The Best Dog Shampoo (Review Guide) in 2022 – Expert Tips

owner and 2 dogs

Dog Shampoo

There is most certainly not a day when you take your dog out without it coming back with something like: mud, dirt, leaves or even wet. And it is generally a great pleasure for him to roll in the grass and get dirty. You must then ask yourself whether or not it is necessary to buy shampoo for your dog.

Our pets love to go out on the streets to enjoy nature, their four-legged friends and being able to interact with other humans. Now the best thing to do is to do it in a safe environment and that also means taking care of our dog’s hair. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about dog shampoo.

When to wash your dog and how often?

A dog does not often smell very good, so it is difficult to rely on this criterion to know when to wash it. However, if the smell begins to become more than bothersome , do not hesitate to take the step: shampoo  ! A dog should only be washed when it really needs it. Because in fact, washing it too much can seriously harm its epidermis. So for “normal” hygiene and respect for your dog ‘s skin , we recommend that you space out the washes. 6 weeks or even 2 months. Of course, if your dog has just rolled in the mud, or has just taken a swim in dirty water, it is strongly advised to wash it very quickly.

dog drinking water

Shower or bath?

The bathtub remains the simplest way to wash your dog, however the shower tray can also be suitable! There are also specially designed tubs to wash your pets at home. However it is necessary to have an outside or a garden to put the bin. If you have a bathroom that is too small, or if you do not want to do the household chore after the dog has passed, you can find in some cities spaces where dog owners can wash their dogs themselves.

Best Chlorhexidine Shampoo

For cats & dogs who have sensitive skin and suffer from irritation, chlorhexidine shampoo is designed to offer relief while thoroughly cleansing the coat instead of resorting to standard shampoo. The shampoo can provide a therapeutic bath and can improve the health of the skin and hair for quick relief and help the pet feel more comfortable.

PetHonesty Antibacterial & Fungus Treatment Shampoo 16 oz. w/Ketoconazole & Aloe for Dogs & Cats

A Veterinary Strength Formula

This fungus treatment shampoo can alleviate hot spots, infections, rashes and itchiness. It’s gentle but still strong enough to heal infections and promote a healthier coat.

Pros and cons

PetHonesty Antibacterial & Fungus Treatment Shampoo lathers up nicely and washes out easily without a lot of rinsing required for a quick and easy grooming process for active cats. It can allow cuts and abrasions from scratching to heal quicker. The scent is a bit strong and can linger for several days, which may turn off some cats.

Douxo Sogeval Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo with Climbazole

Manages Skin Disorders

This chlorhexidine shampoo has strong antiseptic activity and controls cutaneous disorders commonly associated with pyoderma. It is long-lasting and resists rinsing to prevent skin moisture loss.

Pros and cons

Douxo Chlorhexidine PS + Climbazole Shampoo can minimize and eliminate scratching, dandruff, fleas and irritation on all breeds of cats. The formula is thick and creamy, allowing a little to go a long way with each application. The bottle is smaller than similar brands on the market and has small font on the packaging, which can be difficult to read.

Chlorhexidine Shampoo for Dogs, Cats – 16 oz – Medicated Cat Dog Shampoo, Pet Wash for Dry Itchy Skin

As a medicated shampoo, this product cleanses the skin and wounds and is a powerful odor remover. It’s safe for small, medium and large cats and doesn’t strip the coat from natural oils.

Pros and cons

Chlorhexidine Shampoo for Dogs, Cats can dry moist wounds and prompt healing. It leaves the coat soft and shiny to prevent it from becoming tangled. Some odors are not completely removed after the first application on the cat.

Davis Chlorhexidine Pet Shampoo, 12-Ounce

This shampoo can be used on cats suffering from conditions associated with bacteria and a wide range of microorganisms. It can be used on kittens and adult cats with long and short hair.

Pros and cons

Davis Chlorhexidine Pet Shampoo leaves the coat shinier and healthier while reducing bumps that may be present on the skin. The moisturizing ingredients can condition the coat and reduce itchiness for almost immediate relief after the first application. It has to absorb in the skin for five to 10 minutes to work, which can make it difficult to keep the cat still until it’s washed out.

