Let’s be honest – no one likes wet dog smell. It’s entirely possible that after bath time with a mediocre shampoo, your pup will be left clean but smelling less than desirable. Luckily for everyone who spends time around your dog, there are some fantastic smelling dog shampoos available on the market today.


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Runner Up

4Legger Dog Shampoo

  • Incredible scent
  • Eco-friendly

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Best Overall

Buddy Wash Shampoo

  • 2-in-1 shampoo
  • Made in USA
  • Affordable

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2-in-1 Mango Tango

Earth Bath Shampoo

  • 2-in-1 Formula
  • Affordable

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What is the best smelling dog shampoo? We have some excellent recommendations in this article for you. We also dive into why it’s not a good idea to use human shampoo on your dog. If you’re looking for a safe, healthy, delicious smelling shampoo for your pampered pup, we have you covered!

5 Benefits of Using a Scented Dog Shampoo

We understand that there are certain circumstances under which it’s best for your dog to use an unscented shampoo. Maybe they have severe allergies or skin sensitivities. However, if you can use a great smelling dog shampoo, there are several benefits to doing so:

  1. Some scents offer calming properties: There are dog shampoos which are scented with natural botanical extracts and essential oils that not only smell good but also relax your dog. Lavender can be especially helpful for calming your dog during a bath.
  2. A delightful experience for everyone: There’s something about bathing your dog with a delicious smelling shampoo. Lathering their fur with bubbles while taking in the smell of a delightful fragrance is much more enjoyable than dealing with wet dog smell!
  3. Leaves your dog smelling fresh: When you use a scented dog shampoo, your dog will no doubt smell amazing afterwards! Certain shampoos offer a longer lasting scent than others, but any length of time with a delectable smell is better than none.
  4. Scented shampoos often act as pest repellents: Depending on the dog shampoo that you buy, it may contain ingredients which help naturally repel pests. Rosemary and lemongrass make your dog smell wonderful and can prevent mosquitoes from getting close to your pup.
  5. Healthier for your dog than other options: Human shampoo can compromise the health of your dog’s skin and coat, and this includes baby shampoo. Using a dog shampoo is best for your pup’s overall health. No matter how good your personal shampoo smells, it’s not a good idea to use it on your dog. Below we discuss why.

Can I use scented human shampoo on my dog?

The short answer is no. We know that your human shampoo probably smells amazing, but using it on your pooch is a bad idea. Dog shampoos are specifically pH balanced for their health, whereas a human shampoo may dry out or irritate your pup’s skin and coat. Human shampoos may also contain ingredients which can be harmful to your dog.

The risk of using a human shampoo on your dog far outweighs the fact that your dog may smell better. Human hair and skin require different needs than those of a dog. A human shampoo could potentially strip your dog’s coat of natural oils which are essential for keeping their skin and fur moisturized and healthy. Dogs have a protective layer on their skin which works to keep bacteria and viruses from penetrating them. Human shampoos can break through that layer, which can obviously be extremely detrimental.

5 Components to Look for in a Great Smelling Dog Shampoo

Just as there are a ton of human shampoos to choose from, there seems to be an equal amount of options for your pup! Use these components to decide on the best smelling dog shampoo for your dog:

  1. Natural ingredients: If your dog has sensitive skin, you may want to purchase a shampoo made from natural ingredients. In fact, our best smelling dog shampoo recommendation is 100% certified organic.
  2. Ingredients to repel pests: Does your dog like to spend a lot of time outdoors? Some dog shampoos are formulated with ingredients such as lemongrass, which is a natural pest deterrent.
  3. Won’t wash away flea and tick treatment: If you use a topical flea and tick treatment on your pup, make sure to purchase a shampoo which won’t wash the treatment away.
  4. Healing ingredients: Does you pup have dry, itchy or irritated skin? You will want to buy a great smelling dog shampoo that is made with soothing ingredients. These include aloe vera, oatmeal and coconut extract.
  5. Cruelty-free: We can all agree that products not tested on animals are the best! In your search for a cruelty-free scented dog shampoo, the labeling on the bottle will tell you if the shampoo was made cruelty-free. You can find a lot of helpful information on the shampoos label and packaing.

Overall Best Smelling Dog Shampoo

4-Legger Organic Hypoallergenic Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo

Key Benefits:

  • Absolutely delicious smell
  • USDA certified organic
  • Hypoallergenic for sensitive dogs and humans
  • Antibacterial and antifungal properties to help deter pests

This shampoo from 4-Legger is by far the best smelling dog shampoo. If you’re a fan of lemon or candy, you will absolutely love this lemongrass scent. Although the shampoo may smell strong coming from the bottle, the scent on your dog will be very light and not overpowering at all. The lemongrass scent is just enough to leave your pup smelling clean and renewed.

We love 4-Legger dog shampoo for many reasons. It’s USDA certified organic, so you know that you’re bathing your dog with a 100% natural shampoo. The shampoo is non-toxic, hypoallergenic for dogs with sensitive skin, and sustainably sourced. It’s also biodegradable and made with non-GMO ingredients. If you’re looking for a safe shampoo that is responsibly made and smells incredible, pick up 4-Legger lemongrass and aloe dog shampoo!

Pros:

  • Light shampoo that is easy to lather and rinse
  • Has an incredible scent
  • Excellent for dogs with sensitive skin
  • Eco-friendly, non-toxic and cruelty-free
  • Cleans, moisturizes and conditions skin without stripping it of natural oils

Cons:

  • It’s pricier than other options, but you are paying for quality!

Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo

Key Benefits:

  • 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner
  • Made with pure botanical extracts
  • Cruelty-free and made in the USA
  • Lavender and mint soothe the skin and smell delightful

Runner-Up Best Smelling Dog Shampoo: Dog parents are loving this lavender and mint dog shampoo because it will leave your pup with a satisfying smell that won’t overwhelm your senses. This soap-free blend of shampoo and conditioner will detangle your dog’s fur and allow you to easily groom it after bath time. Buddy Wash is formulated in the USA with human-grade ingredients, which include botanical extracts and essential oils.

Buddy Wash is an excellent smelling dog shampoo which is safe for dogs of all ages. It’s made with sage, rosemary, aloe vera, green tea and chamomile to help soothe your dog’s skin and fur. These ingredients also act as natural conditioners. Buddy Wash is alcohol-free and consists of a coconut-based liquid mixed with lavender and mint to give it a wonderful scent. Your pampered pooch will be looking and smelling their best with Buddy Wash lavender and mint shampoo.

Pros:

  • Made in the USA and not tested on animals
  • Lavender and mint scent is light yet effective
  • Soap and alcohol-free
  • Contains ingredients which soothe and moisturize skin
  • 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner formula

Cons:

  • This shampoo is only recommended for adult dogs.

Earthbath 2-in-1 Mango Tango Conditioning Dog Shampoo

Key Benefits:

  • Conditioner and shampoo 2-in-1 formula
  • Won’t wash off topical flea and tick treatment
  • Affordable for all budgets
  • Also appropriate for bathing cats

Best Smelling Budget-Friendly Dog Shampoo: Earthbath dog shampoos are known for smelling great, but this new Mango Tango scent is especially delicious! Dog parents report that the smell is lasting and pleasant without being too overpowering. It’s an excellent budget-friendly shampoo choice if you want to give your pup a spa-like experience from home. The ingredients are all natural and renewable.

This Earthbath 2-in-1 shampoo is paraben and phosphate-free, and it’s also biodegradable! The ingredients will work to cleanse your dog as well as hydrate their skin and coat. You don’t have to worry about a separate conditioner for your dog with long hair, as this one already has that component built into it. Your dog will have beautiful, detangled, and tropical-smelling fur after a bath with Earthbath dog shampoo.

Pros:

  • Cost-effective
  • Great for cats and dogs over 6 weeks of age
  • Leaves the coat smelling and looking fresh
  • Conditioning shampoo formula to save time and money
  • Soap, paraben and phosphate free

Cons:

  • May require a good bit of shampoo to get a sudsy lather going

More Great Smelling Dog Shampoo Top Picks

Oster Oatmeal Essentials Extra Soothing Dog Shampoo

This Country Apple scented dog shampoo from Oster is budget-friendly and very popular. The oatmeal-based shampoo is formulated with aloe and chamomile extract for softening and moisturizing your dog’s dry skin. It is pH balanced and doesn’t contain any dyes, parabens or phthalates. You can use the shampoo regularly without drying your dog’s skin out. We like this shampoo because he scent is said to be long lasting, and it’s made in the USA!

Earthbath Ultra-Mild Wild Cherry Puppy Shampoo

We love the smell of this Wild Cherry puppy shampoo from Earthbath, and we bet you will too! The tearless, pH balanced formula is great for sensitive and dry skin. Natural cleansers work to effectively rid your puppy’s coat of dirt and debris, while shining up their fur and leaving it feeling soft. Just like other Earthbath shampoos, this one is biodegradable, paraben free and phosphate free. Other dog parents report that the Wild Cherry scent is mild and smells delicious!

PL360 All-in-One Fresh Pomegranate Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

If your pup has a thick, coarse coat, they may need a specially formulated shampoo. We like this natural one from PL360. It will clean your pup, detangle their fur and moisturize their skin. This 2-in-1 formula is safe for your precious pooch, as it doesn’t contain any parabens, sulfates, soap or toxins. Plus, a lovely pomegranate scent will emanate from their cuddle-worthy coat after bath time.

Frisco Oatmeal Shampoo With Organic Aloe For Dogs

This budget-friendly shampoo from Frisco is made in the USA with certified organic aloe vera to naturally soothe your dog’s skin. The plant-derived cleansers will remove dirt and debris from your pup’s coat while nourishing and hydrating their skin. This lathering shampoo also contains chamomile extract and oat protein for actively protect your dog’s delicate skin. Frisco oatmeal shampoo smells of delectable almond, which is popular with a lot of dog parents!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best natural dog shampoo? – Our recommendation for the best smelling, natural dog shampoo is 4-Legger lemongrass and aloe vera formula. All 4-Legger dog shampoos are natural and 100% certified organic. 4-Legger also makes certified organic deodorizing sprays, which are fantastic for keeping your dog smelling great between baths.
  • What can I wash my dog with to get rid of smell? – You will absolutely need to use a dog shampoo to get rid of any smell that may be lingering on them. Human shampoo and dish soap can irritate your pup’s delicate skin, and cause further dryness inflammation. In between baths you can also use a deodorizing spray specifically created for dogs.
  • Why does my dog smell bad? – You’ve given your dog a bath with a great smelling dog shampoo but they still stink. What do you do? We highly suggest seeking veterinary attention. If your pup has an odd or rancid odor, they may have an underlying health concern, including impacted anal glands or infection.
  • Can I use Johnson’s baby shampoo on my dog? – Although Johnson’s is appropriate for delicate skin on human babies, it’s not meant for dogs. It’s important to use a shampoo for dogs because it will be pH balanced to meet the needs of your pup. Any sort of human shampoo can dry out your dog’s skin and coat.

Conclusion

It’s important that dogs get regular baths to help them stay clean and healthy. A bath with an appropriate dog shampoo will help your dog continue to look and feel their best. We are confident that all of the scented dog shampoos on our list smell wonderful and will leave your dog smelling fresh for days to come. Say goodbye to that wet dog smell and say hello to a cuddle-worthy pup!

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