Choosing the best puppy shampoo for any circumstance is easy with our expert help and puppy shampoo reviews. Read on as we review five shampoos sure to make your precious pup sparkling clean and sweet smelling.

Puppies love to explore and when they do they can become very messy.

Rolling in a new, exciting, usually obnoxious scent is one of their favorite activities. Whether your little one has gotten into mud, the cat box, or any number of other offending odors, there are times she’ll need a bath.

There are also occasions your puppy may need a bath for health reasons. Perhaps she’s got a skin issue requiring medicated or soothing bath products. For the best how-to advice on the mechanics of bathing your puppy, see our article here

The Right Shampoo For The Job

Very young puppies, less than about six weeks old, should never be bathed. Doing so can really damage their delicate skin.

For this early time in their life, pet wipes are a great alternative to bathing, but only if they need cleaning. If they are still with their mother, normally she will take care of this need.

When you’ve decided that your older puppy needs a bath, however, you may discover you don’t have any pet shampoo available. Don’t reach for your human shampoo! The ASPCA cautions that it will contain fragrances and other additives that will be harmful to your puppy’s tender skin.

Before you need it, shop for the most useful puppy shampoo for your unique need. Has your puppy developed a skin condition needing a very gentle shampoo with soothing agents to help stop itching?

Does your puppy have a skin rash for which the veterinarian has prescribed a medicated shampoo?

Do you need only a general cleansing shampoo for a very dirty puppy?

There are several different reasons to bathe your puppy and, fortunately, many shampoos on the market to choose from. Let’s look at how you can find the best shampoo for puppies.

Read The Label

Choosing the right shampoo for the job begins with reading the ingredients on the bottle or package. (Shampoo either comes in liquid or bar form.)

Some companies don’t list the product’s ingredients on the packaging, however. This is a red flag, according to the Whole Dog Journal’s shampoo testing recommendations. There can be many harmful additives in shampoo. If you don’t know the ingredients, how do you know what you’re putting on your sweet puppy’s skin?

Which Shampoo Variety To Choose?

There are several varieties of dog shampoo available. Choosing the right one for your needs is very important to the health of your puppy. We’ll explore many of these here, with thanks to information from Entirely Pets.

Medicated Shampoos

These shampoos treat dogs for skin conditions such as bacteria, skin irritations, dandruff, dry skin, or greasiness.

  • Anti-Parasitic shampoos kill those parasites already on your puppy and will stop the parasites’ eggs from hatching.
  • Anti-Fungus shampoos stop the repeating cycle of fungal growth on a dog’s skin, which causes itching and burning.
  • Hypoallergenic shampoos relieve the topical allergic reactions on your pet with aloe, oatmeal, and vitamins to soothe skin and relieve itching.
  • Anti-Microbial shampoos get rid of bacteria on a pet’s skin.
  • Anti-Pruritic shampoos keep your pet from scratching irritated skin.
  • Anti-Seborrheic shampoos help prevent dandruff, dry skin, and greasy skin and relieve the itching and burning these conditions cause.

Non-Medicated Shampoos

  • Natural shampoos are gentle and less irritating to your dog’s skin.
  • Flea and tick shampoo is good for eliminating the problem these pests cause on your puppy. These products can cause irritation, so choose a gentle shampoo with natural ingredients.
  • Whitening or Brightening shampoo helps to enhance light colored coats. You’ll notice a shiny puppy after her bath.
  • Waterless shampoos are just what the name implies…a product that uses no water to clean your pup. These products are great for a water-shy dog or for cleaning your puppy while traveling. They require no rinsing.
  • Allergy relief shampoos are actually for people more than dogs. These shampoos remove dander from dogs’ fur, which is normally what people who are allergic to dogs are reacting to.
  • Shampoos with conditioners help in detangling and softening your puppy’s fur. Conditioners are also sold as separate products.
  • Deodorizing shampoos help with smelly pups. Perhaps your puppy has been sprayed by a skunk? This product will help get the stinky out.
  • Puppy shampoos are formulated to be very gentle on the skin and are tearless.

Last update on 2018-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

To begin our puppy shampoo reviews, we start with a very gentle, soap-free, and tearless product from Earthbath. This 100% natural cleanser is a specific answer to those dogs with extra-sensitive skin.

This, of course, includes our little ones. Puppy skin is very delicate and needs a gentle shampoo. The natural ingredients in this product include renewable plant-derived and coconut-based cleansers; Vitamins A, B, D, and E; glycerin; and purified water. What is also interesting about this company is that it discloses the “non-ingredients” of its products. It states you won’t find “anything that would harm your pet or the environment”, listing soaps, synthetic dyes, and phosphates, among other things. The company is also animal testing-free. All its products are tested on humans.

