Updated: October 27, 2023
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As a responsible and loving pet parent, you’ll do everything in your power to keep your fur baby strong and healthy. You feed them the best food, get them groomed by top professionals, and take them to the most qualified veterinarians. But you could be overlooking an important step in your dog’s care regimen: bathing them regularly.
Coat care is an essential part of maintaining your pup’s health and wellness. Regular bathing and brushing has a host of benefits such as:
Every pup has his or her own requirements, so we suggest confirming with your vet to find out how often you should bathe your fur baby. You may also be wondering: what is the best dog shampoo? In that case, we’ve got you covered. Check out these suggestions on the best shampoo for dogs below!
First things first — here are some important things to consider when purchasing shampoo for your pup:
A good dog shampoo will also have a neutral pH balance, since a dog's skin is very close to neutral pH, or more alkaline than human skin. We also highly encourage you to ask your pup’s veterinarian for their most recommended dog shampoo. After all, your vet knows best.
Perhaps you’re considering using your human shampoo on your pup’s coat? If so, we’ll tell you right now that you’re barking up the wrong tree — human shampoo is too acidic for their hair and skin. So whether you’re looking for the top all-around solution, or you’re simply not sure where to start, we recommend looking into a few of the brands below. Each offers a wide range of options for some of the best dog conditioners and shampoos on the market, so odds are good that you’ll find the perfect product for your pup.
You might be surprised to find out that dogs do have allergies, and in fact, it could be the root cause of other issues like itchy skin. While food allergies are rare, many of our furry friends have sensitivities to pollen and fleas which cause an allergic reaction and irritate their skin. Consider looking into the following shampoo choices to keep your pup allergy-free and happy.
Perhaps your pup picked up a tick or two. Not a big deal in general, but if left unaddressed, causes some real health issues. To take care of your four-legged friend, we highly recommend using one of the top dog shampoos listed below. Flea and tick treatment routines vary based on brand and the needs of your fur baby so be sure to follow the instructions for suggested use, and consult your veterinarian first.
If your dog is constantly grooming (licking) themselves, it’s a good signal their skin is irritated. While it could just be an indication that it’s bath-time, your fur baby could also have sensitive skin. Luckily, there are a lot of gentle and safe dog shampoos for sensitive and itchy skin.
Here are some of our top choices to effectively and safely soothe your pup’s skin:
As a puppy parent, it’s important to know that many products contain ingredients to avoid as they can be harmful to younger dogs. We don’t recommend bathing your puppy if they’re younger than six weeks old, as they have trouble regulating their body temperature and staying warm when wet. Then you’ll want to have a dog shampoo formula designed for fur babies with fewer than 12 weeks of age. Fortunately, there are a few options available which are safe and effective, but our top choice is almost guaranteed to keep your pup happy, healthy, and growing!
While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, we look for a few key qualities in a brand, like natural ingredients that are safe and effective. But if we’re being honest, we love to spoil our fur babies, so we jump at the chance to make the grooming experience feel more like a spa day for your dog.
Nature's Specialties Shampoos and Conditioners has a variety of all-natural and high quality products made with only the best ingredients. At Barkbus, we use a number of Nature’s Specialties products such as the blueberry, oatmeal, and hypoallergenic dog shampoo and conditioners. With a wide range of offerings, you can find the perfect coat care solution for your four-legged friend.
Each Barkbus vehicle carries an array of specialty products such as a gentle oatmeal shampoo for sensitive skin and a blueberry face wash — both included in every service. Our blueberry facial brightens the coat and gets rid of tear stains, while the oatmeal shampoo soothes and moisturizes dry, itchy skin and provides odor control, making it one of the best dog shampoos for odor. Ask one of our world-class pet stylists about what’s best for your pup!
We hope this article helped you find the right shampoo for your pup, but you may still have questions on how to bathe your dog properly. Read on for insights on common dog bathing questions!
You don’t need to use shampoo on your dog every time you give them a bath. They can take occasional water baths in between grooming sessions, which is why it’s worth it to invest in a shampoo with quality ingredients, even if it’s on the pricier side. If you shampoo your dog once a month, one bottle of shampoo may even last you a year! With that being said, it’s important to read the label for specific instructions on how frequently to shampoo your pup. If the shampoo you use is specified towards your dog’s breed — even better. But if you want to be certain about shampoo frequency, it’s always best to ask your vet.
For example, a hairless breed such as a Peruvian Inca Orchid might require a weekly bath, while a breed with a thicker coat such as a Golden Retriever could space their shampoos out as far as six to eight weeks.
We do not recommend using human shampoo on dogs. The reason for this is that the pH balance of human skin compared to dog skin is not the same.
Both human and dog skin consists of a protective outer layer called the acid mantle, which regulates hydration and protects the skin from viruses or bacteria. Bathing too often can strip away the acid mantle. As a result, shampoos are typically designed to protect the skin while the acid mantle restores itself. In order for this process to occur, there must be a balance of acidity and alkalinity — known as the pH balance.
Dogs have a more neutral acidic balance of 6.2 to 7.4, while humans have a more acidic balance of 5.5 to 5.6. Human shampoo is made to accommodate a higher acidic pH balance. Therefore, if you use human shampoo on dogs, it can damage their acid mantle and make their skin irritated, flaky, and susceptible to viruses or bacteria.
Similar to using human shampoo, it is not advisable to use human soap on dogs as this can cause irritation on their skin. Instead, we highly recommend looking for the best dog wash specific to your dog’s breed, made with all natural ingredients.
Keeping a dog calm while grooming or bathing them can be tricky. Here are some helpful tips for bathing a scared or anxious dog:
If all else fails, leave it to the professionals at Barkbus to give your dog a gentle one-on-one bathing experience. If you're interested in more best dog products, check out our roundups of the best dog brushes and best dog treats!
Barkbus employs dozens of world-class dog groomers and canine experts. If you're curious and want to know what other products we love, check out some more of the best dog products below: