The 10 Best Dog Shampoos To Clean Your Pup With

Written by Denise
My best buddy, Haiku, together with his dog pals, aimed to find the best dog shampoo on the market. In the process, they were treated to a spa day. Below, you’ll find detailed reviews of each, together with pictures and videos of the doggos testing them.

Our Top 3 Picks

What your dog doesn’t absorb through his paws in the course of a day walking on all fours, he will inhale or ingest when he settles down to groom. Keeping this in mind, I started looking for the best dog shampoo.

I looked for high-quality dog shampoos with natural ingredients and no harmful chemicals or additives. Brands were selected that I hoped would make coats shiny, condition doggie skin, and leave fur easy to brush through once dried.

Once the shipment arrived, Haiku enjoyed a real spa day! However, since washing a dog too frequently will get rid of necessary oils and good bacteria, Haiku was more than eager to share the bottles with his doggie friends so that they too could go scrub-a-dub-dub in the tub!

From the North to the South and across the Midwest, canine pals were bathed by their dog moms and dads to determine what is the best dog shampoo.

Our choices are profiled below, and rest assured that we were on the lookout for ones that eliminate D.O. (aka Doggy Odor)!

10 Best Dog Shampoos for a Squeaky Clean Pup

10

Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

PROS

  • Very inexpensive
  • Fragrance-free
  • Nice gloss to coat

CONS

  • Left a residue
  • Difficult to distribute through plush coat
  • Drying to the skin, left dog itchy

close up of dog's teeth

Soleil testing out the Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo

Burt’s Bees for Dogs Oatmeal Shampoo contains colloidal oatmeal – oats that are very finely ground as a remedy for itchy or dry skin. Some humans add it to bathwater to create a silky liquid.

Five-month-old Soleil, a female Newfoundland puppy that loves splashing in puddles, got into the tub and went for a scrub.

She had no reaction to the shampoo (look for the review by her brother Honu…she liked his shampoo so much she wanted to taste it!), and there was no fragrance detected by her human mom’s nose.

The product was difficult to distribute throughout her plush coat and hard to completely rinse out, leaving a residue. Still, Soleil looked good after her bath (how could she not?) but really needed to follow up with a conditioner.

Two days later, she was a little flaky and itchy, so the colloidal oatmeal did not cut it for this pooch, and her mom wouldn’t necessarily purchase this product again.

PRICE RANGE: LOW

OUR RATING:

9

4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo

PROS

  • All natural oils (rosemary, lemongrass, coconut, jojoba & aloe vera)
  • No artificial fragrance, colors, or preservatives
  • Smell did not linger after rinsing
  • Helps dogs with itchy, dry skin

CONS

  • Smells like a household pine cleaner
  • Most expensive at about $1.55 per ounce
  • Took a lot to get a good lather

close up of dog's teeth

Chico enjoying his bath

Labeled as eco-friendly and handcrafted in small batches using all plant-based, vegan, USDA Certified, organic oils of coconut, jojoba, and olive, we wanted to see if the 4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo could live up to its claims.

Chico was up to the task of determining if this was the best dog wash shampoo!

At 12-years young, this male Chihuahua has dry skin and a very light coat with no hair on his chest or the front of his neck.

His mom, therefore, hoped that the 100% non-toxic choice would be gentle on his skin.

Upon opening the bottle, however, she was taken aback by the pine cleaner-like smell.

Fortunately, the fragrance did not linger after rinsing, and the shampoo provided relief for Chico’s dry, itchy skin! In spite of his “Chihuahua tremble,” Chico PAWSitively loves bath-time, but being dried off is his favorite part!

PRICE RANGE: HIGH

OUR RATING:

8

DERMagic Peppermint & Tea Tree Oil Shampoo/Conditioner

PROS

  • Smells nice when dry
  • Coat was soft & easy to brush through
  • Helps with de-shedding

CONS

  • Peppermint scent could be very strong for some dogs
  • Does not lather well or clean deep
  • The cooling effect of peppermint may overstimulate some dogs
  • You need to keep cats away from it due to the tea tree oil which can be toxic to felines

close up of dog's teeth

Jack’s foamy furdo while taking a bath

Jack, a 2-year old male Newfoundland, is a laid back guy weighing in at 178 lbs. He thinks more about his next meal than about playing but does enjoy the water.

Jack’s fur isn’t as thick and curly as his brother Gordie’s (who is also one of our best dog shampoo reviewers), so the DERMagic Peppermint & Tea Tree Oil Shampoo & Conditioner was the choice for him.

It did smell strong, but the scent didn’t seem to bother Jack, who enjoyed his bath.

The product felt good to get massaged through his coat but didn’t lather well or deep clean his thick fur.

