The 10 Best Dog Shampoos

Updated September 05, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Dog Shampoos
Best High-End
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Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. OK. We've done all the hard work by finding you these dog shampoos that will leave any pooch looking spiffy and smelling lovely. Most are free of harmful ingredients, too, so you can feel good about your purchase. Now all you have to do is the easy part -- getting your stinky pup to stand still long enough so you can lather him up and then rinse him off. Good luck with that. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best dog shampoo on Amazon.

10. Fifi & Fido Oatmeal

The soothing, all-natural Fifi & Fido Oatmeal makes bath time enjoyable for you and your pup. It won't strip your dog's coat of his natural essential oils and has a light, pleasant coconut scent, though it fades rather quickly.
  • convenient pump top
  • 100-percent money-back guarantee
  • doesn't lather up too well
Brand Fifi & Fido
Model pending
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Particular Paws Hypoallergenic

Particular Paws Hypoallergenic works like a charm to get the stink out of both dogs and cats. It combines aloe vera, chamomile and honey extract to ensure a beautiful shine, while being super gentle on your hands. Plus, the curved bottle makes it easy to hold.
  • great for any hair type
  • doesn't leave behind residue
  • some find the scent a bit too strong
Brand Particular Paws
Model pending
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Lambert Kay Fresh N Clean

Lambert Kay Fresh N Clean is made with extended scent technology that will leave your pup smelling clean for two weeks after his or her bath. By simply wiping your pet's fur with a damp cloth, you can keep reviving the scent once it seems to dissipate.
  • contains vitamin e for shine
  • makes wiry hair more manageable
  • not an all-natural formula
Brand Fresh 'n Clean
Model LK21565
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

7. Cloud Star Buddy Wash

Cloud Star Buddy Wash is a shampoo and conditioner in one that contains the soothing scents of lavender and mint. It creates a nice, thick lather that's easy to rinse off and is especially good at making black dogs look extra clean.
  • can be used daily
  • great for puppies
  • 10-percent of proceeds go to charity
Brand Cloud Star
Model 15202
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

6. Sogeval Labs Chlorhexidine

Sogeval Labs Chlorhexidine is antiseptic and antimicrobial, so it's perfect for dogs who love to roll in the dirt or who regularly interact with other animals. It's also recommended by vets to help fight staph and other skin infections.
  • works well on most breeds
  • leaves fur soft and fluffy
  • shows improvement within two washes
Brand Vitality Systems
Model FSCHL0000016
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

5. Top Performance Fresh Pet

Top Performance Fresh Pet is safe and gentle for puppies over six weeks old and is one of the most effective shampoos for dogs with long hair. It also conditions well, helping to reduce tangles and making it easier to comb through the coat.
  • used in grooming salons
  • scent won't rinse off in a pool
  • comes in a variety of sizes
Brand Top Performance
Model TP562 17
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Fieldworks Moosh

The next time you and your pup head out on a camping trip, don't leave home without Fieldworks Moosh. This biodegradable formula contains bentonite clay, which is known for its amazing ability to get rid of dirt and toxins. Plus, it's safe for use in rivers or lakes.
  • helps to curb dandruff
  • rinses off quickly
  • soothing essential oils
Brand Fieldworks
Model pending
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

3. OxGord Natural

OxGord Natural is made up of certified vegan and organic ingredients that deep clean without drying out your pet's skin. It's also effective in relieving pain or itchiness associated with fleas or ticks, and won't sting a dog's eyes for a more pleasant bathing experience.
  • gets rid of that wet dog odor
  • flip cap for easy one-handed pouring
  • a little drop goes a long way
Brand OxGord
Model PTSH-01-16
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Furminator Ultra

Furminator Ultra is an all-in-one solution to save you time and money. Simply work this professional-quality product into your monthly grooming routine and you'll be amazed with the results of not only their beautiful shiny coat, but of how much cleaner your house is.
  • has a pleasant smell
  • doesn't contain parabens or dyes
  • lathers up nicely
Brand Furminator
Model 285307
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Pro Pet Works Hypoallergenic

Pro Pet Works Hypoallergenic is made up of an organic blend of vitamins E, D and A, almond oil and aloe vera that leaves your dog feeling silky smooth. This non-irritating formula is a miracle worker for pets with dry or sensitive skin.
  • made in the usa
  • free of sulfates and detergents
  • makes brushing hair less painful
Brand Pro Pet Works
Model k3710
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

The Importance Of Bathing Your Dog

There is a long running debate over how often one should bathe their dog. Some feel that bathing regularly can rid your dog's coat of healthy oils and potentially dry our their skin. Others feel that bathing regularly is better. No matter which group you belong to, all agree that bathing a dog at least periodically is necessary and beneficial for both the animal and the owner.

