• Smart Bark

The 10 Best Dog Shampoos

Updated: Sep 17

Smart Bark is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

A great dog shampoo is your secret weapon for keeping your four-legged friend looking and smelling their best. Dog are generally clean animals, and will often lick themselves clean after being outdoors. Nevertheless, they still need bathing to help them stay clean and healthy and let's face it, smelling nice.

Choosing the right shampoo for your dog is essential as it will not only keep their coat in tip top condition, but help deal with underlying itchy skin conditions, dandruff and even fleas.

4 of the best dog shampoos

Table of Contents

Buying Guide for Dog Shampoos

Features to Consider

Our Picks for the Best Dog Shampoo

Top Tips for Bathing your Pooch


Dog shampoos are big business. Unfortunately they aren’t categorised as medical, so they aren’t regulated in the same way that dog food or dog supplements are. This has recently led to an explosion of pet grooming brands including dog shampoos on the market. So how do you know that you are buying a good quality product for your four-legged friend?

The first thing to say is that this isn't a 'one size fits all' answer. There's no single shampoo which is best for all dogs or all situations. Dogs shampoos are as different as the dogs themselves.

Ideally look out for shampoos with ingredients known to be sensitive to dogs skin and reduce any unwanted irritation. All of the shampoos featured in our Top 10 are kind to dogs.

Ultimately, it's down to you to buy a shampoo suitable for your dog’s coat and colour whilst dealing with any problems they may suffer from. So before you decide to buy a shampoo consider your dog's individual needs.

We've provided this buying guide to give an outline of the different types of shampoos available and help you choose which features are essential to you and of course your four-legged friend.

Dog having a bath with shampoo


If you're struggling to choose a shampoo, here are a few things to consider:

Problem Skin - If your dog suffers with dry skin, they're sensitive or prone to allergies, take a look at the natural dog shampoos which avoid adding harsh chemicals and ensure their shampoos are pH balanced for dogs.

Type of Coat - A labrador fur is very different from a poodle's fur and they need to be treated as such. Some shampoos have been specifically formulated with coat types in mind.

Colour of Coat - Very pale or white coats can always benefit from a specifically formulated whitening shampoo. These shampoos are great at removing tear stains and can keep that pale fur shining bright.

Foam - Everyone loves lots of foam as it makes us feel our dog is super clean. However the more foam created, the more time it takes to rinse. Reduced foam shampoos are aimed at making the whole process quicker which might be perfect if your dog hates bathing

To keep your pampered pooch happy, clean and smelling gorgeous, here are the dog and puppy shampoos on our radar...



Best selling dog shampoo that smells amazing

We rate Groom Professional Baby Fresh the best smelling dog shampoo with a totally gorgeous baby powder scent lasting several days.

Groom Professional dog shampoo in a screw top bottle

It's also a great all-round option for most dogs. This shampoo is ideal for dogs that love to roll around in the mud or splash in stinky puddles.

A firm favourite with dog groomers, it lathers easily and deep cleans.

Made in the UK, it contains aloe vera for it's moisturising benefits so it is gentle enough for you to use once a week to cater for seriously muddy dog walks.

The truth is that this is a great all-round shampoo if your dog doesn't have any specific needs. Available in three different sizes so you can try it out without investing too much with the 250ml bottle or save money by bulk buying a 4lt bottle. Conditioners also available.

Reasons to Buy

+ Amazing smell

+ Easy to lather

+ Range of sizes

+ Great value

Reasons to Avoid

- Doesn't cater for skin issues

- Creates lots of foam


Best Dog Shampoo for Sensitive Skin

If your dog suffers with sensitive and dry skin, Purplebone shampoos are great at rebalancing their skin's moisture levels gently.

Purple bone dog shampoo in a pump dispenser

We recommend Purplebone because as London's leading dog groomers, Purplebone have a unquestionable expertise when it comes to dog shampoos!

Both their tea tree and their oatmeal shampoos have been developed to be cruelty free, PH balanced and free from any harsh chemicals.

Purplebone's shampoos are extremely concentrated so this unassuming 500ml bottle can be diluted into 7.5 litres, making it fabulous value for money. We love the bottle design as the pump dispenser can help reduce waste (as each wash needs small amount of concentrated shampoo).

Reasons to Buy

+ Pump bottle dispenser

+ Extremely concentrated

+ Free from 'nasties'

Reasons to Buy

- Pricier option


Best Luxury Shampoo for Dogs

OUAI means yes, in that casual, Parisian way. It’s about saying yes to being that effortlessly cool girl or .... dog !

