Not all dogs love to bathe, unfortunately. Even if yours did, getting him into the tub and cleaning him thoroughly can be exhausting. And in some cases, some dogs just aren’t able to take a conventional bath because they’re still recovering from an illness or surgical procedure. But his smell cannot be ignored for long. The same can be said for the dirt and bacteria that might be settling on his fur and skin. So, what do you do when your pooch (like your beautiful new Fox terrier puppy) is in need of a bath and you just don’t have the time, space, and/or energy to give him one? Dry shampoo. For dogs, of course!
Dry shampoo for dogs is similar to that of humans. It is a cleansing product that can remove excess sebum and dirt without needing to be rinsed out with water. In addition, it has a deodorizing effect, making your dog smell better. This is due to the addition of scents or fragrances to the dog shampoo.
There are different types of waterless, no-rinse dog shampoos. These are foaming mousse, spray, and aerosol, and powder dry shampoo. The foam is applied by gently massaging it on your dog’s fur (in the opposite direction of hair growth) to get the dirt out, before toweling your dog dry. The spray type is self-explanatory; you spray it on your dog’s coat. This type of dry shampoo is the easiest to apply, though some pets aren’t comfortable with getting sprayed.
The third type of dry shampoo is the powder form. Typically, its main ingredients are starch and clay. The powder is applied directly on the dog’s fur. However, excess powder can whiten the dog’s coat which requires owners to use a brush to remove the powder and dirt.
The Top Picks for Best Dry Shampoo for Dogs: Ranked
#1 Best Overall No Rinse Dry Shampoo for Dogs: Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo for Animals
- Made in the USA - Our lavender & chamomile waterless shampoo is pH balanced, alcohol free, paraben free, PEG-80 free and is highly recommended for gentle cleaning and freshening dogs, cats, & other animal coats
- No Rinsing Necessary – For dogs, cats, horses, or other animals that don’t like wet shampoos; no rinsing necessary, simply dry with a towel & brush coat
- Calming Formula – This plant derived lavender & chamomile scented waterless shampoo is great for cleansing, conditioning, detangling, & moisturizing animals; our calming formula settles restless animals during cleaning
- Safe Usage Instructions - Although a hypoallergenic formula, we advise testing a small amount for your pets first time and dry thoroughly to make sure your pet tolerates the cleansing agents
- The Brand Used by Professionals - Wahl has been serving professional vets and groomers for over 50 years. clean, condition fur & hair for a smooth, soft coat. We are a company of animal lovers that want the best for your family member
Based on all the “baths” we conducted on our dogs, our team unanimously voted Wahl’s Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo as the best overall dry shampoo in the market today.
This foaming mousse is incredibly easy to use. Just pump some into your palm and start massaging it into your dog’s coat. Afterward, a quick wipe down with a hand towel and then brushing them left our dogs smelling sweet.
This dry shampoo comes in two formulas. One is lavender and chamomile which has a calming effect. The other is made of oatmeal extract, aloe vera, and coconut lime verbena which has a fresh and clean smell. We preferred the lavender scent, but some may feel differently. As for the ingredients, we were delighted to find out that it’s made of all-natural, plant-derived cleansing agents (mostly derived from coconut). The addition of the guar conditioner keeps our dogs’ coats soft after our no-rinse “bath.” And in case you’re concerned, this formula is pH balanced, alcohol-free, PEG 80 free, and paraben-free.
There aren’t any real drawbacks to using this dog shampoo as far as we’re concerned. There were one or two people who felt that the lavender scent was too strong. But we didn’t have the same experience.
Do take note that this dog shampoo is in no way a replacement for actual baths with soap and water. But it will help keep your dog clean and fresh in between baths.
Click here to check out Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo for Animals
#2 Best Waterless Dog Shampoo Spray: Burt's Bees for Dogs Waterless Shampoo
- SOOTHES AND CLEANSES — Burts Bees Waterless Shampoo Spray cleans, soothes, and softens dry skin and conditions your dog's coat to give fur a super shine
- MADE WITH THE HIGHEST QUALITY INGREDIENTS — All natural ingredients include skin-nourishing apple and shine-boosting honey
- USE REGULARLY — Spray your dog from back of ears to tail and let dry. For face and ears, apply first to a towel then wipe on fur and avoid eyes. Repeat as needed
- SUITABLE FOR ALL DOGS AND PUPPIES — This mild shampoo spray is pH balanced especially for all dogs and puppies
- 100% SAFE — Veterinarian recommended formula, free of fragrances, sulfates, colorants, and harsh chemicals
The next best thing to Wahl’s Waterless Shampoo is Burt’s Bees for Dogs Waterless Shampoo. This spray certainly made things convenient for us to get our dogs smelling great and their coats soft and looking clean.
Like our overall pick, Burt’s Bees is mostly made of natural ingredients. 97%, in fact. Some of the ingredients include apple, honey, and eucalyptus. It’s pH balanced as well. In addition, this is free of fragrances, sulfates, colorants, and harsh chemicals.
So, it’s easy to use and safe for pets. It’s even recommended by many vets. Why wasn’t this our first pick? Well, it’s because it can burn the eyes. To be honest, we didn’t really test this as that would be cruel. But the risk of that happening is pretty easy if you have a rambunctious dog. Another reason is that the scent doesn’t last long, especially if your dog likes rolling around outside. We found ourselves applying the spray more frequently between baths.
Click here to check out Burt's Bees for Dogs Waterless Shampoo
#3 Best Waterless Shampoo Powder for Dogs: Fresh Dog Dry Shampoo Powder
- A 100-percent natural, easy-to-use, deodorizing powder for dogs
- Extends time between regular washings - no water needed!
