You love your new pup dearly, but some of her favorite activities leave her smelling…not so nice. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best puppy shampoos that are gentle enough to use on your newest family member, but strong enough to wash away that, well, dog smell. From aromatherapy-infused options to veterinarian picks, here are the best puppy shampoos for your four-legged bebé.
The 15 Best Puppy Shampoos That Are as Gentle as They Are So Fresh and So Clean
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Tips for washing your dog
Doggy bath time might be your pup’s favorite day of the week or it could mean absolute chaos. Whatever the case, it’s recommended to wash your dog about once a month. Of course, this totally depends on the breed, grooming schedule you’ve set up with your vet and the type of activities your dog participates in. If your dog rolls in mud or is covered in something that smells like garbage, it’s time for a bath. Day-to-day activities do not warrant a full body cleaning. (Brushing is a great way to rid your dog’s coat of debris and bond with your pup at the same time.)
Puppies have different requirements than adult dogs, as any dog owner can attest. When it comes to giving your puppy a bath, it’s wise to begin around eight weeks old. Purina says that before eight weeks, puppies have difficulty regulating their body temperatures. Bathe them too early and they could catch cold or become hypothermic. However, waiting too long to introduce your puppy to bath time could render them terrified of water, soap and towels. Eight weeks seems to be the sweet spot for pup’s first bath.
The Best Puppy Shampoos At a Glance
- Best for Soothing Your Puppy's Skin: Burt’s Bees Tearless Puppy Shampoo
- Best for Multiple Pets: earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Fragrance-Free Dog and Cat Shampoo
- Best for Relaxing Your Pup: Pure and Natural Pet Tearless and Calming Puppy Shampoo
- Best for Pups with Dermal Conditions: Rocco & Roxie Dog Shampoo
- Best Plant-Based Formula: Honest Paws 5-in-1 Dog Wash
- Best Aromatherapy Formula: Tropiclean Spa Comfort Shampoo for Dogs & Cats
- Best for Neutralizing Odors: Nature’s Miracle Puppy Shampoo
- Best Tearless Shampoo: Arm & Hammer Tearless Puppy Shampoo
- Best for Puppies Who Shed a Ton: FURminator deShedding Ultra Premium Dog Shampoo
- Best for Strengthening Your Pup’s Coat: CHI Tearless Puppy Shampoo
- Best Veterinary Formula: Veterinary Formula Solutions Puppy Love Shampoo
- Best for Repelling Ticks and Fleas: Arava Dead Sea Pet Spa Flea & Ticks Botanical Shampoo
- Best Easy Rinse Formula: Perfect Coat Pampered Puppy Shampoo
- Best for Detangling: BioSilk for Dogs Detangling Shampoo
- Best for Hot Spots: Earthbath Hot Spot Relief Shampoo
Best for Soothing Your Puppy's Skin
Good for your dog and good for your pockets, this $7 pick is the ultimate gentle cleanser. It’s made with buttermilk, which helps soothe and soften skin; honey, which helps regulate and retain moisture in hair and contains no sulfates or colorants. If your pup is on any tick or flea treatments, don’t worry, this tearless shampoo doesn’t wash them off. (Just make sure you thoroughly read bathing instructions on the treatment packaging).
Best for Multiple Pets
For people with multiple pets in the home, you don’t have to worry about doling out cash for both your kitty and your puppy because this shampoo is good for both. This fragrance-free option is perfect for pups with extra-sensitive noses and are prone to allergies. It’s formulated with oatmeal and aloe to heal and soothe dry, scratched skin while also neutralizing any odors.
Best for Relaxing Your Pup
Your doggo deserves to feel like they’re at the spa every time they get a bath and Pure and Natural Pet’s Tearless and Calming shampoo is the perfect choice for that. Not only does it have organic oatmeal extract, which is raved about for its soothing abilities, it contains organic lavender oil, organic calendula oil and chamomile extract to keep your puppy’s skin soft and their anxiety at bay.
Best for Pups with Dermal Conditions
Baby your baby with this gentle shampoo made specifically for tender new puppy skin or dogs with sensitive dermal conditions. It’s made with aloe vera extract, which smoothes the cuticle surface and seals in moisture for the skin and coat; restorative rosemary, to stimulate follicle growth; and gentle chamomile which eases those bothersome skin conditions. It still cleanses thoroughly without drying and contains no artificial scents or dyes.
