Rather than just telling you which shampoo to buy, I’ll first tell you what traits are most desired. Each shampoo has a few different pros and cons that make one work better than the other.

Using shampoo for your dogs is different than any other kind of shampoo. It is specially formulated to match the needs of your dog’s skin.


Dogs with hypoallergenic fur may require a shampoo that is hypoallergenic as well. Dogs with hypoallergenic coats typically have a bit of a higher maintenance hair routine. They typically have hair stays attached(little to no shedding). You may like the fact that you don’t need to clean up fur balls around the house, but that means the dirt is sticking somewhere.

Medicated Flea and Tick

There are many options out there for ticks and fleas. Many dog owners choose more than one approach. For dogs that get lots of adventure time, you don’t want to take an chances. Oral tablets and topical drops can work wonders for keeping those pesky bugs away.

There are homemade recipes for tick and flea spray as well! By using a medicated shampoo, you can increase those odds even more. We have been known to use tablets, drops, and shampoo just as a precaution.

For dogs that are already suffering from fleas, using a shampoo that is made for fleas is definitely going to help. If this is the case, your dog may not be visiting a groomer anytime soon. For prevention, though, these types of shampoos can work wonders.

Nicest Smelling

Okay, we can get to the good stuff. The reason you’re bringing your dog to a groomer is obvious. You want a dog that looks, feels, and smells good. What scents may work on a person may not work so well on a dog.

So what scent should your dog carry? If your groomer has a favorite shampoo, then you might just end up getting whatever scent that may be.

In our experience, most dog shampoos actually smell really nice once your dog’s fur is dry. We found that it keeps your dog smelling good for at least a week. This time-frame obviously depends on your dog’s activity levels.

We’ve had that nice groomed and shampooed smell last for almost a month, or it’s gone as soon as they go rolling a big pile of mud.

Natural Ingredients

Many dog shampoos will prefer to use all natural ingredients. Because of how most shampoos are created, this actually isn’t too difficult. It usually will just come down to choosing the preferred combination of natural ingredients.

Whether you want a shampoo that is rich with vitamins, contains essential oils, or is softer or thicker for the type of hair you’re working with. You can almost never go wrong in choosing a dog shampoo when it comes to natural ingredients.

Doesn’t Remove Other Flea And Tick Applications

Those drops you put on your dog don’t come cheap. Washing it off can be a costly mistake, or worse, it can invite unwanted guests.

It’s a good measure to make sure you don’t scrub too hard when washing your dog(or if a groomer is washing them). It can help to use a shampoo that uses ingredients that keep the medication in mind.

By removing the more aggressive cleaning ingredients, you can wash your dog knowing the medication will still be active. If you just applied the drops, it’s a good idea to wait a couple of days at least. You want to give the drops a chance to soak into your dog’s hair and skin.

Matted Hair

Matted hair is much harder to groom and may require the use of a de-matting brush. Grooming matted hair usually means removing any tangling and matting before you can clean it. See our article about grooming a dog with matted hair.

pH Balancing

One of the most common features of every dog shampoo is the acidity levels they have. Dog skin has to be treated much differently than your own. By adjusting the acidity(or pH) in your dog’s shampoo, we are able to provide a safe cleaning routine.

If the acidity is too high or too low, you can risk causing skin irritation. If you don’t have any dog shampoo but need to wash your dog now, consider using just water.


Some dogs just need a cleanse. Whether it’s been a while, or they found something funky and rubbed the scent all over them. Your groomer will want to pick a shampoo that has some butt-kicking odor control.

There are several shampoos that will have some level of odor control, but your groomer may opt into using something a little more aggressive.

Relieving Itchy Skin

For canines with dry, itchy skin are prone to allergies. Allergy shampoos are a wonderful choice that could soothe plus nourish their skin. Just like humans, dogs have access to special skin treatments that can provide plenty of vitamins that can be absorbed through the skin.

There are many reasons why your dog may have itchy skin. As someone who has a dog that gets itchy skin from dry air in the winter, I can tell you how much a good bath can help.

Some warm water with a vitamin-rich shampoo and the itching die down tremendously. Less itch means less scratching. Less scratching means less reddened skin and rashes.

Dogs That Shed

Also you can use shampoos designed in order to reduce excessive shedding, in case your pooch has problems with it. A shampoo made for dogs that shed can help with strengthening the skin

Just a quick look at this list and you can imagine how much thought process goes into just choosing a shampoo. It makes dog groomers look like veterinarians. If they take all these things into consideration, it’s more like they’re writing a prescription!

If you’re still unsure which product to be able to use, consult the veterinarian.

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