Best Dry Shampoo for Dogs: Our Honest Opinion

Written by AZ Animals Staff
Updated: November 15, 2022
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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall dry dog shampoo is the Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo for Animals.
  • In recent years, dry shampoos have gained popularity among dog owners. With dry shampoos, you can lather, spray, or powder your dog’s hair without the use of any water. In comparison to bathing, some wash products provide a more thorough clean, while others serve more as a refresher between baths.
  • A dog who is overwashed may suffer from skin infections, irritations, or even lose hair as a result. The best way to prevent and minimize these situations while maintaining your dog’s hygiene is by using a waterless shampoo.

Bath time would be much easier if all dogs loved it. This isn’t always the case, however. Even if your dog likes baths, getting them into the tub and thoroughly cleaning them can be a challenge. In other instances, a dog may not be able to be bathed while recovering from an illness or surgery. When dogs don’t get bathed on a regular basis, dirt and bacteria settle into their fur and on their skin, causing unpleasant odors. When you just don’t have the time, space, or energy to give your dog a bath, what do you do? Luckily, there is a simple solution for dogs that humans love to use…dry shampoo!

The dry shampoo for dogs is similar to the one we use for ourselves. With this product, excess sebum and dirt are removed without having to rinse off. Moreover, it deodorizes your dog, minimizing bad odors and adding fresh scents. A variety of no-rinse no-water dog shampoos are available, from sprays to mousses. Our review of the best dry shampoos for dogs will help you keep your pet as clean and fresh as possible.

  1. Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo
  2. Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo

    •Easy use, foaming, waterless shampoo for dogs

    •Multiple scents

    •Natural ingredients



    Check Amazon
  3. Burt's Bees Waterless Shampoo for Dogs
  4. Burt's Bees Waterless Shampoo for Dogs

    •Natural ingredients waterless shampoo spray

    •Easy use on dogs

    •Affordable

    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. COAT DEFENSE Canine Daily Preventative Powder
  6. COAT DEFENSE Canine Daily Preventative Powder

    •All-natural ingredient waterless dog shampoo powder

    •Preventative against yeast infection

    •Soothes skin irritation from minor rashes/wounds

    Check Amazon
  7. Vet Recommended Waterless Dog Shampoo
  8. Vet Recommended Waterless Dog Shampoo

    •Spray waterless shampoo for dogs, rabbits, and cats

    •Hypoallergenic & biodegradable

    •Fresh, fruity scent

    Check Amazon
  9. Arm & Hammer Dry Dog Shampoo
  10. Arm & Hammer Dry Dog Shampoo

    •Easy-use dry shampoo for dogs

    •Natural ingredients

    •Under $10

    •Many scents

    Check Chewy Check Amazon

Top Picks: The Best Dry Shampoos for Dogs Today 

#1. Best Overall: Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo for Animals

The Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo for Animals is our pick for the best dry shampoo for dogs. 

Using this foaming mousse is incredibly simple. Take a small amount and massage it into your dog’s coat. You can then wipe down your dog with a hand towel and brush out any excess to ensure your dog smells fresh. 

There are two formulas available for this dry shampoo. The first contains lavender, chamomile, and aloe vera for a calming effect, and the second contains oatmeal, aloe vera, and coconut lime verbena for a fresh and clean scent. In terms of the ingredients, all-natural, plant-derived cleansing agents (mostly derived from coconut) are used. The addition of guar conditioner will help keep dogs’ coats soft and shiny for as long as possible. In addition to that, the formula is pH-balanced, alcohol-free, paraben-free, and free from PEG 80. 

Except for those who are sensitive to scented products, this dog shampoo doesn’t seem to have any major disadvantages. The only real disadvantage is that the foam has been found to be quite sticky when working it into the dog’s coat. Otherwise, this dog shampoo is a great option!

It is important to keep in mind that this dog shampoo is not a substitute for actual bathing with soap and water. However, it will help your dog stay clean between baths.

Pros and Cons of the Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo for Animals

ProsCons
All the ingredients in the formula are derived from plants.It is possible for the foam to be very sticky.
This dry shampoo is easy to apply to pets.
For the price point, this is an excellent product.
Best Overall
Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo

•Easy use, foaming, waterless shampoo for dogs

•Multiple scents

•Natural ingredients



Check Amazon

2. Best Spray: Burt’s Bees for Dogs Waterless Shampoo

Burt’s Bees Waterless Shampoo for dogs is a great alternative to Wahl’s Waterless Shampoo. Using this spray is certainly convenient if you want your dogs to smell great and have soft, healthy coats. 

As with our overall pick, Burt’s Bees is primarily made from natural ingredients. Almost 97% of the ingredients in the waterless shampoo are natural. Apples, honey, and eucalyptus are among the ingredients. Besides being pH balanced, the product is also free of fragrances, sulfates, colorants, and harsh chemicals.

In addition to being simple to use, the Burt’s Bees spray is safe for pets. Many veterinarians even recommend it. You may wonder why we didn’t pick this as our top pick. It is possible for the product to irritate dogs’ eyes. Additionally, if your dog enjoys rolling around outside, the scent doesn’t last very long. 

Pros and Cons of the Burt’s Bees for Dogs Waterless Shampoo

ProsCons
This waterless shampoo is pH balanced for dogs.If it gets in your pup’s eyes, it can cause irritation.
The product contains 97.0% natural ingredients, free of parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, and sulfates.
This waterless shampoo contains honeysuckle as an ingredient, which soothes dry and itchy skin.
Best Spray
Burt's Bees Waterless Shampoo for Dogs

•Natural ingredients waterless shampoo spray

•Easy use on dogs

•Affordable

Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best Powder: COAT DEFENSE Canine Daily Preventative Powder

Among our favorite powder dry shampoo brands for dogs is COAT DEFENSE because it not only deodorizes but also relieves itchy skin and fights wounds.

Made with organic cedarwood oil, bentonite clay, corn starch, and arrowroot powder, the powder is all-natural. It is specially formulated to soothe yeast infections and skin irritations caused by bug bites, rashes, hives, and dermatitis.

You can easily apply the powder to your dog’s fur by simply sprinkling it on and brushing it through. Moreover, you can massage between the toes of your paws for extra relief from biting and chewing. One of the reasons we prefer this powder over others is that it can also be sprinkled on bedding or sleeping spots to decrease odor and increase your pet’s comfort.

COAT DEFENSE helps absorb excess moisture in your dog’s coat, which leads to yeast infections. It is non-toxic, preventative, and works in conjunction with its natural biome. Even though this dog dry shampoo is great for helping with itching, it can be quite expensive for the amount of product you get. 

Despite its promise of relieving yeast infections or minor wounds and eliminating odor, it’s important to consult your veterinarian before using this powder on any skin infections, irritations, wounds, or abnormal patches of missing fur. 

Pros and Cons of the COAT DEFENSE Canine Daily Preventative Powder

ProsCons
It treats itch, odor, and yeast infections.This dry shampoo is a bit on the expensive side.
All natural ingredients are used to make this powder.
Ingesting Coat Defense preventative powder will not harm your pet.
Best Powder
COAT DEFENSE Canine Daily Preventative Powder

•All-natural ingredient waterless dog shampoo powder

•Preventative against yeast infection

•Soothes skin irritation from minor rashes/wounds

Check Amazon

Vet Recommended Waterless Dog Shampoo is, as its name suggests, a no-rinse dog shampoo recommended by veterinarians. Hypoallergenic and biodegradable, the formula is 100% natural. The product is free of alcohol, detergents, and dyes. Furthermore, it is specifically designed not to interfere with your pet’s topical flea and tick treatment. Besides dogs and cats, this product is safe for other animals like rabbits and cats.

This spray is easy to use. Spray a little over your dog’s coat, let it settle for a minute, and wipe him down with a clean cloth. Those who are sensitive to fragrances will love the light scent of apples. The best part is that it removes bad odors from your dog as well. Based on customer reviews, this product’s freshness lasts an average of three days.

Another advantage of this dry shampoo is that it comes with a lifetime, 100% money-back guarantee without the need to send the bottle back. The price is extremely budget-friendly, which makes this dog shampoo a real bargain. As a result, it’s easy to understand why vets recommend this product. 

The downside of this product tends to be broken pumps, which left some customers questioning the packaging. However, despite this, the product is overall a great option if you want a vet-recommended dry dog shampoo.

ProsCons
The product does not contain artificial dyes and will not discolor the coat of your pup.Bottles arriving with broken pumps have caused some customers to complain about poor packaging.
Apples are the main ingredient in this waterless shampoo. It has a pleasant aroma and is easy to use.
A 100% satisfaction guarantee is provided by the manufacturer.
Best Vet Recommended
Vet Recommended Waterless Dog Shampoo

•Spray waterless shampoo for dogs, rabbits, and cats

•Hypoallergenic & biodegradable

•Fresh, fruity scent

Check Amazon

5. Most Affordable: Arm & Hammer Deodorizing Foam for Dogs

Since many dog parents are looking for a product that works well but isn’t too pricey, Arm & Hammer Deodorizing Foam for Dogs is our top pick.

The Arm & Hammer foam eliminates both unwanted odors and debris from the dog’s coat using the power of baking soda. It can be used on virtually all dogs without causing skin irritation or discomfort as it is free of parabens, SLS, and phthalates. As well as being pH balanced, the product contains natural ingredients that hydrate and nourish skin and fur.

This product leaves behind a subtle, yet pleasant juniper mist scent. It should be noted though that some customers do not like the smell of this foam. In other words, if you don’t like the smell of juniper, you may want to pass on this.

