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11 Best Shampoos for Portuguese Water Dogs – 2023 Reviews & Top Picks

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

Portuguese Water Dog getting a bath

Portuguese water dogs have an incredibly unique and easy-to-spot appearance. These energetic pups love exploring the great outdoors and aren’t afraid to get dirty! They get their name honestly, as they absolutely are built for outdoor sports and water games.

With their beautiful curly coats and extensive grooming needs, they will need a product that protects the skin while cleaning the fur efficiently. Here, we rounded up several terrific shampoos that serve various target purposes.

Our reviews can give you some insight into each product so you can choose the best for your web-footed pal.

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A Glance at Our Top Picks in 2023

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Hepper Oatmeal Pet Shampoo Hepper Oatmeal Pet Shampoo
  • For all skin types
  • Moisturizes and soothes
  • Smells terrific
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Hartz Groomer’s Best Professionals Hydrate & Shine Hartz Groomer’s Best Professionals Hydrate & Shine
  • Creates a shiny coat
  • Fresh aroma
  • Affordable
  • Third place
    PetLab Extractos Long Hair Comfrey Extract Dog Shampoo PetLab Extractos Long Hair Comfrey Extract Dog Shampoo
  • Hydrates
  • Contains no harmful ingredient
  • pH balanced
  • Burt’s Bees Tearless with Buttermilk Puppy Shampoo Burt’s Bees Tearless with Buttermilk Puppy Shampoo
  • Tearless formula
  • No sulfates or colorants
  • Light natural scent
  • CHI for Dogs 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner CHI for Dogs 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Gentle and hydrating
  • Detangles and leaves no residue
  • Shampoo/Conditioner combo
  • The 10 Best Shampoos for Portuguese Water Dogs

    1. Hepper Oatmeal Pet Shampoo — Best Overall

    Hepper Colloidal Shampoo

    Amount: 16 ounces
    Scent: Cucumber and Aloe
    Purpose: Soothes skin

    We chose Hepper Oatmeal Pet Shampoo as the best overall shampoo for Portuguese Water Dogs. This particular formula is designed for sensitive skin, with soothing colloidal oatmeal as one of the primary ingredients. It is also pH balanced so you can use this shampoo for all types of coats and skin conditions, and is safe to use on all pets in your household.

    The colloidal oatmeal relieves any itchiness or irritation, and the aloe hydrates any dryness your pup might be experiencing. Hepper’s shampoo is incredibly effective at lifting dirt, excess fur, and dander without stripping the natural oils from your pet’s coat while locking in moisture. The ingredients are all-natural, sourced in the United States, and hand selected to promote overall health and cleanliness.

    This formula is free from any soaps, dyes, parabens, and other potentially harsh and toxic ingredients, making it a suitable choice for dogs with the most sensitive of skin. That means you don’t need to buy multiple products if you have a multi-pet home.

    Plus, we absolutely adore the clean, soft scent—and we think most pet parents will agree!

    • For all skin types
    • Moisturizes and soothes
    • All-natural
    • Is safe for all pets
    • Some dogs might not like the scent

    2. Hartz Groomer’s Best Professionals Hydrate & Shine – Budget Buy

    Hartz Groomer’s Best Professionals

    Amount: 18 ounces
    Scent: Apricot Bloom
    Purpose: Adds moisture and shine

    If you’re looking for a steal of a deal, you will love Hartz Groomer’s Best Professional Hydrate & Shine. This shampoo has a fantastic apricot bloom scent that is very fragrant but not overwhelming! After you’re finished with bath time, they will smell like they just returned from the groomer!

    This product contains coconut oil which makes the coat gorgeous and shiny! It is completely free of sulfates, parabens, alcohol, and dyes. It is also pH balanced to work for Porties from puppyhood to old age.

    This product is all about the grooming experience. Pamper your Portie by lathering them up in this aromatic formula—and keep in mind that a little goes a long way.

    Because this formula is so hydrating, creating such a sheen to your Portie’s coat, we highly recommend it. It’s an exceptional product for the price tag and we think Portia pet parents will agree.

    • Creates a shiny coat
    • Fresh aroma
    • Affordable
    • Basic formula

    3. PetLab Extractos Long Hair Comfrey Extract Dog Shampoo

    PetLab Extractos Long Hair Comfrey Extract Dog Shampoo

    Amount: 1 gallon
    Scent: Natural
    Purpose: Everyday clean for long hair

    The PetLab Extractos Long Hair Comfrey Extract Dog Shampoo is pricier than other selections, but you get much more for your dollar! It is specially designed for dogs with long hair—like your curly Portie. The entire purpose of this particular shampoo is to hydrate your dog without drying out its supple skin.

