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Dogs love to get messy; this is something any dog owner knows. Whether it’s a dirty puddle, a nice patch of smelly mud, or just some fox poop, the chances are that your pooch will find it and roll in it. Some dogs though, especially longhaired breeds such as Labradors and Cocker Spaniels can get very smelly on their own. What’s worse is that this doggy smell can get stuck in your carpets and furniture, leaving your whole house smelling like a dog’s bed! Most dogs are happy to walk around smelling really bad. It’s a throwback to their days as wolves when they would need to find ways to mask their smell in order to sneak up on prey. But seeing as we now live in a civilized world, it’s up to us to wash our dogs to keep them smelling lovely. Just a word of warning though, be careful not to wash your dog too often as this can strip the oils out of their coat, leaving it looking dry. About once a month is fine for a normal wash, but obviously if your dog rolls in poop then wash away!
How to choose a dog shampoo?
In this article we will compare some of the best shampoos on the market, taking into consideration important things like allergies, preserving their fur’s natural oils, and the best coat care, so you can make the right choice for your dog. Before we begin though, we must address one important point. Why not just use human shampoo on your dog instead? Well there are many reasons, but the most important one is that human shampoo is specially formulated for human skin, which has a more acidic pH than dog’s skin. Using human shampoo too often can damage your pet’s sensitive skin, leaving them open to infections and bacteria. Human shampoo will also strip too much of the natural oils off their fur, exposing it to damage from the elements. It’s okay to use human shampoo in an emergency, but make sure you use one designed for sensitive skin, or formulated for babies.
The best dog shampoos out there
1. FURminator deShedding Ultra Premium Dog Shampoo
This product is designed specifically for dogs that shed lots. FURminator have created this to work loose hair out of the dog’s coat, and prevent further shedding. The label recommends using the product every 4-6 weeks, and to use it as part of their deShedding range. FURminator also produce a deShedding conditioner, which they recommend using with this shampoo product. Together, the two products will leave your dog’s coat looking beautiful and shiny, and reduce the amount they shed. They make a special shedding comb as part of their range too, which does a brilliant job of preparing the coat before bathing.
The shampoo has no parabens or harsh chemicals, and contains Omega 3 & 6, Calendula and Papaya leaf extracts, and so it will keep your dog’s coat lovely and shiny without using any harsh products to do so.
2. Paws & Pals Natural Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
This product is completely organic, and vegan! It is specially designed for dogs with dry, sensitive skin and is made of 100% natural products. Due to its natural ingredients, this shampoo can be used more regularly, especially if your dog has dry skin. It contains aloe, jojoba, and coconut oils, along with oatmeal and Shea butter to make sure your dog’s coat is lovely and moisturized after using. This shampoo is suitable for all breeds, both longhaired and shorthaired. It also helps to ease irritation caused by fleas and mites.
Like other products, this one is paraben free, and the producers proudly market it as cruelty free too! This shampoo smells amazing, probably because of all the natural products, and does an amazing job at keeping your dog’s coat smelling fresher for a lot longer than many other products.
3. Strawfield Chlorhexidine Medicated Anti-Itch Shampoo
Strawfield’s shampoo is specially formulated to help dogs with dry, itchy skin. It is veterinary-strength shampoo containing 4% Chlorhexidine as its active ingredient. It also helps to manage skin conditions such as mange, dermatitis, and fungal problems. This shampoo still does all the things a good shampoo should, such as eliminating odors and washing the coat, but with the added advantage of treating any skin issues your pooch may have. It works to combat the bacteria that actually cause the odors rather than just cleaning the smell.
Strawfield also advertises this product can be used as an antiseptic to clean minor wounds, along with all its cleaning powers. This is a great, versatile product, and although it’s slightly more expensive than others, it does a brilliant job in managing your pet’s skin problems. The company also produces a range of sprays and wipes with the same ingredients, meaning there are plenty of options for keeping your dog’s skin looking clean and healthy.
4. Fresh ‘n Clean Scented Shampoo
This shampoo is A LOT cheaper than the others on this list. We’re talking $4 instead of $20. It markets itself as an anti-odor shampoo, giving long-lasting freshness even on the smelliest dogs. This product contains some amazing smelling ingredients, such as aloe vera gel and orange fragrance. This is designed to be a safe shampoo for frequent use, and contains no harsh chemicals. As it’s cheaper, you would expect it to not do as good a job, but it does! It also contains anti-static ingredients to leave your dog’s coat frizz-free and manageable.
Fresh ‘n Clean advertise that the fragrance should last for weeks, and even mask the smelliest dog odors. This product would be perfect if your dog enjoys finding those smelly puddles and piles of fox poop, and is safe enough to use regularly. Wiping a damp cloth over your dog can reactivate the fragrance of the shampoo, so it’ll be like having a mobile air freshener in your house!
