When you think of bathing a Great Dane, you may instantly picture a giant dog shaking water all over you, your bathroom, your children, your other animals, and anything else in a 20ft radius. It’s funny, but the intimidating image for Great Dane owners. Since the bathing process is already a challenge, you don’t want to have to work hard to find the best shampoo for the job.


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Purebred Great Danes are easy to spot because of their signature size and short, smooth coat. They are major shedders despite their appearance, but they don’t often get knots in their fur or have much debris stuck in like some longer-haired pups. Great Danes are prone to skin itching and allergies, though, so you’ll want to ensure you choose a hypoallergenic shampoo.

It’s essential to keep these big dogs happy and calm, so choosing shampoos with low scents or scents that keep dogs calm during bathtime and beyond is essential. A scent that is too harsh and overwhelming can make any dog upset, and with a big dog like a Great Dane that could end up meaning some serious collateral damage to your home or yard.

It might seem like a daunting task to get the right shampoo for your dog, but we’re here to help. We’ve collected the best shampoos to keep allergies, itching, and the zoomies at bay. These shampoos help to eliminate dandruff as well, which is a common problem in short-haired dogs like the Great Dane. We are sure you’ll find a shampoo that works for your fur baby here.

Things To Consider When Shopping For A Top-Rated Great Dane Shampoo

Great Danes are beautiful dogs that come in six color varieties as purebreds, but always with the same short hair. These dogs are big love bugs who shed almost as much adoration for their owners as they do fur. They often have problems with dandruff, dry and itchy skin, and allergies, which means you’ll need to give special consideration to their shampoo.

Hypoallergenic Shampoos

Great Danes often have allergies that manifest in their skin folds, ears, bellies, and feet, which means you’ll need to ensure you get a shampoo that doesn’t add to those hot spots. Some shampoos will bill themselves as hypoallergenic or anti-itch, but will still contain common irritants like unnamed fragrance, preservatives, parabens, and sulfates.

Generally, if a shampoo is truly hypoallergenic, it will also be tear-free, but this isn’t always a guarantee. Hypoallergenic shampoos that utilize fragrances will usually use dog-safe essential oils instead of just listing “fragrance” or “perfume” on the ingredients list. Also, remember that animal shampoos do not have to list all ingredients, so make sure to aim for products that do.

Moisturizing is Key

Because Great Danes have such short coats, their skin is quite sensitive to drying out. If you want to avoid drying out your dog’s fur, you’ll want to avoid bathing him too often, but you can aid in keeping your dog’s natural oils on their skin by choosing a non-aggressive shampoo. Ingredients like coconut oil, jojoba oil, beeswax, and shea butter are naturally moisturizing.

Shampoos that use organic and natural ingredients tend to be more moisturizing than those that use more traditional ingredients, although that’s not always true. You should avoid ingredients like alcohol that can dry out a dog’s skin. Sulfates are also incredibly drying, which is just one more reason to avoid them in your dog’s shampoo.


Light Scents Only

Dogs don’t love strong smells in their shampoos and lotions because it covers their natural scent. You may have noticed that your dog runs off to roll in the grass or the dirt immediately after you bathe them. That’s because the scent of the shampoo you used is too strong, and they are trying to remove it from their skin and fur.

Using light scents or unscented shampoos is the best idea because it will also help you to avoid odors that cause allergic reactions in your dog. Since Great Danes don’t typically carry a natural odor like some other short-haired breeds, you shouldn’t need a strong smelling shampoo to counteract it. Lavender and chamomile scents may help to calm your dog if they are light.

Tear-Free Shampoo Options

Opting for a tear-free shampoo for your Great Dane, just like you would with an infant, is a great idea. Tear-free shampoos guarantee that the suds in your dog’s eyes won’t irritate him. For Great Danes, it is especially crucial because tear-free formulas are easier on their ears than other shampoos.

Opting for an all-natural shampoo is a great way to ensure your shampoo is tear-free. Not every organic or natural shampoo is tear-free, but a vast majority are since they don’t include the harsh chemicals that often create irritations.

It’s important to note that you should not interchange human tear-free shampoos with tear-free dog shampoos as they don’t work the same in the opposite species.

The 6 Best Dog Shampoos for Great Dane

Buddy Wash Original Lavender and Mint Dog Shampoo

Best Overall

Buddy Wash is our top pick for a Great Dane shampoo because it has all your Great Dane needs to ensure sensitivity and itching are a thing of the past. It has a pleasant aroma for you that isn’t too strong for your fur baby, and the team at Buddy Wash formulated it with sensitive skinned dogs in mind. It’s perfect for a short-haired pup like yours.

This shampoo is soap-free, but you’ll still quickly build a nice lather to wash your Great Dane. The wheat protein in the shampoo is a natural deodorizer, which is excellent even though Danes aren’t known for smelling poorly. The formula is alcohol-free, and it’s safe for humans to use as well, which means getting in the tub with your dog isn’t out of the question if necessary!

There are only 12 ingredients in this shampoo, and they’re all listed on the bottle, so you can make sure your dog is getting the best possible bath experience with a high-quality product.

Zesty Paws Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo with Aloe Vera

Zesty Paws does it all with their shampoo. This shampoo not only moisturizes your Great Dane’s skin and locks in that moisture with oatmeal, but it also reduces hot spots and itching. Aloe Vera is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, which is perfect for Great Dane’s with their tendency to develop those types of infections and irritations.

