Dog shampoos are important canine care products that are geared primarily for the maintenance of their hygiene. Some products actually come with different formulations to help in the control and management of pests like fleas and ticks. However useful, some canine shampoos contain harsh ingredients that may pose a threat to your pet’s health. It is, therefore, important for you to learn how to choose the correct hair care product for your pet. We have researched the market for the best dog shampoo to help you get started.

The Best Dog Shampoos

1 Pro Pet Works All Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

Pro Pet Works All Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo
Key features:
  • Contains oatmeal, almond oil, and aloe vera and other natural and organic ingredients
  • Enriched with vitamins and amino acids
  • Contains no artificial fragrance, soap, alcohol, and irritants
  • Formulated for sensitive and dry skin
  • Top dog shampoo for itchy skin

Designed to be the best hypoallergenic dog shampoo, the Pro Pet Works Organic Oatmeal and Aloe canine hair care product comes enriched with vitamins to help improve the overall health of your pooch’s coat while also making sure it is safe for canines with allergies. It is both soothing and therapeutic, giving your pet’s skin to regenerate and its coat to grow to its optimum health. It’s ideal for restoring the natural oils in your pet’s coat, reliving itchiness and dry skin, conditioning and moisturizing its coat, and soothing its sensitive skin.

Read here our detailed Pro Pet Works All Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo Review.

What others say about it:

I bought this for our red heeler pup and lab/german shepherd mix older dog. They spend a lot of time outside on our property and tend to roll in mud and who knows what else. This product did the trick in one round of washing. Lathered well, has a good smell, and did an excellent job getting their undercoat clean. I have two happy dogs now. Definitely recommend!

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2 Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Dog Shampoo

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Dog Shampoo
Key features:
  • Especially formulated for canine seborrheic dermatitis
  • Contains salicylic acid and micronized sulfur
  • Contains oatmeal and natural coconut oil-based cleansers
  • Antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic properties

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care is a unique medicated shampoo for dogs that is specific for parasitic organisms, although it is also effective against bacterial and fungal species. Aside from its antiparasitic properties, Veterinary Formula is also formulated to treat seborrheic dermatitis which is often characterized by severe skin inflammation, waxy or greasy integument, and dry, flaky, scaly skin resembling dandruff. It’s also one of the top rated dog shampoo in the market today.

Find out more about Dog Shampoo for Dandruff.

What others say about it:

After trying multiple things, allergy tests, vet visits, and other shampoos, wipes, and sprays.. this worked! My dog had scaly bumps in her underarms and tummy, which progressed to her hind legs and back! The vet told us it was “micro fleas” but after a few months of flea treatment her skin was unchanged. This product works, but you have to commit to 3x a week for atleast a month, so buy atleast 2 bottles. ALSO if you yourself..the human.. have sensitive skin wear some dishwashing gloves when you bathe your pet with this stuff because it will mess with your skin.

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3 Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo

Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo
Key features:
  • Contains oatmeal, aloe vera, plant-derived cleaners, and vitamins
  • For use on sensitive, itchy, and dry skin
  • pH-balanced, natural, and soap-free formulation
  • Pleasantly mild, non-irritating smell
  • Best smelling dog shampoo

Looking for organic dog shampoo? Look no further as Earthbath is here. Earthbath boasts of a unique blend of all-natural ingredients that will not irritate your pet’s skin. Its formulation is 100% biodegradable ensuring safety in the environment. Earthbath is available in a variety of natural blends such as oatmeal and aloe, peppermint and eucalyptus, and tea tree and aloe, just to name a few. This gives your pooch a lingering fragrance that keeps your pet smelling fresh naturally.

What others say about it:

Great shampoo & matching conditioner for sensitive dog’s skin. Keeps our Yorkie’s hair soft & shiny…even our vet commented on her since she’s had problems in the past but not since using Earthbath oatmeal & aloe. Worth the extra money & lasts along time. I take shampoo & conditioner to the groomer with her & take it back when pick her up. Works great on our small Shitzu too.

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4 Honeydew Colloidal Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

Honeydew Colloidal Oatmeal Dog Shampoo
Key features:
  • Hypoallergenic dog shampoo
  • Made with naturally soothing ingredients, including jojoba, lavender, and oatmeal
  • Removes dirt and excess oil from your pet’s coat
  • Made in the USA

If you want your pooch to smell of fragrant lavender, this gentle shampoo from Honeydew is a must-have. Made with a blend of natural ingredients, the formula helps to reduce skin irritation. Oatmeal, jojoba, and lavender come together to form a hypoallergenic shampoo that even pooches with sensitive skin can enjoy.

