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Best Dry Shampoo for Dogs: Cleaning Your Canine Without Water

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Grooming By Meg Marrs 14 min read November 16, 2023 3 Comments

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Looking to cut back on the number of baths provided to your pooch? Dog-friendly dry shampoo offers a potential solution!

This fuss-free bathing fix is perfect for freshening your floof in a flash and won’t leave your bathroom dripping in doggy bath water. Best of all, it won’t upset your water-hating hound as much as a trip to the tub.

Below, we’ve rounded up the best dry shampoo for dogs and broke down how this magical spritz works.

Quick Picks: Best Dry Shampoo for Dogs

Best Dry Shampoo Spray for Dogs
Best Foaming Dry Shampoo for Dogs
Most Affordable Dry Shampoo for Dogs
Best Dry Shampoo Spray for Dogs
Best Foaming Dry Shampoo for Dogs
Most Affordable Dry Shampoo for Dogs

How Do Dry Shampoos for Dogs Work?

best dry shampoo for dogs

Dry shampoo works in slightly different ways, as products use different active ingredients to help freshen floofs.

Unfortunately, many manufacturers decline to share the ingredients in these products, calling the ingredient lists “proprietary information.”

Nevertheless, the same principle is usually at work: Waterless shampoos are made with an oil-absorbing ingredient, which helps to remove some of the excess oil on your dog’s skin and coat.

These doggie dry shampoos may also feature pH-altering substances that help to encourage the right sorts of bacteria (which actually help to keep your dog’s skin healthy) and discourage the smelly ones.

Dry shampoos don’t really remove much dirt; at least, not as well as the traditional soap-and-water approach does.

However, the absorbent chemicals in some products may bind to dirt particles, making them easier to remove when brushing or wiping off your dog afterward.

Dry shampoos come in a few different forms, including:

  • Powders
  • Sprays
  • Foams

In each case, you’ll need to apply some shampoo to your dog’s coat, massage it down into his skin, wait a few minutes and then brush or wipe off the excess residue (although some simply dry and remain on your dog).

Bada bing, bada boom – you’re done. Overall, they’re a super convenient dog grooming tool to add to your arsenal.

Best Dry Shampoo for Dogs: 6 Fab Finds for Water-Free Washing!

brushing dog

Several good dry shampoos are on the market, but the following received some of the best ratings from dog owners and rose above the competition. Check out the best dry shampoo for dogs and see which meshes with your pup’s pampering needs.

1. Bodhi Dog Waterless Shampoo

Best Spray-On Dry Shampoo for Dogs
Bodhi Dog Waterless Shampoo

An American-made dry shampoo spray for dogs lacking harsh chemicals, like detergents and alcohol, that may bother sensitive skin.

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About: The Bodhi Dog Waterless Shampoo is a spray-on product that is designed to be extremely gentle and appropriate for almost all dogs (including puppies and pregnant moms) while still offering a light, pleasant scent, making it one of the best dry shampoo for dogs around. In fact, this hypoallergenic formula is made without many of the most problematic ingredients that appear in other dry shampoos, such as parabens and ethyl alcohol.

Features:

  • Suitable for dogs with very sensitive skin
  • Available in Lavender, Lemongrass, and Oatmeal & Apple scents
  • Packaged in 8-ounce, 17-ounce, and 1-gallon containers
  • Backed by the manufacturer’s 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Made in the USA from locally sourced, sustainable and cruelty-free ingredients

Pros

  • Spray design quick and easy to apply to canines, especially seniors who may struggle to move around
  • Gentle formula makes it an excellent product for pups with sensitive skin
  • Light scent provides fragrance without being too overwhelming to you and your dog

Cons

  • Some pet parents experienced issues with the spray nozzle not working
  • Not every dog likes be sprayed, especially nervous doggos who may be startled by the sound

2. Paw Choice Foaming Mousse Dry Dog Shampoo

Best Foaming Dry Shampoo for Dogs
Paw Choice Foaming Mousse Dry Dog Shampoo
A light and fruity-scented dry shampoo for dogs in an easy-to-apply foaming mousse.
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About: The Paw Choice Foaming Mousse Dog Shampoo is designed to work for all different fur types and is easy to work into your pup’s ‘do to power away trapped odors. It helps to clean the skin and coat and keeps your dog smelling fresh between baths.

