Choosing a Dog Shampoo

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Choosing a good dog shampoo is an important part of the bathing process.
Choosing a good shampoo is an important part of bathing.

Choosing a shampoo for your dog can be an overwhelming task with the many options available; however, these tips will help you find the perfect shampoo for your pet.

You want your pet’s shampoo to clean and remove germs and parasites, and, possibly, to add moisture, vitamins and nutrients. For shampooing your pup’s head, only use a tear-free shampoo to protect their eyes from irritation. Never use a human shampoo for pets as it is much to harsh for animals. Before choosing a dog shampoo, consider the following:

Dry Skin/Coat

For dogs with dry skin and coat, you’ll want a moisturizing shampoo with ingredients like aloe, vitamin E, and lanolin. You want to avoid shampoos with fragrance, which can irritate dry skin. Even if you pet has dry skin, it’s still important to bathe them as dirty coats and skin can make the problem worse. Using the proper shampoo will improve dry skin. I recommend Bio-Groom’s Protein Lanolin shampoo, which is tear- and sulfate-free. This coconut oil base shampoo is mild and safe for dogs and cats of all ages. The moisturizing shampoo doesn’t strip natural oils from the skin and coat.

Oily or Irritated Skin

After more than a dozen years as a groomer, my favorite shampoo for oily, irritated or itchy skin is Tar-ific, made by Professional Pet Products. I’ve seen this shampoo relieve odor, flaking, inflamed and sore skin. This shampoo is only for dogs, NOT cats. If this shampoo does not quickly offer relief to your dog, I would recommend a veterinarian consultation.

Fleas & Ticks

Flea and tick shampoos are temporary solutions for parasites. They should be used in combination with other long-term flea and tick treatments, such as Nexgard and Frontline. Bio-Groom Flea & Tick shampoo has a lovely citrus smell and is protein and lanolin enriched for healthy skin and coat.

After a wash with a good shampoo, dogs love getting warm and dry.
After a wash with a good shampoo, dogs love getting warm and dry.


There are deodorizing shampoos for especially dirty and smelly dogs. It’s important to remember that an odor not related to dirt could indicate a medical problem and your veterinarian should be consulted. Natural ingredients such as chamomile, lavender, eucalyptus, aloe and tea tree oil help freshen skin and coats. My favorite shampoo for dogs with odor issues is AromaCare Cooling Herbal Mint shampoo by Professional Pet Products. It contains natural tea tree oil to cool and freshen skin, along with aloe and vitamins A & E to moisturize.


There are shampoos that help enhance the color of your pet but you’ll want to avoid those with harsh chemicals such as bleach and peroxide, which can damage your pet’s skin and coat. I recommend Bio-Groom’s Ultra Black, Bronze Luster and Super White shampoos. They are coconut oil based, with added protein, a neutral pH and no bleach.


If your dog suffers from allergies, you’ll want a very mild, unscented shampoo. I’ve found that Bio-Groom So Gentle shampoo is great for these dogs. This hypo-allergenic, tear-free shampoo contains no perfume or parabens (a preservative). It is safe for dogs and cats of all ages.

With a little effort you can find the perfect shampoo for your dog. Overall, I suggest keeping it simple by choosing shampoos with natural ingredients and few chemicals. By doing this you’ll have healthier, happier dogs.

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