawfield shampoo is not 100% natural, I would recommend using this occasionally and only when your dog is too smelly or itchy.
- Deep odor control and bacteria killer.
- Reduces itching and heals damaged areas.
- Cleans skins thoroughly removing fungus, yeast, and other microorganisms.
- Thick and smooth lather.
- Good for occasional use.
Dog shampoo buying guide- choosing the best shampoo for your dog.
If you are reading this section, it means you are a very cautious and loyal dog owner. You want to be sure and know exactly which shampoo will suit your dog best. Every dog has different needs and skin conditions.
We have got 5 dog shampoo factors that will help you choose the right shampoo.
Factor#1- Skin requirement
Ideally, for regular and long term use, you want to go for the shampoo that has a broader spectrum of functions. This means the shampoo should be natural, have ingredients that can treat dry and itchy skin, and is always gentle on the skin.
Factor#2- Bad odor
Some dogs have a super stinky odor. This might be because of a skin infection, or they have been bumping into something nasty. In such a case, you should look for deodorizing shampoos that are intended to remove bad odor.
Factor#3- Shine and color
Dogs that have a shiny and bright coat can be regarded as healthy dogs. The shampoo that you use on them can have a massive impact on their coat condition. For regaining coat shine look for shampoos that have vitamins, proteins, and nourishing ingredients. And for stopping color fading, use whitening shampoos occasionally.
Factor#4- Types of ingredients
Ingredients play a vital role in choosing a dog shampoo. Ideally, any shampoo that contains Aloe Vera, Oatmeal, Vitamin E, antiseptic components and all-natural ingredients should be safe to use. Avoid artificially added fragrance that your dogs might react to.
Many dogs are allergic to things like pollen, dust and other things from the environment. For such dogs, hypoallergenic dog shampoos are best.
Which dog shampoos to avoid?
- Dog shampoos that are too thick should be avoided. Because it might have thickening agents that can cause skin irritation.
- Shampoos that advertise having thick lather might contain sulfates and ethanolamines. Big no!
- Natural shampoos have a mild smell or a little strong smell. Anything stronger than that should be avoided.
- You see bubbles in the bottle. Throw them away because it has sulfates.
Dog shampoo FAQ.
Can shampoos cause skin irritation on my dogs? Sometimes yes. But that depends on the shampoo. Artificial ingredients in the shampoo can be a reason behind it. Also if you don’t rinse properly, shampoo residue can cause itching and irritation.
I want to use my shampoo on my dogs. Is it wrong?
Yes, it’s totally wrong. Your dog’s skin is more sensitive and requires different conditioning than your skin. Use dog shampoos to avoid unnecessary skin damage that will cost you hundreds in the future.
My pet’s skin is highly sensitive. Which shampoo should I use?
If you think or have seen your dog reacting to dog shampoo, then you need to look for ingredients that have mild effects. So, look for shampoos that are hypoallergenic, have oatmeal, have vitamins, have a moisturizing effect and very mild scent or unscented.
Are pet conditioners necessary?
Yes. Pet conditioners can help you brush your pet easily after bathing. It also softens up their coat.
How to clean pets that don’t like water?
Use dry shampoos, and you will not have to use water. But for proper cleaning, you need to give a wet bath once in a while.
I have a cat too. Can I use the dog shampoo on my cat?
Cats and dogs have almost similar skin pH levels. So, that makes dog shampoos safe on them. But you should also keep in mind the condition of your cat skin before applying dog shampoo.
The list contains some of the dog shampoos that you can get. Some of these are brands I use personally, and some me and my team found through various methods of research and talking with experts.
We focused on all-natural and shampoos that work gently on the skin. While any one of these shampoos will do a great job, but it’s absolutely necessary to observe your pet’s skin condition first.
With hundreds of dog shampoos available, most of them have artificial and toxic ingredients that can cause irritation. You can stick with the ones we recommended or as a general rule go for the ones that have natural ingredients with a mild smell.
If you want your dog to have a beautiful and healthy coat, you should be concerned about the shampoo you use on him.
I sincerely hope that this post should help you find the best nourishing shampoo for your dog.