Finding the right shampoo to keep your pooch fresh and clean is not as simple as it once was.
New brands seem to pop out every day, so sifting your way through all of the choices is a bit of a hassle.
Luckily, we will simplify your search for the best dog shampoo with this guide, which highlights the top brands and allows you to easily compare and contrast products.
Read it in its entirety to make sure you know what to look for in a quality product and to keep your pet safe!
Before You Select
Before you choose a shampoo, you should consider the following:
- Medicated. Do you need a medicated shampoo to help your dog get rid of pesky insects or for a certain skin condition?
If so, then you might need a prescription strength shampoo that your vet prescribes.
- Go Natural. When looking for a pet shampoo, forget the fancy label and cute dog on the front of the bottle, turn the bottle over and look at the ingredients label.
Stick with shampoos that contain natural ingredients that won’t irritate your dog’s skin.
Chances are if you just chose the cheapest bottle, you’ll get cheap results. Some shampoos dry out your pet’s skin and cause them dandruff issues due to all of the chemicals and additives used.
Don’t trust that a product with “natural” on the front will automatically have natural products when you look on the back label. Ready thoroughly and inform yourself!
- Use Dog-Specific Shampoos. Dogs have a different pH than humans and other animals, so do not use human shampoo. Use a shampoo that is specifically designed for dogs.
Top 10 Dog Shampoos Comparison Chart
Cleaning the Face
One of the most delicate areas you need to wash on your dog is around the face.
You want to avoid any water getting into the ear canal and you also need to be careful about getting soap in their eyes.
If you have a dog that has a lot of creases on its face or tends to get dirty around the eyes (goo from infections, sleeping, or just watery eyes) you can find specially formulated shampoos that are safe for their eyes and face.
Ingredients to Avoid
As you’re reading the ingredient labels on the various shampoo bottles, there are definitely a few things that you want to avoid. Your dog’s skin will absorb these materials, so make sure you choose carefully.
- Artificial Scents, Fragrances and Colors. Anything “artificial” should not go near your dog’s skin. Scents that aren’t plant-derived can be unhealthy for your dog, and you should consider the fact that your dog can’t tell you if they don’t like the scent. Their nostrils are much more sensitive than yours, and some scents may bother them.
- Isopropyl (SD-40). Petroleum derived skin irritant anyone? No thanks! Avoid this ingredient for sure.
- Phthalates. Linked to hormone disruption (used in shampoos for their smell), it’s best to avoid a shampoo that contains phthalates.
A few others you will want to avoid: methyl paraben/paraben, formaldehyde, isopropyl alcohol, polysorbates, propylene glycol, sodium laureth (or lauryl) sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate.
If you see these on the label, then it’s best to move on to the next brand!
Top 5 Best Dog Shampoo Reviews
The best dog shampoo for your pet may depend on your dog’s health (allergies, illnesses, etc.), but for most pet owners, this brand is the top-choice.
The way you know that this product is serious is by the words “Certified Organic” on the label. That means that it’s not just claiming to be organic, the USDA has certified that it is so!
This formula contains rosemary, jojoba oil, coconut oil and olive oil, which help clean, condition and moisturize your dog’s skin and coat. It also contains lemongrass and aloe to act as natural pest deterrents. It is free of artificial fragrances and colors, MEA/DEA/TEA free, no formaldehyde, no alcohol, no sulfates… It is free of all of those toxic ingredients we listed above!
Pet owners and dogs alike love the results of the truly natural and organic shampoo. It’s worth the few extra dollars for both you and your pet, so buy some!
You won’t be disappointed.
OxGord offers some stiff competition to the 4-Legger shampoo above, since dog owners love it equally as much.
This organic and vegan shampoo uses all natural, quality ingredients that will effectively and safely clean your dog.
It’s tear-free, so safe to use around their eyes and on their face and the oatmeal, shea butter and aloe vera will eliminate odors while leaving your dog with a soft coat.
For sensitive dry, skin, this shampoo is just what your pooch needs.
We like Nootie because they make it clear that your dog’s safety is more important than a sale to them.
As a medicated shampoo, they warn you not to purchase a medicated or oatmeal shampoo until you read the label, which is absolutely right!
Check with your vet before using this shampoo to make sure it’s the right strength, and if they give you the OK, then this should straighten out your itchy, scratchy dog in no time.
This shampoo/conditioner mix uses both lavender and mint o help clean the coat from dirt and grime, leaving it shiny and glossy.
It also conditions the skin with a mixture of sage, wheat protein, vitamins E and C and rosemary.
If your pet has a wheat allergy, then you might want to avoid this shampoo. Ask your vet when in doubt!
Dog owners have great success with this shampoo, so give it a try if you haven’t yet found one what works well for your four-legged friend.
This shampoo contains many of the dog-friendly natural ingredients that the previous shampoos do: oatmeal, shea butter and aloe and many dog owners have great success with it.
It does contain a light baby wipe fragrance, so you’ll want to thoroughly investigate the ingredients label to see where the scent derives from.
This is multi-purpose shampoo that you can also use on your cats, and since the best dog shampoos are designed for dogs only, this earns a few less points in our book.
Dog owners do have great results with it, however, so if you’re looking for something that’s packed with skin-friendly ingredients and that costs a few dollars less, give this a try.
We’ve highlighted the top shampoos for you and pointed out the dangerous chemicals that you want to avoid.
Do your dog a favor by spending a bit of extra time investigating what is inside the shampoo you want to wash them with.
If you have a dog that isn’t fond of bath time, introduce them slowly to the concept and don’t force them in. You’ll help build fear toward the bath rather than acceptance, so go at your dog’s pace and let he or she know that bath time is a positive thing!