All of the best dog shampoo brands in one photo

Best Dog Shampoo: 6 All-Natural, Organic Picks

We reviewed and tested dozens of brands to find the best shampoo for dogs. These 6 picks are all-natural, organic & good for sensitive skin.

choosing a good dog shampoo requires more than just looking for a recognizable brand. The pet industry is full of well-marketed but cheap products that are full of harsh chemicals to keep prices down.

These cheap products lead to itchy, inflamed skin that will leave both you and your dog scratching your heads in search of a solution. 

We set out to find the best dog shampoo made with all-natural, organic ingredients like shea butter, jojoba, and essential oils, so your dog can look and feel the best.

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Sensitive skin
4Legger Unscented Aloe Dog Shampoo (16 fl oz)
4Legger Calm All Natural Lavender Dog Shampoo - USDA Certified Organic Dog Shampoo with Shea Butter for Dry Itchy Skin - Calming and Hypoallergenic for Sensitive Skin - Concentrated - USA - 8 oz
Earthbath Deodorizing Dog Shampoo, Mediterranean Magic with Rosemary, 16 oz – Best Shampoo for Smelly Dogs – Made in USA
Budget option
Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve - Organic Natural Dog Shampoo - Creamy Coconut Milk
Wondercide - Pet Shampoo Bar for Dogs and Cats - Gentle, Plant-Based, Easy-to-Use with Natural Essential Oils, Shea Butter, and Coconut Oil - Biodegradable - Geranium 4 oz Bar 2-Pack
Supports farmers
Vermont Soap Organics -Certified Organic - Pet Shampoo 16oz
4-Legger Organic, Hypoallergenic Aloe Dog Shampoo
4-Legger All Natural Lavender Dog Shampoo
Earthbath All Natural Mediterranean Magic Dog Shampoo
Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Coconut Milk Shampoo Bar
Wondercide Geranium Dog Shampoo Bar with Citronella
Vermont Soap Pet Magic Dog Shampoo
Best unscented dog shampoo
Best for dogs with dry skin
Best deodorizing shampoo
Best for those on a budget
Best fleas & tick shampoo
Best dog shampoo made with essential oils
Sensitive skin
4Legger Unscented Aloe Dog Shampoo (16 fl oz)
4-Legger Organic, Hypoallergenic Aloe Dog Shampoo
Best unscented dog shampoo
4Legger Calm All Natural Lavender Dog Shampoo - USDA Certified Organic Dog Shampoo with Shea Butter for Dry Itchy Skin - Calming and Hypoallergenic for Sensitive Skin - Concentrated - USA - 8 oz
4-Legger All Natural Lavender Dog Shampoo
Best for dogs with dry skin
Earthbath Deodorizing Dog Shampoo, Mediterranean Magic with Rosemary, 16 oz – Best Shampoo for Smelly Dogs – Made in USA
Earthbath All Natural Mediterranean Magic Dog Shampoo
Best deodorizing shampoo
Budget option
Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve - Organic Natural Dog Shampoo - Creamy Coconut Milk
Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Coconut Milk Shampoo Bar
Best for those on a budget
Wondercide - Pet Shampoo Bar for Dogs and Cats - Gentle, Plant-Based, Easy-to-Use with Natural Essential Oils, Shea Butter, and Coconut Oil - Biodegradable - Geranium 4 oz Bar 2-Pack
Wondercide Geranium Dog Shampoo Bar with Citronella
Best fleas & tick shampoo
Supports farmers
Vermont Soap Organics -Certified Organic - Pet Shampoo 16oz
Vermont Soap Pet Magic Dog Shampoo
Best dog shampoo made with essential oils

Best dog shampoo and conditioner

The top dog shampoo brands often aren’t the best. They use misleading marketing terms and inferior ingredients that could ultimately damage your dog’s skin.  

To help you find the safest dog shampoo, we carefully researched dozens of dog shampoo brands and eliminated many due to low-quality ingredients or because the manufacturer did not meet our high standards of ethical and sustainable practices. In the end, six brands passed our test.

