This is our review of the best puppy shampoo in 2021
There is a fantastic choice of some of the best shampoos for puppies, so in this guide, we will look at some of the most popular brands and see which ones make the grade.
In this article, we will be reviewing the following puppy shampoos:
We will also include:
- Do you really need a puppy shampoo?
- Tips to make that first bath time stress free
- Can you use baby shampoo on puppies?
- When you should give your pup their first bath
Our Best Puppy Shampoos
Choosing a shampoo for pups isn’t difficult, but we thought we would compile a list of some of the top-rated options so that you can compare the best. A pup shampoo should be mild so as not to aggravate your dog’s sensitive skin but still get them clean and leave them with a subtle scent that doesn’t overpower.
Our team tested the ones below on their dogs and trawled through hundreds of reviews to see what other owners thought, so let’s dive in and see which shampoos for puppies make a splash!
Puppy Love is a lightly fragranced shampoo that can be used on puppies from 6 weeks old. The formula is PH balanced to reduce the chance of irritation and the deep cleaning action removes dirt and debris from the coat without stripping away natural oils from your pet’s skin
The Pro-Vitamin B5 and conditioners reduce static and result in a shiny glossy coat, whilst the delicate Animology scent will leave puppies smelling fresh and clean
Free from sulphates and parabens, this gentle shampoo is ideal for a puppies sensitive skin and like all products from this award-winning company, it gets fantastic reviews.
- Like many natural products, it doesn’t produce much lather.
The only reason this didn’t make the top of the list is the price; otherwise, we think it’s definitely one of the best puppy shampoos available.
Burt’s Bees 2 in 1 tear-free shampoo and conditioner is specially formulated for puppies with nourishing buttermilk and colloidal oatmeal to soothe your pup’s skin, along with the natural healing properties of honey and beeswax, which can relieve itching.
The specially formulated shampoo is recommended by vets and contains no harsh chemicals, sulphates or artificial colours and fragrances and going by the reviews, pet parents love it.
- Not the cheapest on the list
This 2.5-litre bottle has a dilution rate of 10.1, making it ideal for owners with multiple dirty dogs or professional groomers and it has a delicate fragrance of baby powder that you’ll love.
This gentle shampoo for dogs has been specially developed to be gentle on your puppy’s delicate skin and it doesn’t strip away the natural oils, which can leave your dog’s fur looking dull.
It can be used from 6 weeks of age and is perfect for your puppy’s first bath; not only that, it will last for ages. It’s suitable for any coat type and will nourish a puppy coat as it changes into adulthood.
- Large bottle isn’t easy to handle, but you can purchase a pump.
Made in the UK by a multi-award-winning company, this ethical product is 100% vegan and cruelty-free; there are no nasties in this 2 in 1 shampoo and puppy conditioner and it has been created with your puppy’s delicate skin in mind.
The deep cleansing action washes away debris and dirt without damaging the hair follicles or skin and the built-in conditioners leave your fur baby’s coat soft and shiny.
The unique blend of natural ingredients is perfect for sensitive dogs and unlike many all-natural shampoos, owners remark that it lathers up well; with the fresh scent of rose and lemongrass, we think this is a winner when it comes to puppy shampoos.
- Some reviews mention you need to use a fair bit compared to other dog shampoos.
Johnsons is a well-known brand for pet products and their shampoo for puppies is a popular choice for pet owners.
This mild formula has been developed not to be irritating on a puppy’s delicate skin and can be used from 6 weeks of age. It also has flea repellent qualities.
Just dilute 30ml of the shampoo with 150ml of lukewarm water and massage through the coat, then rinse thoroughly; there is a warning on the bottle that it can irritate the eyes, so keep away from the face area.
- May cause an allergic reaction
This tear-free formula gently cleans your pooches fur, the silk protein, honey and chamomile moisturise the skin leaving behind a silky smooth coat and the ionic technology reduces frizz.
PH balanced, it is ideal for sensitive skin and won’t strip away natural oils; it is paraben and sulphate free and is safe to use alongside topical flea and tick treatments.
This gentle shampoo is used by groomers and pet owners alike and has mainly positive reviews with customers mentioning how soft their pups coat is after use.
- Some customers seem to dislike the scent
Perfect for those first baths. Your puppy will smell amazing with the unique prickly pear fragrance. Packed with natural ingredients, this mild shampoo will leave Fido huggable and clean.
It contains chamomile and aloe vera to nourish and soothe dry skin and is free from nasties such as surfactants, parabens or artificial colours.
Like the other doggy shampoos by Pet Head, it is 100% vegan and cruelty-free and can be used on puppies from an early age. Pet Head also does a complimentary conditioner and deodourising spray with the same fruity fragrance and another one for puppies with a fresh orange scent.
