Your puppy’s skin and coat are the two main organs that prevent them from the invasion of foreign bodies, so it is very important that you keep them both healthy. To do this, cleaning your puppy’s coat with puppy shampoo is the best way to ensure your new doggo maintains their optimum skin and coat health, as well as preventing diseases and other health issues that can arise from a dirty coat. Even better, using a puppy shampoo will make your canine friend look clean and smell great, too.
But with so many pup shampoos out there, it is difficult for pet owners to know which ones to go for. Below we have discussed why you might need a puppy shampoo, how to choose the right puppy shampoo and how often you should bathe your pup, so you can know everything before purchasing.
Do I Need To Buy A Puppy Shampoo?
A lot of new dog owners are skeptical as to whether they actually need a puppy shampoo or not. The short answer is: yes. Depending on the breed of your dog, an adult canine can have single to double coats that are often thick. However, puppies have softer and fluffier fur that grows just as a single coat and, because of this, they need special shampoo formulated for their fur. Puppy shampoo is formulated to match the needs of soft and fluffy puppy fur.
Some dog owners and veterinarians do say that adult dog shampoo can be used on puppies, but you should always check that these adult canine shampoos are still formulated to meet the needs of your puppy’s fur. It should not be a medicated shampoo nor contain any harmful ingredients, and it should be near the pH level of a puppy shampoo.
Can You Use baby Shampoo?
Another type of shampoo that experts debate on whether is safe to use on a puppy is baby shampoo. If the baby shampoo is made without any chemicals and from natural ingredients, then it is most likely safe to use on your puppy. Baby shampoo is generally cheaper than puppy shampoo, but you must check the ingredients to confirm it is safe. One thing to remember is that a dog’s skin and fur is more alkaline that a human’s which is generally more acidic. Because of this, under no circumstances should you use human shampoo on a puppy or dog.
Our skin is much more acidic than dog’s and our shampoo is designed to work with that and cut through any grease. The alkaline skin of a dog also needs a special shampoo formulated for it. If you were to use a human shampoo on your dog, it could cause itching, soreness and redness, resulting in wounds that your dog scratches and opens and, therefore, opens themselves up to infection.
How To Choose The Right Puppy Shampoo
There are a few different factors that go into choosing the right puppy shampoo. The most important thing is that the shampoo is actually formulated for puppies, and not for humans or adult dogs, unless the ingredients are very natural. A few other things to look out for include:
As we mentioned above, a dog’s skin is slightly more alkaline than a human’s skin which is more acidic, and for this reason you cannot use human shampoo on your puppy. An adult dog’s skin is also slightly more acidic than a puppy’s skin, which is why you need to make sure the pH level of the puppy shampoo you choose is correct and is more alkaline.
No Artificial Ingredients
You wouldn’t choose products with artificial ingredients for your baby, and it should be exactly the same when choosing products for your dog. Artificial ingredients can have serious effects on the health of your canine, even more so in puppies because their bodies and organs are less developed. You should stay away from artificial fragrances (mentioned more below) and coloring, and products such as phthalates, formaldehyde, parabens, isothiazolinones and nitrosamines.
When you wash your puppy, you want them to smell nice afterwards. However, a lot of the fragrances in puppy shampoo are artificial and, as we mentioned above, you should stay away from these because they can actually do your pup more harm than good. If you want your puppy to be sweet-smelling after you bathe them, look for natural fragrances such as chamomile, rose, eucalyptus and lavender. There is always going to be something alternative to an artificial fragrance that will not harm your dog but leave them smelling just as nice.
Your puppy’s skin naturally protects itself by secreting natural oils through skin cells onto the surface of the skin. Ideally, you want a shampoo that cleanses your pup but does not interfere with this and does not wash off these protective oils. A natural shampoo is best at doing this, plus ingredients such as aloe vera, oatmeal and vitamin E that are natural skin protectives. These ingredients will be the best at ensuring your puppies skin and coat are healthy.
Your Puppy’s Overall Health
Your dog might have specific skin conditions that the shampoo needs to cater to, so it is always important to consider your puppy’s overall health when buying shampoo. While puppy shampoo is already designed for sensitive puppy skin, there are a range of skin conditions such as seborrhea, fungal infections, microbial infections and allergies that you can find shampoo for. If you are unsure of where to look or which one to go for, you can always ask your vet.
If you’re ready to find the right shampoo for your puppy, take a look at the best dog shampoo for puppies that we recommend below, all available to you on Amazon.