It did rinse out well, however, and once dried, Jack felt soft, was easy to brush (surprisingly, it helped with de-shedding) and smelled great.

PRICE RANGE: MEDIUM

OUR RATING:

7

Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe All Natural Pet Shampoo

PROS

  • Fur looked great, soft, easy to brush
  • Lathers & rinses off nicely
  • Doggy Odor gone!
  • Reasonably priced

CONS

  • Dog was still itchy

close up of dog's teeth

Gordie’s fur looked amazing after his bath

Like his twin brother Jack, Gordie is a 2-year old male Newfoundland. A very social, active guy who loves attention and being cuddled, it’s important that he smells his best at all times for those close-up snuggling sessions.

Gordie was desperately in need of a bath since he had just taken a swim in a stinky garden pond, so this “swamp monster” was treated to Earthbath’s Oatmeal & Aloe All Natural Pet Shampoo.

It lathered well and rinsed off nicely, which is important, as Gordie is prone to the itchies if all the soap isn’t washed away.

Three-weeks prior, he chewed himself silly after a bath, so his mom was hopeful that this formulation would address the dryness and remoisturize his skin.

Gordie’s fur looked great after he dried, and he looked like he was ready for the show ring!

His fur was soft and easy to brush through, and the Vanilla Almond scent waved his stinky smell bye-bye. The only negative was that poor Gordie was still itchy.

PRICE RANGE: MEDIUM

OUR RATING:

6

Wahl Dog/Puppy Shampoo

PROS

  • Great value in a large bottle
  • All plant-based lavender & chamomile formula
  • Rinses clean with no leftover soapy residue
  • Makes coat easy to brush through

CONS

  • Takes extra shampoo to get dog lathered up

blurry dog

Marie posing during bath time

Grande Dame Marie, an 11-years young long-coated Chihuahua, has really thick fur.

She loves bath time, so her mom treated Marie to a sudsy soak with Wahl’s Four in One Shampoo and Conditioner.

The shampoo smells fantastic and does a great job at detangling and softening an older girl’s long coat.

It rinsed clean with no leftover soapy residue, so it gets four paws and two hands up, and surprisingly, it is the lowest priced shampoo of the ones tested.

PRICE RANGE: LOW

OUR RATING:

5

Pro Pet Works All Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

PROS

  • Smells great & dog smells clean
  • Great lather & suds
  • Helps with itchiness
  • Safe on other species as well

CONS

  • Strong scent coming out of the bottle

dog teeth up close

Kali looking fab chilling in the sun

Kali, a 5-year-old lady Labradoodle, enjoyed her bubble bath using Pro Pet Works All Natural Oatmeal Shampoo.

The product lathered easily and had a cherry almond smell that mellowed as Kali dried, leaving her smelling clean.

Pro Pet is veterinarian recommended and is formulated for pets with allergies to food, grass, and flea bites.

It’s a plus that this high-quality dog shampoo can be used in multiple pet households since it is also safe to use on cats, ferrets, and rabbits.

Kali frequently has dry and itchy skin, but her mom says she would definitely use Pro Pet Works All Natural Oatmeal Shampoo again, so that is a GRRReat testament to its effectiveness!

PRICE RANGE: MEDIUM

OUR RATING:

4

TropiClean Papaya & Coconut Shampoo & Conditioner

PROS

  • Smells GRRReat!
  • Safe for both dogs & cats
  • Leaves coat shiny & easy to brush through
  • About $1.00 per ounce, so reasonably priced

CONS

  • Not a one!

dog teeth up close

Haiku sporting a fierce Mohawk

Ooo la la! It was like a trip to the Islands when Haiku took a bath in the TropiClean Papaya & Coconut Shampoo & Conditioner!

Although it is a top shampoo for dogs, I must say, I am tempted to give myself a shampoo with it.

Haiku got a rich, luxurious lather from this product which allowed me to create a foamy Mohawk with his fur!

It was a great detangler for his so-easy-to-mat Chow Chow coat, and it smells delicious!

PRICE RANGE: MEDIUM

OUR RATING:

3

Paw Perfect Natural Deodorizing & Cleansing Pet Shampoo

PROS

  • Light, pleasant fragrance
  • Doesn’t take much to lather up
  • Rinses easily & completely
  • Conditions well

CONS

  • None – Would definitely buy it again!

dog teeth up close

Honu’s fur was positively fabulous after his bath

Honu, a 17-month-old male Newfoundland who loves performing tricks and playing with his canine pals, was scrubbed with the Paw Perfect Natural Deodorizing & Cleansing Pet Shampoo!

This top dog shampoo is veterinarian-recommended and contains lavender to combat skin irritants while restoring essential oils to the fur.