5. TropiClean Aloe and Coconut Pet Shampoo
TropiClean produce an incredible range of amazing smelling shampoos. This one is just the tip of the iceburg. This product is soap free, opting instead for a coconut-based cleanser, so there’s no harsh chemicals that’ll dry out your dog’s skin and fur. It contains 100% natural ingredients and has a long-lasting fragrance, making it another good choice for smelly dogs. It is marketed as suitable for all different coat lengths, and will condition even long, matted fur. The shampoo contains botanical extracts that are designed to nourish and strengthen the coat, and condition the skin.
TropiClean makes a big deal out of responsibly sourcing all of their ingredients, and they make sure everything is completely natural and of the highest quality. The company also uses sustainable, recyclable packaging, so it’s great for the environment too! Check out some of their other flavors, they all smell amazing!
6. Isle of Dogs Silky Oatmeal Shampoo
This shampoo is a more basic odor-eliminating shampoo, but it smells so good. Isle of Dogs use their signature fragrance of jasmine and vanilla, along with other amazing natural ingredients to make sure your dog always smells fresh and clean. The product is paraben and sulfate free, meaning it’s safe enough to use regularly. While the shampoo doesn’t have a built-in conditioner, the company sells one that works perfectly with this shampoo to manage your dog’s coat. Using both products leaves your dog’s coat beautifully soft and smooth, without being greasy like a lot of other conditioners.
This shampoo would be a good choice if your dog has sensitive skin because it doesn’t contain sulfates, and so doesn’t strip the oils out of their coat. It also does an amazing job of moisturizing dry coats, and the smell lasts for days. It will help to remove any dry and flaky skin while conditioning and nourishing the coat.
7. Colloidal Oatmeal Dog Shampoo with Pure Lavender Essential Oils
Pet Pleasant have created an amazing all-natural shampoo that is specially pH balanced for your dog’s skin. It is designed without sulfates, preservatives, or parabens, is hypoallergenic and rinses out very easily. Pet Pleasant have also made the product concentrated, so you get a lot more for your money with this one! Like a few others on this list, Pet Pleasant contains only natural ingredients. But unlike others, it contains Bentonite Clay. This is a naturally-occurring product that is designed to pull harmful things, such as bacteria and toxins out of the skin and strip them away. It also contains Argan Oil and Neem, so it is amazing for dogs with sensitive skin and allergies. Not only that, but the Shea Butter and Aloe Vera extract help it to nourish and condition your dog’s coat, and leave it smelling amazing at the same time.
All of the ingredients in this shampoo are safe to be used on your pets, and won’t have any impact on the environment. Because it is completely natural, it’s safe for regular use on your dog.
8. Nature’s Miracle Supreme Whitening Odor Control Shampoo
Nature’s Miracle have designed a shampoo that not only controls odor, but whitens your dog’s coat too! All too often you can bathe your white dog and any coat stains don’t come out completely. Well this one will do the job while also conditioning the coat and skin.This shampoo is designed for less frequent use because it contains chemicals that will whiten, and so it should ideally be used in combination with another product. It will still be able to clean your dog’s coat and remove any unfriendly odors. Nature’s Miracle also produce a range of wipes and short-term products for more frequent cleaning.
This product should only be used on white-haired dogs as it could have adverse effects on other fur colors. The standard product is scented with jasmine and pear, so it’ll smell amazing and give your dog’s coat a lovely deep clean. Get your dog looking shiny and white again in no time!
9. Oster Oatmeal Naturals Shampoo
This product is extra soothing, and so will be perfect for dogs with sensitive skin. It contains oatmeal and chamomile extracts so will smell lovely, and nourish your dog’s coat without being too harsh. The chamomile extract is perfect for dry and itchy skin problems, while the oatmeal conditions the coat. The shampoo’s country apple scent will last for a long time, and will remove any nasty odors your dog may have found while walking. It is enriched with 100% natural ingredients that are safe for regular use. You won’t need to use a conditioner after this product, because it will nourish the coat enough on its own.
Oster have made sure the product is pH balanced for your dog’s skin and contains no alcohol, parabens or dyes. Oster also produce an amazing range of other shampoos for different skin needs, so you’re sure to find the perfect one for your pet. Their products are also safe enough to use on your dog’s sensitive areas, such as face and ears.
10. Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Dog Shampoo
Vet’s Best is perfect for dogs with sensitive skin and allergies, especially if they are allergic to common shampoo ingredients. This is designed for regular, safe use on any fur type, and can be used with other skin treatment products. This shampoo contains only natural ingredients, and is enriched with vitamin E and Aloe Vera so it will nourish dry, brittle coats, and condition itchy, flaky skin. It is best to leave the shampoo on for several minutes so it can get to work properly, and then follow it up with Vet’s Best conditioner for maximum results. Because it completely natural, it can be used as often as needed on your dog’s coat.
