Best dog conditioner: 7 skin conditioners that restore shine and target problem areas

best dog conditioner
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The best dog conditioner is a must-have item in your bathroom cabinet if you're looking for a way to restore shine to your dog's coat, detangle matted fur or soothe dry and itchy skin. Alongside the best dog shampoo (opens in new tab), a good conditioner will ensure your dog stays looking and feeling their best. 

While using a conditioner on your canine companion may seem like an unnecessary expense, there are definitely benefits to using one. For dogs that have lacklustre coats or irritated skin, a conditioner can work wonders when it comes to adding shine and soothing inflammation. It's also a real lifesaver for longer-haired breeds whose fur is often prone to matting and tangling. 

But, with so many conditioners to choose from, how do you know which one is right for your canine companion? Well, that's largely going to depend on their coat and skin type. For pups whose fur tends to get quite knotted, a good detangling conditioner will help separate the strands out and get their coat back in tip-top condition. 

If your dog's fur is fine but their skin tends to be on the drier side, then a good moisturising formula containing nourishing ingredients like Manuka honey, shea butter or aloe vera is well worth considering as these can help to reduce inflammation and stop your dog from itching and scratching.

To help you find the right dog conditioner for your beloved bundle of fur, we've rounded up our favorite formulas lining the shelves in 2022, including options for longer hair, dry skin and a great leave-in conditioner that does a wonderful job of providing a deodorizing refresher between washes.

Expert opinion in this guide is provided by:
Dr Diana Hasler
Expert opinion in this guide is provided by:
Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

Dr. Diana Hasler graduated with distinction from the University of Edinburgh Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in 2018. She has experience working as a small animal veterinarian in general practice, where she has treated many dogs, cats, rabbits, and rodents.

PetsRadar's pick of the best dog conditioners

Why you can trust PetsRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

best dog conditioner isle of dogs everydayBest buy award

(Image credit: Isle of Dogs Everyday)

Everyday Isle of Dogs Silky Coating Dog Conditioner

Best overall dog conditioner

Specifications

Ingredients: Moisturizing
Scent: Jasmine & Vanilla
Lather: Excellent

Reasons to buy

+
Great price
+
Long-lasting scent
+
Leaves coat soft and shiny

Reasons to avoid

-
Not specifically tear-free

This conditioner contains castor oil, which provides and retains moisture in the coat and skin. It also includes soothing aloe vera juice. It contains fragrances and DMDM hydantoin (a preservative), both of which have the potential to cause skin irritation, so this product may not be suitable for dogs with sensitive skin.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

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. 

Veterinary Formula Solutions Ultra Oatmeal Moisturizing Conditioner for Dogs

(Image credit: Amazon)

Veterinary Formula Solutions Ultra Oatmeal Moisturizing Conditioner for Dogs

Best budget dog conditioner

Specifications

Ingredients: Oatmeal, jojoba oil, shea butter
Scent: Raspberry tea and pomegranate
Lather: Good

Reasons to buy

+
Hydrates and moisturizes
+
Adds strength and shine
+
Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite thin consistency

If your dog suffers from dry, scaly or itchy skin, this gentle and nourishing conditioner is well worth considering. Enriched with soothing colloidal oatmeal, super moisturising jojoba oil, and silk proteins and shea butter to hydrate your dog's skin and coat, this is a lovely conditioner that will leave your pup feeling like they've just stepped out of the salon!

The ingredients in this conditioner don't just soothe the skin, they also penetrate deep into the hair fibers to add strength and shine, and the potent moisturizers leave the coat itself looking and feeling silky soft. The long-lasting raspberry tea and pomegranate fragrance last for days and will have your canine companion smelling their best.

Sulfate-free, paraben-free and pH balanced, this formula is ideal for sensitive skin and is safe to use in conjunction with topical flea treatments. While it is a little thinner in consistency than some other brands, it's effective, affordable and great for pups with skin conditions. 

Resq Organics Dog Conditioner

(Image credit: Amazon)

ResQ Organics Dog Conditioner

Best premium dog conditioner

Specifications

Ingredients: Aloe vera and Manuka honey
Scent: Fresh
Lather: Excellent

Reasons to buy

+
Nourishing ingredients
+
Paraben free
+
Gentle tear-free formula

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

If you're looking for a nourishing and natural formula that's kind to your dog and the environment, then this premium product from ResQ Organics is hard to go past. Yes, it's undoubtedly more expensive than many other conditioners on the market, but the formula is impressive which makes it well worth considering.

Ideal for pups that suffer form hot spots, itchy skin and dermatitis, this soothing conditioner features New Zealand Manuka honey to draw impurities and toxins from the skin and promote new skin growth and healing, plus chamomile, a beneficial herb that contains powerful antioxidants known to accelerate cell and tissue renewal and calm irritation.