Veterinarian recommended, the soothing blend removes excess oil, dandruff, and debris from your dog’s coat without drying it out or causing further irritation. Each bottle of this safe and effective shampoo is made to a high standard of quality in the USA.

What others say about it:

This is a great product. It smells amazing and cleans my pup so well! He likes to run around in the mud and he is a crème color so I was worried about getting all the dirt off of him. The oatmeal and lavender relaxed him with no skin irritation, and it was strong enough to clean him right up! This will be my go to shampoo for him from now on! Loved it!

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5 FURminator DeShedding Ultra Premium Shampoo

FURminator DeShedding Ultra Premium Shampoo
Key features:
  • Contains all-natural botanicals like aloe vera and papaya leaf
  • Contains calendula and blueberry
  • Enriched with essential fatty acids and proteins
  • Works exceptionally well with the Furminator de-shedding brush
  • Part of professional dog grooming
  • Best deshedding shampoo for dogs

If your mutt happens to have shedding issues, Furminator’s deShedding formulation is perfect for the job. The Furminator is enriched with essential fatty acids to help improve the luster and shine of your mutt’s coat while replenishing its natural oils, making each follicle healthier and stronger. This helps reduce shedding while promoting healthier coat and skin. It also includes a variety of natural ingredients making it a safe product to use on your pooch.

Check out our ultimate article on the Best Dog Shedding Brush.

What others say about it:

We have a shiba Inu that sheds soooo much three times a year. This stuff works miracles. As soon as we bathe him with this, we see a dramatic decrease in the shedding and he smells great after.

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6 Wahl Lavender Waterless No Rinse Pet Shampoo

Wahl Lavender Waterless No Rinse Pet Shampoo
Key features:
  • Contains chamomile, lavender, and coconut oil
  • Easy to spray, pH-balanced, alcohol- and paraben- free formulation
  • Requires no rinsing, no bathing
  • Use for cleaning, conditioning, moisturizing, and detangling

Sometimes you don’t really need to give your pooch a full bath. You will only need the convenience of Wahl’s No-Rinse Waterless Shampoo. It’s so easy to use as the formulation can be sprayed onto your pet’s coat. It doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals and boasts only of having lavender and chamomile as its fundamental ingredients.

What others say about it:

I have six dogs so it’s hard for me to give them all baths all the time. I absolutely love this product! Spread it on and rub an old rag over them after you’ve worked it in. It is unbelievable how much dirt comes out just in your hands. I will definitely order more! For my long hair dogs I just add to the brush and brush them

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7 Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog & Cat Shampoo

Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog & Cat Shampoo
Key features:
  • Antibacterial dog shampoo
  • Perfect for irritated skin, pyoderma, and more
  • Locks moisture into your dog’s skin
  • Drug-free management for dermatological issues
  • Gentle enough for regular use

For treating minor skin infections, this Chlorhexidine shampoo by Duoxo is the perfect solution. The antiseptic solution gently removes bacteria from your dog’s skin and coat, helping them recover from irritation.

Although it’s tough on bacteria, the shampoo is gentle on your dog’s skin. Thanks to a number of moisturising ingredients, the formula also locks in moisture to keep skin healthy, and prevent further irritation. If your canine companion suffers from pyoderma, and other issues, this shampoo is a convenient and drug-free management method.

What others say about it:

My goldendoodle had dry, flakey skin which was causing her to scratch consistently. We took her to the vet several times for this problem & they would give her a steroid shot, but the itching would come back. Our groomer recommended we try the Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo. We followed the directions on the bottle, and her itching went away immediately. It’s been 3 weeks now, and no more dry skin and itching. I’m so glad our groomer told us about this product. I highly recommend it.

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8 Bexley Labs Curaseb Shampoo For Dogs

Bexley Labs Curaseb Shampoo For Dogs
Key features:
  • Medicated shampoo for dogs
  • Active ingredients chlorhexidine and ketoconazole
  • Eliminates yeast, bacteria, fungus, pyoderma, and ringworm
  • Deodorizes and gently cleans your dog’s coat
  • Leaves your dog’s coat soft and silky

Curaseb have also earned themselves a spot on our list, with this effective medicated shampoo. Thanks to the active ingredients – chlorhexidine and ketoconazole – the formula works to eliminate yeast, bacteria, fungus, pyoderma, and even ringworm.

