Best Waterless Dog Shampoos 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

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pug in a tub

Does your pup treat bath time like systematic torture? Do you struggle to find time in the day to bathe your dog when they need it most? A clean dog is a happy dog, but washing away dirt and grime from your dog’s coat can be a lot easier said than done.

For those times when filling the tub just isn’t an option, waterless dog shampoo can be a real lifesaver. These formulas absorb excess oil from your dog’s skin and coat, leaving them smelling fresh and clean and extending the time you can wait between baths.

Nothing can truly replace the squeaky-clean feeling that comes from a bath. However, the best waterless dog shampoos get pretty darn close. We’ve put together reviews for some of the top waterless dog shampoos so you can spend less time shopping for the right formula and more time enjoying your dog’s fresh-scented company.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo
  • Sulfate-free formula
  • Removes odor
  • Fresh, tropical scent
  • Best Value Burt's Bees Natural Waterless Shampoo Burt's Bees Natural Waterless Shampoo
  • No harsh ingredients
  • Can be used on any dog’s skin
  • Very little scent
  • Premium Choice Miracle Coat Dog Shampoo Miracle Coat Dog Shampoo
  • Natural, botanical ingredients
  • Designed for sensitive skin
  • Quiet spray nozzle
  • Wahl Waterless No Rinse Shampoo Wahl Waterless No Rinse Shampoo
  • Designed to be sprayed and wiped away
  • Clean and refreshing scent
  • Formulated for dogs with allergies
  • BioSilk Waterless Shampoo Spray BioSilk Waterless Shampoo Spray
  • Leaves your dog’s fur silky and soft
  • Made with human-grade ingredients
  • Does not interact with flea and tick treatments
  • The 10 Best Waterless Dog Shampoos – Reviews 2020

    1. Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo – Best Overall

    Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo

    If you want to jump straight to the best-of-the-best, our top pick is the Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo. Instead of harsh detergents, this waterless shampoo actually uses coconut-derived ingredients to get your dog clean — the formula is entirely sulfate-free.

    The Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo claims to remove odor-causing particles from your dog’s coat rather than just masking them with other scents. Still, the tropical mango and pomegranate scent is nothing to complain about. The mousse formula does away with wasteful wipes and loud spray bottles, which are off-putting to some owners and their dogs.

    While many owners enjoy the scent of this waterless dog shampoo, some just can’t tolerate the smell. Depending on how much of this shampoo you use on your dog, the scent can also linger for several days. The formula can also leave a greasy residue on your dog’s coat, which is harmless and to be expected from most waterless cleaners.

    Pros
    • Sulfate-free formula
    • Removes odor instead of masking it
    • Mousse formula is easy to apply
    • Fresh, tropical scent
    • Small bottle goes a long way
    Cons
    • Not all owners enjoy the scent
    • Scent lingers long after bathing
    • Can leave a greasy residue behind

    2. Burt’s Bees Natural Waterless Shampoo – Best Value

    Burt's Bees Natural Waterless Shampoo

    For dog owners looking for an affordable, easy-to-find shampoo, the best waterless dog shampoo for the money is definitely the Burt’s Bees FF4771 Natural Waterless Shampoo. This natural formula is designed to moisturize and soothe dry or sensitive skin. It is free of harsh fragrances, sulfates, and dyes.

    No matter your dog’s age, from puppy to senior, this formula can be used on any dog’s skin and coat. This gentle waterless shampoo contains natural cleansing ingredients, including honey, avocado, and oatmeal. If you’re on the hunt for a waterless dog shampoo that doesn’t leave your pup smelling like perfume, this is a great option.

    Of course, because this formula doesn’t contain any heavy fragrances, it won’t cover all odor. While it can help freshen your dog’s fur between baths, it won’t completely remove dirt, oil, or smell from their coat. If you have a medium or large dog, the small sprayer may not be practical.

    Pros
    • No harsh ingredients
    • Can be used on any dog’s skin
    • Very little scent
    • Moisturizes dry skin and fur
    Cons
    • Does not mask bad odors
    • Difficult to apply to large dogs
    • Leaves fur damp

    3. Miracle Coat Dog Shampoo – Premium Choice

    Miracle Coat Dog Shampoo

    For many dogs, bath time isn’t just about washing away dirt and odors. If your dog has dry or sensitive skin, then regular bathing may actually help soothe irritation. The Miracle Coat 1078 Dog Shampoo is an excellent waterless dog shampoo for pups that need a little extra pampering to feel their best.

    This shampoo features a variety of botanical extracts, including clover, white ginger, chamomile, and jasmine. Not only do these ingredients keep your dog smelling fresh between baths, but they can also improve the moisture balance and shine of their coat. Plus, since the bottle is designed with a quiet spray nozzle, you won’t need to worry about scaring your dog every time you use it.

    While this formula is designed to soothe sensitive skin, some dogs still react to the ingredients. Owners of larger dogs also reported that the application took too long for the results. Even though this shampoo is great for freshening up between baths, it definitely won’t replace them entirely.

    Pros
    • Natural, botanical ingredients
    • Designed for sensitive skin
    • Quiet spray nozzle
    • Increase shine and moisture
    Cons
    • May irritate some dogs’ skin
    • Not efficient for large dogs
    • Can leave a sticky residue

    4. Wahl Waterless No Rinse Shampoo

    Wahl Waterless No Rinse Shampoo

    The Wahl 820015A Waterless No Rinse Shampoo is another great choice for dogs who need a little extra cleaning power. This rinse-free formula is designed to be sprayed onto your dog’s fur and wiped away with a towel — no water required. It contains oatmeal and coconut lime verbena for gentle cleaning and a fresh scent.

    Wahl products, including this one, are designed to be allergen-free. If your dog frequently reacts to other shampoos and cleaning products, this is an excellent alternative to try. This formula is made in the United States and can help soothe and moisturize dry or irritated skin.

    If you’re looking for a waterless dog shampoo that’s free of harsh detergents, you might want to skip this product. This waterless shampoo contains sodium lauryl sulfate, which can be too harsh and drying for many dogs’ coats. The scent is also overpowering to some owners.

    Pros
    • Designed to be sprayed and wiped away
    • Clean and refreshing scent
    • Formulated for dogs with allergies
    • Made in the USA
    Cons
    • Not sulfate-free
    • May be too drying for some dogs
    • Scent is too strong
    • Leaves behind a residue

    5. BioSilk Waterless Shampoo Spray

    BioSilk Waterless Shampoo Spray

    If this brand looks familiar, it might be because you use BioSilk products in your own shower! The BioSilk FF7118 Waterless Shampoo Spray uses the same human-grade ingredients as their original product line, giving your dog the same pampered experience. This formula is made in the United States and is specifically balanced for your dog’s natural pH.

    One of the best things about this waterless shampoo is that it won’t interact with topically applied flea and tick medications. It is also sulfate-free and offers plenty of moisture to your dog’s skin and coat. After using this shampoo, you’ll probably notice your dog’s coat is shinier than ever before.

    While this formula is quite moisturizing, it can leave behind an oily film across your dog’s fur. Some owners also reported that this shampoo smelled great at first, but the scent quickly disappeared and did nothing to improve their dog’s odor. The actual bottle design is also disappointing and difficult to use efficiently.

    Pros
    • Leaves your dog’s fur silky and soft
    • Made in the USA with human-grade ingredients
    • Does not interact with flea and tick treatments
    • Adds lots of shine
    Cons
    • Leaves an oily film on dog’s fur
    • Scent doesn’t last long
    • Does not eliminate bad odors
    • Spray bottle design is faulty

    6. Bodhi Dog Waterless Dog Shampoo

    Bodhi Dog Waterless Dog Shampoo

    The Bodhi Dog Waterless Dog Shampoo is a popular choice among owners who value natural, plant-based ingredients. This alcohol-free formula is eco-friendly and made in the United States. Made without detergents or other drying chemicals, this shampoo is a great option for pups with sensitive skin.

    Like many waterless dog shampoos, this formula is sprayed onto your dog’s skin and coat, left to sit for a minute, and then wiped away with a clean towel. It leaves behind a fresh lemongrass scent and a soft sheen to your dog’s fur. This formula can even be used on your dog’s bedding and around your home to get rid of pet odors.

    If this formula has caught your eye because of the lemongrass scent, you should keep in mind that some owners dislike the scent and feel it doesn’t resemble lemongrass at all. Others also complained that the scent disappears quickly.

    Pros
    • Plant-based formula made in the USA
    • Detergent- and alcohol-free
    • Can be used on bedding and upholstery
    Cons
    • Lemongrass scent is disappointing
    • Spray nozzle is loud
    • Works better as a conditioner than a shampoo
    • Difficult to use on large dogs

    7. Pet Head Dry Clean Spray Shampoo

    Pet Head Dry Clean Spray Shampoo

    The Pet Head DISCO 102 Dry Clean Spray Shampoo might come in a funky bottle, but this waterless shampoo is worthy of even the most demure pooch. This formula is designed to be completely non-toxic — it’s safe for your dog to lick — and is pH-balanced to suit your dog’s unique skin needs.

    The blueberry muffin scent of this waterless shampoo is definitely unique. You can also use this shampoo on any dog, including puppies.

    Unfortunately, the actual bottle design for this shampoo seems to cause quite a few problems. Many owners report receiving faulty sprayers that either leak when used or don’t work at all. The scent is also not loved by all, with some reporting that the scent just mixed together with their pup’s existing odor.

