You just love your adorable pup that gives you hours of entertainment and helps you relax. You naturally take optimal care of your four-legged partner’s hygiene, health, and care.
There’s no better way to do this than by giving him a good bath and shampoo now and then. Instead of using just any soap or shampoo, the best dog shampoo for odor helps eliminate odors and may also cure infections.
Even if your pet doesn’t fancy taking a bath, bathing him is a habit you cannot forgo. Not only does your pet get into the wrong places and end up with unwanted things on his fur and skin, some even suffer from dandruff. Without the proper care and shampoo, they may end up losing their hair, suffering from skin irritation and so much more.
No Human Shampoo for Pets
You must remember that you cannot use just any shampoo on them. You have to use a specially formulated canine shampoo and not human shampoo.
The only thing you achieve using human shampoo on your pet is triggering allergies or really dry skin. This is because the dog’s skin is quite different from a human’s skin.
You have to buy and use an anti-allergic, anti-fall, anti-parasitic or anti-dandruff shampoo for your pet. You make the choice depending on whether they have allergies, delicate skin, shedding or if they have to deal with ticks, lice, and fleas.
Even your location factors in when looking for the right dog shampoo. Pets in low-temperature areas don’t have the same sun sensitivity as those in warmer places.
So much has to be taken into consideration when selecting the best dog shampoo for odor. This is why we plan to show you a broad selection of shampoos that eliminate odor and take care of your pet’s skin and coat through this guide.
Best dog shampoo for odor reviews
Pets Are Kids is true to their commitment in treating your pets like your kids. As pet parents, you want a shampoo that contains natural ingredients in the right combination that can turn bath time into playtime.
You want a shampoo that won’t damage your pet’s skin and coat nor make him feel uncomfortable, sad and itchy. It was while taking all this into consideration that Pets Are Kids came up with this all-natural dog shampoo.
It contains 100% organic baking soda that keeps your pet smelling clean and natural for days and weeks. Their shampoo safely and effectively eliminates your pet’s body odor while taking care of his skin and coat.
It also provides immediate itching and hot spot relief, thanks to its blend of oatmeal, aloe vera, baking soda and coconut. It’s the only natural dandruff and tearless shampoo with ingredients that are gentle on your pet’s paws and nose.
The shampoo also offers anti-bacterial and anti-fungal treatment to protect your dog from fleas, yeast and allergies. It does it without any harmful chemicals or additives found in other canine shampoos.
To top it off, it’s light but amazing oatmeal cookie scent smells great and perfectly removes odor. The shampoo is recommended for both large and small dogs and is even a popular choice with professional groomers.
Health and hygiene are just as important for pets as it is for humans. This is why Wahl Pet Oatmeal shampoo aims to help your pet maintain a healthy coat with minimal shedding.
This shampoo is made in the USA using safe and natural ingredients. Its blend of lemon Verbena, lime, aloe, oatmeal, and coconut keeps your pet’s skin and coat healthy.
It also creates a rich lather, thanks to its high concentration of the coconut-derived sodding agent. Unlike regular shampoos, a small amount goes a long way to create a rich lather.
The lather is easily rinsed off, meaning there’s no worry about the lather making bath time an arduous task. As it’s easier to rinse off, your pet will look forward to a bath, making bath time so much easier.
This is the perfect dog shampoo for odor for pet parents looking for something natural and safe without any harsh chemicals. The shampoo has no alcohol, paraben or PEG-80 and is also pH balanced. Though the shampoo’s scent isn’t exactly overpowering, it does enhance your pet’s magical scent.
Do you notice your pet giving out some strong foul smell from his body? If yes, it’s an indication that your pet needs a good shower and shampoo with something like Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor control shampoo.
Nature’s Miracle uses their expertise in producing the many pet stain and odor removers over the years to create their odor control dog shampoo. This is a multifunctional shampoo that works in four ways when applied to your pet’s body.
It neutralizes any body odor and then freshens and conditions your pet’s body. It is the odor control complex it forms that helps neutralize odors on contact.
