Our dogs are known to get themselves into some messy situations. No matter the kind of canine friend in your home, they will need a proper bath from time to time. When choosing the right shampoo for your pup, you want to make sure that you are bathing them in something safe and natural.
Finding a natural dog shampoo can make the difference between a healthy and hydrated coat, and uncomfortable or itchy skin. Natural ingredients are less likely to irritate your pup’s skin during their bath and can help to promote overall skin and coat health.
In this guide we’ll discuss the importance of natural ingredients in a dog shampoo, and the best natural dog shampoos to add into your beloved companion’s bath time routine! Below, we’ll review our favorites “at a glance” followed by a more detailed breakdown of each. Let’s get started.
At a Glance: Our Favorite Natural Dog Shampoos For Dogs
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Natural Dog Shampoo Overview
Using a natural dog shampoo can truly improve your dog’s overall skin health. By using a shampoo that lacks harsh chemicals, you can give your pup’s skin a fighting chance to look its best!
When your dog’s skin is at its healthiest, it can easily fight off invaders that try to attack the skin’s surface. Healthy skin can fight off infections, parasites, and elements that can lead to skin irritation.
- Pros: By using a natural shampoo, you can rest assured that the ingredients that soak into your pet’s skin will cause no harm. Ingredients in a natural dog shampoo are gentle, so this leaves their skin healthy, strong, and able to work properly. Healthy skin means no dry flakes, no foul odors, and no unnecessary discomfort for your pup.
- Cons: Many shampoos will claim to be natural in an effort to sell more products. When choosing a natural product, you’ll need to read the list of ingredients to ensure that you are actually choosing a quality shampoo. If the ingredients are not listed, that’s not the best choice for your furry friend.
The skin is an incredibly important part of your dog’s body. The skin forms a large barrier that protects the body from infections, the elements, and any other outside intruders that are harmful. With having such an important role, it’s essential to keep your pup’s skin as healthy as possible.
A dog’s skin is absorbent, meaning the ingredients that your dog is exposed to in a shampoo have the potential to cause damage to their health. Any potentially toxic substance is soaked into the skin like a sponge, giving it the ability to be absorbed into their body.
Harmful Ingredients In Regular Dog Shampoo
Harmful ingredients can hide out in some of our favorite dog shampoos. Were often pulled in by an inviting scent or a well known brand, but even some of the most popular shampoo brands are known to have some potentially harmful ingredients. Some ingredients you should be on the look-out for include:
- L-Sulfates: These ingredients capture the oil and dirt on your dog’s skin, but also strip the skin of the oils needed to keep their skin hydrated. This can lead to skin irritation.
- Fragrances: Though a scent in a dog shampoo can be pleasant, some scents are known to trigger allergies and cause skin irritation in dogs.
- Cocomide DEA: This ingredient has been used for quite some time to create foam in a shampoo when it’s lathered. This chemical has been used for so long, that it has been altered to the point of causing potential toxicity in dogs, leading to organ damage in some cases.
- Alcohol: While people associate alcohol with cleanliness, it can be incredibly toxic when absorbed in large amounts to the skin. Isopropyl alcohol can lead to neurological damage, liver damage, and severe skin irritation.
- Artificial colors: Some artificial colors and dyes have been linked to severe skin irritation, and even forms of cancer in dogs.
Side Effects From Harmful Ingredients
Harmful ingredients can cause a number of potential side effects when used on the skin. Some of these side effects to toxic substances in some commercial brand shampoos include:
- Skin itchiness
- Skin redness
- Painful rashes on the skin
- Allergies triggered by fragrances
- Ulcers on the eye when in contact with their eyes
- Neurological symptoms such as twitching, shaking, and seizures
Some commercial brands of dog shampoos are filled with ingredients that you can hardly pronounce. These are often ingredients that give a shampoo it’s fragrance, it’s foaming abilities, it’s color, and any other properties beneficial to the preservation of the shampoo. Just because each ingredient serves a purpose, doesn’t mean it belongs on your pup’s skin.
