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10 Best Shampoos for French Bulldogs – 2024 Reviews & Top Picks

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Groomer applying shampoo on Fench Bulldog

French Bulldogs are prone to allergies and eye problems, which means choosing the right shampoo is especially important. The shampoo needs to clean and potentially deodorize the dog, but you will need one that is good for sensitive skin and eyes. This means opting for a shampoo made using natural ingredients rather than harsh chemicals.

Below are 10 of the best shampoos for French Bulldogs to help clean your little pup while preventing irritation to the skin and eyes.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo
  • Colloidal oatmeal soothes and hydrates
  • Free from synthetic dyes
  • Doesn’t contain any soap, sulfates, or phthalates
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo
  • Large bottle saves money
  • No parabens or phosphates
  • Uses colloidal oatmeal, aloe, and coconut ingredients
  • Third place
    MiconaHex+Triz Shampoo for Dogs & Cats MiconaHex+Triz Shampoo for Dogs & Cats
  • Can fight ringworm, dandruff, and other conditions
  • Beneficial for dogs with allergies
  • Free from fragrances
  • Best for Puppies
    Veterinary Formula Solutions Puppy Love Shampoo Veterinary Formula Solutions Puppy Love Shampoo
  • Designed for puppies over 6 weeks of age
  • Won’t wash away flea and tick treatment
  • Tearless formula
  • TROPICLEAN Hypo-Allergenic Puppy & Kitten Shampoo TROPICLEAN Hypo-Allergenic Puppy & Kitten Shampoo
  • Reasonable price
  • Free from parabens, dyes, and soaps
  • Suitable for dogs of all ages
  • The 10 Best Shampoos for French Bulldogs

    1. Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo – Best Overall

    Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Shampoo

    Volume: 10 Fluid Ounces
    Primary Ingredients: Water, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium Chloride

    Colloidal oatmeal is oats that have been ground finely during the milling process. The finely ground material exfoliates the skin naturally. It also softens rough skin so it can help ease the itching associated with certain skin conditions. And because it binds to the skin, colloidal oatmeal gives the skin a chance to rehydrate. It is a potentially powerful natural ingredient and is one of the main active ingredients in Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo.

    Other beneficial ingredients include cucumber, which has soothing and hydrating properties, and Aloe Vera, which is another ingredient that soothes irritable skin. It is free from soap, sulfates, and phthalates and is a gentle shampoo that is one of the best available shampoos for French Bulldogs, but it is a little expensive compared to other non-prescription off-the-shelf options.

    Pros
    • Colloidal oatmeal soothes and hydrates
    • Free from synthetic dyes
    • Doesn’t contain any soap, sulfates, or phthalates
    Cons
    • Expensive

    2. Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo – Budget Buy

    Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe cat shampoo

    Volume: 1 Gallon
    Primary Ingredients: Purified Water, Colloidal Oatmeal, Renewable Plant-Derived & Coconut-Based Cleansers

    Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo is another colloidal oatmeal shampoo. It is scented with vanilla and almond to leave your dog smelling fresh but without using harsh chemicals that can cause or exacerbate skin irritation. The shampoo uses coconut-based cleansers and is paraben and phosphate-free.

    Although it is a large 1-gallon bottle, buying it in this quantity means that it is cheap, making it the best shampoo for French Bulldogs for the money. However, the shampoo doesn’t do the best job of deodorizing, so it won’t be the best option for owners with strong-smelling French Bulldogs.

    Pros
    • Large bottle saves money
    • No parabens or phosphates
    • Uses colloidal oatmeal, aloe, and coconut ingredients
    Cons
    • Not great at shifting odor

    3. MiconaHex+Triz Shampoo for Dogs & Cats

    MiconaHex+Triz Shampoo for Dogs & Cats

    Volume: 16 Fluid Ounces
    Primary Ingredients: Miconazole Nitrate, Chlorhexidine Gluconate

    MiconaHex+Triz Shampoo for Dogs & Cats is a medicated shampoo that is free from fragrances and contains active ingredients to help treat fungal and bacterial infections and is suitable for pups with skin conditions and that suffer from skin irritation. Specifically, it is formulated to fight conditions that are responsive to miconazole and chlorhexidine, including ringworm, dandruff, and yeast or fungal infections.

