Top 7 Best Dog Shampoos [Buyer’s Guide For 2021]

Although we all love our dogs, dog owners worldwide can unite over one undisputed fact: Our prized pet can be, well, kind of gross. From just plain stinky to stinky and infested, it’s important to bathe our dogs every now and then, especially during the summer months to keep them clean and cuddle-ready.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the best dog shampoo options available today. Well, let’s take a look.

Our Top Dog Shampoo Choices


Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why Use Dog Shampoo

OK, so now you may be wondering, if you love the smell of your herbal essences, can you shampoo your pet with it?

 The answer is a resounding NO! First of all, dogs have sensitive or dry skin and our shampoo and conditioners are always loaded with perfumes, artificial colors, and foaming agents so that we can have the ultimate showering experience.

While we would offer up that perhaps these ingredients aren’t great for human hair and scalp either, they will do your dogs a lot more harm then they will do you.

 Firstly, when you wash your hair, you are washing a very small, isolated part of your body with this mixture. If you wash your dogs with it, all the skin on his body will be exposed to the chemicals in this mixture. That means if he has an allergic reaction (which he likely will), he will be suffering from itchy, dry, flaky skin from head to toe.

Human shampoos are also so heavily perfumed that a hungry hound may be tempted to ingest it. This is a big no-no for obvious reasons. Unless you’re the dog whisperer himself, it is also unlikely that you can command your dog to close his eyes. Human shampoos can cause stinging and irritation if they come in contact with sensitive eyes.

Dog Shampoo

Because they have a protective coat, dogs also have way thinner skin than people. Humans have about 10 layers of skin while dogs only have about 3. This means that their skin is less resilient to chemicals than ours. Finally, because dogs bathe way less often than humans, the oils in their skin will take longer to restore themselves. Healthy skin is vital to a healthy coat.

How Often to Bathe Your Dog

To determine how often you should be bathing your dog, use your discretion and some common sense. So, what does that mean exactly? Well, you may want to bathe a dog that has a particularly potent natural scent or one that spends a lot of time outside about once a month. If you have a mostly indoor dog, however, he may only need to be bathed once every couple of months.

Likewise, your dog should be bathed less often in the winter. Chances are, your dog isn’t swimming, splashing around in the mud or rolling as much in the winter. His skin is also more prone to dryness in the winter, so make sure to consider that.

If you have a breed with a luscious double coat, such as a husky or a lab, it is important that you don’t bathe them more than once every three months maximum. It takes a long time for healthy oils in your dog’s coat to return in a double-coated breed. The best way to keep these pups looking and smelling good is to commit them to a brushing schedule.

Ingredients to Avoid

Dogs absorb allergens through their skin. That’s why you need to be extra careful when selecting dog shampoo and know which ingredients to avoid. When buying a shampoo, avoid:

  • Artificial color
  • Perfumes
  • Isopropyl Alcohol (this is essentially rubbing alcohol)
  • Parabens
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Although there are many dog shampoo ingredients to avoid, these ones are extremely common in pet grooming products. You should search for ingredients that are as close to natural as possible and if you’re unsure of any ingredients, just do a quick Internet search to ensure their safety.

Best Shampoo for Dogs

1. Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo

Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo, Vanilla & Almond, 16 Ounce
  • Totally natural pet care, 100-percent bio-degradable and cruelty free
  • Soap-free shampoo

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The all-natural dog shampoo is 100% biodegradable and cruelty free, so using it will please the philanthropist in you while keeping your pup fresh and clean! This shampoo is also free of dye and perfume, chemicals that could harm your dog if ingested. There are a number of scent options available to choose from.

This soap-free shampoo is gentle and will effectively clean your dog without risk of hurting him if it gets in his eyes. This oatmeal and almond blended shampoo will help combat pet skin problems such as hydrating dry skin and soothing itchy irritated skin.

Users with dogs with allergies found that this shampoo was helpful in treating and calming some of the skin-related side effects of these sensitivities. It also contains many natural conditioners to keep your dog’s coat silky and unmated.

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Dogs apparently don’t mind being washed with this pleasantly scented shampoo and the cleanser rinses off easily without staying stuck in the fur. A few users who’s dogs had severe allergies to grain maintained that their dogs suffered an allergic reaction to the shampoo itself, so that is something to keep in mind when deciding whether this is the appropriate purchase for your pooch.

The bottom line? This shampoo promises to soothe your dog’s dry, itchy skin while remaining a cruelty free, biodegradable and all natural pet cleanser for you beloved pet.

