There are times when your dog desperately needs a bath, but perhaps you have guests coming over soon, or you’re traveling or camping in cold weather and don’t want to get your dog wet. Sometimes, your dog isn’t allowed to bathe after surgery. Now what?
You may have heard of dry shampoo for people, but did you know that there’s dry shampoo made for dogs? Since this product is relatively new on the market, you may not know which one will work best for your dog. We’re here to help!
We’ve listed the 10 best dry dog shampoos, along with informational reviews, handy pros and cons lists, and an insightful buyer’s guide. You’ll learn everything you need to know about dry dog shampoos before you make a purchase!
Comparison Table (updated in 2022):
The 10 Best Dry Shampoos for Dogs:
1. Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo – Best Overall
Our top pick for the best dry dog shampoo overall goes to Paw Choice for its natural coconut-derived formula. While other products may include harsh chemicals, Paw Choice is mild and safe, especially if your dog has sensitive skin. It’s free of alcohol, sulfates, and parabens
Applying this dry dog shampoo is an easy three-step process. Paw choice is a foam that you can spray directly onto your dog or into your hand. Next, massage the foam into your dog’s coat. Lastly, allow it to dry. You can wait for it to air dry or use a towel or brush to help.
Paw Choice effectively refreshes, deodorizes, and conditions your dog’s coat and skin. It’s infused with a mango and pomegranate scent that you may or may not find pleasing, depending on your preferences. Also, keep in mind that a little amount goes a long way. If you over apply, your dog’s coat will have a sticky, greasy texture.
2. Arm & Hammer Aerosol Dry Shampoo – Best Value
For the best dry dog shampoo for the money, we recommend Arm & Hammer aerosol dry shampoo. For a great price, this dry dog shampoo is made with all-natural, high-quality ingredients in its baking soda-enhanced formula.
Easy to apply, this dry dog shampoo can be sprayed directly onto your dog. After allowing a few seconds for it to dry, you can massage it in with your fingers or brush it through your dog’s coat. Be sure to avoid spraying in your dog’s face. Also, we learned that some dogs become startled by the spraying action.
This Arm & Hammer product works well to refresh your dog for a deep clean. It doesn’t use harsh chemicals or harmful additives, it’s is safe to use with flea and tick products, and it’s pH balanced for your dog’s sensitive skin. It has a fresh scent that many dogs and dog owners prefer.
3. Lillian Ruff Dry Shampoo for Dogs – Premium Choice
We selected Lillian Ruff waterless dog shampoo as our premium choice. For higher price, this dry dog shampoo offers superior, gentle, yet effective ingredients that meet human quality standards. It’s ideal for sensitive skin with its vegan formula that’s free of dyes, gluten, sulfates, and parabens.
This dry dog shampoo requires no drying time and doesn’t need to be wiped off. Simply spray and work the product through your dog’s coat with the included brush. While the brush seems to be well made, the spray bottle may not function properly and may leak. Also, overapplication leads to sticky fur, so be careful not to overapply this best waterless dog shampoo.
Made with lavender and coconut oils, this dry dog shampoo has the added benefit of acting as a natural repellent of fleas and ticks. It has a lavender coconut scent that some, but not all, dogs and dog owners enjoy.
4. Wahl Waterless Shampoo for Dogs
With allergy-friendly ingredients, this dry dog shampoo is pH balanced and doesn’t include alcohol, parabens, or other irritating and harmful additives. To apply, pump an ample amount of the foaming lather, massage it into your dog’s fur, and then towel dry or brush the product through your dog’s coat.
We found that this product works best to mask odors on your dog but may not provide a deep clean. The scent is strong, which may be a benefit for masking extreme odor such as skunk spray. However, it may be too overwhelming for your senses, as well as your dog’s. We also learned that some dogs with sensitive skin showed mild signs of skin irritation.
5. Bodhi Dog Natural Dry Dog Shampoo
Made with natural extracts of pleasant lavender and coconut, Bodhi Dog natural dry shampoo for dogs uses only locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. The non-toxic, hypoallergenic formula does not include harsh chemicals or harmful additives.
This dry dog shampoo effectively helps your dog’s coat have an improved smell and restores its smoothness and shine. The spray pump is easy to apply. After you let it stand for a minute, you can towel it off or brush through it. This product works well as a detangler on most dogs.
It has a lighter scent and works best for freshening up your dog’s coat, but is not a best waterless dog shampoo for deep cleaning.
As a company, Bodhi Dog pledges to use socially responsible practices and an animal cruelty-free production. Its bottles are all eco-friendly with recyclable packaging.
6. Vet Recommended Dry Shampoo for Dogs
If you’re looking for an easy and quick application, consider Vet Recommended dry shampoo for dogs. Simply spray, wait for a minute, and then wipe clean with a cloth or towel.
Made with a hypoallergenic formula, this dry dog shampoo doesn’t contain harmful detergents, alcohol, animal by-products, or parabens. It’s even safe to use with flea treatments. This product works well as spot cleaner on areas of your dog’s coat that need to be refreshed. However, it doesn’t offer a deep clean.
We found that this dry dog shampoo uses apple extract for a mild scent that most dog owners and dogs find agreeable. However, if you’re budget-minded, you may not like the higher price.
7. TropiClean Waterless Dog Shampoo
TropiClean waterless shampoo includes only the most important, health-minded, naturally derived ingredients and nothing that can cause your dog harm. This product is pH balanced and does not include parabens, soaps, or dyes.
The easy-to-apply foam can be massaged into your dog’s coat and then removed with a towel or worked through your dog’s fur with a brush. Ideal for dogs and puppies with sensitive skin or allergies, this non-toxic formula gently cleanses and moisturizes your dog’s skin and coat.
