Whether you hold your dog to a rigorous bathing schedule or pop them in the tub only when they’re so dirty you don’t have a choice, choosing the right shampoo is essential. These days, dog owners tend to prioritize buying the safest products for their beloved canines and shampoo shopping is no different. Natural dog shampoos offer pet parents relief from the worry that they’re exposing their dog to dangerous chemicals or unknown substances.
However, what defines a “natural” dog shampoo is not clearly stated in any regulations. Natural products are defined as any compound produced by a living thing, but does their presence in a shampoo automatically make that shampoo all-natural? These are key questions but for now, we’ve collected reviews of the best natural dog shampoos, or at least those advertised as natural. We hope you will find our opinions helpful as you begin your search for the perfect natural dog shampoo.
A Glimpse at Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampo||
|Budget Buy||Ark Naturals Neem Protect Shampoo||
|Hyponic Hypoallergenic Shampoo||
|Buddy Wash Shampoo And Conditioner||
|4 Legger Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo||
The 11 Best Natural Dog Shampoos
1. Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo – Best Overall
|Available sizes:||16 oz|
|Scent:||Cucumber and aloe|
|Shampoo feature:||Moisturizing, all natural|
Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo is made from high-quality, natural ingredients. It’s much safer and gentler than other shampoos, making it perfect for sensitive pets. It features real aloe vera and cucumber to help soothe skin and leave your dog smelling good. However, the scent is not overwhelming or artificial.
This shampoo is completely pH-balanced. You can use it for just about any type of pet without a problem, including dogs, cats, and even horses. If you have multiple pets, then this shampoo is an easy option. Instead of needing to keep several types of shampoo laying around, you can just keep this one.
We love that this shampoo is completely free from soaps, dyes, DEA, glutens, sulfates, and phthalates. It’s even made in the USA, meaning that it was created under strict standards. In the end, this leaves a quality shampoo that will leave your dog smelling and looking great.
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. Ark Naturals Neem Protect Shampoo – Budget Buy
|Available sizes:||8 oz|
|Scent:||Fresh fall rain|
|Shampoo feature:||Cleansing, soothing|
Our choice of best natural dog shampoo for the money is Ark Naturals Neem Protect Shampoo. Made with neem oil, derived from trees native to India, this vet recommended shampoo is eco-friendly, gentle, and won’t disrupt your dog’s natural skin oils. This shampoo also contains coconut oil for additional moisture. It provides natural itch relief from insect bites or dry skin. However, Ark Naturals can only be used on dogs older than 12 weeks. Many users also found the scent of this shampoo to be overwhelming. Dogs and humans with allergies may be sensitive to this shampoo. It’s also only available in one (smaller) size bottle.
3. Hyponic Natural Therapy Hypoallergenic Volumizing Shampoo
|Available sizes:||9 oz, 50.7 oz|
|Shampoo feature:||Hypoallergenic, volumizing|
If you don’t mind spending a little more on your dog’s shampoo, consider Hyponic Natural Hypoallergenic Volumizing Shampoo. Cruelty-free and ideal for dogs with sensitive skin, Hyponic takes the extra step of only using ingredients considered safe by a non-profit environmental organization. This shampoo lathers nicely and leaves your dog’s coat soft with extra volume. This shampoo is a good option for breeds such as Poodles and Doodles because of its ability to add a little extra “fluff” to the coat. Safe for dogs of all ages, this shampoo is free of sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, and artificial colors. Though it is considered hypoallergenic, this shampoo is not fragrance-free, which could be an issue for extra-sensitive pets and people.
4. Buddy Wash Lavender and Mint Shampoo and Conditioner
|Available sizes:||16 oz, 1 gal|
|Scent:||Lavender and mint|
|Shampoo feature:||Deodorizing, conditioning|
Made with cosmetic-grade ingredients, Buddy Wash is packed with natural botanicals like sage, green tea, chamomile, and rosemary. This product is a combination shampoo and conditioner, so your dog’s coat will be both clean and soft when their bath is done. Safe for dogs of all ages, Buddy Wash is alcohol-free and deodorizes with a natural wheat protein ingredient. It also contains aloe vera for additional soothing power. Some users found the scent of this shampoo overpowering. However, most appreciated the thick, creamy texture of Buddy Wash and found it produced a nice lather that rinsed out cleanly. It doesn’t take much shampoo to work up the lather either, so one bottle of this shampoo lasts a long time.