A french bull dog, cockapoo and bottle of Ouai pet shampoo

As you may have guessed OUAI are a french company renowned for their human range of beautifully chic hair products.

Earlier this year they brought our their Fur Bébé shampoo so your dog can look effortlessly chic too !

It's full of gentle but super powerful ingredients to hydrate and moisturise your pooch's coat and skin.

Free from nasties, it's scented with Italian lemon, iris, white musk, lily, jasmine sambac and Turkish rose for some super sweet cuddles.

It even contains panthenol to soften and increase coat shine. Sounds good enough to use myself ... (at the time of writing - also available at John Lewis)

Reasons to Buy

+ Luxurious scent

+ Moisturising

+ Luxury option

Reasons to Avoid

- Pricey option


Best Dog Shampoo for Regular Cleansing

A bottle of dog shampoo formulated to detangle coats, alongside a coconut, rosemary and aloe vera plants

If your dog's coat is prone to matting then this is definitely the shampoo for you.

These shampoos aim to work at softening the coat make it easier to brush through. Ideal for breeds with curly hair that are prone to matting and tangle all too easily.

Their natural dog shampoo has some amazing reviews. Reviews are glowing about tangle free dogs, but beware, because it is natural, it is quite a watery consistency and doesn't produce a lot of lather easily.

Don't be tempted to add more and more shampoo, it's designed to give a light lather and rinses really easily so great for dogs that want you to keep that bathing routine super quick.

It smelt nice with coconut oil, jojoba oil and lemongrass oil but the scent didn't last as long as Groom Professional Baby Fresh.

Reasons to Buy

+ All natural

+ Ideal for long coats

+ Easy to rinse

Reasons to Avoid

- Slightly pricier

- Temptation to add more


Best Dog Whitening Shampoo

There are lots of shampoos available on the market that are enhanced with ingredients to make your white or pale pooch’s coat gleam.

A bottle of whitening shampoo for dogs

These purple shampoos work in a similar fashion to our human purple shampoos for blonde highlights!

If you are looking for a whitening shampoo we recommend Diamond White by Wahl.

Designed to enhance lighter coats and remove any staining from mud or tears.

Featuring white enhancers it can revitalise and boost the natural pigmentation of the coat.

As well as lightening the coat it does help to moisturises and leaves fur soft to touch. It has a pleasant smell albeit very faint.

If you're interested Wahl Diamond White can be used on dogs with multi-coloured coats, it won't lighten black or brown fur.

Reasons to Buy

+ Ideal for white coats

+ Ideal for tear-stains

+ Great value

Reasons to Avoid

- Limited scent


Best Shampoo for Poodle Coats

These shampoos and conditioners from Choca-Doodle are perfect for poodle-crosses which have super fluffy and dense coats. Think Cockapoo, Cavapoo, Labradoodle .....

Dog in the bath with choca-doodle shampoo and choco-doodle comb-thru spray for dogs

We recommend their shampoo as it's not only designed to encourage dog hair that stands proud from the skin but it smells totally gorgeous too.

It should be diluted before use and lathers well on thick coats. Anyone with a doodle will know how time-consuming rinsing can be and this shampoo rinses really easily leaving a gorgeous sweet chocolate orange fragrance.

The Choca-Doodle range also includes a Conditioner and Comb Thru Spray which can be used in combination with the shampoo or on it's own between grooms.

Reasons to Buy

+ Ideal for dense coats

+ Easy to lather

+ Easy to rinse

+ Gorgeous scent

Reasons to Avoid

- Dogs with double coats


Best Puppy Shampoo

If you've just welcomed a puppy to your family, opt for a dog shampoo specifically designed for puppies to avoid any adverse skin reactions.

Three bottles of puppy shampoo

Puppies have delicate and often more sensitive skin than adult dogs, so they need a much milder shampoo.

We recommend Wildwash as their sensitive shampoo is specifically designed with your puppy in mind.

All the Wildwash products are natural and their puppy shampoo combines aloe vera and evening primrose essential oils for their mild cleansing properties.

Wildwash suggest leaving the shampoo on your puppy's coat for 5 minutes to help the essential oils work their wonders.

The shampoo should be used diluted so add a couple of pumps to a jug of water and mix well before use. Designed to give a light lather and rinse easily which is a must for a puppy shampoo as keeping the little wrigglers in one place can be tricky.

