The Best Dry Shampoo For Dogs

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Some dogs (and their owners!) hate baths. If you’ve ever had to manhandle a panicking dog in the shower, you’ll know it’s no one’s idea of fun.

But thankfully, there’s a compromise out there: dry shampoo for dogs.

Not only is it a great quick fix to spruce up your dog’s coat and keep them clean without the trauma of bath time, there’s evidence to show that dry shampoo could actually be better for your dog than regular baths.

So, if you’re looking for a way to keep your dog clean and odor-free without subjecting them to the trauma of a full bath, read on for our top 5 dry shampoos.

Let’s find out more…

best dry shampoo for dogs

Best Dry Shampoo for Dogs: Our 5 Top Choices

There are dozens of waterless dog shampoos available, but not all of them are suitable for sensitive skin.

Some can mess with a dog’s fur, whilst some can even contain harmful chemicals – a far cry from the natural ingredients that give the best results.

Here are 5 dry dog shampoos and formulas for a super-fresh furry friend!

Wahl 100% Natural No-Rinse Shampoo

dry dog shampoo

Wahl is one of the most popular dog shampoo manufacturers on the planet. Their environmentally friendly No-Rinse Waterless Shampoo is formulated with all natural plant derived ingredients and so is perfect for owners who like to treat their dogs the natural way, leaving the dog’s coat delightfully soft.

This calming formula is fragranced with natural lavender and chamomile; scents that will calm and relax even the most hyper of pups.

Pros

  • Pleasant aroma, no more stinky dog!
  • Foam formula is easy to use – just apply, rub in and towel dry
  • 100% natural – no chemical additives, no preservatives
  • As well as cleaning the hair of any dirt and debris, it also conditions the coat, detangles and moisturizes
  • Contains oatmeal to soothe and replenish dry skin
  • Made in the USA
  • Low cost

Cons

  • Not as effective on dirty paws

Bodhi Dog Waterless Dog Shampoo

waterless shampoo for dogs

Specially formulated for pets with sensitive skin, this natural dry dog shampoo contains no harsh chemicals and is ethically produced in the USA with locally sourced, sustainable ingredients. It’s hypoallergenic and 100% free of detergents and alcohol.

Application is easy — simply spray the product on your dog’s coat before toweling and brushing out. The lemongrass scent is fresh and deodorizing — perfect!

Pros

  • Recommended by vets and groomers
  • Good waterless dog bath alternative
  • Can also be used to freshen up anywhere pet odors linger
  • Free from detergents, alcohols, parabens, sulphates and SLS
  • Dry shampoo spray leaves coat soft and shiny
  • 100% non-toxic
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Choice of fresh lemongrass or lavender scents
  • Made in the USA with recycled, biodegradable and eco-friendly packaging
  • 100% money back guarantee

Cons

  • Sometimes you need a lot of product for really effective cleaning
  • Fragrance wears off after a day or so

Particular Paws Dry Shampoo for Dogs

dry shampoo for dogs

A few quick pumps of this waterless foaming mousse will keep your dog smelling fresh and clean. This product is suitable for all breed types — even those with itchy or sensitive skin — and leaves coats looking shiny and glossy.

Instead of just masking odors, this dry shampoo really cleanses and deodorizes, leaving your dog smelling fresh with just a whiff of a light coconut scent.

Pros

  • Compact container is portable and fits easily into a bag, not shaped like a spray (good for anxious dogs!)
  • Can be used to deodorize wherever doggy odors have lingered
  • Fresh, clean coconut scent
  • Only a few pumps required — a little product goes a long way
  • Doesn’t affect topical flea treatments
  • Made in the USA in a GMP compliant facility, overseen by vet science experts
  • Satisfaction guarantee
  • No need to brush out or rinse

Cons

  • Not a natural product – contains a dye and preservative
  • Don’t use too much product as it can leave hair feeling sticky

Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo

waterless shampoo for dogs

Strangely branded, but one of the best waterless dog shampoos!

A natural coconut derived formula and no harsh chemicals makes this no rinse foam mousse gentle, safe and perfect for sensitive skin. Instead of just masking odors, the mousse directly eliminates any odor causing bacteria, eliminating the cause of the smell.

This cruelty free product is made in the USA in an EPA registered facility. It’s scented with a mango and pomegranate fragrance. Smells nice, and gets the job done!

Pros

  • Contains no harsh detergents
  • Made in the USA and formulated by vets
  • No need to brush out
  • Safe to use with flea treatments and other topical products
  • Economical and long-lasting
  • Pleasantly scented with mango and pomegranate
  • 30-day satisfaction guarantee

Cons

  • You’ll either love the mango fragrance or find it a little overpowering
  • Don’t use too much as it could leave the coat a little sticky

Burt’s Bees for Dogs Waterless Shampoo

dry dog shampoo

Burt’s Bees are known for producing high quality, natural beeswax products for humans, but they also have a range of pet products — including this waterless shampoo for dogs.

This cruelty-free shampoo is made with 97% natural ingredients and comes in a spray bottle for easy application. It can also be used on sensitive skin.

Pros

  • pH balanced specifically for dogs
  • Contains no sulphates or artificial coloring
  • Apple extract and honey give a pleasant scent
  • Environmentally friendly packaging
  • Low cost

Cons

  • Some dogs may not like the spray
  • You need to towel dry the coat after use

So, that’s our pick of the best dry dog shampoos on the market. If you have any other favorites, do let us know in the comments!

We get quite a few questions about waterless baths and various dry dog shampoo formulas, so here are a few of your common questions answered:

Starting with the obvious…

What Is Dry Dog Shampoo?

