Our four-legged friends can clean themselves to an extent, but did you know that regular baths with dog-safe shampoo can benefit their hair and skin health? Dog shampoo can help relieve dry, itchy skin and restore shine and softness to your pup’s coat. But what is the very best dog shampoo to use?
That's the question we set out to answer by reviewing the best dog shampoos on the market right now. We know there's a lot to consider when buying products for your pets. If you're wondering where to shop for a safe, clean, and genuinely beneficial dog shampoo, we've got you covered.
What Are the Best Dog Shampoo Options Available?
After carefully considering the options, we've selected the three best dog shampoos that promote healthy skin and coats. Each product had to meet certain qualifications to make our list, including being safe for sensitive skin and suitable for all dog breeds. Check out our picks below!
HolistaPet Dog Shampoo - Best Natural Product
Pet Hemp Company Dog Shampoo - Best Runner-Up
King Kanine Dog Shampoo - Soothing & Deodorizing Formula
Best Dog Shampoo: Quality Comparison List
When shopping for the best dog shampoo, there are several things to look for to ensure you're buying a useful product. Not only does the shampoo need to support your pet’s skin and coat health, but your dog also has to like the way it makes them feel and smell.
To simplify your dog shampoo shopping process, we're going to cover the importance of various cleanser qualities. Let’s explore what it takes to make one of the best dog shampoos!
Overall Product Performance
This is an obvious qualifier, but we all know how important it is. There's no sense in paying for a specially-formulated dog shampoo if it doesn't actually work to benefit your dog's hair and skin health. We looked into how well each brand performed and factored that into our ratings.
Who wants to use a shampoo that doesn’t leave your pup smelling fresh and clean? Additionally, the scent needs to appeal to both dogs and owners. If your dog doesn't like how a shampoo smells, they're likely to resist bathing, making it difficult to get them squeaky clean.
We searched for scented dog shampoos that replace the odor of grime and dirt with light, fruity and floral fragrances. Those dirty scents tend to linger on furniture, stinking up the house. Dogs are part of our families, and they should get to smell as good as everyone else.
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, so we think their shampoo should, too. We looked for brands that offer a range of bottle sizes for dogs as big as Mastiffs and as small as Pomeranians. Once you find a great dog shampoo, you shouldn't have to reorder all the time. There should be a bottle that’s big enough to last you at least a couple of months, depending on your dog's size and activity level.
While many of us are willing to do just about anything for our dogs, no one wants to break the bank on dog shampoo. That's why we looked for brands that make quality products at competitive prices. It shouldn't cost an arm and a leg to keep your pet happy, healthy, and clean.
Ingredients are probably the most critical qualifier in choosing the best dog shampoo. We researched the most nourishing ingredients for canine hair and skin health, then found brands that use them in their products. Let's dive into how those ingredients can benefit your dog.
The most beneficial ingredient we found was rice quat - otherwise known as hydrolyzed rice protein. Naturally-derived rice quat helps relieve dry, flaky skin by binding moisture to the epidermis and dermis. Rice quat also helps to strengthen the skin barrier against external irritants.
Rice quat's main benefit, however, is its ability to strengthen and volumize hair. This gentle protein works to restore moisture and shine by repairing damage. It does this by building a more substantial hair barrier. Using a dog shampoo with rice quat is one of the best ways to revitalize your dog's matted coat.
CBD Oil (Cannabidiol)
After going through several popular options, we discovered that dog shampoos containing CBD oil were the most effective. CBD is a non-psychoactive (won't get your dog "high") compound derived from hemp. When used in shampoo, CBD benefits skin and coat health.
When you apply CBD shampoo topically, the cannabidiol never enters the bloodstream. Instead, it penetrates the skin and interacts with receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS helps restore balance in the body by regulating many functions such as inflammation, stress, mood, sleep, memory, digestion, and more!
Through its interaction with the ECS, CBD can help reduce dry, irritated, and inflamed skin. CBD kicks the ECS into gear and encourages it to send help to damaged areas. This reaction promotes healthier skin by decreasing symptoms like dandruff and discomfort. Healthy, hydrated skin allows for new, strong hair growth!