The Best Puppy Shampoo
The Colloidal Oatmeal shampoo by HONEYDEW is designed for both dogs and puppies with sensitive skin. Formulated to be hypoallergenic and extremely soothing for your dog’s flaky skin, this shampoo is made using ingredients such as jojoba and colloidal oatmeal to cleanse and condition irritated skin. The jojoba oil ensures your pup’s coat is both smooth and shiny, while the oatmeal has natural detoxing and hydrating properties that remove dirt, oil, and impurities as it adds moisture, for soft skin.
Lavender essential oil also included in this shampoo is extremely calming, making your puppy not only smell great but also much easier to clean in the tub. This vet recommended gentle deodorizer restores essential oils gently and effectively, with no sulfates, parabens or tears. This shampoo is also cruelty free.
The Eqyss Premier Pet shampoo is safe enough to use on almost all animals — making it extra safe for you puppy. Formulated with human grade ingredients and without alcohol, silicone, petroleum based products, synthetic polymers, harsh soaps or detergents, you can be sure your puppy will not react badly to this shampoo. pH balanced, this shampoo has natural botanical extracts included and gently cleanses your puppy’s skin, rinsing out quickly but leaving a high-gloss, shiny and moisturized coat behind, perfect for dry and flaky skin.
This shampoo is safe to use with all flea and tick applications, meaning it is not harsh enough to wash off the medication from your puppy’s fur. Even better, this shampoo has a tropical scent so your pup will smell great!
With the Burt’s Bees Tearless 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner, you get the best of both worlds in just one bottle. This shampoo not only cleans your puppy, but also soothes, softens, and conditions their skin and coat, making sure they smell great!
With all natural ingredients including buttermilk, which moisturizes the skin and softens the hair, and linseed oil that deeply conditions your puppy’s coat, this shampoo is pH balanced to ensure no harm is caused when applied. 100% safe and a veterinarian recommended formula, there are no fragrances, sulfates, colorants or harsh chemicals in this shampoo and it is made in the USA, so you can buy with confidence that your puppy is protected from anything that could damage their skin.
The CHI puppy shampoo has a very minimal ingredients list, cleansing and moisturizing your puppy’s fur without anything harmful touching their skin. Ingredients such as aloe vera, chamomile and honey means this shampoo not only makes sure you puppy is clean and smelling great, but protects their skin with a moisturizing barrier too. The basic ingredients list means that there is nothing that will wash off their natural oils, so you don’t need to worry about your pup getting dry or itchy skin as a result of this shampoo.
These minimal and natural ingredients also mean it is perfect for those canines with skin issues such dryness or allergies. This tearless formula will not sting or irritate your dog’s eyes if it happens to get in them, making it easier for you to control your pup if this does happen. There are also no sulfates or parabens and it is safe for dogs over 8 weeks of age.
The Earthbath Ultra-Mild puppy shampoo is designed to be extra sensitive on your dog’s baby skin, gently cleansing them but without removing any of their natural oils. pH balanced, this shampoo uses a blend of gentle cleansers to ensure your pup is clean, and aloe vera acts as a natural skin protector. Vitamins A, B, D and E are included in this formula to keep their skin and coat healthy, and a gentle conditioner and detangler is also present, perfect if your puppy has long fur that easily gets knotted and matted.
Even better, there is a botanical fragrance of wild cherry that will leave your doggy smelling clean and sweet but not overpowering. This shampoo does not contain any soap, gluten, DEA, parabens, synthetic dyes, sulfates, or phthalates, and is animal cruelty free. It also will not wash off any flea applications that you may be applying. It is suitable for puppies over the age of six weeks.
This oatmeal combined shampoo and conditioner is not only vet recommended, but also suitable for cats, dogs, ferrets and rabbits — perfect if you have a house full of furry friends! The Pro Pet Works All Natural Organic shampoo is designed for puppies with allergies to food, grass and flea bites and is specially formulated with a balanced pH for sensitive skin. With only natural and organic ingredients and no alcohol, soap, detergent, sulfates, added colors, harsh chemicals or fragrances, the organic aloe vera and almonds oil is therapeutic and soothing for your pet’s skin and coat, while also keeping them smelling fresh with a cherry almond scent.
Added vitamins A, D and E won’t irritate your puppy’s eyes, nose or skin while bathing and the shampoo makes for a soft, easy to brush, coat that will make your pup feel clean and smell clean several days after bathing. This shampoo can be used alongside flea treatment and is safe enough to use regularly, so you can keep your canine friend smelling great all the time.