  • Inexpensive
  • Cruelty free
  • All natural
  • Soap-free
  • Aloe Vera and oatmeal moisturize and soothe skin
  • Can cause allergic reaction in dogs with grain allergies

2. Wahl Natural Pet Shampoo

Wahl Dog/Pet Shampoo, Oatmeal
  • Coconut and Lime verbena
  • For dry, itching, irritated skin

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This all-natural, plant-based dog shampoo was designed to help treat dry itchy skin. This pet shampoo promotes a healthy coat for you pooch, which balances out to a clean, comfortable and happy pet and less shedding for less cleaning and vacuuming for the humans in the family.

This natural shampoo also contains no Sorbitan Laurate, which is an ingredient used to create the “suds” we so often associate with cleanliness. This is an advertising myth developed in the ‘50s and the suds or foam have nothing to do with cleanliness, products are just as effective without these emulsifying products. Sorbitan laurate has also been strongly associated with the development of cancers and other diseases.

This rich shampoo doesn’t get stuck in fur and rinses off very easily. This shampoo may also offer more bang for your buck as it is a concentrate so only a small amount is required. The manufacturers claims that you will get up to 70% more baths out of this bottle than out of comparable pet products. Some users seemed surprised by the intensity of the scent of this shampoo.

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The bottom line? This all-natural pet shampoo will take care of your dog’s problematic skin issues to increase comfort and reduce shedding. It is also a concentrated product, meaning that while it is on par with our other products price-wise, you will get more baths out of this shampoo than others, increasing the value.

  • All natural
  • Inexpensive
  • Appeases dry, irritated skin
  • Contains no harmful chemicals
  • Concentrated formula guarantees more baths per bottle
  • Some users found the scent overwhelming

3. Cloud Star Corporation Buddy Wash Lavender & Mint

Cloud Star Lavender & Mint Corporation Buddy Wash, 16 Oz, Pack Of 1
  • Made From Cosmetic-Grade Ingredients
  • Coconut-Based, Alcohol Free

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This shampoo is made out of all-natural herbs and oils. If you have a pooch that freaks out at the word “bath”, this inexpensive dog shampoo may be the answer to your prayers, with calming mint and lavender aromas.

This shampoo can help moisturize your pet’s skin with a coconut oil, vitamin E and aloe Vera. It also contains tea tree oil to help treat skin infections. This chemical-free wash is light and easy to wash off, despite a rich foamy lather. The soap-free formula won’t irritate your dog’s eyes in the bath!

This cruelty free shampoo promises to be of high-quality enough that you could even use it safely on yourself. Many users were surprised by how subtle the scent was but this can also be a bonus as strong fragrance can irritate people sensitive to perfumes.

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The bottom line? This ultra inexpensive dog shampoo is all-natural and gentle enough for the most sensitive skin. It has a subtle, pleasant smell, is made with all natural ingredients and is even wholesome enough for human use (probably in fact way more wholesome than most human shampoos).

  • Very gentle
  • Inexpensive
  • All-natural wash
  • Soap-free
  • Cruelty Free
  • Very subtle scent

Best Shampoo for Dogs with Allergies

Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Dog Shampoo for Sensitive Skin

Vet's Best Hypo-Allergenic Dog Shampoo for Sensitive Skin, 16 oz
  • RELIEF FOR SENSITIVE SKIN - Vet's Best Hypo-Allergenic Dog Shampoo for Sensitive Skin is a gentle, soap-free shampoo for dogs that relieves itching and helps to...
  • NATURAL REMEDY - We use a veterinarian formulated blend of key natural ingredients like aloe vera and vitamin E to comfort and relieve your pet.

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Although all dogs have relatively sensitive skin, some dogs suffer from pretty severe allergies and skin sensitivities. Most bulldogs, for instance, are predisposed to skin sensitivities. This vet’s best product is your best bet for a dog shampoo unlikely to set off dog allergies.

This shampoo will cleanse and moisturize your dog’s coat, providing relief from itchy skin and a dry coat. This shampoo is both tearless and soap free, meaning that it won’t irritate your dog’s eyes in case of contact and it is formulated without dangerous foaming ingredients.

This shampoo is also formulated with vitamin E and aloe for all-natural moisturizer. As it is gentle, it will also not interfere with the use of topical flea repellent products.

Many users claimed they used this shampoo in desperation as a last resort and that it is the only product they can use on their dog’s sensitive skin. The shampoo leaves dogs clean with no rashes or welts. They also reported that the shampoo has a lovely, inoffensive scent and leaves dogs feeling soft and silky.

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The bottom line? Suffering from the stink of your highly allergenic dog? This shampoo may be the answer to pet parent’s prayers. Naturally tear and soap-free, this gentle shampoo cleans and moisturizes with aloe Vera and vitamin e, from a clean dog minus the allergic reaction. It smells nice and leaves pups silky smooth!