Best Deshedding Shampoo

There’s no question that you want your fur baby looking his or her best. That’s why you spend the time grooming them to look great at all times. One of the best products that you can purchase for your cat is a great deshedding shampoo. These specialized shampoos reduce shedding to ensure your baby’s fur is full and lustrous and the skin looks and feels healthy. Here are some of the best deshedding shampoos.

FURminator deShedding Ultra Premium Dog Shampoo to Reduce Shedding

This high-quality shampoo contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, papaya leaf extract and more to reduce shedding. It can be used monthly as part of a regiment to keep coats strong and healthy.

Pros and cons

FURminator deShedding Ultra Premium Dog Shampoo to Reduce Shedding is safe and effective for most dogs. This large bottle is a great value. The shampoo offers a great smell and leaves fur softer and more manageable. This shampoo can take a long time to rinse off, which can make some dogs antsy and uncooperative. It doesn’t reduce shedding very much for some dogs.

Nature’s Specialties EZ Out Deshedding Shampoo for Dogs Cats, Non-Toxic Biodegradeable, 2oz

This formula is composed of great ingredients like aloe vera, vitamins A, D, and E, silk proteins and more. This mild base is pH balanced to leave your fur baby’s coat soft and silky.

Pros and cons

Nature’s Specialties EZ Out Deshedding Shampoo is non-irritating and non-drying to remove more of the undercoat. This shampoo is proudly made in the USA and is commonly used by professional groomers. This shampoo works great for short and long coats. The smell isn’t pleasant for some people. This shampoo doesn’t work for all types of cats.

Top Performance Shed Patrol De-Shedding Dog and Cat Shampoo, 17-Ounce

This shampoo is designed to minimize shedding while improving the health and look of your cat’s coat. This shampoo is safe for kittens over 6 weeks old. This shampoo doesn’t have to be diluted.

Pros and cons

Top Performance Shed Patrol De-Shedding Dog and Cat Shampoo comes in a generous 17-ounce bottle to provide numerous shampoo sessions. This shampoo offers a light, delicate and pleasant scent that any fur parent and baby will love. This formula doesn’t work for all cats. This shampoo is a bit pricier compared to other brands.

Fresh ‘n Clean Deshedding Shampoo, Tropical Fresh

Better Moisture Retention for Healthy Coat

This shampoo is designed to allow a pet parent to easily remove loose hair for a better-groomed fur baby. The coat is left healthy and nourished.

Pros and cons

Fresh ‘n Clean Deshedding Shampoo, Tropical Fresh features nourishing omega 3 fatty acids to leave the coat shinier and healthier. The scent is fresh-smelling and long-lasting. It rinses off easily. This shampoo might cause some cats to lose too much hair.

Best Waterless No Rinse Shampoo For Dogs

Most pet owners are well-aware of how quickly dogs can become dirty and start to stink in-between visits to the local groomer. They can develop a significant amount of oil and get dirty by rolling around in the mud outside throughout the week. Fortunately, waterless no-rinse shampoo is not only easy to use but yields just as good of a wash as getting a bath.

Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo for Animals

Although dogs can get nervous each time they’re bathed, this waterless shampoo has plant-derived ingredients to make them feel at ease. It’s safe and effective for dogs with allergies.

Pros and cons

Wahl Pet-Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo is strong enough to deep clean and even remove skunk odor from dogs due to its quality and concentrated formula. It’s extremely moisturizing to ensure dogs aren’t prone to itching after their coat is thoroughly shampooed to avoid irritation to the skin. For dogs with short hair, it can leave behind an oily residue, which can cause them to look like their coat is greasy or wet.

New Waterless Dog Shampoo | All Natural Dry Shampoo for Dogs or Cats No Rinse Required

Made for dogs and cats, this dog shampoo instantly removes odors and is 100% non-toxic. It’s professional-grade quality and leaves the coat soft and glossy after each application.

Pros and cons

New Waterless Dog Shampoo works well in removing dirt while also fluffing up the coat without needing any water to ensure the dog looks its best. The pleasant scent lingers for at least a week, allowing the dog to smell newly washed for several days. The only defect is the bottle, which requires turning it upside down to use it underneath the pet.

Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo, Waterless, No Rinse Foam Mousse – for Bathless Cleaning of Coat and Removing Pet Odor

This dry shampoo is effective because it doesn’t just mask odors but actually removes them. It’s more economical and environmentally friendly compared to using dog wipes.