The Paws & Pals 5-in-1 Oatmeal shampoo is perfect for vegan dog owners who want a natural and vegan shampoo to wash their puppy with. This coat and skin treatment contains a delicate balance of essential oils, helping to cleanse your dog without compromising the environment. This shampoo includes oatmeal, which helps to moisturize and soothe itchy skin and may also help relieve symptoms of allergies, hot spots, dry skin. Oatmeal will also clean, deodorize and soften your puppy’s coat. This puppy wash also contains all natural ingredients such as aloe and other ingredients that occur organically, such as pro-vitamin B5.
They assist in hydrating, healing and protecting your puppy’s coat and skin. With a long-lasting fresh scent, your pup will smell better than ever and this formula is 100% soap free, so you do not have to worry about it stinging or hurting your dog’s eyes. There are also no parabens, no sulfates and no synthetic dyes, and this shampoo is made in the USA.
The PET CARE Sciences 5-in-1 shampoo is formulated for every breed of dog, helping to cut through all the dirt and grease that may have built up in your playful puppy’s coat to leave them clean. This shampoo is especially good for those dogs with long coats, as it helps to detangle their fur and reduces the amount of matting. This blend features naturally derived oatmeal to replenish the moisture balance of your puppy’s coat and coconut to rejuvenate and moisturize their skin and fur, too.
There is also coconut oil that not only provides a great scent, but also helps the natural oils in your puppy’s skin in the most natural way. There are no sulfates, parabens or phosphates in this shampoo and it is made in the USA, so you can buy with confidence that it is safe for your doggo.
Perfect for dog’s with sensitive skin or those pups that are prone to scratching, the Pets Are Kids Too Oatmeal Anti-Itch shampoo and conditioner is formulated with organic oatmeal, baking soda and aloe vera with coconut. Providing relief from hot-spots and itching, this combined shampoo and conditioner comes in one handy bottle, immediately soothing dry and itchy skin and leaving a soft and shiny coat behind. Perfect for puppies, this shampoo is made with natural ingredients as well as anti-bacterial and anti-fungal treatments, so you can get rid of the cause of your dog’s sensitive skin.
With no chemicals and no toxins, detergents, alcohol or additives, this shampoo is great at keeping your puppy clean and moisturized without harming them. Even better, this shampoo smells great too, with a light oatmeal cookie scent that will leave your pup sweet-smelling for long-lasting odor relief.
Similar to the lavender HONEYDEW shampoo we mentioned above but in an oatmeal scent, this all natural pet shampoo for dogs and puppies by HONEYDEW is the only medicated strength shampoo available which utilizes a 100% pure and natural formula to provide full relief for itchy and irritated skin while also maintaining odor control. If your puppy suffers from sensitive skin, this shampoo incorporates colloidal oatmeal to sooth dry and flaky skin, stopping your puppy from scratching and hurting themselves.
Also doubling as a safe and effective deodorizer, the oatmeal scent will leave your puppy smelling great. Jojoba and ProVitamin B5 are also used to enhance this shampoo to help combat sensitive skin, and conditioning agents help to detangle fur, leaving your puppy’s coat soft and smooth, particularly useful if your puppy has long fur. There are no sulfates and no parabens in this shampoo and it is also cruelty free, as well as being made in the USA.
Bio-Groom’s Fluffy Puppy No Tears shampoo is designed especially for a puppy’s sensitive skin and delicate coat, making sure it will not harm them and protect their natural young fur. Cleansing thoroughly, this shampoo does not strip the natural protective oils from your puppy’s skin and coat, ensuring that your puppy is not left with dry, red or itchy skin. pH balanced perfectly for the alkaline nature of your dog’s skin, this shampoo leaves no irritating residue that could hurt your pup and the natural ingredients means that, if it were to get it your puppy’s eyes, there would be no tears!
Because of the gentle and natural formula, this shampoo will not wash off any flea or tick applications that you may currently be applying to your puppy’s skin and there is no soap included on the ingredients list. This shampoo also helps to control odors and is safe to use on puppies over the age of four weeks.
With keratin and jojoba oils to moisturize and replenish your puppy’s natural oils, this Perfect Coat Pampered shampoo is an extra mild and tearless shampoo designed for the youngest dogs. Gently cleaning your puppy’s delicate skin and coat, this shampoo comes with conditioning milk protein to leave their fur super soft and silky, with no threats of tangles, knots or matting. In an easy-rinse formula, this shampoo is great for even the fussiest of dogs, leaving no residue and getting rid of any excess residue.
The long-lasting scent of this shampoo will leave your puppy smelling clean and fresh with a baby powder scent, while also helping them to maintain a healthy skin and coat. This shampoo comes in a 16 or 32 ounce bottle, and there are many other shampoos by Perfect Coat that meet any of the needs your puppy or older dog might have.
The Rocco & Roxie Calm dog shampoo is designed for puppies and dog’s with sensitive skin conditions, providing it is perfect for the most delicate of skin and fur. This shampoo is formulated to cleanse extra gently, made with chamomile that softens skin, aloe vera that smoothes the cuticle surface and seals in moisture to your puppy’s skin and coat, and restorative rosemary that stimulates follicle growth if your puppy has been scratching at their fur and there is redness and soreness left behind that needs to be soothed. There are no masking dyes, no drying alcohols and no parabens, meaning this very natural shampoo is extra safe for extra sensitive skin.
This is a very easy-to-use shampoo that rubs in and washes out very quickly, leaving no residue that could end up harming your dog. There are two other formulas by Rocco & Roxie that have other health benefits for your doggo — “Shine”, designed to add shine and gloss to your dog’s coat, and “Soothe”, which is perfect for those dogs that have drying, itching or redness on their skin and need some relief.
This cornflower and aloe Wahl Gentle shampoo is great for gently cleaning and protecting your puppy’s delicate skin and coat. pH balanced, this shampoo is safe for your puppy and will not damage their skin, and it is also alcohol and paraben free and perfect for dogs with allergies. Made with a higher concentrate of coconut derived sodding agent, this shampoo goes a lot further than your regular puppy shampoo, meaning you can use less and save a lot of money. It will leave your puppy’s coat smooth and shiny, as well as moisturized without interfering with the natural oils their skin produces.
With no harsh chemicals on the ingredients list, this shampoo is used by vets and professionals, so you can buy with confidence. It also has a great smell that your puppy will love.
Formulated with lavender and coconut oils, this Lillian Ruff puppy shampoo will leave your dog smelling great with a soft, shiny coat for days. Lavender is a natural pain and stress reliever as well as a disinfectant, while coconut oil naturally reduces inflammation and boosts the immune system. Lavender and coconut oils have been shown to also be effective as a natural repellent of fleas and ticks and a natural antiseptic. With aloe vera on the ingredients list too, this shampoo is great for dogs with skin issues such as dry or irritated skin, as the aloe is both soothing and moisturizing on your puppy’s skin.
This shampoo is also ultra concentrated with a dilution ratio of 30:1, meaning it not only goes a lot further and saves you money, but the dilution is also excellent at lathering your puppy’s coat for a deep clean without stripping the hair of it’s natural oil. 100% cruelty free, this shampoo is also gluten free, sulfate free, dye free and vegan.
The Arava Flea and Tick Control puppy shampoo helps to get rid of your pet’s infections quickly and effectively, including insects, pests and parasites. With a highly effective formula that features lemongrass, peppermint, cinnamon, thyme, clove, eastern red cedar, geranium, citronella, rosemary, castor, and soybean and 26 dead sea minerals, this puppy shampoo will easily take care of all your dog’s flea and tick issues, and leave their skin and coat healthy and refreshed. With no strong scent and only a subtle, pleasant herbal smell, this shampoo has many benefits over other flea and tick shampoos.
This shampoo can also be used on older dogs, so perfect if you have more than one dog at home who have been affected by fleas, ticks or other insects. With 100% natural ingredients, you don’t need to worry about harmful toxins touching your puppy’s skin to get rid of the unwanted bugs, and you be sure your puppy will be safe.
This TropiClean shampoo is hypoallergenic, making it perfect for puppies skin. Also great for dogs with sensitive skin, this shampoo cleanses and moisturizes your puppy’s skin and coat very gently, working into a lather that is then very easy to wash off. Very soothing, all the ingredients are derived from naturally-occurring materials and the formula is 70% organic, too. Present in this formula is colloidal oatmeal and aloe, so you can be sure your puppy’s coat will be soft and smooth after bathing.
With no soap, this shampoo won’t affect any flea or tick applications you may also be applying. There is a pleasent, light coconut fragrance too that will keep your pup smelling sweet long after the bath. Safe enough for daily use, this shampoo is made in the USA and is cruelty free. It is also safe to use on kittens, so great if you have a household of pets.
This tearless puppy shampoo from Isle of Dogs is designed to keep a puppy’s sensitive skin and coat clean and fresh without irritating their eyes. Featuring a cotton and fresh orchid fragrance, this shampoo is sulfate and paraben free and contains natural odor neutralizers for a sweet-smelling, spotless coat that will stay cleaner and smelling great for longer. Leaving your dog with soft and shiny fur, this shampoo is also safe to use on older dogs, and is also advertised as a great facial scrub for doggies who need a good clean.