Bathing a dog removes dirt, debris, urine, saliva, and variety of other contaminants from their coat. This will make a dog's coat smell and look better. It can also help minimize matting, which can actually be painful for dogs. If you've ever had a ponytail that is too tight, you might have some idea of how your pooch feels when they have their hair all matted up. Bathing can also kill potentially harmful parasites and bacteria that can irritate a dog's skin and lead to other health problems.

Just like in humans, sanitary conditions are better suited to healing than unsanitary ones. If your dog has inflamed or damaged skin, bathing can promote faster healing and help it to recover. It can also help to stop irritation, so they scratch less, thereby further minimizing the possibility additional skin damage.

Giving a dog a bath is the perfect time to check their skin for abnormalities, as well. Using your hands to massage the shampoo into their coat allows you to detect ticks or fleas, dry or irritated patches, and a range of other issues. Oftentimes, catching these problems at an early stage can prevent them from becoming more serious conditions. For example, you may notice that your dog's skin looks slightly irritated after switching to a new food, allowing you to switch back to their regular food before it becomes a full-blown skin condition that requires medical treatment.

Allergy sufferers will be happy to learn that bathing a dog can rid its coat of spores, pollen, mold, and other allergens that they often track into a home. These things generally won't be removed from simple brushing, and even if they were, if you brush your dog inside your home, all you will be doing is dispersing these allergens inside your house. Some studies show that bathing a pet weekly can reduce allergens in their coat by as much as 85 percent.

Choosing Between The Different Types Of Dog Shampoos

One of the keys to ensuring that bathing your dog is doing them more good than harm is by choosing the correct type of shampoo. Some will dry out their fur more, while others will be more gentle, but may not do as good of a job at killing bacteria and parasites. Your dog's needs and bathing schedule will help determine which is the best choice. Dog shampoos come in three main categories: chemical-based, natural, and certified organic.

Chemical-based shampoos are often the cheapest, but potentially the most damaging to a dog's coat. They will include ingredients like cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium lauryl sulfate, and petroleum, along with artificial colors and fragrances. Chemical-based shampoos will often dry out a dog's coat and skin the most, so they are best used on dogs that receive infrequent bathing. On the plus side, they tend to have a longer-lasting scent and are very effective at killing bacteria and parasites. For most though, unless your budget doesn't allow for a natural or certified organic shampoo, or you are using a specific medicinal shampoo on the recommendation of your veterinarian, chemical-based shampoos are best avoided.

Despite what many people think, natural dog shampoos, are not necessarily organic. The term natural doesn't have a legal definition according to the FDA, so business are free to use it in their marketing without having to adhere to any guidelines. This means that a dog shampoo labeled as all-natural could potentially contain some chemicals. Most reputable companies, however, will use few if any chemicals in shampoos labeled as natural, so they can still be a good choice. Just make sure to read through the ingredients and be wary of any undefined terms, like natural oils or natural cleansers.

Unlike the term natural, the term certified organic does have a legal definition designated by the USDA. This means any dog shampoo labeled as certified organic must meet stringent guidelines. A certified organic dog shampoo will not contain any artificial ingredients, and any natural ingredients used must be grown without any chemical fertilizers or insecticides.

As a general rule of thumb, natural and organic shampoos are gentler and a dog's coat and better suited to frequent bathing schedules. They are also better for the environment.

Can't I Just Use Human Shampoo?

While it may seem easier to just grab your bottle of human shampoo and use it when bathing your pooch, this is a definite no no. Dogs and humans have very different skin, with one of the major differences being in the pH levels. All skin, both that on humans and dogs, has a thin layer known as the acid mantle. The acid mantle protects the stratum corneum, or the top layer of skin, from bacteria and other contaminants. It also plays a part in how well your body can absorb water, directly effecting your hydration levels.

During bathing, the acid mantle is washed away, so shampoo and soap manufacturers add moisturizers and other ingredients to protect the skin until the acid mantle is replenished. If skin doesn't have the proper pH balance, the acid mantle cannot do its job. Healthy human skin has a pH balance of between 4.5 and 5.6, which is slightly acidic. Healthy dog skin has a natural pH balance between 6.2 and 7.4, which is closer to neutral.

Using a human shampoo on a dog disrupts the skin's natural pH levels and interferes with the acid mantle's ability to do its job. This causes a dog's skin to be more vulnerable to bacteria, parasites, and viruses. It can also cause it to become flaky, dry, and irritated.

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Last updated on September 05, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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