Vet’s Best have designed this shampoo to help with any skin allergy, and it’s the same stuff your vet will prescribe, only cheaper! It is safe enough to be used on sensitive areas, and will help dry up any raw and exposed skin. If your dog is always itchy, make sure you integrate this into your care regime.
11. Pet Care Sciences Dog and Puppy Shampoo
Pet Care Sciences have made a shampoo that is 96% natural ingredients, so you can be confident there is nothing harsh in here. This would be perfect for any dog with mildly sensitive skin, and is 5-in-1 so will tackle any job. The formula is made from natural coconut oils so your dog’s fur will feel amazing and soft after a bath. It is also paraben, sulfate, and phosphate free, so it is fine for regular use. Also, because this shampoo also contains a conditioner, there’s no need to go out and buy loads of products. This one does it all!
It’ll be perfect for longhaired dogs as it contains a detangler and deodorizer. So if your dog’s fur gets smelly, use this shampoo as often as needed to make them smell amazing. Pet Care Sciences also produce a range of speciality shampoos, so you’ll be able to find whatever you need.
12. Perfect Coat Shed Control Shampoo for Dogs
This is another great anti-shedding shampoo, and it comes in a lot cheaper than the FURminator product. This shampoo is tropical scented, so it smells amazing, and is easy rinse. It is made with antioxidants and Omega 3 fatty acids, so it’ll leave your dog’s coat soft and nourished while removing all that pesky excess fur. Because it is designed as easy rinse, there is no shampoo build-up in your dog’s coat, leaving it soft and light. This also means it’ll be suitable for regular use, especially if your dog is a massive shedder! The fragrance is long-lasting too, and works to remove odors rather than masking them.
Perfect Coat also offer a range of other shampoos, but this one is the best for dogs that shed lots. It’ll be particularly useful for thick-haired dogs like huskies because of its light, easy rinse formula. This product does not contain a conditioner, so make sure you follow it up with a good quality one.
13. Perfect Coat White Pearl Shampoo for Dogs
Perfect Coat also make an amazing whitening shampoo at a very cost-effective price. Theirs is coconut scented too, and who doesn’t want a dog that smells of coconut? Much like the other whitening product on this list, this shampoo should not be used too frequently because it contains harsher chemicals. The shampoo contains aloe vera extract, so it will still nourish and condition your dog’s coat, while cleaning it and removing any odors. It will also work its way down and condition your dog’s skin too. Because of its use as a whitener, please keep it away from your dog’s sensitive areas.
It would be best to use this product in conjunction with a soothing conditioner, and a more frequent-use shampoo. This shampoo will do an amazing job of removing mud and grass stains, and tear and dribble stains too!
14. Fresh Wave Odor Removing Dog Shampoo
Fresh Wave have designed a shampoo that is perfect for removing those horrible, lingering odors your dog is so fond of finding. Unlike a lot of other shampoos, this one actively removes odors from the fur rather than just masking them. It’ll work on anything from natural dog odors, to skunk spray and fox poop. This product contains only natural ingredients, no harsh chemicals, and is non-toxic, so it is perfect for regular use. The packaging is even sustainably sourced and recyclable, meaning it is kind to the environment the whole way through!
It also doesn’t contain any masking fragrances, so it’ll leave your dog smelling fresh and clean without just covering the smell. Fresh Wave also offer a range of other odor removing products, including a spray and gel, so there’s even something you can keep in your car for emergencies!
15. Dermatology Solutions Oatmeal Dog Shampoo
This is another shampoo perfect for dogs with sensitive skin, and works to remove any nasty odors. It is made of 100% natural products, and is soap free, so it’s perfect for any dog. It is also safe enough to use regularly. This shampoo is about as close to medicated shampoo as you’ll get, and works hard to nourish and condition your dog’s coat. It is soap and paraben free, and is completely free of any other harsh chemicals. It contains coconut oil and oatmeal extract so leaves dogs smelling lovely. The aloe vera extract will soothe any patches of irritated or dry skin.
The formula is also very light so will be perfect for longhaired dogs, and will wash out of any coat easily. It will also work to soothe any insect bites, and can be used after flea and mite problems.
16. CHI Deep Moisture Dog Shampoo
This is one of the more expensive products on the list, but is perfect for any dog whose coat needs a deep condition. It is sulfate and paraben free so is safe for regular use and won’t dry out your dog’s skin. This shampoo is specially formulated to be light and easy rinse, meaning it won’t weigh down your dog’s coat. It’s especially suitable for dry, brittle coats that need an intense hit of moisture. Because it’s made of natural ingredients, it’ll be fine to use round your dog’s sensitive areas.
CHI also produce a range of other deep moisture products, so be sure to follow it up with their conditioner. It’ll be particularly effective on curly-haired breeds, such as poodles and Spaniels.
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JulieJulie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.
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