Reasons to Buy

+ Mild for puppy coats

+ Easy to rinse

+ All natural

Reasons to Avoid

- Needs diluting before use

- Scent isn't long lasting


Best Dog Allergy Shampoo

If your dog has any allergies or is sensitive to any ingredients consider a natural dog shampoo, which excludes any chemical ingredients that could potentially worsen sensitive skin.

Pro pooch dog shampoo for dogs with allergies

The main ingredients that can cause irritation in dogs are parabens, artificial fragrances and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).

We love Pro Pooch's Hydrating formula because it's free from alcohol, perfumes and enzymes so definitely fits the bill if your dog has sensitive skin.

Whilst it's mild and hypo-allergenic it combines oatmeal, pro-vitamin B5 and aloe, some powerful natural ingredients to clean your dogs coat whilst offering relief from itchy skin.

It should be used diluted and to achieve the most from the anti-itch properties, leave on your dogs coat for a few minutes before rinsing. Amazing reviews from some very happy dog parents and their dogs.

Reasons to Buy

+ Ideal for sensitive skin

+ Easy to lather and rinse

+ No ' nasties'

Reasons to Avoid

- Needs diluting before use


Best Dog Flea Shampoo

Copper & Gracie's organic flea shampoo is the UK’s best-selling natural flea and tick shampoo.

Cooper and Gracies dog flea shampoo

Whilst you’ll find a wide range of flea treatment medicines for dogs on the market such as Frontline or Nexgard, you could opt to use a natural flea shampoo in addition to a topical or tablet anti-flea treatment especially during those pesky summer months.

As you probably guessed, their organic dog shampoo uses natural ingredients (lavender, chamomile, avocado, coconut, almond and oatmeal) to wash away fleas and ticks stubbornly clinging to your dog. It can even help calm other insect bites.

But it doesn't stop there! It continues to work between shampoos to repel fleas and helps to soothe and calm any existing irritation caused by scratching.

To use add a small amount of the shampoo directly to your dog's wet coat, lather well, then leave for a couple of minutes before rinsing.

Reasons to Buy

+ Designed for fleas and ticks

+ Repels fleas between washes

+ Helps calm skin irritation

Reasons to Avoid

- No lasting scent


Best Fox Poo Shampoo for Dogs

If you have a 'roller' then you've already discovered the amazing scent of fox poo or even worse, badger poo. The scent is so bad that Animology decided fox poo warranted it's very own shampoo!

Animology's fox poo dog shampoo

Specially formulated, it not only deep cleans to break down the physical problem but deoderises your dog's coat to remove that very persistent bad smell.

We love this shampoo because it does exactly what it says on the tin and the customer reviews back that up.

The scent left on your dog's coat (their signature fragrance) is mild but pleasant although it doesn't last long.

If you're wondering about using it on a dog with sensitive skin then the shampoo itself is fairly mild and can be used on puppies from 6 weeks (although the smell of poo would probably be the last of you worries)

Reasons to Buy

+ Award winning formula

+ Great value

+ Mild for sensitive skins

Reasons to Avoid

- Scent not long lasting


Here's are a few handy hints and tips on bathing your pooch :-

✅ Brush before bathing.

Don't be tempted to add more shampoo. Some dog shampoos are designed for limited foam so they are easier to rinse. This allows for speedy bath times and reduces the chance of any shampoo remaining on your dog after the bath.

Check if the shampoo needs diluting. If so, prepare ahead of your dog's bath with a jug or better still a water bottle (easy to shake and mix).

Always leave the shampoo on your dog's coat for a few minutes before rinsing. This enables the ingredients and essential oils time to clean and moisturise your dog's coat.

Don't rush the rinse. Shampoo residue can cause itching and skin irritation.

If your dog really hates baths, consider investing in a LickiMat Splash. This bowl shaped LickiMat with a suction plate to stick to your bath or tiles. Add some dog friendly peanut butter and bingo a perfectly behaved and distracted dog whilst you shampoo! Take a look at our review of LickiMats and how they can help - LickiMat Review - The Ultimate Boredom Buster


Top 10 Dog Grooming Products

To keep your four-legged friend in top notch condition, it’s worth spending some time and a little money on top dog grooming products which you can use at home.

How to Groom your Dog at Home

Although many dog lovers especially those with fluffier breeds, use professional dog groomers on a regular basis, in between visits it’s still important to keep your dog looking and feeling their best with a grooming routine.

We hope you've found the perfect shampoo for your pampered pooch in our Top 10 Best Dog Shampoos. Thanks for dropping by.