Pros and cons

Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo’s natural tropical fruit fragrance is subtle and doesn’t leave the dog irritated by its own fur. It only requires a small amount of soap to thoroughly clean larger dogs, allowing the bottle to last longer than similar shampoos on the market. Unfortunately, it may cause a rash or skin irritation on some dogs after it’s applied.

Lillian Ruff Waterless Dog Shampoo – No Rinse Quick Dry Shampoo Spray for Dogs and Cats

This dog shampoo includes a convenient application brush to get it deep into their coat and remove excess dirt and oils. It’s also a natural repellent of fleas and ticks.

Pros and cons

Lillian Ruff Waterless Dog Shampoo’s instructions are simple to follow and make the bathing process quick and easy. The scent is very pleasant and lingers for an average of two days. The bottle is sturdy but is difficult to use with one hand when spraying the formula onto the dog’s coat.

Our Advice To Follow Before Washing Your Dog

Putting A Mat In And Out Of The Shower / Tub

Before washing your dog, you must first adapt your shower tray, or your bathtub. Indeed, it is recommended to place a non-slip mat in the bathtub, and one outside, to prepare for the exit from the bath and avoid any slipping! Also remember to put on an apron, or take a change of clothes, because you will come out wet.

Brush The Dog To Remove Knots

The second step is to brush  your dog. It is essential, and all the more so if your dog has long hair. Indeed once the hair is wet, the knots become very difficult to undo. In addition if your dog likes to be brushed, it is a good way to put your pet in a climate of confidence, and relaxation.

Check The Water Temperature

You should test the water temperature before wetting your pet , as we could do for children. The water must be lukewarm, with a temperature between 28 ° and 35 ° maximum.

Have A Good Shampoo

Warning! Shampoos for humans are prohibited on our loyal pets! They are in no way adapted to the epidermis and the nature of our dogs. This is why, there are many specific shampoos for dogs, natural, without aggressive products , without chemicals , without perfume , respecting the skin of your companion. We have tested some  natural shampoos existing on the market, and we will present them to you at the end of this article.

The Steps To Wash Your Dog

You can now put your dog in the bathtub or in your shower tray, and start to wet it at the appropriate temperature. It is necessary to wet your dog abundantly , so that the water penetrates well to the skin. Warning ! The eyes and ears of our animals are fragile. Make sure that the water and the shampoo do not run into his eyes. For this, you can protect them with cotton or sterile gas for example. Once your pet’s hair is wet, you can apply a few drops of a natural shampoo over its entire length, and rub! Insist well on the underside of the tail , chest and legs finally. Once your dog is thoroughly cleaned, you can rinse it off.

The rinsing phase is very important . Indeed, if you leave product (even natural) on your pet’s fur, it could  irritate the skin.  So once your dog’s skin is thoroughly rinsed, you can proceed to drying. Rub your pet vigorously with a towel, until it no longer needs to snort. Be careful that the dog does not get cold after the bath. So we advise you to dry it well with a hair dryer, without approaching it too close to your animal. If your dog is afraid of it, it is useless to insist with this very noisy device for him !!! Just keep it warm inside, until it is completely dry. Once the washing is finished, you can reward your dog with a treat and hope that it does not roll in the ground (or other) from your next walk!

What Should You Do When Your Dog Tries To Run Away From Cleaning?

The anxiety of the shower or the bath is quite common in dogs, even for those who can love water in general (type: golden retriever)! Indeed dogs can feel trapped, and lock in a shower cubicle or a bathtub. So for anxious dogs , it is recommended to give your dog a bath outdoors (weather permitting). Indeed, he will feel free to move, with the possibility of “fleeing” if necessary. Do not hesitate to reassure him, and to speak to him. Indeed, your voice will allow him to feel calm , and create a bond of trust.

And above all, be patient! Let your dog become familiar with the objects, let him sniff, to avoid being surprised. By force, your dog will have more and more confidence, and will not have any more apprehension at the time of the bath!

What is the difference between human and dog shampoo?

