Washing a dog with dog shampoo

The Best Smelling Dog Shampoos (2022 Reviews)

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If you love to be surrounded by pleasant scents, you’ll want to make sure you know about the best smelling dog shampoos. Whether your pooch is in need of a serious clean after getting muddy (or worse) or you just want to freshen them up a little, many dog shampoos have a lovely scent that you’re sure to enjoy.

Our vet advisor, Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM, looked at lots of different dog shampoos before choosing the best of the best. Her top pick, Buddy Wash Dog Shampoo, comes in three different scents and is hydrating and nourishing, leaving your dog with a silky-smooth coat. Read how she chose the top 5.

Our Vet’s Top Pick

Buddy Wash Dog Shampoo

This gorgeous-smelling shampoo comes in 3 different scents and will leave your dog feeling silky smooth and smelling great.

If you’re planning to give your pup a trim in addition to bathing them between groomer visits, you’ll also want quality dog clippers.

Our Vet’s Top 5 Best Smelling Dog Shampoos
Editor’s Picks Brand Rating Scent Soap-free? Moisturising? Made in USA?
Best Overall Buddy Wash Dog Shampoo 4.7 Lavender & Mint
Best Budget Furbliss Dog Shampoo with Essential Oils 4.7 Eucalyptus & Mint
Best for Allergies Douxo S3 Calm Shampoo 4.5 Floral/fruity
Best Deodorizing Dog Shampoo Nature’s Miracle Odor Control Shampoo for Dogs 4.4 Melon Burst
Best for Sensitive Skin Dechra DermAllay Oatmeal Shampoo 4.8 Green apple

*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers

Who Should Buy a Best Smelling Dog Shampoo

  • Dog owners who are tired of “wet dog” smell – There are lots of wonderful things about owning a dog, but that wet dog smell probably isn’t one of your favorites! Regular washes with a nice-smelling dog shampoo can leave your dog smelling amazing.
  • Pet owners with pooches that love to get grubby – If your dog always finds the muddiest puddle to splash in, or has a habit of rolling in anything disgusting, then you’ll want to bathe them regularly. Why not pick a shampoo that will make bathtime smell great?
  • Owners of dogs that have sensitive skin or allergies– Some of these lovely smelling shampoos are particularly well suited to dogs who have sensitive skin or allergies. They can help stop your dog from feeling itchy, and they’ll maintain your dog’s coat in great condition, too.

Who Should Not Buy a Best Smelling Dog Shampoo

  • Cat owners or other pet owners – While some of the shampoos on our top 5 list are suitable for cats, others aren’t. It’s best to buy a separate shampoo for your cat, or look for a list of shampoos that are suitable for both dogs and cats.
  • Owners of dogs with medical conditions – If your dog has a medical condition, particularly a skin condition, then it’s a good idea to consult your own veterinarian before deciding what shampoo to buy. Some may not be suitable for your pooch.

Research Tips (From a Veterinarian)

Picking the right dog shampoo is an important part of caring for your dog. Your veterinarian can also point to any features that might be ideal based on your dog’s age, breed, size, and health status. Talk to family and friends, too, and ask what shampoos have worked well for them.

  1. Very strong, perfumey odors can be irritating – Make sure you choose a shampoo that isn’t likely to irritate your dog’s skin or respiratory tract. That might mean opting for natural scents.
  2. Think about what you want from the shampoo – For instance, do you simply want to keep your dog clean, or do you need a shampoo that’s deodorizing for a particularly smelly pooch?
  3. Consider what your dog needs from their shampoo – If your dog has a skin condition, they’ll need a suitable shampoo that won’t make it worse. If your dog has dry skin, it’s a good idea to pick a moisturizing shampoo that doesn’t use soap.

How Much Do They Cost?

Between $10 and $50

Depending on the size, the best smelling dog shampoos can easily cost anywhere between $10 and $50. Obviously, smaller bottles will cost a lot less than gallon jugs, but it’s often most cost-effective to buy dog shampoo in bulk. Specialist shampoos for dogs with allergies or sensitive skin can cost quite a bit more than regular shampoos. It’s best to avoid very cheap dog shampoos, as these may not do a good job of cleaning your dog or could leave your dog’s skin feeling itchy or irritated.

Our Methodology: Why Trust Pets Digest

As a veterinarian and pet parent, I understand the importance of a safe and effective dog shampoo. These best smelling dog shampoos were chosen based on my professional experience, along with consideration of the product features. In particular, I took into account how enjoyable the scent was, as well as looking at other factors like whether the shampoo was safe, moisturizing, hypoallergenic, or suitable for sensitive, dry skin. – Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM

The Best Smelling Dog Shampoos: Full Reviews

Our Vet’s Top Pick

Buddy Wash Dog Shampoo

This gorgeous-smelling shampoo comes in 3 different scents and will leave your dog feeling silky smooth and smelling great.

If you want a great all-around shampoo that smells amazing, Buddy Wash Dog Shampoo definitely hits the mark. It’s available in 3 varieties: the original lavender and mint, as well as a relaxing green tea and bergamot and a refreshing rosemary and mint. You might want to experiment to find which you like best, then purchase a gallon jug of your favorite for the best possible value.

As well as smelling amazing, this shampoo is moisturizing and includes herbs and botanical extracts. It’ll leave your dog feeling soft and fluffy as well as smelling great. It’s soap-free, so it won’t dry out or irritate your dog’s skin.