Click the links below to jump down to our full review of each product:


Best dog shampoo for sensitive skin:

4Legger Unscented Aloe Dog Shampoo

4-Legger Certified Organic Hypoallergenic All Natural Aloe Dog Shampoo
What’s inside: 
  • Saponified organic oils (coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil)
  • Organic aloe vera 
  • Rosemary extract 


4Legger produces some of the cleanest and most health-conscious products in the industry, which is why we often recommend its products.

This aloe-infused shampoo has a short and simple ingredient list without any artificial fragrances, which are known to irritate sensitive skin. If you’ve noticed your dog sneezing a lot after baths, this unscented shampoo is also less likely to irritate their nose.

Finally, the short ingredient list makes this one of the best shampoos for puppies who are likely to thrash around at bath time. The limited ingredients help limit irritation if any shampoo accidentally ends up in the eyes.

Sniff test:

As the only unscented shampoo in this list, this one stays true to its purpose and leaves little trace, aside from a clean and happy pup. You can detect a slight hint of coconut and olive oil, but it’s subtle. 

Why we love it: 
  • The simple ingredient list is great for dogs with skin allergies
  • The lack of harsh chemicals makes it safe for you and your dog
  • The ingredients are USDA-certified, environmentally friendly & sustainably sourced
  • Vegan & cruelty-free—no animal testing
  • Made in the USA
  • 100% money-back guarantee—4Legger stands by its products

Best shampoo for dogs with dry skin:

4Legger Certified Organic Calm Lavender Dog Shampoo

4-Legger-All-Natural-Calm-Lavender-Dog-Shampoo
What’s inside: 
  • Organic aloe juice 
  • Organic saponified oils (coconut, shea butter, olive, sunflower & jojoba)
  • Organic vegetable glycerin
  • Organic lavender essential oil
  • Organic calendula
  • Organic St. John’s wort
  • Organic rosemary extract


As we said above, 4Legger produces some of the best products out there, which is why it’s featured twice in this list. If you notice your dog has dry, flaky skin or is scratching excessively, this soothing shampoo is the perfect option.

4Legger’s Calm dog shampoo will help moisturize dry skin using a blend of aloe, shea butter, and coconut oil. In addition, this shampoo contains soothing lavender, St. John’s Wort, organic calendula, jojoba, and sunflower oil to reduce inflammation of the skin and relieve hot spots. 

It also uses rosemary essential oil as a natural preservative, so no nasty formaldehyde or other chemical preservatives will touch your dog’s skin. 

Sniff test:

As expected, the strongest note on this shampoo is the warm lavender. It is strong enough to be therapeutic and calming, but not overpowering. If you love lavender, you and your pup will enjoy this shampoo.

Why we love it:  
  • Treats dry skin using some of nature’s most powerful essential oils and ingredients 
  • The ingredients are clean—no harsh or dangerous chemicals for your pup
  • USDA-certified organic ingredients
  • Sustainably sourced, environmentally friendly 
  • Vegan & cruelty-free—no animal testing
  • Made in the USA
  • Satisfaction guarantee

Best shampoo for smelly dogs:

Earthbath Mediterranean Magic Deodorizing Shampoo

Earthbath All Natural Mediterranean Magic Dog Shampoo
What’s inside:
  • Purified water
  • Renewable plant-derived and coconut-based cleansers 
  • Organic aloe vera 
  • Vitamins A, B, D, & E
  • Glycerin 
  • Rosemary oil
  • Preservative 


If there’s one thing dogs are good at, it’s getting messy. Whether your dog has jumped in a lake, rolled in something stinky, or just generally smells like they’re living life to the fullest, Earthbath will come to the rescue.

Earthbath’s Mediterranean Magic shampoo uses plant- and coconut-derived oils to help eradicate your dog’s stench. One of the main components is oil extracted from rosemary, a plant found to have antibacterial properties.5 Rosemary can also help give your dog a glossy coat, and it naturally repels fleas.