Consumers who use this product are very pleased with the condition of their pet’s skin and coat after bathing with this shampoo. All report it has worked well to relieve itching and restore healthy skin. Many reviewers say a small amount of the product goes a long way to providing a rich lather, too. The shampoo rinses easily from the pup’s fur, leaving it shiny, bright, and soft.

Nature's Specialties Plum Silky Pet Shampoo, 32-Ounce
  • Shampoo and conditioner with silk proteins Long lasting fragrance Adds highlights and body Great texturing shampoo Cleans and re-moisturizes No.1 choice
  • Shampoo and conditioner with silk proteins Long lasting fragrance Adds highlights and body Great texturing shampoo Cleans and remoisturizes No.1 choice

Last update on 2018-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This very mild shampoo with a blend of aloe vera, vitamins, and silk proteins, is a favorite of professional groomers. The company states the formula is mild enough to use on puppies as young as six weeks old.

The shampoo “has the ability to leave your puppy’s coat extra clean, adding texture, feeling silky, and smelling fresh”. Reviewers love the sheen it leaves on their dog’s coat. Some have said they don’t need to use conditioner even on long-haired dogs because the shampoo detangles so well.

Other pet parents say the product is great for brightening white or light-colored coats. All reviewers agree that the pleasant fragrance lasts for days. People even report using the product on themselves.

Last update on 2018-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This shampoo is another very gentle product. It is sulfate and paraben free, making it very easy on tender puppy skin.

The pleasant fragrance is cotton and fresh orchid. Customers love the scent and say it keeps their puppy fresh smelling for weeks.

Because it is a tearless formula, the company’s website states the shampoo is also perfect to use as a face wash in between baths. As makers of natural pet goods, Isle of Dogs assures its products contain only renewable, sustainable, and organic botanicals, antioxidants, and essential oils.

Reviewers report shiny, soft fur that smells fresh and clean. Many pet parents also mentioned that it has helped their dog stop itching. They further say it has reduced flaky skin and dandruff.

Cloud Star Lavender & Mint Corporation Buddy Wash, 16 OZ, Pack of 1
  • Made from cosmetic-grade ingredients
  • Coconut-based, alcohol free

Last update on 2018-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Buddy Wash has been a pet parent favorite since the company introduced it to complement its popular Buddy Biscuits. This two-in-one shampoo + conditioner cleans and moisturizes your puppy’s coat while the gentle formula provides a soothing bath time experience. Ingredients include a coconut shampoo base, with aloe vera gel and vitamins E and C. The calming effects of lavender, chamomile, and mint helps your puppy settle and enjoy the time you share bonding during her bath. Lavender is also a natural flea repellant.

Customers love the fresh scent of this shampoo. Other reviewers have been quick to point out how shiny and soft their dog is after bathing with Buddy Wash. Some pet parents remark about the great lather the shampoo makes without having to use a lot of product. Still others state how easily it rinses off their puppy.

Professional groomers use Buddy Wash instead of oatmeal bath products, traditionally thought to be the best shampoos for sensitive skin.

Wondercide Natural Flea & Tick Shampoo Bar for Dogs & Cats to Kill & Repel Fleas 4oz Bar
  • Smells great and repel insects for dogs and cats of all ages.
  • Gently cleans skin & coat. Antibacterial and antifungal.

Last update on 2018-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Shampoo bars offer a relaxing bathing experience for your puppy. Instead of struggling with a wet doggie and a slippery bottle, try a hand-sized bar of shampoo instead. Massage the product into your pup’s coat with one hand while holding your little one with the other. The calming action of rubbing your puppy’s body will naturally settle her. Shampoo bars offer the same luxurious lather as the best liquid shampoos for puppies and rinse cleanly, too.

The ingredients in Wondercide Natural Products are sourced from high-quality organic sources, according to the company. This shampoo uses neem oil to soothe the skin and treat various conditions, such as dry skin and itching. Geranium and citronella combine essential natural ingredients for a long-lasting natural pest repellent. The company says it is ideal for killing and repelling fleas and ticks on dogs.

Reviews by customers are very positive about this product. People report seeing the dead fleas falling off their dogs as they bathe them. Others report the shampoo left their puppy smelling clean with soft fur. Many positive reviews were submitted for using a bar instead of liquid shampoo.

About the author

Carol Cornwall has loved animals from the time of her first childhood pet, a duck named Fluff. From then, it's been a steady parade of dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, horses, cows, goats, and sheep. In addition to writing, she's worked as a vet tech, cow hand, and owned a dog boarding facility. She now shares her home with three very spoiled dogs.