Best Plant-Based Formula
Don’t be fooled by the fact that this shampoo is totally plant-based! The formula from Honest Paws takes care of all five cleansing components necessary to make sure Fido is squeaky clean—as long as Fido is twelve weeks or older. This 5-in-1 wash cleans, deodorizes, conditions, detangles and moisturizes just as well as any other brand on the market. It’s also eco-friendly—with 98 percent of its ingredients derived from natural sources like coconut and palm. Though this is a clean formula, it is not tearless, so avoid the eye area when lathering your best bud.
Best Aromatherapy Formula
Another option to pamper your pet with, this shampoo offers a dose of aromatherapy with every wash. It contains oatmeal to soothe any pesky skin conditions, kiwi and essential vitamins that leave the skin and coat silky smooth, and lavender which comforts and calms your pet. This soap-free formula also won’t wash away any tick or flea treatments.
Best for Neutralizing Odors
Between all the rustling at the dog park and squirrel chasing in your backyard, it’s easy for your four-legged friend to get a little stinky. Thankfully, this four-in-one solution does double duty to make sure your puppy doesn’t make you retch during cuddles. Not only does it scour and condition their coats thoroughly, but it also neutralizes a wide variety of odors and deodorizes their coat so you can cuddle and nuzzle them with no problem.
Best Tearless Shampoo
Arm & Hammer’s baking soda does wonders for scrubbing down our appliances—refrigerators, toasters, microwaves, even washing machines—so it’s only right that their puppy shampoo does wonders for our baby canines as well. This tearless pick is veterinarian formulated with all natural ingredients that include coconut water, jojoba oil extract and oat protein extract, that work together to leave your dog’s coat smoother, fuller and glossier.
Best for Puppies Who Shed a Ton
Hey, German Shepherd and Keeshond owners—this one’s for you. FURminator’s DeShedding Ultra Premium Dog Shampoo uses Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, calendula extract and papaya leaf extract to keep shedding to a minimum. The formula is gentle and safe enough for puppies over six weeks old. If your house has more hair on the floors than on your puppy, it might be worth a shot to try this shampoo.
Best for Strengthening Your Pup’s Coat
Made with strengthening proteins—silk, soy and milk—as well as aloe vera, honey, chamomile extract, this shampoo is perfect for puppies as young as eight weeks old. It’s made with CHI’s ionic technology, which is helpful in sealing the hair cuticle and reducing frizz resulting in a silky, tangle-free coat. For even better results, try following up with CHI’s Keratin Dog Conditioner.
Best Veterinary Formula
This formula is perfectly pH balanced for puppies, especially those in their first year (it’s safe for all puppies six weeks and older). It’s sulfate free, tearless and cleanses without drying your buddy’s delicate skin. It also won’t wash away tick and flea treatments, so you don’t need to worry about your pup needing extra baths for infestations.
Best for Repelling Ticks and Fleas
You love your new partner-in-crime, and guess what? So do pesky fleas and ticks. Keep those irritating parasites off your dog with this shampoo from Arava Dead Sea Pet Spa, which features all natural active ingredients—geranium, peppermint, cinnamon, lemongrass, clove, thyme, among others—to help repel and prevent pests.
Best Easy Rinse Formula
Featuring keratin, jojoba oils and milk protein, this nifty pick conditions your pup’s coat while the long-lasting baby powder fragrance leaves your puppy smelling fresh and clean. It’s made with Perfect Coat’s easy rinse formula, which prevents shampoo solids from settling into your dog’s coat during lather and easily washes away during rinsing, so those with furrier dogs don’t have to be at it all day.
Best Detangling Formula
Long-haired dog breeds who require frequent brushing to keep their coats tangle-free will benefit from this formula. BioSilk (brought to you by the same company that makes CHI products) infuses their line with real silk proteins to enhance dog fur and hair strength. It’s pH-balanced for dogs so it won’t destroy flea and tick topicals and it’s safe for use on puppies eight weeks and older.
Best for Hot Spots
Tea tree oil, Hawaiian Awapuhi extract, ginseng and aloe work together to calm hot spots on your pup. Hot spots (also called acute moist dermatitis) are itchy, irritated patches of skin that can quickly worsen over time. They are painful and might ooze or smell, so you need to be super careful when bathing a pup with hot spots. This shampoo will help for sure; clipping long hair away from the hot spot and allowing it to dry completely is highly recommended.