- For all hair/fur types. Doesn't strip topical flea treatments.
- Free of dyes, parabens, chemical preservatives, synthetic fragrances, surfactants or detergents. Made in the USA.
- Fresh Dog Tip: Also great for freshening carpets and pet bedding. Just sprinkle, let sit, then vacuum up!
If the spray and the foam are both not to your liking, you can get a no-rinse powder instead. The Fresh Dog Dry Shampoo Powder gets our stamp of approval in this category because it can be used to clean your dog, couch, carpet, and his bed.
The powder is all-natural; it’s made of corn starch, baking soda, essential oils (lavender and rosemary), and silica. Aside from making the powder smell good, the essential oils are good for the skin and promote healthy hair growth. According to the company, the powder is free of dyes, parabens, chemical preservatives, synthetic fragrances, surfactants, and detergents.
While we couldn’t really test their claim, we could test the powder’s performance. And it does work. Now, it’s a bit more labor-intensive compared to other dry shampoos. You might need to rub in the powder, rather than just sprinkling it on your dog’s coat. Then, it took us a while to comb our dogs’ fur thoroughly. Moreover, applying this waterless shampoo got a bit messy.
The freshness of the scent did last a few days which might not be long enough for some pet parents. But we do appreciate the scent itself. It smells really good which means that funky dog smell that sometimes clings to our furniture has gone bye-bye after we used the powder.
Click here to check out Fresh Dog Dry Shampoo Powder
#4 Best Vet-Recommended Dry Shampoo for Dogs: Vet Recommended Waterless Dog Shampoo
- JUST SPRAY & WIPE: Quick cleaning and ideal for a fresh and clean dog between washes. Use with an oatmeal dog shampoo between washes. Perfect dog grooming shampoo & for those inevitable pet accidents.
- WILL NOT STRIP THE COAT: Doesn’t contain artificial dyes and will not discolor the coat. This hypoallergenic cleaner will have your pet feeling like silk. Use on dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets.
- WON’T AFFECT TOPICAL FLEA TREATMENTS: Use with spot on flea treatments. Use the dry shampoo as needed. You are also protected by our lifetime 100% Money Back Guarantee. No need to return the bottle.
- CONTAINS NO HARMFUL ALCOHOL: Vet Recommended Waterless Pet Shampoo is a mild surfactant blend which is detergent free. Contains no alcohol or animal by-products. We LOVE your pet as much as you do.
- OUR SAFE COMMITMENT: Our packaging is made with recycled materials and eco-friendly. Safe for your pet, but also minimal environmental impact on our planet. We do not promote testing on animals.
As the name of this product already suggests, this is a no-rinse dog shampoo that is vet-recommended. This spray formula is hypoallergenic and 100% biodegradable. It’s free from alcohol, detergents, and dyes. Plus, it is specifically designed to not interfere with your pet’s topical flea and tick treatment. Did we mention that this product is safe to use on other animals like cats and rabbits?
Using the spray is pretty easy. Just spray a little on your dog’s coat, then let it settle for a minute before wiping your dog down with a clean cloth and letting it dry. The scent is light and smells of apples. It’s perfect for noses that are sensitive to fragrances. Even better, it removes any bad smell that’s coming from your dog. Based on our tests, the freshness stays up to 3 days at the most.
Another thing that made this dry shampoo stand out is that the company offers a lifetime 100% money-back guarantee. You don’t even need to return the bottle. With how budget-friendly the price is, this dog shampoo is a steal. Overall, it’s easy to see why vets recommend this product.
Click here to check out Vet Recommended Waterless Dog Shampoo
Last update on 2021-06-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Dry Shampoo for Dogs: Reviewed for 2021 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the best dry shampoo for dogs?
The best dry shampoo for dogs is one that is safe, made of ingredients that are natural and not toxic to your beloved pooch. It should not have synthetic ingredients because these could harm your dog’s coat and skin. In addition, it could harm your dog if he suddenly starts licking the strange shampoo you suddenly started using in him.
The dry shampoo should also be easy to use. Your dog should not feel uncomfortable getting cleaned using this product. If your doggo isn’t a fan of sprays, for example, you might want to opt for a foaming mousse instead. The best dry shampoo for your pooch shouldn’t be difficult to apply. No muss, no fuss.
The shampoo should also be pH balanced and cause no allergic reactions. Moreover, it should keep your dog smelling fresh for a good long while between actual baths.
Is dry shampoo good for dogs?
Yes, it is. First of all, it wouldn’t be vet-recommended if it wasn’t. Second, there are instances when a dog should not be bathed too frequently or at all. Too many baths can dry up a dog’s coat and skin which can cause itching and allergies. Dogs who are suffering from incontinence and those who have undergone surgery, for example, need to stay clean but can’t always (if at all) take an actual bath. A dry shampoo can get rid of any muck and dirt on their body and keep them smelling fresh. It is important to keep in mind, however, that you do not use a dry shampoo as a replacement for traditional baths.
How often can I dry shampoo my dog?
As we’ve already mentioned, using waterless dog shampoo is not a replacement for good grooming and a bath with regular soap and water. Dry shampoos are simply used to perform a quick cleaning whenever it just isn’t possible to give him a thorough cleaning.
According to experts, a dog should get a regular bath once a week at the most. Anything more frequent than that can cause their skin and coat to dry. That being said, the type of dog, his environment, the condition of his skin, and his activity level will dictate how frequent the traditional baths should be. In general, a dog with normal skin can be bathed once a month to once every month and a half. You can use a dry shampoo in between the regular baths, as much as once a week. If you’re unsure about the ideal bathing schedule for your dog, consult his vet.