The pet industry has a big dirty statistic for dog moms and dads. By the year 2025, pet parents will spend at least $14.5 billion dollars on pet grooming products (1). That’s a whole lot of dog shampoo and grooming tools for our beloved pets. 

Like all products, no two dog shampoos are created equal. Every dog’s skin and coat has unique properties, so the shampoo that works for Fluffy may not perform as well for Mitzi. Your pet’s shampoo needs may also change if he or she is dealing with a pesky skin condition or other health issue. Rest assured, there are plenty of great dog shampoos out there for every coat type and need.

Our Top Picks

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Vetstreet may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Best Dog Shampoo: 13 Great Options To Try

Young woman owner getting her dog clean at home

Best Oatmeal Shampoo For Dogs

Our pick: Wahl Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

best dog shampoo oatmeal from Wahl

Oatmeal dog shampoo is one of the most popular options among pet parents — and with good reason. The key ingredient in a high-quality oatmeal dog shampoo is (you guessed it) colloidal oatmeal. It’s an emollient that soothes and softens the skin thanks to the vitamins, proteins, and minerals it contains. 

Not all oatmeal shampoos for dogs are created equal. Wahl’s formula is ultra-concentrated, so it gets right to the skin itch and irritation that many dogs experience and provides fast relief. Ideal for dogs with dry skin or allergies, Wahl features a gentle mix of ingredients like coconut, lime, aloe, lemon verbena, and oatmeal to moisturize and soothe irritated skin. The pH-balanced formula is free of parabens, alcohol, and PEG-80, offering incredible itch relief without all the bad stuff.


  • Relieves dry, itchy, irritated skin
  • Made without parabens, alcohol, and PEG-80
  • Light, long-lasting coconut-lime-verbena scent
  • Concentrated formula for more baths per bottle
  • Gently moisturizes skin and coat with its rich, full lather

Things to Consider 

  • Some pet parents may prefer unscented

Best Shampoo for Bacteria and Fungus

Our pick: PetMeds Be Super Clean Shampoo

PetMeds best dog shampoo product

Save 35% with first AutoShip order + 5% off future Autoship orders at PetMeds from VetStreet using code: VETSTREET35

PetMeds’ Be Super Clean Shampoo is a veterinary-strength shampoo for dogs with bacterial, fungal, or yeast infections. It kills odors caused by yeast infections or ringworm but has a fresh cucumber-melon scent. Because it is made with sensitive skin in mind, it can be used on dogs over 8 weeks of age.

The key ingredient is chlorhexidine, an antiseptic designed to kill odor and bacteria on the skin. It is best to allow this shampoo to remain on your dog’s skin for up to 10 minutes before rinsing. Hundreds of happy pet parent reviews indicate this shampoo is a success for their dogs.


  • Antimicrobial shampoo that is veterinary strength
  • Made in the USA
  • Light cucumber-melon scent
  • Does not remove topical flea and tick preventatives
  • Safe for pets with sensitive skin
  • Specifically designed for the pH of your dog’s skin

Things to Consider

  • Best to wait one day after applying flea preventatives before you shampoo your pet
  • Dogs will need to wait up to 10 minutes before product is rinsed from their skin

Best Foaming Dry Shampoo for Dogs

Our pick: Dr. Cuddles Everyday Foaming Pet Dry Shampoo

Dr Cuddles everyday foaming pet shampoo

Life happens, and that’s what Dr. Cuddles Everyday Foaming Pet Dry Shampoo is made for. If your dog happens to get dirty or needs an in-between bath freshening up, this formula dries easily and quickly. Using 100 percent natural, non-toxic, cruelty-free ingredients, the dry shampoo easily lifts dirt particles from your dog’s fur.

Pump the product into your hands and start massaging it gently into your dog’s fur. The ingredients work by soaking up oil and dirt. No water is required, but some pet parents like brushing their dog’s coat afterward. Because it is veterinarian-formulated, you’ll feel good using the natural botanicals, deodorants, and protein extracts on your pooch. If you are a multi-species household, cats can use it, too!