As well as eliminating a wide range of skin issues, the shampoo deodorizes and gently cleanses your dog’s hair and skin. When the shampoo is rinsed away, it leaves behind a fresh melon and cucumber scent. Owners agree that the powerful shampoo clears up skin complaints fast, leaving behind a soft, healthy, and fresh-smelling coat.

What others say about it:

GAME CHANGER! Our guy had the typical springer skin issues. Itching ears, chewing between his toes until raw and inflamed. Vet said allergies so we cut everything out that they recommended and still had issues for months. I came across this brand of medicated shampoo and other items and thought I had nothing to lose. It’s been almost two months and any skin/ear issues we have had are GONE! I would highly recommend for any skin issues. Definitely worth a try. I now use the shampoo maybe 2x a month and just on his feet, legs and stomach. I use the spray in between his toes only when they start to look a little red, which has been maybe 1x a month, and the ear wash 2x a month when he gets a bath.

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9 Fieldworks Moosh Dog Shampoo With Aloe & Argan Oil

Fieldworks Moosh Dog Shampoo With Aloe & Argan Oil
Key features:
  • Contains aloe vera, shea butter, coconut oil, and other natural ingredients
  • Contains bentonite clay, neem oil, and argan oil
  • Antibacterial and antifungal formulation
  • Completely biodegradable and hypoallergenic shampoo formulation
  • Ideal for dogs with hot spots, itchy skin, and skin allergies

For pooches that have skin problems, the Fieldworks antibacterial and antifungal canine shampoo is a great solution. You might even consider it as a medicated dog shampoo for allergies since it is primarily geared for the management and prevention of bacterial and fungal infections while also having exceptional antiseptic properties. Fieldworks also contains natural ingredients such as essential oils that promote healthier canine skin and hair while reducing the severity of skin allergies as well as dermatitis. It contains bentonite clay which aids in its antimicrobial properties.

What others say about it:

My lovely girl decided to crawl/roll inside a dead deer carcass she found. The smell was awful! Thank goodness for this shampoo I had on hand – one bath & the foul smell was gone!! Always leaves her coat shiny. Lathers up great. A little goes a long ways. Great for skin issues as well! Our pug has severe allergies & this takes care of the skin issues he has suffered from.
You will not regret this purchase & it’s well worth its price!!!

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10 TropiClean Berry & Coconut Deep Cleansing Shampoo For Pets

TropiClean Berry & Coconut Deep Cleansing Shampoo For Pets
Key features:
  • Deep cleansing formula with coconut and berries
  • Moisturizes and conditions skin and coat
  • Pleasant fruity smell
  • PH balanced and free from soap, dyes, and parabens
  • Suitable for dogs and cats from 12 weeks old

TropiClean Shampoos for pets are a fantastic natural option when it comes to keeping your pet pooch clean and smelling lovely. The formula is designed to moisturize and condition your pet’s coat without the need for parabens, dyes, or soaps. All the ingredients are derived from nature and work together to create a rich lather that your dog will love. The formula is PH balanced and is suitable to use on dogs and cats from 12 weeks onwards.

What others say about it:

Love, love this shampoo! 5/5 hands down! We are a family of 4 dogs. The white fur looks super white and clean, gentle on their skin, smells tropical, and their fur is super shiny and soft!! I cant get my hands off of them after their baths! I would even recommend this product to the groomers!! Best shampoo I ever bought.

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11 Paws & Pals Oatmeal, Sweet Basil & Turmeric Shampoo

Paws & Pals Oatmeal, Sweet Basil & Turmeric Shampoo
Key features:
  • Contains oatmeal, chamomile, and rosemary as well as other natural ingredients
  • Enriched with vitamins and essential fatty acids
  • Natural conditioners and moisturizers

One of the top rated dog shampoo and conditioner in the market, the Paws & Pals is especially formulated to improve the health of canine coat and skin. It contains essential oils like rosemary and chamomile as well as vitamin E and oatmeal to help replenish natural skin and hair oils while reducing many of the symptoms and signs of skin irritation in pets. The Paws & Pals is reasonably priced, too. The addition of conditioners helps moisturize both the skin and the coat, giving it a healthier glow.

