The 6 Best Dog Shampoos: Reviewed for 2021

Published: April 16, 2021

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We love to cuddle with our furry friends. However, cuddle time can become unbearable when they have an unpleasant smell or their fur is tangled. That’s why your dog requires a cleaning and glooming routine using a dog shampoo to keep them clean and healthy.

The best thing about a dog shampoo is that it’s specially formulated safe for use on a dog’s skin and coat without causing irritation. Dog shampoos also help keep your dog’s coat free of tangles and mates making maintenance easy between grooming sessions. This is especially true for dogs with a longer coat, like Poodles. A dog like a Doberman Pincher will probably need less washing.

There is a wide range of dog shampoos on the market, not all will be great for your dog as they’re made differently. Some are specially formulated for dry skin, some for relieving itchy and irritated skin, for oily skin, and some for dealing with dog’s dandruff, allergies, and awful wet dog odors.

That’s why it’s crucial to ensure you choose the best one for your dog based on their unique skin needs. And to help you narrow down your options, we’re going to look at some of the best dog shampoos and important factors to consider when shopping to ensure you get the ideal one for your furry friend.

The Top Picks for the Best Dog Shampoos: Ranked

WAHL Dry Skin & Itch Relief Pet Shampoo for Dogs – Oatmeal Formula with Coconut Lime Verbena - Model 821004-050
  • Made in the USA - Our oatmeal formula pet shampoo is pH balanced, alcohol free, paraben free, PEG-80 free and is highly recommended for moisturizing dry skin & providing itch relief
  • Oatmeal Formula – This coconut lime verbena scented pet shampoo is great for moisturizing dry skin, cleaning dirty coats, & itch relief. The thick lather rinses off clean & keeps your pet looking and smelling clean
  • Less is More - Wahl has a higher concentrate of coconut derived sodding agent, which means you don’t have to use as much as other dog shampoos. A little bit of shampoo goes a long way and provides a rich lather that’s easy to rinse off
  • Allergy Friendly - Our dog icon, Rocket, was designed in the image of our family dog Cooper – a golden doodle, who has severe allergies. This is the only shampoo we have found safe and effective. He loves the smell too!
  • 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

The WAHL Dry and Itchy Skin Dog Shampoo earn our #1 ranking for the overall best dog shampoo for all hair types.

The WAHL Dry and Itchy Skin Dog Shampoo is specially designed to clean and moisturize dry and itchy skin using oatmeal and coconut lime verbena, promising 70% more bath that other shampoos.

One of the standout features of this shampoo is that it’s of 100% plant derived ingredients. Its natural Oatmeal formula that gently cleanses and moisturizes dog’s dry skin. It also provides relief from skin irritation and itchiness.

This dog shampoo is also pH balanced and doesn’t contain alcohol and paraben, letting you safely clean your dog without exposing them to dangerous chemicals. This makes it one of the best shampoos for sensitive skins.

Apart from leaving your dog’s coat and skin clean and healthy, this shampoo also ensures your dog has a pleasant smell after bath thanks to its coconut lime verbena scent. This will eliminate the gross wet dog odor, leaving your canine-friend smelling great.

The shampoo comes in a 64-ounce bottle and is highly concentrated, allowing for more baths before reordering. In our testing, we found it lathers up thickly, allowing you to gently cleanse and soothe your dog’s itchy skin without using a lot of shampoo.

Ingredients

  • Water
  • Coconut cleansers
  • Soy cleansers
  • coconut fatty acids
  • Sugar cleanser
  • Vegetable cleanser
  • Aloe
  • Oatmeal Extract

Click here to check out WAHL Dry Skin and Itch Relief Shampoo

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Isle of Dogs Deep Cleaning Shampoo, Sulfate Free, 16 Ounce
  • DEEP CLEANING DOG SHAMPOO: This gentle yet thorough cleansing shampoo removes dirt, grime, & odor without being harsh on the skin or coat. It's sulfate & paraben free & can be used on all coat types
  • ODOR NEUTRALIZING: This gentle & deep cleaning dog shampoo features our signature red berries and champagne fragrance and contains natural odor neutralizers to leave your pup smelling clean & fresh
  • CLEAN PUPS: A clean, shiny & fresh coat is a good indicator of a healthy, well-loved pup & a necessity for extended cuddle time. Our shampoos, conditioners & brush sprays are perfectly balanced & help remove odor.
  • HELPING YOUR DOG SHINE: We understand the power of wellness to help dogs shine from the inside out. We offer nutritionally superior food, treats, & supplements alongside premium grooming products.
  • INNER WELLNESS & OUTER BEAUTY: We promote health & beauty through nutrition and wellness because we care as much as you do about what you put in, & on, your dog's body.

