- The Best Puppy Shampoo
- 1. Earthbath Ultra Mild Puppy Shampoo
- 2. Pet Pleasant Lavender Oatmeal Dog Shampoo
- 3. Burt’s Bees Tearless 2 in 1 Shampoo
- 4. Oster Oatmeal Essentials Gentle Puppy
- 5. Sentry Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs
- 6. Pet Care Sciences 5 in 1 Shampoo
- 7. Tropiclean Hypoallergenic Puppy Shampoo
- 8. Mika Pets Oatmeal & Aloe Pet Shampoo
- 9. Isle of Dogs Tearless Puppy Shampoo
- 10. Paws & Pals Oatmeal Shampoo
Whether you have a fussy indoor puppy or a rowdy outdoor one, they need regular baths to remain clean and healthy, as well as fresh-smelling. However, you don’t want to use your own shampoo or soap on your puppy as dogs have a different skin (not to mention hair!) than humans and chemicals found in our grooming products can be too harsh for them. To keep your pupper’s skin healthy and supple and their coat thick and shiny, it’s important to use a shampoo specifically designed for dogs. To help you choose the best puppy shampoo for your tiny canine companion, we reviewed some of the most popular formulas on the market. We also put together a buying guide that is packed with useful information on how to choose a good formula and properly bathe your puppy, so read on!
The Best Puppy Shampoo
pH balanced and tearless formula
Made with gentle coconut-based cleansers
Contains vitamins A, B, D & E, aloe and glycerin
Wild cherry scent
Made with aloe vera, glycerin, vitamins and mild cleansers, this gentle and tearless puppy shampoo will leave your pupper’s skin and coat feeling and smelling amazing. This is a pH-balanced formula so it won’t strip your pet’s sensitive skin of natural oils; instead, it will nourish it thanks to an array of vitamins it contains. The ultra-gentle formula is even considered good for dogs with skin allergies as it’s soothing on the skin and not at all drying. As a bonus, it comes with a wild cherry scent, so it will leave your pup smelling great! Another thing we really like about this shampoo – all ingredients are natural and biodegradable.
Hypoallergenic formula for sensitive pups
Contains colloidal oatmeal
Enriched with pure lavender essential oil
Calms and soothes irritated skin
Designed for both adult dogs and puppies with sensitive skin, the Honeydew’s pet shampoo is both hypoallergenic and soothing, making it ideal for dogs suffering from dryness or flaking. This formula combats skin irritation with calming lavender and soothing oatmeal, and also helps to cleanse while removing unpleasant odors. Importantly for sensitive pups, the shampoo is also sulfate-free and tearless, so it won’t irritate their eyes. Proven to be both gentle and effective, with hundreds of positive reviews from past buyers, this is one of the best shampoos for puppies, hands down.
2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner
Contains buttermilk, linseed oil and honey
99.7 natural ingredients
Mild, pH-balanced formula
Our next choice is a 2-in-1 tearless puppy shampoo by Burt’s Bees and puppy conditioner, which has a soothing and softening effect on your dog’s skin and coat. Some of the all-natural ingredients include buttermilk, linseed oil, honey and beeswax. Designed to be suitable for both dogs and puppies, the pH has been balanced for canine skin, so it’s quite gentle and soothing. Like all Burt’s Bees products, this shampoo is free from harsh chemicals, as well as parabens, synthetic fragrances, and phthalates.
Formulated for puppies eight weeks and older
Cleans and soothes skin
Contains oatmeal extract, hydrolyzed wheat protein and rosemary leaf
Gentle formula but not tear-free
Made with natural, gentle and biodegradable ingredients such as oatmeal, the Oster shampoo is specifically made for puppies 8 weeks and older. Supporting the oatmeal base are rosemary leaf extract, wheat protein, aloe and gentle cleaners – a combination that both clenses and conditions your pup’s coat. The shampoo also has a nice baby powder scent to it, so it will leave your dog’s skin and coat smelling fresh for a long time. While completely natural, the formula should not get into your pup’s eyes as it may irritate them.
Kills ticks and fleas for up to 10 days
Cleans, deodorizes, and conditions
Contains permethrin and oatmeal
Suitable only for dogs, not cats
If your puppy suffers from fleas or ticks, we highly recommend this oatmeal shampoo by Sentry as it’s designed to kill and control pests for up to 10 days. At the same time, it has a great cleansing effect while also having a balanced pH, making it suitable for puppies of 12 weeks or older. The oatmeal in this flea shampoo for puppies makes the formula quite gentle even though it’s able to control the fleas and ticks, making it suitable for pets who have sensitive skin. As a nice bonus, it leaves behind a unique Hawaiian ginger scent that lingers for days!