  • Comes in two fresh-smelling scents
  • Requires no water and no rinsing
  • Can be used as needed on dogs or cats
  • No harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances
  • Cruelty-free product

Things to Consider

  • No scent-free formula available
  • Only available in 200 mL size at this time

Best Dog Shampoo for Smelly Dogs

Our pick: PetAg Fresh ‘n Clean Scented Dog Shampoo

PetAg Fresh 'n Clean Scented Dog Shampoo

Stink happens. If your dog’s odor is extra pungent or he rolled in something disgusting, you’ll need a shampoo for smelly dogs. Rather than mask the odor, PetAg’s Fresh ‘n Clean Scented Dog Shampoo leaves a long-lasting scent behind that clings to hair for up to two weeks. 

Many odor-controlling shampoos don’t live up to the hype, but PetAg’s smelly dog shampoo smells amazing and truly lingers without being overpowering. Hundreds of reviews agree this shampoo gets the job done, removes dirt and grime, but keeps dogs sweetly scented for days to weeks at a time. 


  • Gently cleans with soap-free, pH-balanced, plant-derived cleansers
  • Moisturizes the dog’s skin and coat with aloe and vitamin E
  • Reviews from groomers praise it as their “go-to” shampoo for smelly dogs
  • Made in the USA 
  • Reasonably priced 
  • Scent is described as fresh and clean without being overpowering 

Things to Consider

  • Designed for use on adult dogs only. 
  • Must be rinsed out extremely well, as with most dog shampoos
  • Repeat shampooing process if necessary after first round 

Best Dog Shampoo for Puppies

Our Pick: Earthbath Ultra-Mild Wild Cherry Puppy Shampoo

earthbath Ultra-Mild Puppy Shampoo and Conditioner

A puppy is a bundle of energy and a “wild child,” which means they also need a safe, pH-balanced dog shampoo designed for their skin and coat. This 3-in-1 formula from Earthbath cleanses, detangles and conditions, and features a dash of baby-fresh cherry fragrance. 

Earthbath suggests “once your puppy is slippery and wet, he is suddenly smarter and faster than you are.” The company’s commitment to quality products and money-back “happiness guarantee” are rare gems. Puppy skin deserves tender care, and this mild luxurious dog shampoo will help keep her smelling delectable and looking great. 


  • Earthbath products are cruelty-free and contain no animal by-products or ingredients
  • Tearless, soap-free and pH balanced to use with delicate puppy skin
  • Blended with renewable plant-derived and coconut-based cleansers
  • Contains no sulfates, parabens, dyes, DEA, parabens, or alcohol
  • Made in the USA
  • Money-back guarantee imprinted on the bottle if you are not satisfied 

Things to Consider

  • May be diluted with 10 parts water to one part shampoo if desired
  • Leave lathered wet shampoo on for at least 90 seconds 
  • Some reviews indicate a strong scent 

Best Dog Shampoo for Itchy Skin 

Our Pick: Vet’s Best Hot Spot Dog Shampoo 

Vet's Best Hot Spot Itch Relief Shampoo for Dogs

A lot of dogs who have itchy skin wind up creating nasty hot spots. Whether your dog has a hot spot or itchy skin, Vet’s Best Hot Spot Dog Shampoo is a winner. It’s alcohol-free, no-sting formula provides fast relief from scratching without irritation. Pet parents who grow weary and distressed seeing their dogs constantly itching can take comfort in this shampoo. 

Always see your veterinarian for any ongoing itching or hot spot issues. In tandem with your dog’s regular vet-prescribed medications or treatment, Vet’s Best dog shampoo for itchy skin may help. Its key ingredients are tea tree oil, aloe vera, and chamomile for soothing relief. Because it is veterinarian formulated and recommended, pet parents feel safe using it in conjunction with topical flea control products.


