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Giving a dog a bath is something every dog and their owner has to deal with. There are SO many dog shampoo options on the market, it’s hard to know which one is the best shampoo for dogs.
Read on for our recommendations for all your dog’s needs. They’re tailored for dog’s skin needs and will keep them smelling fresh and clean!
Top 5 Dog Shampoos
How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?
Every dog is different, and some may need bathing more frequently than others. We bathe Roxy & Rico around once a month on average during the summer. Sometimes Roxy gets them a little more frequently since she loves to roll around in mud!
During the winter they don’t get too dirty or stinky. They can go 2-3 months without one, which is helpful when it’s below zero degrees outside!
It helps that neither pup has oily skin, and Roxy barely sheds at all. Rico gets brushed pretty often in the winter when his coat thickens up, so that helps keep him fresh longer.
Pro tip: If you’ve got a dog that HATES baths, spread some peanut butter on the inside of the tub to distract them while you bathe them! A lick mat sticks to the tub and provides a clean surface free of soap scum. It can be easily cleaned after their bath.
Can I Use Human Shampoo On My Dog?
Human shampoo is formulated for our scalps and skin types. Dogs have vastly different needs, so while you can use a gentle human shampoo or baby shampoo in a pinch, it’s best to use dog shampoo specifically for them.
Human skin has higher pH levels, so using our shampoo on our dogs can cause dryness and irritation. It’s definitely best to stick with pet shampoo and conditioner!
Can I Use Dawn Dish Soap on My Dog?
Dawn dish soap works amazingly if your dog has rolled around in something greasy or oily. However, it’s not really recommended for regular use on your dog.
The same chemicals and properties that cut grease on your dishes and on wildlife after oil spills can be overly harsh and drying.
There are plenty of recommendations online that recommend using Dawn dish soap for fleas. If your dog is dealing with a flea infestation, it may be a good option for you in a pinch.
I do recommend sticking with a flea shampoo for dogs to be most effective while keeping their skin from getting too dry, though.
Boost Shampoo Power With a Dog Bath Brush
Using a dog bath brush works wonders for getting the shampoo to penetrate down to your dog’s undercoat. Give them a gentle scrub with this bath brush to help loosen even more hair and dirt.
When the brush is dry, you can use it to brush them regularly or to collect hair from carpets and couches!
We started using Earthbath dog shampoo when we rescued Rico. He had demodectic mange, so we were looking for a good quality soothing shampoo while he was undergoing treatment.
Earthbath helped soothe his sensitive, itchy skin.
For the best dog shampoo for dry skin, you can’t go wrong with the Oatmeal & Aloe blend. Plus, the vanilla and almond combo smells amazing, yet isn’t an overpowering scent.
It’s the best smelling dog shampoo we’ve used. I also love that it’s an all natural dog shampoo, so I feel good about what I’m bathing my babies in.
FURminator deShedding Ultra Premium Dog Shampoo
If you’ve got a crazy shedder, this shampoo may be perfect for you! It’s often rated as the best dog shedding shampoo. The omega 3 and 6 enrichments help reduce your dog’s shedding. Plus, the fruity smell is super yummy!
Mal-a-Ket is among the best medicated shampoos for dogs with allergies. It has antifungal, antibacterial, deodorizing, and degreasing properties. Our vet recommended it when Roxy broke out in hives a couple years ago.
We weren’t sure exactly what triggered it (didn’t she look absolutely pathetic?!) but this medicated dog shampoo helped so much!
It smelled terrific, too, so now we keep it on hand in our house for any skin issues arising that may need an antibacterial dog shampoo.
Top Performance Fresh Pet Shampoo
Bodhi Dog New Waterless Dog Shampoo
Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo
Fleas suck. Literally! Dealing with fleas is quite annoying.
Adams Plus Flea & Tick shampoo kills fleas and prevents flea growth for up to 28 days to break the flea life cycle.
When applying it, work it into a lather then let it sit for 5 minutes to be effective.
Do I Need To Use Conditioner On My Dog?
Some pups can benefit from using a conditioner formulated for dogs. If they have long, silky hair, dog conditioner will help minimize tangles, and if they have coarse hair, it will make them much softer!
Using conditioner for dogs can help reduce shedding, too. If you have a heavy shedding dog, it can loosen the hairs that fall out throughout the day so they come out when you’re bathing them.
Towel them dry or use a blow dryer on the cool setting, then follow up with a good brushing!
If you want perfectly matched dog shampoo and conditioner, Earthbath makes a great Oatmeal & Aloe conditioner to go with the shampoo mentioned above.
Like their shampoo, it’s filled with all-natural ingredients. They work to detangle hair, as well as soothing dry skin.
FURminator deShedding Ultra Premium Conditioner
Another fantastic dog conditioner option is FURminator deShedding conditioner. It works to release their undercoat while bathing, allowing loose hair to be washed away.
Enriched with Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, it conditions dry skin as well as minimizing shedding.