Isle of Dogs Everyday Shampoo is our pick for the best deep cleaning dog shampoo.

You need more than a regular shampoo to clean out strong smells and stubborn dirt on your dog’s coat. If you’re looking for a shampoo that can handle dirt, grime, and debris, the Isle of Dogs Everyday Deep Cleaning Shampoo is recommendation.

It is paraben and sulfate free, making it a safe and chemical-free shampoo for use on any type of dog coat. Therefore, it won’t cause any irritation on your dog’s delicate skin. This shampoo contains a dose of vitamin A, D, and E, and other moisturizing ingredients, to leave your dog’s coat looking clean, fresh, and shiny without any sticky residue.

What’s more? This dog shampoo contains natural odor neutralizers and the brand’s signature fragrance of red berries and champagne. This means it will neutralize any strong odor and leave your dog with a pleasant smell.

During our testing, we found it’s not everyone who will love the scent that comes with this shampoo. The scent is also strong immediately after a bath but it fades away quickly.

Ingredients

  • Purified water,
  • Sodium C-14-16 olefin Sulfonate,
  • Lauramide MEA,
  • Decyl Glucoside,
  • Lauryl Glucoside,
  • Glyceryl Oleate,
  • Cocoamidopropyl Betaine,
  • PEG 6000 Disterate Glycerin,
  • Polyquaternium 7,
  • Polyaorbate 20,
  • Hydroxypropyl Cellulose,
  • Vitamin A & D,
  • Vitamin E,
  • Nonoxynol 10,
  • Citric Acid,
  • Fragrance,
  • DMDM Hydantoin

Click here to check out Isle of Dogs Everyday Deep Cleaning Shampoo

Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Pet Shampoo, Vanilla & Almond, 16oz – Dog Shampoo for Allergies & Itching, Dry Skin – Made in USA (Pack of 2)
  • HELPS RELIEVE ITCHING & DRY SKIN: Specially formulated to address the needs of pets with dry, itchy skin. Colloidal oatmeal and organic aloe vera help combat skin irritation, promote healing, and re-moisturize sensitive, dry skin. This concentrated shampoo is soap free and pH-balanced to clean and deodorize safely and thoroughly, leaving your pet's coat soft, plush, and smelling better than ever.
  • NATURAL & ORGANIC INGREDIENTS: Blended with the finest ingredients, such as renewable plant-derived & coconut-based cleansers, colloidal oatmeal, and organic aloe vera. NO PARABENS, NO DYES, NO SOAP, NO SULFATES, NO PHTHALATES, NO ALCOHOL.
  • SAFE & EFFECTIVE: Our products are designed with the health of your beloved, furry friend in mind. We believe the ingredients that touch your pet's coat and skin should be as naturally effective, non-toxic, and gentle as possible. This product is PH-BALANCED FOR PETS and safe for dogs, puppies, cats & kittens over 6 weeks old.
  • MADE IN USA & CRUELTY FREE: We at earthbath have a genuine love for pets and concern for the environment. Since 1995, these passions have been at the heart of everything we do, from the ingredients we put into our products, to how and where we make our products, and the support we show to animals in need.
  • HAPPINESS GUARANTEE: We are so sure you will love this product that we will refund your money if you are not satisfied for any reason.

If your furry friend has dry and itchy skin, you need to a shampoo for sensitive skin such as the Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Natural Pet Shampoo.

This hypoallergenic dog shampoo is formulated with natural ingredients including Colloidal oatmeal and aloe, which helps relieve itching as well as moisturizing and softening your dog’s dry and brittle skin and coat. It also helps combat dandruff, skin allergies, and bacterial dermatitis, which often causes itchiness.

It’s worth noting that in 2003, FDA categorized colloidal oatmeal as skin protectant. It packs useful fats, proteins, minerals, and vitamins that soothes and softens skin.

The Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Natural Pet Shampoo is chemical free and doesn’t contain phosphate, paraben, gluten, DEA, synthetic dyes, perfumes and soap, making it safe for sensitive skin.

The dog shampoo has a pleasant fragrance of organic almond and vanilla, leaving your dog smelling clean and fresh without being overwhelming. The shampoo lathers very well, allowing you to effectively clean and detangle dogs with long and dirty coats.

Please note that you can only use this shampoo on dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens older than 6 weeks.

Ingredients

  • Purified water
  • 3% colloidal oatmeal
  • Plant derived and coconut based cleansers
  • Aloe vera
  • Vitamins A, B, D and E
  • Glycerin
  • Allantoin
  • Food-grade extracts of vanilla and almond
  • Natural preservatives

Click here to check out Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Pet Shampoo and Conditioner

Tropiclean Papaya and Coconut Luxury 2-in-1 Pet Shampoo and conditioner, 20oz
  • LUXURIOUS 2-IN-1 SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER – TropiClean Papaya & Coconut Luxury 2-in-1 Dog & Cat Shampoo & Conditioner cleanses, moisturizes and conditions your pet’s skin and coat in a luxurious lather to help relax tangled hair for easier brushing, leaving their coat soft and healthy.
  • SWEET SCENT – The long lasting sweet scent of papaya and coconut will leave them smelling fresh and ready for cuddles!
  • SAFE SOLUTION – pH Balanced, Soap Free, Paraben Free and Dye Free. Made with naturally derived ingredients and safe when used as directed on dogs and cats 12 weeks or older.
  • CLEANSES & CONDITIONS – Luxurious 2-in-1 Dog & Cat Shampoo & Conditioner cleanses, moisturizes and conditions your pet's skin & coat in one step.
  • MADE IN THE USA – We proudly manufacture and ship our products with only the highest quality, naturally derived ingredients.

If you are looking for a hypoallergenic shampoo that is great for pets with allergies or sensitive skin this is our recommendation.

The TropiClean 2-in-1 is a combination of pet shampoo and conditioner that not only cleanses and moisturizes skin but also leaves the coat looking great. The combo also helps you use less time to bath your dog as you shampoo and conditions the dog’s coat once.

This pet shampoo and conditioner stands out for its natural formulation that contains naturally derived ingredients that includes colloidal oatmeal, coconut oils, and sodium chloride.

The natural formulation allows you to gently but effectively cleanse, moisturize, and condition the coat and skin of your furry friend. The shampoo is pH balanced and doesn’t contain dyes or paraben, so it’s safe for use on your dog as well as cats of at least 12 weeks old.

Another highlight of the TropiClean Papaya & Coconut Luxury 2-in-1 Dog & Cat Shampoo is its long lasting sweet scent that comes from the papaya and coconut ingredients. This keeps your dog fluffy and smelling lovely for cuddles.

It is also one of the best shampoo for sensitive skin, making it a great solution for bathing pets with dry and itchy skin. This 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner comes in a 20-ounce bottle and provides a nice thick, rich lather for a nice, soothing bath.

There is also a 1-gallon, 2.5-gallon and 20-gallon sizes.

Ingredients

  • Purified water
  • Mild coconut cleanser
  • Sodium chloride
  • Colloidal oatmeal
  • Aloe extract
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Botanical blend of (mango extract, kiwi extract, yucca extract, chamomile extract, pomegranate extract and papaya extract)
  • Vitamin E, fragrance and preservative

Click here to check out TropiClean Papaya & Coconut Luxury 2-in-1 Dog & Cat Shampoo

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Burt's Bees for Dogs Oatmeal Dog Shampoo | With Colloidal Oat Flour & Honey | Moisturizing & Nourishing, Cruelty Free, Sulfate & Paraben Free, pH Balanced for Dogs - Made in USA, 16 Oz
  • SOOTHES AND SOFTENS — Burt's Bees Oatmeal Shampoo cleans, soothes, softens, and conditions your dog's dry skin and coat
  • MADE WITH THE HIGHEST QUALITY INGREDIENTS — This gentle formula includes ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, honey, and beeswax for sensitive skin
  • DIRECTIONS — Apply to dog's wet coat. Work from head to tail and rinse, carefully avoiding eyes. As is typical with natural formulas, this shampoo will only have a light lather
  • SUITABLE FOR ALL DOGS AND PUPPIES — This mild tearless shampoo is pH balanced especially for all dogs and puppies
  • 100% SAFE — Veterinarian recommended formula, free of fragrances, sulfates, colorants, and harsh chemicals

If you’re looking for a powerful yet gentle all-natural dog shampoo for your furry friend, your best choice is the Burt’s Bees Natural Shampoo.

This shampoo’s natural formula includes colloidal oatmeal and beeswax to gently clean, moisturize and nourish pet’s sensitive skin. It also contains honey and shea butter, which moisturizes your dog’s skin and gives the coat a lovely shine. This protects your dog’s delicate skin while giving the fur a healthy and radiant shine.

The natural formula is pH balanced and is free of harsh and harmful chemicals such as paraben, colorants, dyes, or phthalates. This makes it a safe shampoo for use on dogs of all stages. Therefore, if your dog has sensitive skin or seasonal allergies, this is one of the safest option for them.

While this shampoo doesn’t have artificial fragrances, it will leave your dog with a nice scent from the natural ingredients. The Burt’s Bees Natural Shampoo comes in a 16-ounce fluid bottle and is concentrated, allowing for multiple baths. It lathers up quickly and rinses out easily, so you’ll only need a small amount to give your dog a nice, soothing bath.

It’s also available in 32 ounces and 1-gallon capacities.

Ingredients

  • Water
  • Colloidal oat flour
  • Honey
  • Beeswax
  • Coco Betaine
  • Coco-Glucoside
  • Glecyrel Oleate
  • Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate
  • Glycerin Xanthan Gum
  • Green Tea extract
  • Potassiu Sorbate
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Decyl Glucoside
  • Citric Acid

Click here to check out Burt's Bees Natural Shampoo

Cleansing Dog Shampoo for Smelly Dogs - Refreshing Colloidal Oatmeal Dog Shampoo for Dry Skin and Dog Bath Soap - Moisturizing Dog Shampoo Oatmeal Lavender Formula for Great Smelling Dog Wash
  • Dog Oatmeal Shampoo - Try one of the best dog shampoo formulas handcrafted to cleanse and moisturize dry skin and fur for a pet shampoo for dogs that’s a dog grooming supplies and pet bath staple
  • Deodorizing Dog Shampoo - You can trust our dog body wash and oatmeal shampoo for dogs for a pet deodorizer that removes dirt and odors thanks to potent lavender oil for dogs in our dog odor shampoo
  • Big and Small - Whether looking for the best puppy shampoo for small dogs or a gentle dog cleaner for older dogs we got you covered with our versatile oatmeal lavender dog shampoo for all dogs
  • Dog Supplies - We take dog shower & bath accessories seriously and we believe all dog stuff should be gentle and effective which is why all our dog products are created with high quality ingredients
  • Pet Pleasant Quality - Choose us and give your furry friend premium pet care with superstar ingredients like Jojoba oil Keratin Lavender Glycerin and more for a moisturizing and refreshing cleanse

Get rid of nasty niffs and keep your dog smelling clean and fresh with the best smelling dog shampoo; Honeydew Colloidal Oatmeal Dog Shampoo. This shampoo is formulated with a healthy dose of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, to enhance your dog’s skin and fur and overall health.

This shampoo is gentle and hypoallergenic, making it great for dogs with sensitive skin. It contains lavender essential oil and colloidal oatmeal, which clean and groom your dog’s coat and soften their fur. The oatmeal ingredient not only helps protect the skin but also soothe and calm your dog’s irritated skin.

Lavender is also known to have a calming and comforting effect on dogs, which can help make bath time a relaxing and enjoyable experience for your dog. Also, the deodorizing properties of lavender oil helps neutralize unpleasant odors your dog may have, leaving them smelling fresh and clean for cuddles.

Additionally, this product is cruelty-free and tear-free and contains no parabens and sulfates, so it won’t cause any skin irritation or irritate your dog’s eyes. The shampoo lathers well and comes in an 8-ounce bottle, allowing for multiple baths of your dog and puppy.