  • Simple ingredients of tea tree oil, aloe vera, allantoin, panthenol, and vitamin E
  • Bathe as often as needed to soothe itchy dry skin and hair 
  • Money-back guarantee printed on packaging 
  • Many reviews indicate dogs are not itching or biting in between baths
  • Moisturizes the dog’s coat and keeps it soft and shiny 

Things to Consider

  • Use on dogs and puppies 12 weeks or older
  • Must lather and massage into the dog’s coat for 5 minutes
  • Scented formula 
  • Not recommended for nursing or pregnant dogs

Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs

Our Pick: Sentry Flea & Tick Oatmeal Hawaiian Ginger Shampoo for Dogs 

SENTRY Oatmeal Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs

Imagine being able to kill fleas and ticks on your dog with a rich, conditioning, non-staining shampoo. Sentry’s flea shampoo for dogs cleans and deodorizes with a flea and tick-killing ingredient all-in-one formula. This product contains permethrin, which is designed to kill existing ticks and fleas on your dog. 

The Hawaiian ginger scent infused with oatmeal is perfect for dogs with sensitive skin. Sentry says their shampoo can even kill deer ticks that may carry Lyme disease. Ideal for dogs and puppies over 12 weeks of age, it is designed to clean your dog and eliminate unwanted pests from his skin and fur. 


  • Sentry indicates a single application of this shampoo kills adult fleas and ticks for up to 10 days.
  • Economical and affordably priced
  • Product is pH balanced to promote skin and coat health
  • Cleans, deodorizes, and conditions while killing fleas and ticks
  • Oatmeal soothes and calms irritated or dry skin 

Things to Consider

  • You may want to check with your veterinarian before use to ensure there are no contraindications 
  • Certain medications can interact with pesticides
  • Do not treat your dog with more than one pesticide product at a time 

Best Organic Flea Shampoo for Dogs

Our Pick: Richard’s Organic Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs

Richard’s Organics Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs

Not everyone feels safe or comfortable putting a chemically-based flea shampoo on their dog. Richard’s Organics Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs protects against fleas, ticks, and mosquitos with five all-natural essential oils. Each ingredient is environmentally friendly and does not subject your dog to harsh chemicals. 

It’s five active ingredients are peppermint oil, eugenol (clove oil), cedarwood oil, cinnamon oil, and rosemary oil. When combined, Richard’s helps keep pests from hitching a ride on your dog. It contains no artificial colors or fragrances and is safe for use on dogs 12 weeks and older. 


  • Formula is designed to kill fleas and repel mosquitos for up to four weeks at a time 
  • Can be used in conjunction with flea and tick treatments without removing them
  • Cedarwood oil is good for coat conditioning and skin dermatitis 
  • Made in the USA
  • Contains no harsh soaps or damaging detergents
  • Affordably priced 

Things to Consider 

  • Consult with your veterinarian if your dog has any pre-existing health issues first 
  • Do not get this product near your dog’s eyes
  • Scent is strong due to natural essential oils 

Best Dog Shampoo for Sensitive Skin

Our Pick: Zymox Enzymatic Dog Shampoo

Zymox Shampoo with Vitamin D3 Gallon by Pet King Brands

Zymox’s no-sting, tear-free shampoo is made without chemicals, detergents, or chlorines and is safe for dogs and cats. Their patented LP3 enzyme formula blends proteins with vitamin D3 to be safe and gentle on pets of all ages. It is mild and non-drying to soothe the skin without stripping it. 

It contains no antibiotics so it won’t cause unnecessary skin irritation. Sensitive, itchy, irritated skin is best served with a product like Zymox’s LP3 dog shampoo. Coupled with Zymox’s leave-on conditioner, dogs with more delicate skin are in for a treat.


  • Naturally effective formula developed by veterinarians
  • Soothes, cleanses, and provides itch relief, too 
  • Curbs itching, allergy, and dandruff 
  • Supports healthy skin and protects delicate skin 
  • Made in the USA
  • Soothing relief from germs, fungus, yeast, itchy, or allergic skin 

Things to Consider 

  • Must be left on the dog’s coat for 3-5 minutes before rinsing thoroughly
  • Lightly fragranced
  • Consult with your veterinarian for more severe skin issues (i.e., atopic dermatitis) before use

Best Deshedding Shampoo for Dogs 

Our Pick: FURminator DeShedding Ultra Premium Shampoo for Dogs

FURminator Ultra Premium Deshedding Shampoo

Shed happens, and when dogs shed, it can be overwhelming to try and control the hair appearing in every nook and cranny of your home and clothing. A dog’s coat serves many purposes, and some pups will naturally blow their coat. A high-quality deshedding product like FURminator DeShedding Ultra Premium shampoo may help. 