  • Appropriate for dogs with severe allergies
  • Smells nice
  • Moisturizes with vitamin E and aloe
  • Does not interfere with topical tick treatments
  • Some users found consistency too thin

Fleas are small parasites that feast on most mammals. However, these pesky bloodsuckers seem quite partial to man’s best friend: Our dogs! Having a dog with fleas can be stressful and exhausting. They are resilient and it will be obvious that they are making your pups life a living hell. However, with the right flea shampoo, you can make your pet’s pest problem a thing of the past.

What Is Flea Shampoo

Flea shampoo is pet shampoo that is medicated to kill the parasites. Many flea shampoos also get rid of other pests, like fleas (which can be really dangerous to your pet in the summer months) as well as lice.

Using a Flea Shampoo

To use a flea shampoo effectively, it is important to remember that you need to be using it on a regular basis if your dog constantly has fleas. Although effective, using a flea shampoo does not make your dog immune to reinfestation.

Although you should always follow the directions on the bottle, as a general rule, flea shampoo should be left on for a couple of minutes to allow the medication to take effect.

It is also important to deeply massage the shampoo into your dog’s fur and while rinsing to use a brush to pick out any individual insects you may see.

What to Seek Out

There are certain aspects you should look for when selecting a flea shampoo for your pet. Like regular shampoos, you should seek out shampoos that contain natural, healthful ingredients for your pet, while avoiding chemicals, soaps, and artificial ingredients as much as possible.

You also want to make sure you can tolerate the scent of your dog’s new shampoo. Some shampoos may be too fragrant for your tastes. Also, if there are smells you can’t stand (tea tree oil is a big one) seek out shampoo without these ingredients.

Always make sure you read others users reviews so you can gauge the effectiveness of the product. Also, to get the most bang for your buck, search for a shampoo that kills fleas, as well as other pests like lice and ticks. Many shampoos also contain extras, like ingredients that stunt insect’s growth before they become biting adults.

What to Stay Away From

Like with regular shampoos, you want to stay away from anything artificial like dyes and fragrance. You also want to stay away from alcohol-based products, parabens, and dangerous foaming agents.

You also don’t want to waste money on the most basic products. Stay away from products that don’t kill other pests or don’t have soothing ingredients for your dog’s irritated skin, like oatmeal or aloe.

Finally, be careful of brands that have a bad reputation. You wouldn’t buy a food that was constantly being recalled, so don’t buy grooming ingredients from unknown or sketchy companies.

Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor for Dogs and Cats

Adams Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo with Precor, 12 Oz
  • Kills fleas, ticks, flea eggs, flea larvae, and lice
  • Contains soothing aloe, lanolin, coconut extract, and oatmeal

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This inexpensive flea and tick shampoo is your dog’s first defense against irritating and potentially dangerous pests. Adam’s Plus will kill fleas and ticks as well as eggs, larvae, and lice. This shampoo will also soothe and moisturize your dog’s irritated skin, containing coconuts extract, aloe, and oatmeal.

This inexpensive shampoo contains PRECOR. PRECOR is an insect growth regulator that will prevent ticks and fleas larvae and eggs from developing. Thus, young pests cannot become biting adults. This formula can be used on puppies, adult dogs, kittens, and adult cats, so it is a one size fits all solution for your whole pet family.

This shampoo also has a super non-offensive smell. Some users seemed taken aback that although the shampoo kills ticks and fleas, it doesn’t make your pet immune to them, although the shampoo makes no claim of prevention. With any flea and tick shampoo, your best bet is to use the shampoo in conjunction with a flea/tick medication.

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The bottom line? This flea shampoo works to kill existing critters in your pet’s skin and in his coat. Although medicated, it is gentle and soothing for your pet’s irritated skin and will help treat dandruff and scales. Although it doesn’t prevent re-infestation, this shampoo is effective and inexpensive.

  • Inexpensive
  • Inoffensive smell
  • Kills, adults fleas, eggs, and larvae, as well as ticks
  • Contains PRECOR growth regulator to prevent immature insects development into biting adults
  • Does not prevent re-infestation

2. Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo for Pets

Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo for Pets, 12-Ounce
  • Baby fresh scent
  • Rich, creamy formula cleans and conditions

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This flea and tick shampoo has a pleasant, almost baby powder like scent to it. This miracle shampoo will kill adult ticks, fleas and lice, as well as preventing eggs from hatching for about a month.

This shampoo will also keep your dog’s coat shiny and manageable and prevent or treat skin problems such as scales and dandruff with natural moisturizing ingredients. Again, many users were surprised that it didn’t provide protection from reinfestations, but the shampoo claims only to kill live pests.

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The bottom line? This insecticidal shampoo will give you feline or canine companion near instant relief from irritating and potentially dangerous biting pests like ticks, lice and fleas. It will also prevent eggs from hatching. On top of its medicinal uses, this pleasant smelling shampoo will moisturize your dog’s skin, preventing scales and dandruff and keep his coat shiny and smooth.