Coconut oil is a natural fatty compound that boosts both skin and coat health. When applied topically, it lowers the skin's yeast levels and, in turn, reduces flaking. Coconut oil can also strengthen the skin barrier, helping our dog’s skin retain moisture. Like some of the other beneficial ingredients we listed above, coconut oil is an anti-inflammatory agent.
Coconut oil also acts as a deep conditioner for your dog's coat. It can improve shine and restore thickness to the hair, leaving your pup looking as fresh as the day you brought them home.
Derived from the Jojoba shrub of the North American deserts, jojoba oil is a wax ester. This means that it has a similar molecular structure to sebum, which is naturally produced by the body to moisturize skin. Dry skin is often related to the underproduction of sebum. Thankfully, jojoba oil can replenish it.
Last, but certainly not least, is cooling aloe vera. This soothing plant extract is commonly used for burns and irritated skin, but it is an excellent moisturizer and anti-inflammatory agent, as well. When used in shampoos, aloe vera has been shown to reduce dandruff and preserve the hair's integrity.
Quality of Ingredients
The ingredients listed above can only be beneficial and harmless if they're natural, organic, and non-GMO. Harsh chemicals, like parabens and artificial fragrances, may damage the coat and skin. That's why we looked into each company's standards, practices, and the source of their ingredients.
Brand & Product Reviews
You can learn tons about a company from their online reviews. As we searched for the top dog shampoos, we looked over their customer reviews to gain insight into how real dog owners feel about their products. We relied heavily on these reviews when making our final decisions.
Throughout our search, we found that some companies offered additional customer perks that made their shampoo for dogs stand out a little brighter against the rest. Bonuses like free shipping throughout the United States, extra savings, and email coupons sweeten our top three brands' deals.
Perhaps the most helpful benefit we came across was the offering of a subscription service. Once you find a product that works, we think you should be able to have it regularly delivered based on your dog's grooming needs. With a subscription service, you'll never find yourself without suds at bath time again.
Many wellness and beauty companies don't accept returns once a product has been opened or used. We find that ridiculous, considering you need to open and try a product to see how it works! That's why we searched for companies with no questions asked, money-back guarantees.
A company’s customer service practices are just important as their customer policies. We think it's important for real people, not robots, to answer the phone when you call to ask questions. Whether it's a shipping conflict or a general inquiry, it shouldn't be a complicated process to get a hold of someone who can help.
Overall Website Experience
Even if a company makes a great product, a complicated or unpolished website often drives customers away. We searched for brands that have created simple, organized, and informative websites that make it easy for you to navigate to the product you want.
Top 3 Best CBD Shampoo & Product Review
After considering dozens of options, we feel confident giving HolistaPet's mandarin berry scented CBD shampoo for dogs the #1 ranking on our list of the most beneficial dog shampoos. Customers rave about their full-spectrum CBD infused shampoo, and it met all of the criteria to make our top three list.
HolistaPet's dog shampoo is infused with 200mg of full-spectrum CBD oil that soothes skin irritation and reduces inflammation. They're also the only brand on our list that uses rice quat to boost volume and shine in your dog's coat. These were the top two ingredients on our qualifying list, making HolistaPet an easy pick to showcase as our best dog shampoo recommendation.
HolistaPet's dog shampoo is specially formulated to relieve sensitive skin in all dog breeds, and it gets the job done. The soy-based protein conditioner revitalizes your dog's coat, leaving it as smooth and fluffy as when they were a puppy. If you're looking for a tried and true product that genuinely works, HolistaPet's is a fantastic option.
Brand and Product Reviews
HolistaPet has a 4.5-star rating on Trustpilot, one of the top brand and product review sites. Their customers are continually swooning over their multitude of CBD pet products, including their dog shampoo. One reviewer recently wrote that "it's easy to apply and rinse off, smells great!" and they "can't wait to try their other products."