Natural Shampoo Benefits
Natural ingredients have a list of great benefits that come with their use! Some amazing things that happen when you use natural products include:
- Your dog is free of harm: When you use a shampoo made with natural products, you know that your dog isn’t being exposed to any harmful chemicals that can burn their skin, soak into their skin, or cause any damage to their health. Peace of mind is an amazing thing to have when it comes to our dogs, and natural products provide us with just that.
- Tear free: Most natural dog shampoos are known to be tear free due to their lack of harsh chemicals. A tear free product is one that can get in your dog’s eyes without causing any serious irritation. Though you shouldn’t purposely use shampoo around your dog’s eyes, at least you can rest assured if accidents do happen during their bath time.
- You help the environment: Natural ingredients are usually biodegradable, and are made with the earth’s health in mind. By using a natural products, you know you are not contributing to any harmful substances being released into the environment.
- Benefit medical conditions of the skin: Since natural dog shampoos don’t contain any harmful chemicals, there are no ingredients in the shampoo that can further irritate any skin conditions. Natural products are often soothing to conditions of the skin that cause pain or inflammation.
- Maintain skin Ph: Since natural products are not harsh, there are no chemicals in a natural dog shampoo that can be harsh enough to throw off the natural Ph on your dog’s skin. As long as you follow a recommended bathing schedule, your dog’s natural oils and Ph will stay intact.
- Suitable for all skin types: Natural dog shampoos are suitable for dogs with any type of skin. Whether your dog’s skin is oily, dry, or irritated; natural dog shampoo has an ingredient for just about everything.
Common Natural Ingredients
When you are researching natural dog shampoos, you will see some common ingredients repeated in your search. Some common natural ingredients include:
- Oatmeal: Oatmeal has incredible healing properties when added to a dog’s shampoo. Oatmeal binds to the skin and forms a protective barrier. By doing this, it helps to hold moisture into the skin, and prevents skin dehydration. It also has several anti-inflammatory properties that are ideal for irritated skin of all kinds. Oatmeal shampoos are popular for all different breeds.
- Aloe vera: Aloe vera is known to hydrate and soften skin of all kinds. It has been used for years to soothe angry skin, whether it’s due to bug bites, burns, irritation, or any other irritating conditions. By adding this to a dog’s shampoo, you are providing the skin with healing ingredients.
- Honey: Honey is known to revitalize the skin, and lock in shine to coats of all kinds. It also acts as a protective shield on a dogs fur, giving them shine that lasts long past their bath
- Shea butter: Shea butter is used in several wellness products for humans and dogs. It’s moisturizing properties can heal dry and cracked skin, and prevent irritation in the process. It can also add an additional shine to a dog’s coat.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E is known for its lubricating properties for the skin, coat, and even joints. This vitamin is used for several reasons due to it’s incredible ability to promote health in several ways.
- Coconut: Just as coconut can help hydrate you on a hot day, it can help to hydrate your dog’s skin. Aside from it’s hydrating properties, is its ability to soothe dry and irritated skin.
Our Favorite Natural Dog Shampoos
Finding a natural dog shampoo that you can trust can be a difficult process. If you don’t know what to look for, it can be tough to know if you’re actually getting a good product, and if the ingredients listed are actually natural.
We did the work for you, and have compiled a list of natural dog shampoos that you can trust. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite natural dog shampoos, and go into detail about why we approve them!
Paws & Pals Natural Oatmeal
- Vet formulated and manufactured in the USA.
- 6-in-1 reduced shedding – anti-itch, smelly odor control, moisturizes dry skin, conditions & detangles.
- Made with all-natural ingredients plus pH balanced, alcohol-free, paraben-free.
- Tear-free formula will not irritate or inflame a dog’s eyes or nose
- Higher concentrate of oatmeal extract using less than other shampoos.
