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Our dogs are always beautiful and pretty much perfect in our eyes, but there’s no denying that now and then, they really need a bath.
Perhaps they seem uncomfortable, with itchy or dry skin, fleas and ticks or maybe they just straight-up stink. Perhaps they rolled around in the mud, food or worse. In any event, giving our dogs regular baths is a way of keeping them feeling fresh, clean, and comfortable — much like it is with ourselves. If we often bathe with good products, we feel better as well!
However, there’s a lot to keep in mind with a dog shampoo, much like with products for humans. If they have dry or sensitive skin, products are needed that are best for their skin to get the best results. In the end, our beautiful pup will have clean skin and coat that is well moisturized and healthy — and that’s precisely what we want for them. It doesn’t stop there, though.
Dog’s skin is different from their human handlers in a big way. According to the American Kennel Club, “Human skin has a normal pH balance of 5.5-5.6, which is on the acidic side. On the other hand, dogs have a normal pH balance of 6.2-7.4, which is more neutral. Using a human shampoo on dogs disrupts the acid mantle, leaving your dog vulnerable to parasites, viruses, and bacteria.”
Does this mean you can never ever use your shampoo in a pinch? No. With more mild formulations today, the occasional shampooing of your pooch with human-grade cleansers should be fine. Additionally, acidity, or pH balance, varies from dog to dog, and your dog may have more acidic skin than other dogs.
Dogs may not appreciate taking a bath. In fact, they may make this dissatisfaction clear the entire time, but giving them those baths is an essential part of pet parenting — and with suitable shampoos, they’ll smell delicious at the end, too. Just remember, don’t get water in their ears when you’re washing them because that can lead to a pricey trip to the vet.
Pride + Groom The Sensitive One Box Set
These all-natural shampoo and conditioner duos have a signature scent that is fresh, clean and long-lasting. It’s also easy to use, thanks to a cone-shaped dispenser nozzle. Anyone who has bathed a dog knows that sometimes it’s a struggle to keep them in the tub or sink and wash them simultaneously. This shampoo bottle’s shape makes one-handed operation all the easier. The accompanying conditioner has quinoa and althaea officinalis root for an added fresh-smelling finish.
Rowan The Fur Wash
This shampoo is super hydrating and made with coconut oil and argan oil. It’ll keep their coat shiny and moisturized but smelling like a tropical cocktail while they are at it. This is an especially good option for breeds that shed and will give any pup a clean, glossy fur and a great fresh feel.
Burt’s Bees for Dogs Natural Oatmeal Shampoo
Burt’s Bees makes a gentle option for a sensitive pup that works for even the dirtiest of dogs. This dog shampoo is made with beeswax, honey, and colloidal oatmeal for a non-irritating, soothing option that leaves behind a subtle oatmeal scent. The oat flour will help make sure their skin and coat are well-conditioned, and the honey will add that beautiful shine. For all the bang you get for the buck, this is the best you can buy if you’re looking to buy in bulk.
Chagrin Valley Dry Dog Shampoo
BEST DRY SHAMPOO
We all are fans of dry shampoo for the ability to have a clean, fresh scent between washes without having a shower handy. Well, adorably enough, that option exists for dogs as well. This dry shampoo powder works very much the same as human dry shampoos in that it will absorb excess oils and make them feel and smell clean and fresh. Even better, all the ingredients are certified organic, vegan, non-GMO, and cruelty-free, so you know you are kind not only to your pup but also to the planet.
WashBar Manuka Dog Soap Bar
BEST SHAMPOO BAR
There’s nothing quite like seeing our furbaby in pain or uncomfortable, and this soap bar helps to relieve their dry, itchy skin with soothing natural ingredients like manuka oil, kanuka oil and more. Also, it’s just so helpful that this eco-friendly bar comes small and curved — it makes it easier to get into the nooks and crannies, especially with the tiny dogs!
Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Pet Shampoo
We love this option for pups with sensitive skin, thanks to the all-natural and organic ingredients. It gently and thoroughly will soothe that sensitive skin and keep it moisturized, and with the addition of oatmeal and aloe, it will keep the dogs smelling fresh and clean. There’s also natural vanilla and almond oils, but no synthetic fragrance and dyes, for a lovely but natural scent and won’t be irritating.
TropiClean Spa White Coat Shampoo for Pets
BEST FOR WHITE COATS
A great bath can be like a day at the spa for humans, but what if that was also possible for a puppy bath? We can dream! But it’s actually the plan with this soap-free shampoo, which contains a rich lavender aroma. This will not only smell delicious but also help to keep the dog feeling calm both during the bath and after when they are ready for a much-deserved nap. Add to that the whitening boosters in this formula, and you’ll basically have given your dog a full-on makeover.
Aesop Animal Shampoo
LONGEST LASTING SCENT
You don’t want a super heavy scent — that can be aggressive and irritating to both the dog and the surrounding humans — but you do want a pleasant aroma. This beautifully mild and gentle shampoo includes scents like lemon rind and tea-tree leaf, so it will keep the pup clean and feeling fresh but also smells really lovely.
Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
BEST SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER
Lavender and mint may be the contents of your home herb garden or excellent additions to an after-work cocktail. Still, they also work together beautifully in this shampoo and conditioner set. The fresh fragrance mixes with essential oils like rosemary, sage, and chamomile for a result that will eliminate any odors and keep them smelling fresh and clean.
Rocco & Roxie Calm Sensitive Skin Shampoo
BEST FOR DRY, ITCHY SKIN
For the sensitive little guy (and gals), this is a gentle shampoo made with aloe vera extract and chamomile. These ingredients keep skin calm, soothed, and moisturized. But there’s also rosemary, coconut and honey as ingredients. All are healthy for skin but will offer a beautiful mild scent that will last for hours after bathing.