This is the kind of feedback we were searching for when narrowing down our top brands. Few other brands had as many positive reviews as HolistaPet, and we felt they deserved recognition for that.
HolistaPet’s CBD-infused dog shampoo boasts the best pet CBD value for the quality. On average, CBD costs between $0.05 (lower-quality) to $0.20 (very high-quality) per mg. HolistaPet’s dog shampoo costs ≈ $0.16, putting it at the higher end of the scale while remaining at a reasonable price point for the quality of their product. Given that all of their ingredients (including the CBD) are 100% organic and natural, $0.16 is a relative steal.
No other brand we looked into had as much positive feedback about their customer service as HolistaPet. Not only do they have real, knowledgeable, and friendly people answering their phones, they also offer a live chat through their website. HolistaPet's customer service sets a high bar.
Out of all three brands, we found that HolistaPet offers both the most (and the best!) additional customer perks. These include free shipping, a 30-day, no questions asked money-back guarantee, and a subscribe and save option. It seems that they don't only value their customers, but they reward them for loyalty, too.
Pet Hemp Company’s CBD-infused dog shampoo came in a very close second place on our list. This company is fairly new to the pet CBD market, but thus far they have a sterling reputation and several positive reviews. Pet Hemp Company is definitely a pet CBD brand to keep on your radar.
Like HolistaPet, Pet Hemp Company has formulated their pet shampoo to be safe and gentle for sensitive skin. This rinse checks all the boxes when it comes to performance — it lathers and rinses well, it leaves the fur soft, and kills odor on the spot! This shampoo is certainly effective, and dogs across the nation seem to love it too.
If you're looking for a richly-scented product that will rid your four-legged friend of dingy odors, you'll definitely want to try out Pet Hemp Company’s mandarin berry scented dog shampoo. It's light enough that it won't overpower the whole house, yet fresh and clean enough to keep them smelling like a million bucks between washes. Best of all, it's dog-approved and guaranteed to make their tails wag.
Overall Website Experience
Pet Hemp Company’s website is modern and organized, making it easy for customers to navigate to their desired product. They also post educational blogs and quick links to all of their customer policies. The beauty of their website also extends to the clean, elegant packaging of their dog shampoo.
This formula includes rice protein, which is excellent for itchy skin and makes bath time a calming experience for dogs. With the addition of soothing CBD, Pet Hemp’s dog shampoo is a therapeutic way to clean your dog AND help them relax.
Pet Hemp Company continuously offers special sales and promotions for their loyal and first-time customers, including free shipping throughout the United States. If their products show up damaged or incorrect, you can contact their customer service team directly, and they'll fix the issue right away. It’s clear that the Pet Hemp team values their customers.
3. King Kanine
Last but certainly not least, our bronze medal for beneficial dog shampoos goes to King Kanine's King Klean shampoo. Unlike HolistaPet and Pet Hemp Company, they don't include CBD in this shampoo, but they do make other products with CBD. Check out what makes them our #3 pick below!
When it comes to King Kanine's shampoo performance, the suds speak for themselves! Their hypoallergenic dog shampoo is widely loved and genuinely works to clean your dog. Best of all, it gets the job done without harsh chemicals. Even though it doesn't contain CBD, this product's performance is off the charts!
Brand and Product Reviews
King Kanine's dog shampoo has an abundance of 5-star customer reviews on their website. It’s undeniable that the results are wowing dog owners. One reviewer recently wrote that the shampoo was "very gentle on sensitive skin and cleans well. The best part is its organic, non-toxic qualities."
Another thing King Kanine's customers love is the included King Komb dog brush. It works wonders for all dog breeds, removing excess hair and leaving their coats fluffy and clean. One satisfied customer commented that the comb got enough hair off her labrador to knit a sweater!
Overall Website Experience
King Kanine created a remarkably easy website experience for their customers. It's orderly, informational, and inviting; it even features some pictures of happy and clean dogs sent in by their satisfied owners! Whether you're researching or shopping, their website will get you what you need quickly.
