There are so many things to consider when you get a dog, from beds, to toys, to food. But one thing you might not be thinking about is the best dog shampoo for your four-legged friend. Depending on the breed or any medical conditions your pet might have, bathing them with the right soap can make all the difference.
Just as human hair type varies from person to person, the same is true for dogs and various breeds. According to Katy Nelson D.V.M., Senior Veterinarian at Chewy, there are several considerations to pay attention to when choosing a shampoo for your dog.
“As a veterinarian, most of the time when I’m recommending a shampoo, it’s due to a condition we’re looking to treat, rather than just a muddy puppy. So, the shampoos that I recommend the most are targeted for specific reasons,” she says. “Take into account what your pet’s specific needs are, do they have any pre-existing conditions that affect their skin and coat?”
Some other, less medical-focused things to think of: scent, frequency of use, and price point. If your dog’s shampoo causes you to have a sneezing fit, it’s probably time to change it up. That being said, if your pup is having a reaction to the shampoo you’re using on them, talk to their veterinarian about the best options.
How we chose the best dog shampoos
We consulted Nelson for guidance on selecting the best dog shampoos and how to take certain skin and coat conditions into account. Plus, we made sure to choose products with great customer reviews and ratings.
Ahead, check out our picks for the best dog shampoos.
Our top picks
Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
Best Dog Shampoo Overall
2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner with Aloe
- Cleans and hydrates in one step
- Clean scent
- Some reviewers find consistency too thin
For when your dog just really needs a bath, this 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner is an all-around great choice. It’s paraben-free and contains natural ingredients and vitamins gentle on sensitive skin while still cleaning and hydrating your pet’s coat, leaving no tangles behind. “I noticed great results after just one use,” says one reviewer. Plus, it smells amazing!
Best Value Dog Shampoo
Soothe Oatmeal Dog Shampoo
- Soothing oatmeal formula
- Some reviewers find scent too weak
At less than $5, this shampoo is a great choice for those who are on a budget. It uses soothing oatmeal to relieve dry and itchy skin while adding moisture to the coat. Plus, it’s paraben-free and has a subtle warm vanilla scent. “This brand has to be by far the best dog shampoo we have ever used,” says one reviewer.
Best Dog Shampoo for Sensitive Skin
- Good for sensitive skin
- Reduces common causes of itchy skin
If your dog struggles with sensitive skin, this gentle shampoo could be just what they need. The non-irritating formula works to reduce the growth of bacteria and yeast on the skin’s surface for itch-free relief while still leaving your dog with a soft coat. “This works really well for my highly allergic chow mix,” says one reviewer, “you won’t be disappointed!”
Best Calming Dog Shampoo
Buddy Wash Dog Shampoo & Conditioner
- Gentle, nourishing formula
- Cleans and hydrates in one step
- Some reviewers dislike the scent
This shampoo’s ultra-relaxing formula includes several hydrating oils like bergamot and green tea, rosemary, and sage for a gentle calming effect. Plus, it uses aloe vera, coconut, and Vitamin E to leave your dog with a fluffy, velvety coat. “This is hands down the best shampoo I have ever used on my dog” wrote one reviewer.
Best Dog Shampoo for a Shiny Coat
Oatmeal Anti-Itch Dog Shampoo with Aloe Vera & Vitamin E
- Leaves coat soft and shiny
- Good for dry skin
- Some reviewers find scent too strong
No matter what type of coat your dog has, this shampoo will have it feeling extra soft and shiny. Oatmeal, aloe vera, and Vitamin E help to boost coat health while also relieving dry skin. Plus, it has a refreshing vanilla bean scent. “This left our pup soft, shiny, and smelling great” one reviewer adds.
Best Medicated Dog Shampoo for Dry Skin
Shampoo with Pramoxine & Colloidal Oatmeal
- Medicated for dry skin
- Soap-free hydrating formula
If your dog has dry skin, using a hydrating shampoo is a must. This one is soap-free and includes Omega-6 fatty acids to soothe dry skin and reduce flaking while colloidal oatmeal hydrates and nourishes. After trying the shampoo one reviewer wrote, “my pug was able to sleep and not itch!”
Best Dog Shampoo for Dermatitis
Bio-Med Dog Shampoo
- Helps relieve symptoms of dermatitis
- Reduces matting and tangles
- Some reviewers dislike scent
If your dog struggles with dermatitis, it’s essential to use a shampoo that helps relieve itching. This one does just that while also working against matting and tangles to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. One reviewer says, “it does a marvelous job of getting the dog squeaky clean!”
Best Dog Shampoo for Itchy, Infected Skin
- Fights bacterial and fungal infections
- Reduces itching
- Requires vet approval
This shampoo contains an antibacterial and antifungal agent to help relieve itching and irritation fast and leave your dog with less discomfort. “This is the only shampoo that has truly helped my Big Boy,” one reviewer wrote, “truly works wonders!” However, it should be approved by your vet before use as it is considered a prescription product.
Best Dog Shampoo for Puppies
S3 Care Shampoo
- Formulated without soaps and sulfates
- Great for puppies
New pets often need a little extra care, which is why this ultra-gentle shampoo is a great option for your new pup. It fights tangles and leaves coats of all types shiny and soft, without stripping any natural oils from the skin. Plus, it’s soap- and sulfate-free. “Our rescue pup responds well to it in her weekly baths,” wrote one reviewer, “skin is less red, less flaky, and she is itching less.”
How to choose the best dog shampoo
- Think about your pet’s specific needs. “There are lots of things to consider when choosing a shampoo for your dog,” says Nelson. Notice any pre-existing conditions your dog has that might affect their coat and skin. Do they have any allergies, sensitivities, or hair loss? Do they have an oilier coat that requires a purifying shampoo, or a dryer one that needs a moisturizing shampoo? Do they have long hair that might require detangling and conditioning? Do they need any flea and tick prevention in their shampoo? Knowing the answer to these questions will help narrow down the needs the shampoo should address, and make your search easier.
- Consider your own needs. The shampoo might be for your dog, but you’re the one who has to live with your dog at the end of the day. Many dog shampoos have scents, so it’s important to consider if you have any sensitivities or prefer certain scents over other ones. Similarly, check the shampoo’s ingredients to make sure that you’re not allergic or sensitive to any of them.
- Talk to a vet. If you still can’t land on the perfect shampoo for your dog, the best thing to do is talk to an expert.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
Advertisement – Continue Reading Below