Most dogs like digging, running through thick bushes and picking up ticks, and despite our best efforts and sternest warnings, they will often get filthy after it rains by running through dirt and puddles, which means you will need to give them frequent baths.
Bathing your dog can also help control odor and shedding. However, many shampoos can dry out the skin and burn the eyes, and with so many brands available, it can be challenging to find a brand to suit your pet.
We’ve chosen ten of the top shampoo brands to review for you so you can learn a little about how they differ. We’ll fill you in on all of the pros and cons and let you know how each brand worked on our dogs. We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide where we take a look at the ingredients to see what works best and what to avoid.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (Updated 2022)
The 10 Best Dog Shampoos for Shedding
1. FURminator DeShedding Premium Dog Shampoo– Best Overall
The FURminator DeShedding Premium Dog Shampoo is our pick as the best overall dog shampoo. It uses all-natural ingredients, so it should irritate your pet’s skin or dry it out. There are no parabens or dyes to cause an allergic reaction. It contains omega fatty acids that will help soften and strengthen the hair and provide nourishment to the skin, significantly reducing the amount of fur that falls out and winds up on your furniture.
We noticed less shedding from our pet, and the only downside we experienced while using FURminator shampoo is that there is no odor control, so if you have a smelly dog, like a Labrador or a Shar-Pei, it may not be the best choice.
But overall, we think this is the best dog shampoo for shedding that you can get this year.
2. Nature’s Miracle Supreme Shed Control Shampoo– Best Value
Nature’s Miracle Supreme Shed Control Shampoo is our pick as the best dog shampoo for shedding for the money. It uses plant-derived surfactants for a safe and healthy way to clean and control odor. There are no parabens or dyes that might cause an allergic reaction. It’s safe to use while your pet is taking flea and tick medication, and the ingredients contain Omega fatty acids that will soothe the skin and strengthen the hair.
We noticed a reduction in the dog’s shedding after we used Nature’s Miracle, but while it smelled nice at first, the odor control does not last for more than a day or two.
3. Earthbath Shed Control Green Tea Shampoo– Premium Choice
The Earthbath Shed Control Green Tea Shampoo is our premium choice shampoo for dog shedding. Its pH balanced so it won’t irritate your pet’s skin, and omega fats will help soothe the skin and strengthen the coat, helping reduce shedding. There are no parabens or other harmful chemicals, and this shampoo is 100% biodegradable, so it is safe for the environment.
We liked using Earthbath and felt it did a good job at reducing shedding, and it also reduces doggie odor quite well. The only thing we could complain about is its high cost, and that it doesn’t smell as good as some of the other brands.
4. TropiClean Deshedding Dog Shampoo
TropiClean Deshedding Dog Shampoo is a natural ingredient shampoo that uses a special formula that exfoliates the skin while conditioning it with nutrients and omega fatty acids to help soften and strengthen the coat. It has a pleasant coconut scent and contains no harmful parabens or dyes that might irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction.
The only problem we had with the TropiClean brand was that the bottle leaks quite a bit, so there is a lot of waste.
5. Shed-X Shed Control Shampoo for Dogs
Shed-X Shed Control Shampoo for Dogs is another brand that contains omega fats to help strengthen the coat, but this brand also includes flaxseed and grapeseed oil, which will help soothe the skin and add a protective layer that locks in moisture. It also adds Vitamins A, D, and E nutrients to the skin to help keep it healthy.
We liked using Shed-X Shed Control Shampoo and thought it worked well to reduce our pet’s shedding and odor. It also left our pet smelling good, but it contains some chemical ingredients and has artificial coloring ingredients that could cause an allergic reaction in some dogs.
6. Oster Oatmeal Essentials Dog Shampoo
The Oster Oatmeal Essentials Dog Shampoo, as the name suggests, uses oatmeal to help soothe the skin. Oatmeal is well known for its ability to reduce the effects of eczema and other skin problems in humans and animals. It also enriches the skin with Vitamin B5 and other nutrients to keep the skin soft and smelling nice.
We enjoyed using this shampoo, and it did a good job of controlling odor, and it made our dogs smell like baby powder, but we felt the shedding control was mild at best.
7. Pet Oatmeal Anti-Itch Pet Shampoo
Pet Oatmeal Anti-Itch Pet Shampoo features a comprehensive anti-itch formula that features oatmeal among its ingredients along with Vitamins A, D, and E to help your pet’s skin stay hydrated. Many of the ingredients are plant-based, and they shouldn’t irritate your pet’s eyes. It leaves your pet’s fur soft and smelling fresh, with a scent that reminded us of vanilla cake batter.