King Kanine's dog shampoo is similarly priced to HolistaPet's and Pet Hemp’s, but it comes in double the volume. Our top two brands utilize beneficial CBD, which drives up the cost. Without the addition of CBD, King Kanine is able to list their higher volume dog shampoo at a lower price point.
The Basics of Canine Hair Health
Now that we've given our top three recommendations for dog shampoos, we're going to cover some basics of canine skin and coat health. Follow along with us for expert grooming recommendations that are sure to keep your dog happy and healthy.
Why Should You Wash Your Dog?
Depending on your dog's personality and hair length, bathing them can be a breeze or a chaotic chore. If your dog resists bath time, struggles to get in the tub, or runs away when you turn on the hose, you may find yourself wondering, "Do I really need to wash them?"
Well, the answer is yes. When you leave your dog unwashed for too long, a build-up of dirt and sweat can lead to various bacterial and fungal infections. Regular baths contribute to a healthy lifestyle and reduce their chance of your four-legged friend developing an irritating skin condition.
If your dog already has skin irritations, soothing shampoos like HolistaPet's, Pet Hemp Company’s, and King Kanine's can help reduce discomfort and revitalize their dry skin. Plus, shampoo will help rid them of the dingy smells that are just part of being a dog.
How Often Should You Wash Your Dog?
Now you're probably wondering how often your dog needs to be washed. This can vary depending on your dog's breed, hair length, and activity level, but experts warn that less hair doesn't necessarily mean less frequent bathing. Additionally, bathing them too often can be as harmful to their health as infrequent bathing.
Depending on your dog's lifestyle, you'll need to make a judgment call when deciding how frequently to bathe them. If they spend much of their time digging, running, and playing outside, you may need to wash them more frequently than dogs who spend most of their time indoors.
Muddy adventures aside, your dog's coat type can also help you determine their bathing schedule. Short-coated breeds generally require more baths since their skin is more exposed. It's best to wash them one to two times per month to protect their sensitive skin and clean their hair.
On the other hand, long-haired dogs like Huskies have thick undercoats that are very hard to dry once they get wet. They only need to be bathed when necessary, meaning you notice they’re dirty or smelly. Bathing and brushing long-haired dogs also helps with excessive shedding.
When it comes to flea and tick shampoo, be cautious about how often you use it for bathing your dog. Flea and tick shampoos can dramatically dry your dog's skin and strip their coat of natural oils. Before using any kind of dog shampoo, it's best to consult your veterinarian about your dog's specific needs.
How Do CBD Hair Products Work?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a soothing compound naturally derived from hemp plants. You may recall from the beneficial ingredients section that CBD interacts with receptors in the skin that signal the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS regulates pain and inflammation, and CBD helps the process.
Dog shampoos with natural ingredients like CBD are therapeutic for sensitive skin. They help relieve your dog's discomfort and scratching, leading to less dandruff and hair loss. Treating irritated skin with gentle and therapeutic products like CBD oil is a fantastic way to encourage healthy hair growth.
The Benefits of Using a CBD Pet Shampoo
A healthy dog is a happy dog. Topical CBD products' ability to relieve dry, itchy skin can dramatically improve your dog's physical and mental comfort. Not only will they smell good as new, but they'll also feel calm and relaxed thanks to CBD's soothing properties.
Dog Shampoo Ingredients to Look For
When shopping for dog shampoo, definitely keep both CBD and rice quat in mind. As we discussed, these are the two most beneficial ingredients for improving your dog's skin and coat health. CBD works directly with irritated skin, and rice quat volumizes and thickens their hair.
The other ingredients we explored are also incredibly beneficial for washing your dog. Coconut oil and aloe vera are some of the other top contenders right behind rice quat and CBD.
Look for a hypoallergenic dog shampoo that contains organic, dog-safe ingredients approved by veterinarians. Harsh chemicals, artificial ingredients, and solvents are harmful to your dog's health. Our four-legged friends are family members, and they deserve to be treated as such.