If you love your furry friend, you want to keep them clean, healthy, and smelling good. But not all dog shampoos are created equal. Some may contain harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances, or ingredients that can irritate your dog’s skin or coat. Others may not be effective enough to remove dirt, odors, or parasites. How do you choose the best dog shampoo for your pup?
In this blog post, we will review 10 of the best dog shampoos of 2022, based on expert recommendations, customer reviews, and product features. We will also explain what to look for in a dog shampoo, and how to use it properly. Whether your dog has dry skin, fleas, shedding, or just needs a regular wash, we have a shampoo for you!
What to Look for in a Dog Shampoo
Before you buy a dog shampoo, you should consider the following factors:
- Your dog’s skin and coat condition: Different dogs have different skin and coat types and needs. For example, some dogs may have sensitive skin, allergies, or skin infections that require a gentle or medicated shampoo. Others may have dry, itchy, or flaky skin that needs a moisturizing or soothing shampoo. And some dogs may have oily, dirty, or smelly coats that need a deep-cleaning or deodorizing shampoo.
- The ingredients: You should always check the label of the dog shampoo and avoid any ingredients that may harm your dog or the environment. Some ingredients to avoid are parabens, sulfates, phthalates, alcohol, artificial colors, and synthetic fragrances. These can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, or hormonal disruption in your dog. Instead, look for natural ingredients that are gentle, safe, and beneficial for your dog’s skin and coat. Some examples are oatmeal, aloe vera, shea butter, coconut oil, essential oils, and herbal extracts.
- The pH level: The pH level of a shampoo is a measure of how acidic or alkaline it is. Human shampoos tend to have a higher pH level than dog shampoos because human skin is more acidic than dog skin. Using a human shampoo on your dog can disrupt their skin’s natural balance and cause dryness, irritation, or infection. Therefore, you should always use a dog shampoo that is specially formulated for your dog’s skin pH level, which is usually between 6.5 and 7.5.
- The scent: The scent of a dog shampoo is a matter of personal preference for both you and your dog. Some dogs may enjoy a mild or natural scent that makes them smell fresh and pleasant. Others may dislike any scent that masks their natural odor or attracts unwanted attention from other dogs. You should also avoid any scents that may trigger allergies or asthma in you or your dog. If you are unsure about the scent of a dog shampoo, you can always do a patch test on your dog’s paw or ear before using it on their whole body.
How to Use Dog Shampoo Properly
Once you have chosen the best dog shampoo for your pup, you should follow these steps to use it properly:
- Brush your dog’s coat: Before bathing your dog, you should brush their coat thoroughly to remove any loose hair, dirt, mats, or tangles. This will make the washing process easier and more effective.
- Wet your dog’s coat: Use lukewarm water to wet your dog’s coat from head to tail. Avoid getting water in their eyes, ears, nose, or mouth.
- Apply the shampoo: Squeeze a small amount of shampoo onto your palm and rub it between your hands. Then massage it into your dog’s coat in circular motions. Start from the neck and work your way down to the tail. Avoid the face area unless the shampoo is specifically designed for it.
- Rinse thoroughly: Use clean water to rinse off all the shampoo from your dog’s coat. Make sure there is no residue left behind that can cause irritation or dullness.
- Dry your dog’s coat: Use a towel to gently pat dry your dog’s coat. You can also use a hair dryer on a low setting if your dog tolerates it well. Avoid rubbing or brushing their coat while it is wet as this can cause damage or breakage.
- Reward your dog: After bathing your dog, you should give them a treat and praise them for being a good boy or girl. This will make them associate bathing with positive experiences and make them more willing to do it again.
The 10 Best Dog Shampoos of 2022
Now that you know what to look for in a dog shampoo and how to use it properly, here are our top picks for the best dog shampoos of 2022:
1. Best Overall Dog Shampoo: Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Pet Shampoo
This is our best overall dog shampoo because it is suitable for most dogs and conditions. It is made with natural ingredients such as oatmeal and aloe vera that moisturize, soothe, and heal your dog’s skin and coat. It is also fragrance-free, pH-balanced, and biodegradable. It lathers easily and rinses cleanly, leaving your dog’s coat soft, shiny, and healthy.