What others say about it:

I love this shampoo. I swear I can’t stop smothering my dog with love. He smells so good. I noticed that his hair is feeling really soft as well. He usually gets a few tangles on his tail and ears. I haven’t noticed him having any bad reactions to it and that’s a big thing for me because he use to get hot spots, so I am always scared new products could bring them back. I will definitely buy this product again.

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12 Nootie Skin & Coat Solutions Soothing Aloe & Oatmeal Shampoo

Nootie Skin & Coat Solutions Soothing Aloe & Oatmeal Shampoo
Key features:
  • Contains coconut oil, oatmeal, aloe vera, and ordenone
  • Soap-free, SLS-free, and paraben-free formulation
  • Designed for dry and itchy skin as well as deodorizer
  • Fantastic, non-irritating scent

Nootie’s oatmeal dog shampoo can also be regarded as one of the best smelling dog shampoo currently available. Its unique formulation is designed to help combat nasty odor by removing the source of the unwanted smell. Oatmeal, ordenone, and coconut oil work together to provide a mellow scent. The addition of aloe vera soothes itchy skin. Nootie is perfect for rejuvenating and invigorating canine skin and hair cells while relieving stubborn symptoms of skin irritation and hypersensitivity.

What others say about it:

My dog has horrible allergies and can’t be bathed in just anything. This soap helps with his skin irritation and smells amazing not like wet dog afterwards. My groomer recommended for my dog and I’ve been using this for two years now

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13 Burt’s Bees For Puppies Natural Tearless 2 In 1 Shampoo And Conditioner

Burt's Bees For Puppies Natural Tearless 2 In 1 Shampoo And Conditioner
Key features:
  • Moisturizing Dog Shampoo
  • Natural formula features buttermilk and deeply moisturising linseed oil
  • Free from fragrances, surfactants, and sulfates

They might be better known for their unique beeswax lip balm, but Burt’s Bees have turned their attention to the petcare world with great success. The gentle yet effective formula acts to soothe and soften your pet’s coat and skin, leaving it healthy, smooth, and fresh.

The formula is made using a mixture of natural ingredients, including buttermilk and linseed oil. Both ingredients effectively moisturise your pooch’s coat, without making it greasy. It’s very gentle, too, suitable for dogs and puppies of all ages. Free from surfactants, sulfates, and fragrances, it’s perfect for mutts with sensitive skin.

What others say about it:

Have been using this on our 2 golden retrievers since bringing them home. Always makes our girls coats shine and soft. They get compliments on how soft they are all the time.

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14 4-Legger Organic Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo

4-Legger Organic Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo
Key features:
  • Hypoallergenic dog shampoo
  • 100% USDA approved organic
  • Soothes itchy, flaky skin and promotes healing
  • Leaves behind a subtle fresh fragrance
  • Free from detergents, parabens, and sulfates
  • Totally non-toxic

This hypoallergenic shampoo formula from 4-Legger is another great option if your dog has allergies, or sensitive skin. The natural formula is 100% organic, fully approved by the USDA. Made with a blend of aloe and lemongrass, the shampoo gently cleanses and soothes itchy or flaky skin, leaving behind a subtle fresh fragrance.

The formula is free from detergents, parabens, and sulfates – it’s totally non-toxic, and safe for pets of all ages. Finally, the shampoo is eco-friendly, and totally vegan, so you can use it with a conscious as clean as your pet’s coat.

What others say about it:

My three year old pittie has dealt with an array of issues in regards to skin and ear infections. We are careful with the products we use with him. This shampoo has been amazing for us and his coat and it smells amazing also

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15 Wahl White Pear Brightening Shampoo For Pets

Wahl White Pear Brightening Shampoo For Pets
Key features:
  • Dog Whitening Shampoo
  • Contains all-natural plant-based ingredients
  • pH-balanced and free from paraben and alcohol
  • Greater levels of concentrates than other brands

If you want your mutt’s coat to really stand out, you should consider Wahl’s Color Bright. This all-natural product is formulated to brighten white-coated pooches while also enhancing and making more vibrant the colored coat of other breeds. While it improves the appearance of your pet’s coat, it also helps remove dirt and other particles that may be present in your pooch’s coat without endangering the environment.

Read here our ultimate guide on Dog Whitening Shampoo.

