Finding the best dog shampoo for your dog’s needs can feel like a struggle. Combining an effective yet gentle formula with a pleasant scent is key. Also of great importance is choosing a shampoo that’s going to last a long time. Some formulations are so watery, it can feel like you need to use half a bottle just to get a good lather and an effective clean.
That’s why we’ve made the best smelling dog shampoos that last a long time the focus of this review. We considered how long each bottle of shampoo lasts and how long the scent stays on your dog. The perfect combination is a long-lasting shampoo that smells great for at least a week.
After reviewing hundreds of different dog shampoos, we rounded up our top 10. They all work great and smell wonderful, and one bottle will keep your dog clean for a while. So, let’s dive right in and help you find the perfect choice for your pooch.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Buddy Wash Original Lavender Shampoo||
|Best Value||Burt's Bees Tearless Shampoo||
|Premium Choice||4-Legger Organic Shampoo||
|Richard's Organics Anti-Bacterial Shampoo||
|Earthbath Deodorizing Rosemary Shampoo||
The 10 Best Smelling Dog Shampoos That Last — Reviews 2021
1. Buddy Wash Original Lavender Dog Shampoo — Best Overall
If you’re looking for the best long-lasting dog shampoo for your furry friend, then the Buddy Wash Original Lavender Dog Shampoo is our recommendation. It’s made in the U.S.A. using a blend of botanical ingredients that include coconut, aloe vera, lavender, mint, chamomile, and wheat protein extracts. The two-in-one formula is made with cosmetic-grade ingredients, so you know your dog is getting the best.
You only need a small amount of this shampoo to get a good lather, so the 16-fluid ounce bottle will last a good while. Thanks to the extracts of lavender and mint, your dog will smell fresh for ages too! This is also available in a 1-gallon bottle, which is perfect if you have multiple dogs. The wheat protein extract is a natural deodorizer, making this the perfect shampoo for dogs that love to roll in all kinds of unidentifiable muck!
2. Burt’s Bees Tearless Dog Shampoo — Best Value
If you’re looking for the best smelling dog shampoo that lasts for the money, we highly recommend the Burt’s Bees Tearless Dog Shampoo. All of the Burt’s Bees products smell amazing, and this shampoo is no different. Made with a blend of buttermilk, honey, and beeswax, this shampoo has a delicious soothing scent — you might start looking for excuses to wash your dog again just so you can smell it!
The formula is free from colorants or sulfates and has been specifically designed to match the pH of your dog’s skin. This helps avoid dryness and keeps your dog’s skin in great condition. Honey helps retain moisture in your dog’s coat and strengthen the hair follicles to promote an even healthier coat. This 16-fluid ounce bottle lasts for ages, and once you’ve tried this shampoo, you may not want to use any other dog shampoo ever again.
If you’re looking for a premium dog shampoo that smells great and lasts a long time, then the 4-Legger Organic Dog Shampoo is our favorite. This blends USDA-certified organic ingredients that include rosemary and lemongrass essential oils, aloe vera, and oils of coconut, olive, and jojoba. The result is a natural shampoo that effectively soothes and conditions your dog’s coat and skin while also smelling great.
Lemongrass is antifungal and antibacterial and naturally deters pests like fleas and ticks. So, while this shampoo won’t affect any topical spot-on treatments, it adds another layer of protection for your dog against biting critters. This shampoo comes in a 16-fluid ounce bottle, and the concentrated formula means it lasts longer than some other shampoos. You only need a quarter-sized amount to effectively clean your dog and leave them smelling fresh for weeks!
4. Richard’s Organics Anti-Bacterial Shampoo
Richard’s Organics Anti-Bacterial Shampoo contains tea tree oil and neem oil, both known for their antibacterial properties. This shampoo is a great choice for treating skin conditions that have been caused by fungus, bacteria, and yeast. The natural ingredients are designed to work together without stripping your dog’s skin and coat of their natural oils.
This shampoo can be used for everyday cleaning, but if you’re using it to combat skin infections like mange or ringworm, it’s recommended to leave it on your dog’s coat for at least 5 minutes before rinsing. The gentle formula means it can be used as often as you like. The 12-fluid ounce bottle contains a concentrated formula that will keep your dog clean for a while. The pleasant scent also lasts for a long time. Unlike some shampoos containing neem oils that can have an unpleasant scent, this smells delicious!
5. Earthbath Deodorizing Rosemary Dog Shampoo
The Earthbath Deodorizing Rosemary Dog Shampoo contains coconut-based cleansers, aloe vera, rosemary oil, and vitamins to nourish your dog’s coat and skin. This doesn’t lather like some other shampoos, but that doesn’t mean it’s less effective! The primary scent of this shampoo is rosemary, which remains on your dog’s coat for quite some time. It’s suitable for dogs with sensitive skin or skin allergies.