Pet Oatmeal’s downside is that it’s a little more expensive than many other brands, and the strange smell might not be for everyone. At first, the scent is very powerful, and it doesn’t smell like most others, so it takes some time to adjust to the difference.
8. Burt’s Bees for Dogs Natural Shed Control
Burt’s Bees for Dogs Natural Shed Control features a formula that combines honey and beeswax to create a powerful shampoo that can strengthen the hair to reduce shedding. It’s pH balanced and sensitive enough for puppies. It contains no parabens and is cruelty-free, so you can use it with a clear conscience.
We liked using Burt’s Bees and have several other products around our home, but the shampoo didn’t seem to lather much, and it has no smell. We also didn’t see much of a reduction in shedding.
9. Bodhi Dog New Waterless Dog Shampoo
Bodhi Dog New Waterless Dog Shampoo is an easy-to-use shampoo that doesn’t require submerging your pet in water. It’s detergent and alcohol-free and contains no parabens or harmful dyes, and it has a pleasing lavender scent. You only need to spray it on and let it sit for about an hour before rubbing your pet with a towel to clean and soften the coat. Once the coat dries, you can brush it to restore the luster of the fur. All ingredients are locally sourced and cruelty-free.
Bodhi Waterless Shampoo is a great refresher between baths, and we love the way it makes our pet smell. However, it doesn’t do much to reduce dander or shedding, and your pet will still need a bath now and then.
10. Espree Simple Shed Shampoo
Espree Simple Shed Shampoo is the final dog shampoo on our list, but it is still a good brand that provides you with a gentle formula that’s safe to use on puppies. One of the top ingredients is organically grown aloe vera and oat proteins, strengthening the hair and making it less prone to falling out. There are no parabens or dyes, and its plant-based formula is biodegradable and cruelty-free.
The Espree brand is a nice smelling shampoo, but it doesn’t create much lather, and we needed to apply quite a bit to our pet to get him clean. While we were able to get a lot of furs out while we were bathing him, the shampoo didn’t seem to do much to prevent our pet from shedding between baths. We also found the bottle to be extremely leaky, and we lost a lot of the product because of it.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Dog Shampoo for Shedding
Let’s look at some of the most important things to look for when picking a shampoo for shedding.
How Does a Shampoo for Shedding Work?
Most shampoos that reduce pet shedding use various nutrients to strengthen the fur, so it doesn’t fall out easily. These ingredients also help remove any loose hair and dander that may be clinging to your pet and clean out the hair follicles so the hair can grow thicker.
Most shampoo brands use omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to strengthen the coat to reduce shedding. Stronger hair has less risk of breaking and winding up on your furniture. These omega fats will also help soften the fur allowing it to be more pliable, and it conditions the skin, reducing dry patches, which can produce excess dander. Dry skin can also lead to excessive scratching, which can cause more hair to fall off your pet. Omega fats can also help restore your pet’s natural sheen, causing it to look healthier and more attractive.
Usually, food and other products like shampoo will use fish oil to supply the omega fats, but you can also get this important nutrient from flaxseed oil and coconut oil.
Vitamins A, D, E
Vitamins can also help restore the damage done to the hair by sunlight and dehydration. These vitamins are also important for skin health, and the most common ones you’ll find in shampoo are vitamins A, D, and E. These vitamins will help lock in moisture and prevent rashes, dry patches, and scratching. These vitamins will also help lubricate the hair follicles to improve hair growth. If there are none of these vitamins in the shampoo, you can make sure they are present in their food. Foods like carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes have plenty of these vitamins.
B vitamins are also popular additions to shampoos because they come from biotin, which is an important nutrient in coat health. Your dog can also get plenty of B vitamins by eating green vegetables like peas, peppers, kale, and broccoli, and it’s also present in liver and nutritional yeast.
Zinc is another important nutrient that your pet needs for a healthy coat. The zinc will boost the immune system and help your pet fight disease and other health problems that often manifest as a rash or itchy skin, which can lead to more hair falling out of your pet and winding up on the furniture. It’s also responsible for the creation of enzymes and helps strengthen the nervous system. If there is no zinc in your shampoo, you can help make sure your pet gets enough by serving it foods with real meat like turkey, chicken, lamb, or beef as its first ingredient.
