Your furry friend deserves proper care and nurture and the first step in providing it is maintaining their hygiene at a high level. Although dogs groom themselves to some extent, they still need bathing to help them stay clean and healthy. Bathing removes dirt and odor from their skin and coat, and it is necessary if your dog has damaged hair or suffers from infected or inflamed skin. If you’re pet is suffering from crusty scabs and bumps, our vets may be able to help.
In order to combat dirt and bacteria, you need a proper tool – a quality dog shampoo. Dog shampoos are specifically designed for our pet companions in order to suit their sensitive skin and prevent possible skin infections. We looked over dozens of dog shampoos aiming to find the highest quality products suitable for any budget, having in mind the nature of ingredients, Amazon ratings, flea control, and other considerations. We picked out top 5 of the best-rated shampoos you can buy for your four-legged friend.
For maximum care of sensitive skin and coat, we’ve identified Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo as a top choice. With a specialized formula made of oatmeal and aloe, which are particularly efficient in catering to the needs of dry and itchy skin, this shampoo is ideal for all skin types as it has a gentle effect on the skin and coat while removing dirt and odor efficiently. Its balanced pH and soap-free formula make it a safe choice for any type of dog skin that won’t cause irritation or inflammation.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Dog Shampoos
|Best Overall||Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo||4.8|
|Runner Up||Paws & Pals Natural Dog-Shampoo and Conditioner||4.3|
|Best Budget Buy||Fresh 'n Clean Scented Shampoo||4.6|
|Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs||Wahl’s Flea and Tick Shampoo||4.5|
|Best Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo||Pro Pet Works Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo + Conditioner||4.7|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo
Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo is a smart investment that won’t let you down, according to the reviewers. Prices start from about $17 and what you get is a natural dog shampoo specially designed for sensitive skin in a 100% biodegradable and cruelty-free pack. Its formula contains oatmeal (3%) and organic aloe that soothe irritated areas and moisturize dry and sensitive skin. The shampoo is soap-free and pH-balanced and its gentle formula provides in-depth cleaning of your pooch’s skin and coat, thus combating dirt, bacteria, and odor.
Apart from rehydrating the skin, the shampoo also leaves the coat well-nourished, clean, and soft with a pleasant smell of vanilla and almond. Also, if your dog is suffering from fleas and undergoing appropriate treatments, you won’t have to worry about washing off flea applications, as the shampoo doesn’t affect them. According to the reviews, Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo is extremely efficient in relieving our pet friends of itch and allergies, all the while making their fur soft and lovely scented. The product is available in packs of one, two, and six, so you can go for the option that suits you best.
Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo Key Features:
- Made of natural ingredients
- Designed for dry and sensitive skin
- Relieves of itch and allergies
- Soap-free and pH balanced
- Will not wash off flea applications
- 100% biodegradable and cruelty-free
Our Runner-Up Pick: Paws and Pals Natural-Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
All-natural vegan shampoo with coconut and jojoba oils formulated to hydrate dry and sensitive skin
This is a more budget-friendly option, but a high-quality one nonetheless. Paws & Pals Natural Dog-Shampoo and Conditioner is another great choice for dogs with a dry and sensitive skin prone to allergies and is available at the price of about $13. The shampoo’s formula is designed with organic principles in mind, so the ingredients are all-natural, non-toxic, and vegan. The shampoo adheres to the needs of sensitive skin and coat, thus hydrating the skin, promoting healing, and thoroughly cleaning both the skin and the coat. Natural aloe, coconut, and jojoba oils moisturize the skin and minimize dryness and itch, thus making the skin healthy and shiny again. If your furry companion has trouble with too brittle coat, this shampoo will make it soft and plush again, the reviewers say, with a scent of rosemary and shea butter.
Paws & Pals Natural Dog-Shampoo and Conditioner has a soap-free and tearless formula, which means that it won’t cause irritation or inflammation of your dog’s eyes or nose. Also, it is cruelty-free and made of recycled materials, so it’s another eco-friendly choice that benefits the planet.