5. 4-Legger Organic Hypoallergenic Lemongrass & Aloe Shampoo
|Available sizes:||16 oz|
|Shampoo feature:||Hypoallergenic, soothing|
Much more than just a natural shampoo, 4-Legger Organic is also biodegradable, vegan, gluten-free, and made with sustainable, non-GMO ingredients. This shampoo is the choice for those who are dedicated to eco-friendly, organic living. Free of any natural thickeners, this shampoo is concentrated but has a runny texture that can be hard to lather effectively. Lemongrass has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, making this shampoo a good option for dogs prone to skin issues. However, some owners found that 4-Legger seemed to dry out their dog’s skin when used frequently, although others reported that it seemed to soothe their dog’s itching. The scent of this shampoo doesn’t seem to last long, which some owners didn’t mind!
6. Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Shampoo
|Available sizes:||16 oz, 1 gal|
|Scent:||Vanilla and almond|
Another great natural dog shampoo is Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe shampoo. Safe to use on puppies as young as 6 weeks, this shampoo is ideal for soothing and healing dry, irritated skin. The natural oatmeal and aloe moisturize and nourish your dog’s coat as you bathe. It also helps decrease the urge to scratch once the bath is over. Earthbath is cruelty-free, biodegradable, and vegan. Users were divided on whether they liked the scent of this product, and many found it didn’t linger on their dog anyway. Others also reported issues with leaking bottles during shipping. Overall, this product receives positive reviews from users, with many especially appreciating the natural ingredients and softness of their dog’s fur after bathing.
7. Botanivet Certified Organic Manuka Honey Shampoo
|Available sizes:||16 oz|
|Shampoo feature:||Moisturizing, itch relief|
Formulated by veterinary dermatologists, this completely natural and organic shampoo is ideal for dogs with allergies or dry skin. Botanivet is USDA-certified organic and free of chemicals or detergents. It contains honey for natural skin and wound healing and multiple natural oils for moisturizing. Even the berry scent comes from a combination of natural fragrances. This is not an inexpensive shampoo but will appeal to dog owners willing to pay a bit more for the peace of mind of using certified organic products. Most users reported this shampoo worked well to moisturize and soothe itching. Some felt that it left their dog’s coat feeling greasy and didn’t rinse out thoroughly.
8. Rocco and Roxie Supply Co. Soothe Dog Shampoo
|Available sizes:||16 oz, 32 oz|
|Shampoo feature:||Moisturizing, soothing|
Rocco and Roxie Soothe Shampoo soothes irritated skin and restores natural oils during bathing, thanks to a combination of multiple moisturizers. Olive oil, shea butter, and oat extract combine with aloe vera and chamomile to calm itching and moisturize dry skin. This product comes 100% guaranteed and free of artificial colors, parabens, alcohol, and mineral oil. This shampoo is intended only for adult dogs, however. Users love the thick texture and fresh mango scent of this product and found it to be effective at improving dry, flaky skin. Rocco and Roxie Soothe lathers well and rinses completely, helping make bath time quick so your pup can get back to playing.
9. Pro Pet Works Organic 5-in-1 Oatmeal Dog Shampoo
|Available sizes:||17 oz, 128 oz|
|Shampoo feature:||Moisturizing, itch relief|
Pro Pet Works Organic is one of the most cost-effective natural shampoos on our list, available in large bottles at a reasonable price. This shampoo is highly rated, with users appreciating the soothing and moisturizing properties and the softness of their dog’s coat. Pro Pet Works is packed with fatty acids and antioxidants, as well as aloe vera for soothing and almond oil for moisturizing. Cruelty-free with no animal by-products, Pro Pet Works is ideal for multi-pet households. This shampoo works to detangle fur and reduce shedding as well. Some users did not enjoy the strong fragrance of the shampoo. Others experienced quality issues with inconsistency between different orders.