Many brands like to use other ingredients that we know can improve hair strength or nourish the skin. Aloe-vera is very popular, and you’ll find it in many of the brands on our list. Aloe will help moisturize the skin and will for a protective layer that will help prevent the moisture from escaping again, reducing the risk of dry skin, which can cause scratching and excessive shedding.
You can often find colloidal oatmeal in dog shampoos. Colloidal oatmeal is ordinary oatmeal ground to a very fine powder, so you can use it in cosmetics and medications. Oatmeal is a great saponin source, a cleanser capable of deep cleaning pores and hair follicles to unclog them and allow them to function properly. It’s safe for all skin types, and like aloe vera, it helps create a protective layer over the skin to prevent moisture loss. It not only helps with shedding, but it also helps keep skin healthy year-round.
Ingredients to Avoid
You will want to avoid some ingredients when choosing a shampoo for your pet to make sure it stays healthy and free of allergic reactions and skin rashes.
Alcohol is a popular ingredient in pet shampoo and human shampoo, but this ingredient can quickly dry out the skin and hair. Dried-out hair will be brittle and break off easily. Dry skin will create more dander which can set off allergic reactions in people sensitive to it, and it will cause the skin to be itchy, leading to more frequent and intense scratching. Additional scratching will cause more hair to come loose and fall onto the floor and furniture.
Chemicals and Dyes
While most of the brands on our list contain all-natural ingredients, if you continue o shop around, you will undoubtedly find many bands with chemical ingredients and artificial dyes. Many dogs are sensitive to harsh chemicals and using them can result in a rash or other health concerns. They may also be bad for the environment if they get into the water supply. Experts also warn that several dyes can cause allergic reactions and other serious health concerns for your dog. Dyes like yellow 5, red 40, blue 2, and yellow 6 can cause a range of problems from a skin rash to aggressive behavior and even cancer. It’s best to avoid these ingredients, especially since most dogs can’t even see these colors, so there is no reason to include them in the food.
Shampoos that create a good lather are easier to use. It’s easier to work a good lather into the fur, and you can see where you have already cleaned more easily. We’ve found that we use significantly more product when we don’t get a good lather, so it also affects the shampoo’s cost.
After you use the shampoo on your pet, it must rinse away completely, leaving a soft, clean coat. While we didn’t have any problem with any brands on our list, we’ve used plenty of brands in the past that didn’t rinse well. A shampoo that doesn’t rinse will leave a residue on the dog that, at best, will cause the hair to feel strange or sticky and look dull. Often this residue will work to attract dirt, and it can also cause your pet to become itchy, which will increase shedding.
The strength of the shampoo fragrance is a personal choice. Every pet owner feels a little differently about how they want their pet to smell, but often fragrance is the result of a chemical additive.
We recommend avoiding additives when possible, so many brands on this list don’t produce a strong scent. These brands use natural ingredients like baking soda and coconut to remove the doggy smell and give your pet a pleasant odor, but it won’t be very strong, nor will it last more than a day or two. If you have a dog prone to producing odor, like the Labrador, you might need to take additional steps to freshen your pet.
Waterless shampoo can be a great way to freshen your pet between baths and help control odor. It’s easy to use, and you often only need to spray it on and wipe it off. It can get rid of some dirt and mud and may even help get some of the excess hair off your pet, but it will do little to cut down how much your pet sheds, and much of the dander and loose hair will remain on your pet.
Bathing your pet can break down and wash away important oils that protect the dog’s skin, allowing it to become dry. Dry skin will be itchy, so your pet will scratch more, and this action will get more fur around your home. We recommend scheduling baths no more than once every six to eight weeks to allow your pet plenty of time to replenish the stripped away oils. Using a high-quality shampoo like many on this list will also help replenish the oils and other nutrients that get stripped away.
When shampooing your pet to reduce shedding, we highly recommend our pick for the best overall. FURminator DeShedding Premium Dog Shampoo has only a few natural ingredients that will reduce shedding without irritating your pet’s skin. It didn’t add much fragrance to the dog, but we definitely noticed a reduction in shedding, and our dog’s coat looked healthy and shiny. Another great choice is Nature’s Miracle Supreme Shed Control Shampoo, our pick for the best value. It has many of the same benefits as our top pick and works almost as well for less money.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over these reviews and learned something new from our buyer’s guide. If we helped you reduce the amount of hair in your home, please share these ten best dog shampoos or shedding on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: Korneeva Kristina, Shutterstock