Sniff test:

This shampoo has a stronger, soapier scent than the previous options, but this is to be expected if you’re looking for a strong, deodorizing shampoo. However, we didn’t find the scent to be unpleasant or overpowering.

Why we love it: 
  • The biodegradable, earth-friendly, all-natural ingredients 
  • It’s a powerful deodorizer without using any harsh chemical cleaners 
  • It’s cruelty-free
  • It’s made in the USA

Best dog shampoo on a budget:

Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Coconut Milk Pet Shampoo

Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve: Coconut Milk Pet Shampoo

What’s inside: 

  • Organic coconut oil
  • Organic sunflower oil
  • Organic sweet almond oil
  • Organic avocado oil
  • Organic coconut milk
  • Water
  • Organic castor oil 
  • Sodium Hydroxide*
  • Organic sustainable palm oil
  • Organic canola oil
  • Organic rosemary oil extract

*Note: Sodium hydroxide, commonly known as lye, is used in the saponification process to turn oil into soap. This is the customary method used to make soap, and absolutely no lye remains in the finished product.

Chagrin Valley is a family-owned company that has been producing small-batch organic products for nearly two decades. The company prides itself on high-quality, all-natural products. Chagrin Valley uses safe, chemical-free ingredients that will leave your pup (and your hands) feeling soft and smelling great.

Shampoo bars lather up without the chemical surfactants that a lot of other dog shampoos use, and the lack of plastic packaging makes it the most environmentally friendly option, too.

Sniff test:

You’ll notice a slight, fresh peppery scent from the almond, avocado, coconut, and rosemary.

Why we love it:  

  • The all-natural, sustainably sourced ingredients
  • It’s environmentally friendly with no plastic packaging 
  • It’s vegan & cruelty-free
  • Made in the USA
  • Supports a small family-owned business in Solon, Ohio

Best flea shampoo for dogs:

Wondercide Geranium Shampoo Bar with Citronella

Wondercide Geranium Dog Shampoo Bar with Citronella

What’s inside: 

  • Saponified oils (olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, castor oil)
  • Geranium oil 
  • Citronella oil
  • Aloe Vera
  • Tocopherol (Vitamin E)
  • Honey


Most flea and tick shampoos are laden with chemicals that, while effective, aren’t really great for your dog’s skin.

Not this one, though. Wondercide’s all-natural shampoo bar uses dog-safe, environmentally friendly ingredients like citronella and geranium to repel ticks and fleas. It then supplies organic olive, coconut, and castor oils, as well as shea butter and aloe vera, to soothe and hydrate and protect the skin.

Taking an all-natural approach to flea and tick issues isn’t just better for your dog’s skin; it also means you won’t be absorbing any harsh or damaging chemicals through your own hands when giving your pup a bath.

Sniff test:

The citronella and geranium oils produce a strong floral scent that bugs hate. However, it shouldn’t be strong enough to repel you.

Why we love it: 

  • It lathers up easily and should last longer than some liquid shampoos
  • The natural citronella and geranium oils safely repel pests without chemicals
  • The ingredients are naturally antibacterial and antifungal
  • It’s made with human food-grade ingredients
  • Made in the USA (Texas)
  • Supports a family-owned business 

Best dog shampoo made with essential oils:

Vermont Soap’s Pet Magic Dog Shampoo

Vermont Soap Pet Magic Dog Shampoo

What’s inside: 

  • Organic saponified oils (coconut, olive, jojoba oil)
  • Rosemary essential oil
  • Lemongrass essential oil
  • Rosemary extract 
  • Organic aloe vera


First of all, Vermont Soap is probably one of the most ethically minded companies you could support. Their products are USDA-certified as food-grade organics, and they partner with the Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF) and North East Organic Farmers (NOFA) associations to sustainably source their ingredients.

The company has also committed to giving 1% of its sales to environmental preservation and restoration causes, and it works with a women’s co-op in Asawinso, Ghana, West Africa to help develop community-supporting soap-making franchises in that region. 