TropiClean, like its name, has a tropical scent of light coconut that most dog owners and dogs seem to like. We found that it works well to freshen and deodorize your dog’s coat, but it’s not as effective for deep cleaning.
8. Pawstruck Dry Shampoo for Dogs
The fresh citrus scent of Pawstruck dry shampoo for dogs accompanies a gentle plant-based formula that’s ideal for dogs with sensitive skin. Free of allergens and harmful additives, the balanced formula in this dry dog shampoo works well on a variety of dog coats and on nearly all breeds of dog.
Pawstruck requires a few more steps for application compared to other products we reviewed. The bottle needs to be shaken before use. After spraying liberally, you’ll need to work the product into your dog’s coat and then wipe clean with a cloth or a towel. After allowing it to dry, you may still want to brush this product through your dog’s coat.
We found that this dry dog shampoo works well to clean but doesn’t offer many benefits for a moisturized, shiny coat. Also, the citrus scent may be too strong for some people and dogs. This product is priced higher than similar ones.
9. Warren London Deep Cleaning Shampoo for Dogs
Warren London dry deep cleaning shampoo sprays onto your dog’s coat and doesn’t require additional attention. You can opt to let this dry shampoo for dogs air dry or towel it off.
With a gentle green apple scent, this dry dog shampoo uses all-natural ingredients in its plant-derived formula. Made with cruelty-free practices, Warren London contains no harsh ingredients, soaps, detergents, or parabens. As an added benefit, it won’t disrupt the effectiveness of topical flea products.
Keep in mind that this dry dog shampoo may not offer a deep clean, but it does deodorize well. The green apple scent may or may not be preferable for you or your dog. Also, this product costs a bit more than similar products on this list.
10. Rufus & Coco Natural Dry Dog Shampoo
For dogs with sensitive skin, Rufus & Coco natural dry shampoo for dogs contains helpful ingredients, including oatmeal, aloe vera, and vitamin B5 to soothe skin and prevent irritation. The oatmeal is especially effective for easing dry, itchy skin.
Made with only natural, gentle ingredients, Rufus & Coco uses cruelty-free practices and is free of soap, parabens, sulphates, and ethoxylate. This dry dog shampoo both cleans and conditions your dog’s coat and skin. To apply, simply sprinkle the powder onto your dog’s fur, and brush through with your hand or a brush.
This dry shampoo may not offer a deep clean, but it does provide a fresh scent that the company describes as being inspired by the Australian outback. Also, it is a bit more expensive than similar products.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Dry Shampoo for Dogs
We hope that you’ve found a dry dog shampoo that will work well for your dog’s coat. Before you make a purchase, however, we’ve included this buyer’s guide to help you know what to look for in a high-quality dry dog shampoo. We go over ingredients, application methods, and scents.
Look at the Ingredients List
Before you buy a dry dog shampoo, be sure to read through the ingredients list for possible allergens and irritants, as well as helpful, natural products. Keep in mind that what you apply to your dog’s coat can affect the health of their skin.
Also, dogs like to lick their fur as a form of self-grooming. Make sure that whatever you apply to your dog’s coat is safe for your dog to ingest. If you’re unsure about an ingredient, take the time to research it to learn the latest findings. There are several additives and compounds that can cause harm to your dog’s health.
From foams to sprays to powders, there are many ways to apply dry dog shampoo. For the most part, it comes down to personal preference and your dog’s willingness to cooperate. While quick drying sprays and powders may be faster and more convenient, they may not offer as deep of a clean as foams, which require working it into your dog’s coat. Also, keep in mind that if you overapply any product, the end result may be undesirably sticky, greasy fur. Finally, be aware that your dog may become frightened by the sound of a spray bottle.
The debate over scents ranges from too strong to not strong enough. Certainly, if your dog has been hit by a skunk, you’ll want a stronger scent. However, if you have allergies or sensitivities to smell, you may want a lighter scent that appeals to you. Also, remember that your dog’s nose is many times more sensitive than yours. A scent you enjoy may be irritating to your dog.
Final Thoughts on Dry Dog Shampoo
Dry dog shampoo can be wonderful when you need to refresh your dog and giving them a bath is not an option. However, dry dog shampoo should not replace regular grooming and bathing in soap and water. Your dog will only be truly clean after a full bath. Be careful to only use dry dog shampoo with high-quality, natural ingredients to maintain the health of your dog.
We recommend Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo as the best overall product and best waterless dog shampoo. It has a natural formula that’s safe for sensitive skin and free of harsh chemicals, alcohol, sulfates, and parabens. Easy to apply in three simple steps, this dry dog shampoo has a convenient foam consistency. Paw Choice is our top pick because it effectively refreshes, deodorizes, and conditions your dog’s coat. It’s also infused with a pleasant mango and pomegranate scent.
If you’re looking for the best value, Arm & Hammer Aerosol Dry Shampoo provides all-natural, high-quality ingredients at a great price. This dry dog shampoo comes in an easy-to-apply spray that effectively refreshes your dog’s coat. It contains no harsh chemicals or harmful additives, won’t interfere with flea and tick products, and is safe for sensitive skin
Our premium selection, Lillian Ruff Waterless Dog Shampoo has high-quality, gentle, yet effective ingredients that are ideal for dogs with sensitive skin. Free of harmful additives, the vegan formula is simple to apply with the included application brush. As an added benefit, the natural essential oils in this dry dog shampoo repel fleas and ticks.
Dry dog shampoo can be a great way to bridge the gap between your dog’s next bathing or grooming session. We hope our informational reviews, pros and cons lists, and buyer’s guide have helped you find a dry dog shampoo that will work well for your dog. You can keep your dog’s coat smelling fresh and looking cleaner in just a few quick steps!