The 16-fluid ounce bottle will last for a while, but this shampoo is more expensive than other comparable options. Given it’s made in the U.S.A. with high-quality natural ingredients, that’s not a surprise. This can be made into a rinse by mixing one part shampoo to 10 parts water, which helps it last even longer. Make sure to shake this bottle well before dispensing the shampoo, as the natural ingredients can separate.
6. Wahl 4-In-1 Calming Pet Shampoo
The Wahl 4-in-1 Calming Pet Shampoo is designed to clean, condition, detangle, and moisturize your dog’s skin and coat, all in one go! This is especially useful for longer-haired breeds, whose coats can get easily tangled. The lavender and chamomile scent is designed to help calm your dog while they’re having their bath, and it could probably help keep you calm as well!
The 24-ounce bottle contains a concentrated formula designed to give up to 70% more baths, meaning that while this shampoo does seem expensive, it’s actually great value for the money. It’s also pH balanced and free from alcohol and parabens that can irritate your dog’s skin. This is also available in a 64-ounce jug if you end up loving it! Be aware that this shampoo does contain cocamidpropyl betaine, which can trigger skin irritation in some dogs, although this is rare.
7. Lillian Ruff Berry Blue Dog Shampoo
If you’re looking for a dog shampoo that’s also effective against tear stains and helps soothe dry or itchy skin, then the Lilian Ruff Berry Blue Dog Shampoo comes highly recommended. This shampoo contains whitening and brightening agents to effectively remove tear stains and brighten white fur. It can, of course, be used on dogs of any color! This shampoo uses natural blueberry fruit extracts to create a pleasant and long-lasting scent.
You won’t need much of this shampoo to effectively clean your dog, and the tear-free formula means you can safely use it close to your dog’s eyes without worry. This formula is used by professional groomers and is recommended by veterinarians. Besides a 16-ounce bottle, it’s also available in a gallon jug if you love it so much that you want to stock up!
8. Pet Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo and Conditioner In One
If your dog has skin allergies or sensitivities, then the Pet Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo and Conditioner In One will provide instant relief. The hypoallergenic formula contains oatmeal, baking soda, and aloe vera, and it has a delicious cookie scent that may leave you finding reasons to give your dog a bath! This shampoo soothes and moisturizes your dog’s skin while deodorizing any doggy smells or traces of things that they’ve rolled in.
The 17-ounce bottle contains a concentrated formula that will last for a long time before you need to invest in another bottle. The scent doesn’t last as long as some other dog shampoos, but if you’re using this to combat allergies or skin sensitivities, you may decide to use it frequently enough that you won’t notice. The gentle hypoallergenic formula is suitable for frequent use.
9. Paws & Pals Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo
The Paws & Pals Natural Oatmeal dog Shampoo comes as a set of two bottles, a shampoo and a conditioner. They’re designed to work together to moisturize and relieve itchy skin, as well as keep your dog’s fur in the best condition. The tear-free and soap-less formula uses natural vitamins, oils, and plant extracts that won’t irritate your dog’s coat.
This set is also free from parabens or toxic ingredients and has a pleasant scent due to the shea butter and extracts of vanilla and sandalwood. While the scent does last for a while once applied, reviewers do note that the formula doesn’t last as long as some other shampoos and you need quite a bit of it, especially if you have a larger breed dog.
10. Vermont Soap Pet Magic Dog Shampoo
The Vermont Soap Pet Magic Dog Shampoo uses gentle and pure castile soap to effectively clean your dog’s coat. It also contains coconut, jojoba, and olive oils and organic essential oils, including rosemary, which acts as a natural preservative. The other essential oils are orange and tea tree oils, both of which leave a pleasant and long-lasting scent on your dog’s coat. It’s available in three bottle sizes of 4, 16, and 64 fluid ounces.
This shampoo contains no artificial surfactants, like sodium laurel sulfate, which can create a pleasant lather but cause dryness and irritation on your dog’s skin. So, this shampoo doesn’t lather up as well as some other shampoos, which some dog owners prefer. Reviewers also mention that it’s not as effective as penetrating thicker double coats.
Before you go ahead and buy a new bottle of dog shampoo, read this guide first! We collected all the information that you need to decide which formula is going to work best for your dog’s individual needs.
What does your dog need?
The first thing to do is work out what your dog needs from their shampoo. These are the main things to consider:
What doesn’t your dog need?
Just as important as what sort of shampoo your dog needs is what they don’t need. Some cheaper shampoos contain surfactants, artificial scents, and parabens, which can all cause skin irritation.