Aside from its USDA organic certification, Vermont Soap is also part of the Green Products Alliance and the Vermont Business Environmental Partnership. In other words, they’re committed to leaving the world a better place than what they inherited.

All of this attention to detail and level of personal responsibility is evident in each bottle of Pet Magic Dog Shampoo. The sustainably sourced essential oils and simple ingredients make this shampoo is an easy choice if you are looking to shop ethically.

Sniff test:

This shampoo has a light, refreshing lemongrass scent, which smells fresh without being too floral or overwhelming the nose.

Why we love it: 

  • An outstanding dedication to sustainable, natural ingredient sourcing 
  • It supports a small business with a great mission
  • Supports farmers
  • Made with organic ingredients and all-natural Castille soap
  • Vegan & cruelty-free
  • GMO & Gluten-free
  • Made in the USA

Is dog conditioner necessary?

No, if you’re using the right shampoo, dog conditioner isn’t necessary. We specifically chose the dog shampoos above because they will naturally clean and condition your dog’s fur. Not only are they free of the harsh chemicals that strip moisture from your pup’s hair, but each option also includes nourishing oils that will help keep your dog’s coat glossy and soft.

However, if you really want to help your dog’s coat shine, or if your pup tends to struggle with dry skin after bathtime, you could consider following your shampoo with a dog-safe, all-natural conditioner. One we recommend is Bodhi Dog’s All-Natural Moisturizing Pet Conditioner, which includes aloe vera and jojoba oil to keep your pup’s skin moisturized and fur soft.

What to look for when choosing a good dog shampoo

A little knowledge of your dog’s health and a few moments squinting at the back of the bottle will help you make sure you’re choosing the best dog wash for your pup.

1. The shampoo’s ingredients

Always start with the back of the bottle. The ingredients listed here will tell you how good of a product it really is.

Beautiful marketing and brand recognition are fine, but none of those will protect your dog from dangerous ingredients, irritating chemicals, or obnoxious fragrances, so look for some of the natural oils listed in the options above, and avoid anything vague or hard to pronounce.

Natural ingredients to look for

  • Organic coconut, jojoba, frankincense, lemongrass, lavender, and hempseed oils for moisturizing and soothing a dog’s skin.
  • Rosemary and grapefruit seed extract to act as natural, safe preservatives.

Common ingredients to avoid:

1. Sodium laureth sulfate 

You know how some shampoos create that really luxurious, bubbly lather? Unfortunately, it’s created using a harsh foaming agent, sodium laureth sulfate. This is the same chemical that often shows up in human shampoos and toothpaste, and it has been linked to causing canker sores in humans.

Sodium laureth sulfate can disrupt a dog’s skin pH levels. Additionally, it can be contaminated during the manufacturing process with 1,4-dioxane, a cancer-causing chemical for animals.4

2. Artificial preservatives 

Some dog shampoos contain artificial preservatives to inhibit the growth of bacteria. Unfortunately, these preservatives may also be irritating to dogs with sensitive skin.

You should specifically keep an eye out for formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers. Not only could these irritate the eyes and skin,1 but these toxic chemicals have also been linked to increased risk of cancer in animals and humans.2

Of course, manufacturers won’t typically list formaldehyde explicitly because it doesn’t sound good. Instead, you’ll see the names of other chemicals that slowly release formaldehyde over time. These include:

  • Beta-Bromo-Beta-Nitrotrimethyleneglycol
  • Bronidiol 
  • Bronocot
  • Bronopol (2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol)
  • Diazolidinyl urea
  • DMDM hydantoin
  • Imidazolidinyl urea
  • Quaternium-15
  • Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate
  • 5-Bromo-5-nitro-1,3-dioxane
3. Cocamide and lauramide DEA  

Cocamide and lauramide DEA are caustic ingredients used in commercial oil refineries. These ingredients irritate the skin and eyes, and they act as carcinogenics in high doses. DEA-related ingredients are also recognized as environmental hazards by European environmental protection agencies.

4. “Fragrance”

Fragrance is a generic term that manufacturers use to describe proprietary ingredients. The problem is, this leaves you clueless as to what you’re putting on your dog’s skin. Instead, look for brands that explicitly state what goes into their product.

