We all know the smell of “wet dog” don’t we? In fact, just the mention of those words and you can almost smell it. Some dogs are worse than others. You have the dogs that are scared to leave your side or jump at the sight of raindrops. Then, you have the dogs that make it so we even have a reason for this article.
They practically dive into ponds, jump for joy at the sight of muddy puddles, and love rolling around in the dirt. No matter how messy they are, we just can’t resist cuddling them, so we definitely need some top-notch dog shampoo. Unfortunately, not all dog shampoo is up-to-par. We’ve dug deep and done the research so you don’t have to!
Best Dog Shampoo – Comparison Table
You should be just as picky about your dog’s shampoo as you are about your own, and never use human shampoo on your dog! No run-of-the-mill shampoo will do; unless you love the smell of dirty pup! Here are the best dog shampoos out there today in 2018.
|Shampoo for Dogs||Smell||At a Glance|
|Earthbath All-Natural Shampoo||Vanilla/Almond||No harmful parabens/synthetic dyes, completely natural, oatmeal and aloe moisturize and combat itchiness|
|Wahi Oatmeal Shampoo||Various scent options||Completely natural, moisturizing and itch-relieving, only a small amount is needed|
|Vet’s Best Hypoallergenic Shampoo||Aloe||Hypoallergenic, soap-free, doesn’t affect topical flea/tick treatments, can reduce hair-shedding in some dogs|
|4-Legger Organic Shampoo||Various scents||Great for sensitive skin, certified to organic food standards, 100% vegan, natural tick/flea deterrent|
|OxGord Natural Oatmeal Shampoo and Conditioner||“Clean” scent||100% vegan, formulated for dry and sensitive skin, moisturizing, tearless soap-free,|
There are a variety of different amazing dog shampoos on the market today, but it all comes down to what you (and your dog) are looking for. Scroll down further to read more in-depth about each one.
Earthbath All Natural Dog Shampoo - Best Vegan Product
If you have a dog with sensitive skin, you must take a look at Earthbath Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo. This is more of a regular-use shampoo, rather than a heavy-duty shampoo for use when dogs are really, really dirty. The Earthbath brand is known for their 100% natural dog care products, that work effectively to do their intended job. There is no irritating soap, as well as parabens, synthetic dyes, perfumes, and more.
With the addition of oatmeal and aloe vera, not only soothe irritated skin or itchiness, but also moisturize the skin and fur. Despite the lack of soap, it lathers easily, and the addition of vanilla and almond extracts keep your dog smelling amazing without the fake “clean” smell often added to dog shampoos.
- All-natural ingredients with no added perfumes or parabens
- Oatmeal and aloe vera moisturize and relieve irritation
- Vanilla and almond extracts keep pup smelling good
- Not the best option for heavy-duty dog-washing
Wahl 100% Natural Oatmeal Pet Shampoo - Best for Sensitive Skin
Wahl is another brand producing natural dog care products. In fact, Wahl guarantees that all of their ingredients are solely plant-based. There are also no harmful chemicals in this shampoo, and instead contains ingredients like aloe vera, oatmeal, coconut, and lemon to both soothe irritated skin, while also moisturizing and hydrating. Oatmeal has been seen more and more prevalently in dog shampoos, given its ability to heal irritated skin and relieve itching without affecting topical flea/tick treatments.
This shampoo comes in a variety of scents unlike other options: Lavender & Chamomile, White Pear, Cornflower & Aloe, Eucalyptus & Spearmint, and Lemongrass Sage. However, Coconut and Lime Verbena is the “default” or most commonly-found scent. There were some users who found these scents to be too strong, so those who have a sensitivity to smells should maybe choose a different option.
- Comes in variety of scents
- Plant-based ingredients with no harmful chemicals included
- Relieves irritation while also moisturizing and hydrating
- Scents were reported to be too strong for some consumers
Vet's Best Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo - Best Value Product
The name kind of says it all, doesn’t it? Vet’s Best Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo is certainly one of the best dog shampoos on the market today! If you’re on a budget, but still care about what goes into the products you use on your dog, then take a look at this! Since it is hypoallergenic, those with sensitive-skinned dogs will have no problem using this on them! Since it doesn’t include soap, there will be no tears come bath time.
The shampoo may not intentionally be crafted to reduce shedding, but some consumers reported a decrease in their dog shedding after using this product! With the lack of soap, it doesn’t lather as much as some would hope, but it does smooth and moisturize so much, that many don’t feel the need to use a conditioner on their pups, afterward! It also lacks a scent, so some people may like that, and some may not. It all comes down to personal preference.
