Whether your dog loves taking a bath or despises it, having a stinky pooch around the house isn’t fun. If your dog isn’t kept clean, your furniture, carpet, and even clothes will begin to smell the yuckiness. This is where great dog shampoo comes into play. With a trusted cleanser, you can bathe your dog, and yourself if they aren’t fans of the tub, and feel better about your pet’s cleanliness and smell. Let’s take a look at the best dog shampoos so you can choose the one you feel your pet will love.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo||
|Budget Buy||Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint||
|Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Fragrance-Free||
|Burt's Bees Puppy 2-in-1 Shampoo||
|Vet's Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo||
The 11 Best Dog Shampoos
1. Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo – Best Overall
|Scent:||Aloe & cucumber|
|Life Stage:||All life stages|
If you are looking for the ultimate pet shampoo that soothes irritated skin, nourishes dry patches and helps combat shedding and pet odors, our highest recommendation goes to Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo. Its oatmeal formula is curated from all natural and pet-safe ingredients, free of soaps, dyes, sulfates, and other harsh chemicals.
This pH balanced formula is gentle enough to use on pets with skin allergies or inflammation and leaves a fresh aloe and cucumber scent, mild enough for even the most sensitive of pet noses.
Whether your dog needs a quick coat refresh or a full on spa day, this is the best shampoo for dogs on the market today.
At PetKeen.com we’ve admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest, so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!
2. Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner – Budget Buy
|Scent:||Lavender and mint|
If you’re looking for the best budget buy dog shampoo on the market, Buddy Wash Dog Shampoo and Conditioner may be the one for you. This 16-ounce bottle is perfect for any budget and keeps your doggy smelling and looking its best after use. This product also combines both shampoo and conditioner, which makes the price even better when you realize you’re getting two products for one.
The included essential oils, rosemary, aloe vera, chamomile, and green tea are ideal for most dogs’ skin and also ensure a pleasant scent sticks around and helps you avoid issues with wet dog smell. The smell is great but you’ll notice it doesn’t linger. This is possibly the only downside of this affordable dog shampoo option. If you want a great clean, a good price, and a pleasant scent Buddy Wash is the one for you.
3. Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Fragrance-Free Dog & Cat Shampoo
Our third choice dog shampoo is Earthbath Dog and Cat Shampoo. This fragrance-free version of this dog shampoo features parabens, gluten, and phthalates. While the price tag may be a little higher than a random bottle of dog shampoo online, the effects on your dog’s skin are worth the extra bit of money you’ll spend.
Colloidal oatmeal and organic aloe vera offer moisture and relief to dry and itchy skin. Like all Earthbath products, this shampoo is made in the United States and is considered cruelty-free. The company even offers a refund if you aren’t happy with how your doggy’s bathtime goes with this product.
The only real issue we found when using this dog shampoo was the consistency. In our opinion, the shampoo was a bit watery. While it did the job, it did seem to require a bit of product to fully wash our dogs the way we liked. If you aren’t concerned with money or the need to buy more shampoo, then this shampoo offers everything you may be looking for.
4. Burt’s Bees Puppy 2-in-1 Shampoo
If you have a puppy who needs a good bath, Burt’s Bees Puppy Shampoo is a great way to keep them clean while staying safe in the process. Buttermilk and linseed are featured in this puppy shampoo to keep your little friend’s coat conditioned and skin smooth. The combination of shampoo and conditioner also makes bath time quicker, which is ideal for puppies who like to squirm a bit too much.
While this puppy shampoo is great for not burning the eyes and being good for the skin, you will find issues with lathering. This is due to the watery texture. Still, using it on your pup can put your mind at ease considering there are no artificial fragrances, colors, or sulfates to harm your dog.
5. Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo for Dogs
|Scent:||Fresh and clean|
Another great choice for dog shampoo is Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo. This shampoo is specially formulated for dogs that suffer from allergies but works just as well for pooches without issues. Featuring ingredients such as oatmeal and tea tree oil, this dog shampoo can help fight against allergies and other skin issues. This fresh-smelling shampoo can also help heal the skin of dogs who are allergic to flea bites.
One of the best things about this shampoo is the fact it can be used on dogs that have been previously treated with topical flea and tick treatments. This allows you the chance to keep your dog clean without the worries of needing to reapply these costly topicals.
Not only does this dog shampoo work well for itchy skin and allergies, but it also washes away dirt and debris like you would expect a shampoo to do. Unfortunately, for pups with skin irritations to get the full effect of what this shampoo has to offer, it must be left on the skin for 10 to 15 minutes. For dogs who aren’t fond of baths, this could become an issue.
6. Zesty Paws Oatmeal Anti-Itch Dog Shampoo with Aloe Vera & Vitamin E
Up next on our list is Zesty Paws Anti-Itch Dog Shampoo. The main ingredient in this shampoo, like many on this list, is oatmeal. Considering the effects of oatmeal on a dog’s skin, if your pup has itching or redness, using shampoos with oatmeal can help soothe their skin. That’s exactly what Zesty Paws does. The oatmeal, aloe, and vitamin E featured in this shampoo are great at relieving an itchy dog.
While this shampoo is great at helping reduce itch, there are better options available considering this shampoo has no medication inside to treat issues. This leaves you needing to look for other options if your pup has severe issues.
This shampoo is developed for dogs of all ages and helps condition fur, lessen hairballs, and loosen knots. The light vanilla scent is pleasant and even helps deodorize your pet’s fur. Unfortunately, if your dog has extremely sensitive skin, this shampoo may not be suitable and can cause things to worsen.
7. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Dog Shampoo
|Scent:||Medicated and Fragrance-Free|
While there are other medicated shampoos on this list, they aren’t like this one. The Veterinary Clinical Care Dog Shampoo features medications to treat more severe skin issues such as mange, dermatitis, seborrhea, and even parasites. This shampoo is even recommended by many veterinarians when dogs suffer from these types of serious skin ailments.
Unfortunately, if you’re simply looking for a good, dog shampoo, this isn’t the one. This shampoo is designed to treat skin ailments and that is where it excels. It isn’t designed for basic cleaning and maintenance. With such specific medications included, it is best to leave using this shampoo to instances when your dog is suffering from skin issues.
This shampoo is paraben and soap-free making it safer for dogs with ailments. You’ll also find it adds additional hydration to help promote healing and soothe the pain.
8. PetAg Fresh ‘N Clean Scented Dog Shampoo
PetAg Fresh ‘N Clean Dog Shampoo is a viable option for those looking for a budget-friendly dog shampoo. Made from plant-derived materials, Fresh ‘N Clean is pH balanced and formulated to promote healthy skin for your pooch. You’ll also find vitamin E and aloe vera in this formula to help with dogs who suffer from skin issues like itching and redness.
Unfortunately, while this dog shampoo gets the job done, there are a few issues you should keep in mind before grabbing a bottle. First off, the scent isn’t overly nice. If you or your dog has a sensitivity to strong smells, this shampoo isn’t the one for you. Another issue is how quickly it dries. While you clean your pup, you’ll notice the shampoo drying on your hands, which means it will be drying on your dog’s skin too. Keep this in mind if you consider using this shampoo. Others on this list may be better suited for your pooch.
9. TropiClean Luxury 2 in 1 Papaya & Coconut Pet Shampoo & Conditioner
|Scent:||Papaya and coconut|
Possibly the best thing about TropiClean 2 in 1 Pet Shampoo and Conditioner is the fact that it is great at detangling and conditioning your dog’s fur. The coconut oil used in the formula also jumps in and helps remove dirt and debris from your dog to keep them looking their best. This formula doesn’t use soap, which makes it good to use when topical flea and tick treatments are used. The gentle formula is also safe to use on cats if you have them in your home.
Now, on the downside, this dog shampoo isn’t anything overly special. This is why it’s farther down on our list. Yes, it cleans your dog, but the scent is overly pleasing and honestly, isn’t that noticeable. You’ll also discover that the packaging of this shampoo isn’t reliable. Leaks happen often, which means you may want to avoid ordering with other items that could be damaged during shipping.