Pros
  • 3 different varieties to choose from
  • Gallon jug size available as well as 16 fl oz bottles
  • Gentle formula with hydrating oils
  • Soap-free and alcohol-free
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • Some reviewers felt the scent should last longer than a day
  • Can’t be used on cats, so not necessarily suitable for all your pets
Best Budget Buy

Furbliss Dog Shampoo with Essential Oils

If you’re looking for a great bargain, this shampoo comes in gallon bottles and does a great job of dealing with odors.

The Furbliss Dog Shampoo with Essential Oils comes in a gallon-sized bottle, meaning it’s a bigger initial investment … but you won’t need to buy any more shampoo for ages. It’s suitable for cats, too, meaning it’s a great option if you own both dogs and cats.

This shampoo is perfect for pets with itchy or sensitive skin, and it’s filled with natural goodness from oatmeal, aloe, eucalyptus, chamomile, and rosemary.

Pros
  • Good budget option if you want a lot of shampoo
  • Works well for dogs with sensitive or itchy skin
  • Suitable for cats as well as dogs
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • No smaller size available
  • Only one variety – no additional options for different scents
Best for Allergies

Douxo S3 Calm Shampoo

This hypoallergenic shampoo can help provide relief from itching and inflamed skin due to allergies.

If your dog has allergies, Douxo S3 Calm Shampoo is the perfect choice. It smells nice, but it’s hypoallergenic, meaning it won’t cause any irritation while it’s washing away all those allergens trapped in your pet’s fur. This shampoo is also great for soothing your dog’s sensitive skin and detangling their fur. It’ll leave their coat soft and shiny.

You may need to use it for 3 weeks to see the full results, but you should definitely start to see an improvement after 7 days. It has quite a strong floral/fruity smell, though don’t worry if you don’t like strong scents, as the smell will dissipate fairly quickly.

Pros
  • Hypoallergenic formula suitable for pets with sensitive skin
  • Provides relief from itching, inflammation, and discomfort
  • Helps detangle your pet’s hair
  • Suitable for cats as well as dogs
Cons
  • Expensive compared with other dog shampoos
  • A couple of reviewers said it didn’t help relieve their dog’s itching
Best Deodorizing Dog Shampoo

Nature’s Miracle Odor Control Shampoo for Dogs

Need to tackle that wet dog smell? This deodorizing shampoo will leave your pooch smelling fresh and clean.

If your dog doesn’t smell great, Nature’s Miracle Odor Control Shampoo for Dogs is the perfect shampoo. It doesn’t just mask your dog’s scent. Instead, it deodorizes and leaves your dog smelling great.

For a moisturized, shiny coat, the shampoo is enriched with aloe and vitamin B5. It’s worth noting it’s not labeled for use in cats.

Pros
  • 2 different varieties: melon burst and lavender
  • Neutralizes odor and freshens the coat
  • Specifically pH balanced for dogs
  • Cheaper than some other dog shampoos
  • Does a good job of dealing with “wet dog smell”
Cons
  • Only suitable for dogs, not cats
  • Some reviewers said the scent fades too quickly
Best for Sensitive Skin

Dechra DermAllay Oatmeal Shampoo

This soothing shampoo is suitable for pets with sensitive skin – and you can use it on cats and horses, as well as dogs.

Does your dog have sensitive skin? Dechra DermAllay Oatmeal Shampoo includes colloidal oatmeal, ceramides, and essential fatty acids to give your dog supple skin and a glossy coat.

The soap-free formula means this shampoo won’t dry out your pet’s skin. It has a pleasant green apple scent, and reviewers said it smelt great.

Pros
  • Gentle cleaning that nourishes dry skin
  • Doesn’t contain any soap
  • Pleasant scent (green apple)
  • Lathers up well
Cons
  • Quite expensive compared with some other options
  • Only one size (12 fl oz) available

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best shampoo to wash a dog with?

All the shampoos listed above are great options for your dog. When choosing the right shampoo, it’s always a good idea to consult your veterinarian for advice specific to your pet. This is particularly true if your dog has allergies, a skin condition, or any other medical issues.1

Can you use human shampoo on a dog?

You shouldn’t use human shampoo on a dog. Dog skin and human skin have very different pH balances, meaning that a human shampoo will disrupt your dog’s acid mantle (a thin layer protecting their skin). This can make your dog more vulnerable to irritants and infections. It can also make their skin flaky and dry.2

Is baby shampoo OK for dogs?

Baby shampoo is a better option than other human shampoos, as it’s gentler. However, baby shampoo still has the wrong pH for dogs’ skin, so it’s definitely best to use a shampoo that’s designed for dogs.

How often should I bathe my dog?

How often you bathe your dog will depend on their breed, hair type, health, and more. Some dogs will need bathing weekly; others may only need to have a bath every 6 weeks or so.3Get advice from your veterinarian on how often you should bathe your dog. Of course, if your dog is particularly smelly or has rolled in something disgusting, it’s definitely a good idea to give them a bath!

Article Sources

Pets Digest uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Zabel S. Shampoo use in veterinary medicine. Vin.com. Accessed May 16, 2022.
  2. Jan Reisen. Can You Use Human Shampoo on Dogs? AKC.org. Published April 30, 2021. Accessed April 29, 2022.
  3. Kristina Lotz. How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog? AKC.org. Published December 14, 2021. Accessed April 29, 2022.
Dr. Jennifer Coates
Dr. Jennifer Coates
Dr. Jennifer Coates was valedictorian of her graduating class at the VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and has practiced in Virginia, Wyoming, and Colorado. She is also the author of numerous articles and books including the Dictionary of Veterinary Terms: Vet-Speak Deciphered for the Non-Veterinarian.