Puppies get into pickles – there’s no doubt about that. Some of those pickles require a bath to sort out the problem. That means finding a shampoo you can safely use on your pup.
But how can you tell which shampoo is best? Buying a reliable shampoo for puppies is the best bet, but there are lots to choose from.
We’ve narrowed down the options so that you don’t need to. We’ve also put together a full guide on what to look for when buying puppy shampoo. You’ll soon have the right one for your pup.
The Best Puppy Shampoos
When you’re after some pet shampoo, one word crops up time and again – mild. The milder the better. We can avoid getting shampoo in our eyes, but we can’t tell our pups to keep their eyes shut.
Yet that is just one of several features to look out for when shopping for the best puppy shampoo. How do the following products stack up? Will one prove better than the rest for your pooch? We’ve got something for every pup here, with natural products and tearless formulas leading the way. Here are our top picks for the best puppy shampoos available today that won’t break the bank.
Earthbath Ultra-Mild Wild Cherry Puppy Shampoo
If buying products that are good for the planet is important to you, this Earthbath product is a great one to consider. It is free from phosphate and paraben, while also offering a product that is 10% biodegradable.
It can also be used from a young age, as the packaging confirms it is safe for puppies aged six weeks and over. The bottle comes in a generous 16oz size, so you’ll get value for money for a high-quality product.
The ingredient list is impressively small, with purified water as the main ingredient. Various naturally sourced cleansers are also included, along with four essential vitamins. The name of this shampoo is slightly misleading, but in a good way – the formula includes a detangler and conditioner too, so you’re getting an all-in-one product to help treat your pup to a nice bath.
TropiClean Hypo-Allergenic Gentle Coconut Puppy Shampoo
Purchase this 20oz bottle of TropiClean shampoo and you’re getting a product you can use on kittens as well as puppies. Most owners won’t need that, but it’s good to know. It’s also refreshing to learn you can purchase this shampoo in larger one gallon and 2.5-gallon sizes if required. Ideal for anyone running a grooming parlour.
You’ll be able to bring a tropical touch to your puppy’s bath time with the coconut cleanser in this shampoo. Again, we have very few ingredients here – each chosen for a specific purpose. Vitamin E and aloe extract help take care of your puppy’s sensitive skin.
This product is hypo-allergenic, making it perfect for puppies, especially if you know they have sensitive skin. The natural ingredients ensure the formula does not cause any issues with flea or tick treatments given on the skin. Your puppy might love this as much as you.
Hartz Groomer’s Best Tearless Extra Gentle Puppy Shampoo
Gentle formulas are essential to a good puppy shampoo. This should also guarantee the formula is tearless and won’t cause your pup any irritation or harm. That’s certainly true of this Hartz formula, delivered in a nice-sized 18oz bottle. This also won a 2018 Women’s Choice Award for the most recommended dog shampoo in the US. Quite an achievement.
With no parabens, no alcohol, and an extra-gentle formula scented with jasmine, this product has clearly been formulated to ensure your pup enjoys a calming and refreshing bath. The cleansing formula also moisturizes the skin, keeping it in the best condition.
The bottle includes a simple four-step process to guide you through bathing your pup. Hartz’s shampoo for puppies is also ideal for all breeds of dog, regardless of the length of their coat. It’s therefore a good one to have around if you have more than one puppy to take care of.
Burt’s Bees Tearless Puppy Shampoo with Buttermilk for Dogs
Most people are familiar with the Burt’s Bees brand. Did you know they have a puppy shampoo alongside their regular range for humans?
Known for using gentle ingredients across their range, Burt’s Bees has infused this puppy shampoo with buttermilk to nourish their soft skin. It is also pH balanced, so it won’t prove too harsh for your puppy, regardless of breed. The formula is created from 97% natural ingredients, giving you reassurance that you’re choosing the right product even for regular use.
Of course, since this is a Burt’s Bees formula, it does include honey too. This aids their fur in staying appropriately moisturized. If you love the soft feel of their fur now, wait until you’ve given this a go. The product comes in a convenient 16oz bottle that should last throughout their early stages of puppyhood. It provides you with an affordable and gentle shampoo you’ll love to use.