There are still people who tell you that the shampoo you use at home is good for your dog. We can guarantee that this is not the case, mainly for two reasons: the type of composition (ingredients, density or dosage), the acidity of the skin (a tissue between the dermis and the epidermis that all mammals have).


Here are the two main differences we can observe:

Composition. This is one of the main differences between these two types of shampoos, because the coat and skin of dogs need a higher concentration of soap, which can be reduced with water if necessary. This is because a dog’s skin is usually more exposed than ours to all kinds of factors: weather, dirt or insects, among others.

PH. The pH is the factor that indicates the acidity of the skin. While the acidity of human skin is 5.5, the acidity of dog skin generally varies between 7 and 7.5, depending on the breed. As you can see, long-term use of a human shampoo on your pet can cause long-term problems.

We hope we have convinced you not to offer your pet the same shampoo you use. We have explained the two main reasons, but we have a lot more information to give you. If you are interested, read on to find out more about dog shampoos.

From what age can you use puppy shampoo?

You’ll certainly want to use shampoo for your puppy as early as possible, especially as smaller dogs are most stubborn and are still learning to clean. But beware: it’s advisable to use it when his coat is over 3 months old, as there’s less chance of him getting sick from temperature changes.

It’s also best not to use shampoo, as your puppy needs a soap that’s suitable for his delicate skin and coat. So, if you have a very young dog, make sure you find a specific shampoo. Try to tailor your purchase to your dog’s coat type and character. Even if it does not look like it, it does matter.

Does the coat of my dog influence the purchase of shampoo?

Totally. It’s not the same to have a dog with long or short hair, especially not because of the problems it can cause. For this reason, if your dog has a dense and long coat, it is advisable to use the brush every day, which will make him less dirty.

What about the aesthetics? The knots in the hair, in addition to causing long-lasting skin problems, are ugly. With a good shampoo you will be proud to let your dog walk around with his soft, shiny and silky hair. It’s true that being so thoughtful can take a lot of time, but it’s worth it.

black dog

My dog has lice, which shampoo should I use?

It is normal for your dog to bring home a few unwanted insects, especially if he often roams in the grass or in the countryside. In addition to fleas, it’s not uncommon for ticks, worms and other vermin to appear in his hair. It’s part of everyday life to walk your pet, but it’s always a good idea to check his coat afterwards…

But what if your dear friend has caught fleas? First of all, you can put on latex gloves to examine and search his whole body. As soon as you see one, be careful, because there are certainly others. Don’t waste time, we have to act as quickly as possible.

Types of dog shampoos

When it comes to buying the right shampoo for dogs, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. A suitable shampoo will meet your dog’s specific needs and may require the recommendation of a professional hairdresser, experienced dog owner or veterinarian. Here are some of the most common types of dog shampoo sold in pet shops, department stores or on the internet.

Non destructive / General Purpose: Many dog shampoos fall into this broad category. We focus on deodorizing, lightening and flaking your pet’s coat, not on fighting specific skin diseases or parasites. Some non-sticky formulas may contain organic ingredients with suggested healing properties, but these shampoos are designed for extensive cleansing.

Anti-scouring/antiseborrheic: If your dog scratches and bites into the skin unnecessarily long, an anti-scouring or anti-bleeding shampoo may be the solution. If the itching is not caused by fleas or other parasites, it can be caused by dry skin. These medicinal shampoos provide extra hydration, especially in combination with a moisturizing cream.

Fleas and ticks: These medicinal shampoos are often used in combination with other anti-pollution and anti-mite products to get rid of these unwanted pests completely. Shampoos for fleas and ticks can also contain other active ingredients for dry skin, dandruff and other problems.

Antimicrobial/Fungal: These medicinal dog shampoos contain ingredients designed to solve skin problems, such as cuffs and hot spots. Some dog owners use antibacterial shampoos to reduce the number of odor-causing bacteria on their dog’s skin.

Puppy: Puppy shampoo is the equivalent of human baby shampoo “without tears”. The formula is very gentle on the skin and does not irritate the eyes. We recommend the use of puppy shampoo for puppies younger than eight months, but the products can be used for older dogs with extremely sensitive skin.

Brightening/whitening: The whitening shampoo is essentially drug-free and contains organic ingredients to revitalize dull hair. Many small breeds with long, luxurious wool tend to use a whitening shampoo, especially when the teeth are thoroughly cleaned after bathing in the bathroom.

