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When washing your dog, you've noticed that the shampoo you're using is not suitable for his sensitive skin. Or, perhaps his fur doesn't smell as clean as it should after a bath.
You're wondering what kinds of shampoo might be better for his skin and fur and where to pick them up. Here are some of the top dog shampoo recommendations from dog groomers, along with information on how to effectively wash your pup.
Joy Burton, a pet stylist at Barkbus in Los Angeles, recommends Skout's Honor: Probiotic Pet Shampoo. "Skout's Honor is a great shampoo for dogs. It is an all-natural shampoo that is packed with probiotics, omega-3's, and avocado oil to help with problems like itching, dryness, dandruff, yeast, excess shedding, and hotspots."
Skout's Honor comes in honeysuckle, lavender, and unscented, and will help clean and protect your dog's skin from inflammation and environmental damage. Plus, with every bottle of Skout's Honor that you purchase, you're supporting a rescue animal with a full day's worth of meals.
TropiClean SPA Lavish Shampoos for Pets is safe and gentle and smells like kiwi. Plus, it comes highly recommended from Ani Corless, a professional dog groomer and owner of Luxury Groomer in New York City. "Some dogs have very sensitive skin and allergies so they need a very gentle, soap-free, fragrance-free, dye-free shampoo," says Corless. "This brand is very popular around NYC, so [it's] very easy to grab at the local pet store and online. It works well. It is also all-natural."
One product that stands out amongst groomers is Nature's Specialties Berry Gentle Pet Shampoo, a mild, tearless, and natural shampoo that is ideal for dogs who are more sensitive.
"Another great shampoo is Nature's Specialties because it meets all of your dog's needs at once," says Burton. "Their hypoallergenic shampoo is perfect for pets with skin sensitivities and allergies and is also a gentle shampoo for puppies."
Corless also recommends Nature's Specialties. "This one from Nature's Specialties has been around forever and is a puppy-safe, tearless, gentle berry shampoo," she says.
Emily Woods, a professional pet stylist in Utah who showcases her work on her Instagram, Pawsitively Divine By Emily, says she loves the whole line of iGroom products – especially the Charcoal + Keratin Shampoo and the Argan + Vitamin E Shampoo. "All of the iGroom products have no sulfates, no parabens and phthalates and are naturally inspired," she says. "They also are environmentally sustainable. They smell really good."
If your dog has allergies, then a good option is Dechra MiconaHex + Triz Shampoo, a medicated shampoo that treats dogs and contains ceramides to help with repairing, moisturizing and restoring dry and damaged skin. "It helps dogs who suffer from severe allergies," says Burton. "It's anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and helps defend against yeast and other bacterial infections. What makes this shampoo especially great is that it also comes in a spray that is used for treating hot spots."
Best Shot's One Shot Whitening Shampoo will enhance every coat color and leave it with a pleasant ocean breeze scent. "It helps to brighten the coat by breaking down stains and keeping them from reappearing," says Woods. "This would work great on a white dog or light colored dog."
Does your dog shed a lot? If so, Woods recommends purchasing FURminator deShedding Ultra Premium Shampoo and deShedding Ultra Premium Conditioner.
"When used together, these compliment each other and help eliminate shed hair," she says. "You will see the hair come out as you put the conditioner on. The FURminator is enriched with Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, chamomile extract and aloe vera. It does not have parabens and is made in the USA."
Good Housekeeping agrees, stating "Using this omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, calendula extract and papaya leaf-infused shampoo once a month will promote a healthy coat, and therefore prevent excess shedding."
CHI Infra Shampoo will gently cleanse your dog while correcting the moisture balance of his hair and scalp. Plus, according to Woods, the scent won't quickly fade away.
"For a long lasting clean scent, I recommend CHI," she says. "This company is well-known for their human styling products. Their pet line smells very similar and provides a long-last scent on a clean dog. It contains no parabens or sulfates. It has unique technology to help eliminate frizz and create a soft, silky coat. This shampoo and conditioner keeps my dogs smelling clean the longest out of any shampoo and conditioner I have tried."
Earthbath Ultra-Mild Wild Cherry Puppy Shampoo is ideal if you have a puppy. However, even if you have an adult or senior dog, this shampoo can be used on their face. "You always want to use a separate shampoo on the face," says Woods. "You want a tearless shampoo and should avoid soap in the eyes."
This shampoo smells like coconuts, is safe for puppies that are over six weeks old and contains no gluten, DEA, soap, synthetic dyes, parabens, phthalates or sulfates. K9 of Mine also highly recommends it, stating, "The Earthbalance All Natural Puppy Shampoo is a very highly-rated shampoo that uses natural ingredients to clean your pup."
Tips for washing your dog
It's crucial to buy dog shampoo and not use human shampoo. According to Corless, this is because "the PH is formulated for human skin and is different than dogs," she says. "That can mess with their skins' protective layers and strip away their sebum. When that happens, it leaves their skin open and vulnerable to bacteria and infection, irritation and dryness."
Whenever you're giving your dog a bath with the proper dog shampoo, Burton says the most important thing to do is follow the directions on the shampoo bottle. "Dilute shampoo if necessary and always use a face-specific shampoo for your dog's head so it's safe around their eyes. If giving baths at home, definitely use bathing gloves because they help massage your dog's skin and remove lots of excess hair in the bath."
The final takeaway
Using dog shampoo specifically formulated for your pup is important. There are so many options out there, so try different ones until you figure out what's best for your pup's fur, hair, skin, and overall health.