What others say about it:

I purchased this for my pup’s white paws, tail and tummy. I suds up those areas first and left the shampoo on while I washed her darker fur with another Wahl shampoo. This whitening shampoo really lifted the grime from her paws (she goes on daily hour-long walks) and made them noticeably brighter than her “regular” shampoo. Very pleased!

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16 Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Dog Shampoo

Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Dog Shampoo
Key features:
  • Contains all-natural limonene, tea tree oil, aloe vera, neem oil, chamomile, and oatmeal
  • Especially formulated for sensitive and itchy skin
  • Works well with other flea and tick treatments
  • Gentle and non-irritating smell

Containing limonene, oatmeal, and tea tree oil, Vet’s Best is a dog shampoo for itchy skin. It is recommended for use on pooches that have sensitive skin as well as possible allergies. Vet’s Best helps relieve itching by washing away allergens and other particles that may be causing the hypersensitivity reaction. Its natural ingredients help give it a gentle and pleasant scent to keep your mutt smelling fresh.

What others say about it:

I am beyond excited that I tried this product. We have spent the last six years taking our dog to the vet annually for allergy shots and medicated shampoo, only for his bright red skin and itchy/stinky appearance to come back. After reading reviews on this product I figured I would give it a shot. I AM SO GLAD I DID. This shampoo has been a life saver. So far we have not had to take our dog back to the vet for an allergy shot again! That is with shampooing him maybe one every other week/every two weeks. AMAZING!

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Best Dog Shampoo: Buying Guide

Giving your pet pooch a much-needed bath can do a lot more than just maintaining its hygiene and health. It can also be a great way to manage and control common pest problems like fleas and ticks while strengthening the bond between you and your mutt. It is, thus, critical to know which shampoo to use on your dog as some of these may contain ingredients that may bring harm to our pets.

We understand that the subject can be intimidating and confusing, especially to novice dog owners. While there are tons of online resources detailing the whole process of selecting the right product for your pet as well as providing answers to some of the more nagging questions that pet owners may have, we have decided to pool these resources and evaluate them for their intrinsic value, relevance, and validity. Hopefully, towards the end of this section, you will be more enlightened on how you can ensure better care for your pet by being able to choose the best pet shampoo for their needs properly.

Why Use Dog Shampoos and Not Human Products?


Here’s the thing about pet care products – there are too many of them that you don’t know which ones are essential and which you can do without. Unfortunately, many pet owners don’t think a dedicated pet shampoo is necessary, and their human shampoos should already suffice. Unfortunately, this is widespread, especially among individuals who fail to realize the essential differences between human and dog skin. This is where the issue is whether it is safe to use ordinary human shampoo on dogs or not.

The acid mantle

Consider the acid mantle a natural barrier between the external environment and the different structures of the skin. The outer layer of skin is a collection of epithelial cells in various stages of cornification or hardening. The innermost layers are fresher and softer, while the layer we see on our skin is cornified tissues. That is why this is called stratum corneum.

Given that the stratum corneum is made up of hardened skin cells, it would be safe to assume that this is enough to afford our dogs or us the protection we need against external threats. But unfortunately, this is far from the truth. These hardened skin cells can still be attacked by bacteria and viruses that can enter through the rest of the skin layers if there’s a cut or opening in the skin.

As a supporting mechanism to this primary defense barrier, the body produces a very thin layer that experts call the acid mantle. The acid mantle keeps microbial contaminants from invading the skin by providing an acid environment to help neutralize these microorganisms. Moreover, the acid mantle helps reduce evaporation and facilitates more efficient water absorption to keep the skin well-hydrated.

This thin protective layer is inadvertently washed away when we take a bath. That is why many bath soaps and shampoos contain ingredients that will help blanket the skin while it renews its acid mantle. These products also help to moisturize the skin.

So, the acid mantle is a very important protective layer of the skin. Its effectiveness depends on the correct balance of acids and bases on the skin. You know this as pH balance.

Here is where the main difference lies and one of the fundamental reasons you cannot use human shampoo on your pet.

The normal pH of human skin is slightly more acidic, typically between 5.2 and 6.2. You should know that the normal pH of the human blood is between 7.35 and 7.45, which is slightly alkaline if we take the conventional pH standardization of 7.0 as neutral. On the other hand, your dog typically has a normal skin pH of 6.2 to 7.4, which is more on the alkaline side.

