16 Best Dog Shampoos: Trusted and Effective Must-Haves

Don’t fall into the trap that all dog shampoos are good for your puppy. It needs not to be said that every formula is different. While some use Dawn as an alternative, there are shampoos meant for fur whitening, remedy ticks and fleas, or hypoallergenic ones for those who have sensitive skin. 

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You have to understand what your dog needs. 

Bath time equates to having a fun bonding moment with your dog. But it won’t be all glee and joy once your pooch starts feeling itchy after using a particular dog shampoo. Don’t wait until that happens, especially since several vet-recommended dog shampoo formulas are safe and gentle to the skin and coat. 

They say a dog’s coat is a window to their health, so invest only in trusted brands. Don’t know which one is right for your pet? Here are the 16 best dog shampoos on the market.

A Quick Ranking of Our Best Dog Shampoos

Best Overall
  • Gentle
  • moisturizing
  • Cleans and conditions
4.6 rating
4.6
4.6 rating
4.6
Best for Sensitive Skin
  • Made for sensitive skin
  • Moisturizes and hydrates
  • Comes from organic and natural ingredients
4.6 rating
4.6
4.6 rating
4.6
Best for Allergies
  • Made for sensitive skin
  • For all breeds and ages
  • Made from 98.25% natural ingredients
4.5 rating
4.5
4.5 rating
4.5
Best for Rashes
  • Vet-approved 
  • A fast-acting formula
    • Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic
4.5 rating
4.5
4.5 rating
4.5
Best for Skin Issues
  • Trusted by vets
  • Extra gentle on the skin
  • No toxins, parabens, and alcohol
4.4 rating
4.4
4.4 rating
4.4

16 Best Dog Shampoos: Our Top Picks

1. Tropiclean Papaya and Coconut Luxury Pet Shampoo – Best Overall

Editor’s Rating:  
4.6 rating
Why We Like It: A trusted formula for dogs with general needs
Specs:
  • Scent: Papaya & coconut
  • Recommended for: Tough dirt

What I particularly like about Tropiclean is that you’re getting a shampoo and a conditioner for the price of one. It’s a formula commonly sought by thousands of loyal customers as it effectively gets rid of stubborn odor and dirt. 

As it penetrates right through every strand, the whole coat transforms smoothly. There’ll be no more tangling and matting with every brush stroke you do with your dog’s hair. The skin is soft and moisturized after, too. 

In each wash, your dog smells like they came from a tropical explosion of scents thanks to the papaya and coconut fragrance combination. Overall, it’s a practical, must-have buy for any dog.

Pros
  • Scented 
  • Gets rid of stubborn dirt and debris
  • Effectively moisturize skin and coat
Cons
  • The scent does not last long

2. Natural Dog Company Sensitive Skin Shampoo – Best for Sensitive Skin

Editor’s Rating:  
4.6 rating
Why We Like It: Warranted as a delicate formula for healthier skin and coat
Specs:
  • Scent: Unscented
  • Recommended for: Sensitive & itchy skin

Dogs can develop staphylococcal pyoderma, an inflamed skin condition caused by the Staphylococcus bacteria. If so happens, you must replace the usual shampoo you use for your furry pooch. Research suggests that aloe vera helps it better than using antibiotics.

With that in mind, no other formula can beat Natural Dog Company’s sensitive skin shampoo. It’s specially formulated to deal with various skin issues. It’s an ideal hypoallergenic choice for dogs with delicate skin and coat conditions. 

This shampoo is also incorporated with chamomile extract, colloidal oatmeal, argan oil, and manuka honey. They all work together, so your dog stays refreshed, moisturized, and free from irritations. 

No parabens, sulfates, toxic ingredients, or artificial fragrances are included. Everything is guaranteed organic for the general safety of your pet.

Pros
  • Ideal for sensitive skin
  • Contains quality oils and extracts
  • Free from artificial fragrances and harmful chemicals
Cons
  • Pricier than most brands

3. Honest Paws Oatmeal Shampoo and Conditioner – Best for Allergies

Editor’s Rating:  
4.5 rating
Why We Like It: Eliminates your worries as it eliminates your dog’s allergies
Specs:
  • Scent: Oatmeal & lavender
  • Recommended for: Allergies

Using the wrong shampoo can put your dog’s health at risk. Some formulas may contain ingredients that can make their immune system react. An example of a component is a pyrethroid. 

Though it’s useful for several purposes, it can also be detrimental, causing allergies and asthma if it’s too much, based on a study. It won’t be the case if you avoid synthetic formulas. That’s why we can only recommend using Honest Paws oatmeal shampoo and conditioner, as it’s 98.25% made of high-quality natural sources. 