Also, we’ve found that less-scented shampoos are generally better. Dogs have extremely sensitive noses, so a shampoo that smells strong to you can be overwhelming to them. The point is to clean your dog, not to perfume them. That’s why we included our sniff test in the product reviews above.

Lightly, naturally scented shampoos are fine, but avoid anything that overdoes it.

5. Isopropyl alcohol

Isopropyl Alcohol (also known as isopropanol, 2-Propanol and Propan-2-ol) is harsh and irritating to sensitive skin.

6. Phthalates and parabens

Phthalates and parabens are endocrine disruptors that may alter estrogen levels in your dog. They’ve also been linked to cancer and liver issues.

7. Mineral oil

Despite claims that it is highly toxic, studies have shown that mineral oil isn’t as big of a threat to dogs and other animals.3 However, it is still derived from petroleum and can cling to your dog’s coat and skin, preventing it from moisturizing itself naturally.

2. Your dog’s fur & skin

Not all dog coats are the same. Some breeds have thick undercoats and rough overcoats that regularly shed. Others have a single layer of fine, human-like hair that needs to be maintained as well as your own hairdo. Knowing how delicate (and permanent) your dog’s fur is will tell you if it’s worth paying more for extra nourishing shampoo.

Your dog’s skin health will also play a role. If your pup has allergies that regularly irritate their skin, you’ll want to choose a gentle shampoo that’s free from harsh chemicals and made with moisturizing oils to soothe dry patches. You may also want to purchase a leave-in conditioner or hotspot spray to reduce scratching.

3. Testing practices

You don’t want to bathe your pup with something another dog had to suffer to produce. We urge you to look for a cruelty-free dog shampoo that has not been developed using harmful animal testing. Not only is this ethically responsible, but it’s probably better for your own dog, too. Companies that refuse to engage in cruel animal testing are far more likely to care about the ingredients that are going on your pup’s body and into the environment.

FAQs about pet shampoo

How often should I bathe my dog? 

You should bathe your dog about once every three weeks, except for when they get really messy on an afternoon romp through the mud. Overbathing your dog can strip the fur and skin of their natural oils and lead to dry patches.

In between baths, you can keep your dog’s face and sensitive areas fresh with dog eye wipes.

If your dog is a homebody who keeps herself clean, less frequent bathing can be okay. Just make sure you brush regularly and always keep an eye (and nose) out for signs that a bath may be necessary, such as earthy smelling fur or yeasty smelling paws.

Is baby shampoo safe for my dog?

You should avoid using baby shampoo on your dog. It’s gentler and safer than adult human shampoo, but it still wasn’t created for a dog’s skin pH levels, so it’s more likely to include ingredients that will irritate your dog’s skin.

Is dish soap safe for dogs?

No. Except in dire circumstances (like your dog just rolled around in motor oil) you should avoid using dish soap or any other cleaning agent meant for the kitchen instead of animals.

These soaps are meant to cut through tough grease and oils, which means your dog will be left with little to no natural oil to moisturize their own skin. This will likely lead to dryness, scratching, and eventually infections.

References

  1. Pitcairn, Richard H., and Susan Hubble. Pitcairn. Dr. Pitcairns Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats. Rodale, 2005, page 138. 
  2. “Formaldehyde.” American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/formaldehyde.html.
  3. Stula, E F, and B K Kwon. “Pulmonary Pathology from Inhalation of a Complex Mineral Oil Mist in Dogs, Rats, Mice and Gerbils.” American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 1978, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/677019?dopt=Abstract.
  4. American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists TLVs and BEIs. Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices. Cincinnati, OH 2015, p. 28
  5. Wang, Wei, et al. “Antibacterial Activity and Anticancer Activity of Rosmarinus Officinalis L. Essential Oil Compared to That of Its Main Components.” Molecules, vol. 17, no. 3, 2012, pp. 2704–2713., doi:10.3390/molecules17032704.

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