    Pros
    • Unique blueberry muffin scent
    • Balanced pH for your dog’s skin
    • Can be used on puppies
    Cons
    • Scent is sometimes a miss
    • Doesn’t always eliminate bad odors
    • Faulty spray nozzles
    • Leaves behind an oily residue

    8. Bio-Groom Waterless Dog Shampoo

    Bio-Groom Waterless Dog Shampoo

    There are countless tearless dog shampoos on the market, but the Bio-Groom BG4161 Waterless Dog Shampoo is one of the few to make our list. This formula features a balanced pH that soothes dry skin and adds shine to your dog’s coat.

    While this shampoo is advertised as tearless, you should always avoid your dog’s eyes when bathing them. This formula is alcohol-free while still helping remove tough stains in your dog’s fur.

    Although this waterless shampoo doesn’t have a specific fragrance, it is not entirely odorless. However, the soap-like scent does disappear after a while. Some owners reported that their pups smelled like classic “wet dog” after being sprayed with this formula. Also, faulty bottles seem to be pretty common with this product.

    Pros
    • Balanced pH soothes and adds luster to fur
    • Tearless and alcohol-free
    • Removes stains
    Cons
    • Slight soapy scent
    • Can leave a “wet dog” odor
    • Bottles often leak
    • Creates oily residue

    9. Particular Paws Dry Shampoo

    Particular Paws Dry Shampoo

    It’s true that many waterless dog shampoos on the market are liquid sprays. Depending on your dog’s coat and size, though, this type of formula can be impractical. The Particular Paws Dry Shampoo is another mousse-style shampoo that works great on all dogs, including those with longer fur.

    This shampoo formula is safe for sensitive skin, won’t trigger common allergies, and doesn’t interfere with flea and tick treatments. When you use this waterless shampoo, your dog’s fur will be left smelling better and looking less greasy.

    For some dogs, the coconut oil-based formula can be too heavy and greasy for their fur. The scent is also too strong for some owners, although others love it. Overall, one of the biggest downfalls of this shampoo is its tendency to leave behind a sticky residue.

    Pros
    • Easy-to-use mousse formula
    • Allergen-free
    • Safe to use with flea and tick treatments
    Cons
    • Leaves a sticky residue
    • Oil-based formula is too heavy for some dogs
    • Scent is hit-or-miss
    • Deodorizes more than it cleans

    10. Vet’s Best Waterless Dog Shampoo

    Vet's Best Waterless Dog Shampoo

    The Vet’s Best 3165810134 Waterless Dog Shampoo is formulated with a wide range of natural ingredients, including aloe vera and oatmeal. These ingredients help soothe and moisturize dry or irritated skin while leaving your dog’s coat looking great.

    This formula is safe to use on any dog over 3 months old and won’t interact with over-the-counter flea and tick medications. The foaming formula is also much easier to use on some dogs than traditional spay-based waterless shampoos.

    This waterless dog shampoo seems to work quite well for short-haired dogs. If you own a medium- or long-coated dog, though, you probably won’t have much luck working this into their fur. Many dog owners also complain about the scent of this formula.

    Pros
    • Good for dry or irritated skin
    • Formulated with natural ingredients
    • Won’t wash away flea and tick treatments
    Cons
    • Not suited for long-haired pups
    • Scent is often unpleasant
    • Doesn’t deodorizer for long
    • Bottle is prone to leaking

    Conclusion

    Unlike the family cat, dogs aren’t capable of keeping themselves 100 percent clean most of the time. Between rolling the grass and muddy walks, your beloved pup is bound to get a little dirty (and smelly) from time to time.

    If you’re looking for the best waterless dog shampoo out there, our pick is the Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo. This sulfate-free formula helps strip bad odors from your dog’s coat and replaces them with a light, tropical scent. The mousse formula is also super easy to use.

    If you’d rather stick to a tight budget, the Burt’s Bees FF4771 Natural Waterless Shampoo is an excellent option. This natural formula offers plenty of moisture for dry skin and fur. Plus, the light scent isn’t overpowering.

    Finally, if you’re willing to spend a little more for higher quality, the Miracle Coat 1078 Dog Shampoo is our top premium choice. This waterless shampoo uses botanical ingredients and is tailored to treat dry and sensitive skin. If your dog hates the sound of traditional spray nozzles, then the quiet design of this bottle is also a major plus.

    At the end of the day, a bath is always the best way to get your dog squeaky clean. But for those times when you don’t have the time or means to give your dog a proper washing, we hope our reviews have helped you find a waterless dog shampoo that will get the job done.

    Do you have any tips or tricks for getting your dog to sit still during bath time? Share them in the comments below!


    Featured Image: Nathalie Heuvel from Pixabay