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Best Dog Shampoo for Odor: Squash the Stink!

The best pet you can have is one that is happy, healthy, and of course—clean! Many dog owners know that we're not supposed to use human shampoos for our dogs because of our different pH balance levels, obvious differences such as fur and the insects that like to live in them. Like humans, our dogs can have sensitive skin, and using the wrong shampoo for your dog can cause or worsen bad doggy B.O. So know which shampoos are the best dog shampoos for odor is important. And that's where we come in. Check it out.

Quick Comparison: Top Dog Shampoos

**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews; you can also click the links above to check prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Can't I Just Use Human Shampoo?

No! Humans have various differences—more sensitivity, dry skin, etc. Dogs have an acidic top layer on their skin, which protects the other layers from viruses and bacteria. This top layer makes sure that the dog's outer body is hydrated properly.

Dog shampoos are created with this layer in mind. When we bate our dogs, we strip away a part of this layer, so shampoos should be able to moisturize our dogs until their natural oils return to the top layer of their skin.

To choose the correct shampoo to avoid dog odor, you must always remember that the shampoo in question should always have the right pH balance for your dog—around 7. If the pH isn't listed on the bottle, it should at least state that it's the right pH balance for your dog.

You may find that you use a good bottle of dog shampoo yet your dog still smells. This is because you may be bathing your dog too often. Dogs don't need to be shampooed every time they bathe, and warm water baths are fine in between.

This will keep the natural oils on your dog's skin and keep bacteria, viruses and other skin conditions from developing.

A good quality shampoo is important. Since you can get away with only using it once per month, you can afford to buy something a bit higher-end and it can last about a year (unless you have more than one dog). A bad product may cause flaky, peeling skin or even rashes that may even cost you a few trips to the vet.

Super Quick Reviews of Some of Our Favorite Dog Shampoos

Oster Oatmeal Essentials Shampoo

best dog shampoo for odor

This shampoo is organic and will leave your dog's fur nice and fluffy after a bath. It's free of dyes, parabens and is certified organic.

It comes in scents that aren't too strong (we tested country apple). The shampoo doesn't foam as much as other brands because it lacks the chemical foaming agents found in many other shampoos.

The shampoo also cost about the same as other brands that have a lot of chemicals in them and during my search I found that natural shampoos for dogs in general aren't dramatically different in cost than products with more chemicals in them.

pet oatmeal anti-itch shampoo and conditioner all natural

The Premium Oatmeal Pet Shampoo by Pets Are Kids Too is good for dogs with dry skin.

It's unscented and uses natural products such as coconut oil, aloe vera, organic oatmeal, and baking soda.

It has a subtle oatmeal cookie smell that is sure not to bother your dog. Because it's a conditioner, it can keep your dog's skin moisturized after a bath, which is crucial since it takes your dog's skin a few hours to coat itself naturally anyway.

It can be used on all breeds (and even on cats), but the manufacturer states that dogs should be at least 12 weeks old when using this product.

lavender dog shampoo

The good thing about this product is that it uses all-natural scents to make your dog smell clean.

Coconut oil, vitamin E and aloe vera extract are three of the main ingredients in this shampoo.

This product also comes in gallon-sized bottles, which is probably something you'd only consider buying if you own a dog-grooming shop or simply have a lot of pets.

It's also easy to rinse this shampoo off your dog, which can help speed up doggy bath time.

lovely fresh shampoo with oatmeal and neem

The main ingredients on this shampoo are neem and oatmeal, which are great for your dog's skin.

It's a good product to use if your dog has recently gotten over a tick or flea problem, since the properties of oatmeal really help soothe your dog's skin and reduce itching.

Neem is also an insect repellent, and this can help prevent future problems with insects that may want to lodge themselves in your dog's fur.

This shampoo is meant to be applied on dry fur and rinsed out. We're not sure if that's what makes a difference, but the oatmeal does seem to make dogs feel better.

minksheen pet shampoo

The advantage of this shampoo is that its scented with eucalyptus, cedar oil and citronella—all of which are natural insect repellents.

The other main ingredients are Vitamin E and mink oil.

Though it says it can be used for any breed of dog, we recommend it for dogs with long or curly hair since it's good to have a variety of naturally insect-repelling scents.

The shampoo doesn't foam much, but this is a good thing since many foaming agents are bad for your dog's health.

Can I Use Smelly Products?

Dogs have a better sense of smell than humans, so scented products may actually damage their respiratory systems. Natural scents such as lavender or citrus are just fine, and some natural scents help repel bug and ticks.

Organic shampoos are great, but always read the label to make sure they're actually natural. The same materials humans use to moisturize our skin also work great on dogs, so a shampoo with honey, aloe vera, Vitamin E or tea tree oil is great for your dog too.

Reading the shampoo's label is very important! There are brands of dog conditioner as well, and buying one can be a good way to make sure your dog's skin remains moist after a bath.

Never use human shampoo on your dog just to save money or because you ran out. Like humans, dog have oily, dry or normal skin, so in addition to checking for pH, keep their skin type in mind when you buy them a product.

You can observe how your dog behaves after a dog bath, and if they're scratching a lot, they might have dry skin. Buying a shampoo with this in mind will be much better for your dog. There are other products you should avoid (some of which are in human shampoos, unfortunately).

Like human skin, dog skin also absorbs whatever comes in contact with it. It's very important that the shampoo used artificial colors or scents. Artificial scents and colors have been found to contribute to allergies, and some artificial colors are even linked to cancer.

Ingredients to Avoid

Parabens have been found to contribute to breast cancer, and they imitate the effects of estrogen.

Mineral oil comes from petroleum. Though it's often found in baby shampoos, it isn't good for them and it's definitely not good for your dog!

DEA, or DEA cocamide is used to increase foam in shampoos, but has also been found to act as a carcinogen.

Sodium laurel sulfate (sometimes spelled sulphate) causes eye irritation, and can be harmful to your dog's digestive system if it swallows some of the shampoo by accident while bathing.

If you can afford dog grooming, or just prefer to leave this to the pros, then ask them questions about the products they use. Let your dog groomer know about your dog's skin conditions, flea or tick problems, etc.

Remember that some dog breeds need to have their hair brushed before bathing, and that you should brush all dogs after they dry in order to help spread their fur's natural oils.

Quick Tutorial: How to Give Your Dog a Bath

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Paul is an entrepreneur and marketer for the pet industry who works out of Chicago. He teaches people how to break free of the 9-to-5 grind by blogging for a living. Currently, Paul runs the HerePup along with the team of dedicated experts – so you know he has the knowledge to help you make the right choice.

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