It’s safe, non-irritating, and promises a 5-in-1 dog wash effect: it cleans, conditions, detangles, deodorizes, and moisturizes your dog’s skin and coat. Honest Paws features oats that soothe the skin and aloe vera that helps retain your dog’s dewiness. 

It can also be used for dogs 12 weeks old and beyond. 

Pros
  • Perfect for puppies aged 12 weeks and above
  • Made from 98.25% high-quality natural resources
  • Cleans, detangles, conditions, deodorizes, and moisturizes skin and coat
Cons
  • Requires generous amount for application

4. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Medicated Dog Shampoo – Best for Rashes

Editor’s Rating:  
4.5 rating
Why We Like It: Complements dogs with active lifestyles
Specs:
  • Scent: Coconut
  • Recommended for: Rashes

With over 53,000 buys on Amazon, Veterinary Formula Clinical Care continues to satisfy the high standards of dog owners when it comes to dog shampoo. This medicated formula provides gentle healing as it’s both antiparasitic and antiseborrheic. 

Dogs with lifestyles that include spending the day playing around in boggy areas or damp greenwoods are prone to fungal infections. Thankfully, this shampoo has antifungal properties. 

It’s a recommended formula that acts fast in dealing with problematic skin conditions. The pH level on your dog’s skin is also maintained as this accommodates their normal pH levels. 

So, if your dog has bald spots, itches, rashes, waxy skin, and more, the Veterinary Formula Clinical Care is the ultimate choice.

Pros
  • Maintains skin’s pH levels
  • Antiparasitic and antiseborrheic
  • Effectively heals skin conditions
Cons
  • Has an overpowering scent

5. PetHonesty Allergy Anti-Itch Dog Shampoo – Best for Skin Issues

Editor’s Rating:  
4.4 rating
Why We Like It: High-quality both in ingredients and results
Specs:
  • Scent: Coconut
  • Recommended for: Dandruff, Rashes, Irritated Skin, Dry Skin, and Itch

Another vet-recommended dog shampoo is specially made to heal itchy skin and allergies. It’s packed with various oils and other extracts that work together to enhance the outward appearance of your Fido. This includes:

  • Jojoba oil
  • Aloe vera
  • Vitamin E
  • Coconut oil
  • Oatmeal extract

Its powerful natural ingredients cleanse the skin deeply without being harsh. It leaves an anti-inflammatory response that improves your dog’s coat and skin over time. Not only is your pooch happier not to experience the irritations and the flaky dandruff, but they’ll also smell like coconut lime. 

On another note, this product is free from alcohol, parabens, and toxins; plus, it’s also GMP-certified. 

Pros
  • An anti-inflammatory formula
  • Contains helpful oils and extracts
  • GMP-certified and free from harmful chemicals
Cons
  • Pricier compared to most dog shampoos

6. Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog Shampoo – Best Safe Product

Why We Like It: Brings back the health in your dog’s skin and coat
Specs:
  • Scent: Vanilla & Almond
  • Recommended for: Dry skin, itch, and neutralizing odor

Granting your dog a healthy everyday life doesn’t require breaking the bank. If they constantly scratch their skin and lick the area to soothe the itch, you have to consider investing in a top-grade shampoo from Earthbath that can alleviate it. 

What we like about it is its use of oatmeal and aloe vera. Combined, these properties nourish dry skin and bring moisture back into the dermis. Based on a review, Oatmeal produces antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects.

It’s also paraben and phosphate free, making it a trustworthy formula. On another note, if your pooch is under tick and flea medication, follow the instructions carefully on the flea and tick packaging.

Pros
  • Soothes itchiness
  • Nourishes and moisturizes the skin
  • Paraben and phosphate-free
Cons
  • Requires more scent to combat the wet dog odor

7. PetHonesty Cleansing & Odor Remover Dog Shampoo – Best for Infections

Why We Like It: It’s effective and easier to apply with its pump applicator
Specs:
  • Scent: Light cucumber melon
  • Recommended for: Skin infections, rashes, itch, bacteria, and fungus

It’s certainly not a good sight if your dog’s coat is sparse or has bug bites and skin infections. Though skin issues are relatively common in dogs, they are uncomfortable and painful. To remedy that, PetHonesty’s Chlorhexidine shampoo will eliminate all the persistent rashes, hotspots, and more. 

Once the skin starts healing, the coat will start growing back. Eventually, your dog is, again, a whole bunch of fluff. 

For this product’s easy application, a cap can be replaced with a pump. Furthermore, the brand is a US veteran and family-owned small business. They take care of dogs that aid adults who suffer from PTSD and learning disabilities. 