This shampoo can help to reduce shedding, improve brittle fur, and deodorize your dog, all with a light and pleasant smell. It isn’t a tear-free shampoo, but it is gentle on your dog’s sensitive skin. It even removes knots and tangles in your dog’s fur, which is a bonus if you’re unable to brush before bath time.

The only downside we see with this shampoo is their use of fragrance as an ingredient. Since any number of things can hide behind the fragrance label, this shampoo may not be the right choice for every Great Dane, especially one prone to allergies.

Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Dog Shampoo

If you like your dog to smell like she just came back from the spa when her bath is over, then you’ll probably like Earthbath’s Oatmeal and Aloe Dog Shampoo. It has a pleasant vanilla aroma that you’ll enjoy for at least a few days after your dog’s bath. The only problem is that the scent can be too much for some dogs, so you’ll want to watch your pup after her bath.

The oatmeal and aloe in Earthbath’s shampoo lock moisture into your dog’s skin without the use of parabens or phosphates. Although it’s not a tear-free shampoo, it is delicate enough for your dog’s sensitive skin and coat. The vitamins and minerals within this shampoo support a healthy coat on your Great Dane as well, which is vital in addition to their skin health.

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic and Antifungal Shampoo

Since Great Danes are prone to dermatological issues like fungal and bacterial infections, a shampoo that can counteract those things is a significant benefit. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care’s antiseptic and antifungal shampoo is also antimicrobial and paraben-free. This shampoo works hard to ensure that your dog’s skin health is in good hands.

It is a shampoo you can regularly use to reduce the risk of flare-ups in your dog, but that you can also use once or twice a week to relieve skin problems if you notice them on your dog. You should especially check within your Great Dane’s skin folds to ensure that she doesn’t have an unseen infection, and then utilize this shampoo to get rid of the problem.

Aloe vera helps to soothe your dog’s skin and lock in moisture while this shampoo deodorizes and gets rid of hot spots.

Ethique Shampooch Dog Shampoo Bar

Although you probably don’t think of bar soap when you think of washing your dog, the Ethique Shampooch Dog Shampoo Bar is a perfect match for your Great Dane. It’s not only vegan, but it is packed with great ingredients such as flax seed and coconut oil to keep your dog’s coat shiny and healthy.

The shampoo bar has the perfect pH to clean sensitive skin and is cruelty-free and tested on humans, so you know it will be safe for your Great Dane. Equivalent to three 12-ounce bottles of liquid shampoo, Ethique Shampooch Dog Shampoo Bar is a long-lasting way to help your companion keep the dirt away.

Rocco and Roxie Supply Co. Calm Sensitive Shampoo

Aloe Vera extract helps Rocco and Roxie Supply Co. to keep your dog’s natural oils in their skin and ease irritation. This shampoo is tear and allergy-free, which means it’s an excellent option for Great Danes with their sensitive skin. The shampoo is so gentle that you could even use it on a puppy if you wanted to, so it’s a life long product.

There is no alcohol and no parabens in the Calm Sensitive Shampoo. The ingredients are all listed on the bottle so you can make sure you’re using the best possible shampoo for your dog. You and your dog will also agree on the light scent from the rosemary and chamomile extracts. It gives your dog that freshly bathed smell without overwhelming them.

3 Tips for Bathing a Great Dane

Great Danes aren’t exactly like every other dog. There are some things that you’ll find are very different about bath time with this breed versus other dogs you’ve owned or cared for in the past.

  1. Gather all bath supplies before hitting the tub. Although it’s always important to prepare with any dog, Great Danes make it particularly necessary because of their massive size. If a Great Dane gets away while you head back for a towel, then you’re likely to have a pretty big mess on your hands.
  2. Never wash a Great Dane’s ears out with shampoo. Great Danes can have sensitive ears, but even without that sensitivity, shampoo isn’t good for the microbiome inside a dog’s ear. You’ll want to avoid getting shampoo in the ears at all costs. Some owners use cotton balls to aid with this process, but you can clean out your Dane’s ears with specialty cleansers about once per week.
  3. Towels and hair dryers are an excellent combination for drying off your furry friend. The size of a Great Dane makes it nearly impossible to dry them with a towel alone, so adding a hairdryer to the mix is a great idea. If it’s summertime, you could also let them run around outside to dry off, but in the winter, you’ll need to ensure they are thoroughly dried before the cold air hits their fur.

FAQ

How often should I bathe my Great Dane?

Because Great Danes have such short hair and sensitive skin, it’s vital to avoid bathing them too often. You’ll want to wash them more often in the summer months than in the winter, but only once every couple of months, no matter the season or as needed. Overbathing in the winter is especially harmful because your dog is more susceptible to dry skin during this time of year.

What can I do to keep my Great Dane looking nice between baths?

Even though they have short fur, Great Danes need lots of brushing. These dogs shed reasonably slowly, especially as the weather gets warmer, so you’ll want to brush them at least weekly. During shedding season, you could brush them as often as every day. Make sure to use a pet mitt or other soft brush to avoid being too rough on your Dane’s sensitive skin.

Do Great Danes enjoy bath time?

Great Danes are water-friendly dogs. They typically love swimming or playing in a shallow pool, and they also generally love baths. Sometimes your dog will resist a bath if you’re using a shampoo she doesn’t like or if she’d rather be involved in other antics, but you can usually persuade her with treats or love.

What should I do to prepare my Great Dane for his bath?

You’ll want to give him a good brushing before you put him in the tub to get any potential knots or debris off of his fur. You may also want to utilize a high powered dryer (like a hairdryer on low heat but high power) to get the dirt and debris off of your dog before you wash him.

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