Dogs are adorable, but the smells they manage to pick up can be unbearable. Dry dog shampoo can be excellent for touching up your dog between baths or just getting rid of the “wet dog” smell they got from playing in the water. Whatever the case may be, dry shampoo gives dog parents the opportunity to freshen up their pup without any hassle.

Bath time can be stressful for dogs and their humans, but you can put that to an end by using a dry dog shampoo. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to choosing the best dry shampoo for your dog, while offering our favorite recommendations. Say goodbye to messy bath time and a dirty pup and hello to a new, easier way to clean your dog.

5 Benefits of Using a Dry Shampoo for Dogs

Many humans know the benefits of using dry shampoo for themselves, but how about for dogs? There are a variety of benefits to note, and we list them below:

  1. If your dog has a fear of baths: Some dogs love water and bath time, while others don’t want anything to do with the idea of getting wet. If that’s your dog, then using a dry shampoo will help eliminate fear of baths. The last thing you want to do is induce more fear into your pup. Using a dry shampoo will get your pampered pooch clean and smelling fresh without the agony of water.
  2. Great for dogs who have physical ailments: Attempting to maneuver a large or ailing dog into a tub for bath time can be incredibly stressful for everyone involved. Avoid the need to move your dog by using a dry shampoo instead of having to worry about cleaning them in a tub.
  3. Touch up between baths: Even if you bathe your dog on a regular basis, dry shampoo can be great to touch up your dog between baths. It’s also nice to have on hand in case they just got a bath but rolled in something nasty!
  4. More time permitting than baths: Baths can take a lot of time and energy from you and your dog. A dry shampoo will make bath time quicker and less stressful.
  5. No watery mess: Creating a mess of water during your dog’s bath time is inevitable. Skip the cleaning by using a dry shampoo instead.

Types of Dry Shampoo for Dogs

Curious about the different dog dry shampoos available to you? There are a variety of different types to choose from:

  • Foam
  • Spray
  • Aerosol
  • Powder
  • Gel
In our opinion, the best and most effective dry dog shampoos are going to be sprays and foam. They seem to be the healthiest, easiest to use and won’t leave an icky residue behind. All of the dry shampoo suggestions on our list are either a foam or spray. Be sure to always look at the ingredients on the bottle of your shampoo, no matter what type you choose to buy.

5 Components to Look for in a Dry Shampoo for Dogs

Choosing a dry dog shampoo can be as difficult as deciding on a shampoo for yourself. We’ve taken out some of the guess work by supplying you with a list of components to consider before buying a dry dog shampoo:

  1. Spray or foam: Dry dog shampoo is available in a spray bottle or foaming pump. Which one you use depends on your preference. Foams are nice because they are easy to massage through your dog’s coat, while sprays are better for even distribution.
  2. Scent: If your dog is sensitive, you may want to purchase an unscented dry shampoo. Otherwise, waterless dog shampoos often come in delightful scents that will keep your pup smelling fresh.
  3. Soothing ingredients: For dogs with dry, itchy or irritated skin, look for a dry shampoo with soothing ingredients. These include oatmeal, aloe vera, coconut-extract and essential oils.
  4. Versatility: Some dry dog shampoos can be used on cats and other household pets. Be sure to read your shampoo’s warning label to see if it’s safe for other animals in your home.
  5. Non-toxic: Does your dog like to lick their paws or other areas of their body after a bath? If so, you will absolutely want a non-toxic dry shampoo that will be safe in case your dog ingests it.

Overall Best Dry Shampoo for Dogs

Bodhi Dog Waterless Lemongrass Dry Shampoo

Key Benefits:

  • Hypoallergenic for sensitive pups
  • All natural, plant-based formula is non-toxic
  • Great for dogs, cats, guinea pigs, ferrets and more
  • Safe for pets who may lick themselves after bath time

Bodhi Dog offers a couple of different dry shampoos for dogs. Our overall top pick is the lemongrass scent, although you may prefer the lavender option for your pup. Either way, Bodhi Dog makes an excellent dry shampoo. They are hypoallergenic, so even if your dog has allergies or sensitive skin, it’s a great choice.

Bodhi Dog dry shampoo is all-natural and plant-based. Since it’s non-toxic and alcohol free, ingesting the shampoo from your dog licking at their paws won’t harm them. You can spray Bodhi Dog dry shampoo on dirty areas of your pup’s body, or use it as a full bath. Let the shampoo stand for one minute, then rub your dog with a towel. You can also comb their fur to evenly distribute the shampoo, leaving their coat looking shiny and clean!

Pros:

  • Hypoallergenic for dogs with allergies or sensitive skin
  • Plant-based formula is non-toxic and alcohol-free
  • Safe for use on dogs, cats, puppies, kittens and other household pets
  • Available in lemongrass or lavender scent
  • Will not wash off a topical flea and tick treatment

Cons:

  • Dog parents report that the scent is wonderful, but it’s not long lasting

Paw Choice Naturals Waterless Foaming Mousse Dog Shampoo

Key Benefits:

  • Mousse formula to easily massage into your dog’s coat
  • Coconut-based formula
  • Made in the USA without chemicals, toxins or detergents
  • No need for a towel dry or pat down

Runner-Up Best Dry Shampoo for Dogs: This dry shampoo from Paw Choice Naturals is a foaming mousse that will clean and condition your dog’s coat without water or even needing to wipe your pup down with a towel. The mousse is excellent for deeply massaging your dog’s skin and coat for an efficient dry bath. All you have to do is lather the shampoo into your dog’s coat and allow them to air dry.

