Dog smell is definitely a thing. A deliciously scented dog shampoo can keep your dog (and you and your home) smelling good. Now, not all dogs will be into scented shampoo, but it’s worth a try! Choose from lavender, coconut, lemongrass and so many more scents on our list. Fun fact: The best-smelling dog shampoos don’t contain synthetic scents. Look for essential oils and dye-free products. This will start you and your pup off on the right paw.
The 15 Best-Smelling Dog Shampoos (Because “Dog Smell” Is No Joke)
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What to Look For in a Dog Shampoo
Like humans, dogs shouldn’t be exposed to harsh chemicals. Check shampoo labels to see if they mention parabens, phthalates or silicones. Along with dyes, alcohols and synthetic scents, these ingredients can dry out skin and cause irritation.
Some labels will say “No DEA.” This means the product doesn’t contain diethanolamine, an ingredient that often helps shampoos produce lather. The FDA says DEA has been linked to cancer in lab animals. So, avoid it if you can.
There are several vegan and biodegradable options on our list, too, which means better for the environment! Some are also cruelty free, meaning they haven’t been tested on animals. Oddly enough, it’s wise to test any new shampoo or topical product on a small area on your pet before lathering them up entirely. Dogs are unique. Even if a product says the formula will ease irritation, it could still cause irritation in some dogs. Always do a patch test first.
How Often Should You Wash Your Dog?
This question is tricky, which is why we’ve covered it before. Basically, once every four to six weeks is enough. Unless your dog rolls in mud and needs a bath sooner than her scheduled grooming, it’s wise not to over wash your dog. If your dog is an outdoorsy type and will definitely need more frequent washes, use a hydrating dog shampoo that will keep her skin soft.
The Best Dog Shampoos at a Glance
- Best Overall: Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner
- Worth the Splurge: DOG by Dr. Lisa Dog Wash
- Best for Itchy Skin: Skout’s Honor Probiotic Lavender Pet Shampoo & Conditioner
- Best Budget: Public Goods Oatmeal & Aloe Dog Shampoo
- Best for Non-Shedding Dogs: Rowan The Hair Wash
- Best Natural Soap: kin+kind Deep Clean Natural Shampoo
- Best Organic: 4Legger Organic Dog Shampoo
- Best for Detangling: Wahl 4-in-1 Calming Pet Shampoo
- Best for Heavy Shedders: Kenn & Kitt Eucalyptus Shampoo For Dogs
- Best for Dogs with Sensitive Skin: Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo
- Best Whitening Shampoo: Friday’s Dog Mega Brilliance Shampoo
- Best 2-in-1: TropiClean 2-in-1 Papaya & Coconut Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
- Most Unique Scent: Pet Head Dirty Talk Deodorizing Shampoo
- Best for Dogs with Allergies: Oliver’s Choice Dog Shampoo
- Best Dry Shampoo: Honest Paws Dry Dog Shampoo
- Why we love it: Affordable, cleanses and conditions
Buddy Wash uses wheat protein as a natural deodorizer. Combined with ingredients like sage, aloe vera, chamomile, rosemary and green tea, this shampoo packs a delightful punch. Plus, of course, the essences of mint and lavender which make it smell fresh and clean. With more than 800 five-star reviews from happy dog parents, this shampoo is a great place to start if you are looking for something that smells good, cleans well and lathers nicely. Note: Some dogs have skin reactions to tea tree oil, which this product contains.
Worth the Splurge
- Why we love it: Vegan, plant-based, non-synthetic formula, vet-developed
We’ve raved about Dog Wash and Dr. Lisa before when we talked about hydrating dog shampoos. Yes, it’s a splurge, but you get what you pay for. This is a plant-based, vegan-friendly formula without any of the icky stuff (parabens, phthalates, silicones, etc.). Plus, the fragrance is all natural and derived from lavender, chamomile flower and bergamot oils. Nothing about Dog Wash is synthetic, which also means it is 100-percent biodegradable. Reviewers call the scent “delicious,” “divine” and “beautiful.”
Best for Itchy Skin
- Why we love it: 2-in-1 formula, no sulfates/parabens
This probiotic formula is designed to soothe itchy, red skin. Skout’s Honor provides an effective alternative to medicated shampoos if your dog’s sensitive skin needs some TLC. This version smells like lavender, which we love, but they make an unscented version too, if your dog needs it. The formula contains a “live, colony-forming probiotic kefir culture” that works to keep your dog’s skin and coat feeling and looking its best. There are no sulfates, parabens or artificial dyes in this formula, either.
- Why we love it: Low price point, subtle cucumber scent, concentrated formula
For those of you who love a little scent without going overboard, Public Goods has the dog shampoo for you. Their Oatmeal & Aloe Dog Shampoo leaves behind a soft cucumber scent that is fresh and long-lasting. It hydrates the coat and skin for a silky soft, comfortable feel. Plus, this formula is free of icky parabens, sulfates, phthalates and other chemicals, which we love. At just $7, it’s a real steal.
Best for Non-Shedding Dogs
- Why We Love It: Subtle tropical scent, pH balanced, vet-developed
Made specifically with non-shedding dogs in mind, Rowan’s The Hair Wash leaves dogs smelling delicious, without overpowering the senses. We have the coconut, peach and apricot fruit extracts to thank for that. Reviewers say the scent is “not a sickly-sweet coconut but kind of fruity,” and they rave that “the hair wash leaves [dogs] soft and smelling coconutty (but not in an overpowering way).” Even dogs with thicker fur can join the Rowan party! The brand makes The Fur Wash and both products are totally clean and free of icky additives.