Look for natural, plant-based ingredients. If your dog is particularly sensitive to certain essential oils, then avoid those. Some shampoos are certified organic, and this can be a good way to check that the ingredients are high quality.
Can I use human shampoo on my dog?
No, it’s not recommended to ever use human shampoo on your dog. Our shampoo is formulated to match the pH of our skin, at 5.2 to 6.2, and dogs’ skin has a pH of between 2.2 and 7.5. Using a pH-balanced shampoo that’s specifically designed for dogs will keep them feeling comfortable.
Dog’s skin is also much more sensitive than ours. The outer layer of our skin has roughly 10-15 layers, whereas dogs only have three to five layers. That means our shampoos can strip away the outer layers of your dog’s skin, leaving them feeling irritated and uncomfortable.
If you need to bathe your dog in an emergency and you have no dog shampoo at hand, the next best thing is a baby shampoo. These are gentler than adult versions and less likely to irritate your dog’s skin. Hypoallergenic formulations or those containing oatmeal are good choices. Otherwise, get to the store to stock up on dog shampoo as soon as you can!
Can I start using a new shampoo right away?
We recommend doing a small patch test before bathing your dog with a new shampoo. Apply a small amount of shampoo to your dog’s torso, over an area around 4 inches square. Rinse off as per normal. Keep an eye on this patch of skin over the next 24-48 hours, and if you see any signs of redness, dryness, or irritation, your dog is likely having a reaction to some of the ingredients. You will want to choose a different shampoo at this point!
Shampoo scent and concentration
Choosing a shampoo with a pleasant and long-lasting scent is important if you want to mask that doggy odor that we all know and sometimes love! Remember that if a smell is overwhelming to you, it’s going to be even more so for your dog. Some shampoos use plant-based fragrances that are long-lasting but not overpowering. These are our personal preferences, but you’ll need to experiment to work out what appeals to you and what your dog will tolerate.
If you catch your dog rolling around or rubbing against the furniture after their bath, they may be trying to remove the scent from their skin and fur. This can give you a big clue that the smell of the new shampoo doesn’t appeal to them and you should probably try an alternative.
Shampoo concentration is also important. If you’ve just shelled out for a new and expensive formula, only to find the shampoo to be so watery that it’s only going to last a few washes, it can be disappointing. Look for a concentrated shampoo, where you only need to use a small amount to get your dog squeaky clean. All the shampoos that we included in the reviews will last for a long time!
How often should I bathe my dog?
The answer to this question really depends on your dog’s breed, age, activity levels, and health. Active longhaired dogs that go for long walks in the mud may need more frequent bathing than a small shorthaired dog that mostly goes for short walks in the dog park.
Bathing your dog too often can strip the natural oils from their coat and leave their skin feeling dry. For most dogs, a bath every 2 months will be sufficient.
If your dog is suffering from a skin infection or allergy, then you may need to bathe them more often. If in doubt, ask your vet about their recommendations for how often you should be bathing your dog.
As the best overall best smelling and long-lasting dog shampoo, we can’t fault the Buddy Wash Original Lavender Dog Shampoo. Containing wheat protein as a natural deodorizer and essential oils from lavender and mint plants, this shampoo gently cleans and conditions your dog while also leaving them smelling great!
In terms of best value, we love the Burt’s Bees Tearless Dog Shampoo. Besides being low cost, this shampoo uses natural ingredients, including soothing honey to leave your dog smelling delicious. The 16-fluid ounce bottle lasts a long time, and the gentle formula will work its magic to leave your dog’s coat in great condition.
Trawling through the hundreds of different dog shampoos available can feel like an uphill battle, and if you’ve ended up with one that doesn’t do what it says on the bottle, you may be feeling disappointed. Our reviews can help you choose the right option for your dog with total confidence. So go ahead, buy your favorite, and look forward to waving goodbye to doggy smells for good!
Featured Image Credit: Anthony Duran, Unsplash
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Smelling Dog Shampoos That Last — Reviews 2021
- 1. Buddy Wash Original Lavender Dog Shampoo — Best Overall
- 2. Burt’s Bees Tearless Dog Shampoo — Best Value
- 3. 4-Legger Organic Dog Shampoo — Premium Choice
- 4. Richard’s Organics Anti-Bacterial Shampoo
- 5. Earthbath Deodorizing Rosemary Dog Shampoo
- 6. Wahl 4-In-1 Calming Pet Shampoo
- 7. Lillian Ruff Berry Blue Dog Shampoo
- 8. Pet Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo and Conditioner In One
- 9. Paws & Pals Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo
- 10. Vermont Soap Pet Magic Dog Shampoo
- Buyer’s Guide