If you’re a pet parent, you know that sometimes your furry friend can get a little stinky. Whether it’s due to rolling in something smelly outside or just general doggy odor, sometimes your dog needs a little extra help staying fresh and clean. That’s where good dog shampoo comes in!
There are a variety of dog shampoos on the market, each formulated to address different needs. If your dog has particularly smelly fur, you may want to consider a dog shampoo that is specifically designed to eliminate odors. These shampoos usually contain ingredients like baking soda or essential oils, which help to neutralize odors.
If your dog has sensitive skin, you’ll want to choose a hypoallergenic shampoo that is gentle and won’t cause irritation. You may also consider a medicated shampoo if your dog has any skin conditions like allergies or dermatitis.
Whatever your dog’s needs, there is a dog shampoo out there that can help. Below, we’ve rounded up the best six dog shampoos for smelly dogs, sensitive skin, and more. Here’s the takeaway:
This all-breed 4-in-1 Shampoo, Deodorizer, Conditioner, and Detangler is the best way to keep your dog smelling fresh and clean. This easy-to-use four-in-one formula with chamomile and lavender is ideal for stinky dogs that need a good cleaning. When used together with the We Love Doodles slicker brush for medium and long-haired breeds, this shampoo can help reduce tangles and matting.
With a mild base of protein and lanolin, this natural conditioning and deodorizing shampoo rinses out quickly, leaving skin and coat ultra clean and smelling fresh with its botanical ingredients, which include lavender and chamomile. Additionally, this shampoo eliminates pet odors on contact!
The best part about this product is that it is made with USDA-certified organic ingredients that are safe for your dog. This safe, non-irritating formula is also eco-friendly, with no parabens, sulfates, formaldehyde, alcohol, or synthetic dyes. The We Love Doodles pet shampoo is a vet-approved formula that works for all dogs and puppies over 12 weeks old. This is one of the best dog shampoos for smelly dogs on the market today and comes with a 100% money-back guarantee.
- Substantially reduces smelly coats
- No harsh chemicals
- Crafted with chamomile and lavender
- Cleans and conditions coats organically.
- Deodorizes and leaves pets smelling fresh and clean.
- Organically certified ingredients
- Veterinarian approved
- A multifunctional formula that does it all in one bottle
Instead of covering odors with heavy perfumes, the Gerrard Larriett sulfate-free dog odor shampoo and conditioner offer gentle cleaning and deodorizing even with the smelliest dog coats. This brand features no harsh ammonia or chemicals that aggravate allergies and irritate skin and eyes.
Instead, it’s crafted with an all-natural, 100% biodegradable formula made with vitamin E, aloe, jojoba oil, and lavender. It combines essential oils and vitamins for optimal skin and coat health.
The oatmeal blend forms a natural skin barrier for healing and recovery while reducing hot spots, bumps, and redness. This calming dog shampoo lifts stains and rinses away quickly, leaving aromatherapy scents for peaceful bath times. We like this natural shampoo as a deodorizer because it avoids heavy perfumes that overwhelm your pup’s sensitive nose. It’s also priced well for multi-pet households.
This is a great low-cost dog shampoo that will get the smell off your dog. The downside of this shampoo is that it is thick, and the smell doesn’t last as long as some of the other shampoos we tested. However, it’s a great budget-pick smelly dog shampoo.
- Affordable for multi-pet homes
- Pet odor eliminator
- Sulfate and paraben-free
- An extensive array of dog grooming products to choose from
- 100% biodegradable formula
- A Gerrard Larriett pet grooming product
- Crafted with lavender, oatmeal, vitamin E, jojoba oil, and aloe vera.
- No harsh chemicals
- Effectively deodorizes smelly coats
Friday’s Dog Oater Coater Deodorizing shampoo features a unique formula that helps keep your dog’s coat clean and healthy while reducing odors. It is made with natural ingredients that are safe for your dog and will not irritate their skin. This is another cruelty-free, pH-balanced dog shampoo that effectively removes funky doggie odors via their naturally derived ingredient formula.
If your dog has sensitive skin, you’ll want to try Friday’s Dog Oater Coater Oatmeal Shampoo. This shampoo is designed to help relieve allergies and itching while providing sensitive and dry skin care.
Made with natural ingredients, this shampoo is safe for dogs of all ages and can be used regularly and on pups six weeks and up. Friday’s Dog Oater Coater is a naturally derived and soap-free cleanser leaves coat and skin clean and deodorized without any irritation.
- Effectively removes smelly dog odor from dogs with sensitive skin
- An extensive array of dog products to choose from
- Natural veterinary-approved formula
- Affordable for multi-pet homes
- pH balanced for dogs
- Cruelty-free pet shampoo deodorizer
Canine Daily Preventative Powder is a waterless dog and dry cat shampoo that provides itchy skin relief and wound care for dogs while deodorizing skin and coat and removing funky dog odor. The powder is easy to use and can be applied directly to your pet’s coat. It is safe for daily use and will not irritate your pet’s skin. This product does it all: It cleans, dries, and deodorizes without water while retaining natural oils.
Canine Daily Preventative Powder features an all-natural formula that soothes and protects against infections by removing the moisture that germs need to survive and multiply. It works well for smelly skin and coats, skin yeast, itching, hives, hot spots, rashes, and dermatitis.
This unique and effective dry-action powder of our powder kills surface germs and eliminates odor on contact, leaving your pet’s coat clean and smelling fresh; and is probably a must-have for every pet parent dealing with wound care.
- All natural ingredients
- anti-bacterial and anti-fungal formula
- Dry powder deodorizing dry wash
- No talc
- Dry action deodorizing formula
- No water needed
- Dissipates doggie odor on contact
If you’re looking for a dog shampoo that will relieve your pet’s itchy skin and leave their coat looking and smelling great, then Oliver’s Choice Dog Shampoo is a really good choice. This shampoo is made with oatmeal and aloe to soothe your pet’s skin and provide relief from itchiness.
It also contains shea butter to help keep your pet’s coat soft and healthy. The shampoo is also great for puppies and is safe for regular use. We like to use this shampoo for smelly dog coats because it’s another formula made in the USA, biodegradable, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and naturally derived! This product has over 5,000 positive reviews.
- Deodorizing pet shampoo with a lasting scent
- All-natural biodegradable pet shampoo
- Crafted with oatmeal, aloe, lanolin, and shea butter
- No toxic ingredients
- Safe and gentle formula
- Sweet fresh deodorizing smell
- Over 5,000 positive reviews
With over 10,000 positive reviews, Curaseb is a top pick for skin conditions and hot spots in dogs. It is a medicated shampoo that uses chlorhexidine and ketoconazole to treat infections while soothing itchiness and irritation. The veterinary strength formulation is also safe for use on cats.
This dog shampoo for smelly irritated skin has a pleasant cucumber melon scent. It is a safe veterinary medicated formula that can be used on the body, facial folds, wrinkles, paws, underarms, and groin. It has many benefits as in the following:
- Soothes itching
- Relieves discomfort
- Reduces inflammation
- Fights bacteria & fungi
- Over 10,000 positive reviews
- Cucumber melon scent
- Medicated shampoo for dogs and cats
- Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-yeast
- Veterinarian formulated
- Safe and effective
- Combats smelly and intense odors on pets
Why does my dog smell so bad?
There are numerous reasons for a smelly coat, especially if you spend lots of time outdoors with your dog. That said, there are also medical reasons why your dog may smell bad.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) says, “Secondary yeast or bacterial infections on the skin or inside the ears remain the most common medical reasons dogs might smell awful. Allergies often begin the process, which leads to scratching and licking that open the door for infections.”
Due to Malassezia yeast and staphylococcus pseudintermedius bacteria overgrowing in some dogs, skin issues and foul odors occur. The most common symptoms are the following:
- Skin and coat color changes
- Hair loss or spots
- Odor intensity worsens with time
- Crusting and redness on skin or ears
- Signs of discomfort
Although veterinarians sometimes use diluted solutions of vinegar topically to treat yeast infections, it’s best to pay your veterinarian a visit before using diluted vinegar because some concentrations could be more damaging to already irritated skin.
Rooibos tea has also been known to help with hot spots and skin issues, with some holistic veterinarians recommending rooibos as a safe alternative to allopathic cortisone.
You should also avoid using dog perfumes and sprays on your dog to mask up foul odors because this may also cause more skin irritation. Finally, the AKC explains that veterinary prescription products are more cost-effective and clinically effective because they feature higher concentrations of key ingredients.
Natural Grooming Shampoos
All-natural shampoos should not be too sudsy, and some may not lather up as much. That doesn’t mean that your pup is not getting a thorough clean. All-natural shampoos should be formulated for pets. If your pup has sensitive skin, then you should opt for one that is alcohol-free with limited ingredients.
If possible, choose dog shampoos like the We Love Doodle 4-in-1 detangling, moisturizing and deodorizing pet shampoo that’s certified organic and features no harsh chemicals, detergents, or surfactants.
Avoid Chemical-Based Dog Shampoos
With so many great natural dog shampoo options available today, there’s no need to use harsh chemicals that may not be so great for your furbaby health-wise. Toxic preservatives, which include sulfates and parabens, wash away the antimicrobial peptides, water-proofing natural oils, and proteins from your dog’s skin.
One of the most essential things in grooming is to ensure a thorough rinse. Any shampoo residue left on your pup’s skin can cause skin irritation and excessive itching.
We like to do the rinse and repeat rinse to ensure that all shampoo is out of the coat and skin. You should rinse and repeat until all water runs clear, and then run your fingers through your dog’s coat to check for any spots of soapy residue you may have missed.
Before adopting or purchasing a specific breed, it’s essential to consider grooming needs so that you can consider the grooming requirements, such as time, professional grooming requirements, and/or finances. Grooming is necessary to keep your pup clean and healthy, and long-haired breeds like the Maltese or Pomeranian need more than a quick brush.
Many breeds with long coats will have hair growing inside the ear canal. This can result in ear infections and can also prevent ear meds from getting to the required spot in the ear.
Regular grooming will include hair trimming in sensitive areas like the ear. That said, it’s best to ask for help from your vet tech or a professional groomer if you’ve never trimmed hair inside the ear canal.
Nail care is key when grooming and should never be overlooked. If nails grow too long, they can curl over into the pad underneath. You may then need to take your dog for surgery. Overgrown nails are painful and can also affect how a dog walks by placing strain on tendons and joints.
Keeping all breeds neatly clipped, regardless of coat length, prevents skin infections from matting. The genital areas should also be neatly clipped by a professional if you have no experience clipping to prevent urine scalding and problems defecating.
If there is matting that occurs near the rectal area, this could prevent bowel movements. If you’re a grooming newbie, reach out to a professional groomer or a vet tech to teach you how to clip a dog’s sensitive areas to prevent serious health issues.
If you’re parenting a long-haired dog, they may have a lot of tearing, which can build up and cut over the eye area. This can result in severe eye irritation and sometimes eye infections if not maintained.
Tear residue hardens in the sensitive area around the eyes and is difficult to remove. You can prevent this by gently cleaning your dog’s facial area with a warm washcloth every morning and keeping the area dry and clean.
Brush with a high-quality slicker brush
Always brush your dog with a high-quality brush going in the direction his coat grows to avoid pulling. If you hit tangles or matting, avoid yanking at it. Instead, use a comb and slicker brush like the We Love Doodles slicker brush to brush away the tangle gently.
You’ll need to hold the base of the tangle or mat to avoid pulling on the skin and hurting him. If you need to use clippers or scissors, do so. If in doubt, consult with a professional groomer or vet tech. Here’s the takeaway on the gentle We Love Doodles slicker brush for everyday grooming.
Want to learn how to wash your dog smelly correctly? Check out the video below.
FAQ’s Best Dog Shampoo for Smelly Dogs
What can you do about smelly dogs?
Common medical issues such as periodontal disease, skin infections, otitis externa, anal gland disease, and flatulence can cause dogs to smell bad. If you notice your dog smells bad, you should first make an appointment with your veterinarian.
However, there are some things you can do to help prevent or reduce the amount of odor your dog emits. Below are some tips:
- Groom your dog regularly. This includes brushing their teeth, cleaning their ears, and trimming their nails.
- Feed your dog a healthy diet. A nutritious diet can help reduce body odor.
- Give your dog regular baths. Use a mild, hypoallergenic shampoo like the We Love Doodles 4-in-1 deodorizing and moisturizing dog shampoo for all breeds. Always rinse thoroughly!
- Keep your dog’s living area clean. Regularly vacuum and wash their bedding.
- Take your dog for regular veterinary checkups. This will help identify any medical issues causing your dog to smell bad.
Following these tips can help reduce the odor your dog emits and keep them smelling fresh and clean.
What causes dogs to smell?
Due to Malassezia yeast and staphylococcus pseudintermedius bacteria overgrowing in some dogs, skin issues and foul odors occur. Veterinary prescription products are more cost-effective and clinically effective because they feature higher concentrations of key ingredients needed.
Conclusion For Best Dog Shampoo for Smelly Dogs
Even if you’re diligent about grooming, there are times when you’ll have a smelly dog, most especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Keep in mind that some breeds require more grooming than others, but regardless of the breed you parent, it’s essential to establish a soothing grooming schedule to prevent matting, smelly coats, and dirty ears. The all-organic We Love Doodles 4-in-1 pet detangling and deodorizing shampoo with a slicker brush allows for optimal grooming and skin and coat health!
By turning shampooing sessions into spa time with our top 6 picks for natural and healthy odor-eliminating formulas, you’ll be embracing a healthier lifestyle for your furbaby.
Keeping your pup clean and healthy has never been easier, but it’s got to be done with natural pet products. So our top 6 picks will make your pet smell great!
Claudia Bensimoun is a writer who specializes in dog content and veterinary topics! Aside from writing for We Love Doodles, Claudia also writes for other major dog blogs like Fido Friendly, Animal Wellness Magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA). She has a ghostwritten over 50 different dog e-books. Her passions include animal welfare, veterinary research, and wildlife conservation.
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