Features:

  • Available in Mango & Pomegranate and Lavender & Chamomile scents
  • Gentle enough for dogs with sensitive skin
  • Limited-ingredient list, based primarily on premium, natural ingredients
  • Made in the USA

Pros

  • Most doggos don’t mind having this mousse massaged into their coat
  • Foam helps keep shedding hair clumped on your brush versus floating freely
  • Stronger scent ideal for banishing a smelly coat

Cons

  • Mousse shampoos aren’t as convenient as spray-style options
  • Some pet parents found the product to have a strong smell that was too overwhelming

3. Burt’s Bees Waterless Dog Shampoo Spray

Most Affordable Dry Shampoo for Dogs
Burt's Bees Waterless Dog Shampoo Spray

A budget-friendly stinky dog solution made without sulfates and parabens.

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About: Tackle stinky dog smell for less with Burt’s Bees Waterless Dog Shampoo Spray, a gentle formula made without parabens, sulfates, or artificial fragrances. Just spritz your dog down from ears to tail and let it dry to refresh your Rover in a flash.

Features:

  • Non-irritating formula is pH-balanced to avoid skin distress
  • Scented with all-natural ingredients — apple and honey
  • Won’t wash away or cancel out flea and tick topicals
  • Made in the USA with cruelty-free practices

Pros

  • Affordable price a win for keeping your canine fresher without breaking the bank
  • Natural fragrance is a hit with pet parents looking to avoid harsh artificial scents
  • Gentle formula ideal for dogs with sensitive skin

Cons

  • A few pet parents complained it left a sticky residue on canine coats
  • Some pawrents felt the scent didn’t last long enough

4. JP Pet Oatmeal Waterless Foam Shampoo

Best Dry Shampoo for Dogs with Sensitive Skin
JP Pet Oatmeal Waterless Foam Shampoo

A ph-balanced, waterless dog shampoo featuring gentle, skin-soothing ingredients like oatmeal, aloe, and almond oil.

Buy on Amazon

About: Protect your sensitive sniffer’s health with JP Pet’s Oatmeal Waterless Foam Shampoo, a gentle dry dog shampoo option containing oatmeal, aloe, and chamomile as a trio of skin-soothing sweetness. This foaming find is specially formulated to grip oil and dirt in your canine’s coat, allowing you to brush out the ickies after application.

Features:

  • Light almond scent from sweet almond oil
  • Fast-drying formula won’t leave your home all sticky
  • Packaged in recycled package for a greener approach
  • Made in the USA utilizing cruelty-free methods

Pros

  • Skin-soothing recipe perfect for dogs with sensitivity issues
  • Pricing isn’t too bad
  • Foam waterless dry shampoo is a breeze to apply

Cons

  • Some owners prefer the convenience of a spray
  • A few doggo owners felt the scent was too strong

5. BioSilk for Dogs Silk Therapy Shampoo

Best Organic Dry Shampoo for Dogs
BioSilk for Dogs Silk Therapy Shampoo

A dry dog shampoo scented with organic coconut for healthier, less stinky hair.

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About: Keep things closer to nature with BioSilk for Dogs Silk Therapy Shampoo, a waterless, spray-on coat refresher featuring organic coconut oil for moisturizing your mutt’s skin and leaving his coat smooth. Easy to apply, you just mist your furry friend from ears to tail, massage into the fur, brush your barker, and let it dry. After, enjoy the fresh coconut scent!

Features:

  • Safe for use on dogs and puppies 8 weeks and older, per the manufacturer
  • Formula is pH-balanced for canines
  • Doesn’t contain parabens or sulfates
  • Made in the USA

Pros

  • Use of organic coconut oil a win for owners aiming toward more natural ingredients
  • Most pet parents are pleased with a coconut scent
  • Many pawrents note shinier, softer coats and moister skin after use

Cons

  • Some experienced issues with the bottle’s seal leaking
  • A handful of owners found the fragrance to be too strong

6. Arm & Hammer Ultra Fresh No Rinse Deodorizing Foam for Dogs

Best Smelling Dry Shampoo for Dogs
Arm & Hammer Ultra Fresh No Rinse Deodorizing Foam for Dogs

A no-rinse recipe designed to tackle through tough canine odors yet leaves behind a light, woodsy aroma.

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About: Looking for the bee’s knees of Fido-friendly fragrance in dry shampoo for dogs? Check out Arm & Hammer Ultra Fresh No Rinse Deodorizing Foam for Dogs, a waterless shampoo bursting with a wonderful juniper scent that shuns the cloyingly sweet smells of typical pupper perfumes for woodsy goodness. This coat cleaning aid also includes baking soda for banishing bad odors trapped in your floof’s fur between regular baths.