This natural shampoo has made quite a name for itself in the dog wellness world. With it’s wonderful smell and soothing ingredients, many dog owners have switched to this brand of dog shampoo. This shampoo is jam-packed with natural ingredients that help to hydrate and soothe your pup’s skin and coat to ensure that they aren’t stinky after a short time.
Oatmeal, shea butter, and aloe are well-known ingredients that help to relieve dry and itchy skin. With these ingredients combined, you can rest assured that your dog’s skin will be glowing.
This product values its use of natural ingredients, while still having the ability to provide each dog with effective cleaning. Paws & Pals Shampoos also include a high-quality conditioner, so your dog’s coat will shine after every wash.
We love that this product included so many ingredients meant for soothing the skin.
Vet's Best Hypo-Allergenic
- For sensitive skin.
- Relieves itching.
- Helps to smooth dry, brittle coats.
- Veterinarian formulated blend of key natural, plant-based ingredients.
- May be used as often as necessary to remove allergens without drying out your dog’s skin.
- Will not affect other dog treatments such as topical flea and tick control products.
Vet’s Best Hypo-allergenic shampoo is a veterinarian-recommended product that’s formulated for dogs with sensitive skin. With its veterinarian approval, you can rest assured that there are no harmful ingredients that will threaten your beloved pup’s health.
This product is hypo-allergenic and sensitive, so no your dog will not find any irritation with this product. It is even tear-free!
Since it is hypoallergenic, this shampoo will not dry out your dog’s skin. It includes aloe vera, vitamin E, and allantoin, which are all ingredients that are proven to hydrate the skin. This shampoo is so hydrating, that it even conditions your pup’s hair during each use.
We love that this shampoo is recommended by vets, giving you the peace of mind that it’s 100% safe for your canine friend.
Four Legger Organic All Natural
- Natural dog shampoo handcrafted in small batches using real plants, not synthetic chemicals.
- A concentrated dog coconut shampoo with soothing aloe vera and lemongrass essential oil.
- No artificial thickeners, which means your dog will have a naturally soft and shiny coat with our organic dog wash.
- Made from sustainably sourced, natural ingredients.
- Certified organic.
4-Legger All Natural Dog Shampoo is known in the dog shampoo world for its amazing hydrating qualities. By keeping a dog’s skin nice and moisturized, you can help to prevent any skin irritations.
This shampoo is certified according to organic food standards, meaning it is 100% safe on your dog’s skin, and in every other way. It is the only organic food-certified shampoo on this list.
This shampoo is jam-packed full of moisturizing ingredients such as coconut, aloe vera, olive, and jojoba oils, and essential oils like rosemary and lemongrass. Along with the hydrating properties, is the wonderful aroma that these ingredients produce. Since this shampoo is so moisturizing, it is approved for dogs with several kinds of irritating skin conditions.
We love the incredible moisturizing properties of this natural dog shampoo.
Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe
- Colloidal oatmeal and organic aloe vera help combat skin irritation, promote healing, and re-moisturize sensitive, dry skin.
- Soap-free and pH-balanced to clean and deodorize safely and thoroughly.
- Contains no soap, gluten, DEA, parabens, synthetic dyes, sulfates, or phthalates, and is animal cruelty-free.
- Money-back guarantee.
Earthbath is well-known for their natural dog products. Their popularity is partly due to their wide variety of dog shampoos, but also for the quality of the products that they produce. When you choose an Earthbath dog shampoo, you can rest assured that each ingredient is natural and safe for your dogs skin.
Earthbath’s oatmeal and aloe shampoo do not contain any irritating or artificial soaps, making it ideal an ideal shampoo for sensitive skin. Oatmeal and aloe are both proven ingredients used in dogs with sensitive skin, so this shampoo is truly made with a sensitive pup in mind.
Aside from its exclusion of any irritating soaps is the lack of perfumes, phosphates, or synthetic dyes. These ingredients can lead to dry and itchy skin, so this dog shampoo will not dry out your pup’s healthy skin when it’s used. Earthbath will actually take care of any dry and itchy patches that are currently present on your furry friend’s skin while helping to prevent any dryness in the future.