    The lack of fragrances means it won’t combat smells, but it is soothing and can help with certain skin and coat conditions. It is expensive but is commonly used, and proves effective, against allergies.

    Pros
    • Can fight ringworm, dandruff, and other conditions
    • Beneficial for dogs with allergies
    • Free from fragrances
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Doesn’t help fight smells

    4. Veterinary Formula Solutions Puppy Love Shampoo – Best for Puppies

    Veterinary Formula Solution Puppy Shampoo

    Volume: 17 Ounces
    Primary Ingredients: Purified Water, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Alpha Olefin Sulfonate

    Puppies are even more sensitive to harsh ingredients than adult dogs, so young French Bulldogs need to be given a sensitive shampoo that won’t dry out the skin or cause irritation.

    It is also important that you provide as positive a bathtime experience as possible because if your puppy experiences a negative bathtime experience, it will be less inclined to want a bath next time. Using a tearless shampoo can help provide a more positive experience. Veterinary Formula Solutions Puppy Love Shampoo is a tearless formula and is designed for all dogs over 6 weeks of age. The shampoo will not wash away flea and tick treatments, either, and it is reasonably priced.

    However, the smell of the shampoo is somewhat divisive—some owners compare it to baby powder, while others say it is more medicinal.

    Pros
    • Designed for puppies over 6 weeks of age
    • Won’t wash away flea and tick treatment
    • Tearless formula
    Cons
    • The smell isn’t popular with all owners

    5. TropiClean Hypo-Allergenic Gentle Coconut Puppy & Kitten Shampoo

    TROPICLEAN Hypo-Allergenic Gentle Coconut Puppy & Kitten Shampoo

    Volume: 20 Ounces
    Primary Ingredients: Purified Water, Mild Coconut Cleanser, Avena Sativa Oatmeal

    TropiClean Hypo-Allergenic Gentle Coconut Puppy & Kitten Shampoo is designed for puppies, but its sensitive formula can also prove beneficial for adult dogs. It has a subtle coconut aroma, and it is formulated to help control the symptoms of allergies and irritations. The shampoo does not contain parabens, dyes, or soaps.

    Reasonably priced, TropiClean is a good option for sensitive-skinned dogs, but the coconut smell is very subtle and doesn’t last long, and the shampoo itself is difficult to lather up so can be tricky to apply properly to the coat.

    Pros
    • Reasonable price
    • Free from parabens, dyes, and soaps
    • Suitable for dogs of all ages
    Cons
    • Difficult to lather
    • Coconut smell doesn’t last

    6. Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

    Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

    Volume: 16 Ounce
    Primary Ingredients: Coconut Shampoo Base, Aloe Vera Gel, Essence of Lavender

    Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner is a soap-free shampoo that cleans and conditions. The manufacturer claims it creates a rich lather that can be easily rinsed out and helps soothe skin.

    Its primary ingredient is a coconut shampoo base, and its ingredients are free from alcohol and soaps. Lavender and wheat act as natural deodorizers while mint soothes, and the shampoo is safe for use on puppies as well as adult dogs.

    However, the shampoo is very thick which makes it difficult to get out of the bottle and it isn’t as easy to lather up as more watery and liquid shampoos. As well as the 16 fluid ounce bottle, it does come in a 1-gallon jug, too, which should last your French Bulldog many months.

    Pros
    • Contains no alcohol or soaps
    • Lavender and wheat naturally deodorize
    • Comes in a 1-gallon jug
    Cons
    • Thick and difficult to get out of the bottle
    • Doesn’t lather as well as others

    7. Zesty Paws Itch Soother Dog Shampoo with Oatmeal & Aloe Vera

    ZESTY PAWS Itch Soother Dog Shampoo with Oatmeal & Aloe Vera

    Volume: 16 Ounces
    Primary Ingredients: Water, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine

    Zesty Paws Itch Soother Dog Shampoo with Oatmeal & Aloe Vera is designed to help soothe itchy skin and ensure a smooth coat. It contains oatmeal and aloe vera to encourage healthy skin and improve itchiness, as well as vitamin E, which is an antioxidant and helps further promote healthy skin.