Paws & Pals Natural Dog-Shampoo and Conditioner Key Features:
- Formulated for dry and sensitive skin
- Made of non-toxic, vegan ingredients
- Helps with itch and allergies
- Soap-free and tearless formula
- Cruelty-free and made of recycled materials
Best Budget Pick: Fresh ‘n Clean Scented Shampoo
Removes tangles and creates a long-lasting scent that can be refreshed instantly
This shampoo is exactly what its name says, according to the reviewers, and it comes at a fairly affordable price of about $4. Fresh ‘n Clean Scented Shampoo keeps the dirt and odor at bay and creates a pleasant fragrance that lasts for several weeks. Its formula contains aloe vera gel that has a soothing effect on the skin and antistatic agents that make the coat easy to manage and prevent the appearance of mats and tangles, thus leaving your dog’s coat soft and silky, according to the reviews. What is particularly convenient about this shampoo is that it enables you to instantly refresh the scent simply by wiping your dog with a moist towel. The shampoo is available in 18-ounce.
Fresh ‘n Clean Scented Shampoo Key Features:
- Creates a long-lasting fragrance
- Contains aloe vera gel and antistatic agents
- Helps with removing mats and tangles
- The scent instantly refreshes after wiping the pet with a moist towel
- Available in 18-ounce
Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs: Wahl’s Flea and Tick Shampoo
Mild formula with rosemary and mint naturally repels fleas and ticks and provides in-depth cleansing of skin and coat
If your furry friend has troubles with fleas and ticks, this shampoo is a top choice for combating them. Wahl’s Flea and Tick Shampoo has a formula containing rosemary, mint, and cedar oils naturally repels fleas and ticks for up to one week. The shampoo is PEG-80-free, plant-derived, and does not contain toxic chemicals that might irritate of inflame your pooch’s skin. Wahl’s Flea and Tick Shampoo is suitable for sensitive skin and it provides thorough cleaning of both skin and the coat, restoring their former shine, silkiness, and a fresh smell.
According to the reviews, apart from providing in-depth cleaning and a pleasant smell, the shampoo resolves itch and allergy issues and reduces excessive shedding as well. It is available in 24-ounce and it comes at a price of about $17.
Wahl’s Flea and Tick Shampoo Key Features:
- Naturally repels ticks and fleas
- Specialized formula for sensitive skin with rosemary, mint, and cedar oils
- Plant-derived and without toxic chemicals
- Available in 24-ounce
Best Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo: Pro Pet Works Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo + Conditioner
A mixture of organic aloe extracts, almond oil, and Vitamins A, D, and E reduces itch and allergies
If your dog has a sensitive skin that is prone to allergies and you wish to ensure the best hypoallergenic product for their grooming sessions, we recommend using Pro Pet Works Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo + Conditioner. The shampoo’s formula is specially designed to meet the needs of dogs allergic to food, grass, and flea bites. It contains a mixture of organic aloe extracts, almond oil and vitamins A, D, and E that are suitable for dry, itchy, and sensitive skin and that won’t cause irritation of nose and eyes. The smooth texture also allows easier brushing of the coat, making it soft and tangle-free. Its mild structure makes it safe for frequent use as well.
The shampoo contains organic ingredients without alcohol, fragrance, and added colors, and it is pH-balanced and soap-free. It combats odor and dirt, and it efficiently repels fleas and minimizes itch, reviewers say. Moreover, the shampoo is biodegradable and cruelty-free. It is available in 17-ounce at the price of about $16.
Pro Pet Works Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo + Conditioner Key Features
- Formulated for dry and sensitive skin
- Made for pets with food, grass, and flea bites allergies
- Removes tangles
- No alcohol, fragrance or added colors
- pH balanced and soap-free formula
- Safe for frequent use
- Biodegradable and cruelty-free
- Available in 17-ounce
Who Should Buy a Dog Shampoo?
Any pet owner who wants to provide their loyal companion with maximum care and comfort should invest in a quality dog shampoo. As we all know, dogs are playful beings and can often get quite messy, so they need our help in staying clean and fresh. The right shampoo will do away with dirt and unpleasant smell, and prevent possible skin infections and other health issues.
Frequent bathing can eliminate parasites, bacteria, and other infectious organisms, so it is often necessary for dogs with bacterial and fungal infections, as it can minimize or even prevent the need for antibiotics and other medication. Also, if your dog has allergies, frequent shampooing will likely reduce the itch and make them feel much more comfortable. However, if your dog has particular aversion to water, you can always use a dry shampoo.