This proprietary formulation is made in America and formulated to protect against excessive shedding. It promotes a healthy coat with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, calendula extract, and papaya leaf extract. With over 10,000 reviews and a nearly 5-star rating on Amazon, pet parents love the efficacy of this product. 


  • Promotes a healthy coat and skin while reducing loose hair from shedding
  • Free of parabens, artificial colors, and dyes
  • Made in the USA
  • Recommended for use every 4-6 weeks 
  • Safe for use on dogs over 6 weeks old
  • Makes the shed more manageable by reducing the amount of hair your dog loses to shed

Things to Consider

  • For best results, allow the product to set on your wet dog for 5-10 minutes before rinsing
  • Process may be repeated if needed
  • If your dog uses a topical flea and tick treatment, follow instructions on that packaging before use of this deshedding shampoo 

Best Longest Lasting Shampoo For Dogs 

Our pick: Top Performance Fresh Pet Shampoo

Top Performance Shampoo for dogs

With close to 90 percent 5-star reviews on Amazon, Top Performance Fresh Pet Shampoo hits a homerun with pet parents. This non-tangle shampoo is properly pH balanced and safe to use on all ages from puppies to adults. The clean, long-lasting fragrance is a bonus for dog parents who want their pup to smell fresh long after bath time.

Your dog’s coat is left with a soft, smooth feeling that is both clean and conditioned. Because the shampoo is mild, it can be used to prevent mats and tangles for easier comb-outs.


  • Safe to use on puppies over 6 weeks old
  • Fresh, clean scent may last for weeks after bathing
  • Matched your dog’s natural pH balance
  • Available in a variety of sizes
  • Helps prevent mats and tangles in fur 

Things to Consider

  • Gentle enough to use on your dog’s head, but avoid getting it near the eyes
  • If your dog is on a flea and tick preventative, follow the bathing instructions on that product’s packaging.
  • Some pet parents complain the scent is too strong

Best Non-Prescription Topical For Allergic Dermatitis

Our pick: Douxo S3 Calm Shampoo

Duoxo dog shampoo

Douxo is touted by the manufacturer as the #1 non-prescription topical brand used and recommended by U.S. veterinarians for dogs and cats with allergic dermatitis. The shampoo is low lather and rinses clean. Perfect for dogs with sensitive skin and ongoing, chronic itching. Douxo also makes a canine mousse that can be used in conjunction with the shampoo.


  • Skin-smoothing ophytrium helps strengthen the dog’s skin barrier
  • Restores the balance of microbes and soothe irritating itchiness
  • Free of soaps, sulfates, parabens, dyers, and nanoparticles 
  • Available in several sizes 
  • Detangles and moisturizes fur 

Things to Consider

  • The product must remain on your dog for 10 minutes before rinsing
  • Shampoo can be doubled for dogs with long hair or thick fur 
  • If your dog is on a flea and tick preventative, follow the bathing instructions on that product’s packaging.
  • Use one pump of shampoo for every 4 pounds of body weight for dogs.

Best Oat Grain Derivative Shampoo for Dogs

Our pick: Epi-Soothe Shampoo

EpiSoothe dog shampoo

Some dogs need special shampoo to deal with skin infection, parasites, or allergic dermatitis. Using an exclusive encapsulation system in a natural oat-grain derivative, Epi-Soothe is designed for soothing, cleansing, and itch control. It works by disrupting the colonization of microorganisms on your dog’s skin. It also may delay irritation to the skin from bacteria or yeast. 