Honu’s baby sister, also a Newfie, seemed to enjoy the scent as she kept jumping up to lick it off Honu.

The shampoo has a light, pleasant fragrance with an excellent lather.

Honu’s mom couldn’t believe how little she actually needed of Paw Perfect to lather this 150 lbs. dog!

Her analysis: “Coat looks fantastic. I would definitely buy this again!”

PRICE RANGE: MEDIUM

OUR RATING:

2

Furminator de-Shedding Ultra Premium Dog Shampoo

PROS

  • Tons of old fur came off*
  • Soft & fluffy coat
  • No negative reactions
  • Enriched with Omegas 3 & 6 which are excellent for skin & coat
  • Inexpensive

CONS

  • Can’t think of a one!

dog teeth up close

Magnus enjoying a de-shedding bath

Magnus, an 11-year old male Boxador (Boxer-Lab Mix), has the spirit of a much younger pup!

He is a chronic year-round shedder, so his mom chose the Furminator de-Shedding Ultra Premium Dog Shampoo for his bath.

The shampoo had a great lather, smelled very good, and rinsed out well. She said that she, “Would definitely use again!”

After he dried off, Mags was soft and shiny, even without using conditioner, and the amount of old fur that came off him was impressive!

This big ol’ boy then promptly found his favorite hole to dig in and lay down in the dirt.

*Just a note, unlike regular brushing and combing, de-shedding is designed to remove the loose dead undercoat from the pet without cutting or damaging the topcoat, when used as directed.

The FURminator deShedding Ultra Premium Shampoo reduces excessive shedding by reducing the undercoat during the bath.

PRICE RANGE: LOW

OUR RATING:

1

Fieldworks’ Moosh ~ The Original Clay-based Dog Shampoo

PROS

  • Love that it binds bacteria & toxins to get them out of my boy’s skin
  • Long, easily-matted-coat was tangle-free
  • Clean smell
  • Eco-friendly so it’s safe for lakes & streams
  • Only $1.33 per ounce, so about a $2.60 a bath

CONS

  • Can’t think of a one!

dog teeth up close

Haiku really seems to be enjoying bath time

Haiku, an almost 14-year-old fluff ball tried out the Fieldworks’ Moosh ~ The Original Clay-based Dog Shampoo.

Known for its natural healing abilities, I hoped this bentonite clay formulation might feel wondeRUFFul on his older skin.

Haiku is a Chikita (Chow-Akita mix), so he has a very thick undercoat and cotton candy like fur on the back of his legs that mats very easily.

The shampoo made a silky lather, softened his fur, and brought moisture back into his dry winter skin and coat.

It left him with a squeaky clean shine, and PAWSitively no D.O., even near those areas a doggy can stink the most!

PRICE RANGE: MEDIUM

OUR RATING:

Conclusion

Every dog is unique – some have long, easily-matted fur while others sport closely cropped coats. Some don’t itch and some never stop. Keeping our pets’ fur and skin clean is more important than just making them look good. It can also keep them healthy!

Dogs often groom themselves by licking, so not only do you want to get rid of nasty toxins they pick up from the environment, but you also want to only put 100% safe ingredients on your best pal. That is why it is important to choose the best-rated dog shampoo for that guy or girl you share your life with.

Although we have provided options containing quality ingredients to choose from, only YOU can judge what is the best dog shampoo for your pooch. You may find out you don’t always get what you pay for as the most expensive product may not always be the top dog shampoo for your pet.

Seek out the one that best meets his skin and healthcare needs, follow directions on the label, and pay attention to how he responds afterward. The best dog dental chews may make your canine kissing fresh, but the best dog shampoo for your fella or lady can make him or her huggable and snuggable!

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About the Author: Denise

DENISE FLECK is an award-winning author, animal care instructor and radio show host. She was named one of Pet Age Magazine’s “Women of Influence” for 2018, a “Most Inspiring Story” in 2017 by Voyage Atlanta Magazine and has been nominated for 6 Dog Writers Awards to be announced in early 2019.

4 Comments

  1. Barbara

    The shampoo I used was great and will definitely buy more on amazon. it was pro pet works oatmeal shampoo ! Kali did not have itchy skin after !

    Reply
    • Denise Fleck

      That is so awesome to hear! Making sure your girl’s skin isn’t itchy is doggone GRReat pet parenting. I can tell she is truly loved! Glad our shampoo reviewing helped you find a good product.

      Reply
  2. Denise Ewing

    This was a great review of the dog shampoos..everyone did an incredible job. We had lots of fun with it and everyone came out clean, shiny and smelling good!

    Reply
    • Denise Fleck

      So glad to have had your pooches participate! They are sweeties for sure and now smell sweeter too!

      Reply

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