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  • Writer's pictureKarley

How to Shop For Dog Shampoo

Updated: Sep 16, 2023

Sopping for shampoos can be an interesting endeavor, to say the least. Last week I went to Target and perused the aisle for shampoos and leave-in conditioners for my newly adopted dog; and wow, this aisle seems to have gotten more colorful! My eyes seemed to bounce around everywhere, frenzied by the multitude of colors, shampoo types, and options available. What do you do in that situation when there are so many options to choose from? Some advertise volume, while others are moisturizing and help with dogs that have sensitive skin. One thing I am certain about is the importance of thinking about what your dog and their coat may need before purchasing the bottle.

I am a huge fan of shampoos that condition and smell good, but I have to be careful that the fragrance is not so strong that it irritates my dogs’ skin or sense of smell. However, when I get in new fosters, I typically use shampoos that calm the skin and clean deeply. I do not know what situation they are coming from, so bathing gets ~real~ for them on their first day in my house. I will supplement the detangling shampoos for detangling and conditioning sprays after the bath. I also use sensitive skin, calming sprays to prevent itchy skin; in many cases, they have had fleas or allergy symptoms from abrupt environment changes.

So, how did my Target run go? What did I end up buying?

EarthBath Oatmeal and Aloe. If you do a quick search online, you’ll find that EarthBath has excellent ratings across the board. From personal experience, this shampoo is soft and calming for a variety of dog coats and skin sensitivities. The vanilla and almond scent is sweet, but not overpowering, and my dog’s seem to react well to it.

What I also like about this brand is that it is cost-effective! It will not break the bank and it lasts for a good amount of time. They have a variety of shampoos that offer different fragrances or needs, like puppy-safe or fragrance-free. Because I buy other sprays that detangle and condition, I am looking for a shampoo that gets the job done without the other bells and whistles of more expensive shampoos. There are certainly good things to say about more expensive shampoos, like Ouai’s Fur Bébé, which is highly rated for getting your pup’s coat looking healthy. I was not the biggest fan of how the shampoo dispensed and I regularly use sprays, so I just did not find it the best fit for my dog grooming situation.

Another product that I have heard good things about is Burt’s Bees Natural Oatmeal Shampoo. It gets the job done, but I did not really find that it was as deep cleaning as Earthbath’s shampoo. For my foster dogs that have NEEDED a groom, I felt that I had to re-bathe them more times than I had to with EarthBath’s shampoo. However, if you are using this on your dogs that get regularly bathed, it works well and does not have an overpowering smell. It is also super cheap, so if you are looking for something simple and easy, this is a good contender.

A shampoo that I really love for their fragrances is ShowSeason’s Bliss Shampoo. There are tons of fragrances to choose from, and man, do they last! I personally love the blueberry fragrance since it is sweet and not too overpowering. The scent typically lasts for a couple days, and you can really smell it when you’re cuddling your dog. If your pups are the cuddly type, this shampoo is well worth the price.

You can buy this shampoo in bulk, so that is great for owners with lots of dogs or for those who do not want to have to buy shampoo for a LONG time. Not to mention, it is a great way to establish your dog’s signature scent. Yes, my dogs are known for greeting others with the smell of blueberries and almonds, and for that we say, “you are welcome”!

Buyers beware…

Like with everything that you may buy and use on your dogs, read between the lines! What are they advertising? What does this product do and is it effective? Does anyone I know have product recommendations? Some products may use advertisement phrases to jack up their prices without actually being true. Common phrases used to justify expensive items may include “Organic, handmade product” or “All natural.” While these may be true for some products, these phrases are commonly associated with expensive, high-class items and advertisers may use this to trick the buyer into paying more for a product. Take a peek at ingredients, consider what your do needs in a product, and be realistic with what you want to spend.

Go on and have fun picking out your pup’s signature scent and moisturizing shampoo! Check out Target, Chewy, or another doggy product store for an excellent array of dog shampoo products.

Do you have pet product recommendations? DM us (@ocpomrescue) and share your recommendations!


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