Whether your dogs and cats have allergies, yeast or bacterial infections, fleas, or they just collect dust and dirt, you want to get them clean with the right stuff. Here are more than 10 pet-tested shampoos, sprays, and wipes to help your dogs and cats be comfortable in their skin, no matter what skin issues they have.
First, whether it's to save money between professional groomings or because your pet likes to roll in dirt, grass, or coyote feces, you'll need some fur-and-skin appropriate shampoo. Does your pup have skin allergies? Hot spots? Does she have thick, curly hair? Thin, fine hair? You need to find a natural shampoo, preferably an oatmeal and/or botanical base that addresses your dog's specific skin and fur needs.
Unless otherwise noted, all of these treatments can be used for dogs and cats.
1. Best All-Purpose Pet Shampoo: Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo
Earthbath carries a line of soap-free shampoos and conditioners for dogs and cats. The main ingredients in its shampoos are oatmeal and aloe. All other ingredients, including special fragrances, are also natural. This particular Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo is scented with vanilla and almond, but the smell is very fresh and mild, not sweet. There are various ingredient compounds at this link, including one for puppies and cats, as well as a fragrance-free blend. All Earthbath soaps are hypo-allergenic, but keep it out of eyes, ears, and mouth.
2. Best Shampoo For Itchy Pets: Moosh Natural Dog Shampoo
So many things can cause your dog to itch. I use Moosh regularly for my pup who has terrible seasonal allergies. He gets allergy shots once a month, but he still itches a lot, so Moosh really soothes his skin when I bathe him. I even bring my bottle of Moosh to the groomer, so she can bathe him with it too.
Though some pet shampoos contain strong chemicals that are not so pet-friendly when dogs lick themselves, Moosh contains all natural products: Organic Aloe Vera Juice, Organic Saponified Oils of Coconut, Organic Olive and Sunflower Oils, Glycerin (Vegetable), Bentonite Clay, Neem Oil, Argan Oil, Guar Gum, Lime Essential Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Nutmeg Essential Oil, Vetiver Essential Oil, Rosemary Extract, and Citric Acid.
Bentonite clay sweeps away dirt and cleanses skin pores. Bentonite, like neem oil, is a natural bug deterrent too. Neem has medicinal applications and is used in organic farming. It is pressed from the seeds and fruits of the neem tree which grows on the Indian sub-continent and in tropical countries.
Moosh is also one of my top picks to reduce the itching caused by hot spots.
Honorable mention: TropiClean Neem & Citrus Hypoallergenic Flea & Tick Shampoo
Another highly rated anti-itch shampoo is TropiClean a Neem & Citrus Hypoallergenic Flea & Tick Shampoo. You can use this shampoo on dogs and cats.
2. Best Combined Shampoo & Conditioner For Pets: Pro Pet Works Hypoallergenic Organic Oatmeal and Aloe Pet Shampoo and Conditioner
Some pets have naturally soft fur and don't need conditioners. And if, for example, your pet's fur is naturally curly, a conditioner might relax the fur too much. But if you have a dog with dense fur, especially one that mats a lot, you might want a conditioner. I have a thick-coated, curly hair dog that matts a lot - so I use a combination shampoo and conditioner.
Pro Pet Works Hypoallergenic Organic Oatmeal and Aloe Pet Shampoo and Conditioner is a very popular combo shampoo on Amazon. It's great for pets with mild allergies or itches, it's all hypoallergenic and all natural. (Don't use in pets' eyes, ears, or mouths.)
3. Best Medicated Shampoo And Skin Treatment: Nootie Medicated Pet Shampoo
Nootie is intended to help treat dogs, cats, or horses with fungal (yeast) or bacterial infections on their skin. The active ingredients are chlorhexidine gluconate (2%), an antibacterial, and miconazole nitrate (2%), an anti-fungal. Like a few of the anti-itch products above, Nootie advises that you apply the shampoo before you wet your dogs fur. Rub the shampoo as thoroughly as you can around the fur and let it sit; with Nootie, that's about 10 to 20 minutes. (Don't use in pets' eyes, ears, or mouths.)
Tip - Sometimes it's not possible to thoroughly distribute enough shampoo around a pet without using up the whole bottle. Most shampoos need some water to spread them around.
What I do if a product recommends applying the shampoo before the water is:
- mix the shampoo with just enough water to relax the shampoo into a syrupy texture;
- spread it around your pet with your hands, massaging it gently into the skin, being careful not to get it into your pets mouth, nose or eyes;
- wait for a few minutes or according to directions; then
- add enough water to shampoo skin and fur before rinsing thoroughly with water.
Nootie's Medicated Pet Shampoo provides welcome relief to pets with serious skin conditions. Customers report that their pets, dogs particularly, are more calm after being bathed and, additionally, have a shinier coat afterward. (In my experience, cats are never calmer, before, during, or after a bath.)
4. Best Dry Shampoo For Pets: Bodhi Dog Waterless Pet Shampoo
Well, sometimes you can get away with just 'a lick and a promise.' If it's one of those days when your pet stinks and you don't have the time or the inclination to give him a bath, Bodhi Dog Waterless Pet Shampoo will get your dog or cat's top coat nice and clean and smelling like lavender or lemongrass. It's all natural and it's safe for sensitive skin. (Don't use in pets' eyes, ears, or mouths.)
5. Best Quick Pet Cleaning Pads: Earthbath All Natural Grooming Wipes
Of course, you can't give your pets a thorough bath every time they get dirty or stinky. Earthbath Grooming Wipes contain all natural ingredients and subtle fragrances as their full-body bath items, above. These are great for wiping dirty paws, dirty behinds, or for changing your pet's all-over foul odor. Oh, I know you like your pet's odors, but not all of them. (Don't use in pets' eyes, ears, or mouths.)
6. Best Antiseptic Pet Cleaning Pads: Pet MD Antiseptic Wipes For Dogs And Cats
For dogs and cats with skin problems, such as bacterial or yeast infections, Pet MD Antiseptic Wipes are the way to go between baths. They not only help to protect your pet's skin with chlorhexidine and ketoconazole, but they reduce odors connected with skin ailments.
7. Best Natural Ear Cleaning Pads For Pets: Mountainview All Natural Ear Cleaner For Dogs & Cats
Stuff gets into dogs' and cats' ears - just like it does in our ears. Wax and dust, smells, and sometimes bugs can be removed carefully with a natural ear cleaner that contains plant-based cleaning enzymes, in this case from coconut and palm. I apply a bit of Mountainview Ear Cleaner in each ear and swab it around and out with a cotton pad.
8. Best Medicated Ear Cleaner For Pets: Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment With Hydrocortisone
Hydrocortisone is a common steroid used in low doses as a topical treatment for a variety of skin conditions. If your pet has frequent ear infections or itchy ears due to a fungus, you might want to try Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment. It's a best seller on Amazon, and its price beats its competitors by quite a bit.
Zymox contains a small amount, .5 percent, of hydrocortisone. If your dog or cat has a fungal or bacterial infection, Zymox needs to be applied daily as directed on the package. You should not use this product unless your pet has a medical need.
9. Best Natural Pet Eye Wipes: Pet-Couture Eye-Tear Wipes
You know those black tear spots dogs develop around their eyes. They look pretty gross. You can't use shampoo on them, but you can use some of the special products designed just for those spots, products that get your white dog's face looking white again. Pet Couture's Natural Eye-Tear Remover is a 5 star product, endorsed by a lot of Maltese owners! And you can see why....
10. Best Natural Pet Tear Prevention Product: Angels Eyes Natural Tear Stain Remover, Soft Chews
I had to include the Angel Eye Soft Chews for two reasons: one, because the product is a best seller on Amazon, and two, because soft chews are an unusual way to get rid of tear stains (don't you think?).
Well, it so happens that the reason dogs and cats get tear stains is because they tear. And they tear, generally, because their tear ducts are too small to hold and eliminate their contents through the pets' nasal passages. Therefore, the tears pour out of the eyes, and then, from exposure to the air, they dry up and oxidize. Oxidation is what causes the reddish brown spots along the inside of your pets' eyes and down their facial fur.
Angel Eyes Tear Stain Remover Soft Chews contain natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients: cranberry powder, Oregon grape root and marshmallow root. These ingredients are buried in some chicken liver which makes your dog want to eat them. The Soft Chews are a long-term (perhaps a month or more) treatment, and you still may want to keep the Pet-Couture Eye-Tear Wipes around.
The above products are all as gentle as can be, as well as effective. They all work to keep your dog's coat, or ears and eyes, clean and disease free. Choose them according to your pet's particular needs.
If you want to save more money on your pet's grooming needs between professional groomings or your dog doesn't require professional treatments, check out these 10 Best Grooming Products For Your Dog.
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This article was updated in April 2018.