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There’s nothing quite as bad as the smell of a wet dog. It’s almost enough to make dog owners think twice about washing their dogs in fear of the putrid, dreaded scent.
Whilst the shampoo they use might wash their dog’s coat sufficiently, the lack of scent seems to intensify the wet dog smell. And that odor is not one to leave quickly.
However, the last thing you want is a scented dog shampoo that is filled with sulfates, parabens, and non-natural ingredients that makes your dog’s skin itch and flare up. Or a shampoo that washes off the tick and flea treatment you spent ages wrestling on to your pup.
Fortunately for you, we’ve got you covered! We understand the importance of providing your dog with a healthy, cleansing shampoo that is pleasing for everyone’s noses. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice a clean dog for the ungodly wet dog smell.
We have found the best smelling dog shampoos on the market that will make all of the other dogs in the park jealous of your pooch’s aroma.
So without further ado, let’s find the best smelling dog shampoo.
Best Smelling Dog Shampoo – Reviews & Buying Guide
Our Top Pick: Bodhi Dog Citrus Shampoo
When looking for dog shampoo, it’s much easier to find shampoos for dogs with dry and irritated skin than it is for dogs with a normal skin type. This Bodhi shampoo ticks all of the boxes for virtually any dog – whether they struggle with skin and coat issues or not.
Made from all-natural ingredients including coconut, aloe vera, proteins from plants, and a variety of vitamins, this is a gentle yet cleansing shampoo that is suitable for any skin type. The formula does not include alcohol, detergents, parabens, stripping alcohol, or sulfates – ideal for providing your pup with the most natural product.
Of course, the scent is what makes this shampoo stand out. Made with citrus extracts, the main scent is a lemon and orange aroma that will leave your pooch smelling fresh and summery for days or weeks. Not only will it leave your dog’s coat smelling great, but it will also look fluffy and rejuvenated.
Bodhi is a small family-owned business with all ingredients locally sourced and made in the USA. The packaging is recyclable and the production is completely cruelty-free.
- Great scent – Citrus aroma made with lemon and orange extracts for a fresh scent
- All-natural ingredients – No harsh chemicals and all-natural ingredients which is ideal for all skin types
- Ethical company – Family-owned business, made in the USA, cruelty-free, and recyclable packaging
- Not the strongest – Scent is gentle and not strong for those who want a distinctive citrus aroma
Best 2-in-1 Shampoo: TropiClean Papaya & Coconut 2-in-1 Shampoo
Sometimes, just a single shampoo isn’t enough to provide your dog with a smooth and detangled coat. That’s where 2-in-1 shampoos come in! This TropiClean product is both a shampoo and conditioner, which is designed to cleanse, hydrate, moisturize, and condition a dog’s skin and coat.
This product is made from natural ingredients and does not contain parabens, sulfates, dyes, and alcohols that could cause reactions to your dog’s skin. The formula is made in the USA, but the ingredients are not sourced locally.
The scent of this shampoo is a refreshing and delicious papaya and coconut which is said to be long-lasting. The real benefit of this product is that you don’t have to spend extra money on a conditioner if your dog’s coat is particularly dry because it is an all-in-one shampoo and conditioner!
This is great for dogs with long coats as the conditioning element makes it easy to brush their hair without tangles and knots.
- 2-in-1 – Shampoo and conditioner all in one product to cleanse and moisturize the coat and skin
- Lovely scent – Papaya and coconut aroma is long-lasting
- Natural ingredients – No harsh chemicals, parabens, sulfates, dyes, or alcohols
- Not locally sourced – Made in the USA but not from locally sourced ingredients
Best For Dry Skin: Honeydew Oatmeal & Lavender Shampoo
If your dog struggles with sensitive skin that flares up from new products, you will need a gentle shampoo that works to hydrate their skin whilst healing it. This Honeydew shampoo is ideal for dogs with dry and itchy skin with its soothing oatmeal formula.
Oatmeal is a natural ingredient that works to soothe irritated skin with its healing properties. These properties also work to heal bug bites, allergies, rashes, and broken skin. You may have to sacrifice a significant smell with this shampoo for its healing benefits, but the results will be worth it.
The main scents of this shampoo are oatmeal and lavender. Lavender is one of the nicest smells anybody can have on their body due to its calming properties. Some dogs struggle with bathing as it can cause anxiety for those who dislike water and suds, but the lavender scent might work to relax and calm your pup.
