best dog shampoo

7 Best Dog Shampoos With Our 2019 Budget-Friendly Pick

Since hygiene is one of the most important factors in keeping your dog healthy and thriving, choosing a good dog shampoo for bath time is crucial. It’s crucial that you choose a dog shampoo that will best cater to your pup’s needs. We know it can be overwhelming to consider all of the dog shampoos on the market, so we’ve conducted research to help make your decision a little easier.

Choosing a dog shampoo can be fairly easy once you know what to look for and what ingredients to avoid. In this guide, we’ll help you determine which dog shampoo will be best for your dog’s skincare needs by listing a variety of factors to consider. We also offer a list of 7 fantastic dog shampoo recommendations. Let’s get started!

5 Benefits of Using a Dog Shampoo

It’s crucial that you use a dog shampoo to bathe your dog, rather than dish soap or human shampoo. Some benefits of bathing your pup with a great dog shampoo include:

  1. Promote overall health: Using a dog-specific shampoo will encourage the overall health and well-being of your best canine pal. A healthy dog starts with thriving skin and coat.
  2. Keep your dog smelling fresh: No one likes wet dog smell or nasty odors when your pup tries to snuggle up with you on the couch. A quality dog shampoo will keep icky odors at bay so your dog is cuddle-worthy all the time!
  3. Help prevent fleas and ticks: When you bathe your pup with a suitable dog shampoo, it will not only allow you keep their skin and coat healthy but it will also help keep fleas and ticks away. While not all dog shampoos specifically act as preventatives, many dog shampoo ingredients act as natural repellents.
  4. Reduces seasonal allergies: Humans know how terrible it is to deal with allergies. It’s no doubt that your dog feels the same way. Using a dog shampoo with soothing ingredients will help alleviate symptoms due to allergies.
  5. Detangle your dog’s fur: It’s easy for a playful pup to end up with matted, tangled fur. Dog shampoo will make your dog’s fur groomable for stress-free brushing and the removal of mats.

Ingredients to Avoid in a Dog Shampoo

As dog parents, we tend to be protective over the products we use for our dogs. Shampoo is no exception. When choosing a dog shampoo it’s important to review the helpful ingredients on the label, but what are some harmful ingredients to avoid? We list them below:

Using a shampoo that contains any of these harmful ingredients can potentially cause dry skin, redness, irritation or inflammation. They can also flare up sensitive skin or allergies. If you can avoid purchasing a dog shampoo that doesn’t contain the harmful ingredients we listed, it’s highly recommended that you do so.

5 Features to Consider When Choosing a Dog Shampoo

Dog shampoos vary in a variety of factors. To pick the best one for your dog, consider the following components:

  1. Your dog’s skin and coat type: Every dog’s skin and hair is unique. Maybe their skin is dry and their coat is sensitive. Perhaps they have brittle hair and itchy skin. Whatever the case is for your canine pal, you will want to choose a shampoo that will help with their specific needs.
  2. Your dog’s age: Puppies typically need a different shampoo than adult dogs. They have delicate, sensitive skin that can easily dry out. If you have a young dog under 12 weeks old, we recommend purchasing a puppy-specific shampoo.
  3. Helpful ingredients: Depending on your dog’s skin type, you may want to consider ingredients that will help soothe dry skin or reduce inflammation. Some beneficial ingredients include oatmeal, aloe vera or essential oils. You absolutely want to avoid dog shampoos which contain alcohol, parabens, soap or detergents.
  4. Parasite control and repellent: Some dog shampoos have ingredients which kill fleas, ticks and lice. These shampoos are often formulated to heal skin that has been affected by parasites, including ringworm. Many anti-parasitic dog shampoos also act as a repellent for pests, including mosquitoes.
  5. Skin and allergy sensitivities: If your dog has allergies, asthma or respiratory sensitivities, you may want to buy a hypoallergenic, all-natural dog shampoo. Buying an appropriate shampoo will reduce the risk of further irritating your dog’s skin and nose.