- We couldn’t find any negatives about this shampoo.
Do You Need to Buy Puppy Shampoos?
You may be wondering if you need to purchase shampoo for puppies. Not necessarily some adult dog shampoos made with natural ingredients are mild enough to use on young dogs, but you should avoid a medicated shampoo that will be too strong for babies delicate skin.
We recommend using a product designed for puppies; many of these formulas are tear-free and super mild not to damage your puppy’s delicate skin.
Look for ones that are soap-free and contain no synthetic fragrances or harsh chemicals; instead, go for natural ingredients such as aloe vera, shea butter and coconut oil. A good colloidal oatmeal shampoo is great for puppies as it can soothe itchy skin. If your pup sufferers regularly, it may be worth checking out an itchy dog shampoo guide to help resolve the issue.
Can You Use Baby Shampoo on Puppies?
Baby shampoo is developed for human skin, which is very different to a dog; although it is milder than most human shampoos and has a PH level less likely to upset your dog’s delicate balance, it should only be used as a one-off or last resort.
It won’t harm your puppy but choosing puppy shampoos designed for your fur baby’s sensitive skin is a much better option.
Tips to Make Your Puppy’s Bath Time Hassle-Free
Have everything you need close by; you can’t leave Fido in the tub while you go and hunt for something you’ve forgotten; you’ll need a jug, towels, cotton balls, shampoo and, of course, treats
Go and Pick Them Up
“Come” or “here” can be a life-saving command for dogs and you don’t want them associating these words with a negative experience early on in life, so just go get your puppy.
Make the Bath a Positive Place.
Play with your pup in the bath without any water in at first; give them lots of praise and rewards. Placing some peanut butter at head height keeps them distracted and makes them associate baths with good things.
Place a Non-Slip Bath Mat or Towel in the Tub
This will ensure your pooch doesn’t slip and make him feel more secure.
Introduce Water Slowly
Make sure it’s the right temperature too, puppies can become chilled very quickly but you don’t want the water hot as it could seriously burn their delicate skin.
Use a Shampoo Formulated for Puppies
Something like a good colloidal oatmeal shampoo or tear-free option, the best puppy shampoos are made to be extra mild for a puppy’s skin and contain no harsh chemicals.
Apply the Puppy Shampoo and Conditioner
Massage the dog shampoo into your dog’s coat, making sure to get into the hard to reach areas like the armpits where bacteria like to live and under the belly.
Use a Wet Cloth to Clean the Face
This will be less stressful, also place cotton balls in the ears to prevent water from getting inside, which is a common cause of ear infections.
Avoiding the face area, it’s essential to remove every last trace of shampoo as any residue may cause your pup to itch.
Dry your Fur Baby
A doggie dryer might be a bit much at first, so use a microfibre towel that absorbs more water than a normal one and is gentler on your puppy’s skin.
Keep your Puppy Somewhere Warm
Make sure Fido is somewhere cosy immediately after a bath, so they don’t catch a cold.
This cue video shows some Labrador puppies getting their first bath
Are normal dog shampoos ok for puppies?
Some shampoos for adult dogs are gentle enough for puppies but check the bottle first as it will say what age it can be used from. We would recommend a shampoo, especially for puppies, as they are a gentle shampoo for a pup’s very sensitive skin. Do not use human shampoos, as these are way too harsh.
Is Aloe Vera safe to use on puppies?
Aloe vera is bursting with health benefits; it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and is often found in doggy shampoos, there is one part of the plant (the latex from the outer leaf) that is dangerous to dogs, but this is only if your dog eats it, so shampoos or puppy conditioner are perfectly safe.
At what age can you bathe a puppy?
It’s a good idea to get a puppy used to new things from an early age and this is especially so if they have a high maintenance coat that requires a lot of grooming, so about 6-8 weeks is the optimum time to get your pup used to bath time.
Conclusion and Top Pick
In this guide, we have examined the best puppy shampoos and most on the list have excellent reviews. So, what is the best puppy shampoo? Our top pick is the Animology Puppy Love Mild Dog Shampoo. It can be used from 6 weeks of age and is gentle and mild enough to soothe dry skin and clean thoroughly without any harsh chemicals, it also leaves your puppy with a fresh baby powder scent.
Whether you choose a good oatmeal shampoo or one with lavender essential oil, it’s important to look for one that contains no harsh chemicals. A good shampoo will have a tear-free formula and gentle cleansing agents, maybe with something like rosemary extract, which can repel fleas or aloe vera to soothe itchy skin.
There wasn’t much to choose between these options; we loved the luxurious Burt’s Bees shampoo and the Pet Head all-natural dog shampoo smells amazing.
Choosing the right shampoo is important for their coat condition and health and this is especially important for puppies, so splash out on a quality product that will make a dip in the tub a dream!