We love that his shampoo includes ingredients that will nurture your dog’s skin. It’s an extremely popular all-natural shampoo that’s great for dogs of all ages.
Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo
- Cleans, soothes, softens, and conditions your dog’s dry skin and coat.
- Gentle formula includes ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, honey, and beeswax for sensitive skin.
- Mild tearless shampoo is pH balanced especially for all dogs and puppies.
- 100% safe for dogs.
- Veterinarian-recommended formula, free of fragrances, sulfates, colorants, and harsh chemicals.
Burt’s Bees is another well-known name in the wellness industry. They strive to provide quality products with natural ingredients, that you can trust to use for your beloved pet’s bath time. Burt’s Bees promises to only use ingredients that are plant-derived, meaning you can rest assured that no harmful chemicals are used to make this shampoo.
Burt’s Bees Oatmeal shampoo has several ingredients that are added to provide additional moisture for your pup’s skin. With oatmeal and honey being the two main ingredients, their dry and itchy patches will be soothed. Since there are no harsh chemicals in this product, your dog’s skin will not be irritated or dehydrated during its use.
We love that this product is made solely from plants, meaning it’s about as natural as a shampoo can get!
Frequently Asked Questions
Natural dog products can stir up quite a few questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about natural dog shampoos.
How often can I wash my dog with natural shampoo?
Due to the natural oils that a dog’s skin produces to keep their skin healthy, it’s recommended to bathe your dog no more than once every other week. We also don’t recommend waiting any longer than 3 months to bathe your dog in order to prevent a build-up of dirt in their coat.
Is baby shampoo gentle enough to use as a natural dog shampoo?
Because the skin on a dog is different than ours in the sense of their natural Ph, it’s recommended to not use any human shampoo on dogs, even if it is baby shampoo. Human shampoo can drastically change the normal environment on their skin, leaving them exposed to threats that can damage their skin.
Can dog shampoo help improve a dog’s dry and itchy skin?
Oatmeal, aloe, honey, shea butter, and many other natural ingredients are known to moisturize a dog’s dry and itchy skin. Since many natural shampoo products include these main ingredients, most natural shampoos have hydrating properties.
How do you know if a natural dog shampoo is really natural?
Unfortunately, you can’t trust a product just because it says it’s natural. Look for natural ingredients such as oatmeal, aloe vera, honey, shea butter, vitamins, and other natural products when choosing a shampoo. Make sure to avoid shampoos that have a long list of chemicals, or have any ingredients that you are unfamiliar with or can’t pronounce. By sticking to this method, you can usually rule out any dangerous products.
Additional Tips For Skin & Coat Health
Aside from choosing a natural dog shampoo for your pup’s bath time, there are a few other things you can do to improve their coat and skin health.
- Feed proper nutrients in their diet
- Brush your dog daily with a brush
- Deshed them weekly with the right tool
- Do not over bathe your dog
- Add omega-3 and fatty acids to their diet
- Keep your vet involved in their care
There are so many reputable and natural options for your dog when it comes to their shampoo. While all of the above products are great for your pup’s skin and coat health, there is one product that stands out from the rest.
Earthbath is one of the most popular natural dog shampoos for a reason. Their quality ingredients make for a trustworthy product and a soothing bath for your furry friend! These natural dog shampoos have everything you need to give your dog a shining coat, all while maintaining their skin’s overall health!
September 15, 2021 at 1:38 am
Interesting article. I have issues with my dog licking. Also, he has had dry skin. I have now changed to Pawtanical Pet Products and his skin has improved. No more dry flaky skin. I would like to suggest you include these products in your testing. I have no affiliation with this company. I have just found it to be very superior, even to professional grooming products I had used for so many years. I actually now feel guilty for not finding these products sooner to improve the quality of my fur baby's skin and coat.
Apiffany Gaither Billings
September 15, 2021 at 11:29 am
Thank you for your input and we will consider this in our next audit. We are happy to hear that the products helped your dog's fur and skin to improve.