Best Dog Shampoo: Top 5 Canine Cleaners Most Recommended By Experts

We all love snuggling up to our pups after a stressful day, but that’s never fun when your pooch is in need of a bath. That’s where it pays to know what the best dog shampoo is for your furry friend. And even though your dog doesn’t appreciate taking a bath at the moment, we assure you that your pooch is grateful to have a clean coat in the end.

Ever notice how your dog tilts their head when you talk to them? A recent study finds that’s not just cute puppy behavior. Researchers from Eötvös Loránd University recently discovered that a dog’s head tilt signifies they’re smart and understand what you’re saying to them. So, when you tell Fido it’s ‘bath time’ and he tilts his head, he definitely knows what’s coming his way. 

Cute antics aside, having a dog in your home goes a long way for your neighborhood, too. A recent study finds that neighborhoods with more dogs see less crime. If the thought of thwarting home break-ins and deterring bike thieves doesn’t make you appreciate your neighbor’s barking dog, perhaps nothing will. 

Still, though, dogs make excellent companions for humans. Dogs are so great that interacting with them can actually stimulate our brains and make us more sociable. Researchers in Switzerland recently found a link between petting dogs and a boost in brain neurons in the pre-frontal cortex, which is the area of the brain responsible for helping to regulate our emotions. That definitely gives a different meaning to the moniker ‘man’s best friend.’

Puppy love aside, StudyFinds did the research, consulting 10 expert websites to find the best dog shampoo for your adorable fur babies. As always, if you have any recommendations of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments below!

short-coated white dog with collar
Yellow lab (Photo by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash)

The List: Best Dog Shampoo, According to Pooch Experts


1. Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Pet Shampoo 

The brand that came up in the top spot most consistently across expert review sites is Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Pet Shampoo. After doing the research, Earthbath sits atop the list of the best dog shampoo, and for good reason.

Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Pet Shampoo 
Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Pet Shampoo

“It’s fragrance-free with colloidal oatmeal and organic aloe vera to moisturize dry, itchy skin. Like all Earthbath products, it’s made without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, gluten and synthetic dyes. All items are cruelty-free and made in the United States,” explains The Spruce Pets

When something is made in the U.S. without additives, you know it’s a quality product for your pooch. But, Earthbath shampoo also works wonders on your dog’s skin and coat. “It also helps combat dandruff, skin allergies, and bacterial dermatitis, which often causes itchiness. It is the best dog shampoo for pups with sensitive skin,” writes A-Z Animals“It’s worth noting that in 2003, FDA categorized colloidal oatmeal as a skin protectant. It packs useful fats, proteins, minerals, and vitamins that soothe and soften skin.”

We all love when our pups are nice and soft. However, Earthbath’s amazing natural scent is also undeniable, making it a well-rounded shampoo for your dog. “The formula neutralizes any strong odors that your dog may have picked up, leaving them with a fresh and clean vanilla-and-almond scent,” writes Good Housekeeping.   

2. Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Shampoo and Conditioner 

The next item we most frequently came across is Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Shampoo and Conditioner. Buddy Wash could certainly make a case for the best dog shampoo. Pet owners love this brand of shampoo because of the natural conditioners and botanical ingredients that will leave your pup smelling delightful. 

Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Shampoo and Conditioner 
Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Shampoo and Conditioner

“This two-in-one conditioning shampoo has a soothing lavender and mint scent created by a mix of essential oils and essences including chamomile, sage, and rosemary extract. The fresh fragrance should help erase the wet dog smell that brought you and your pup to the bathtub in the first place,” writes The Spruce Pets

The mix of ingredients that Buddy Wash uses has this brand sitting atop the list of best-smelling dog shampoos time and time again. But, the great smell isn’t the only benefit of using this shampoo. “The scent is calming, and can help soothe dogs that aren’t big fans of bath time. Since it’s made with natural herbs and oils instead of harsh chemicals, you can rest easy knowing it’s gentle on your dog’s skin,” adds Chicago Magazine

If you have a fussy dog at bath time, you’ll appreciate a calming presence, even if it’s from the shampoo. But, Buddy Wash is just as safe for your dog as it is pleasant. “Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Shampoo and Conditioner is alcohol-free and is instead formulated with coconut liquid, lavender, and mint for a soothing bath time experience that feels like a trip to the spa,” Discover Magazine furthers.  