The oatmeal also works to neutralize odors like mud and wet dog, making for a gentle and calming scented shampoo.
- Ideal for sensitive skin – Oatmeal has natural calming and healing properties for dry, itchy, allergy-prone skin
- Calming scent – Lavender offers a relaxing odor for anxious dogs
- No wet dog smell – Oatmeal neutralizes bad scents
- Mild scent – Scent is nice but only mild
Best Long-Lasting Shampoo: Fresh ‘n Clean Scented Shampoo
Sometimes, dog shampoos that are marketed as “scented” will only provide the coat with its scent for a couple of days maximum.
Whilst this initially gets rid of dirty smells, this means you’re more likely to wash them frequently, which can strip their coat from the essential oils from their skin. And if you let your dogs sleep in the same bed as you, the last thing you want is their smelly scent taking over the bedsheets.
That’s where this product comes in. Fresh ‘n Clean’s shampoo offers a clean floral smell that lasts for up to 2 weeks on a dog’s coat. Not only is this pleasing for human noses, but it’s a money saver as you won’t have to frequently wash away horrid smells from your dog or bedding.
This shampoo contains aloe vera and vitamin E to soothe and calm the skin, has a compatible pH balance that is suitable for dog skin, and has a biodegradable formula that is non-harmful to the environment.
- Long-lasting – Scent clings to dog’s coat for up to 2 weeks
- Lovely smell – Fresh, clean, floral scent that isn’t too overpowering
- Biodegradable formula – Soap-free and non-harmful to the environment
- No seal – No seal under the cap which could create spillage in shipping
Best Shampoo For Puppies: Crazy Dog Baby Dog Shampoo
Not all dog shampoos are suitable for puppies and young dogs. The ingredients and formula can often be too harsh on such sensitive skin, which could create allergic reactions and irritation. This shampoo, however, is an exception.
Suitable for dogs of all ages, including puppies, Crazy Dog’s shampoo is designed to clean and moisturize the coat and skin. It contains wheat protein conditioners to provide a fluffy and smooth coat, pro-vitamin B-5 for shiny fur and has a long-lasting scent.
Speaking of scent, this shampoo doesn’t offer a specific citrus or lavender scent like other products we have recommended. Instead, the scent is fresh, clean, and pleasant, which isn’t too overwhelming for little puppies.
It is also incredibly gentle and tear-free in case it gets into the pup’s eyes – but try to avoid this!
- Ideal for puppies – Gentle formula is tear-free and great for sensitive skin
- Gentle scent – Fresh and clean scent isn’t too overpowering for puppies
- Conditioners – Natural wheat proteins provide conditioning elements to provide a soft and detangled coat
- Needs a lot to lather – Might run out of the product quickly as you may need more than you realize
Best Smelling Dog Shampoo – Buyer’s Guide
What to look for in a dog shampoo
Whether you’re a new owner or you’re looking for a new shampoo for your 12-year-old dog, it’s important to know what to look out for in a dog shampoo.
Of course, not every shampoo will work for every dog, but we can give you an idea of what to look for and what to avoid.
The most important factor when looking for dog shampoos is the ingredients. Formulas made from all-natural ingredients are much easier to find and make than some cheap companies may have you think.
These ingredients are the least harmful to your dog’s skin and coat, which can often be sensitive to new products.
Dogs with sensitive skin would benefit from ingredients such as aloe vera or oatmeal, as these have natural healing properties that provide both soothing qualities and a protective barrier against allergic reactions.
No harsh chemicals
There are more ingredients to avoid than you may think. Parabens and sulfates are two of the most inexpensive and harmful ingredients that some products contain to create the suds and bubbles that we humans associate with cleanliness.
Truth is, your dog shampoo doesn’t need these to clean the coat and skin. Parabens and sulfates, according to research, have been linked to the cause of cancers, eye irritation, and allergic reactions. Instead, opt for products that contain natural fatty oils and natural vitamins.
Artificial fragrances will not only produce that chemical scent but can also lead to nausea and allergies compared to natural oils. Likewise, avoid artificial dyes and color additives. Your dog won’t care for bright pink shampoo if it gives them an allergic reaction!
Also, and we cannot stress this enough, do not use human products on your dogs. Human shampoos are designed for human hair and skin and will be too harsh for your dog’s skin and coat. It might make their coat smell nice, but it won’t be worth the pain and sensitivity that the dog will go through.
This is because dog shampoos have a specific pH balance that is compatible with their skin and coat, whereas human shampoos are stronger and will be harmful.
Whilst this might not be an important factor to consider for some, there is always something justifiable and reassuring about eco-friendly animal products.
This includes biodegradable ingredients that won’t clog up your pipes, recyclable packaging, and cruelty-free products. Sure, the shampoos will be tested on dogs to make sure it’s safe, but it’s not worth spending your hard-earned money on ingredients that were tested on other animals against their will.
To tell whether a product is cruelty-free or recyclable, you should see a symbol on the bottle. Cruelty-free products must be certified by animal organizations such as PETA to be 100% cruelty-free, and recyclable products will state whether they can be recycled.
Of course, you don’t have to abide by these rules, but most people will agree that cruelty-free and eco-friendly products are more reliable and kind to everyone involved.
The scent of a shampoo is a huge factor to consider. Of course, it all comes down to your personal preference – some owners may want their dogs to smell like citrus, others like fruit, others like vanilla, and others may just want something that removes the awful wet dog smell. Whatever you choose to go for, consider how long-lasting the scent is.
Also, avoid artificial fragrances.
Benefits of scented dog shampoo
Some scents in dog shampoos will offer calming properties that will make the bathing experience more enjoyable.
Natural oils such as lavender are great for providing a relaxing experience for your dogs – especially if they are anxious about water and washing. Botanical extracts also smell wonderful for human noses!
Some dog shampoos will contain ingredients that are natural pest repellents.
This isn’t a necessity if you treat your dog regularly to protect them from fleas and bug bites, but some natural ingredients like lemongrass or rosemary can repel mosquitoes – which is a bonus.
As long as the ingredients are natural and not artificial, scented shampoos with essential oils and plant extracts offer wonderful healing properties.
Aloe vera and oatmeal are brilliant for soothing and healing sensitive and dry skin, chamomile is good for allergy-prone skin, eucalyptus neutralizes nasty odors, and lemongrass is a natural antiseptic.
Why rub harsh chemicals into your dog’s coat and skin when you can treat them with natural and non-harmful ingredients instead?
Nice for everyone
Most importantly, scented shampoos are beneficial for everyone involved. Not only will it be pleasant for human noses, but scented shampoos are great for keeping furniture, bedding, and clothing from smelling like dogs 24/7.
This will ultimately save you time and money as well because you won’t have to frequently wash your bedding and clothing only days after washing the dogs. Sure, a nice-smelling dog won’t be a new perfume for you, but it’s certainly better than a wet dog.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is scented shampoo bad for dogs?
As long as the ingredients and fragrances are all-natural, scented shampoo can be very beneficial for dogs. Natural oils such as lavender offer great calming properties, lemongrass is an antiseptic and natural insect repellent, and oatmeal is good for neutralizing nasty odors.
Make sure to avoid artificial fragrances and phthalates which are harmful to dogs as they can disrupt the hormone balance and create allergic reactions.
What can I do to keep my dog smelling good between washes?
Scented dog shampoo is the easiest way to keep your dog smelling good between washes, especially if it’s a long-lasting scent.
We recommend brushing your dog regularly to remove excess dirt, brushing their teeth frequently to avoid smelly breath from lingering food, providing a good diet that benefits the quality of their skin and coat, and washing their bedding regularly.
Is apple cider vinegar safe to spray on dogs?
A mixture of apple cider vinegar and water can be useful to prevent and cure dandruff and dry coats on dogs.
You can mix 50% apple cider vinegar with 50% water in a spray bottle to spray on the dog’s coat. Make sure to avoid their eyes, nose, and any problem areas like wounds or sensitive skin.
Apple cider vinegar is slightly more acidic than dogs can handle, which is why it’s important to mix it with water before spraying it on your dog. This is because dogs have a specific pH balance that must not be disrupted, otherwise, it will affect their overall health.
Why does my dog stink so bad even after a bath?
There are several reasons for a smelly dog after a bath. They could have run outside to roll around in the grass, which could be covered in skunk spray or animal urine, or feces. They might have a putrid, waxy smell emitting from their ears which could be a sign of infection.
They might have a smelly breath from lingering food, or even worse, gum infection. They might need their anal sacs squeezing, which is a disgusting smell that needs to be handled by a professional.
If they are smelling immediately after a bath, we recommend trying an all-natural scented shampoo, as these can offer a nice aroma that is long-lasting.