Best Dog Shampoo | WSYR

Which dog shampoo is the best?

It’s a good idea to bathe your dog every three to four weeks. With the right dog shampoo, you can target specific issues and keep your pet’s coat and skin clean and fresh. The best dog shampoo for those who want a complete grooming product that uses natural ingredients is TropiClean dog shampoo.

What to know before buying a dog shampoo

Target areas

There are dog shampoos for general hygiene, but there are also specialized options, such as:

  • Flea and tick treatment: Medicated shampoos that can help kill and eliminate parasites, as well as combat dry skin and pet dander.
  • Detangling: For dogs prone to mats or tangles, get a shampoo and conditioner combo to combat it.
  • Anti-itch: Another medicated shampoo that targets and hydrates extremely dry skin.
  • Coat health: Most shampoos help with this, but some are specifically formulated with natural ingredients that promote a shiny, healthy coat.
  • Elimination of odors: Some options contain ingredients that deodorize and clean fur or hair. Others have a fresh scent.
  • Antimicrobial and Medical: A medicated shampoo that targets hot spots and odor-causing bacteria.

Before choosing a shampoo, determine what your dog needs most. If, for example, the problem is fleas, using a coat health and shine shampoo will not solve the problem. On the other hand, if your dog has itchy skin, a general product with moisturizing properties should work.

For dogs with severe coat or skin issues, you need an antimicrobial or specially prescribed shampoo. When in doubt, consult a veterinarian about your pet’s shampoo and grooming routine.

Dog Breed

Each breed of dog has its own skin sensitivities, length of coat or fur, and coat type. Some large breeds, especially those with lots of hair, require more frequent brushing and bathing. Others shouldn’t bathe unless necessary, as shampoo can dry out their skin.

Short-haired breeds that regularly shed naturally prevent oil or dirt buildup in their coats. Not only are these dogs easier to bathe, but they don’t require frequent bathing.

On the other hand, if your dog has a greasy coat, as in retrievers, it should be bathed less often or with a mild shampoo. Otherwise, you risk stripping the natural oils and drying out the dog’s skin.

Single-coat breeds, such as Boxers or Dalmatians, require less frequent shampoos than those with thicker coats. A mild shampoo designed to redistribute the dog’s natural oils and clean dirt is a good option, however.

Double-coated dogs, such as Border Collies and German Shepherds, require regular shampooing as they are susceptible to mats, tangles and dirt buildup. For these breeds, a stronger shampoo is recommended.

pH level of the skin

The pH level refers to the acidity or alkalinity of something. For example, lemons are acidic, drain cleaners are alkaline, and water is neutral.

Dog shampoos and conditioners generally have a higher pH than human shampoos. This is because humans have more acidic skin than dogs. For this reason, never use human or pet shampoo on a dog, as it may cause irritation, bacteria growth, or odor buildup. This is especially true if your dog has sensitive skin.

Most dog shampoos list the pH level on the label. If you’re looking for a neutral shampoo that works for most breeds, choose one with a pH of 6.5 or 7.5.

What to Look for in a Quality Dog Shampoo

Dog’s age

Some shampoos are for puppies, while others are more suitable for adult dogs. Puppy shampoos are recommended for dogs with very sensitive skin because they don’t irritate the eyes and contain gentle ingredients. These shampoos are generally intended for dogs 8 months or younger, but aging dogs can also benefit from them.


Most dog shampoos contain natural or organic ingredients, some of which have medicinal properties. Examples of natural ingredients include honey, oatmeal, protein, minerals and essential vitamins. They are great for treating skin concerns, including sensitive skin or dander.

If you try a new shampoo, test it on a small patch of fur to make sure the dog doesn’t have an allergic reaction. If you see a negative response, such as bumps or a rash, stop using it immediately.

Avoid buying shampoo that contains parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrances or dyes, as these can cause skin or health problems.


A standard size bottle of dog shampoo is between 18 and 24 fluid ounces. There are also gallon sizes, which last longer for smaller breeds, but are also a great option for larger dogs.


Most dog shampoos come with a pump applicator or cap that you can pull off to pour as much as you want. There are also dry shampoos that you can apply to your pet’s coat. For long-haired breeds, dilute shampoo with water to ensure full coverage.

How much you can expect to spend on dog shampoo

Most mid-range options cost between $10 and $35. These are formulated with natural ingredients and have an ideal pH level for dogs. Specialty or medicated shampoos, such as hypoallergenic shampoos, can cost between $35 and $50.

Dog Shampoo FAQ

What’s the best way to shampoo a dog?

A. Start with lukewarm water, as dogs are more sensitive to heat than humans. Rinse your dog thoroughly, working from the back of his head down his body and legs. Then, apply shampoo to his coat. Loosen all mats as you go to avoid dirt buildup or hot spots. Once you are done lathering the shampoo, start with the head to rinse the dog. Avoid getting shampoo or water in their eyes, ears, nose or mouth.

How long do dog shampoos last?

A. Most non-medicated shampoos have a shelf life of 12-18 months, while medicated options usually last around 6 months. Check the bottle for an expiration date. If you don’t see any, or if the texture or smell of the shampoo has changed, throw it out and buy a new one.

What are the best dog shampoos to buy?

Best dog shampoo

TropiClean dog shampoo

What do you want to know: This 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner is ideal for dogs and puppies that need extra moisture or have strong odors or stubborn tangles.

What you will love: It comes in four sizes, including a gallon and a 16-ounce bottle. The formula is free of parabens and colorants and uses naturally derived ingredients such as minerals and plant extracts.

What you should consider: The bottle leaks easily.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Best dog shampoo for the money

Advantage Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs & Puppies

Advantage Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs & Puppies

What do you want to know: This shampoo is the perfect addition to any grooming routine, especially for dogs with a parasite problem.

What you will love: Capable of eliminating and preventing ticks and fleas, it is safe for dogs over 12 weeks of age. It foams easily and is available in three sizes.

What you should consider: Even the largest bottle is a bit small for larger breeds.

Or buy: Sold by PetSmart and Amazon

Worth checking out

Wahl Pet Shampoo for Dry Skin and Itch Relief for Dogs

Wahl Pet Shampoo for Dry Skin and Itch Relief for Dogs

What do you want to know: This shampoo is specially formulated with natural ingredients to combat itchy and dry skin.

What you will love: It moisturizes dry skin, cleans and brightens dull hair and relieves itching. It is also free of parabens and is perfectly balanced for most dogs.

What you should consider: Dogs with extremely sensitive skin may develop a rash while using this shampoo.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

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Angela Watson written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

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