Using ordinary human shampoos on dogs can substantially disrupt their acid mantle. This leaves your mutt vulnerable to microbial invasions such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Also, because the moisture from their skin has been essentially stripped away, they develop dry and flaky skin. This can be incredibly itchy, leading to constant scratching and potentially cutting the skin. As we have already said, any loss in the integrity of the skin will result in the entry of pathogenic microorganisms.

That said, you should never use your shampoo on your mutt regardless of how ‘mild’ these products are formulated.

Skin sensitivity

We did mention that our skin’s outer layer is composed of several sub-layers, 5 to be exact. So you are looking at 10 to 15 rows of skin cells when taken together. On the other hand, our canine friends only have 3 to 5 rows of skin cells.

Because their skin is essentially ‘thinner’ than ours, hair wash products containing harsh chemicals or ingredients can easily erode these layers. Again, this leads to skin rashes, drying, flaking, and even intense itching, which you already know what happens next.

You might think this is bull since dogs can easily go anywhere without hurting or damaging their skin. This is where their coat comes in. Unlike the hair follicles in humans that grow as individual hair, the hair follicles in canines typically grow in clusters, providing ample protection for the skin beneath it. Unfortunately, if they do get a bath, moisture can easily get under this cluster of hair follicles, somehow trapping them in the process. This is also why it is much more difficult to dry their hair after getting wet.

Giving your mutt a bath using your shampoo can lead to more severe skin irritation primarily because they have more sensitive skin.

Should you use your shampoo on your dog? The straightforward answer is NO. If you’re not convinced, try bathing your mutt with your hair wash product, and you will see that the odor is not that pleasant. Unfortunately, many pet owners tend to repeat the washing, believing that doing so will help remove the nasty smell. Unfortunately, it only worsens because the acid mantle has already been severely disrupted, and bacteria are already wreaking havoc on your pet’s skin. If you don’t mind the smell, sooner or later, your mutt will be scratching incessantly, and you’ll be wondering if it has fleas or ticks. Sadly, most pet owners will never think that their pet’s use of human shampoo is causing the itching.

How to Choose the Best Dog Shampoos

A man in a store chooses a shower gel, carefully reads the composition

Based on what we have already discussed, it is important never to use human shampoo on your pet, no matter how ‘mild’ these products are being aggressively marketed. The important thing to do next is to understand how to choose the right canine shampoo. Here’s how.

Determine the type of skin that your pet has

One of the best ways to help you choose the right product for your pet dog is by taking a closer look at its skin. If you are unfamiliar with identifying the type of skin your pet has, your veterinarian can help you.

If your pup has dry, itchy, and flaky skin and is accompanied by a rather dull coat, you may choose a product that has a more gentle formulation. It should not be harsh to help prevent the worsening of the skin irritation. Similarly, a gentle hair product can aid in the restoration of moisture into your pet’s coat and skin, leading to less dry and less itchy skin.

If the main issue is sensitive skin, gently formulated shampoos containing natural substances like oatmeal, vitamin E, and honey can help relieve the intense itching of hypersensitive skin. Gentle shampoos also have a soothing effect on your mutt’s skin and coat.

Check if your mutt has fleas or ticks

Pets with flea or tick problems can benefit from a product with certain ingredients to kill these ectoparasites. Unfortunately, these pests bring various canine health problems such as fever, pest bite dermatitis, anemia, and many more. If your pet happens to have any of these problems, it is often wise to choose the best flea shampoo for dogs. However, it is important to note that this should not be the only method of eradicating these pests. Environmental control and administering other flea medications and collars should also be considered.

Choose age-appropriate canine shampoos

Just like humans, you need to choose pet shampoos that are appropriate to your pet’s age. For example, get only a specially formulated shampoo for puppies if you have a puppy. These have different formulations relative to their adult versions to cater to the even more sensitive skins of pups. These lead to a reduction in the risk of skin irritations as well as eye irritations.

Check if you need waterless dog shampoo or dog wipes for instant baths

You may not need it now, but you will sooner or later. Some products are specially designed for on-the-go and instant cleaning your beloved furry pal without needing a bathtub or shower hose. You can use these waterless shampoos for everyday cleaning, especially in certain parts of your furry pal. For example, these are often used to clean the eyes, ears, teeth, paws, and bottoms. These are excellent and convenient options if you’re traveling or need to give your furry friend a good cleaning.

See our round-up of best dog wipes for a complete list of our favorite options.