This is the ideal dog shampoo for continual fragrance and for freshening your pup. The light fragrance of honey sage it emits is pleasing to your family while its oatmeal helps keep your dog’s skin hydrated and smooth.
The shampoo effectively keeps your pet’s skin and coat well conditioned and clean. It also helps maintain pet skin’s essential oils while eliminating static electricity.
The fact that the shampoo contains no soap means it’s safely used with other instant flea and tick removal products when used as per the manufacturers’ directions. The shampoo does not even contain any artificial ingredients like parabens or even dyes.
Paws & Pals Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo is the perfect product for pets with dry and sensitive skin and coat. It’s 100% natural jojoba, coconut and aloe oils help deep cleanse and moisturize your pet’s skin and coat. It also provides relief to any pain and itchiness induced by dander, fleas, and dryness.
The shampoo is non-toxic and safe on both your pet and family. It’s oatmeal, rosemary, and shea butter smooths and moisturizes the most brittle coat to leave your pet’s fur clean, smooth and odor-free.
The tearless and cruelty-free nourishing formula prevents any pain from irritated and inflamed eyes while bathing. Your pet soon starts looking forward to bath time.
The shampoo is made in the USA without soap or parabens but with certified recycled materials. This is with respect to both the environment and nature while providing your pet with the best skincare and treatment.
With time, the oatmeal in the shampoo helps restore shine and health to your canine’s matted or worn coat. It delicately deodorizes your dog and leaves a long-lasting clean smell. This means you end up bathing your pet less frequently, and save water and time.
As a loving pet parent, you aim to use the best products available on your pet. One such product is Oster Oatmeal Essentials shampoo, which helps your pet in so many ways, like soothing dry skin and controlling odor and shedding.
This is a pH-balanced product enriched with natural oatmeal and other similar biodegradable and wholesome ingredients like aloe Vera and chamomile extract. It’s also 100% free of dyes, alcohol, and parabens and made in the USA by the pet-loving Oster family.
The shampoo so effectively moisturizes and softens skin that you will notice your dog’s coat getting softer, looking beautiful and smelling fresh within a few washes. It’s the long-lasting Country Apple scent in it keeps your pet smelling fresh for a long time after the bath.
For best effects, brush your dog until the hair is detangled before bathing. This helps with shampoo application and after grooming. It’s also better to brush your pet after a bath, and once again when completely dry.
How To Choose The Best Dog Shampoo For Smell
- 1. The Right pH Level
A leading cause for foul odor from your dog is the coat’s pH level and an out-of-balance skin induced by dirt, bacteria and more. Look for a shampoo that helps restore the pH level, which is around 7 in most cases.
- 2. Has Natural fragrance
Always use a shampoo that leaves a gentle but not too overwhelming scent. This is a luxury that’s more important to pet owners than the dog because you are working at improving his scent. As the fragrance lasts for a few days, choose a shampoo emitting a pleasing fragrance.
Some common and popular options are vanilla, citrus, mint, aloe Vera, chamomile, lavender, and oatmeal. Ingredients like oatmeal offer additional benefits such as smoothing the skin and alleviating irritation. These natural scents don’t even bother your dog’s nose or respiratory system but do prove helpful at repelling bugs.
- 3. Eliminates Odor
The best shampoo for odor not only leaves behind a great smell but also eliminates any odor on your dog’s coat. Remember, it’s not enough for the shampoo to just cover up the smell.
Choose a shampoo that has ingredients that not only absorb odors but also expels them from your dog’s coat. In other words, the shampoo like an aromatherapy shampoo should both camouflage, and remove the odor.
- 4. Doesn’t Cause skin sensitivity
Check to find out if the chosen shampoo leads to inflamed or itchy sensitive canine skin. This is important because each dog is different, and some ingredients irritate your pet so much that they hurt.
