A happy dog has their eyes closed and tongue out as their owner laters them with shampoo

How Do I Find the Right Pet Shampoo?

Your Guide to Finding the Right Pet Shampoo

There’s so much to love about your dog. However, a smelly coat likely doesn’t make the list. That famous pet odor is a common problem among dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds. It occurs due to a combination of dirt, sweat and germs that accumulate on a dog’s skin, and in some cases, it can be severe. 

Not only can dog odor make snuggling with your pooch overwhelming, but it can also cause your carpet, furniture and other parts of your home to stink. The good news is that you can often control dog odor by bathing your pet regularly, but that leads to another challenge: deciding which is the best dog shampoo. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to decide. 

Is it Safe to Use Human Shampoo on Dogs? 

When you’re considering the best puppy shampoo or dog shampoo for your pet, your mind might first turn to your own toiletries. After all, you love the way your shampoo cleanses. Wouldn’t it work just as well for your dog? 

The truth is that dogs and people have different needs when it comes to hygiene. A dog’s skin is more alkaline than ours. As a result, shampoo for humans is typically too acidic for dogs and can cause dryness, irritation and itching. In addition, a dog’s skin is thinner and more prone to sensitivity than ours. This means that a product that is perfectly safe for people may be too powerful for dogs. 

For these reasons, the best shampoo for a dog’s coat and skin is one that is made especially for canines. Dog shampoo and conditioner are pH-balanced especially for pets, reducing the risk of irritation reactions occurring after a bath. 

When Does My Dog Need a Bath? 

How frequently you should bathe your pet varies. Dogs with thick coats should generally be bathed less frequently to help preserve the natural oils in their skin. Pets that spend a large amount of time outdoors will usually need bathing more often. Generally, dogs with medium to long coats should be bathed once every four to six weeks. For dogs with shorter coats, you may be able to wait one to three months between baths. 

What Shampoo Should I Use on My Dog?  

There is no single best shampoo for all dogs. This is because, within the species, there are many differences between dogs. To determine which is the best dog shampoo for your pet’s specific needs, ask the following questions. 

What Type of Hair Does My Dog Have? 

One of the big determiners of which shampoo is right for a particular dog is their hair type. Some coats require more care than others. For example, because of their curly hair, the best shampoo and best conditioner for a poodle may be a specialty product designed for their breed. Other dogs have coats that are easier to care for and can benefit from a basic pet shampoo. 

Is My Pet's Hair Long or Short? 

How long your dog’s hair is will determine how long you need to spend shampooing and rinsing. It also should inform your decision regarding which shampoo to buy. Moisturizing dog shampoos may be necessary to keep longer coats silky and soft. Shampoos with detangler added can help make combing out your pet’s coat easier after their bath. 

How Old Is My Dog? 

A puppy shampoo or a dog shampoo made for sensitive skin is often the best choice for younger dogs. Just like human babies, puppies have delicate skin and can develop dryness and itching more easily as a result. 

Does My Dog Shed? 

If your dog is shedding more than normal, you might want to consider using a dog de-shedding shampoo. These shampoos help to remove excess hair during the bath, so less ends up on your clothes and all over your house. At the same time, dog shedding shampoo strengthens the skin tissue to support a healthier coat. 

Does My Dog Have Any Grooming or Skin-Related Issues? 

If your dog has any special concerns, you may need a shampoo formulated for their needs. A shampoo for white dogs can help reduce discoloration and remove stains that your pooch developed while playing outdoors. Dog shampoos for itchy skin may contain soothing ingredients and moisturizers to ease symptoms. The best dog shampoo for dandruff will usually contain substances that fight the yeast that contributes to the skin condition. 

What Does My Vet Say?

Talk over your concerns about bathing your pet with your veterinarian. Because they know your dog’s medical history and have expertise about the differences between breeds, they can provide personalized recommendations about which is the best dog shampoo and conditioner for your pet. This is especially important if your dog has had reactions to shampoos in the past. 

Fresh Wave Pet Shampoo Fights Odors with Gentle Ingredients

If pet odors are the driving factor for bathing your dog, our Fresh Wave Odor Removing Lemongrass Dog Shampoo could be the best dog shampoo for your pet. Developed specifically for dogs, it uses plant-powered, non-hazardous ingredients to whisk away impurities. 

Although it’s incredibly gentle on the skin and eyes, the dog shampoo is tough on odors. It can even eliminate the strong stench of skunk spray because of its unique formulation. The shampoo leaves behind a pleasing scent of pine, cedarwood, anise, clove, lime and lemongrass that comes from plants, not chemical fragrances. Best of all, our shampoo is ideal for most pets. Learn more about our dog shampoo and order a bottle today.