2. Best Dog Shampoo & Conditioner Combo: Buddy Wash Original Lavender and Mint Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
This is our best dog shampoo and conditioner pairing because it cleans and conditions your dog’s coat using natural ingredients such as coconut oil, aloe vera, lavender, and mint that nourish, hydrate, and calm your dog’s skin and coat. It also has a pleasant lavender and mint scent that deodorizes your dog and repels fleas and ticks. It is gentle enough for frequent use and safe for puppies.
3. Best Shiny Coat Dog Shampoo: Isle of Dogs Clean Coating Shampoo for Dogs
This is our best dog shampoo for a shiny coat because it enhances the natural luster and texture of your dog’s coat. It is made with natural ingredients such as evening primrose oil, green tea extract, and keratin that strengthen, smooth, and protect your dog’s coat from damage. It also has a fresh green floral scent that lasts long after the bath. It is ideal for dogs with long or curly coats that need extra shine and manageability.
4. Best Medicated Dog Shampoo: Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog and Cat Shampoo
This is our best medicated dog shampoo because it treats various skin issues such as bacterial infections, fungal infections, yeast infections, seborrhea, and pyoderma. It is made with chlorhexidine, an antiseptic agent that kills microbes on the skin surface; climbazole, an antifungal agent that prevents the growth of fungi; and lipacid, a moisturizing agent that restores the skin’s barrier function. It also has a patented formula that forms a protective film on the skin and hair to prevent further irritation.
5. Best Shampoo: Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
This is our best dog shampoo for odor control because it eliminates skunk, urine, feces, and other unpleasant smells from your dog’s coat. It is made with natural ingredients such as oatmeal, honey sage, and aloe vera that cleanse, condition, and soothe your dog’s skin and coat. It also has a proprietary odor neutralizing technology that breaks down odor molecules instead of masking them. It is safe to use with spot-on flea and tick products.
6. Best Shampoo For Excessive Hair: Furminator deShedding Ultra Premium Dog Shampoo
This is our best dog shampoo for shedding because it reduces excessive shedding by releasing the undercoat during the bath. It is made with natural ingredients such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, papaya leaf extract, calendula extract, and chamomile extract that nourish, moisturize, and protect your dog’s skin and coat. It also has a mild coconut scent that leaves your dog smelling fresh. It is recommended to use with the Furminator deShedding Tool for best results.
7. Best Tick and Flea Dog Shampoo: Adams Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo
This is our best dog shampoo for fleas and ticks because it kills fleas, ticks, lice, eggs, larvae, and pupae on contact. It is made with natural ingredients such as oatmeal, coconut extract, lanolin, and aloe vera that soothe, condition, and moisturize your dog’s skin and coat. It also has an insect growth regulator that prevents reinfestation for up to 28 days. It has a pleasant scent that lasts for weeks.
8. Best Waterless Dog Shampoo: The Spruce Waterless Pet Wash in Oatmeal
This is our best waterless or dry dog shampoo because it cleans and freshens your dog’s coat without the need for water. It is made with natural ingredients such as oatmeal, aloe vera, coconut oil, and jojoba oil that gently remove dirt, oil, and odors from your dog’s skin and coat. It also has a light oatmeal scent that is derived from essential oils. It is easy to use: just spray on your dog’s coat, massage in, and towel dry.
9. Best Skunk Dog Shampoo: Skunk-Off Pet Shampoo
Hopefully you never have to use it, but this is great to keep on hand if you have skunks in your area. Unlike home remedies, Skunk-Off eliminates skunk odor from your dog’s coat in minutes. It is made with a patented formula that chemically reacts with the skunk spray and neutralizes it. It also has a mild fragrance that masks any residual odor. It is safe and effective for dogs, cats, and horses. It is simple to use: just wet your dog’s coat, apply the shampoo, lather, and rinse.
10. Best Calming Dog Shampoo: Rocco & Roxie Calm Sensitive Skin Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
This is our best calming dog shampoo because it relaxes and soothes your dog’s skin and coat with natural ingredients such as chamomile, rosemary, aloe vera, and argan oil. It also has a subtle lavender scent that helps calm your dog’s nerves and mood. It is gentle enough for puppies and dogs with sensitive skin. It cleans, conditions, and detangles your dog’s coat, leaving it soft, shiny, and smooth.
Before buying any dog shampoo, remember to always check the ingredients, pH level, and scent of the shampoo before buying it, and follow the proper steps to use it. Also consider reaching out to your veterinarian for applications tips and any products they recommend for your specific dog. Your dog will thank you for giving them a clean, healthy, and happy bath time!