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Best dog shampoo: Keep your pooch smelling sweet

best dog shampoo
(Image credit: Getty Images)

To keep your pooch looking and smelling great, you need the best dog shampoo. As well as helping to rid your canine companion of mud and dirt, the best products will also tackle bacteria and yeast build up on your dog's skin which promotes a healthy coat. They will also remove dust and pollen which is useful if your pet suffers from allergies.

Which shampoo you choose, however, will depend to some degree on your dog's skin type and activity level. Pooches who spend a lot of time having outdoor adventures, for instance, are going to become dirtier than dogs who spend the majority of the day curled up on the couch. Those with dry and itchy skin are going to need a more sensitive formula too.

Once you bear those two things in mind, you can begin to sift through the large number of shampoos that are currently on the market. For dirty dogs, for example, consider shampoos with baking soda as a key ingredient. Free of harmful chemicals, baking soda can penetrate deep into a dog's coat to remove grime and it's great for banishing odors. It also decreases redness and itchiness, making it widely effective.

That said, there are shampoos which cater specifically for sensitive skin, containing ingredients such as honey, oatmeal, shea butter and coconut oil to reduce irritation and inflammation. These ingredients will also soothe and nourish the skin and, if you use them with the best dog conditioners, then your furbaby is sure to shine.

But can you use human shampoo on a dog? Sadly not. A dog's skin has a different pH level than we do so a human shampoo is going to disrupt the outer layer of skin called the acid mantle. Washing a dog with a human shampoo will simply prove too harsh, leaving your pooch open to viruses, yeasts and bacteria. 

With that in mind, check out our picks of the best dog shampoos for 2022...

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 (opens in new tab) 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 shampoo

A bottle of Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Natural Pet ShampooBest buy award

(Image credit: Earthbath)

Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Natural Pet Shampoo in Vanilla and Almond

Best overall dog shampoo

Specifications

Ingredients: Clean, no soap, parabens and cruelty free
Scent: Vanilla and almond
Lather: Excellent

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent for itchy, dry skin
+
Lathers well with all fur types
+
Clean, cruelty free ingredients

Reasons to avoid

-
Smell could be better

This shampoo contains soothing ingredients for the skin, including oatmeal, aloe vera, vitamin E, and glycerin. It also has vanilla and almond fragrances, which have the potential to be irritating in dogs with sensitive skin. Like all shampoos, it should be rinsed thoroughly, avoiding any contact with the eyes, nose, mouth, or inside of the ears.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Natural Pet Shampoo is a classic dog shampoo that owners have been using and loving for years. That's why it's our best overall dog shampoo to buy for your furry friend - it's stood the test of time. 

The ingredient list in Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Natural Pet Shampoo is simple and full of clean ingredients that are biodegradable, phosphate-free, paraben-free, and soap-free. Plus, it's not tested on animals, so you can rest easy knowing no animal cruelty was involved in creating this shampoo. While the almond and vanilla scent isn't groundbreaking, it's simple and fresh and won't be too overpowering for those who may not love a strong-smelling pooch. 

Those who have bought Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Natural Pet Shampoo report that it helps dogs with skin allergies, dandruff, and bacterial dermatitis, which can seriously bother your pooch and cause them to incessantly itch. If you don't keep on top of your pup's skin issues, they can easily irritate their skin further or make the problem worse by scratching until they injure themself, so getting a product like Earthbath will certainly help. 

And Earthbath is great even if your dog has great skin, as it lathers well for especially dirty pooches or those with long coats, which helps clean and detangle impressive manes. The quality of the lather also means this product will last you a long while, as you won't need to use tons to get your dog clean. 

If you happen to own a cat as well, you'll get even more bang for your buck, as Earthbath can be used on cats as well! 