Overall Best Dog Shampoo Reviews in 2019

Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo and Conditioner

Key Benefits:

  • 2-in-1 conditioning shampoo formula
  • Made in the USA with cosmetic-grade ingredients
  • Contains a blend of rosemary, aloe vera, green tea and sage
  • Contains wheat protein, which is a natural deodorizer

Buddy Wash dog shampoo is an incredibly popular choice among pet parents. This gentle conditioning shampoo is an excellent option for any dog, no matter their age, weight or hair type. It’s a soap-free shampoo which contains a blend of ingredients to clean and deodorize your dog and leave their coat feeling silky smooth. Your pup will walk away from bath time feeling cool and smelling of delightful mint and lavender.

Buddy Wash is built with botanical extracts and natural conditioners to detangle your dog’s fur. Other ingredients will soothe the skin and fur. Buddy Wash contains wheat protein, which is a natural deodorizer to rid your dog of nasty smells. We love that Buddy Wash dog shampoo is made cruelty-free in the USA, and it’s safe for puppies.

Pros:

  • Soap and alcohol-free
  • Safe for dogs of all ages
  • Not tested on animals
  • Made in the USA
  • Conditioning formula to help with tangled and knotted fur

Cons:

  • If your dog is allergic to wheat, we recommend seeking veterinary advice to find out if this shampoo will be safe for them.

4-Legger Organic Hypoallergenic Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo

Key Benefits:

  • Certified organic dog shampoo
  • Smells amazing
  • Moisturizes your dog’s skin and coat
  • Vegan and gluten-free

Best Runner-Up Best Dog Shampoo: Your dog will absolutely get a healthy, soothing bath when you wash them with 4-Legger dog shampoo. It’s certified organic and created with a blend of holistic ingredients such as essential oils, lemongrass, aloe vera and rosemary extract. This formula works to cleanse your dog’s skin and coat while moisturizing it and restoring essential moisture.

If your dog has been struggling with dry skin or infection, 4-Legger can help. Lemongrass is a natural pest repellent that also contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It will relieve itch and inflammation while softening and conditioning your pup’s delicate skin. 4-Legger smells wonderful, especially if you enjoy the smell of lemon PEZ. This dog shampoo is made vegan, cruelty-free and gluten free. It’s 100% biodegradable and eco-friendly. We love 4-Legger shampoo for all dogs, as they deserve a delightful, rejuvenating bath.

Pros:

  • Sustainably sourced with no GMOs
  • Eco-friendly, cruelty-free and vegan
  • Delicious lemongrass scent
  • Soothes dry, irritated skin
  • Certified organic and made with holistic ingredients

Cons:

  • More expensive than some other dog shampoos

Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog Shampoo

Key Benefits:

  • Affordable for any budget
  • Can also be used to bathe cats
  • Made specifically to soothe dry skin
  • Planet-friendly and 100% biodegradable

Best Dog Shampoo (Budget-Friendly): Eliminate your dog’s scratching and spend more time cuddling after using Earthbath shampoo. This oatmeal and aloe dog shampoo reduces dry, itchy skin so your dog can rest easy and spend more time cuddling on the couch with you! This Earthbath dog shampoo is formulated to heal, soothe and rejuvenate your dog’s skin and coat by way of moisturizing ingredients.

Earthbath offers a variety of shampoos for dogs with different skin conditions. There are other scents available, as well as a puppy shampoo. You can use the Earthbath oatmeal and aloe dog shampoo on cats as well. It is 100% biodegradable and free of parabens and phosphate. You can trust that despite the great price of Earthbath, it’s a trustworthy formula that will clean your dog and leave them feeling and smelling refreshed!

Pros:

  • Suitable for dogs and cats
  • Super affordable
  • Available in other scents
  • Planet and pet-friendly
  • Delicious almond and vanilla scent

Cons:

  • May need a separate conditioner for detangling fur of long haired dogs

Earthbath Ultra-Mild Wild Cherry Puppy Shampoo

Key Benefits:

  • pH balanced for a puppy’s delicate skin
  • Formulated with gentle cleansers
  • Pleasant cherry smell that other dog parents absolutely love

Best Dog Shampoo for Puppies: Puppies need a special shampoo that won’t dry out their sensitive skin. Earthbath wild cherry puppy shampoo offers just that! This puppy shampoo is tearless, pH balanced and won’t wash away topical flea and tick treatment. It comes highly recommended by other dog parents who report that the wild cherry scent is amazing. Like other Earthbath dog shampoos, this one is 100% biodegradable, paraben-free and phosphate-free.