A portion of their profits also goes directly to several no-kill animal shelters.

Pros
  • Easy pump application
  • Promotes skin and coat healing
  • Treats bug bites and skin infections
Cons
  • Pricier than most dog shampoos

8. Veterinary Formula Solutions Whitening Dog Shampoo – Best for White Coats

Why We Like It: Brightens, cleanses, and purifies any white coat
Specs:
  • Scent: Fresh citrus
  • Recommended for: Hydration and removal of stains

If you own a dog with a white coat, maintaining its vibrance in color is no easy task. They’re prone to a yellowish or discolored coat. Whether you own a Samoyed, Bichon Frise, Maltese, or a Westie, the Veterinary Formula Solutions whitening dog shampoo is your buddy’s best choice. 

There’s no bleach or peroxide in this formula. It only contains patented optical brighteners, vitamin E, and green tea extract. Your white cat can even use this.

No matter the intensity of the stains on your dog’s coat, they will fade after several uses. Of course, it’s still advised to wash your dog only when needed or every 6-8 weeks. 

Flea and tick medications won’t be washed off using this shampoo, making it an exceptional complimentary product. It doesn’t mess up with the pH levels, either. Above all, your dog will be fragrant with blue coral and citrus, and it’s long-lasting.

Pros
  • Maintains the skin’s pH levels
  • Ideal for dogs with white coats
  • Contains no bleach or peroxide
  • Effectively removes stains and discoloration
Cons
  • Not suitable for dogs with skin allergies

9. WAHL Dry Skin & Itch Relief Pet Shampoo – Best for Severe Allergies

Why We Like It: Grants dogs a normal life without constantly itching
Specs:
  • Scent: Oatmeal
  • Recommended for: Irritated skin

You’re set for a more economical bath time with your dog if you use WAHL oatmeal shampoo concentrate. This dog shampoo contains a high concentration of the coconut-derived sodding agent. That means you don’t have to use as much of the product as other brands.

Lathering it all over your Fido’s coat is easy and rinsing won’t require a lot of time. Its coconut lime verbena scent keeps them refreshing with a moisturized and clean feeling. 

Since it’s alcohol-free, the skin pH levels won’t be disrupted. The bottle also works well for dogs that are prone to allergies. Other than that, it doesn’t also contain parabens and PEG-80. 

Pros
  • Rinses easily
  • Best used for dogs with allergies
  • Requires little amount for application
Cons
  • The scent doesn’t last long

10. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Shampoo – Best Hypoallergenic

Why We Like It: Trusted by veterinarians when it comes to dealing with hypersensitive dogs
Specs:
  • Scent: Fragrance-free
  • Recommended for: Allergies

Another medication shampoo variant produced by the Veterinary Formula Clinical Care targets hypersensitive dogs. Vets approve this if your dog needs relief from dry, sensitive skin. 

Its soap-free feature means granting your dog a wonderful bath time experience. Since soaps often contain harsher chemicals, this one doesn’t. Instead, it carries emulsifying agents that help thoroughly remove the dirt from the skin, purifying it evenly. 

As it’s a hypoallergenic dog shampoo, no dyes and fragrances are added to the formula since they can irritate.

Pros
  • Ideal for hypersensitive dogs
  • Contains no dyes or fragrances
  • Thoroughly removes dirt and debris
Cons
  • Contains no scent

11. Paws & Pals 6-in-1 Dog Shampoo and Conditioner – Best for Deshedding

Why We Like It: Provides a 6-in-1 result after just one wash
Specs:
  • Scent: Oatmeal
  • Recommended for: Itchy skin & smelly odor

Paws and Pals dog shampoo assures you that your dog will have 6 results happening at the same time after their bath time:

  • Anti-itch
  • detangles
  • Conditions
  • moisturizes
  • Reduced shedding
  • Controls smelly odor

It’s a medicated formula with oatmeal to improve the skin and coat condition and promote fast healing in inflamed areas. It’s not adulterated, guaranteeing that your dog only receives the best shampoo for their needs. 

Also, this dog shampoo is designed to be tear-free. There are lesser amounts of cleaning agents, making it gentler. Plus, there are no surfactants, so if this formula ends up around your dog’s eyes, the area won’t get irritated.

Pros
  • Gentler on the skin
  • Anti-inflammatory formula
  • A 6-in-1 shampoo and conditioner
Cons
  • Requires generous amounts for application

12. Isle of Dogs Deep Cleaning Shampoo – Best for Deep Cleaning

Why We Like It: Thoroughly cleans and gets rid of the most stubborn dirt
Specs:
  • Scent: Mild red berries & champagne scent
  • Recommended for: Deep cleaning

Owning an overly active dog can be challenging, especially if they love being outdoors. A wash is a must if your Fido loves rolling in the mud. To get them perfectly dirt-free, use only Isle of Dogs deep-cleansing shampoo.