Important Features to Consider
A dog shampoo should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a dog shampoo for your dog:
- Type of skin and coat. Evaluate your dog’s skin and coat to determine what type of shampoo would be the best choice. Dogs with sensitive skin and smooth coat need a mild formula with oatmeal, aloe vera or rosewater, for example. If your dog has a furry coat, you might consider using a shampoo with a conditioner to make the coat more manageable. You can also use shampoos designed to reduce excessive shedding, if your pooch has troubles with it. For dogs with dry, itchy skin prone to allergies, hypoallergenic shampoos are a great choice that will soothe and nourish their skin. If your dog has normal skin, you can opt for general purpose shampoos or the ones that provide deep cleansing, if your dog spends a lot of time outside. If you’re unsure which product to use, consult the vet.
- Odor. Dogs that spend a lot of time outside and have an adventurous spirit may pick up unpleasant smell along the way. Even if your dog spends most of their time on the couch, if you notice a particular “doggy” smell, you may want to consider using a deodorizing shampoo to get rid of bad odor.
- Fleas and ticks. There are plenty of shampoos that are designed to repel or kill fleas, ticks, and other parasites. However, if your dog has troubles with them, it is likely that the use of shampoo alone will not be sufficient to solve the problem, so you will need to use them together with appropriate treatments. Your vet can also recommend the appropriate shampoo to be used while your dog is undergoing such treatments.
- Age. If you have a puppy, it’s a good idea to use shampoos that are specifically designed for them. These products have a mild, tearless formula that won’t irritate or inflame their skin, nose, and eyes.
- Natural ingredients. When choosing the best shampoo for your dog, it’s important to read the label and check the ingredients. Many typical chemical-based shampoos contain artificial colors and fragrances, alcohols, detergents, animal and petroleum by-products, and many other chemicals that can cause skin irritation, inflammation, and excessive hair loss. You should always opt for a more natural option. Natural products use more natural ingredients like oil essences, vitamins, and herbal proteins. However, even these products can feature some chemicals, so it’s important to read the labels carefully. You can also opt for using an organic shampoo certified by USDA. These products must be manufactured under strict rules that involve, among others, using ingredients that are raised using natural fertilizers and without the use of insecticides, and that don’t contain artificial chemical ingredients, like artificial fragrances and dyes. These products also state that they are safe for frequent use, which makes them a desirable choice for securing your pet’s wellbeing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a dog shampoo and how does it work?
Dog shampoos are specially designed to cater to the needs of a dog’s skin, which is rather different than human. The main difference lies in pH balance, the topmost layer of the skin that protects us from bacteria and viruses. For humans, the pH scale falls under the range of 0-14, with levels less than 6.4 belonging to high acidity, and levels more than 6.4 belonging to high alkalinity. The normal range of pH levels for humans is 5.2-6.2, deeming them more likely to be on the acidic side, which results in shampoos being formulated in a way that doesn’t disrupt this balance. On the other hand, dog’s pH scale ranges from 5.5 to 7.5, which means that it tends to be more on an alkaline side. Therefore, dog shampoos are formulated in a way to maintain this balance and secure protection from bacteria and viruses.
Dog shampoos tend to have a milder structure that cleanses the skin and coat gently. These products are made to lather easily and retain moisture of the skin to prevent dryness, dandruff or scales. Additionally, there are shampoos that are specially formulated to target different problems, such as shedding, tangles, odor, flea control or different skin infections.
Can I use Dawn to wash my dog?
Dawn dish soap has the ability to remove oil quickly and it may be effective with stains, but it should never be used as a dog shampoo. This detergent contains plenty of harsh chemicals that can strip your dog’s skin of natural oils and cause irritation and inflammation. The best and the safest option is to use a dog shampoo, as they are specially formulated to meet the needs of a dog’s skin.
Can you use baby shampoo on a dog?
Although some vets recommend Johnson and Johnson Baby Shampoo for bathing dogs, it can still be hard to determine whether a specific human product is suitable for animal use. Baby shampoos tend to have a mild formula with natural ingredients, but they are still made to suit human pH levels, and not the ones of dogs. Dog shampoo is specialized for canines and it is always the safest choice.
How many times should you give a dog a bath?
The frequency of baths depends on several factors, including breed, health, and how active a dog is, as dogs that spend a lot of time outside are likely to need baths more often than those that spend most of their time indoors. Bathing is necessary if you notice dirt, debris or grease on their hair, or an unpleasant odor. If your dog is suffering from itch, allergies or other skin conditions and infections, frequent baths may be required and your vet will give you all the necessary information on the bathing schedule.