Paw Choice Naturals dry dog shampoo is a coconut-based formula which is safe for dogs of all ages. It’s non-toxic and made in the USA. Many dog parents report that the lavender and chamomile scent is delightful, and the shampoo won’t leave your pup’s coat feeling sticky or greasy. This dry dog shampoo is known to foam extremely well, allowing you to easily bathe your pup without too much effort or stress.

Pros:

  • Effective foaming formula is easy to massage into your pup’s coat
  • Non-toxic and made in the USA
  • Available in other scents
  • No need to towel dry

Cons:

  • Some pet parents mentioned needing to use a damp washcloth to remove excess shampoo

Key Benefits:

  • 100% biodegradable
  • Detergent and alcohol-free
  • Also works for cats, ferrets and guinea pigs
  • Strong, no-rinse formula is gentle on skin

Best Budget-Friendly Dry Shampoo for Dogs: We chose this dry shampoo from Vet Recommended as our top budget-friendly pick because it’s safe, effective and comes at a great price! The 100% biodegradable formula is made in the USA. It’s free of detergent, dyes and alcohol. Vet Recommended dry shampoo comes in a convenient spray bottle to give your dog a gentle cleansing.

Vet Recommended waterless shampoo is formulated with apple extract which gives it a pleasant smell. Fellow dog parents report that the scent is delightful without being too overpowering. The shampoo won’t interfere with the effectiveness of your pup’s topical flea and tick treatment. This particular dry shampoo comes in a 16oz bottle for around $14, making it an affordable option for any budget!

Pros:

  • Cost-effective
  • Biodegradable
  • Useable on other household pets
  • Light apple scent
  • Won’t wash away flea and tick treatment

Cons:

  • Not safe if ingested via licking of the paws

More Top Dry Shampoos for Dogs

Pet Head Dry Clean Spray Shampoo

This blueberry scented dry shampoo is great to have on hand for freshening up your pup between baths or refreshing their coat after a walk in the rain. The ergonomic spray bottle can be used to comfortably spray down your dog for a nice dry bath. The formula is pH balanced specifically for dogs, and it’s non-toxic in case your dog licks their paws or fur after the bath. Pet Head dry shampoo for dogs is made in the USA, and is free of DEA, sulfate and parabens. We like that this delicious smelling dry shampoo is budget-friendly.

Ark Naturals Gray Muzzle No Shampoo! Shampoo for Dogs

Ark Naturals waterless shampoo is a foaming formula which cleans your pet and moisturizes them. This dry shampoo is safe to use on dogs and cats. It can easily be massaged into any type of fur. The pH balanced waterless foam is excellent for full baths or spot cleaning in case your pup got into something undesirable. We like that Ark Naturals dry shampoo for dogs is formulated with a blend of botanical extracts to moisturize and hydrate the skin. These ingredients include balsam, cedarwood and rosemary. Orange oil gives this dry shampoo a pleasant tropical scent.

Nootie Soft Lilly Passion Waterless Foaming Formula Dog Shampoo

Nootie dry shampoo is a hypoallergenic formula which is safe for dogs, puppies, cats and kittens. It will leave your pet’s coat looking shiny and renewed, while it controls shedding and dander. Nootie dry shampoo is a foam consistency so you can easily lather and comb it into your pup’s coat. Other dog parents share that this dry shampoo offers a pleasant scent, and it won’t leave your pooch feeling oily or greasy.

Vet’s Best Waterless Dog Bath

This foam shampoo from Vet’s Best acts as a calming cleanser and moisturizes for your dog. Natural ingredients such as neem oil and aloe vera work to hydrate your pup’s skin while offering a light scent. Vet’s Best dry dog shampoo doesn’t require rinsing or a rub down with a towel. Simply massage into your dog’s coat, let it dry, then brush through to encourage a luscious shine. Vet’s Best won’t wash away topical flea and tick treatments and it comes at a great price.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is waterless shampoo good for dogs? – Waterless/dry shampoo is good for dogs as long as what you’re using is specifically made for our canine companions. It’s important that you don’t use a human shampoo on your pup, as it can dry out their skin and cause irritation. Waterless shampoo for dogs is pH balanced to protect their delicate skin and coat. Remember to always use the dry shampoo as directed.
  • Does dry dog shampoo really work? – Dry dog shampoo works as long as you use it per the instructions, and you purchase a high-quality option. Cheap shampoos may dry out your dog’s skin or cause irritation. Just like anything, you get what you pay for!
  • Can I replace my dog’s regular baths with dry shampoo baths? – If you can bathe your dog regularly, it’s important to do so in order to keep them at their healthiest. However, we understand that you may have a large ailing dog, or a pup with a condition under which they cannot endure a normal bath with water. While a dry shampoo bath may not always be as effective as a normal bath, it’s better than nothing!

Conclusion

Dry dog shampoo is an excellent option for keeping your pup clean and smelling great between baths. They are also fantastic for traveling or on the go. Dry dog shampoo is easy to use, inexpensive and a good backup in case you can’t give your dog a full bath with water. Whatever your situation is, we know that the list of dry dog shampoos that we suggest will have a good option for your puppy pal.

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