  • Safe for use in puppies and adults
  • It may be used daily or as directed by your veterinarian
  • Contains a green apple fragrance
  • Soap-free formula
  • Natural biopolymer creates a protective film on your dog’s skin and haircoat

Things to Consider

  • The manufacturer indicates the shampoo is best when used with Epi-Soothe Cream Rinse
  • If your dog is on a flea and tick preventative, follow the bathing instructions on that product’s packaging.
  • Product must remain on your dog for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing

Can You Use Human Shampoo on Dogs?

Cute puppy being washed in bathtub for animals

Human shampoos differ from dog shampoos in many ways, and pH level is one of them. The pH scale measures how basic or acidic a substance is; in this case, shampoo. On the pH scale of 0 to 14, a dog’s skin is around 7.5, whereas a human’s is 5.5. Because a pH of 7 is considered neutral, you don’t want to use a more acidic product, like human shampoo, on a dog’s delicate skin. 

For this reason, you’ll want to look for the phrase “pH balanced for dogs” on a bottle of dog shampoo. Using human shampoo on your dog’s can strip away the oils and the hair’s protective qualities over time. Your dog will end up with an itchy, dry, irritated coat and skin with continued use of human shampoo. 

You should not use human shampoo on dogs.

How to Use Dog Shampoo

Close up of dog being shampooed

Perusing the thousands of available canine shampoo choices can be dizzying. Promises are one thing, but the proof is on the label. Turn the shampoo bottle around or look at the label image online to view the product’s ingredients.

Some shampoos need to set on the dog’s skin after lathering and massaging into his or her coat. Some require multiple shampooing sessions whereas others involve a one-and-done process. Always follow labeling instructions, and if your pet requires a medicated shampoo, talk to your veterinarian first. 

Keep in mind that some dog shampoos interfere with topical flea and tick preventatives. Most often, instructions for use are located on the pest preventative label. Some dog shampoos specify that they will not interfere with topical flea and tick treatments. 

Dogs don’t need to be bathed often, so it’s important not to overdo it. Many pet parents adhere to a set bathing schedule or have their pet’s groomer perform that task. However, at some point, your dog will roll in or step in something gross, be affected by fleas, or generally emit a stinky odor. 

There’s a dog shampoo for every need, including but not limited to oatmeal shampoo for itchy skin, dog dandruff shampoo, antifungal shampoo, dry shampoo, medicated shampoo, and even conditioners for dogs. 

Dog Shampoo: What to Look For

Dog being rubbed with a towel

“When shopping for dog shampoo, you want one that cleans well and rinses easily,” says Karen Osper, a professional pet stylist and preservation dog breeder of 30 years. “Specialty shampoos each have their place, and I’ve used many different ones quite often.”

Osper says even if you don’t own a show dog, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat their coat like a show dog. Using high-quality products will give you a positive result. The key, she emphasizes, is to rinse, rinse, rinse, and make sure your dog is completely dry. 

For example, some shampoos are better for heavy coats, and others are formulated for puppies. Osper likes a hypoallergenic shampoo that is safe to use on dogs under 1 year old. “Being recommended by a vet doesn’t matter to me when I’m selecting a quality dog shampoo,” she adds.

Puppy being shampooed

Ingredients to avoid in dog shampoos include propylene glycol, phthalates, parabens, methylparaben, formaldehyde, Cocamidopropylbetaine, and isopropyl alcohol. Famous veterinarian Dr. Jean Dodds warns pet parents that preservatives should be avoided if possible (2). Some can dry the skin, and others are listed as carcinogens by the U.S. Government, such as formaldehyde. 

Here are some of our favorite dog shampoo selections depending on your dog’s coat, skin type, and individual needs. 

Dog Shampoo: Tips and Advice

Washing an American Cocker spaniel with a dog shampoo

It’s best not to use antifungal, antibacterial, or antiparasitic dog shampoos unless directed by your veterinarian. Because the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) doesn’t regulate pet shampoos, it’s up to pet parents to be their dog’s ally. 

Try to avoid artificial ingredients, dyes, and anything with harsh chemicals. The goal of dog shampoo is to clean and moisturize your dog’s skin and coat. Happy bathing!