Features:

  • Easy to apply – just pump into your hands, rub into your doggo’s coat, and towel dry
  • Formula is pH-balanced for dogs to ensure skin safety
  • Doesn’t contain SLS, parabens, or phthalates
  • Made in China

Pros

  • Most owners really enjoy the scent of this product
  • Affordable price point a win
  • Foam format lets you really work the product into your pup’s coat

Cons

  • Not as convenient as spray-on dry shampoos for dogs
  • Made in China

Dogs Who May Benefit from Dry Shampoos

boston bars for dog

Most dogs will still need an occasional bath now and then, with traditional soap and water, but dry shampoos can be a valuable tool for keeping your dog clean and smelling his best between baths. Dry dog shampoo is quick and easy to use, potentially saving your bathroom (and back!) from a muttastic mess or wallet from a pricey grooming trip.

Some of the most common situations and scenarios in which dry shampoos may be helpful include:

  • Dogs who cannot stand comfortably. If your dog is elderly, injured, suffering from arthritis, or otherwise unable to stand for the 15 or 20 minutes it may take to bathe him, you may want to use a dry shampoo as much as is possible to limit the wear and tear on his body.
  • Smelly dogs who need a quick touch-up. For example, maybe you have company coming over, and you don’t have the time to give your stinky dog a full bath. In such cases, a quick waterless shampooing can prevent your dog from exuding obnoxious odors until you can partake in bath time.
  • Dogs who hate water. Some dogs simply hate the water and taking baths, which makes bath time very difficult. While you’ll still need to give your dog an occasional bath, a dry shampoo can help you stretch out the time between regular bathing while keeping your dog relatively clean. Does this sound like your doggo? Check out How to Teach Your Dog to Like Water for tips and tricks.
  • Dogs who are too big for you to bathe safely. Gigantic dogs are often very difficult to handle, control, and bathe, even if they don’t object to the process. Trying to wrestle a 200-pound Great Dane who is sopping wet, covered in shampoo, and on a slippery surface is a recipe for disaster. It is often wisest to have giant breeds professionally bathed, but a dry shampoo can help keep him clean between grooming session visits.
  • Dogs who just need a spot-cleaning. If your dog just got his feet dirty running through a puddle or happened to bump into something messy, smelly, or slimy, a bit of dry shampoo may help you avoid the need for a regular bath, offering a pleasant scent with a spritz or squirt.

How Often Can I Use a Dry Shampoo for Dogs?

is mobile grooming better

Now that you have your pick for the best dry shampoo for dogs in mind, you may be curious how to safely use the product. Is there such a thing as too often? Too little? Let’s get after it!

When applying dry shampoo to your doggo:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. As a general rule, dry shampoo for dogs is safe to use about once a week, but this varies from product to product. Always refer to the manufacturer’s directions listed on the bottle to avoid any issues.
  • Don’t overdo it. In addition to frequency, you want to ensure you’re not applying too much dry shampoo to your doggo. More shampoo doesn’t equate cleaner; it can mean skin irritation! Follow the product instructions to keep your canine safe.
  • Ask your vet for advice. It’s always a good idea to refer specific concerns to your vet, especially if your pup has existing skin and coat conditions. What works for most dogs may not work for your four-footer’s unique needs.

Applying even the best dry shampoo for dogs too often can lead to dry skin, itching, and other complications. If you notice any skin irritation on your pup after applying a dry shampoo, discontinue use and contact your vet.

How Do You Make a Homemade Dry Shampoo for Dogs?

bad oatmeal for dogs

While many pet parents are happy to use the best dry shampoo for dogs, you may be interested in trying a homemade brew, especially if you’re concerned about hidden ingredients that may trigger your dog’s allergies or other skin sensitivities. If that’s the case, here’s a DIY no-rinse dog shampoo recipe you can whip up at home.

Homemade No-Rinse Dry Shampoo Powder for Dogs

You’ll need the following supplies to craft this homemade creation, though luckily most are probably already sitting in your pantry:

  • A container with a hole-punched lid for sprinkling (an old Parmesan container is perfect!)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 3 to 4 drops of lavender essential oil (rosemary, chamomile, and bergamot are also dog-safe)
  • A funnel (Optional)

Use caution with essential oils, as they’re not all dog-friendly. Avoid clove, citrus, peppermint, and pine essential oils, and never put any oil directly on your dog’s skin or coat to prevent irritation. Ask your vet if you’re unsure if an essential oil is dog-safe.