Pros:

  • Tearless and pH balanced for puppies
  • Great for sensitive skin
  • Smells delicious
  • Won’t affect flea and tick treatment

Cons:

  • Not a 2-in-1 conditioning shampoo formula

3 More Top Dog Shampoos

Vet’s Best Hypoallergenic Shampoo for Dogs

If you have a dog with severe allergies or sensitive skin, you may need a hypoallergenic dog shampoo. In that case, we recommend this one from Vet’s Best. This dog shampoo soothes dry and itchy skin through a blend of natural ingredients such as aloe vera and vitamin E. Vet’s Best hypoallergenic dog shampoo is a tearless formula that will not affect your dog’s flea and tick treatment. This dog shampoo will clean your dog, hydrate their skin and soothe dryness.

Burt’s Bees Care Plus+ Hydrating Coconut Oil Dog Shampoo

While Burt’s Bees offers a multitude of great dog shampoos, we like this particular Care Plus+ formula. It rids your dog’s coat of dirt and debris while leaving it soft and hydrated. Coconut oil naturally soothes and rejuvenates the skin. Burt’s Bees products are trustworthy, and this dog shampoo is no exception. It’s made cruelty-free in the USA without colorants, sulfates or artificial fragrances. Burt’s Bees dog shampoo comes at an excellent price for dog parents on any budget.

Paws & Pals Oatmeal Shea Butter & Aloe Vera Shampoo

This dog shampoo from Paws & Pals is 100% natural and organic. The ingredients are gentle but remarkably effective in cleansing your dog’s skin and coat plus restoring moisture to dry, sensitive skin. Paws & Pals is tearless and irritant-free. It’s crafted with a blend of essential oils to soothe itchiness and rejuvenate your dog’s skin and coat. We love that Paws & Pals is made with vegan, all-natural ingredients to bring your dog a healthy, spa-like bath experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I use human shampoo to bathe my dog? – No. Dog shampoos are specifically pH balanced for a dog’s skin and coat. Human shampoo might contain an ingredient mixture that can potentially dry out and irritate your dog’s sensitive skin. Using human shampoo to bathe your dog may end up causing more harm than good by creating flakey, inflamed skin.
  • Can you use any dog shampoo on a puppy? – Some dog shampoos are safe to use on puppies, while others may be too hard for a puppies delicate skin. If you have a young dog, we recommend purchasing a shampoo specifically made for puppies. It will have the proper pH balance to ensure your pup’s skin doesn’t dry out or become irritated.
  • How do you get rid of dog smell? – Regularly bathing your dog will help keep nasty odors at bay. You will need to bathe your dog based on their breed, age and specific health needs. If you are consistently bathing your dog with a high-quality dog shampoo but they still smell, there may be an underlying health condition which needs to be addressed. We suggest seeking veterinary advice if your dog is extremely smelling but nothing helps eliminate the odor.
  • How often should I bathe my dog? – You should give a dog a bath based on their age, breed and overall health. Senior dogs who have slowed down may need more frequent baths, as will active dogs who enjoy getting dirty. Some breeds have sensitive skin and should only be bathed every 6-8 weeks to avoid drying out their skin. The frequency of baths you give your dog depends on a multitude of factors, and you should consider all of them when creating a bath routine.

Conclusion

Bathing your dog can be a great bonding experience. We know that not all dogs enjoy bath time, but when you use a good shampoo, you can be sure that your dog is getting spa-like treatment from home. Dog shampoos are built with your pup’s skin and coat health in mind, which is why it’s important that you use a canine formula instead of a human shampoo. Clean up your pup and keep them smelling fresh and clean with a quality dog shampoo today!

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