Because it won’t irritate their eyes, you can clean your dog’s face without them being in pain or discomfort, and, due to it being sulfate and paraben free, it can be used on even the most sensitive of skins and those doggies with skin issues such as redness and itching. Made in the USA, you can also be sure it is safe and made with reputable ingredients.
How Often Should You Bathe A Puppy?
The answer to this question is not as straightforward as you might think. While a mother pup will lick her puppy clean when they’re still under her care, puppies are being separated from their mothers younger and younger now — some at just three months old or sometimes even younger. This means you, as a new puppy owner, have to take over the responsibility of being their mom and keep them clean. Many experts say you should wash a puppy “often but not too often”. This answer is very vague and different owners can take it to mean different periods of time, ranging from every other day to once or twice a month. There are a few factors, however, that can help you determine how often you should bathe your pup:
How Dirty They Are
How dirty your puppy is is obviously one of the main reasons to give them a bath. Experts recommend giving your puppy a bath when they become noticeably dirty or smelly. This can be difficult to determine though, especially if you are the only one interacting with your puppy and get used to their smell. Other people might think they smell while you don’t, just as other people might think they are dirty when you do not. This can be a very subjective issue around a puppy.
The Presence of Natural Oils
We mentioned above that your puppy’s skin naturally produces oils to help provide lubrication and keep their coat looking shiny and feeling soft. If you wash your puppy too often, then you’ll be washing away these natural oils and this can result in dryness and irritation of your puppy’s skin. On the other hand, if you don’t wash them enough, then you won’t be washing away the excess oil to allow your pup to produce new natural oils.
The Length of Their Fur
We said above that puppies have a single fur coat. While this is true, different breeds of puppies differ in the length of their fur. The longer your puppy’s fur is, the more likely it is to become matted and tangled. Washing your puppy’s fur is the best way to keep tangles and matted fur at bay, so you should wash font enough based on the length of fur on your pup.
Tips On How To Bathe Your Puppy
Some dogs have an aversion to both bathing and water, and this can be due to early bathing experiences when they were a puppy not being pleasant or a previous owner not being careful enough to not put soap in their eyes. Many dogs associate water and getting into the tub with punishment, and therefore trying to bathe them can be difficult. However, as a new puppy owner, you can be instrumental in showing them that bathing can be fun and not a punishment.
When To Start
The best way to do this is to start bathing them young, at around three months. This is normally when a mother pup stops cleaning her babies, so it is your job to take over from then on. To get them into the tub, you should always try to make bath time fun. There are certain breeds of dogs that love the water, but if not, you can try to entice your puppy into the bath with their favorite toy, too. One thing to remember is that puppies have a lot of energy, so playing with them and wearing them out before a bath might be advisable, otherwise it could turn into a wet wrestling match in the tub!
Get The Temp Right
Make sure the bath water is not too cold. It should be warm and relaxing on your puppy’s muscles. If the water is too cold, then your puppy’s muscles will contract and they will not enjoy it. When rubbing in the shampoo, you’ll want to massage it into their fur. This will mean it’ll hit the skin too, which you also want to wash. Massaging their skin can also help with good circulation, as well as relaxing them. You should start from the head and work your way down their body to their tail. Remember, keep away from your puppy’s eyes, ears and nose as these areas are very sensitive and will make them nervous. If these parts are dirty and need to be washed, using a damp cloth is the best way to clean them.
Rinse And Repeat
Then you should rinse your pup very well, making sure all the shampoo is gone. If you leave any shampoo it will dry on their fur and make it crusty and hard. You should dry your puppy very well with a large towel. Many experts do not recommend using a blow dryer to dry your puppy’s fur, even though there are blow dryers out there specially designed for dogs. Your puppy’s fur should dry very quickly anyway. The final step is to give your pup a reward in the form of a treat after the bath. If you do this, your puppy will associate bath time and cleaning with something positive (and tasty) and be very open to doing it again next time.
Your puppy will need a wash every now and again and the safest and easiest way to get them clean is to use a puppy shampoo. With shampoo that is specially formulated for your puppy’s skin and fur that won’t damage the presence of natural oils they produce, your canine friend can look and smell clean in a way that won’t hurt them. Remember to take into consideration the pH level of the shampoo you buy, any medical needs your puppy might have and the presence of artificial ingredients. In the list above you will find a shampoo right for your pup, so they can enjoy bath time as much as you.