Burt's Bees 2 in 1 Shampoo and ConditionerPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

Burt's Bees 2 in 1 Tearless Shampoo & Conditioner

Best 2-in-1 dog shampoo for puppies

Specifications

Ingredients: Clean and transparent
Scent: Fragrance Free
Lather: Good lather

Reasons to buy

+
Natural, transparent ingredients
+
Good for sensitive skin
+
Soothes and softens 

Reasons to avoid

-
Slightly watery formula
-
No strong scent

This product contains ingredients that are nourishing to the skin, including glycerin, oatmeal, and linseed oil. It does not list any artificial fragrances, which can be irritating in some dogs. In addition to cleansing the coat, this product also conditions the fur to keep the skin and coat soft and moisturized.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

Burt's Bees 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner is a great value for the price point, with clean and transparent ingredients you'll feel comfortable putting on your pup's skin. It's great for dogs and puppies, and great for owners with sensitive skin too! 

This 2 in 1 formula is fragrance-free but will leave your pup smelling clean and fresh. The ingredients are simple and free from harsh chemicals and sulfates, and include soothing and softening ingredients such as oatmeal and cocoa. Its formula is veterinarian recommended, so you can be sure it's safe for your dog (or your puppy, as it's gentle enough for young pooches, too). 

Whether you're looking for a shampoo that will clean your Golden Retriever's luxurious coat or a gentle shampoo for your Pit Bull's sensitive skin, you can't go wrong with this dog shampoo formula. While the lather will be somewhat lighter than other dog shampoos, that's to be expected considering it's a natural shampoo, so don't fret if you don't see a ton of suds when you start scrubbing, as it's perfectly normal (and healthier). The conditioner will also leave your dog's mane silky soft, making it much easier to brush and will keep it from tangling between washes. 

With a great price point, gentle ingredients that soothe even the most irritated skin, and vets' approval, Burt's Bees 2 in 1 Shampoo and conditioner is one of the best value dog shampoo on the market.

TropiClean PerfectFur Thick Double Coat Shampoo for DogsPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

TropiClean PerfectFur Thick Double Coat Shampoo for Dogs

Best for double coats

Specifications

Ingredients: Botanical blend
Scent: Botanicals
Lather: Easy

Reasons to buy

+
Deep clean
+
Gently exfoliates
+
Natural ingredients

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey

This shampoo has been formulated specifically for double-coated dogs to repel excess water, exfoliate the skin, and loosen the thick undercoat to reduce excess shedding. It should be left on the coat for 5 minutes before rinsing thoroughly to maximize its effects. It does contain fragrances, which can be irritating to the skin in some dogs.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

With the heavenly scent that you'd expect from TropiClean, this shampoo has been specially formulated to suit the needs of dogs with thick, double coats such as German Shepherds, Pomeranians and Siberian Huskies. 

Made using a range of natural botanical extracts, it gently penetrates double coats to loosen and remove trapped dirt and debris, helping to promote natural deshedding. As it loosens the undercoat to reduce excess shedding, it exfoliates the skin and strengthens the hair follicles.

Suitable for dogs 12 weeks and over, this shampoo leaves fur feeling soft and silky, eliminating the need for conditioner. It has a thick texture and lathers well, plus the light and refreshing scent will leave your dog feeling like they've just had a professional grooming session. 

A bottle of 4-Legger Dog ShampooPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: 4-Legger)

4-Legger Dog Shampoo

Best for sensitive skin

Specifications

Ingredients: USDA certified 100% non toxic
Scent: Lemongrass
Lather: Easy to lather

Reasons to buy

+
Organic and safe
+
Great for sensitive skin
+
Safe for dogs of all ages

Reasons to avoid

-
Smell can be strong for some

This organic shampoo contains soothing aloe vera and no artificial fragrances. It includes lemongrass, which can cause gastrointestinal symptoms in dogs upon ingestion, so dogs should not be allowed to lick the shampoo during their bath. Although the brand boasts that lemongrass deters fleas and ticks, a vet-approved flea and tick preventative should be used to ensure proper protection.

The 4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo is a fantastic choice for those pooches who have sensitive skin. You have to be extra careful when buying shampoo for your sensitive dogs, as the wrong type can easily irritate their skin further, making them uncomfortably itchy. All-natural shampoos are the safest option for dogs with seasonal allergies or itchy, scratchy skin, and this shampoo is the perfect option. 