In addition to foam, Arm & Hammer offers a spray version of the waterless shampoo. There is a wide range of scents to choose from and each is hassle-free to use. With a price tag of around $6.00, this product is well worth the investment. 

Pros and Cons of the Arm & Hammer Deodorizing Foam for Dogs

ProsCons
It comes at a low price for a high-quality product.There are some customers who do not like the smell of this foam.
The ingredients in it are moisturizing.
The product is safe to use when treating fleas and ticks.
Most Affordable
Arm & Hammer Dry Dog Shampoo

•Easy-use dry shampoo for dogs

•Natural ingredients

•Under $10

•Many scents

Check Chewy Check Amazon

How to Choose the Best Dry Shampoo for Your Dog

Bathing regularly is essential to maintaining good health. By bathing, you remove all the dirt and grime off of your skin, prevent germs from spreading, and also eliminate that foul smell caused by sweat accumulation. The same is true for your dogs, they need to be groomed regularly as well. Dry shampoos have helped to revolutionize dog grooming. 

In addition to saving you time, these types of shampoos save you water, too. The main advantage of dry shampoo for dogs is that they don’t require water to be bathed. These products absorb excess oils and bacteria in your dog’s fur to keep it fresh and clean. Foams, sprays, and powders are all types of dry shampoos you can choose from. But how do you choose the right one?

There are four main factors when considering the right dry shampoo for your pup:

  • Ingredients 
  • Form and scent 
  • Dog’s skin type 
  • Size and price 

Here is a more in-depth look at all of these factors: 

Ingredients 

If you are considering dry shampoo for dogs, you should first check the ingredients. Whenever possible, choose natural, sustainable, and pet-friendly ingredients. You should avoid using harsh chemicals like alcohol, sulfates, parabens, and synthetic fragrances on your pet. These can easily irritate your dog’s coat and causes skin rashes or reactions. 

Form and Scent 

You can buy dry shampoo for dogs in a variety of types, including sprays, powders, gels, and foams. The products also come in various scents, such as lemongrass, lavender, and apple, that provide a pleasant experience. Choosing a dry shampoo that is convenient and appealing to you and your pet is important. You may find that powder is the easiest to work with or perhaps your dog likes the feel of a gel dry shampoo better. All of these factors will help determine what brand you choose to go with. 

Dog’s Skin Type

Choosing the right dry pet shampoo will depend on the length of your dog’s fur and the type of skin that he has. It is important to look for formulas that have been specifically designed for sensitive skin if, for instance, they have sensitive skin. The majority of well-known brands offer these kinds of options to their customers. So make sure to take your dog’s sensitives into account when shopping for a waterless shampoo. 

Size and Price

You won’t be able to clean a large dog with a tiny spray bottle full of dry dog shampoo. You must choose a dry shampoo that is suitable for the breed of your pet, regardless of its size. You’ll want to see how much product you’re getting for the price as well. These are all important factors to keep in mind. 

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About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

Best Dry Shampoo for Dogs: Our Honest Opinion FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the best dry shampoo for dogs?

Ideally, a dry shampoo for dogs should be safe, made from natural ingredients, and not toxic. It should not contain synthetic ingredients, since they could harm your dog’s skin and coat. Additionally, a strange shampoo you suddenly began using on your dog may harm him if he licks at it.

Also, it should be easy to apply the dry shampoo. Using this product should not cause your dog any discomfort when getting cleaned. Dogs who don’t like sprays, for instance, might prefer a foaming mousse. Applying dry shampoo to your dog shouldn’t be a challenge. It’s as simple as that.

Additionally, the shampoo should be pH-balanced and not cause allergic reactions. Further, your dog should continue to smell fresh between actual baths thanks to this product.

Is dry shampoo good for dogs?

Yes, it is. It wouldn’t be vet-recommended otherwise. Furthermore, dogs may not need to be bathed regularly or at all in some cases. A dog’s coat can dry out and become itchy if it is bathed too often. It is important for dogs with incontinence and those who have undergone surgery to stay clean, but they are not always able to get a bath (if at all). With a dry shampoo, you can get rid of all the muck and dirt on their bodies and keep them smelling fresh. It is important to remember, however, that a dry shampoo is not a substitute for traditional bathing.

How often can I dry shampoo my dog?

Dogs need to have good grooming and a bath with regular soap and water in addition to using waterless shampoo. A dry shampoo is simply used to perform a quick cleaning when it isn’t possible to give him a thorough cleaning.

It is recommended that a dog gets a bath once a week at most. If they are bathed more frequently than that, their skin and coat may become dry. Nevertheless, how often a dog should receive a traditional bath depends on his type, environment, skin condition, and level of activity. For dogs with normal skin, it is safe to bathe them once every month or once every month and a half. It is possible to use dry shampoo between regular baths, as much as once per week. Consult your dog’s veterinarian if you’re unsure about the best bathing schedule.

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