Look for something with an all-natural formula with good reviews because it ensures you don’t irritate your dog’s skin. The best dog odor control shampoo should also be devoid of common allergens like alcohol, phthalate, and paraben.
- 5. Cleaning agents
The shampoo should not only eliminate odor but also get rid of excess oil in the fur. This is possible only with shampoos containing some heavy-duty cleaner like salicylic acid. There are also natural alternatives like oatmeal available. A good quality shampoo generally is one that produces a rich lather.
Common Causes of Odor on Dogs
There are various reasons for canines to emit a foul odor. Some pet owners tend to ignore and live with it. However, addressing the trigger or root cause helps reduce the strength and severity of the odor.
- Dirt and grime
It’s quite obvious that your pet starts smelling after rolling around in something restricted. There’s nothing much you can do about this because canines are inquisitive creatures that depend on their sense of smell to navigate the world. They always follow, investigate and then roll in any scent they pick up.
This may seem to be odd, but is natural canine behavior used to mask their scent. So don’t be surprised if you find your dog rolling around in dirt, water, animal droppings and even on rotten plants and animals.
Rolling on rotten plants and animals is the worst because it sticks onto their fur to reach the skin. The longer the rot remains on the skin, the worse the odor.
You can avoid this by keeping an eye out for your pet because it’s usually when your dog is left alone that they go about rolling around in something smelly. You can always distract them if you notice that they have found something interesting to sniff at.
- Anal Glands and Gas
Sometimes something in their bodies leads to dog odor because gas and flatulence are common with dogs. Though it’s not a problem in many cases, drastic dietary changes or inferior ingredients in dog foods can worsen the problem.
You can resolve gas problems by feeding your dog a high-quality, balanced and nutritious diet. Any changes in foods should be done slowly to avoid an upset stomach.
A poor diet with lack of fiber or poor digestion is a root cause for anal gland problems. This is when the glands fill up and start secreting an oily substance. It’s when it’s accompanied by infections or irritation that the secretion spreads to the surrounding fur to leave a rancid smell wherever your pet goes.
It’s better to consult your vet if this happens. They will not only help get rid of the excess fluid but also make some dietary changes to prevent future problems.
- Excess Oil on the Skin
Your pet’s skin is nourished by the oil that its sebaceous glands keep producing. Excessive oil secretion occurs because of excessive sweating and skin conditions.
This is when the oil gets into your pet’s fur and lingers there until it’s taken care of. The extra oil may also lead to bacterial infections that can also trigger your pet’s distinctive wet odor.
Unfortunately, this oil does not mix well with water, making it one of the most common causes of unpleasant odor, especially in dogs with longer fur. The best remedy here is to maintain your pet’s hygiene and practice regular grooming.
- Medical Issues
Various medical issues, like kidney problems, can lead to dog odor. However, if the bad odor comes from your canine’s mouth, it’s most probably a dental issue, like periodontal disease or infection. Any infection that doesn’t react well with your pet’s saliva leads to a really strong smell.
An ear infection is another reason, which happens if water enters the ear and isn’t removed on time. This may lead to a hidden yeast infection. Your vet is the right person to address these medical problems, especially kidney and dental problems. They have to be taken care of as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary complications.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a dog shampoo and how does it work?
As the name suggests, they are shampoos formulated to safely clean a dog’s skin. It’s much different from human shampoos, mainly with its pH balance.
It falls in the range of 0-14 in humans where 6.4 signifies high acidity levels and anything higher than 6.4 indicates high alkalinity. As human’s normal range is 5.2-6.2, and is more on the acidic side, human shampoos are formulated to not disrupt the balance.
Canines have a pH scale ranging from 5.5 to 7.5, which is more on the alkaline side. This is why their shampoos are formulated to maintain this balance and protect them from bacteria and viruses.
Dog shampoos have a milder structure that gently cleans the skin and coat. They tend to lather easily and retain skin moisture to prevent dryness, dandruff, and scales. There are also shampoos formulated to target other problems like tangles, odor, shedding, various skin conditions, and flea control.