The 4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo is the best sensitive skin dog shampoo because all of its ingredients are USDA-certified hypoallergenic, free from synthetic or chemical ingredients, and organic. The ingredients include recognizable things like coconut oil, aloe vera juice, olive oil, lemongrass essential oil, rosemary extract, and jojoba oil, which are all great things for a pup with sensitive skin! It's also widely approved by vets and groomers, so you know it's good.

This shampoo lathers easily and rinses off well, and has a strong lemongrass scent (which might be too much for some people who are sensitive to strong smells) that acts a natural flea deterrent. 

Those who have used the 4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo report it does wonders for their dog's skin, especially those who have incredibly sensitive skin that's prone to flare-ups. If you have a dog with sensitive skin (like Greyhounds or Pit bulls) or a dog who has suffered from demodex mange or other skin issues, this is absolutely the best dog shampoo for you and your canine.

Best dog shampoo: Arm and Hammer Deodorizing dog shampooPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

Arm & Hammer Super Deodorizing Shampoo for Dogs

Best deodorizing dog shampoo

Specifications

Ingredients: Honey, rose, kiwi, white tea, baking soda, coconut-based surfactants
Scent: Kiwi blossom
Lather: Rich later

Reasons to buy

+
Lovely kiwi blossom fragrance
+
Rich lather
+
Deep clean

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for very dry skin

This product contains baking soda to give your dog’s coat a good clean, as well as glycerin to moisturize the skin. It does, however, contain fragrances, which should be avoided in dogs with particularly sensitive skin. How often your dog should be bathed depends on many factors, including breed, lifestyle, fur length/type, and underlying health conditions—this can be discussed with your vet.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

Have a stinky doggy on your hands? Then it’s time to unleash the power of baking soda and natural botanicals to have your hound clean and smelling sweet once more. 

This powerful advanced odor control formula from Arm & Hammer effectively gets rid of unwanted smells from the coat and skin, with the baking soda particles penetrating deeply to dissolve and remove odor.

Infusions of honey, rose, kiwi, and white tea extracts are used to neutralize odors and reduce shedding and the beautiful blossom scent rests lightly on the coat after washing, leaving your hound smelling heavenly. 

Suitable for all dogs over the age of eight weeks, this shampoo is also safe to use in conjunction with topical flea and tick treatments. While it’s not a tearless formula, it’s been designed to be gentle and non-harmful around sensitive areas. 

We'd recommend avoiding this product if your dog has very dry skin due to the baking soda, but other than that, this is a powerful shampoo. Free from harsh chemicals and containing no parabens or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) this natural dog shampoo is gentle on the skin and coat but tough on those strong and unwanted doggy odors.

Wahl Dry Skin & Itch Relief Pet Shampoo for DogsPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

Wahl Dry Skin & Itch Relief Pet Shampoo for Dogs

Best dog shampoo for relieving itchiness

Specifications

Ingredients: Oatmeal, aloe vera, coconut oil
Scent: Coconut and lime
Lather: Thick

Reasons to buy

+
A little goes a long way
+
Highly moisturizing
+
Allergy friendly

Reasons to avoid

-
Strong smell

This shampoo contains glycerin, aloe vera, and oatmeal, which are all soothing and moisturizing ingredients. It does contain fragrance, however, as well as sodium laureth sulfate which, although cleansing, can be an irritant to the skin and mucous membranes in both dogs and humans, so contact with the eyes, nose, and mouth should be avoided.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

This divine smelling dog shampoo is pH balanced, alcohol free, paraben free, PEG-80 free and does a fantastic job of moisturizing dry skin, cleaning dirty coats & providing itch relief. 

Infused with coconut, lime and verbena, a little goes a long way with this shampoo and it has a rich lather that will leave your dog looking and smelling their best. It also contains aloe vera, which is great for soothing skin that's become inflamed through regular scratching. 

The plant derived ingredients and lack of harsh chemicals makes this shampoo an ideal choice for allergy sufferers and because it's highly concentrated and priced so affordably, it's perfect for any pet parent on a budget. 