    Aloe vera can also soften hair to give a smooth, shiny coat, and vanilla is added to give the shampoo and your Frenchie a natural smell. Zesty Paws is a little on the expensive side, but it is difficult to lather effectively, and it takes a lot of rinsing to get all of the shampoo out.

    Pros
    • Designed to improve itchy skin
    • Leaves the coat shiny
    • Scented with vanilla
    Cons
    • Difficult to lather
    • Difficult to rinse

    8. FURminator Deshedding Dog Shampoo

    FURMINATOR Deshedding Dog Shampoo

    Volume: 1 Gallon
    Primary Ingredients: Water, Surfactants, Conditioning Agents

    FURminator Deshedding Dog Shampoo is a shampoo free from parabens and chemical dyes that includes a deodorizer to tackle the smell of damp dog and omega fatty acids to moisturize the skin and coat. The shampoo is reasonably priced and comes in a larger 128-ounce bottle, as well as the standard 16-ounce bottle. The shampoo has also been formulated to help reduce the amount of shedding along with conditioning agents to leave a smooth and tidy coat.

    While the shampoo does smell pleasant, it isn’t that effective at reducing shedding, although nothing can replace regular brushing to remove dead hairs.

    Pros
    • Deodorizes and cleans
    • Decent price
    • Free from parabens and chemical dyes
    Cons
    • Doesn’t really reduce shedding

    9. Giovanni Professional Waterless Foaming Oatmeal & Coconut Dog Shampoo

    Giovanni Professional Waterless Foaming Oatmeal & Coconut Dog Shampoo

    Volume: 8 Ounces
    Primary Ingredients: Aqua, Decyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine

    Some dogs really dislike getting in the bath or shower. And sometimes, especially when you’re traveling or otherwise on the move, you might not have access to running water when your dog needs to be bathed or shampooed. Waterless shampoo can be used in either of these cases. It foams up when rubbed into the coat and contains organic extracts that soften and add shine to your dog’s coat. The shampoo does not contain any sulfates, parabens, or harsh chemicals. It is also cruelty-free and vegan shampoo.

    It can work out more expensive than standard shampoo and it can take a couple of uses to get particularly dirty areas clean, but it is convenient, and it can prove very useful if your French Bulldog won’t go near the water.

    Pros
    • Waterless shampoo
    • Free from parabens and harsh chemicals
    • Vegan, cruelty-free formula
    Cons
    • Can work out expensive
    • Takes a couple of washes for very dirty spots

    10. PetArmor Flea & Tick Oatmeal Shampoo Hawaiian Ginger Scent Dog Shampoo

    PetArmor Flea & Tick Oatmeal Shampoo Hawaiian Ginger Scent Dog Shampoo

    Volume: 18 Ounces
    Primary Ingredients: Water, Oatmeal, SulfoChem B-Cona

    PetArmor Flea & Tick Oatmeal Shampoo Hawaiian Ginger Scent Dog Shampoo is a ginger-scented dog shampoo that deodorizes and conditions your dog’s coat. It also helps soothe dry and itchy skin while being formulated to help fight fleas and ticks. The shampoo is supposed to start working in as little as 1 or 2 days. The shampoo does leave a ginger scent and the shampoo can be used on dogs from 12 weeks of age.

    The PetArmor Flea & Tick Oatmeal Shampoo Hawaiian Ginger Scent Dog Shampoo is affordably priced. While it does smell good, is reasonably priced, and does a decent job of cleaning and deodorizing, flea and tick control results are mixed.

    Pros
    • Nice ginger smell
    • Can help control fleas and ticks
    • Decent price
    Cons
    • Not a foolproof method of controlling fleas

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    Buyer’s Guide: Buying the Best Shampoo for Your French Bulldog

    Getting the right shampoo means finding one that cleans well but also won’t cause irritation or exacerbate any existing skin conditions. You can also buy shampoos that are designed to help with existing skin conditions, as well as flea and tick shampoo to tackle these very real problems.

    Below are the factors we considered when looking for the best shampoo for French Bulldogs.

    french bulldog taking a bath
    Image Credit: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock

    Shampoo Types

    There are different types of shampoos, each with its own features and pros and cons.

    • Shampoo – Basic shampoo is designed to clean the hair and the skin. It uses surfactants that reduce the bond between dirt and the hair, making it easier to clean dirt away. It also uses cleaning agents to break down the natural oils found in common sources of dirt. As well as cleaning hair, shampoo also leaves the hair looking more naturally attractive.
    • Medicated Shampoo – Shampoos only use cleaning agents to clean the hair, but medicated shampoo contains drugs that are used to treat certain conditions. These topical drugs might aim to reduce itching of the scalp or eliminate dandruff, for example.
    • Shampoo and Conditioner – Conditioner contains ingredients that are designed to make the hair softer. This means that it can be dried and brushed with less risk of damage and breakage. Conditioners might also contain ingredients that coat the hair and make it feel thicker and fuller. Some dog shampoos contain conditioning agents and are sold as shampoo conditioners.
    • Waterless Shampoo – Waterless shampoos can be applied to dry hair. They typically create a foam when used, which is then brushed through the hair and left to soak in and dry naturally. This type of shampoo can be effective when traveling and you don’t have access to somewhere to bathe your dog. It can also be useful if your dog is reluctant to get in water and it causes them distress and anxiety. The lack of water means that waterless shampoos may require a couple of coats to get stubborn dirt out, and you will have to use more waterless shampoo than if you were to use standard shampoo.
    • Flea and Tick Shampoo – Flea and tick shampoo is a very specific type of shampoo that contains ingredients aimed at killing or preventing flea and tick infestations. Different shampoos use different ingredients and have varying rates of success. No flea shampoo is effective in all cases against all fleas. However, these can be useful if your Frenchie regularly suffers from flea problems.

    The Positive Ingredients

    There are a lot of different ingredients used in the formulation of dog shampoo. Their purposes range from cleaning and conditioning to dealing with fleas or leaving your dog smelling fresher. Some of the most common ingredients include:

    • Water – Typically, the majority of shampoo is water. It is used as a vehicle to carry the other, active ingredients, and without water, the shampoo would be impossible to apply easily. It would also mean that you use a lot more of the active ingredients. Water-based shampoo is also easier to work into a lather, which makes it easier to apply to the coat.
    • Colloidal Oatmeal – Colloidal oatmeal is oats that have been ground down very finely until they are almost a powder. When combined with water and other ingredients, this powder effectively becomes a paste and the paste will stick to the hair and skin of the dog, giving the oats themselves a chance to do their work. Oatmeal is good for the coat and skin. It can reduce inflammation and itchiness which is common in dogs with skin irritation. It also moisturizes the coat so that it looks and feels smoother, and it hydrates the skin to help beat dry skin conditions.
    • Aloe Vera – Aloe vera is 99% water, which means it is a very good method of hydrating the skin and coat. It also contains polysaccharides that strengthen roots and hair follicles while exfoliating the skin.
    • Coconut – The oil in coconut has unique properties that make it beneficial as a shampoo ingredient. The strands of oil are straight so they can get down to the base of the hair. It also helps to repair damaged hair and protect the coat in other ways. It may also soothe red and itchy skin.
    • Natural Scents – Soaps and harsh detergents can be bad for the skin, and as French Bulldogs are prone to allergies and skin irritation, using shampoos that are free from soap can be beneficial. Similarly, chemical fragrances can make the pain of itchy skin worse and may cause some skin conditions. Natural ingredients that are used to add scent to shampoo, and therefore encourage a better-smelling dog, include vanilla, lavender, and even ginger.

    What to Avoid

    Woman applying shampoo on Frnech Bulldog face
    Image Credit: Teerawut Bunsom, Shutterstock

    While most dog shampoos use natural and harmless ingredients, there are some that you should look out for and ensure you avoid.