Other Dog Shampoos We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other dog shampoos. Even though they didn’t make our top 5 best dog shampoos, they’re the best of the rest and and each is still a great option for your dog. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Oatmeal Dog Shampoos
Aromatherapy Shampoo & Conditioner for Pets contains mixture of natural ingredients like aloe, oatmeal, lavender, chamomile, and vitamin E oils to prevent skin inflammation, irritation, and bacterial infections. It is biodegradable and cruelty-free.
- Formulated with oatmeal and aloe to hydrate skin and prevent irritation
- Made with lavender and chamomile oils to prevent bacterial infections
- Eco-friendly and cruelty-free
Cost: Est. $12
Lovely Fresh Premium Natural Dog Shampoo 3-in-1 Formula with Oatmeal and Neem adheres to the needs of both sensitive and normal skin. It has a soap-free formula with natural ingredients that soothes irritation and moisturizes skin. It contains neem oil, which keeps insects at bay.
- Suitable for sensitive and normal skin
- Soap-free formula that minimizes itch and irritation
- Contains neem oil which acts as an insect repellant
Cost: Est. $16
Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control Natural Oatmeal Shampoo & Conditioner deeply cleans the skin and coat and prevents frizz. The oatmeal formula has a soothing effect on the skin and provides hydration. The shampoo can be used with flea and tick applications and as a deodorant.
- Cleans and conditions the skin and coat
- Can be used with flea and tick applications
- Can be used as a deodorant
16-Ounce: Est. $4
32-Ounce: Est. $8
Oster Oatmeal Naturals 4-in-1 Shampoo contains Vitamin B5 and natural conditioners that prevent tangles and make the coat smooth and shiny. Its 100% natural oatmeal formula protects and nourishes the skin.
- Made with Vitamin B5 and natural conditioners
- 100% natural oatmeal formula
- No dyes, parabens, alcohol, phosphates, and phthalates
Cost: Est. $8
Rocco & Roxie Dog Shampoo’s formula contains oatmeal, aloe, chamomile, and rosemary extracts to protect and moisturize the skin and improve its elasticity and texture. It has a soap-free and tearless formula that ensures a gentle effect on skin. Also, if you’re not satisfied with results, you can get your money back.
- Contains oatmeal, aloe, chamomile, and rosemary extracts
- Hypoallergenic, soap-free, alcohol-free, paraben-free, dye-free
- Money-back guarantee
32-Ounce: Est. $26
16-Ounce: Est. $17
TropiClean Oatmeal and Tea Tree Pet Shampoo is 70% organic and contains oatmeal, Vitamin E, and mild coconut extracts to soothe dry and itchy skin. Natural salicylic and tea tree ingredients eliminate dandruff, scales, and flaking.
- 70% organic
- Green packaging
20-Ounce: Est. $10
Gallon: Est. $40
2.5 Gallon: Est. $97
Wahl Oatmeal Shampoo has a specially designed formula for sensitive and irritated skin that contains oatmeal, coconut, lime, aloe, and lemon verbena. The shampoo is plant derived and contains natural ingredients.
- Contains oatmeal, coconut, lime, aloe, and lemon verbena
- Formulated for dry and itchy skin
- Plant derived and PEG-80-free
Cost: Est. $6
Medicated Dog Shampoos
Dechra Miconahex + Triz Pet Shampoo is formulated to treat bacterial and fungal infections on dogs, cats, and horses. It contains ceramides that help moisturize dry and damaged skin and its effect lasts even after rinsing.
- Treats bacterial and fungal infections on dogs, cats, and horses
- Moisturizes and restores dry and damaged skin
- Continues to work after rinsing
16-Ounce: Est. $20
8-Ounce: Est. $14
EQyss Micro-Tek Pet Shampoo contains vet-recommended, non-toxic formula that helps with itch and inflammation and prevents scratching, biting, and licking of hot spots. The product also efficiently removes pet odor and has no steroids.
- Treats itch, inflammation, and irritation of the skin
- Removes pet odor
Cost: Est. $14
Farnam Sulfodene Medicated Shampoo and Conditioner for Dogs contains ingredients that reduce itching and flaking. Its mild formula makes it suitable for regular use.
- Reduces itch and flaking
- Cleans and conditions skin and coat
- Suitable for regular use
Cost: Est. $9
Moosh Natural Dog Shampoo uses Bentonite clay to naturally eliminate bacterial and fungal infections, toxins, and heavy metals. Its formula also contains aloe vera, argan oil, and shea butter to soothe and moisturize the skin and reduce dandruff and flaking.
