If you’ve ever smelled your dog after a few weeks without a bath, then you already know why it's important that you wash your pup on a regular basis! Routine baths not only clean away dirt, hair, allergens, and dead skin, but also make your furry friend smell a whole lot more appealing.
A big part of that clean-dog smell comes from the dog shampoo you choose. You should pick something that is mild, refreshing, and easy on your pet's coat. It’s important to remember that not all shampoos are ideal for every dog – some pups have smoother coats, others have coarse, thicker coats. These factors play a role in deciding which shampoo is best suited to your pup's needs. And if your dog is suffering from dry and itchy skin, parasites, or chronic bad odors, they may require a special shampoo to address these issues.
We’ve rounded up our picks for the five best dog shampoos for 2023 to help simplify your decision-making process. Each one is specially formulated to effectively clean and deodorize even the toughest and most stubborn coats.
Dogs love getting dirty, but they don't all love the idea of taking a bath. With the right shampoo, you can make bath-time less stressful and help to promote healthy skin and a shiny coat in your dog.
Recommended: How Often Should You Wash Your Dog?
Best Overall Dog Shampoo
Best Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo
Best Waterless Dog Shampoo
Best Dog Shampoo For Puppies
Best Dog Shampoo for Dry & Sensitive Skin
Best Overall Dog Shampoo: Arm & Hammer Super Deodorizing Shampoo
It's the addition of baking soda to the mix that makes this our favorite dog shampoo. Combined with natural ingredients such as kiwi fruit extract and white tea, this deodorizing shampoo is ideal for pups who aren’t great at naturally smelling fresh (read: all dogs).
Baking soda is known to be a powerful odor eliminator as its particles dissolve odor at the source, so you know your pet is getting as clean as be! Not only does Arm & Hammer's product neutralize smells, but it also works to reduce shedding, leaving your home cleaner in the bargain. For anyone who doesn’t have a dog that doesn’t shed, this can be a major plus!
Best Flea and Tick Dog Shampoo: Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor
Specially formulated to kill all of the most common parasites that live off of your pets, Adams Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo can handle fleas, ticks, lice, and their eggs and larvae and keep them off your pet for up to a month.
This shampoo is also ideal for pets with sensitive, itchy skin as it contains oatmeal, aloe, and lanolin so your pet will look, feel, and smell terrific. For anyone with more than one fur-baby, this shampoo can be used on cats as well as dogs starting at 12 weeks of age.
Best Waterless Dog Shampoo: TropiClean Waterless Shampoos for Pets
There’s no true substitute for a good, deep-cleaning bath. But if your pup tends to get dirty in-between baths a waterless shampoo is an excellent solution, and the best of the bunch as far as we're concerned is the TropiClean. This is a soap-free alternative that does the trick after a messy day at the dog park or a long sandy romp at the beach.
Made from a gentle coconut extract with other mild ingredients, simply massage this shampoo into your dog's coat and brush thoroughly. TropiClean's unique formula works to nourish dry skin and keep long coats from getting tangled. The product is also good for routine baths, creating a soft lather when applied as directed on the label.
Best Dog Shampoo for Puppies: Burt's Bees for Puppies 2 in 1 Dog Shampoo & Conditioner
Burt's Bees is one of the most trusted natural brands out there and so it comes as no surprise that their puppy shampoo makes our list. This formula is completely free of chemicals, dyes, fragrances, and sulfates. Instead, it combines natural ingredients such as honey, buttermilk, oatmeal, avocado, and lavender to promote smooth skin and a soft coat. This combination provides a healthier clean to keep your puppy feeling and smelling his or her best.
While the label says it's for puppies, this shampoo is pH balanced for use on dogs both young and old. Each use cleans and conditions the skin and coat at the same time, so no need for a second product to maintain a healthy sheen.
Best Dog Shampoo for Dry and Sensitive Skin: Wahl Dry Skin & Itch Relief Pet Shampoo for Dogs
While many of the shampoos on our list are formulated for dogs with dry or sensitive skin, we like Wahl's Dry Skin and Itch Relief as the best solution for pets with easily irritated skin. This shampoo is free of alcohol, parabens, and other additives, relying instead on oatmeal as the primary ingredient to moisturize your dog's skin. This makes it especially well formulated for dogs who have bad reactions to other shampoos.
Made with a coconut line verbena scent, this shampoo is designed to relieve itching while cleaning away dirt, grime, and other allergens for a cleaner clean. You probably recognize Wahl as a leading brand in professional grooming and skincare for men and women. They’ve now earned that same level of trust and recognition among veterinarians and pet groomers.
Looking for tips on taking care of your pup? Check out the Two Tails Blog for more!