Isle of Dogs Tearless Puppy Shampoo
Another tearless formula, this Isle of Dogs branded shampoo comes in a 16oz bottle, providing enough for plenty of baths. If you have used other products from this range, you’ll be familiar with the beautiful scent that underlines the brand. If not, you are in for a pleasant surprise. It’s not merely a nice aroma though – it has been formulated to last longer after every bath.
The tearless formula makes it ideal for ensuring your puppy’s face is always nice and clean. If it does get into their eyes, there’s no need to be concerned. Just wash it out and that’s it. There’s no sulfate or paraben ingredients to worry about either, so you can use this gentle shampoo with confidence.
The shampoo creates a good lather and makes it easier to get your puppy clean right down through their entire coat. It also rinses out easily, making sure the only thing left behind is that wonderful scent.
Guide To Puppy Shampoos
How do you choose the right shampoo for your puppy? It’s sometimes easier to start with the products you shouldn’t buy. Don’t be tempted to use baby shampoo or other shampoos you’d use on your own hair. Puppies have sensitive skin that isn’t the same as ours.
Hence why you need to source a puppy shampoo that will be safe to use on a pup who is perhaps only a few weeks old. It’s also good to find one that suits your own pup’s needs. For example, some puppies tend to get in bigger messes than others. Some love rolling in the mud (and in other, less desirable things). Some prefer to stay clean and dry, although we suspect they are few and far between.
Our guide is going to highlight the main questions you should ask before purchasing a shampoo designed for puppies.
What’s in the puppy shampoo?
This is a simple question, yes, but it is also one with a complex answer. No two puppy shampoos have the same formula. Some have long ingredient lists with very few names you could pronounce, let alone understand. Conversely, others have short ingredient lists where everything is recognisable.
It’s always good to go for the latter option when shopping for puppy shampoos. Long lists, indecipherable names, and puzzling ingredients are tough to figure out. One thing you can be sure of is that they are unlikely to be good for your puppy.
As you start exploring various products, you’ll notice many are free from colorants, parabens, sulfates, and similar elements. Avoiding these helps guarantee your puppy has a safer shampoo for bath time. Anything with harsh ingredients is going to be harsh on their skin, avoid regular dog shampoo in favor of a puppy shampoo.
Speaking of which…
Is it suitable shampoo for sensitive skin?
Think of a baby’s skin to that of an adult human. The baby has far more sensitive and soft skin. The same applies when you compare puppies with adult dogs. It’s the reason why lots of puppy shampoos are comprised of natural and calming ingredients.
While this is typically the case of the best shampoos for puppies, some go further. Some provide ingredients known for their suitability for sensitive skin. So, if you know your puppy suffers a little in this department, refine your search to those products with sensitive skin formulas. They are usually promoted as such.
It’s also worth considering whether your puppy has had issues with certain products or items before. For instance, oatmeal often pops up in shampoo, as do various oils. While these are chosen to help improve the condition of the skin, the opposite will occur if your puppy has a pre-existing issue with one of them.
What size bottle does the shampoo come in?
If a shampoo is available in more than one size, always purchase the smallest bottle to start with. Unless you have more than one puppy to put in the bath each time, chances are the small bottle – usually around 16oz – will be fine. If you like it and want more, some brands sell larger bottles.
What does the puppy shampoo smell like?
The whole idea of giving your puppy a bath is to make them smell better. That places the aroma of your puppy shampoo high on the list of things to consider when buying some. It may not be the most important, but if you have an aversion to, let’s say, cherries, you won’t want to buy puppy shampoo that smells of cherries.
Fruit seems to be a popular option when it comes to aroma. Other options include coconut, jasmine, and even fresh washing aromas. Search and see what you can find and what you can live with. Be warned – if you find something as refreshingly sweet as we did, you’ll be sniffing your pup’s fur for days on end. That’s not a bad thing, of course – just the opposite!
Does it have a pH-balanced formula?