To make your DIY no-rinse dry shampoo powder for dogs:

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well, ensuring the essential oils are well-distributed.
  • Put the mixture into the container with the hole-punched lid.
  • When ready to use, sprinkle over your dog’s coat from ears to tail, avoiding the eyes. Work the mixture into your pup’s fur with your hands and brush away the excess.
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Recommended Read

Love the idea of doggy DIYing your best buddy’s grooming goodies? Read our guide on DIY dog shampoos — the ultimate way of controlling what does and doesn’t go in your sniffer’s shampoo!

Best Dry Shampoo for Dogs FAQ

best dry shampoo for dogs

Still have questions about the best dry shampoo for dogs? Not sure if dry shampoos for dogs are right for your pup or wondering about how to use them properly? Check out the most commonly asked questions surrounding the topic, along with the matching answers.

Is dry shampoo safe for dogs?

Dry shampoos that are specifically formulated for pets with an appropriate PH balance should generally be safe for canines. Opting for products using natural ingredients and avoiding those with synthetic fragrances is best for avoiding any hiccups, along with following the manufacturer’s instructions.

That said, if your canine companion has existing skin sensitivities, coat concerns, or allergies, consult your vet prior to applying any dry shampoo, including waterless or no-rinse shampoos. Sometimes, artificial fragrances and other ingredients in dry pet shampoos can irritate sensitive sniffers, leading to dry, itchy skin, sneezing, and more. Your vet may recommend medicated dog shampoos or shampoo for dogs with allergies instead.

How do I use dry shampoo on my dog?

For shampoo sprays, spritz the dry shampoo onto your dog’s coat from the spray bottle, massage the product down into his skin, wait a few minutes, and then brush or wipe off the excess residue. Brushing often leads to the best results, as it helps distribute the product and removes loose hairs, aiding in a shiny coat.

Foam shampoo generally has similar instructions, though you’ll have to work harder to ensure your dog’s coat is properly saturated. It’s also vital to follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely to avoid dry skin and patches of sticky coat.

Be sure to apply any spray bottle or no-rinse dog shampoo in a well-ventilated area. While the fresh scent may be heavenly to our noses, it can be overwhelming to your doggo’s schnoz.

What is in dry shampoo for dogs?

Dry shampoo contains special oil-absorbing active ingredients, which help remove the excess oil on your dog’s skin and coat. These products often contain fragrances to mask pet odors, too, ranging from a soft, refreshing scent to stronger cologne-like aromas.

Remember to check the ingredient list of any new pupper product, especially if you have dogs with skin allergies. Dry shampoos for dogs relying on all-natural ingredients are generally best, though unfortunately, not every manufacturer provides an ingredient list on their product’s bottle.

How often can I use a dry dog shampoo?

Dry dog shampoo is generally OK to use once weekly to battle bad odors between grooming appointments or bathing sessions, but always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance. Applying dry and no-rinse dog shampoo too often can lead to coat buildup or, in some cases, skin irritation or coat drying in canines.

Are dry shampoos good for dogs?

Dry shampoo for dogs helps freshen your Fido between good old-fashioned baths. It’s also less stressful than a trip to the tub, which is always a win with a bath-hating barker. These products don’t offer as great of a wash as regular shampoos but provide a chance for quick cleanings in a pinch and often feature a pleasant smell to combat doggy odor.

One could also argue that dry shampoos save on dog grooming costs, which leaves doggy dollars for more canine enrichment, like interactive toys and long-lasting chews. That’s certainly good for your doggo!

Is waterless shampoo OK for dogs?

Most dogs are fine using no-rinse shampoos, but there are exceptions. It’s always a good idea to check with your vet before application if your dog has coat problems or skin conditions, as you don’t want to risk aggravating them. You’ll also want to ask your vet prior to application if you use topical flea and tick treatments.

Do vets recommend dry shampoo for dogs?

Unfortunately, vets aren’t a monolithic group. One vet may like waterless dog shampoo, while another may find it a poor choice. What your vet thinks about using it on your unique pooch is most important.

   

Have you ever used dry or waterless shampoos on your dog? Did you try any of our picks for the best dry shampoo for dogs? What did you think of them? More importantly, how did they work for your dog? Let us know all about it in the comments below!

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Written by

Meg Marrs

Meg Marrs is the Founder and Director of Marketing at K9 of Mine. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! She loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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Kim Caldwell

I have to shit Zu And I wanted to get some dry shampoo they scratch a lot and they don’t like water

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K.J. CROLL

Where can I get it ??

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Meg Marrs

Links to the products are all in the article.

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