The formula also contains aloe vera, which has over 20 vitamins and minerals that help to soothe inflamed skin and is free from parabens, and artificial colors and fragrances. It's a wonderful detangled and does a great job of restoring shine, leaving the coat soft and silky. 

bobbi dog conditionerPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Bobbi Panter)

Bobbi Panter Nourishing Dog Conditioner

Best dog conditioner for matted hair

Specifications

Ingredients: Salt free, concentrated
Scent: Soft sea air
Lather: Excellent

Reasons to buy

+
Effective at detangling matted hair
+
Fast-drying
+
Leaves coat soft and shiny
+
Ideal for short and long coats

Reasons to avoid

-
Synthetic fragrance

This product contains beneficial ingredients such as shea butter, safflower oil (a source of omega-6 fatty acids), vitamin B5, aloe vera extract, and hydrolyzed keratin to moisturize your dog’s skin and coat. Although the brand labels this conditioner as “tear-free,” most substances can cause eye irritation, so it is important to avoid getting anything in your dog’s eyes unless prescribed by your veterinarian.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

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. 

best dog conditioner earthbathPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Earthbath)

Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Conditioner

Best dog conditioner for itchy skin

Specifications

Ingredients: Clean, no soap, parabens and cruelty-free
Scent: Oatmeal and Aloe
Lather: Rich lather

Reasons to buy

+
Gentle fragrance
+
Soap-free
+
Leaves coat soft and shiny
+
Natural ingredients

Reasons to avoid

-
Thick formula

This conditioner contains a vegetable-derived conditioner to moisturize and detangle your dog’s fur. It also includes moisturizing and soothing ingredients for the skin, including oatmeal, aloe vera, and shea butter. As with all shampoos and conditioners, contact should be avoided with your pup’s eyes, nose, and mouth and the inside of their ears.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

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. 

best leave-in dog conditioner warren londonPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Warren London Hydrating Butter Leave in Dog Conditioner

Best leave-in dog conditioner

Specifications

Ingredients: Non-oily hydrated treatment
Scent: Fruity or unscented
Lather: Leave-in formula

Reasons to buy

+
Luxurious
+
Multiple tropical scents
+
Great selection of matching products

Reasons to avoid

-
Small size
-
May not be suitable for dogs with sensitive skin

This conditioner comes in two scents, and the leave-in formulation is helpful for dogs who become afraid or aggressive when rinsed with water. In addition to moisturizing ingredients such as glycerin and aloe vera juice, the ingredients list contains synthetic fragrances and coloring, both of which may cause skin irritation in dogs with sensitive skin.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

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.

best dog conditioner for long hair tropicleanPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Tropiclean)

TropiClean PerfectFur Long Haired Coat Shampoo

Best dog conditioner for long hair

Specifications

Ingredients: Soap and paraben free
Scent: Sweet citrus
Lather : Good lather

Reasons to buy

+
Specialist product
+
Lathers well
+
Can improve overall quality of coat

Reasons to avoid

-
Scent could be stronger

Although this product is labeled as a shampoo, it contains ingredients that moisturize and detangle the coat in dogs with long hair. It also contains pH adjusters to prevent skin irritation and dry skin. It does include synthetic fragrances, which can cause irritation in some dogs with sensitive skin.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

If your dog suffers from dry, scaly or itchy skin, this gentle and nourishing conditioner is well worth considering. Enriched with soothing colloidal oatmeal, super moisturising jojoba oil, and silk proteins and shea butter to hydrate your dog's skin and coat, this is a lovely conditioner that will leave your pup feeling like they've just stepped out of the salon!

The ingredients in this conditioner don't just soothe the skin, they also penetrate deep into the hair fibers to add strength and shine, and the potent moisturizers leave the coat itself looking and feeling silky soft. The long-lasting raspberry tea and pomegranate fragrance last for days and will have your canine companion smelling their best.

Sulfate-free, paraben-free and pH balanced, this formula is ideal for sensitive skin and is safe to use in conjunction with topical flea treatments. While it is a little thinner in consistency than some other brands, it's effective, affordable and great for pups with skin conditions. 

How to choose the best dog conditioner

When it comes to selecting a conditioner for your canine companion, there are several things you'll want to consider including your dog's coat and skin type. Choosing a conditioner that's been tailored to meet their specific needs will ensure their coat stays soft, shiny and in perfect health.

We recommend you look for a formula that uses naturally derived ingredients and are free from parabens, artificial colors and fragrances. If your dog has dry, itchy or flakey skin, look for a nourishing conditioner that contains soothing ingredients such as aloe vera, chamomile, Manuka honey or oatmeal. 

For short-haired breeds, steer clear of really rich formulas and instead opt and instead opt for something light. Short hair requires less moisture due to its length and structure, but it still requires moisturising and a lighter conditioner will tend to contain silk proteins rather than heavy oils which will keep the coat looking its best without becoming greasy.

Longer-haired breeds will need a more nourishing conditioner as the hair strands are older because they've been growing for a greater length of time. This means it's easier for the hair to become porous and dry, which a conditioner containing rich oils will do a great job of tending to.