Ingredients

  • Water,
  • ColloidalOatmeal (Avena Sativa) Flour,
  • Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Extract,
  • Lavender (Lavandula Officinalis) Oil,
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine,
  • Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Sodium Lauryl Glucoside Carboxylate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium PCA,
  • Lauryl Glucoside,
  • Acrylates Copolymer,
  • Coco-glucoside,
  • Glyceryl Oleate,
  • Caprylhydroxamic Acid,
  • Glyceryl Caprylate,
  • Glycerin,
  • D-Panthenol,
  • Botanical Keratin (Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Rice Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Adansonia Digitata Seed Extract, And L-proline),
  • Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis) Oil, Fragrance.

Click here to check out Honeydew Colloidal Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

What should I look for when buying a dog shampoo?

Dog shampoos are not created equal. Some contain ingredients that may end up irritating your dog’s coat and skin. Hence, there are several factors you should consider to make sure you’re buying the best dog shampoo for the unique skin needs of your dog. Some of main things to consider include:

  • Skin condition: The first thing to consider is your dog’s skin condition. For instance, if your dog has dry or itchy skin, we recommend choosing a moisturizing shampoo without artificial fragrances and chemicals that may cause further skin irritation. Also, consider shampoos with natural ingredients like oatmeal, vitamins, and honey that can help relieve itchy skin and promote healing.
  • Fleas and Ticks: If your dog is infested by ticks and fleas, you may want to choose a shampoo that’s designed to combat these parasites and protect your dog’s skin and coat.
  • Age: It’s important that you consider the age of your dog when choosing a dog shampoo. For instance, for a puppy, opt for a shampoo that’s specially formulated for use on their delicate skins. Typically, a puppy shampoo and conditioner is uniquely designed to be gentler and tear-free, so it won’t irritate your puppy’s eyes while bathing.
  • Odor: If your dog has a strong odor, it’s best to get a deodorizing shampoo to neutralize any unpleasant odor they may have picked out there. The best smelling dog shampoo not only eliminates unpleasant dog odors but also leaves your dog with a nice smell that’s not overwhelming.
  • Shine and Tangles: If your dog has a dull and lusterless coat and skin, you should look for a shampoo with vitamins, proteins, and minerals to nourish and restore the healthy shine. Also, if your dog’s coat easily tangles or is dry, you may want to consider a dog shampoo and conditioner to moisturize and replenish natural oils, which helps in detangling stubborn tangles and frizzy locks.
  • Convenience: To make bath time hassle-free and more convenient, choose a shampoo that comes with the shampoo and conditioner combined or a waterless shampoo that allows you to clean your dog easily while on the go. The dry shampoo also comes handy especially if your dog is averse to water.

Conclusion

Choosing the best dog shampoo for your furry friend can ensure you keep their skin clean, fresh, and healthy at all times. All the dog shampoos are safe for use on dog skin and coat. However, you need to make sure you choose one that has the right ingredients to best meet the specific skin needs of your dog.

Last update on 2021-09-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The 6 Best Dog Shampoos: Reviewed for 2021 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Can I use human shampoo on a dog?

No, it’s not advisable to use human shampoo on a dog. This is because human shampoo is specially formulated for use on human skin and hair. And since human skin has a different pH than that of a dog, means that human shampoo may end up disrupting the balance of your dog’s skin. Also, the ingredients contained in human shampoo may wash away the natural moisture and oil on your dog’s skin, leaving it dry.

How often should dogs get shampooed?

How often dogs should get shampooed will depend on several factors that include dog’s coat type, skin sensitivity, skin conditions, and how fast they get smelly or dirty. If your dog has healthy and normal skin and coat, shampooing them once in a month will be enough. This is because getting them shampooed too frequently could end up washing out the natural oils that maintain their skin and coat healthy.

However, if your dog has allergies, sensitive skin, or other skin issues, they should get shampooed more often such once or twice a week. However, it’s best to consult your veterinarian to help establish a bathing schedule that will work best for your dog’s unique skin needs.

Can I use dish soap to wash my dog?

No. It’s not recommended to use dish soaps that are not approved and safety tested for use on animals. Dish soaps are especially designed for grease and oil removal so using them to bath your dog can strip the natural oils that help protect and nourish their skin. This leaves your dog’s skin and coat dry and unhealthy.

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