    If you have a particularly oily Portie, this formula controls oil production with D panthenol and promotes glossy, vibrant fur using keratin. It is completely free of any parabens, salt, or dye to keep your pup safe and healthy during bath time.

    We love the natural goodness of this product. It creates a rich lather, leaving your pup’s curls looking stunning. We love that this product is pH balanced just for dogs, so you know it’s doing the job.

    It might be a little more expensive, but it will certainly get you a long way. The only downfall is if you don’t care for it, you have a lot to go through before you can switch or you’ll have to throw it away and waste money in the process.

    • Hydrates
    • Contains no harmful ingredient
    • pH balanced
    • Expensive

    4. Burt’s Bees Tearless with Buttermilk Puppy Shampoo

    Burt’s Bees Tearless

    Amount: 32 ounces
    Scent: Natural
    Purpose: Puppy formula

    Burt’s Bees Tearless with Buttermilk Puppy Shampoo is a terrific product for tiny Porties! You want bath time to be as seamless as possible while your pooch is learning the ropes. It’s specifically designed to be gentle on your puppy’s skin and not burn their eyes.

    Rather than containing potentially irritating scents, Burt’s incorporates a natural, light smell into the shampoo, and we love it! It’s a very light scent but it makes them feel so fresh and clean. This product contains buttermilk which nourishes your Portie’s curly fur, leaving them soft and easy to manage after baths.

    This shampoo lathers lightly but efficiently—it doesn’t turn watery or leave the fur before a full lather forms. We safely applied this shampoo around the face, as it contains no sulfates or colorants in the combo.

    If you want a product that will do the job without traumatizing your pup with stinging eyes—this product is an excellent intro to bath time.

    • Tearless formula
    • No sulfates or colorants
    • Light natural scent
    • Light lather

    5. CHI for Dogs 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner

    Amount: 16 ounces
    Scent: None
    Purpose: Gentle 2-in-1

    Another great product for a Portuguese Water Dog is the CHI for Dogs 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner. Because it is both shampoo and conditioner, it will cleanse and soften your Portie’s coat, leaving their curls fresh and bouncy.

    This is a maximum moisture formula, nourishing the skin as well as the coat. This product is gentle on the skin and designed without fragrance or toxic chemicals. It contains mild surfactants, meaning if it gets in your dog’s eyes, it won’t cause too much irritation.

    We love the single-step process here. It’s a pretty big bang for your buck, and it is an ideal choice for curly coats, as it makes them super easy to manage and leaves locks baby smooth. We loved the lather—it’s really clean you can feel. And it rinses out perfectly without leaving residue.

    Overall, we think this product would work for many Porties—ones with sensitive skin, ones needing added hydration, and all in between! Plus, it’s made right here in the USA! The only downside is that it is not fragranced, and while some people may find that a plus, others like scented shampoos because of how they make their dog smell.

    • Gentle and hydrating
    • Detangles and leaves no residue
    • Shampoo/Conditioner combo
    • Unscented

    6. Professional Pet Products AromaCare Detangling Mango Pet Shampoo

    Professional Pet Products AromaCare Detangling Mango Pet Shampoo

    Amount: 13.5 ounces
    Scent: Mango
    Purpose: Detangling

    If you love the ever-so-tropical scent of yummy mango, you will go gaga over this shampoo! AromaCare Detangling Mango Shampoo is ideal for those hard-to-manage coats. Some Porties’ coats might be coarser or have more tangles than others, so this product is here to help you out!

    You can use this formula on puppies or adults. It’s completely up to you! It’s gentle enough to work for either. This particular shampoo uses ingredients like mango seed butter to detangle complicated knots, making brushing and overall grooming an easier experience.

    This shampoo has an amazing lather that is clean you can actually see. It did not take much to soap the puppy up and the after-effects were so worth it. We loved the way our Portie’s coat looked after use.

    This formula is considered aromatherapy. If you or your dog are very sensitive to strong scents, this might not be the right shampoo for you. However, most would enjoy this particular shampoo’s very aromatic and long-lasting fragrance.

    • Fabulous scent
    • Wholesome ingredients
    • Detangles
    • Scent might be too strong for some

    7. BioSilk Silk Therapy Detangling Dog Shampoo

    BioSilk Silk Therapy Detangling Dog Shampoo

    Amount: 12 ounces
    Scent: Light natural
    Purpose: Detangling

    We have to brag up BioSilk Therapy Detangling Dog Shampoo. We think it does exactly as it’s advertised, and even better in our opinion. It is incredibly nourishing to the coat, leaving your Portie vibrant and shiny.

    This product has a perfect lather and light scent, making it extremely efficient at removing dirt and debris from the coat. We had no problem rinsing it out, either. Once the wash is over, it dries without any residue, leaving the fur soft.

    While this product doesn’t contain any particular scent, we thought it smelled delightful. It has a very clean, gentle scent that lingers long after bath time is over. We had no issue brushing our Portie’s hair afterward. Any slight tangle broke free with ease.

    This particular shampoo is very high quality and safe enough for humans. It contains no parabens, sulfates, or other harsh additives. Completely pH balanced for dogs and made in the USA, we think that BioSilk therapy is an exceptional choice—we only wish the bottle was bigger!

    • Very silky finish
    • Divine scent
    • Detangles beautifully
    • Very small bottle

    8. Buddy Wash Relaxing Green Tea and Bergamot Dog Shampoo

    Amount: 16 ounces
    Scent: Green tea and bergamot
    Purpose: Relaxation/anti-itch

    Bathtime doesn’t fly with every pup. If you have a particularly feisty or nervous Portie, Buddy Wash Relaxing Green Tea and Bergamot Dog Shampoo and Conditioner is a potential solution. Consider this aromatherapy, relaxing your pup so they enjoy their time in the tub.

    This particular formula is a coconut-based and alcohol-free mash up containing botanical extracts like sage, green tea, chamomile, and rosemary. It also has soothing ingredients like aloe vera, tea tree oil, and rosemary. So, this works for Porties with sensitive skin, too!

    This shampoo is totally soap and alcohol-free—so it won’t dry out skin. The whole purpose of this particular formula is to cleanse and condition the fur. We think it does an exquisite job, and we love the brand! They make some other really terrific shampoos that can be just as effective.

    All Buddy Wash is made in the USA and isn’t tested on animals. But unfortunately, the scent doesn’t last a long time after the bath.

    • Not tested on animals
    • Refreshing formula
    • Soothes irritated skin
    • Scent doesn’t linger

    9. Earthbath Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo

    Earthbath Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo

    Amount: 16 ounces
    Scent: Fragrance-free
    Purpose: For skin sensitivities

    If you have a dog that is very sensitive to certain products or suffers from skin allergies, let us recommend Earthbath Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo. This is an entirely tearless formula, so it would work for any Portie—permitting they are over 6 weeks of age.

    It is completely hypoallergenic, working for sensitivities and allergies in one swoop. This shampoo is very good at soothing irritated skin from dermatitis or flea bites, and it is completely compatible with flea treatments—so they won’t wash off or become ineffective after baths!

    All ingredients are completely biodegradable and free of phosphate and parabens. Instead, it contains just five basic ingredients, including renewable coconut-based cleanser, aloe vera, and vitamins A, B, D, and E.

    We love that this formula leaves the coat so supple and soft on top of soothing problematic skin.

    • For dogs with skin sensitivities
    • Hypoallergenic formula
    • For dogs over 6 weeks old
    • No added conditioner

    10. PetArmor Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs

    PetArmor Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs

    Amount: 18 ounces
    Scent: Hawaiian ginger
    Purpose: Flea and tick prevention

    If your Portie has fleas or ticks—or you want a good preventative, check out PetArmor Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs. This formula is completely non-staining and has a fabulous aroma of Hawaiian ginger. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we quite liked it.

    This particular formula aims to eliminate fleas and ticks, two really annoying and dangerous seasonal parasites. It contains the active ingredients permethrin and piperonyl butoxide. In addition, it contains oatmeal to soothe dryness and irritation, preserving coat and skin quality.

    Because it contains some rather harsh additives, use it sparingly. Keep in mind this is a medicated shampoo intended for temporary use only. It has active ingredients in it that fight parasites—it’s not an every-bath formula.

    You shouldn’t use this product on puppies younger than 12 weeks of age. If fleas and ticks are a problem, speak with your vet about better alternatives. Otherwise, we found it to be very effective for the problem!

    • Treats fleas and ticks
    • Soothes skin with oatmeal
    • Non-staining
    • Only for dogs older than 12 weeks
    • Not meant for every bath use

    11. Nature’s Specialties Almond Crisp Dog Shampoo

    Nature’s Specialties Almond Crisp Dog Shampoo

    Amount: 16 ounces
    Scent: Light
    Purpose: Deep cleaning and volumizing

    We all know how Porties love romping around in the great outdoors. If your pup loves getting good and grimy, we recommend Nature’s Specialties Almond Crisp Dog Shampoo—and no. It’s not just because it smells absolutely delightful!

    This particular shampoo is designed for deep cleaning. It decreases and removes debris without stripping the hair of crucial natural oils. It also has an element that adds texture and volume so your Portie’s curls can be on point.

    The actual ingredients in this particular shampoo are entirely non-toxic and safe for your Portie. It is made of a biodegradable blend of essential oils, herbal oils, and texturizing agents. The added aloe also helps to soothe any irritation in the skin.

    Our only complaint here is that light fragrance is listed in the ingredients. The fragrance is not necessarily a good thing for dogs, and the particular ingredient isn’t elaborated on in the description.

    • Delightful scent
    • Deep cleaning agents
    • Doesn’t strip natural oils
    • Fragrance listed in ingredients
    • Not always necessary at bath time

    Divider 5Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Shampoos for Portuguese Water Dogs

    When you’re shopping around for the best shampoos for your Portuguese Water Dog, what categories do you want to check off the list? Here are a few we think deserve your consideration.

    Understanding a Portuguese Water Dog’s Coat

    The Portuguese Water Dog has a very dense coat that is considered hypoallergenic—one downfall to the breed’s beautiful appearance is the extensive grooming it requires. A Portie’s fur can range from very tight curls to loose waves.

    Since Porties absolutely loves splashing around in the water and rolling around in dirt, they might get dirtier than the average dog. They have water-resistant coats and webbed feet that help them navigate wet and dry outdoor elements.

    Because they are such ruffians, a good cleaning every so often is an absolute must. It’s important to find a formula that penetrates down to your pup’s skin, lifting all the dirt and debris.

    Every dog will have their own personality. Granted, some Porties might want to be outdoors, while others prefer a spot on the couch. So, keep that in mind also when you’re buying shampoo. You might not need a very deep cleaning agent, but the dirtiness of your pal certainly plays a role.

    Brown Portuguese Water Dog
    Photo by melchor gama from Pexels

    Conditioning Is a Must

    When you have a Portuguese water dog, coat maintenance is a must! They have very curly, long coats that require daily brushing and routine grooming. Because it is sometimes easy for their coats to mat or tangle, get a conditioning shampoo. It will keep their hair soft and supple to prevent coat unhealthiness.

    We definitely recommend buying a 2-in-1 or a separate shampoo and conditioner for this specific breed.

    Avoid Skin-Drying Agents

    Your Portuguese Water Dog can have pretty sensitive skin, so we recommend avoiding drying agents such as:

    • Alcohol
    • Phosphates
    • Soap
    • Parabens
    • Chemical dyes

    These types of ingredients really dry out your Portie’s skin, which can cause flaking and irritation. So, it’s best to stay away from them when you can.

    Buy Nourishing Formulas

    Nourishing formulas are much better for canines like the Portuguese Water Dog. Ingredients like oatmeal, coconut oil, aloe, and other soothing ingredients tame any kind of skin irritation and add hydration.

    If you’re buying a deep cleaner to get rid of some serious muck in the fur, always make sure it’s a very hydrating formula so it doesn’t strip the skin of its natural oils.

    portuguese water dog standing outdoor
    Image Credit: Brook Robinson, Shutterstock

    Avoid Fragrance

    Artificial scents are toxic to dogs. Only essential oils and herbs are suitable for our dogs. However, artificial scents contain tons of chemicals that can affect the nervous system, breathing, kidneys, and endocrine system.

    Even though most shampoos contain fragrance in very low quantities, it’s still not good to put on your dog’s skin. Therefore, we recommend buying fragrance-free or naturally scented shampoos.

    Acknowledge Life Stage

    Some shampoos are designed for puppies while others are specially formulated for adults. You have to pay attention to the life stage for optimal effectiveness.

    Puppies have very sensitive skin and eyes. If a stronger formula gets into their eyes, it can burn, causing serious irritation. While this might not hurt them long term, it can impact how they feel about baths—and we wouldn’t want that.Divider 5


    We really think you will love our first pick—Hepper Oatmeal Pet Shampoo. This exquisite formula really brings out the natural beauty of the breed, accentuating their lovely curls! Your Portie will smell like they just returned from a day at the groomer.

    Hartz Groomer’s Best Professional Hydrate & Shine is an excellent option if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option. It has a very pleasing aroma, and we’ll leave your Portie’s skin and coat moisturized and gorgeous! You still get a very quality product for a fraction of the cost of some others.

    PetLab Extractos Long Hair Comfrey Extract Dog Shampoo it’s a little more expensive because of the quantity, but it will stretch far for your dollar! Additionally, it hydrates the fur and skin without leaving any buildup or residue.

    We think you will be satisfied no matter which of these products you like. Hopefully, these reviews made the search a little easier for you!

    Featured Image Credit: Lynda McFaul, Shutterstock

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