  • Kills ticks, lice, and fleas
  • Prevents eggs from hatching
  • Pleasant, subtle scent
  • Treats skin and coat issues
  • Does not prevent reinfestation

Why Our Pets Stink

One of the most endearing features of our pets is how much they love getting down and dirty. There are obvious reasons that your dog may stink. He may have rolled in poop or a dead animal. He might have been sprayed by a skunk.

Some dogs—depending on their breed and age—just have a natural aroma to them. In some cases, this can be the result of a skin infection or worse, an anal gland problem (believe us, you’ll know). Most of the time, however, an appropriate grooming schedule can seriously help with your smelly dog.

How a Dog Shampoo Can Help

Dog shampoos can help control odor much like our own shampoo helps us stay fresh. Dog shampoo keeps the skin healthy, gets rid of excess dander and oil and lastly gets rid of environmental filth. Dog shampoo can also bind to molecules with bad smells, causing them to be rinsed out along with the shampoo.

Ingredients to Avoid

Like with other types of dog shampoos, you should avoid soaps, chemical ingredients, parabens, anything alcohol-based and dangerous foaming ingredients in an odor controlling shampoo. A great rule of thumb: If you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t be rubbing it into your dog’s fur!!

Best Smelling Dog Shampoo

Fur-So-Fresh Whiff Dog Shampoo

Fur-So-Fresh Whiff Dog Shampoo 21.8oz
  • Patented Odor Eliminator
  • Eliminates Skunk Odor

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This shampoo wins our best-smelling dog shampoo award. Fresh and fruity, this shampoo will eliminate odor from even the naturally stinkiest dogs coat and skin. It is also long lasting and can help abolish unpleasant smells for over a week.

It can also be helpful in purging many allergy-causing danders. This shampoo even clears the most powerful and obnoxious of smells. If your dog rolls in a dead animal or worse, is sprayed by a skunk, this pleasantly scented godsend of a shampoo will be the ultimate tool in making that stinky scent disappear.

Despite being formulated as a professional grooming product, Fur So Fresh is also extremely affordable.

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The bottom line? Fur So Fresh is a no brainer for putrid pets; it’s affordable, it’s formulated for hard to get rid of smells and it’s made for groomer. Get rid of those foul smells and back to cuddling in a snap!

  • Pleasant smell, no users reported the scent being off-putting or offensive
  • Gets rid of tough, lingering smells
  • Decreases dander
  • Professional grooming product
  • Inexpensive

Smelly or not, we love our pets. Hopefully, this review of the best dog shampoo for various dog hygiene problems will help you decide on the right shampoo to keep your dog fresh and snuggleable.

5 thoughts on “Top 7 Best Dog Shampoos [Buyer’s Guide For 2021]”

  1. Hi, thank you for the informative page. I have a three-year-old Yorkie and I want to buy a good shampoo and conditioner. I was almost to purchase the Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo but then here I saw the shampoo and conditioner from Chris Christensen. Do you know that brand? I saw positive reviews so I am in kind of a dilemma right now. I’m sitting on the fence wondering which one should I buy…Cheers!

    • Thanks for connecting to Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.The Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo is a high-quality shampoo that is specially formulated for dogs with dry or sensitive skin. It contains oatmeal and Aloe Vera to promote healing and re-moisturize sensitive skins. This shampoo comes highly recommended, and works well on Yorkies. It is eco-friendly and cruelty-free. It is also natural and smells wonderful. You should give it a try.

  2. Thanks for connecting to Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.Tea tree oil is toxic to dogs! I didn’t know this and used an anti-itch dog shampoo with tea tree oil on my itchy shih tzu and she got liver toxicity!! Check the official poison hotline and you’ll see tea tree oil is very toxic to dogs! Even just vapors!

    • Thanks for connecting to Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.Tea tree oil is tolerated in small amounts such as .1% to 1% in cats and dogs.These small and safe amounts are found in veterinary skin care products already. Because this oil has become so popular in so many households, it has been problematic by way of accidental ingestion, and incorrect dilution amounts that lead to tea tree oil toxicity, as you mentioned. Highly concentrated oil is harmful. Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of a tree in Australia. It can also be found in Florida.It smells like camphor, and is wonderful in its bactericidal and antifungal properties. That said, if taken orally, it is toxic to both humans and pets. Studies show that 89% of pet parents that used tea tree oil in its 100% purity, thought that it was safe to use. Due to lack of labelling in the US, there have been numerous cases of tea tree oil toxicity accidents in pets. As usual, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian prior to using any alternative treatments. Because it is so easy to miscalculate the correct dilution of 100% tea tree oil, it’s best to totally avoid using this in pets.

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