Natural dog shampoo is the best choice to keep your dog smelling good, but also free of pain and irritation during bath time and after. Choosing the best natural dog shampoo isn’t always a simple task as some natural shampoos still contain undesirable chemicals. Find out why natural dog shampoo is the best choice, how to choose a good one and some top brands to consider as well as how often to wash your dog.
Why Does My Dog Smell?
Does your dog have a strong smell that goes beyond the average dog smell? If he does, there are a few possible causes. The most common causes of a bad-smelling dog are that he either got sprayed by a skunk or rolled in something smelly. Skunk spray has a distinctive smell that you should be able to immediately identify. Dogs do like to roll in things, especially feces from other animals. Animal behaviorists think it has to do with wanting to disguise their smell from prey. Another possibility is a bacterial infection of the skin. If your dog has allergies or an irritation, he may scratch it and make it worse.
Why Use Natural Shampoo For Dogs?
Using cheap, commercial dog shampoos or human shampoos only create problems for your dog and may actually be contributing to his skin problems or irritation. He might not even like the smell and is then motivated to roll in stinky substances. Have you noticed your dog scratching himself more after being bathed with commercial shampoo? This is because neither cheap dog shampoo nor human shampoo are ideally formulated for a dog’s unique pH. Not only is it probably not cleaning your dog’s fur well, but it can also dry out his skin and make it irritated.
On the other hand, decent natural dog shampoo for dogs has a higher pH level than cheap or human shampoo that keeps your dog’s skin from drying out. It also contains natural ingredients that condition and nourish as opposed to the strong and harmful chemicals found in commercial dog shampoos. Sulfates and strong detergents can cause pain if they end up in the dog’s eyes or are rubbed into cuts or irritations on the dog’s skin. If your dog fears bath time, the shampoo might actually be the reason.
Natural dog shampoo is formulated with gentle ingredients that are designed to retain the natural skin oils.
In summation, here are five reasons to use natural dog shampoo:
- Pain-free, gentle ingredients
- Keep natural skin oils
- Less likely to cause allergies or itching
- Higher pH level
- May help relieve fear of bath time
What Should I Look For In A Natural Dog Shampoo?
So what should you look for in the best natural dog shampoo? Even shampoos that have natural on the label can contain harmful chemicals. Take a look at the following list for ingredients to avoid and what to look for.
– Avoid shampoos with synthetic dyes and colorants. Natural shampoos without fake coloring should be clear, opaque white or an off-yellow. Some examples of fake colorants include Blue No.4 or Yellow No.8. Fake colors are often made from coal tar, which is a carcinogen.
– Avoid added fragrances. Artificial fragrances can cause allergies, skin irritation and nausea among other symptoms. Look for shampoos that have essential oils instead.
– Avoid parabens. This is a substance used in many cosmetics and shampoos as a preservative and to make the substance smoother. You may find them under names like methylparaben and parahydroxybenzoate among others. Look for “para” or “paraben” in the chemical name. Instead, find shampoos that contain natural moisturizing vitamins like A, C and E, as well as aloe or citrus seed extract.
– Avoid mineral oil. This is a petroleum byproduct that is commonly used in baby shampoos and oil. Some people think using baby shampoo is safe for their dogs since it’s made for babies, but in truth most baby shampoo isn’t even good for babies. Mineral oil can damage the skin and cause other health problems.
– Avoid shampoos with SLS, or sodium laurel sulfate. This is a strong detergent that causes significant skin, mouth and digestive tract irritation. If it gets in the eyes, it can permanently damage tissue if not washed promptly. Instead, look for shampoos with natural oils like coconut or olive.
– Avoid shampoos with DEA, cocamide or lauramide. These are foaming agents that have been linked with cancer. Instead, find shampoos that have the correct pH for your dog.
– Find a shampoo with a pH that matches your dog’s skin. Most cheap or human shampoos falls in the 5.2 to 6.2 pH range which is too acidic for most dogs. Dog skin is normally 5.5 to 7.5 on the pH scale, depending on the breed.
Top 6 Natural Dog Shampoo Reviews
The following is a list of some of the best natural dog shampoo on the market:
OxGord Natural Oatmeal Dog-Shampoo And Conditioner
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This shampoo comes in a 20 ounce size and runs for about $10. It is listed as a medicated vet formula with aloe vera to help itchy skin. The pros of this shampoo include natural ingredients such as colloidall oatmeal, vitamin E, organic shea butter, aloe and organic borago officinails seed oil. However, it also contains some potentially irritating chemicals including sodium laureth sulfate, dimethicone and fragrance. It is the top seller in dog shampoos and conditioners with users giving it 4.4 out of five stars. Users generally review it well, praising its smell and the result of a shiny, clean coat. It touts a tear-free formula and a delicate balance between medicated and organic, natural ingredients.
