Puppy Care: Choosing the Best Puppy Shampoo

Best Puppy Shampoo
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Chasing butterflies in the park, rolling on the grass, bunny hopping in the mud puddles, carrying things around, and sniffing anything they get their paws on are what our energetic puppies are all about.

It’s the basic nature of a puppy to explore things around. Because of their inquisitive nature, they may get excessively dirty, muddy, and stinky, presenting a pseudo-bathing emergency. And when this happens, give him a nice bath with the best puppy shampoo to make him clean, fresh, and scented.

However, puppy bathing can be difficult, especially if you are unfamiliar with what to do.

Don’t worry, this article covers all the basics to help you right from scratch.

Let’s get started.

How Often You Should Wash a Puppy?

Not too often. A puppy’s coat needs its natural oils to remain healthy, silky and to keep its skin from getting damaged or brittle. Excessive bathing can lead to dry and flaky skin in puppies by washing out the oils. Therefore, by bathing your puppy often, you will strip away those oils.

But, at times, we do have to bathe our puppies. For that, stick to the once-or-twice-a-month rule. It’s generally a good practice to bathe them once a month until they reach 6 months old.

Some puppies that spend most of their time playing and jumping around should be bathed twice a month. Monthly bathing puppies in their early life helps get them accustomed to being bathed, so they don’t run away and feel scared of water once they reach adulthood.

Struggling with bathing your puppy? Check out this comprehensive guide on how to bathe a puppy.

Other than the once-or-twice-a-month rule, another rule of thumb is to bathe puppies only when they are noticeably dirty and smelly or if there are fleas, ticks, tangles or matts in their hair.

It totally depends on you, the dog owner, to decide when the right time to bathe your puppy is. Once you make the decision, the next thing to look for is which shampoo is best for your dog.

Can You Human Shampoo for Your Dog?

Preferably, no. Though human shampoos aren’t essentially dangerous for puppies, since they are not formulated specifically for canines, they can cause skin and coat problems–particularly if you use it on your puppy repeatedly. Therefore, it is much wiser to not take a risk and use a shampoo created per the needs of the puppy’s coat.

Here are some of the reasons why you shouldn’t be using human shampoos on a puppy:

  • Human shampoos mostly contain fragrances and perfumes that can be allergic to your puppy’s skin.
  • Human shampoos are formulated for the low-pH skin, whereas puppies have a nearly neutral pH.
  • Human shampoos often contain sulfates, phosphates, sodium lauryl sulfates, conditioners, and other artificial additives, which may not be good for your puppy.
  • Human shampoos may strip your puppy’s skin of essential oils and disrupt the acid mantle, leaving your dog vulnerable to skin-related problems, parasites, viruses, and bacteria.
  • Using human shampoo on puppies can make their skin dry and flaky, and as a result, the puppy feels the urge to scratch, which causes abrasions and wounds.

Having said that, if you don’t have pet shampoo and your puppy just rolled on a wet floor full of dust or jumped in a mud puddle, and you really have to wash him, you can use a tiny amount of baby shampoo to remove potentially dangerous substances from his coat.

Other than a serious situation like this, we‘d recommend consulting your vet about this matter and ask him to suggest you the best puppy shampoo.

Benefits of Using a Best Puppy Shampoo

Reputable manufacturers of puppy shampoos understand the coat and hair of dogs, and therefore, design products that match their needs. Although your puppy may look tough, it has a sensitive skin underneath that needs to be taken care of with the use of vet-certified best puppy shampoos.

For puppies, the best shampoo is the one that is specially formulated to maintain your puppy’s skin and coat. A perfect puppy shampoo is one that is made using natural ingredients and doesn’t have any harsh chemicals or artificial perfumes to affect his coat.

Also, these shampoos cleanse the skin and coat thoroughly from within while balancing the pH. This is the must-have feature in a dog shampoo, as changes in pH can cause rashes and irritability.

They also turn into lather easily, have a light fragrance, and moisturize dog’s skin. Maintaining the moisture level of your dog’s skin is important, otherwise dryness can cause flaky skin and dandruff.

If your puppy has long hair, you can choose a shampoo that is specially designed for dirt removal, brightening coat, and enhancing smoothness.

Here is the list of the qualities that the best puppy shampoo should have:

  1. Has no tear formula
  2. Adds luster and shine to the fur
  3. Deodorizes and remove odor
  4. Contains Herbal proteins and has conditioning properties using natural ingredients
  5. Has septi-soothe properties that soothe skin infections and inflammations
  6. Removes the infestation of insects
  7. Relieves from itchy skin
  8. Helps retain moisture while cleaning thoroughly

In the following paragraphs, we have enumerated 4 best puppy shampoos, based on the different qualities each one has. See for yourself and choose the right one.