- 100% organic and natural
- Contains Bentonite clay to fight bacterial and fungal infections
- pH-balanced with aloe vera, argan oil, and shea butter
Cost: Est. $15
Sogeval Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo contains chlorhexidine and phytosphingosine salicyloyl to treat Seborrhea and other disorders associated with pyoderma. The shampoo is formulated with antiseptic foaming solution and it minimizes irritation and dryness.
- Strong antiseptic activities
- Treats Seborrhea and other disorders associated with pyoderma
- Reduces irritation and dryness
16.9-Ounce: Est. $22
6.8-Ounce: Est. $12
SynergyLabs shampoo is specially designed to treat skin scaling caused by Seborrhea, Mange, and other parasitic, fungal, and bacterial infections. Initially, it should be used 2-3 times a week, and after the condition of the skin improves, it can be used less frequently.
- Contains Coal Tar, Salicylic Acid & Micronized Sulfur
- Treats skin scaling caused by Seborrhea, Mange, and other parasitic, fungal, and bacterial infections
- Helps with Inflamed scalp, greasy or waxy skin, red skin rashes, and scaly skin similar to dandruff
16-Ounce: Est. $8
2Pack: Est. $30
Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Dog Shampoo is specially formulated to cater to the needs of dogs with seasonal allergies. Its blend of essential oils and natural ingredients like oatmeal and tea tree help calm and hydrate irritated and red skin. The shampoo can be used regularly and will not wash off topical flea and tick applications.
- Vet-recommended formula with essential oils and natural ingredients
- Moisturizes and soothes irritated and red skin
- Can be used regularly and will not wash off flea and tick applications
Cost: Est. $8
Zymox Enzymatic Shampoo is specially designed for skin inflammation and irritation. It features the patented LP3 Enzyme System that gently cleanses the skin and fights bacterial and fungal infections.
- LP3 Enzyme System treats itch, bacterial, and fungal infections
- Gentle and pleasant-smelling
- No harsh detergents, chlorines, or petroleum by-products
Cost: Est. $13
Waterless Dog Shampoos
Bodhi Dog Waterless Dog Shampoo requires no rinsing and is specially formulated for sensitive skin prone to allergies, while it’s also suitable for normal type of skin and coat. It removes pet odor and creates a long-lasting lavender scent. It does not contain alcohol or toxic ingredients.
- No-rinse shampoo for sensitive and normal skin and coat
- Removes pet odor and creates mild lavender scent
- No alcohol and toxic ingredients
Cost: Est. $15
Paw Choice Foaming Mousse Dog Shampoo requires no water or rinsing and it has a mild coconut-derived formula that is suitable for all skin types. It cleans the skin and coat, removes odor, and it will not wash away topical flea applications.
- Waterless, no-rinse shampoo with mango and pomegranate scent
- Coconut-derived formula suitable for all skin types and safe to use with flea treatments
- 30-day guarantee
Cost: Est. $16
Wahl Natural Pet No-Rinse Waterless Shampoo enables you to shampoo your dog between baths as it is waterless and does not require rinsing. Its plant-derived formula makes it suitable for sensitive skin while it efficiently cleans and conditions the skin and coat. The shampoo contains lavender and chamomile fragrance to ensure a long-lasting pleasant smell.
- No-rinse, dry shampoo
- Plant-derived with lavender and chamomile scent
- PEG-80-free, alcohol-free, and paraben-free
Cost: Est. $6
Flea Shampoos for Dogs
Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with PRECOR for Dogs and Cats is designed to kill fleas, ticks, flea eggs, flea larvae, and lice. It’s made with oatmeal, coconut extract, lanolin, and aloe and it removes scales, dirt, and dandruff. It also contains PRECOR Insect Growth Regulator that provides 28 days of control of pre-adult fleas before they become biting adults.
- Kills fleas, ticks, flea eggs, flea larvae, and lice
- Formula with oatmeal, coconut extract, lanolin, and aloe that removes scales, dirt, and dandruff
- Provides 28 days of control of pre-adult fleas
Cost: Est. $11
4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo is USDA certified organic product designed for both sensitive and normal skin types. Its hypoallergenic mixture of ingredients protects and soothes skin. It contains lemongrass essential oil to naturally repel fleas.
- USDA certified organic and vegan
- Hypoallergenic and non-toxic
- Made with lemongrass essential oil to naturally repel fleas
Cost: Est. $16