Evaluate if your pet has skin conditions

Cute jack russel terrier looking to the camera happily his female owner talking to the vet on the background

If your pet has skin problems, like redness, blotching, flaking, or even excessive dryness, you may want to buy a medicated shampoo for dogs. Like products specially formulated for fighting fleas and ticks, medicated products can contain substances geared specifically toward managing the different signs of the skin problem. For instance, these can have antimicrobial properties, such as what an antifungal canine shampoo provides. Some products contain anti-inflammatory substances to help reduce any skin inflammation and redness. Some shampoos come with antibacterial ingredients to help rid the skin of these pathogenic organisms and help reduce irritation and itching.

Consider products that help you control shedding

Shedding is a natural phenomenon experienced by all living organisms with hair. Human hair, for example, undergoes a cycle of growth and shedding. While most hairs are growing, others are resting or are shedding. The same is true with our canine friends. They do shed.

Unfortunately, most pet lovers are worried about the danger accompanying the shedding, as these small particles can easily get airborne. If you don’t have any airway hypersensitivity or allergies to dander, then it’s not a big issue. However, a heavily shedding dog can be bad news if you have a family member who is hypersensitive to such particles.

Getting a canine shampoo that contains antioxidants, amino acids, and healthy oils can help reduce the amount of shedding in your pet. These pet care materials can also help improve your mutt’s coat by making it healthier and shinier.

Determine if your mutt’s coat requires some untangling

If you have a pet that is more prone to tangling of its coat, you can use a combination of the best dog conditioner and shampoo to help restore the moisture in your pet’s hair and skin. This will also make combing and brushing your mutt’s coat much easier. If your pet has frizzy locks or stubborn tangles, you can choose a separate conditioner to be applied after shampooing. This will help replenish the natural oils in your mutt’s coat while also aiding in detangling.

Consider getting a conditioner

You might think that only humans need conditioners. On the contrary, our pet mutts also deserve a specially formulated dog shampoo and conditioner to help restore the moisture in their coats and replenish the natural oils that are often removed or washed away during shampooing. In addition, these hair care materials’ active ingredients cover and seal the hair shaft. This can help reduce the incidence of tangled hair, making it a lot easier to brush or comb.

Dog Shampoo Ingredients to Avoid

Beautiful young girl asking her friend which shampoo is better.

We have already said that one of the key factors you need to consider when choosing the right pet shampoo is its safety profile. Unfortunately, some brands contain harsh ingredients that can cause various health concerns. To steer clear of these products, it is important to know which pet shampoo ingredients to avoid. Here, we will share with you 4 groups of ingredients you need to watch out for in your choice of the best shampoo.


Most of us consider preservatives as important ingredients in lengthening the shelf life of many things we use and consume. These substances are inherently useful in preventing the premature spoilage of many things, including food. Sadly, research has shown that these substances can lead to various health issues in the long run.

One of the most common preservatives used in many applications today is formaldehyde. This substance has been shown to create brain and spinal cord problems. Moreover, it is a known carcinogen. It can also produce skin rashes.

Unfortunately, you will not see ‘formaldehyde’ written on the labels of many items. Instead, you will see various chemicals known to release or form formaldehyde. You may need to watch out for the following substances:

Diazolidinyl urea
Imidazolidinyl urea
2-brono-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol or bronopol
Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate
DMDM hydantoin
Quaternium-7, -15, -31, -61
Another preservative that you may want to be especially cautious is parabens such as methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. The major issue in parabens is that they are very potent estrogen disruptors which can adversely affect the reproductive functioning of affected canines. In addition, these ingredients are also known to produce certain types of cancers.

Sodium benzoate is a popular preservative that is relatively safe when given by itself. However, if this substance is mixed with Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, or even citric acid, the resulting chemical reaction leads to benzene formation. This is where the problem lies, as benzene is known as a major risk factor in the development of leukemia as well as other disorders of the blood.


These ingredients make shampoos and other personal and pet care products bubbly. There is this notion that the more bubbles an item produces, the better it is when cleaning and washing away dirt, grime, and other particles. In addition, these are ingredients that are useful in making your pet’s hair shinier as these are effective in enveloping oil and grease for easier removal from the hair.