A bottle of Buddy Wash Original Lavender and Mint Dog Shampoo and ConditionerPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Buddy Wash)

Buddy Wash Original Lavender and Mint Dog Shampoo and Conditioner

Best natural shampoo

Specifications

Ingredients: Pure botanical extracts and natural conditioners
Scent: Lavender and mint
Lather: Rich lather

Reasons to buy

+
Great ingredients
+
Lovely smell and natural deodorizer
+
Great price

Reasons to avoid

-
Smell can be strong

This shampoo is made of natural ingredients, including wheat protein extract as a natural deodorizing agent. It contains essences of lavender and mint, two plants that can potentially cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested. In addition, it contains tea tree oil in an unspecified amount, and tea tree oil in concentrations greater than 1-2% can be toxic to dogs. If you decide to use this shampoo, it should be used in small amounts and according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

Not only is Buddy Wash Original Lavender and Mint Dog Shampoo and Conditioner a great price, but it's a fantastic product for your pooch, too.

It's made from natural and pure ingredients that naturally clean and condition your dog's fur and skin, including sage, aloe vera, rosemary, green tea, and chamomile. The liquid is coconut-based with no alcohol in it, and natural deodorizers like wheat protein for a gentle, great-smelling wash that will last at least a week, according to reviews. 

Since Buddy Wash is soap-free, it won't harm your dog's eyes or upset their stomach if it gets in their mouth, but it still lathers easily and rinses off quickly for an effective wash. 

Some owners even suggest that the lavender scent helps soothe their dogs during bath time, which can often be a stressful experience for your pup (especially if they aren't too fond of water). Many report their dogs' coats felt smooth, incredibly soft, and tangle-free after using the Buddy Wash, and that's likely because it's both shampoo and conditioner! 

For such a low price and with such simple and effective ingredients, Buddy Wash Original Lavender and Mint Dog Shampoo is a great purchase for your pooch, whether you've got a big old Husky or a tiny Chihuahua. 

Best dog shampoo: Veterinary FormulaPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic and Antifungal Medicated Shampoo

Best medicated dog shampoo

Specifications

Ingredients: Coconut oil based cleansers, Benzethonium Chloride, Ketoconazole
Scent: Lavender and mint
Lather: Rich lather

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent for allergies and fungal and bacterial infections
+
Paraben free
+
Gentle smell

Reasons to avoid

-
May not work for every dog

This medicated shampoo contains benzethonium chloride to target bacteria and ketoconazole to treat fungal infections such as yeast overgrowth or ringworm. It also includes lanolin to moisturize itchy or flaking skin and aloe vera to provide relief and promote healing. If you suspect that your dog has a skin infection, you should consult your vet to see if they recommend additional or alternative treatment.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

If your pooch is dealing with some skin problems, you'll need a shampoo that's vet-approved. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic and Antifungal Medicated Shampoo is a fantastic option for any pet dealing with bacterial or yeast infections.

The shampoo has benzethonium chloride, an anti-bacterial that can treat skin infections like pyoderma, and ketoconazole, an anti-fungal which will treat yeast infections. Despite all the medicated ingredients, this shampoo is free of soaps and parabens, and won't remove spot-on flea or tick treatments.There's also aloe vera in the formula, which will help soothe irritations, and lanolin, which will moisturize and help decrease itching and flaking issues, both of which are side effects of allergic dermatitis. 

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic and Antifungal Medicated Shampoo is for both dogs and cats, so the fairly cheap bottle will go a long way. It's safe for dogs and cats over 12 weeks of age, and you can use it twice a week while fighting off a skin condition, then once a week to keep all those skin nasties at bay. 

Veterinary-grade dog shampoo can be expensive or difficult to get without a prescription, and that's why Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic and Antifungal Medicated Shampoo is so great. You can help take care of your pet's needs without breaking the bank, which we can all appreciate.

The only downside is that this may not be the right formula for your dog's skin conditions, which is why you should consult your vet before using this shampoo and reach out again if it seems like your pup's condition isn't improving. 