Pro Pet Works Hypoallergenic Organic Oatmeal and Aloe Shampoo Plus Conditioner
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Another top seller in the shampoo plus conditioner category, this product comes in a 17 ounce size and is a bit more expensive than the OxGord at just over $15. Touting PH balance for sensitive skin and no fragrance, sulfates, harsh chemicals or added colors, this Pet Works shampoo has a slew of natural and organic ingredients. Some beneficial ingredients include aloe, vitamins A, D and E, almond oil and oatmeal. Users rate this shampoo 4.6 out of five stars and reviews are largely positive, saying that it works well against fleas, washes out easily and helps dandruff. Even though this product is a bit of a higher price, users mention that it’s very concentrated and a little goes a long way. Add in the all-natural ingredients and absence of harsh chemicals and it’s easy to see why this might be worth the higher price.
4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo
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Touting an all-natural formula with hypoallergenic ingredients, aloe, lemongrass and soothing for dry, itchy skin, this product comes in a 16 ounce size for around $15. At a similar size and price to the Pet Works shampoo, this one also contains a range of natural ingredients, including essential oils and aloe. It also assures dog owners that it’s free of parabens, detergents and sulfates. It contains no synthetic or toxic ingredients. Lemongrass essential oil makes a natural deterrent for fleas and it lathers easily. Users give it 4.6 stars out of five, just like the Pet Works product. Reviews are 78 percent five stars and users mention that it’s great for dogs with sensitive skin, has a pleasant smell and results in soft, smooth fur. Similar to the Pet Works, it’s described as very concentrated so that it lasts a long time.
Fieldworks Natural Dog Shampoo Anti-Bacterial-Anti-Fungal By Moosh
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This Moosh product dog shampoo comes in a 12 ounce size and runs for about $15. It touts 100 percent natural ingredients with no detergents and chemicals. It’s easy to rinse off and is highly concentrated so you only have to use a little bit each time. It helps itchy skin, sensitive skin, hot spots and more. Some of the natural ingredients listed include bentonite clay, neem, argan oil, shea butter and aloe vera. The use of bentonite clay is important as it is known for its natural healing abilities and can pull toxins away from the skin. Neem and argan oil are anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, which can help get rid of dandruff. The bottle also features a reducer built into the neck so that you won’t accidentally use too much. Users give this shampoo 4.5 stars out of five and about 73 percent of those reviews are five-star reviews. Reviews mention that the shampoo works well on bulldogs, which are known for having very sensitive skin. Another review mentions that it worked well on a dog with a fungal infection. Yet another review mentions that it reduced shedding.
Wahl Natural Pet No-Rinse Waterless Shampoo
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Coming in two refreshing scents of lavender-chamomile and coconut lime verbana, this product is sold in seven ounce bottles for about $3. To add up to the amount of the other shampoos on this list, it still comes in cheaper, with 14 ounces being just over $5. This is touted as a no-rinse, waterless shampoo that is all-natural. It is formulated with oatmeal and contains no alcohol, parabens or harsh chemicals. Ingredients are plant-based and natural. However, it does contain sodium laurel sulfate, but this is the only dubious ingredient on a rather short list. Reviewers give it 4.3 out of five stars and about 68 percent of those are five star reviews. Like the other shampoos on this list, a little shampoo is all that’s necessary. Reviewers recommend working the shampoo into the dog’s fur with a damp cloth or paper towel and then brush him out. There are also a couple of unique pros to using waterless shampoo, such as for an elderly dog that can’t stand for a long period or for dogs that absolutely hate water. The main cons cited by users was that it has a fairly strong smell.
Particular Paws Hypoallergenic Dog and Cat Shampoo
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Coming in a 12 ounce size and with a cost of just under $20 at the time of writing this, this is the most expensive shampoo on the list. It claims to be good for sensitive skin and the young skin of puppies. Aloe vera, chamomile and rosemary are a few of the natural ingredients listed. It’s good for preventing or getting rid of dandruff, as well as washing injuries and other skin conditions. At 4.6 stars out of five and 86 percent five star reviews, this is definitely one of the highest reviewed products on the list. Users largely mention how it works really well for puppies and getting them used to bathing early. Some users also mention that it works on dogs with confirmed skin allergies.
How Often Should I Wash My Dog?
In the wild, dogs obviously do not bathe with shampoo, but they also don’t come in contact with anything in your house. Your dog is actually meant to be self-cleaning and there’s no need to wash him as often as once a week or more. In fact, you only need to bathe him with water once a month and then use a natural dog shampoo every other month or so. Obviously, if a unique situation crops up such as getting sprayed by a skunk or rolling in manure, then you’ll want to give him a bath with shampoo sooner.
In general, you can help keep his skin and coat healthy through regular brushing. This stimulates the natural oil in your dog’s skin and helps him smell and look cleaner. Different breeds also have different needs. Dogs with fur like Poodles and some terriers tend to shed into their fur and absorb smells as well. More than likely you’ll end up grooming this type of dog with a haircut when their fur gets unruly and if you don’t do it yourself, you’ll want to provide your groomer with your choice of natural dog shampoo to avoid skin irritation.
Using natural dog shampoo can help head off skin problems with your dog before they start. Keep your dog happy and healthy during bath time by using natural shampoos every other month or so.