5-in-1 formula, cleanses and conditions
Contains gentle cleaners, oatmeal and aloe
Free from harsh chemicals, suitable for sensitive skin
Light coconut scent
If you’re looking for a shampoo and conditioner in one for your pup’s dry skin, check out Pet Care Sciences 5-1 Shampoo for dogs. Made with natural ingredients, such as coconut-based cleansers, oatmeal and aloe, this formula promises to cleanse, deodorize, moisturize, and detangle your pupper’s coat. Free from harsh synthetic ingredients, including sulfates, parabens, MEA and DEA, this puppy shampoo is very gentle on both skin and fur, making it a great choice for dogs suffering from dry, flaky skin and brittle coat. As a bonus, it has a mild coconut scent so it will leave your dog’s fur smelling great but not overwhelming.
Gentle and pH balanced pet shampoo
Contains coconut cleansers and colloidal oatmeal
Dye and soap-free
Light tropical scent
Made with only five ingredients, this gentle and hypoallergenic shampoo is suitable for both puppies and kittens. It is soap-free and contains soothing and conditioning coconut cleansers and colloidal oatmeal, plus it’s pH is balanced. The brand has environmentally friendly credentials, which is demonstrated by the fact that the bottle is made from half recycled materials. It comes with a light tropical scent, and it’s designed to not affect spot-on flea products.
Hypoallergenic and gentle shampoo
Suitable for both puppies and kittens
Contains colloidal oatmeal, aloe and coconut surfactants
Conditions and moisturizes
Made with colloidal oatmeal and aloe vera leaf juice, this pet shampoo helps to provide relief to canines suffering from dry and itchy skin. The hypoallergenic and sulfate-free formula contains natural coconut-based surfactants that are gentle yet powerful at cleansing the skin and fur. Like most quality dog shampoos, this product too is free from any and all harsh chemicals, including sulfates, parabens and phosphates, making it a solid choice for puppies (as well as kittens) with ultra-sensitive skin.
Mild tearless formula
Made with gentle cleansing agents
Sulfate and paraben free
Cotton and orchid fragrance
For puppies with sensitive eyes, tearless formulas are a must-have, and this Isle of Dogs shampoo is a great choice. Formulated with gentle cleansing agents, this is a soothing formula that foams pretty well yet doesn’t sting the eyes at all. Leaving behind a cotton and fresh orchid fragrance, it has quite a luxurious feel and it will leave your pup looking and smelling their best. Like most sensitive pet shampoos, this one too doesn’t contain sulfates or parabens, which is a great plus in our book.
Contains oatmeal, basil and turmeric
Soothes and relieves dry and itchy skin
Cleans, detangles and moisturizes
Pleasant and long-lasting smell
Great at both cleansing the fur and nourishing the skin, this oatmeal shampoo is a perfect choice for dogs suffering from dry and itchy skin. Formulated with aloe, basil, turmeric, and of course oatmeal and gentle surfactants, the shampoo won’t irritate your pupper’s eyes or nose, ensuring that bath time is a fun and enjoyable experience for you both. Although natural, the formula is super-effective when it comes to cleansing both long-haired and short-haired breeds, plus it has a nice clean smell that lasts for days. Another thing we like about this shampoo – it takes a small amount to get the suds going, so it should last quite a while!
Best Puppy Shampoo Buying Guide & FAQ
If you're looking for the best puppy shampoos to make bath time an enjoyable experience for both you and your pet, you can't go wrong with any of these products. They're all designed specifically for pets, are gentle but efficient at cleansing, so whichever one you choose, we're sure you and your pup will be pleased.
Still not sure which formula is right for your dog? Not to worry because in this part of our buying guide we cover absolutely everything you need to know about pet shampoos, including how to find the best one for your pooch!
Things to Look for When Buying a Puppy Shampoo
- Puppy Formula
Some of the shampoos that we have discussed above are specifically designed for puppies, whereas others are meant for dogs of any age. Before using anything on your little dog, you need to ensure that it is suitable for their sensitive coat and skin. Generally, puppy shampoos are gentler to ensure that they don’t cause any irritation, so when it doubt, go for puppy-specific shampoos.
- Extra Benefits
Aside from cleansing your pet's skin and coat, a good shampoo for dogs will also offer some extra benefits, such as moisturizing the skin and conditioning the coat. If your pup suffers from dry or itchy skin look for formulas that include ingredients such as oatmeal and aloe vera as they provide some relief. There are also shampoos that are specifically made to kill or prevent ticks, fleas, and other parasites, so if your pup is struggling with these annoying pests, look for formulas specifically made to kill and control fleas and ticks plus cleanse the coat. For more options, head over to our guide on flea shampoo for dogs.
