Best Shampoo for Dogs in 2021

November 15, 2021

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.

Sure, it keeps them looking and smelling good, but coat care is actually an essential part of maintaining your pup’s health and wellness. It’s their first line of defense against parasites and main way of regulating body temperature, in addition to a host of other benefits. To learn more about the best ways to care for your dog, read our post on coat types and their specific maintenance routines.

Bathing and brushing your four-legged friend consistently between grooming appointments will do wonders for their coat. It removes the dirt and dead hair, cleans and soothes their skin, and more evenly distributes natural oils across their coat. With targeted shampoo formulas, you can address your pup’s specific needs, from relieving sensitive and itchy skin or eradicating fleas and ticks. Last, but definitely not least, regular coat care will substantially reduce pet odors!

drying dog with towel

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. Once you have a pulse on the right bathing, cadence for your pup, check out these suggestions on the best dog shampoos below!

With no shortage of shampoo for dogs on the market — from organic and all-natural to medical strength and everything in between — it can be confusing and difficult to know which option to choose. At Barkbus, we strive to provide top-of-the-line service and use the most high quality products — including dog shampoo! For the full scoop on the best shampoo for puppies and dogs, keep reading for a round-up of our favorites that you can use at home.

What is the Best Over the Counter Dog Shampoo?

Perhaps you’re considering using your human shampoo on your pup’s coat 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.

  •  Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Natural Pet Shampoo. Made with organic ingredients, all Earthbath products are safe and effective, and this formula can be used on puppies six weeks or older. The combination of oatmeal and aloe is designed to moisturize your dog’s coat while reducing odors.
  •  Pride + Groom Dog Shampoo. As a self-proclaimed beauty brand for dogs, they offer a variety of pet care products, including dog shampoo and conditioner. They even offer a deshedding shampoo for dogs called “The Shedder.”
  •  Wahl Pet Shampoo. Commonly known for their quality clippers, Wahl also has some of the best shampoo for dogs with targeted formulas for odor control, shed reduction, and whitening. Be sure to check out their waterless dog shampoo and pet wipes to clean-up your pup on-the-go.
  • Buddy Wash Dog Grooming Products. These gentle and calming dog shampoos and conditioners are made with natural herbs and oils like lavender and mint. They also have a spritzer which eliminates pet odor so you can keep your furry friend smelling fresh and clean.
  •  Bodhi Dog Waterless Shampoo. It’s the perfect way to keep your pup’s coat looking, feeling, and smelling clean between bathing and grooming appointments! You’ll also be glad to know that Bodhi uses a plant-based botanical blend in their waterless dog shampoo spray.

What is the Best Dog Shampoo for Allergies?

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.

What is the Best Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs?

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 shampoo brands listed below as soon as you can. 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.

  •  Sentry Oatmeal Flea & Tick Shampoo. With a pleasant Hawaiian ginger scent, and perhaps the best smelling dog shampoo, this effective option eliminates fleas and ticks to keep your dog happy and healthy. Do keep in mind that it’s not recommended for puppies under the age of 12 weeks.
  •  Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor. Proven to kill fleas, ticks, and lice, Adams is tough enough to do the job, but still soothes sensitive skin. It even has an ingredient which prevents flea larvae from developing for almost a month.
  • Tropiclean Natural Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo. As one of the few natural flea and tick shampoos on the market, Tropiclean might not have the same strength and staying-power as our other recommendations, but its natural ingredients are still very effective against fleas, ticks, and mosquitos.
  • Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Shampoo. A tried-and-true choice to rid your four-legged friend of fleas and ticks, Advantage also provides a range of products to treat your home and yard as well as your pup.
  • Richard’s Organics Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs. This gentle flea and tick formula is made of natural ingredients, including more than five different types of essential oils, but is proven to be effective at eradicating your four-legged friend’s pesky friends.

What is the Best Dog Shampoo for Sensitive or Itchy Skin?

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 dog shampoos for sensitive and itchy skin on the market so you can have your pick of the litter. Here are some of our top choices to effectively and safely soothe your pup’s skin:

  •  Paws & Pals Natural Oatmeal Shampoo. Their tearless and soap free dog shampoo formula is made with vegan and non-toxic ingredients, yet it is incredibly effective in reducing your dog’s skin sensitivity and irritation.
  • Honeydew Lavender Oatmeal Pet Shampoo. This is one of the best dog shampoos for sensitive skin that we’ve found. Its natural ingredients provide your pup with a gentle, but thorough coat care experience.
  • Rocco & Roxie Calm Sensitive Dog Shampoo. Aloe, rosemary extract, and chamomile combine for a potent combination to moisturize, soothe, and restore your fur baby’s sensitive skin safely.
  •  Oliver’s Choice Pet Shampoo. Made with oatmeal, aloe, and shea butter, Oliver’s is one of the best dog shampoos for itchy skin. It’s designed to deodorize your pup’s coat as it cleans and it leaves an enjoyable and fresh smell as it’s only lightly scented.
  • Wahl Four in One Shampoo and Conditioner. This calming formula is equipped with lavender, chamomile, and oatmeal to moisturize and soothe your fur baby’s irritated and itchy skin. We recommend this dog shampoo and conditioner if you’re looking for the perfect all-in-one coat care solution.

Best Shampoo for Puppies

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!

  • Burt’s Bees All Natural Tearless Puppy Shampoo. Specifically designed for puppies, this is our top recommendation to keep your fur baby happy and healthy! Made with natural ingredients like buttermilk, it soothes and softens canine coats so your pup is left looking and feeling good.
  • Earthbath Ultra-Mild Wild Cherry Puppy Shampoo. Safe for puppies over six weeks of age, this extra gentle and tearless formula is perfect for your pup’s coat care routine. Your fur baby will love you as this targeted shampoo cleans and moisturizes, leaving them happy, healthy, and cherry scented!
  • Pure and Natural Pet Tearless and Calming Puppy Shampoo. Eco-friendly ingredients ensure your puppy stays safe while you keep them clean. Their tearless, gentle, and calming shampoo contains lavender and oatmeal to soothe and moisturize your fur baby’s cuddly coat.

Best Overall Shampoo

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 sensitive skin shampoo and a blueberry face wash that are included in each 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! 


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