10. HyLyt Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Essential Fatty Acids for Dogs & Cats
The HyLyt Shampoo for Dogs and Cats makes our list due to its ability to help, somewhat, with dry skin. Keep in mind, however, that this shampoo doesn’t have oatmeal or aloe vera like most of the other shampoos that are good for the skin. Even without these added ingredients, this shampoo can help with dry skin but is an expensive option for doing so with cheaper, better options on our list.
This formula is soap-free which makes it ideal to use with topical flea and tick treatments. You’ll also discover this formula isn’t overly drying which makes it safe for your pup’s skin and your hands. In all honesty, you won’t find anything exceptional about this dog shampoo. If you want extra hydration for your dog’s skin, consider one of the other shampoos mentioned above and save a bit of money in the process.
11. Nature’s Miracle Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner
Like with most Nature’s Miracle products, this shampoo and conditioner is an affordable option for those needing dog shampoo that is safe for dogs of all ages. Advertised as tear-free and gentle, this shampoo does help with tangling and conditioning the fur. Unfortunately, it isn’t as gentle as you would think. It takes a lot of this product to clean your pooch. The consistency is quite watery. With the amount of shampoo needed for a decent clean, you may find your dog suffering from reactions and other issues.
The fresh scent is gentle and nice in the beginning, but over time, you’ll realize it vanishes quickly. If you hope to keep your pet smelling fresh and clean for days, this shampoo isn’t the one you would turn to. If you’re looking for a gentle, effective, and nicely scented shampoo this may not be the one for you.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Dog Shampoo
You may think choosing the right dog shampoo is easy. You couldn’t be more wrong. When choosing a dog shampoo you can trust on your pet, there are several things you should consider. Does it work? Are there medications included to help with skin issues? Does it smell good?
While you may not be sure which dog shampoo will work best for your best pal, this buyer’s guide can make the decision easier. Take a look below at a few aspects we used for determining the best shampoos to use in our review. This information will help you make an informed decision when it comes to the shampoo you use on your pup’s skin and fur.
Possibly the most important thing to consider when choosing a dog shampoo is its effectiveness. While scents and other extras are great, a shampoo that does the job and gets your filthy dog clean is crucial. No one wants to show off a pet that constantly looks like they need another bath.
A shampoo with watery consistency doesn’t do the job you need it to. Watery shampoos require more product, which costs you more money in the long run. You’ll also find these kinds of shampoos don’t lather up well. A good lather helps get rid of dirt and debris, so choose a shampoo that does its job.
Lots of dogs have issues with their skin. Whether they itch, have hot spots, or have allergies, medicated shampoos can help. These shampoos include medications to not only soothe the pain your dog may feel but also relieve some of the symptoms. If your pooch has skin problems, keep your eyes open for shampoos that can help. If your dog doesn’t suffer from any type of skin irritations, spending extra money on medicated shampoos isn’t needed and may simply cost you more money than you’re willing to spend.
Everyone wants their dog to smell good. Unfortunately, after a bath isn’t their freshest time. To help improve this problem, choose a shampoo with a pleasant scent. If you or your dog suffers from sensitivities to smells, you should make sure the shampoo you use has a mild fragrance that you both can handle.
Another issue you may find with shampoos and their fragrances is their longevity. Some shampoos in our review smelled good for a few minutes but didn’t last. If you want your dog to maintain their fresh scent, keep this in mind when making your choice.
For the best overall dog shampoo, you simply cannot go wrong with Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo. This pH balanced shampoo does it all. You can trust your pet will be clean while protecting them from any exposure to harsh chemicals or additives. If you’re looking for a budget dog shampoo, Buddy Wash is both affordable and great acting. For dog owners who aren’t concerned about the money and simply want the best money can buy for their pooch, Earthbath offers everything you could need. By choosing one of these shampoos, or others in our review that fit your needs, you can ensure your pet stays clean and fresh.
Featured Image Credit: David Herraez Calzada, Shutterstock