Best Natural Soap
- Why We Love It: Vet-approved, clean formula
The warm almond and vanilla scent of kin+kind’s shampoo might be enough to convince your dog to take more baths. The formula is vet-approved and plant-based. It contains activated charcoal which acts as a deodorizer to remove smells from your dog’s coat. Olive and coconut oils keep coats and skin hydrated, and almond oil and vanilla extract make this shampoo smell incredible. Some reviewers note this shampoo doesn’t lather as fully as other brands, but this is noted on the bottle label. Natural ingredients suds less, so take that into consideration!
- Why We Love It: Non-synthetic, works on cats, concentrated formula
If you shop organic for yourself, why not do the same for your dog? This shampoo from 4Legger is USDA certified organic and made in small batches by a woman-owned company. Its coconut and lemongrass scent is refreshing and the ingredients won’t add build-up to your dog’s fur. The shampoo is also vet-approved and is the proud recipient of the EcoExcellence Award for Best Grooming Product! Whether your dog has sensitive skin, frizzy hair or just needs a good bath, this organic shampoo gets the job done.
Best for Detangling
- Why We Love It: Concentrated formula, works for dogs with allergies
This shampoo does it all. It’s called 4-in-1 because it cleans, conditions and detangles coats, then it locks in moisture so your dog’s skin doesn’t dry out. On top of that, Wahl states that their formula is more concentrated, so you have to use less to achieve the same lather. This shampoo was also made with allergies in mind, so dogs with sensitive skin can use this without fear of irritation. No parabens or alcohols either!
Best for Heavy Shedders
Kenn & Kitt
- Why We Love It: Vet-formulated, keeps coats shiny
Formulated by vets with natural ingredients like coconut oil, this shampoo by Kenn & Kitt smells like a spa day. The company touts this product’s ability to control shedding, so heavy shedders take note! It’s hypoallergenic and pH balanced without any of those icky ingredients (parabens, alcohols, dyes). Regardless of breed or size, this eucalyptus scented shampoo will keep pups clean and moisturized. Reviewers also rave that they’ve never seen their dogs’ coats so shiny.
Best for Dogs with Sensitive Skin
- Why We Love It: Biodegradable, rehydrates skin
Soothing aloe vera and oatmeal are ideal ingredients for pups with sensitive skin or those who are already very itchy. Earthbath’s biodegradable formula contains all three, plus vanilla and almond extracts that smell decadent. This shampoo will soothe and rehydrate dry skin and leave coats soft and shiny. This product has earned five stars from 84 percent of reviewers on Chewy, which is a feat (there are 656 reviews total). No parabens, phosphates or harsh soap here! Note: Reviewers say the vanilla and almond scent is much better than the mango version of the same shampoo.
Best Whitening Shampoo
- Why We Love It: Visible results with no harsh chemicals
Breeds like Samoyeds, Huskies and Bichon Frises have sparkling white coats that get dirty very easily. Enter: Friday’s Dog Mega Brilliance Shampoo. Without using bleach or other hard chemicals (the formula is peroxide-free, pH balanced and gentle), this shampoo keeps coats hydrated and bright white. Friday’s Dog is a favorite among curly-coated breed parents for their Oater Coater formula, so it’s no wonder they nailed it again with Mega Brilliance.
- Why We Love It: Works on cats, gentle cleanser
Multi-pet households know what it means to multi-task. This 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner combo from TropiClean works double time (on cats too) to leave coats clean and soft. The papaya and coconut scent isn’t as overpowering as it may sound, but it’s definitely there. Paraben-free and made without synthetic dyes, reviewers love how much this product lathers during bath time. As the number one best-seller on Amazon, TropiClean must be doing something right.
Most Unique Scent
- Why We Love It: Natural deodorizing agents
This shampoo contains vegetable and soy protein extracts for a little added volume. But our favorite part is the deodorizing capabilities. Baking soda and ordenone are non-toxic odor eliminators that work together to trap smelly smells so you can rinse them off your dog. The formula contains no sulfates, parabens or DEA. Users enjoy the “wonderful orange cream scent” and one even said this shampoo got rid of the nasty smell their dog brought home after rolling in a dead animal. Now that’s a rave review!
Best for Dogs with Allergies
- Why We Love It: Budget-friendly, hypoallergenic
Cruelty-free and hypoallergenic, this shampoo has a soft, sweet scent thanks to the oatmeal, aloe, and shea butter ingredients. Designed to ease itchy, inflamed skin, Oliver’s Choice Dog Shampoo works well on pups with skin issues. One reviewer noted that even with a thick undercoat, their dog’s dry skin benefited from the soothing properties of the oatmeal and lanolin.
Best Dry Shampoo
- Why We Love It: Convenient, nourishing properties
If you need a shampoo that requires no water and no tub, try Honest Paws’ Dry Dog Shampoo. This formula works for all coat types - even on allergy-prone doggies. It has earned over 3,000 five-star ratings on Amazon and reviewers praise the scent for getting rid of lingering “dog smell” without being overpowering. Though it’s dry shampoo, it actually nourishes dog skin and leaves coats feeling silky soft.
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