It removes odor, dirt, and grime in one wash without harshly acting on the coat and skin. Expect an abundance of natural odor neutralizers that keep your pup smelling fresh. 

Moreover, this shampoo lack of sulfate and paraben makes it ideal for any coat type. You can also use their conditioner and brush sprays for a 100% neat and clean appearance for better results. 

Pros
  • Ideal for deep cleaning
  • Removes odor in one wash
  • Contains no sulfate and paraben
Cons
  • The scent may come too strong

13. WashBar Natural Dog Shampoo Bar – Best Practical Use

Why We Like It: Grants a better grip for your dog’s lathery bath time
Specs:
  • Scent: Lemon
  • Recommended for: Dry skin and itchiness

It’s not common to find dog shampoo as a soap. But if ever you do, which happens to be from WashBar, you’ll be in for many surprises. The form allows you a better grip as you lather it all over your four-legged companion’s body. 

It suggests an excellent value wash as a 3.05 oz bar shampoo is equivalent to a 20.2 oz liquid shampoo. Aside from that, it’s mild and non-drying. This climate-friendly product can soothe and cure dry skin and allergies and be used for puppies. 

Many dog owners have witnessed how it has transformed their dogs, who once suffered from itchiness. Try their product today, and if you’re not satisfied, you’ll get your money back within the first 30-days after your purchase, which is risk-free.

Pros
  • Easy grip
  • Soothes itchiness
  • Practical, economical, and climate-friendly
Cons
  • Requires the use of a conditioner to avoid a dry coat

14. Arm & Hammer Super Deodorizing Shampoo – Best for Odor

Why We Like It: Neutralizes, deodorizes, and keeps your dog smelling fresh
Specs:
  • Scent: Kiwi
  • Recommended for: Intense odor

Have you ever cuddled your dog and suddenly broke the session after smelling them? If your old shampoo can’t work well in eliminating dog odor, consider switching it with Arm & Hammer deodorizing formula.

It automatically leaves your dog fresh and clean after bath time. The kiwi scent and the natural ingredients are safe for all dogs and even puppies unless scented shampoos irritate your pooch. 

The key ingredient here is baking soda, a tough agent that combats any mild to strong odors. 

Pros
  • Combats strong dog odor
  • Contains safe, natural ingredients
  • Freshens your dog with a kiwi scent
Cons
  • Requires generous amounts for application

15. JP Oatmeal Waterless Foam – Best Waterless Formula

Why We Like It: Perfect for instant washes without using water
Specs:
  • Scent: Almond
  • Recommended for: Itchiness

If filling your tub isn’t possible today, a dependable waterless shampoo comes in handy. JP oatmeal waterless foam will lower your water bill without risking your dog’s skin and coat health. 

This absorbs all the excess oil from your dog’s skin and coat, which gets removed through brushing. Therefore, not a lot of dirt can easily stick to their body. By using this formula, you’re saving a lot of time compared to bathing them the traditional way. 

Though it offers convenience, this shouldn’t be your lifetime solution in keeping your Fido clean and smelling fresh. It’s recommended only occasionally, and when it’s impossible to turn on the faucet, it’s always great to have this ready on the cupboard. 

While some find it concerning to use waterless dog shampoos, that’s only so if the product isn’t made from natural ingredients. In this particular formula, all-natural botanical extracts are used.

Pros
  • Absorbs oil and dirt
  • Convenient and requires no water
  • Uses all-natural botanical extracts
Cons
  • The scent doesn’t last long

16. Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor – Best for Fleas and Ticks

Why We Like It: Grants a great cuddling session without the annoying fleas and ticks that itch
Specs:
  • Scent: Coconut
  • Recommended for: Treating ticks and fleas

Fleas in dogs can be dangerous to your dog’s health. According to Dr. Michael Dryden, these can transmit diseases and cause allergies or anemia. Once you notice your dog has itchy, bumpy red pimples in their groin, tail base, belly, or legs, an effective dog shampoo that can get rid of ticks and fleas is needed. 

What we recommend is Adams Plus flea and tick shampoo with Precor. Precor keeps the fleas from maturing and becoming reproductive adults, keeping the condition from worsening. 

It can be a little pricey, but it’s worth it if you want immediate results. 

Pros
  • Effective and fragrant
  • Prevents flea and tick infestation
  • Targets the onset of allergies and anemia
Cons
  • Contains a chemically strong scent

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