    • Parabens – Parabens are preservatives. These synthetic compounds aim to prolong the life of the shampoo itself and as well as having no positive benefit for the dog, they can cause itchiness and skin irritation. They may also cause hormone imbalance in your dog. You can usually identify these compounds in the ingredient list because they include the word paraben. Examples include propylparaben and ethylparaben.
    • Sulfates – Sulfates are cleansing agents that are found in a variety of different cleaning products including shampoo. They can cause the coat to dry out and may also cause itchiness and flaking skin. Names include sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate.
    • Phthalates – Phthalates are used to make the shampoo’s compounds stick to the hair. They can also be used for their aroma, although this tends to be quite a chemical smell. They can reduce the hormones responsible for hair growth and maintenance and they may be linked to certain skin conditions and causes of skin irritation. Companies do not usually list the specific phthalates used but may use a term like “fragrance”. Instead, look for shampoos that explicitly state they are phthalate-free and use natural fragrances.

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    Tips for Bathing a Reluctant French Bulldog

    French Bulldogs don’t typically like water, and this includes bath water or showers. If yours is reluctant to be bathed, try the following tips to make the process easier for both of you.

    1. Get Them Used to the Environment

    The bath itself could be a cause of anxiety for your little Frenchie. The smooth, tall-sided container is essentially a container that your dog cannot get out of. Get your dog used to the bathroom and the bath while you’re not attempting to bathe them. Feed them or give them treats in the room so they aren’t terrified from the very beginning of the experience.

    cream female french bulldog with red collar standing on table
    Image Credit: Jantanee Boonkhaw, Shutterstock

    2. Get the Water Ready

    Water running from the tap can be loud and may cause anxiety in your dog. Instead of putting your dog in first, put a few inches of warm water in the bath before gently lowering your Frenchie in. Don’t overfill it, ensure the temperature is right, and don’t just drop your pup in.


    3. Use a Facecloth for the Face

    The face is a very sensitive area of your dog. Use a facecloth to apply water and to get rid of the shampoo once you’ve finished the bathing process. This means you don’t have to try pouring water over your dog’s eyes.


    4. Dry Carefully

    A lot of dogs dislike hairdryers. They are loud and blast air in the dog’s face, after all. Instead of using a hairdryer, try and use a towel and dab your dog dry. Rubbing too hard can cause irritation and the whole experience might put your dog off next time it is bathtime.

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    How Often Should You Bathe a French Bulldog?

    French Bulldog in the bath tub
    Image Credit: Vershinin89, Shutterstock

    How often you bathe your Frenchie will depend on how dirty and smelly they get, but you should avoid bathing them more than once a month, and ideally only every 2 or 3 months. Bathing too often can strip and destroy the natural oils in your dog’s fur.

    It is generally better to use a towel to dry your dog after a bath. In fact, you can use two or more towels so that you can use one to get rid of the majority of the water and then use a dryer one when the surface water has gone.

    How Do I Stop My French Bulldog from Smelling?

    Regular bathing will help control your dog’s odor. It gets rid of sweat as well as any dirt or bacteria that might be causing bad odors. It is also important to dry your dog properly because this helps get rid of any dirty water or shampoo residue that can cause bacteria and smells.

    Your dog should smell better after a bath. If they still have a bad smell, it may be a sign of something like a bacterial infection or viral infection. Look for signs and, if necessary, consult a vet.

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    Conclusion

    French Bulldogs are playful little pups. This makes them great pets, but it also means they can end up dirty and smelly. As such, they tend to need regular baths. Above are reviews of 10 of the best shampoos for French Bulldogs to help you enjoy a sweeter-smelling pet.

    Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo is a little expensive, but it is free from sulfates, and phthalates and it contains colloidal oatmeal to help hydrate and soothe skin. Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo is inexpensive and comes in a big, long-lasting bottle. As well as colloidal oatmeal, it also uses aloe vera and coconut.


    Featured Image Credit: Vershinin89, Shutterstock

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