- Pleasant scent
Puppies can get themselves covered in all sorts of unpleasant-smelling substances, so look for shampoos that have at least some deodorizing effects. If you have particular preferences regarding scent, make your choices appropriate to your own nose! Take a look at our review of the best essential oils for fleas on dogs for more options.
- Ingredient List
Getting to know the ingredients in dog shampoos can help you to make an appropriate choice. You should be looking for those all-natural products that are not going to cause any irritation, such as oatmeal, glycerin, and aloe vera. Avoid anything artificial like dyes and fragrances. Natural scents are always better, and these can include lavender, coconut, eucalyptus, and more. And once again, it is worth mentioning that you should never use shampoos that have been designed for humans.
Benefits of Using Shampoos for Puppies
- Maintains Hygiene Standards
Just as you buy a shampoo and soap to keep your own hair and skin clean, the same goes for your pup’s coat and skin. A gentle puppy shampoo can help to improve their hygiene standards, which in turn gets rid of bacteria that you may have come into contact with around the home.
- Maintains Skin pH
The reason why so many formulas mention being ‘pH balanced’ is that if this gets out of whack, it can cause redness and irritation to your pup’s skin. This typically ranges between 2.2 and 7.5 and dog shampoos are designed to not alter this significantly.
- Promotes a Healthy Coat
If you don’t use the proper shampoo, it can lead to your dog’s coat drying out. Not only should a good shampoo leave your pooch’s coat clean, but it should also leave it conditioned, soft, shiny, and generally healthy.
- Pleasant Smell
While we love our puppies, they are not always the most pleasant smelling creatures in the world! There are various natural scents that can be infused into pet shampoos to leave your dog smelling at their very best, such as essential oils, coconut or lavender.
- Clear Up Common Issues
There are many common skin issues that can affect your dog such as redness, itchiness, flaking, ticks, and fleas. The right dog shampoo can help to manage and even clear some of these problems if used on a regular basis. Head over to our review of medicated dog shampoos for more choices.
How to Bathe Your Puppy
Before you wet your puppy, you should brush them to remove any mats as they will retain water otherwise. Use only lukewarm water - it should not be any hotter than a baby’s bath. Many puppies are naturally averse to baths, so you need to speak to them in calm and reassuring tones. It may even help to have someone else assisting with the task.
Take your chosen dog shampoo, work it into a lather, and massage it over your dog’s body, taking care not to get it in their eyes. Rinse them off well as any remaining soap can be irritating to their skin if left to dry. Continue to rinse and repeat. You can either let them dry off naturally, towel them off, or use a cooler blow-dryer that has been specifically designed for dogs. Reward your dog with praise, petting, and/or treats so they associate the process with positive feelings. It is always better to start bathing your dog from an early age as this helps them to get used to the process, plus you are more likely to be able to continue bathing them easily over the continuing years.
Our Top Pick
While we like all shampoos featured in our top list, our No.1 choice has got to be Earthbath Natural. Formulated with coconut-based surfactants, vitamins E, B, A and D, plus aloe vera and glycerin, this pH balanced shampoo will thoroughly cleanse as well as condition your puppy's coat and skin. As a nice little bonus, it comes with a pleasant wild cherry scent, so it will leave your pooch smelling fresh and clean!
Q: What shampoo ingredients are safe for puppies?
The ingredients that are safe for puppy shampoos include coconut-based cleansers, as well as those with natural soothing effects such as oatmeal and aloe. Also, look out for natural scents rather than anything that has been chemically made. Other common examples of natural ingredients include coconut oil, honey, and shea butter. Everything should be gentle, so the shampoo will probably not produce much of a lather, but it will be tear-free. Avoid anything with artificial colors or dyes, as well as additives and toxic pesticides. Natural and organic puppy shampoos are best for your little dog.
Q: How often should I wash my young puppy?
The number of times that you wash your puppy should be based on various factors including their breed, lifestyle, and coat. Ask your vet if you need more info on your pup’s specific coat and skin requirements. As long as the puppy doesn’t have any adverse reactions, you can bathe them as often as once a week. This said, some people only bathe their pup a couple of times a year. The average probably lies somewhere between the two. If your dog spends a lot of time outside in muddy or dirty conditions, more frequent bathing is likely to be required, whereas apartment dogs will probably need less.
Q: Can I use baby shampoo on my puppy?
Baby shampoo is generally mild and non-irritating, so it may be suitable for puppies if you are in a bind and have no other options. However, it is still best to use products that are specifically made for canines, so consult back to the list offered above and choose the best options for your furry friend.