Dog shampoo factors to consider

When buying a new dog shampoo it is important to compare the labels and test the ingredients. For example, using the wrong kind of shampoo can make an animal’s skin or coat worse. It is never a bad idea to consult your vet or an experienced lifeguard. Here are some important things to consider when buying the right shampoo for your dog.

The dog breed: Different breeds respond differently to shampoos. What may be acceptable for a 95-pound bullish mastiff may not be suitable for a York Cup size cup. Dog breeds with short hair may not give the same results as breeds with long or double hair. Check the label or read the product reviews to see if the shampoo is suitable for your dog type.

Skin Chemistry: Like humans, your dog’s skin can be relatively acidic, neutral, or alkaline compared to other dogs. Your vet can determine your pet’s natural pH value and advise on the composition of the shampoo. Using a shampoo with the wrong pH can damage your dog’s skin over time or deprive him of essential natural skin and coat fat.

Your dog’s health: Some intermediate medical shampoos claim to treat several common skin and coat diseases at the same time, which can be a sufficient preventive measure for the average dog. However, some dogs with more serious conditions may require a strong prescription medical shampoo.

dog showering

Dog shampoo prices

As with shampoos for humans, the price range of shampoos for dogs varies greatly from brand to brand. Dog shampoos can cost anywhere from less than $10 to more than $35. Some of these price differences are due to ingredients. A basic non-pharmaceutical dog shampoo with minimal odor is much cheaper than a high quality formula filled with natural oils and additives. Interestingly, the consumer rating of many mid-size shampoos is as high as that of the more expensive competitors. This often comes down to personal preferences for ingredients or medical needs.

Affordable: Few medical or organic brands can be found for less than $10. These shampoos focus on removing impurities, reducing oil and conditioning the hair. Some of them may contain the same detergents as human shampoos, so it’s important to check your pH before you buy them.

Average range: For $10-35 you can find many organic/natural dog shampoos. The ingredients will be easier to pronounce and pH levels are almost always in the right range for pets. Many freely available shampoos fall into this price range, including the popular five-in-one formulas that solve many skin and coat problems.

Duration: Dog shampoos that cost $35 or more are usually prescribed or packaged with numerous botanicals. Some hypoallergenic dogs may benefit from renewal, but overall performance levels are roughly equal to those of cheaper competitors. Commercial shampoos sold wholesale to grooms and veterinarians also fall into this category..


  • Always use cool water, not hot water. Your dog’s skin is much more sensitive than human skin and hot water can easily burn and cause other damage. Check the temperature of the water before you soak it and rinse it off before applying it to your dog’s skin.
  • Wait at least five to ten minutes before rinsing your dog’s skin. The cleansing and healing ingredients in dog shampoos need some time to be effective. Once your dog is fully healed, calm him down and distract him for at least five to ten minutes. Some shampoos are designed to remove dirt or treat ‘hot spots’ in the depths of the coat.
  • Start at the back of his head, go through his body and finish the muzzle. Washing your dog in this direction will prevent fleas from hiding on his head during washing and rinsing. Many scrapers fold into his ears or carefully insert cotton swabs to keep water and foam out of his ear canal. Applying shampoo to his face requires a softer touch, so it should be left longer.
  • Remove all signs of scaling and burrs before soaking or lather. It’s much easier to solve problems with mats and other hairs that get tangled up when your dog’s coat is dry. Removing mats with a comb or brush coat is wet.
  • Shampoo should be diluted with water before applying to long hair. Applying the shampoo directly from the bottle to the long coat may cause uneven results. By slightly diluting the shampoo with water you can avoid areas with heavier and lighter coatings.
  • Take the time to rinse. Dog shampoos can be particularly harsh on your dog’s skin if they are not thoroughly rinsed off. Any residue on your dog’s skin or coat can also suppress its radiance or cause problems when it enters the body. Rinse until your dog’s coat starts squeaking between his fingers.

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Mehul D

I’m Dedhia. I’m a computer science engineer from India who lives in Boston, MA. I love dogs and cats, traveling, watching movies and listening to music. I believe it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating well and exercising regularly. I founded the website which provides pet owners with information about buying the best products for dogs and cats.