Every day in professional grooming life, I come across dozens of dogs a day with entirely different skin types. Every pet owners want to know the best kind of shampoo to use on their specific pup, and I’m here to give my personal favorites.
Keep in mind that each dog has different skin. If your dog has any skin sensitivities or allergies, reach out to your vet before using one of these products on them! While these products are amazing, they may not be the best fit for your pup!
Also, some of these products may have a dual use so I’ll tell you all about my recommendations in detail!
Best Deep Cleaning Dog Shampoo/Conditioner
The first one we’re going to talk about is the best deep cleaning shampoo/conditioner. This is always the most highly asked about. On top of smelling good, everyone wants a product that is going to actually scrub and lather well enough to clean thoroughly and last longer.
My recommendation for a deep cleaning shampoo for your dog that also smells great is Chi for Dogs. In particular, the deep moisture shampoo and conditioner. It is one of the only shampoos in my experience that I’ve used that works on almost every coat type.
It works wonders on curly coats, double coats, small shorthaired dogs, etc. Because of its deep moisturizing abilities, it helps prevent the skin from drying out while still getting the skin and coat squeaky clean.
I’m able to use this shampoo only twice on a particularly dirty pup where with another I may have to use it 3 or more times. I’ve groomed dogs who have rolled in things in the yard, dogs with grease or oil on them, even dogs that have been skunked and this particular shampoo and conditioner have done what others haven’t been able to do.
I do want to put out there it does not FIX a skunked dog, that takes time, patience and a lot of washes. It can help significantly with the smell though. But it does not cure it.
I like to use this shampoo twice, letting it sit on for a minute or two and then rinsing it thoroughly. A little goes a long way, and it lathers very well.
The conditioner is incredible and works twice as well for cleaning when blown into the coat with a pet dryer. You must also rinse the conditioner exceptionally well, it tends to stick in crevices such as the armpits, legs, ears, back end. It smells amazing.
It almost has a vanilla kind of scent that kind of smells like a light men’s cologne, without smelling too masculine. In my experience, this product lasts twice as long as a basic shampoo or conditioner. I’ve used it on my own rowdy, wild pups who love to run around in the yard and be wild and they smell good for 2 to 3 weeks instead of only 2 to 3 days. The scent is not too overpowering, but it can trigger people with sensitivities to smells.
Another second favorite of mine is the Cowboy Magic. This also has extreme cleaning abilities and helps get every bit of dirt and debris out of your pup’s coat.
DeShedding Dog Shampoo & Conditioner
The next product is my favorite deshedding product. I only have one recommendation for this, and it’s the Furminator Deshedding shampoo and conditioner. In my article, How To Groom a Husky, I explain in detail how to use this product to get the most hair off your pup safely! Refer to that if you’d like because it goes in-depth on bathing, conditioning, blowing out and brushing!
This shampoo is fantastic because it helps strengthen the hair to prevent more breakage and shedding while removing the hair and undercoat that needs to come off. It’s best to let the shampoo sit for a minute or two. The conditioner is really my favorite part of the product, though it needs to be used together.
If you blow the conditioner into the coat with a pet dryer, it will blow the undercoat and loose hair out, and it will go everywhere. It saves so much time with brushing and removes the excess hair more powerfully and quickly!
I’ve used it on little Chihuahuas with some spring or summer time shedding, and I’ve used it on Newfies and Pyrenees. Small or large, short or long shedding coats, the Furminator shampoo, and conditioner are just unbeatable in my experience.
The first time you use it, you’ll notice a huge difference, but using it over time really guarantees the prevention and slowing down of shedding as it strengthens your pups hair and coat. It’s like waxing instead of shaving, longer lasting results, and over time less maintenance with use!
Best Smelling Dog Shampoo
The best smelling dog shampoo is a toss-up for me, so I have a few products I’m going to list for this. One of my favorite smelling shampoos is the Earth Bath Mango Tango Conditioning Shampoo. It is a two in one and smells great. It has a very fruity scent that lasts a long time.
If you don’t love the mango smell, they have a few other scents of shampoos that are also amazing; Oatmeal & Aloe, Wild Cherry, Lavender Deodorizer. Earth Bath products are all totally natural, which is another excellent benefit for many dogs & pet parents alike.
I have used the Mango Tango Conditioning Shampoo on my pups at home numerous times and even a week or two later they still have the smell on them. I like to let it sit on them for a few minutes just to make it last a little longer.
Of course, as I listed above with the best deep cleaning shampoo, the Chi for dogs products are also incredible smelling. It really is your preference, as the Chi Oatmeal and Chi Deep Moisture Shampoo and Conditioners both smell amazing in different ways. Any information about the Chi product you should refer to the first paragraph talking about deep cleaning!
Best Value Dog Shampoo
If you are looking for the best value when shopping for a shampoo, you can’t go wrong with any of the shampoos I’ve listed so far, but I’ll break it down for you still!
If your dog doesn’t have severe allergies and you can use a wide variety of shampoos and smells on them, the best value is the Earth Bath Mango Tango Conditioning Shampoo.
You can purchase a 32 oz bottle of it online for a better price than most of the other products I’ve mentioned. Plus it’s a two in one, so you’re already getting more of what you need in one bottle. I like this shampoo for summer time because it smells just like summer, but you can, of course, use it any time you wish.
I should mention just because I praise these two in one does not mean that they are all fantastic, I am speaking simply of Earth Bath products. I haven’t run into another two in one that I prefer so much except for the Chi for Dogs Gentle Formula 2 in 1. With this product again, it smells fantastic and cleans like no other. It’s especially great for dogs with dryer skin that need a little added moisture.
This one is sold in a 16 oz bottle online or in stores for a great price. With either of these products, you will be getting a great deal, and your dog will be getting a good bath.
I like to use the Chi in winter, especially as it adds that extra moisture my pups need from having the heat on, but you can use this any time you wish.
As a recap; The Earthbath is made of all natural products and smells fruity, it has a long-lasting scent. It helps moisturize and soften the coat. It is entirely natural and biodegradable.
The Chi has a mild fragrance in the two in one product and adds shine and moisture to your dog’s coat, with a beautiful long lasting smell. The Chi is sulfate and paraben free and totally PH balanced specifically for dogs.
They are both wonderful products that I’ve used on both of my dogs countless times! For the pups with sensitive skin, it’s best to use products that don’t have as much, or sometimes any, fragrance. I have a couple of products I recommend for this that are all equally safe for sensitive skin and clean thoroughly at the same time.
Before using any products on your dog with sensitive skin, please check with your vet. If it has open sores, hot spots that are extremely inflamed, or is having a severe skin reaction- see a vet before even thinking of bathing.
The best hypoallergenic shampoo I’ve used and recommended to people has been the GNC Medicated Hypoallergenic dog shampoo. It is unscented, which means it’s very gentle on their skin and is doing the one job of cleaning without irritating sensitive skin. It contains hydrocortisone, so it’s important to know that it really is medicated.
However, hydrocortisone is designed to help relieve and soothe itching, so it is an excellent aspect of this shampoo. Again, check with your vet before use.
Another good shampoo for sensitive skin that I like is the Burt’s Bees Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Shea Butter & Honey. It’s 97% all natural and contains shea butter that helps deep condition the skin and coat. It has some fragrance, but that is mostly from the shea butter & honey. It doesn’t have a perfume kind of scent.
This product is especially useful for adding moisture to a pup with sensitive skin. Burt’s Bees has a couple of other products for sensitive skin that all have great reviews, though I have not used them. Earth Bath and Nature’s Miracle both have simpler hypoallergenic shampoos as well.