Best dog shampoo: Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic ShampooPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo

Best hypoallergenic dog shampoo

Specifications

Ingredients: Plant-based ingredients such as Aloe Vera and Vitamin E
Scent: Tea tree
Lather: Easy to lather

Reasons to buy

+
Specifically formulated to soothe dry, brittle skin
+
Works alongside other treatments 
+
Relieves itching

Reasons to avoid

-
Very watery

This product has a limited ingredients list for dogs with sensitive skin. It includes soothing and moisturizing ingredients such as aloe vera, allantoin, vitamin B5, and vitamin E to support skin health. Dogs should not be bathed too frequently, as this can dry out their skin and leave them prone to itchiness and skin infections.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

If your dog has sensitive skin or is prone to itching, the Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo is a must-have. It’s specially formulated with natural, plant-based ingredients such as aloe vera and vitamin E. Designed to moisturize and soothe dry skin, it also relieves itching to keep your pooch content after bathtimes. Best of all, it’s free from harmful parabens, dyes or sulphates. 

Simply lather and massage for 3-5 minutes to get the full benefits of the quality ingredients. Rinse well and repeat if necessary. However, it acts quickly and gives great results. While it doesn’t have a strong fragrance, it does have subtle hints of tea tree and essential oils. 

What’s more, the shampoo can be used alongside other treatments like the best flea treatments for dogs. So you won’t have to worry about your pup missing out on a revitalizing bath! It’s worthwhile noting that the consistency is rather watery, so you may need to use more. However, you won’t be disappointed with the excellent results!

best dog shampoo for smell tropicleanPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Tropiclean)

TropiClean Luxury 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner

Best smelling dog shampoo

Specifications

Ingredients: Purified water, mild coconut cleanser, colloidal oatmeal
Scent: Papaya and coconut
Lather: Easy to lather

Reasons to buy

+
Soap and chemical free
+
Heavenly lasting scent
+
2-in-1 formula

Reasons to avoid

-
Not tear free
-
Some may find formula too thick

This shampoo contains soothing and moisturizing oatmeal and vitamin E. It does contain fragrances, however, as well as an organic plant blend that includes yucca extract, which can cause tummy upset if ingested. As with all dog shampoos, contact should be avoided with the eyes, nose, mouth, and inside of the ears, and dogs should not be allowed to lick or ingest the product

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

If you're looking for the best dog shampoo for scent that's also a gentle, moisturizing formula then look no further than TropiClean Luxury 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner.

This luxurious lather features a bright tropical scent without being too overpowering with coconut. Even once bathtime is over, you're still likely smell a subtle hint of fresh coconut on your dog's fur, although some pet owners may find the strength of the scent is affected by factors such as the length of type of your pet's hair and environmental conditions. It's pleasant enough for owner without being too strong for pet. 

The shampoo features a conditioner built in, which is a great timesaver for dogs who hate baths, but also it allows the product to detangle the hair as well as clean. The formula is pH balanced and is free of soap, parabens and dye so expect a formula that's kind to your dog's skin but you'll want to avoid around the face and eyes as it's not specifically tear free.

This shampoo does typically work well for dogs with dry, itchy sensitive skin, helping to soothe the skin and create shine in the fur, however you may choose the brand's medicated Oatmeal option instead if this is a particular problem with your pooch. 

Bodhi Dog waterless dog shampooPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Bodhi Dog)

Bodhi Dog Waterless Shampoo

Best waterless dog shampoo

Specifications

Ingredients: No parabens, sulphates, SLS or Ethyl alcohol
Scent: Lavender, Lemongrass and Oatmeal
Lather: Spray-on

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use
+
Great for dogs who are afraid of baths
+
Lovely scents
+
Safe ingredients

Reasons to avoid

-
Not easy to spray in hard to reach places 
-
Doesn't replace the need for a bath in all cases

This spray contains a coconut surfactant blend to cleanse the coat and lemongrass extract to act as a deodorizer. As stated before, lemongrass can cause gastrointestinal symptoms if ingested, so your dog should not be allowed to lick their fur after using this product. Waterless shampoos can be less stressful for dogs who are scared of water or baths, but they may not be very effective in dogs who are especially dirty, oily, or stinky.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

If your dog hates baths, then Bodhi Dog Waterless Shampoo is simply a must-have investment. This convenient spray comes in three gorgeous scents: Lavender, Lemongrass and Oatmeal that not only cleans, but works as a detangler too.