Best Puppy Shampoo

1. Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Pet Shampoo

The best thing about this shampoo is its all-natural, organic, and oatmeal-based formula, which works effectively for puppy’s hair and doesn’t cause any kind of skin concerns.

Not only this shampoo soothes and moisturizes, but it also does not wash away topical flea and tick ointments. Secondly, it lathers well and doesn’t seep into the roots.

Also, this shampoo is free of soap and synthetic fragrances, 100% biodegradable, and safe for puppies at least 6 weeks of age.

However, we’d recommend that before applying this shampoo, thoroughly wash your puppy and try to remove mud and dust—so that the shampoo can work more effectively.

It has garnered an impressive 4.7 overall rating on Amazon from around 730 puppy owners, making it one of the best puppy shampoos available.

2. Sentry Flea and Tick Shampoo with Oatmeal Shampoo For Puppies

Other than keeping your dog’s coat clean and shiny, some shampoos are formulated using medicinal items to prevent fleas and ticks on your puppies.

Free of pyrethrin—harmful pesticides that low-quality shampoos contain to kill fleas—this shampoo contains a vet-approved formula that kills the parasites on your puppy’s skin quickly as well as soothes irritated skin and produces dense lather.

The cherry on top, this shampoo is safe for puppies at least 12 weeks of age.

However, some dog owners have reviewed that the scent of this shampoo may fade quickly. A problem that can be solved by using a pet deodorant.

Out of 3750+ reviews, it has managed a 4.5 rating, an excellent score. 

3. Begley’s Natural No-Rinse Waterless Pet Shampoo

If your puppy is used to bathing, then it’s well and good. But if he doesn’t like the procedure or the time that it takes, you need to look for an alternative because we have to clean the puppy anyway.

Luckily, the no-rinse waterless shampoo by Begley has introduced this one-of-a-kind puppy shampoo that furnishes your puppy with a fresh-smelling, shiny coat without getting them soaked in water.

Even if your puppy is trained, this shampoo is useful when you are on a trip to the beach or camping on the mountain. All you’d have to do is to spray this shampoo on your puppy’s fur, let it sit for a while, and then clean it with a towel.

Moreover, this shampoo is available in four wonderful scents—lavender, citrus, oatmeal mango, and tea tree.

Most users of this product have reviewed this product positively, but one review by a user named NewfieLover from the US touched our hearts.

She says, “my dog is an epileptic, when he has seizures he sometimes poops so this no rinse shampoo comes in handy cleaning him off! It helps get the poop off him & fortunately helps him smell better. I also use this no rinse shampoo when all my dogs get dirty on rainy day walks or if we go on hikes & they get dirty, so it really helps them get nice & clean without having to take them to the groomer all the time. This no rinse shampoo is super helpful, saves you money & time from having to take your dogs to the groomer or trying to wash them in the bath! My dogs are Newfoundlands too so it works on dogs with a lot of hair/fur!”

4. Earthbath Ultra-Mild Puppy Shampoo

Safe for a 6-weeks old puppy, this tear-free shampoo contains natural and organic ingredients that clean puppies and detangle their coats without deteriorating their skin.

As said before, puppies have extremely sensitive skin, and while choosing products, you have to look at what kind of ingredients are being used to manufacture the product.

Talking about this product, the formula of this product contains renewable plant-derived and coconut-based cleansers, organic aloe vera, and vitamin E—all of these ingredients are known to be the best for puppy’s skin. Though some users of this product do not consent to the fact that the product smells like cherry, some have absolutely loved this shampoo. So, if you are not a cherry person, you can try other items.

Out of these four products, choose the best puppy shampoo by looking at the ingredients in complete detail as well as consulting your vet.

Now that you have selected a shampoo, it’s time to get that puppy underwater and do some washing. However, if you are new to this bathing duty, learn how to bathe a puppy first.

How to Bathe a Puppy? A Quick Guide

  1. Determine your puppy’s coat type
  2. Provide treats and cuddles
  3. Start with lukewarm water and a rag
  4. Use the best puppy shampoo—anyone from the above
  5. Follow the instructions that are mentioned on the packaging
  6. Be gentle and patient
  7. Avoid openings around the face
  8. Rinse thoroughly for thrice at least
  9. Don’t forget the conditioner
  10. Blow dry your puppy’s hair
  11. Maintain a bathing routine


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