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, but there’s also evidence to show that dry shampoo could 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 10 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, while some can even contain harmful chemicals – a far cry from the natural ingredients that give the best results.

Here are 10 dry dog shampoos and formulas for a super-fresh furry friend!

1. 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. It is perfect for owners who 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 calm and relax even the most hyper of pups.

Pros

  • Pleasant aroma, no more stinky dog!
  • Foam formula is easy to use – 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

2. Bodhi Dog Waterless Dog Shampoo

waterless shampoo for dogs

Specially formulated for pets with sensitive skin, this natural dry dog shampoo is paraben free and contains no harsh chemicals. It 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, sulfates, and SLS
  • Dry shampoo spray leaves the 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

3. 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

4. Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo

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

A natural coconut-derived formula and no harsh chemicals make 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

5. Burt’s Bees for Dogs Waterless 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

6. John Paul Pet Oatmeal Waterless Foam Shampoo

John Paul Pet Oatmeal Waterless Foam Shampoo

When looking for the best dry shampoo for dogs, you want to focus on natural and gentle ingredients. John Paul waterless foam shampoo contains pure oatmeal, aloe, and chamomile that cleanses the dog’s coat and skin without irritating it.

It also has sweet almond oil to condition your husky’s skin and coat and leaves a pleasant almond fragrance behind.

Since this John Paul waterless shampoo is a highly concentrated botanical formula, you can use less product than competitive brands. It is also specially formulated to mix with oil and dirt so it can be brushed out of your dog’s coat easily.

It is the perfect solution if your pet hates taking baths or is too cold to take them outside for a bath.

Pros

  • Gentle cleansing foam that leaves the skin and coat soft and clean
  • Soothes and moisturizes
  • Has a wonderful sweet almond scent
  • pH balanced pet formula
  • Only need to use a small amount at a time

Cons

  • Scent doesn’t last as long for some

7. Mighty Mutt Dry Shampoo for Dogs

Mighty Mutt Dry Shampoo for Dogs

Mighty Mutt is a hypoallergenic and all-natural dry shampoo for dogs. It contains only four natural ingredients and is free from sulfates, parabens, dyes, phthalates, and other toxins that may be harmful to your husky.

This soothing shampoo is a gentle and effective formula that makes it easy and quick to clean your dog’s coat in between bath sessions. The tearless, hypoallergenic formula can deodorize your dog’s coat without irritating or drying out the skin. It leaves behind a fresh scent you will love.

Pros

  • Easy to use and doesn’t require water
  • pH balanced formula that is soothing and non-irritating
  • Hypoallergenic for sensitive skin
  • All-natural ingredients without the filler
  • Provides you with professional-grade results

Cons

  • Only complaint was the smell. Some dog owners wished it was stronger

8. TropiClean Waterless Shampoo

TropiClean Waterless Shampoo

TropiClean Waterless Shampoo is a hypoallergenic and no-rinse formula that is pH balanced for your pet. This dog dry shampoo is enriched with a unique blend of ingredients that nourishes your dog’s coat and sensitive skin while also helping to relax tangled or matted fur, making brushing much easier.

It has a light and sweet coconut scent that leaves its coat smelling fresh and clean. TropiClean waterless shampoo is great to use after a day at the dog park or when your pup is in between bath sessions.

TropiClean waterless shampoo also works with spot treatments. You don’t have to worry about washing away any other treatments you are using. Various other fruit and coconut-scented choices include Aqua de Coco, berry and coconut, gentle coconut, and papaya and coconut. If you don’t like coconut, try the warm vanilla scent!

Pros

  • Won’t interfere with spot treatments you may be using
  • Moisturizes your pet’s coat and skin
  • Leaves a light tropical scent
  • Tearless, hypoallergenic formula

Cons

  • Label does not list its specific ingredients

9. Arm & Hammer for Pets Ultra-Fresh Waterless Shampoo

Arm & Hammer for Pets Ultra-Fresh Waterless Shampoo

Arm & Hammer waterless shampoo is a deodorizing waterless dog shampoo that is easy to use to keep your dog clean and fresh in between baths. It is a great choice for combatting odors. Baking soda is its main ingredient and naturally takes care of any pet odor.

This Arm & Hammer waterless shampoo leaves a light juniper mist fragrance. It helps restore the vitality of your dog’s coat while eliminating impurities for a more advanced clean.

Pros

  • Deodorizing baking soda formula to combat odor
  • pH balanced that is safe for all dogs to use without skin irritation
  • Formulated without parabens or phthalates
  • Enriched with nourishing and natural ingredients

Cons

  • Scent fades away pretty quickly

10. Begley’s Natural No Rinse Waterless Pet Shampoo

Begley's Natural No Rinse Waterless Pet Shampoo

Begley’s waterless pet shampoo has an all-natural formula that is readily biodegradable. There are no dyes, synthetic fragrances, parabens, or other harmful toxins that may irritate or harm your dog and the environment.

This waterless dog shampoo comes in an easy-to-use spray bottle, making freshening up between baths more convenient. Begley’s waterless shampoo is also available in four different scents: lavender, citrus, oatmeal mango, and tea tree. All the scents come from natural essential oils.

Pros

  • Made from simple and natural ingredients that are safe for your dog
  • Plant-based formula that will not irritate your pet’s skin
  • Cleans and deodorizes with natural essential oils
  • Encourages healthy skin and coat
  • Gentle formula can be used on your dog’s face

Cons

  • May not cover stronger dog odors
  • On the more expensive side

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 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, they are a great solution for freshening up your pup, detangling their hair, and deodorizing them.

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 of 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 dog’s 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 irritate 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 do 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 dry shampoo 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 doing this, brush through your dog’s coat until it is completely free from residue. If you are using spray or foam, follow exactly the same process, but 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!

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.

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

Can I Use Human Shampoo On My Dog?

You shouldn’t use a human shampoo in place of a shampoo specially formulated for dogs. Human shampoo can disrupt your dog’s acid mantle, which then leaves them vulnerable to parasites, viruses, and bacteria. It can also make their skin feel dry and flaky, which leads to itchiness and irritation.

Top Benefits of 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 a good bath.

We 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 good 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.

In summary, when looking for the best dry shampoo for dogs, always consider the following:

  • Ingredients: While many ingredients in dry shampoo for dogs are not divulged, you can still tell by the basic ingredients listed if it will be a natural and pet-friendly product.
  • Flea Treatment Compatibility: If you are currently using a flea shampoo treatment, make sure that the dry shampoo you choose will not interfere with it or cause any problems. The ingredients have to be compatible.
  • Scent: It is best to stay away from dry shampoo with a strong scent because it can irritate your dog’s skin or nose. Stay away from scents you know he doesn’t like. The same applies to choosing dog shampoo.
  • Size: When your pup is on the larger side, you may want to consider purchasing a larger bottle of dry shampoo, so it lasts longer. It may even be economical to purchase more than one bottle at a time.
  • Sensitive Skin: If your dog has sensitive skin, consider consulting your veterinarian before you use any dry shampoo on them. It may take a few tries before you find the best one for your pup, and the vet may be able to shorten your search.

A Convenient Alternative to Baths and Soap!

Dry shampoo for dogs is a particularly smart investment if the pup suffers from 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 for bathing your dog with soap and water.

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

As you can see from these reviews, there are many 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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