10. Kin+Kind Charcoal Natural Dog Shampoo
|Available sizes:||12 oz|
|Shampoo feature:||Cleansing, odor control|
Made with activated charcoal, Kin+Kind is the shampoo choice for giving your dog a natural deep clean. The charcoal acts as a natural color brightener, making your dog look sharp. Kin+Kind also contains natural moisturizes glycerin, olive oil, and coconut oil to provide itch relief and soothing elements. Activated charcoal also functions as an odor control agent, removing even smells as stubborn as skunk spray. The shampoo itself is scented with essential oils, with an earthy, patchouli fragrance. Patchouli is an unmistakable scent and not everyone cares for it. This shampoo also doesn’t lather very well, which can make bath time a bit more labor-intensive.
- See Also: Arm & Hammer Dog Shampoo Review
11. Vermont Soap Organics Pet Shampoo
|Available sizes:||16 oz, 64 oz|
Certified organic, Vermont Soap Organics Pet Shampoo contains multiple natural moisturizing ingredients including olive, coconut, and jojoba oil. Formulated for dogs with sensitive skin, this shampoo is made with a milk-based soap and contains no alcohol, sulfates, or harsh chemicals. Plant-based, the shampoo smells like rosemary and provides odor control through the addition of baking soda. Users report this shampoo lathers and rinses well but may have trouble fully cleaning thick or double-coated dogs. The bottles also don’t seem to last very long, especially when bathing large dogs, possibly because the texture is watery. This shampoo is slightly more expensive than others on our list, but many users didn’t seem to mind because they felt comfortable with the safety of this organic product.
You May Also Like: Vibrant Life Dog Shampoo Review
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Natural Dog Shampoos
Now that you’re familiar with some of the natural shampoo options for your dog, here are some points to consider as you shop for your final selection.
Does Your Dog Have Special Skin Issues?
Your shampoo choice will be impacted by whether you’re seeking a shampoo for routine bathing or for improving a skin issue your dog is experiencing. Many of the shampoos on our list possess features that are useful to dogs with itchy, dry skin or allergies. They can also be used by dogs with normal skin, of course, but you may not feel the need to pay extra for a premium shampoo in that case.
Remember, if your dog does have flaky skin or other symptoms, they could be caused by a variety of different conditions. Before you try to heal your dog through bathing alone, see your veterinarian to make sure your dog doesn’t need medications or prescription shampoos.
How Many Dogs Do You Have?
As a rule, natural dog shampoos tend to cost a bit more than the average option. If you have several dogs, especially big ones, who require regular bathing, you’ll probably be going through a lot of shampoos. Some of the options on our list are available in gallon sizes but most aren’t. If you’re on a budget, you may want to consider one of the value-size brands to keep all your pups clean.
Besides Natural Ingredients, What Priorities Are Important to You?
Just by checking out the options on our list, you can see that not all natural dog shampoos are created equal. To help you make your decision, it’s worth pondering what your priorities are beyond just natural ingredients. Do you want a vegan, cruelty-free shampoo? Does it matter whether your choice is certified organic? Are you looking for a brand that prioritizes sustainability and eco-friendly production?
Do You Like the Smell?
In some cases, your shampoo choice may come down to preferring one fragrance over another. All the shampoos on our list are scented, some more strongly than others. Not every shampoo leaves your dog with a long-lasting scent, but you will smell the product during the bathing process and possibly longer. If you already know you can’t stand the smell of patchouli, for example, you probably don’t want to purchase the Kin+Kind Charcoal Shampoo.
A Word of Caution
While all these natural dog shampoo options are considered safe for dogs, some of them contain essential oils, that are known to be toxic to dogs. While manufacturers state that the formulas only contain a very small amount to enjoy the benefits without the toxic effects, it is worth doing your research and consulting with your veterinarian. Be especially cautious if you also have a cat in the house and it likes to snuggle with your dog. Please never use dog-specific products on a cat as they have different tolerances and metabolic pathways than dogs.
For the best overall natural dog shampoo, Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo offers effective cleaning and moisturizing in a natural, pH balanced formula. Our best budget buy pick, Ark Naturals Neem Protect offers itch relief and moisturizing with a unique, all-natural ingredient. As you decide which choice is best, remember that there’s no set definition of what counts as a “natural shampoo.” Do your research and read the labels to determine whether a shampoo satisfies your definition of natural. We hope these reviews offered a bit of clarity as you navigate the natural dog shampoo options available to you and your dog.
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Featured Image Credit: 135pixels, Shutterstock