We’ve seen this written on many personal care products, but what does it mean? How important is it?
It turns out this is a vital element of any shampoo for puppies you consider buying. Human skin is more acidic than that of puppies. It’s why you should never use human shampoo on your pup, even if it seems mild in formula. Looking for a pH-balanced formula designed for a puppy means you can apply it and wash them with confidence.
Anything too harsh on a puppy’s skin is likely to dry it out. This can make it feel itchy and lead to redness – not comfortable for the puppy.
Is it suitable for puppies the same age as yours?
This is very important yet it’s not something everyone thinks about. Some formulas say they are fine from six weeks of age. Others may say something different. If no age is given but the shampoo is aimed at puppies, you should be fine to use a little from a young age.
Can you use it without interfering with flea treatments?
Many flea treatments prescribed by vets are given directly onto the coat. You separate the fur by the shoulder blades and squeeze the small pipette of treatment onto the skin.
This means it is vital to ensure any puppy shampoo you buy won’t reduce the efficacy of that product. The good news is it’s usually very easy to tell if this is the case. Details should be provided with each product. If you cannot ascertain whether a shampoo can safely be used with flea treatments, it’s best to give it a miss in favour of something that can.
Is it tearless?
While many formulas are tearless, it’s still best to avoid getting any shampoo in your puppy’s eyes. Even if the shampoo is designed not to do any harm or cause any discomfort, some pups simply don’t like it. Since you may be bathing them for the first time, you want them to enjoy the experience (or at least to tolerate it).
That said, once a puppy gets wet and has shampoo lathered up on their coat, they tend to be harder to get hold of. If they try to escape your clutches, you’re going to have fun trying to catch them. Even if you are very careful, you could still end up splashing some shampoo in their eyes if they try to escape. Hence why tearless or tear-free puppy shampoo formulas are vital to look out for.
Does it contain conditioner and/or detangler too?
Yes, detangler is a thing. This may be more important to owners with certain breeds than those with others. For example, a Bichon Frise has two coats and is known for being very curly if the coat isn’t regularly brushed. A good quality shampoo containing conditioner and detangler would be ideal for their coat. Compare this to the idea of bathing a Jack Russell with short hair. There would be little need for a detangler in this case.
So, this is something you need to think about regarding your own breed of puppy. It is more important in some scenarios than in others.
Is it concentrated?
Some shampoos are designed to be used straight out of the bottle. However, others can be diluted before use. If you choose a shampoo like this, be sure to dilute it before you put it on your pup’s fur.
Of course, if you buy a bottle of concentrated shampoo, it will provide you with far more shampoo than you think. One product we found had the potential to be diluted by 15 parts water to just one of shampoo. That meant the bottle would last 15 times longer. Great value for money.
Is it from a well-known and reliable brand?
Even if you haven’t heard of some of the brands of puppy shampoo, don’t be afraid to look at them in more detail. How pleased are other people who have already bought them? Do they have positive reviews overall or is there some uncertainty over them? The more positive reviews you find, the better.
Choosing the best pup shampoo for your pup
You know your puppy best. You know the breed. You know the type of coat they have. You know how dirty they like to get when given half a chance. All these elements can help you work out which of the many superb shampoos would be the best one for your little pup.
We’ve also seen how finding the appropriate answers to all the above questions helps reduce the amount of time it takes to pick the best shampoo. You may find the right one straightaway. Alternatively, it may take two or three attempts to locate the best shampoo for your needs.
Hopefully, our guide has provided you with more information on the formulas you can get on the market today. There are probably things to think about you hadn’t previously considered. Either way, you should now be in a better position to identify the right shampoo for puppies that will give your pup’s coat and skin a soft feel and lovely aroma.
If you thought finding a good puppy shampoo was difficult, think again. There are plenty of reliable products to choose from in various sizes and formulas. Finding the right one for your puppy is easy. The above options provide safe and appealing solutions when shampooing your puppy. All you need to do is to select the most appropriate one with an appealing aroma. For the softest puppy skin and fur, choose a reliable dog shampoo for your puppy you know you can rely on.
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