- Hypoallergenic, so it's great for sensitive
- So moisturizing, using a conditioner isn't necessary
- Doesn't interfere with topical tick/flea treatments
- Doesn't lather or have a scent
4 Legger Organic Dog Shampoo - Best for Ticks and Fleas
4-Legger Dog Shampoo is actually certified up to organic food standards. While we probably wouldn’t recommend eating it, it smells pretty delicious. The inclusion of lemongrass and rosemary essential oils are what makes up the scent, but also act as a natural tick and flea deterrent. So your dog will be itch free and you won’t have to worry about the dog bringing in any kind of gross odors or creatures!
We’re going to go ahead and say that this is one of the best dog shampoos for sensitive skin, too, as that is what it was actually formulated for. They’ve included many natural moisturizers, and have even done tests proving that it works well with dermatitis. The only downside we found, is that it is thinner than most other shampoos.
- Natural flea/tick deterrent
- Certified organic
- Moisturizes while soothing sensitive skin
- Thinner than most other shampoos
OxGord Organic Oatmeal Shampoo & Conditioner - Best Combo Shampoo
The days of needing to buy a separate shampoo and conditioner for your pup are over! OxGord dog shampoo is a 2-in-1 that is the most popular on the market for a good reason! Staying consistent with the certified organic trend, you’ll find only natural ingredients in this product. Aloe vera soothes, while ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil, and coconut oil moisturize. They added in oatmeal to help soothe itching and irritated skin.
The conditioner aspect will give your dog’s coat a beautiful sheen, and help detangle any mats. Even though it lathers wonderfully, there is no soap added, which means no tears and easy on the coat. If you’re on a time crunch, but still want your pup looking his or her best, then this is the one for you! It should be noted, that it is on the pricier side, so you will pay for the added convenience.
- Certified 100% organic with no harmful chemicals or parabens
- Lathers wonderfully, with no tears
- Moisturizes and soothes irritated skin
- On the pricier side
Best Dog Shampoo - Buyer's Guide
Some of you may be wondering why you should use a dog-specific product rather than just regular old human shampoo. The truth is, dogs have a much different body chemistry that we humans do, and using these products on them repeatedly can have adverse effects on their skin and coat. Human shampoo is typically much more acidic due to the difference in our skin pH levels. By using these on them, it can break down the protective agents on their skin and make them more susceptible to diseases and infections. Dogs also generally have much more sensitive skin than humans do.
Here are some things to consider when buying your dog shampoo:
Some people are very sensitive to smells. They can make some people nauseous or give them migraines. Nobody wants to deal with that when they just want to cuddle up to their dog! Most of the options listed here have either no scent, or a very mild, natural scent that isn’t likely to offend anyone.
If your dog has sensitive skin, pay close attention to the ingredients in the shampoo you’ll be bathing them with. Certified 100% organic and/or hypoallergenic shampoos are much less likely to irritate your pup’s skin. Ingredients like oatmeal work to soothe irritated skin.
If your dog has a dry coat or skin, look into shampoos with ingredients like coconut oil or shea butter. These are known to be excellent hydrating agents, and will do so without leaving your dog’s coat oily.
If your dog requires topical flea/tick treatment, make sure the shampoo you wash them with doesn’t interfere with that treatment, or you may be doing more harm than good. Ingredients like lemongrass extract can actually work as a natural flea/tick agent. Killing two birds (or rather, fleas) with one stone!
Of course, the only reason why many people bathe their dogs is solely to get rid of dog odor! Dogs are known to be playful and roll around in the worst possible environment, if they can. Natural dog shampoos will get rid of the odor without replacing it with a foul, fake smelling perfume added into the mix.
By going with any all-natural or certified organic product, you can rest assured that it will generally be a good option for your dog. As previously stated, it’s important to keep in mind that dogs have more sensitive skin than we do. They’re also exposed to a lot more adverse factors, as they’re generally outside more than we are.
Our personal favorites are the 4-Legger Dog Shampoo, and the OxGord Shampoo and Conditioner. The 4-Legger Dog Shampoo is one of the best organic dog shampoos on the market today, and also includes Lemongrass and Rosemary essential oils, acting as a natural flea and tick deterrent. The OxGord Shampoo and Conditioner works as a 2-in-1, which is hard to find today, at this level of quality. Jojoba and coconut oils act as conditioning agents, and also soothe irritated skin and fur, while adding a beautiful sheen to their coat.
While those are our personal favorites, yours will come down to personal preference, and what your dog really needs. If you select any one of these, you can feel assured that you will be walking away with a quality product that does its job. After all, these are the best dog shampoos that money can buy!