While you can easily identify these ingredients by looking at the word ‘sulfate,’ such as sodium Laureth sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, and sodium lauryl sulfate, some products don’t explicitly label their formulations with sulfates. Instead, you may read ‘coconut-based cleaners,’ ‘coconut-based surfactants,’ ‘naturally extracted from coconuts,’ or even ‘vegetable-based cleaners.’ So, be on the lookout for these ‘ingredients’ regardless of how ‘natural’ their manufacturers claim the item to be.

All versions of the sulfates can cause skin dryness, severe itching, and redness. These three substances are also highly reactive to dioxane and ethylene oxide, known carcinogens. Ethylene is also toxic to the normal growth and development of tissues and the immune system. It is also a well-known allergen.


If you see three-letter combinations that end in ‘-ethanolamine,’ stay away from these as these can be easily broken down into nitrogenous compounds known as nitrosamines. These carcinogenic substances have displayed considerable developmental, reproductive, and organ system toxicity.

You need to watch out for the three common mono-, di-, and tri- ethanolamines, more popularly known for their 3-letter acronyms MEA, DEA, and TEA, respectively.

Artificial colorings and fragrances

Just because you bought the best-smelling shampoo doesn’t mean it’s already safe for your pet. Unfortunately, many products in the market are filled with artificial fragrances and colorings.

A very common ingredient you will not likely see on product labels is phthalates. These substances are used to bond the different molecules of fragrances together. Without phthalates, there’s no way your shampoo will remain as fragrant as the first day you opened it. Regrettably, phthalates are known hormone disruptors.

Artificial colorings, on the other hand, are mainly synthesized from petroleum products. These are believed to be factors in the development of allergic reactions, congenital disabilities, organ damage, and even cancer.

How Often Should I Bathe my Dog?

Bathing of the yellow labrador retriever

One question that always pops out in pet grooming discussions is the frequency of bathing dogs. It is a question that can have a variety of answers. Ask any vet, and they will tell you that it depends on the most compelling reason behind the activity.

Bathing too often can irritate your mutt’s skin. It can also damage your pet’s hair follicles. And if worse comes to worst, the risk for bacterial and fungal infections can also be increased. Bathing infrequently, on the other hand, can also lead to the development of health concerns.

So, how often should you bathe your mutt?

The consensus is that bathing every week is beneficial as the process can help augment the natural grooming behaviors of canines. If your pet ventures into a filthy area, you can easily clean the contaminated parts with waterless shampoo or wipes. If your canine friend happens to have short hair and is relatively clean, bathing it once a month should suffice.

How to Wash Your Dog Properly

Dog taking bath at home

Admit it. Bathing your pup is a very time-consuming process, not to mention a struggle, especially if your furry pal happens to detest the idea of you bathing it. Canines are not afraid of water. Unfortunately, their earlier experiences can play a significant role in forming an aversive or avoidant behavior. Here are some tips for washing your dog properly and making the experience less threatening and fun.

Engage your furry friend in active play. Take it for a run. Play catch or fetch. The point is for you to tire it and drain it of excess energy so it will be much easier to bring to the bathtub.

Give your furry pal a good brushing of its coat. Suppose you can remove any tangles, even before hitting the water. As much as possible, remove any matting as this can trap water irritating your pet’s skin.

Protect the ears from the possible entry of water. Insert a cotton ball inside the ear canals to help keep water out while preventing ear irritation and infection.

Check the temperature of the water. It should be lukewarm, neither cold nor hot. If it’s too hot, you risk burning your dog’s skin. If it’s too cold, it might shiver. However, if your pet happens to be a large breed, you can use slightly colder water.

Calm your pet. Use a reassuring voice in encouraging it to go to the bath. Most canines will eventually learn that the whole bathing process is not a means of torturing them.

Always use the best soap for dogs. Never use human shampoo, even if it is for babies.

Don’t forget to rinse well. Any residue can irritate the skin. A good rule of thumb is to rinse your pet’s hair at least three times.

Air-dry your pet after the bath, or you can use a specially designed blow-dryer for canines. Resist the temptation of using your hair dryer as this can be extremely hot for your pet, even if you put it on the lowest speed and temperature setting.

Always reward your pup right after bathing. Praise it, pet it, or even play with it, so your dog learns that bathing is a pleasant experience that brings about many positive things.

You may also like our guide on the Best Bath Tubs for Dogs.

This information and our list of the sixteen best shampoos for dogs should help you better understand the importance of bathing and grooming dogs.


  1. Can You Use Human Shampoo on Dogs? Maintaining Your Dog’s Skin pH, PetMD

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