You'll likely be pleasantly surprised by the results on their coat, even without lathering it in. The shampoo features a long-lasting smell that will linger even after a few days and their coat looks soft and shiny. Added bonus is the fact is dries quickly and can work well on dogs that have sensitive skin. 

Many pet owners appreciate that the shampoo's ingredient list features no alcohol, detergents, parabens, sulphates or dyes making it a great option to reach for even with dogs who have allergies.

The product is generally very easy to use as a spray formula, but the design could be updated to allow for better coverage over a dog's body. Sometimes, when you spray it, it comes out in one hard stream. Some pet owners may also find that it doesn't completely replace a bath entirely, rather that it's a light refresher between baths depending on how dirty your dog gets. 

Burt's Bees puppy shampooPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Burt's Bees)

Burt's Bees for Dogs Natural Tearless Puppy Shampoo

Best overall shampoo for puppies

Specifications

Ingredients: free of fragrances, sulfates, colorants, and harsh chemicals
Scent: Buttermilk, honey and beeswax
Lather: Lathers well

Reasons to buy

+
Gentle formula
+
Soft, clean fur
+
Lathers well

Reasons to avoid

-
Not strongly scented
-
Caution should be applied to tearless messaging

As discussed earlier in this list, this shampoo contains safe and soothing ingredients. It is also pH balanced to prevent skin irritation. Although advertised as “tearless,” no products should be allowed to touch your dog’s eyes unless specifically prescribed by your veterinarian to treat an eye condition since many substances are irritating to the eyes or surrounding mucous membranes. You can consider asking your vet to dispense a sterile eye lubricant to protect your dog or puppy’s eyes during bath time.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

While it's tempting to reach for dog shampoo intended for older canines, Burt's Bees for Dogs Natural Tearless Puppy Shampoo is a much better option owing to its gentle formula. The product is by and large tearless but you should still exercise caution when using near your pup's eyes (using your fingertips can be a great option) which is likely to cause some confusion for pet owners. 

Nevertheless, dog owners should expect a soft and shiny coat with this product, and a subtle fresh scent. Anyone familiar with the Burt's Bees brand will know what to expect here: the shampoo features natural products such as buttermilk, honey and beeswax which may make some users expect a stronger smell once applied to your pup. 

However, you'll likely be more than impressed with the ease of lather here. The shampoo applies easily to the coat and lathers well making bathtime a breeze. 

best dog shampooPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Hartz)

Hartz UltraGuard Pro Triple Action Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs

Best shampoo for flea treatment

Specifications

Ingredients: Phenothrin, Pyriporoxfen, and Methoprene
Scent: Oatmeal, vanilla
Lather: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Kills fleas, eggs, and ticks
+
Prevents reinfestation for up to 4 days
+
Nice smell

Reasons to avoid

-
Can't be used on puppies under 12 weeks of age

This product contains an insecticide (phenothrin) and two insect growth regulators (pyriproxyfen and (S)-methoprene) to target fleas of all life stages. It should be left on the coat for 5 minutes before being rinsed thoroughly. The product can be very irritating to the eyes, so this area should be avoided. Flea shampoos are not as effective or long-lasting as oral or spot-on treatments, so vet-approved products are recommended in cases of flea infestation.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

If your dog is prone to flea infestation – or you simply want to prevent it from occurring in the first instance – then Hartz might well be the best dog shampoo for you.

Used in the same way as regular dog shampoo, this works well to eliminate fleas and ticks, and helps keep them smelling great. What's more, it can also be used as a weekly treatment if you want to keep your dog free from those itchy mites. Just make sure you don't use it on very young puppies.

Overall, the customer reviews for this one are pretty positive – just make sure you follow the directions for use, and you should get on with it pretty well.