2. Can’t I use human shampoos on my pet?
No. It’s not possible because a dog’s skin is much different. It’s more sensitive, maybe dry, etc. The alkaline top layer of dog’s skin protects them from viruses and bacteria, and also keeps the dog’s outer body properly hydrated.
Dog shampoo manufacturers keep these characteristics in mind. This is why their shampoos are formulated to let their secreted oils moisturize the topmost skin layer and not strip away your pet’s natural oils.
Choose an odor control canine shampoo with the right pH balance, of about 7. The bottle should mention the pH level, or at least that it’s the right pH balance for your dog.
If you notice your dog still emit a foul odor despite using a good dog shampoo, it could be because of too frequent bathing. It’s not necessary to shampoo pets during every bath.
You can instead give him a plain bath with warm water and no shampoo in between to retain your pet’s natural oils. It also helps prevent the development of skin problems like bacteria and viruses.
As it is enough if you shampoo your dog once a month, you may as well buy him the best shampoo. It will easily last for one year unless you have to bathe a few dogs. It’s better than bad products that only trigger rashes or flaky and peeling skin with the expense of a few visits to the vet.
3. Is Dawn safe to use for washing my dog?
Dawn is a dish soap that removes oil and stains quickly. However, it is not at all safe for your pet. It contains lots of harsh chemicals that strips your pet’s skin of natural oils and causes irritation and inflammation. It’s always better and safer to use specially formulated dog shampoos for your pet’s skin.
4. Is baby shampoo safe for dogs?
Baby shampoos like Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo indeed contain a mild formula with natural ingredients. Some vets even recommend it for bathing dogs. However, it’s still difficult to ascertain if some human products are safe for animal use.
Baby shampoos are formulated to suit a human’s pH levels, and not a dog’s. Canine shampoos are always a better and safer option because they are specially formulated for dogs.
5. How many times should I bathe my dog?
This depends on various factors like your pet’s health, breed and activity levels. Canines that are outdoors most of the time need more frequent baths than those who are usually indoors.
Your dog also needs a bath if you notice some dirt, debris or grease on the hair, or if he emits an unpleasant odor. Your pet may also need more frequent baths if he has allergies, itching or some skin infections. Your vet will advise on the proper bathing schedule.
6. Is it okay to use heavily scented products?
With dogs having a stronger sense of smell than humans, strong scents will damage their respiratory systems. It’s better to use something with natural scents like lavender and citrus, which also repels bugs and ticks.
While organic shampoos are a great choice, do read the labels to ensure they are natural. The materials that moisturize human skin like honey, aloe Vera, tea tree oil and vitamin E also work well on dogs. There are also some dog conditioner brands that can ensure your dog’s skin remains moist even after a shower.
Don’t think of using your shampoo on your pet to save money or because you ran out of pet shampoo. Dogs also have dry, oily or normal skin, which means you have to keep this in mind, along with the pH levels when buying their shampoos.
If you notice your pet scratching a lot after a bath it’s most probably because of dry skin. Buying a shampoo befitting dry skin will be a wise idea. You will also have to avoid some ingredients found in human shampoos, like artificial colors or scents.
They contribute to allergies and are even linked to cancer. This can be dangerous for your pet because their skin tends to absorb whatever it comes in contact with.
Ingredients to avoid
There are some ingredients to look out for and avoid in dog shampoos. They are:
- Parabens, which imitate estrogen effects and contribute to breast cancer.
- Mineral oil from petroleum found in baby shampoos that are not good for dogs and even babies.
- DEA or DEA cocamide that acts as a carcinogen, but increases foam in shampoos.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate because it causes eye irritation and is harmful to your pet’s digestive system if accidentally swallowed while bathing.
If you can afford it, and prefer leaving the grooming to the pros, make sure you ask questions about the products they use.
Tell the groomer about your canine skin conditions, tick or flea problems. Some dogs need brushing before bathing while all dogs should be brushed after drying to help spread their fur’s natural oils.