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The best dog conditioner can help your pup look and feel great. And while there is some debate over whether dogs need conditioner, there is little doubt that it can help with sensitive and itchy skin as well ease away matted fur and hot spots. Conditioners can also replace essential oils which can be stripped during the washing process but it's important to get the right one.
Conditioner is applied after a good quality dog shampoo but the approach between these two liquids is different. With shampoos, you're looking for a formula that can best clean your pooch's fur. But with conditioner, you are seeking to remedy problems and moisturize your dog's skin. It's able to penetrate the coat to provide softness and, when use frequently, it will ensure moisture is retained.
As you may have guessed, however, some conditioners are more effective than others and there are formulas created with a specific purpose in mind. A detangling dog conditioner spray is going to prove effective with long-haired dogs that are prone to matted hair, for instance. Conditioners can also wash away anything that may cause an allergen, leaving your dog less likely to itch.
As such, the ingredients are an important consideration. A deep condition oatmeal treatment is good for treating dry, itchy skin. You can also get soap-free conditioners that gently lather and won't cause tears if they get into a dog's eyes. If your dog is averse to baths and you still want to go that extra mile, you can buy leave-in dog conditioners that cut down the bathing time because they don't need to be washed out.
Here we take a look at the best dog conditioners of 2021 – those that may contain chemicals such as parabens as well as all-natural formulas. You could also combine them with one of the best dog brushes, for even less stressful grooming.
PetsRadar's pick of the best dog conditioners
- Best overall dog conditioner: Everyday Isle of Dogs Silky Coating Dog Conditioner
- Best dog conditioner for matted hair: Bobbi Panter Nourishing Dog Conditioner
- Best dog conditioner for itchy skin: Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Conditioner
- Best leave-in dog conditioner: Warren London Hydrating Butter- Leave in Dog Conditioner for Dry Skin & Coat
- Best dog conditioner spray: Pro Pooch Dog Detangler Spray
- Best dog conditioner for long hair: TropiClean PerfectFur Long Haired Coat Shampoo
- Best smelling dog conditioner: Furtastic Crème Rinse, 16.1oz Blueberry Muffin
Everyday Isle of Dogs Silky Coating Dog Conditioner
Best overall dog conditioner
Ingredients: Moisturizing | Scent: Jasmine & Vanilla | Lather: Excellent
If you want to feel like you're giving your pup a bath in a fancy dog spa, look no further than the Everyday Isle of Dogs Silky Coating Dog Conditioner.
It's less expensive than some of the brand's other leading dog conditioners, but its seductive jasmine and vanilla scent may make you think it comes with a much higher price tag.
It may smell a little on the strong side in the bottle, but once applied to your dog's fur you might be surprised by how subtle the vanilla scent is, while the rich formula will leave your dog's coat feeling soft and shiny. Pet owners will also be pleasantly surprised by how long the scent lasts long after application.
However, when it comes to applying the conditioner, keep in mind the product isn't specifically tear-free so if you want to use it on your dog's face, be sure to apply with care, avoiding the eyes.
Bobbi Panter Nourishing Dog Conditioner
Best dog conditioner for matted hair
Ingredients: Salt free, concentrated | Scent: Soft sea air | Lather: Excellent
For pooches with particularly long manes prone to tangling, Bobbi Panter Nourishing Dog Conditioner is a must-have essential.
The fragrant conditioner features a nourishing formula made with safflower oil, keratin shea butter, and aloe vera oil that's ideal for tackling even the hardiest of matted hair.
You don't need to use a lot here, simply put a dollop on your hand and run it through your pup's hair or mix with water to make your dog's hair feel soft and silky.
If your pup has particularly sensitive or dry skin, Bobbi Panter Nourishing Dog Conditioner is also ideal for short-haired canines whose coats require plenty of moisture.
The long-lasting scent is likely to hang around for days; great news if you love the soft sea fragrance, however some pet owners have reported that it can come off synthetic.
Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Conditioner
Best dog conditioner for itchy skin
Ingredients: Clean, no soap, parabens and cruelty-free | Scent: Oatmeal and Aloe | Lather: Rich lather
Often used in partnership with its dog shampoo counterpart, but can be used in isolation, Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Conditioner excels at treating itchy skin in pups.
Oatmeal is ideal for both soothing and moisturizing dry, itchy skin, helping to relieve the symptoms of conditions such as hot spots and flaky skin.
Earthbath's soap-free formula is ideal for both pups with itchy skin and owners who are concerned about harsh chemicals and soaps in their conditioner.
Its natural formula not only works a treat on creating a soft and shiny coat on even the most sensitive of pups, but smells so heavenly you won't believe you're using a medicated conditioner.
Some pet owners may find the conditioner a little on the thick side, however, so if you're looking to make rinsing your dog a breeze, consider watering it down in a bottle first.
Warren London Hydrating Butter Leave in Dog Conditioner
Best leave-in dog conditioner
Ingredients: Non-oily hydrated treatment | Scent: Fruity or unscented | Lather: Leave-in formula
So stylish and luxe that you might mistake it for a human product from a cosmetics company, Warren London Hydrating Butter Leave-in Dog Conditioner offers a heavenly treatment for pups looking to be spoiled.
The product is available in two scents, including Pomegranate and Acai or Guava and Mangosteen, offering a tantalizingly tropical fragrance on the nose.
Whether your dog suffers from allergies or dry, dull skin, the formula will work a treat on their skin, helping to restore moisture and keep their coat feeling super soft.
It's best used for routine maintenance and can used alongside other dog shampoo and conditioners, providing a deodorizing refresher between washes.
You can also pick up an unscented balm too, which is a richer version of the hydrating skin & coat butter, if your pup experiences a dry nose or paws, perfect for giving them the full spa day treatment.
If your dog has particularly sensitive skin or is prone to hot spots, however, you might be better off considering a medicated option.
Pro Pooch Dog Detangler Spray
Best dog conditioner spray
Ingredients: Paraben, sulfate and alcohol free | Scent: Fresh | Lather: No rinse, leave-in formula
Sleek, stylish, and easy to use, the Pooch Dog Detangler Spray makes it a bit of a breeze to detangle your dog's locks.
You'll likely feel like a professional dog groomer with this in hand; simply give your dog a spritz and leave the spray in.
It's best paired with a quality dog brush as one of the product's key selling points is that it makes it much easier to groom your dog afterwards.
You don't need a lot as an added bonus, there's no need to rinse and it leaves behind a fresh fragrance.
Some pet owners looking for a more sensual experience, however, may be disappointed with the basic scent and lack of wow factor but if you're looking to get the job done, you just can't go wrong with this established and trusted brand.
TropiClean PerfectFur Long Haired Coat Shampoo
Best dog conditioner for long hair
Ingredients: Soap and paraben free | Scent: Sweet citrus | Lather : Good lather
If your dog's hair is particularly long and bothersome, then TropiClean PerfectFur Long Haired Coat Shampoo offers a specialist option. The product is great for tackling unruly manes, leaving them soft, shiny, and without any greasy feel.
In some cases, it may even help your canine's hair feel smoother and thicker as if they've just stepped out of a doggie salon.
For pet owners who love a strong fragrance while conditioning, however, you may be disappointed with the simple clean fresh smell on your dog.
The sweet citrus fragrance could be stronger, but if you're willing to forfeit scent for great usability, you'll find the TropiClean PerfectFur Long Haired Coat Shampoo lathers well and performs well on long, matted hair.
Furtastic Crème Rinse, 16.1oz Blueberry Muffin
Best smelling dog conditioner
Ingredients:: Moisturizing | Scent:: Blueberry Muffin | Lather: : Excellent
Aimed at dogs with long and curly coats, this conditioning crème rinse by Pet Head contains oat proteins which strengthens the hair and leaves it tangle-free. It comes in a wonderful-looking bottle with a bone-headed easy-grip top (handy when your hands are wet) and it's pH balanced eco-friendly formula aims to smooth and moisturize leaving both the fur and skin looking and feeling great.
Perhaps more intriguing is the smell, however: a fun, quirky scent of blueberry muffin. Some users say it's perhaps a little too strong but others say it doesn't overwhelm, wears off after a couple of days and even fills their bathroom with sweetness.
That aspect of the product is ultimately going to come down to sensitivity and preference but it's certainly good to know that there are no harmful chemicals involved here: it's free of DEA which can strip away natural oils as well as petroleum derivatives. What's more, the maker say it hasn't been tested on animals. Even the bottle is 100 percent recyclable.
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