Oliver's Choice dog shampooPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Oliver's Choice)

Oliver's Choice Dog Shampoo with Oatmeal and Aloe Shea Butter

Best for moisturizing

Specifications

Ingredients: Clean and transparent
Scent: Shea Butter, Aloe Vera, Oatmeal
Lather: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Moisturizes your dog's fur
+
Leaves dogs smelling great
+
Helps relieve dry and itchy skin
+
Reduces dandruff

Reasons to avoid

-
Smell is too much for some people

This product lists ingredients such as glycerin, lanolin, oat extract, and aloe extract to benefit your dog’s skin barrier. Although it claims to contain shea butter, it only has shea butter fragrance. It also states that it is tear-free, however, this shampoo may be irritating to the eyes and should not be used close to your dog’s eyes.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

As well as ensuring your dog ends up smelling sweet and fresh, this shampoo will get deep within your pooch's coat for a great clean. Not only that, it has been designed with safety in mind with the maker going to great lengths to ensure the product is as gentle as it can be.

To that end, it will soothe, calm and nourish irritated skin. It also moisturizes and softens while tackling dry, itchy and flaky skin. What's more, since Oliver's Choice contains oatmeal, it can help to relieve symptoms of allergies. The addition of Aloe Vera also means the shampoo has anti-inflammatory properties and the maker has ensured the product is paraben free. 

All of this ensures that the shampoo can be safely used on puppies as well as adult dogs. Indeed, the shampoo is cruelty-free and tear-free which makes it ideal for sensitive pooches, and, because the formula is biodegradable, it results in less pollution too! It adds up to a great buy – one that many users swear by.

TropiClean PerfectFur Curly & WavyPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: TropiClean)

TropiClean PerfectFur Curly & Wavy

Best for curly and wavy hair

Specifications

Ingredients: Natural
Scent: Sweet citrus
Lather: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Formulated for curly hair 
+
Made with naturally derived ingredients 
+
Absorbs excess water 

Reasons to avoid

-
Some people don't like the smell 

Our vet says: This shampoo has been formulated for dogs with thick curly or wavy hair such as Poodles, Bichon Frises, and Old English Sheepdogs. It includes ingredients to smooth the hair cuticles, reduce tangles, and provide volume. It should be noted that this product does contain artificial fragrances, which should be avoided in dogs with sensitive skin.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

If you have a Poodle, Doodle, Old English Sheepdog, Bichon Frise or any breed with high-volume fur, then this will prove to be a great shampoo. It has been specially formulated for dogs with thick, curly and wavy hair, working fast to smooth the follicles so that you can work on detangling and unmatting any troublesome patches.

Made with naturally derived ingredients and free of soap, paraben and dye, this shampoo has also been created to be gentle although you should, as always, keep it away from your dog's eyes. After bathing with it for around five minutes, it should leave your dog's fur feeling silky, smooth and soft. Since it's moisturizing, you could also get away with not using a conditioner.

The shampoo also absorbs excess water while helping to break water surface tension and this makes drying your dog quick and easy. It has been formulated for added lift, too, which will give a dog's coat maximum volume and shape. No wonder it's going down well with doggy parents.

How to choose the best dog shampoo

It's important that you choose the best dog shampoo for your specific pooch, and for you as well. If your dog has dry, sensitive skin, then lean towards getting an all-natural, soap-free, gentle shampoo. And if you're vegan or concerned with animal testing as well, then make sure that whatever all-natural shampoo you choose is cruetly-free. 

If your dogs' skin issues go beyond some dryness or itchy patches and they're dealing with yeast infections or other fungal issues then you'll need a heavy duty veterinarian-approved antiseptic or anti-fungal shampoo. You'll want to make sure those ingredients are safe and as gentle as possible for your pooch, but still effective. 

If your pup has fairly normal skin but an incredibly thick coat or is a big fan of rolling in mud puddles and frolicking in fields, then you'll want a great-smelling dog shampoo with a scent that will linger for a little while. Dirty dogs, dogs with lengthy hair, or pooches with plentiful fur will need shampoo that lathers and rinses well and smells great. 

In short, think about your dog and what they need when buying dog shampoo and factor in your personal purchasing preference, as well. You and your pooch will be happy and smelling great in no time with these shampoo options, especially with the ones we've laid out. 

Whether you need all-natural shampoo, extra-clean shampoo, or a special medicated shampoo, there's a ton of options for you and your canine – and make sure you check the ingredients! Getting the best dog shampoo is relatively easy, especially with this guide, so don't fret!