Waterless shampoo for a beautiful coat

Dry dog shampoos — also known as waterless shampoo for dogs — are quick and easy to use products that absorb excess oil from your dog’s skin and fur.

That oil is called sebum, which has numerous beneficial properties: it helps to keep the skin healthy, and even contains a natural antibiotic property. Too much of it, however, and you’ll have a particularly stinky pup on your hands.

Much like dry shampoo for humans, waterless shampoos require — you guessed it — no water, and so you can just spritz it on rather than getting into the bath or shower.

While they won’t be that effective against a really muddy or dirty dog, there are a great solution for freshening up your pup, detangling their hair and deodorizing them.

A dry shampoo is not a direct replacement for water and soap – but it’s certainly a valuable product to have on standby for when you’re looking for a quick fix.

How Does Dry Shampoo Work?

Dry shampoos can vary in their formulations, but the basic principle remains the same: absorb excess sebum and other oils from your dog’s skin and fur.

The main ingredients are typically cornstarch and baking soda. The cornstarch absorbs the oil and the baking soda eliminates the odor.

Once bottled up, the products are easy to apply.

You simply spray it into the section of hair you’d like to treat, let it sit for a couple minutes — sometimes tapping will help it soak in better — then brush out using a natural bristle brush.

In some cases, you can apply dry shampoo by rubbing the product directly onto your pooch’s skin. Using a towel, rub off any excess product or dirt that was caught up in their coat.

The biggest misconception with dry shampoo is that it can clean the fur, in the same way that water and soap can.

That, unfortunately, is not the case.

If you want to remove dirt and grime from your best friend’s coat, it will have to be rinsed out eventually.

Waterless shampoos have more of a masking effect.

Are Waterless Shampoos Safe For Dogs?

Some people worry that dry dog shampoo might be bad for their dogs, but this is generally not the case.

The best dry shampoos tend to avoid harsh chemicals or detergents that could irritate them, which makes them ideal if your pooch has sensitive skin, as well as allergies.

This is, of course, if you go with a reputable brand.

It’s best to avoid synthetic ingredients where possible as they can cause irritation to both the dog’s coat and skin – particularly if your best friend has any allergies.

Our advice here is simple: go natural, natural, natural.

Natural ingredients will go the best job of absorbing the excess sebum without irritating your pup, or worse, subjecting him to any toxic ingredients.

Always read the label!

See our list above for some good options.

Can You Use Dry Shampoo on Pets Every Day?

You can, but it’s generally not recommended.

Using too much dry shampoo could result in removing too much sebum – which as we’ve mentioned, has many helpful and positive benefits for your pooch. It’s also what gives them their unique scent – detectable by other dogs!

Using dry shampoo a couple of times per week is optimal for the best results.

We’d advise against everyday use.

How Do I Use Dry Shampoo for Dogs?

Dry dog shampoo usually comes as a powder, spray or mousse.

All you need to do is pour the desired amount of powder onto the coat and start massaging this into his skin. Avoid getting powder near his eyes as much as possible.

If you’re using a spray, apply where needed.

After you have done this, brush through your dog’s coat until it is completely free from residue. If you are using spray or foam then follow exactly the same process but be careful to avoid spraying it into their eyes or mouth.  

Remember: you do not need to shampoo your dog every time they get dirty. Dogs are much happier with a bit of muck than us humans!

But when it comes to a quick freshening up, there’s no doubt that dry shampoo is MUCH easier to apply than a full bath with water and soap.

A dry shampoo is also useful when you are out and about and cannot give your dog a proper wash.

Top Benefits of Waterless Shampoo for Dogs

waterless shampoo for dogs

There are a surprising number of benefits of dry dog shampoo other than the fact that it’s simply more convenient to use than normal shampoo.

  • Unlike traditional baths, dry dog shampoos don’t strip the coat of the natural oils which protect and condition the skin and coat. This means that they keep your dog’s skin and hair moisturized and healthy.
  • They smell great — and no water means no disagreeable wet dog smell!
  • Great for dogs that get anxious around bath time.
  • Much quicker to apply than normal shampoo.

Remember though: dry shampoo for dogs should never totally replace bath times.

We’d recommend bathing your dog around once every 8 weeks and using dry shampoo in between to keep them looking and smelling fresh.

What to Look for in the Best Waterless Shampoos

As always, it’s important to buy the highest quality products when it comes to something that you’re applying directly to your dog’s coat. Cheap and low quality waterless shampoo may result in allergies and irritations for your dog — definitely something you want to avoid.

Ideally, you want a product that’s as natural as possible. Natural ingredients are much gentler on the hair and skin, while also being effective cleansers.

The fragrance should also be pleasant — there’s no point replacing a smelly dog with a pungent one!

It’s also a good idea to read reviews to check that the product is easy to apply and brush out. If it’s going to take you 20 minutes to remove the product from your pup’s coat, then you almost might as well have given them a full bath.

A Convenient Alternative to Baths and Soap!

Dry shampoo for dogs is a particularly smart investment if pup suffers with sensitive, dry or irritated skin, if she is temperamental or anxious during normal baths, or has difficulty standing for long periods.

They’re also great when you are short on time or when you’re out and about, or if you don’t have the space or facilities to give your dog a bath with soap and water.

Whilst waterless shampoos can’t completely replace the need for bathing your dog the traditional way, they are an effective way to keep her fresh and clean between bath times.

As you can see from these reviews there are a wide variety of safe, natural products available to keep your furry friend happy, spotless and smelling sweet.

What’s your favorite dry dog shampoo?

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