3. 4-Legger Organic Dog Shampoo

The next shampoo we frequently saw across expert sites in our search for the best dog shampoo was the 4-Legger Organic Dog Shampoo. This dog shampoo is widely used for its natural properties, and it smells terrific, too. 

4-Legger Organic Dog Shampoo
4-Legger Organic Dog Shampoo

“If you’re looking for a premium dog shampoo that smells great and lasts a long time, then the 4-Legger Organic Dog Shampoo is our favorite. This blends USDA-certified organic ingredients that include rosemary and lemongrass essential oils, aloe vera, and oils of coconut, olive, and jojoba,” writes Hepper.  

That’s certainly a star-studded lineup of natural ingredients, but all of that means nothing without being effective at cleaning your furry friend. “The result is a natural shampoo that effectively soothes and conditions your dog’s coat and skin while also smelling great,” adds Hepper. 

The one element that makes 4-Legger Organic such a fan favorite is the lemongrass. “Lemongrass provides a pleasant scent to keep your dog smelling nice and fresh. Meanwhile, soothing aloe and natural coconut oil ease itchiness and dry skin without bothering allergy-prone dogs or pet parents,” writes A-Z Animals

And if the lemongrass scent is too overpowering at first, don’t worry, it fades. “Although the shampoo may smell strong coming from the bottle, the scent on your dog will be very light and not overpowering at all. The lemongrass scent is just enough to leave your pup smelling clean and renewed,” adds Pet Reviews

4. Burt’s Bees Tearless Shampoo for Puppies

Burt’s Bees is a brand known for its gentle skin care products for humans, so it comes as no surprise that its venture into dog shampoos is a success. Burt’s Bees simply came up too many times across the expert lists we visited to ignore their product on the docket of best dog shampoo. 

Burt’s Bees Tearless Shampoo for Puppies
Burt’s Bees Tearless Shampoo for Puppies

“This shampoo made the runner up position on our list of best dog shampoo options because it offers a tearless, cruelty-free, gentle formula that’s perfect for soothing and softening your dog’s skin,” writes Chicago Magazine. 

Again, that soothing, all-natural formula is something Burt’s Bees has built its brand on. “The ultra-gentle, pH-balanced buttermilk and linseed oil formula will cleanse your pups skin without irritation,” adds Good Housekeeping

Clearly, Burt’s Bees is a top choice for anyone with a sensitive-skinned pup. But, Burt’s Bees Tearless Shampoo is also an excellent value for the money. “Honey helps retain moisture in your dog’s coat and strengthen the hair follicles to promote an even healthier coat. This 16-fluid ounce bottle lasts for ages, and once you’ve tried this shampoo, you may not want to use any other dog shampoo ever again,” explains Hepper

5. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Dog Shampoo 

Rounding the list of the best dog shampoo is a clinical formula without a flashy name. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Dog Shampoo doesn’t advertise all-natural ingredients, but the experts rave about this highly-effective shampoo for pooches suffering from skin and coat issues. 

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Dog Shampoo 
Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Dog Shampoo

“For oily coats, Veterinary Formula Clinical Care has a top-rated shampoo that paw parents have called a miracle worker for dog dandruff,” writes HGTV

Pups that suffer from skin problems are helpless, and pup parents are often left with more questions than answers. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Shampoo solves skin problems without a pricey or time-consuming trip to the vet’s office. “Perhaps the strongest and most targeted recommendation on our list, this shampoo relieves irritation, treats bacterial skin infections, and promotes healing,” exclaims Barkbus

The formula used by Veterinary Formula Clinical Care clearly treats more than common itchy skin for your beloved pooch. “The specially formulated shampoo is ideal for combatting dermatitis-induced greasy or waxy skin, red skin rashes, bald spots or flaky skin, in addition to treating fungal and bacterial skin infections and skin scaling caused by seborrhea,” adds Good Housekeeping

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations