Dogs are messy creatures. They love rolling in dirt and grime and the over powering wet dog smell can leave an unpleasant aroma in your house for days. For this reason, it’s imperative that you get a reliable dog shampoo.
But have you ever tried to bathe a dog? Water goes everywhere, leaving your bathroom in a terrible state. You’re soaking, the room is soaking, and your dog still smells.
Luckily for you, we have found the best five dry dog shampoos on the market that don’t require water. Simply spray onto your dog to freshen them up and keep them smelling fresh for days.
We will reviewing these top 5 dry shampoos perfect for your dog:
- Wahl Pet- friendly waterless no rinse shampoo
- Bodhi Dog non-toxic waterless dog shampoo
- Arm & Hammer ultra fresh no rinse deodorizing foam
- Mighty Mutt waterless no rinse dry shampoo
- John Paul pet store oatmeal waterless foam
Let’s jump into the reviews!
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Our top dry dog shampoo has to be this Oatmeal and Coconut Lime scented one from Wahl.
It is a foam shampoo made in the USA, is pH balanced, free of alcohol, parabens, and PEG-80, and is suitable for cats and dogs.
The oatmeal formula is gentle and caring for your dog’s skin, and the rest of the ingredients are plant-derived.
It is excellent for moisturizing, detangling, and conditioning dog fur without leaving them with itchy skin.
Wahl has created this shampoo with a dog suffering from the most severe allergies in mind, meaning that it is safe for use on the most sensitive of skin.
Wahl has been used by professionals for over 50 years, so you know you can trust the brand!
- Easy to use: simply pump the foam into your hand and massage it through your dog’s coat.
- Sensitive formula: designed not to trigger any allergic reactions in pets.
- Delicious scent: oatmeal and coconut lime certainly beats the wet dog smell!
- Great price: the low cost per bottle means that you’re paying low prices for premium scents.
- Does not remove dirt: some customers found that this shampoo was only deodorized without removing physical dirt.
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Bodhi gives you the choice of three scents for their dog shampoo – lavender, lemongrass, or oatmeal and apple. These are all calming ingredients that will leave your dog’s skin feeling moisturized and soft. Perosonally, I particularly favor the oatmeal and apple aroma.
This shampoo can deodorize your dog within minutes and is excellent for any dog that doesn’t like water. It’s portable, too, so you can take it on the go with you anywhere and everywhere.
The formula is completely safe for sensitive skin and is natural. It is alcohol-free and does not contain parabens, sulfates, or other harsh chemicals.
This shampoo is professional grade, meaning that your dog will be smelling like they’ve just had an hour-long appointment with the groomer. Just for a fraction of the cost!
- Ethical company: Bodhi is committed to using local and sustainable ingredients that are completely animal cruelty-free.
- 100% not toxic: this formula is safe and natural to use on dogs, without any harsh or stripping chemicals.
- Money-back guarantee: receive a full refund if you don’t like this shampoo, no questions asked.
- Strong scent: some reviewers thought that the scent was too overpowering.
- Higher price point: this shampoo costs twice as much as our first pick.
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Next up is a highly-reviewed dry dog shampoo from Arm & Hammer.
This shampoo is excellent for in-between grooming appointments when your dog needs a quick freshen-up. The juniper mist scent is delicious yet not too strong.
Baking soda is an ingredient in this shampoo, known for its deodorizing properties. This is a natural and premium ingredient that will have your dog feeling their best until their new full bath.
All you need to do to apply this shampoo is use two to three pumps and massage from head to tail. Towel dry or leave to air dry and enjoy the new, natural scent coming from your pet!
This shampoo is pH balanced and therefore safe for all dogs to use, without the risk of skin irritation.
- Trusted brand: Arm & Hammer has been offering gentle and effective cleaning methods for dogs for the last 100 years.
- Natural ingredients: the signature baking soda is just one of the natural ingredients within this formula.
- Easy to use: this shampoo could not be easier to use, and offers some lovely bonding time for you and your pet.
- The scent isn’t long-lasting: since the scent is mellow, some reviewers said that it didn’t last very long.
- Matted fur: one customer found that it matted their dog’s fur.
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Next up is a mighty shampoo from Mighty Mutt! This shampoo has been made of the highest quality ingredients and is safe for use on all dogs.
There are only four ingredients in this shampoo, making it free of sulfates, dyes, parabens, phthalates, and other harmful ingredients.
This shampoo is made from locally sourced ingredients around the USA and is cruelty-free. Its natural formula is also kind to the environment, so it’s doing more than just deodorizing your dog.
Mighty Mutt claims that this shampoo offers a deep clean, ensuring a squeaky clean dog after just one use. This is an ideal shampoo to use between grooming appointments.
This shampoo is also tear-free and gentle, preventing irritated skin while offering a fresh breeze scent.
- Deep cleaning: this foam shampoo penetrates your dog’s coat right to the skin, offering the best cleaning results.
- Kind to nature: the formula is biodegradable and therefore environmentally friendly, as well as cruelty-free.
- Premium shampoo: this shampoo is professional grade and very effective, offering a subtle scent between full baths.
- Higher price point: more expensive than other dry dog shampoos we’ve looked at.
- Poor shipping: a few customers have had issues with quality control and shipping.
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Last but not least, this gentle botanical foam is made to refresh and clean pets without the use of water.
This is a great alternative to a bath in cold weather or when you don’t have time for a whole grooming session.
The formula is specifically created to blend with oils and dirt on your dog’s fur so that it can be brushed out.
This is an innovation that we don’t see in many dry dog shampoos – this one can fully eliminate the need for a bath!
The ingredients are natural, including aloe, chamomile, and oatmeal, which are all gentle and moisturizing for sensitive skin.
The almond oil offers a natural fragrance to condition coats and gives them a glorious shine.
- Made in the USA: uses all-natural ingredients from the brand’s human range, meaning that you could use this shampoo on yourself!
- Charity supporters: proceeds of each sale goes to animal and wildlife organizations.
- Innovative: you can brush dirt and oil right out of your dog’s fur with the help of this formula.
- Leave a film: if you don’t brush the product out, your pet might be left with a greasy film on their fur.
- Makes dogs shed: a couple of customers said that this shampoo made their dogs shed.
Now that we’ve looked at the best five dry dog shampoos on the market, let’s take a look at some factors to consider before choosing the best one for your dog.
Dogs have sensitive skin compared to humans, which is why you cannot use normal dry shampoo on dogs. They need a shampoo specifically formulated for their skin so that it doesn’t dry out.
Dry skin can cause irritation and itching, and this can lead to fur loss. It is incredibly important that you don’t choose a dry shampoo that is going to cause annoyance for your dog.
Look for a dry dog shampoo with calming ingredients, such as oatmeal or lavender, as these will nourish and moisturize the skin.
You should also stay away from dry dog shampoos that contain harsh chemicals such as phosphates, parabens, artificial colors or fragrances, preservatives, and more.
The fewer ingredients, the better.
Spray Or Foam?
There are two types of dry dog shampoo you can get – spray or foam. These are both helpful for many, but which is right for you?
Spray dry dog shampoo is easy for dogs that don’t like to be touched as you can spray it from a farther distance. As long as the liquid lands on the dog, it will benefit from some of the washing benefits.
However, foam dry shampoos are the best in our experience.
You’ll need to massage the foam into your dog’s coat, which ensures that every strand of hair is coated and cleaned, penetrating more effectively than spray dry shampoo.
You’ll need to use more of the foam each time, but the thoroughness of foam shampoo is more than worth it.
Some dogs are more active than others, meaning they’ll need a better shampoo.
While lap dogs can benefit from a dry shampoo every now and then when it comes to their scent, active dogs might need a cleaning every few days.
If this is the case, you’re going to need a more effective shampoo that penetrates deeper into your dog’s coat.
Look to the reviews to determine how effective shampoo is for cleaning dogs as well as deodorizing them.
Your Dog’s Health
The health of your dog is important to consider when choosing a dry shampoo for them.
You’ll need to know if they’ve had any allergic reactions before, and make sure these triggers aren’t included in the shampoo.
The type of coat your dog has will impact how effective certain shampoos are.
If your dog has a thick, curly coat, a spray shampoo might not penetrate all the way down to their skin, where most of the bad smells are trapped.
If this is the case, foam shampoo will be more effective as you could massage it down to the skin.
However, if your dog has a fine, straight coat or very short fur, a spray should be able to easily get down to their skin.
Another factor you should consider when it comes to dry dog shampoo is its scent.
One of the best things about giving your dog a bath is the fresh scent they carry around the house, so you want your chosen shampoo to smell nice.
There are plenty of scents on the market to choose from, but make sure that you get one that is natural. Artificial scents will be drying and irritating to your dog’s skin, which can lead to uncomfortable itching.
From our use of dry dog shampoo over the years, we’ve found that the smells can either be overpowering or barely noticeable.
It can be difficult to find a happy medium, so we would check the comments to see what others are saying about the scent.
Of course, there is always the option to opt for unscented!
Deep Cleaning Or Deodorizing?
Different dry dog shampoos do different things. The most common is to deodorize fur and keep bad smells from building up.
However, some go deeper and are able to penetrate the fur, ridding it of dirt and oils.
The latter is less common as a dry shampoo has to be pretty wondrous to be able to remove dirt without any water.
Deodorizing dog shampoos are great for using on active dogs that like to work up a sweat, or dogs that often jump in any water they can find.
It can remove the funky smells while you wait for your grooming appointment.
However, deep-cleaning dry dog shampoos need to be brushed out, removing dirt and grease as you do so. These are interesting inventions and are ideal for dogs who are nervous around water.
The only issue with the latter is that some people find them to be less effective than they’d like.
Nothing can beat the cleaning power of water and shampoo, so we would recommend only using a deep-cleaning dry shampoo when absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, it won’t replace baths for good.
Value For Money
Dry dog shampoos don’t tend to be too expensive, but there are cheaper alternatives.
Our top pick is one of the cheapest on the market! But, as with anything, most of us will be wanting to get the most for our money.
Choosing a shampoo that will last you the longest for the least money ensures that you’re not wasting any money. Some of the expensive brands have worse reviews, while cheaper brands are the best.
Make sure you compare the price of your chosen shampoo to others by the quantity you get with each one.
While one bottle might be cheaper to buy, it could contain much less product, thus making the alternative better value for money.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Dry Shampoo Be Used On Dogs?
Only human dry shampoo that is made of all-natural ingredients is safe to use on dogs.
Most human dry shampoo contains chemicals that are harsh and drying to your dog’s skin. This can cause irritation and painful wounds if they itch too much.
There is not much use using human dry shampoo on dogs anyway, as their coats don’t often become greasy.
However, you can use any dry shampoo safe for dogs on their fur. This should be natural, and soothing, and include the least number of ingredients possible.
Can Dry Shampoo Cause Hair Loss In Dogs?
There are a few risks to using too much dry shampoo. Firstly, it can strip their skin of excess oils and effectively remove their natural defense from nasty bacteria.
This might leave them susceptible to illnesses and ailments.
Secondly, too much product on their skin can lead to clogging of their hair follicles, which can lead to stunted growth and a build-up of toxins in your dog.
Too much product clogging the pores can cause hair to stop growing altogether, or cause it to fall out. If your dog has a curly coat, this shed hair might get caught and turn into painful mats.
Only use dry shampoo on dogs as per the manufacturer’s instructions – never go overboard.
How Do You Use Dry Dog Shampoo Foam?
Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before using dry dog shampoo for the first time, as some products have specialist requirements.
This means that the usual way of applying dog shampoo is incorrect for these products.
However, when it comes to foam dry dog shampoo, there is often a universal method of use.
Squirt two to three pumps of the foaming shampoo onto your hand and massage into your dog’s coat, starting at their ears and ending at their tail.
Work in a downward motion so that you’re not promoting the formation of mats.
Continue down the body, not forgetting the chest, under the arms, arms and legs, stomach, and tail.
Either towel dry or leave your dog to air dry. Alternatively you can use a dog bathrobe.
Some dry dog shampoos require you to brush the product out while others suggest you leave it in. Check its instructions to determine whether you need to do this or not. And you’re done!