Choosing the Right Shampoo for your Pet

best shampoo for your dog

As you already know, the dogs are among the most playful animals in existence – they’re always busy! Unfortunately, this almost always leads to things like dirty sofas and floors. And the best thing you could do about that is to give your pooch a good bath.

The key to giving your pup a shiny coat and a fresh new look is in choosing the right shampoo. Since there are many different brands of dog shampoos on today’s market, we’ve decided to write this guide and help you out – read on!

Skin Condition

Fortunately, today’s market offers products for both the sensitive and the dry skin. If your four-legged companion has dry, itchy, or flaky skin, investing into a quality moisturizing shampoo would certainly be the wisest decision. However, it’s equally important to consult with your local vet and find out what is the cause of the skin condition of your pet.  

dog in a bath towel

Look for the products that feature various relieving ingredients, such as cereal, honey, aloe vera, and vitamin E. Dry skin might also mean that your pup’s skin is a very sensitive one. This means that you’ll have to avoid scented products since fragrance can quickly become the source of further irritation. If you’re not exactly sure how to find such shampoo, simply purchase a fragrance-free one. If your pet’s skin is exceptionally itchy and he just can’t stop scratching himself, give your vet a call and ask him to provide you with a shampoo that contains hydrocortisone. In cases of unpleasant odor, on the other hand, you will want to consider a deodorant one. It eliminates the source of the bad smell, which is something that an ordinary shampoo is not capable of doing – but more on that later.

Coat Considerations

The next important part of choosing the right shampoo for your dog would be to evaluate your pet’s coat. Some canines will have silky and smooth fur, and some will have fur that’s coarse and curly. Some fur is greasy to the touch, while some are prone to mats and tangles. Feel the fur of your canine friend and ask your local vet for his professional opinion – it will bring you one step closer to choosing the correct product.

Furthermore, if you’re an owner of a dog with a white coat, we advise you to purchase the shampoo that’s particularly intended for that color of the fur. They usually contain things such as whiteners and brighteners that are bound to improve the natural shine of your white pup’s coat. They also reduce fading and yellowing, which is yet another great thing about them.


It is entirely rational for every canine to sometimes have that “doggy” odor. However, in case your pet has a really strong, unpleasant odor that simply won’t go away, you’ll have to purchase one of those deodorizing dog shampoos. These are capable of neutralizing the smell and leaving a light fragrance behind.

Unlike the regular, they work to remove the source of the odor – Buster shouldn’t have problems with the bad smell ever again. These kinds are also an excellent solution for the very adventurous pets that always find their way into garbage cans and other stinky objects and areas.

Girl gives dog a bath


To add shine and flexibility to your pet’s fur, you’ll have to use leave-in conditioners. They are best when used during daily brushing or between the baths. If your canine friend has a very woolly undercoat or a very thick undercoat, you should use a light leave-in conditioner and thus prevent the product buildup.

With these products, just a little bit of conditioner goes a long way. Using too much of it is guaranteed to turn the coat of your pet into a real dust-magnet, so be very careful about the amount you use. Always start by adding just a small amount of it – it’s easy to add more if required.

Flea and Tick

In addition to their cleansing capabilities, some products will contain ingredients that work to repel or kill ticks, fleas, as well as other pests. These are active ingredients, and they offer only the short-term protection. This means that they treat only the parasites with which they come into contact, and not those that live in your dog’s sleeping place or other environments.

Because of this, the tick and flea shampoos have to be used only in combination with the other similar products, and not as the sole defense against these pests. To know if a particular pup shampoo will wash the topical flea treatment, check the label on the packaging.

Can you use Human Shampoo on a Dog?

Because the dog’s skin is more alkaline than the human skin, an owner has to purchase and use a pet shampoo whose pH is balanced according to the needs of the dog’s coat. The thing that makes using a human shampoo inadvisable is the fact that it’s more acidic and causes irritation and itching to the dog.

Don’t forget that these animals have a skin that’s thinner and more sensitive than ours and that the ingredients used in our shampoos are too simply too harsh for it.

two dogs looking at camera

Dog Shampoo Ingredients to Avoid

Whatever the specific needs of your canine companion are, you’ll be able to find a broad range of shampoos for every condition on the shelves of the pet stores. However, some of them contain ingredients that can easily bring harm to the delicate skin of your four-legged friend.

Make sure to take a closer look at the label before making a purchase, and avoid things like fragrances derived from chemicals and artificial dyes. The same goes for parabens (harmful preservatives), mineral oils, sodium laureth sulfate, cocamide DEA and lauramide DEA.  

Look for the natural fragrances, such as eucalyptus, chamomile, citrus, and lavender.

Even if you’re someone who regularly bathes his dog, a bottle of shampoo should last you a very long time. It’s something that you should keep in mind before you rule out an expensive product – your pet’s health is not something you’d want to save the money on.