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Dry Shampoo for Dogs: 7 Favorites for Easy Cleaning

Dog getting sprayed with dry shampoo

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Most dogs don’t need frequent baths or grooming sessions, unless they get dirty or are prone to matting. But for freshening up between bathing, dry shampoo for dogs can help cut down on oil, reduce odors, and add some shine to your pup’s coat. 

What is Dry Shampoo for Dogs?

“Dry shampoo is a good alternative to a full wet bath,” says Nicole Rigger, owner of Petsagogo in New York and Connecticut. “It is generally utilized for spot treatment or dirt and mud. It can also be utilized to freshen up a previous groom or can be a good alternative to full wet baths for dogs that have a propensity to hot spots.” 

Rigger explains that regular dog shampoo relies on surfactants that bond to dirt when lathered and then wash it away when rinsed with water. But dry shampoos or waterless shampoos for dogs are applied, worked into the skin, and then brushed away without the need for rinsing or water. 

“Generally dry shampoos are best for short haired dogs or to remove a specific spot on a long-haired pup instead of doing a full bath,” says Rigger.

Most dry shampoos come in a low-moisture foam formula. These are usually pumped into a pet parent’s hands and worked into a dog’s fur. There are some powders and sprays on the market as well, but you won’t find many aerosol options for dogs—the kind that’s most popular for humans. 

“I personally would avoid anything that is aerosol based for fear of breathing the propellant in as well as powder that would leave a significant residue that the pet could lick off,” says Rigger.

How to Use Dry Shampoo for Dogs

Woman using dog dry shampoo

Dry shampoos are meant to be an easy way to freshen a dog’s coat between regular bathings—so application is pretty simple. 

If using a foam-based dry shampoo for dogs, Rigger suggests pumping the product into your hands and then spreading it onto your dog’s coat—paying special attention to areas that are dirty or a bit greasy. Then you can brush it out. 

Brushing is an important part of the process because that is what helps to remove the dirt and debris. If pet parents do not brush out dry shampoo, it could leave a residue behind. 

Sprays work in a similar way, but you can usually spray the product directly onto your dog. If the dry shampoo comes in powder form, you can sprinkle the powder directly on your dog too. But even sprays and powders need to be brushed out after applying for best results. 

Dry shampoos for dogs are meant to be a stop-gap between regular baths. But they shouldn’t be used every day or even once a week. “I would not utilize a dry shampoo more than once every 2-3 weeks to avoid build-up,” says Rigger.

Best Dry Shampoo for Dogs: 7 Great Options to Try

We asked grooming professionals and pet parents about their favorite dry shampoos for dogs and scoured online pet retailers for the products with the best reviews and ratings. 

The waterless dog shampoos below are easy to use, smell great, and are priced affordably. You can’t go wrong with any on this list. 

John Paul Pet Oatmeal Waterless Foam Shampoo for Dogs

John Paul Pet Oatmeal Waterless Foam Shampoo for Dogs

Plenty of humans trust their locks to John Paul products. He’s the founder of Paul Mitchell salons and pioneered the trend of not testing products on animals. Given his experience and love for pets, John Paul DeJoria launched a whole line of shampoos, conditioners, and wipes for our canine companions—including this waterless foam shampoo. This dry shampoo for dogs is formulated with oatmeal, aloe, and chamomile to help clean and soothe the skin. There’s no need for rinsing and this product is great to use between bathing for odor reduction. It has a natural almond scent and it’s pH balanced for pets. 

Highlights

  • Natural ingredients like oatmeal, aloe, and chamomile.
  • Almond oil conditions and offers a pleasant scent.
  • Concentrated formula means you only need a little each time, making the bottle last longer than some other products. 
  • Specifically pH balanced for pets.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Also works for cats.
  • A portion of the proceeds benefit animal welfare organizations.

Things to Consider

  • A couple reviewers complained about the packaging, saying the pump was difficult to use and the bottle leaked. Just be careful when storing and using. 
  • Some people said this left a residue on their pet’s fur. Make sure to brush your pet after applying. 
  • The scent is on the lighter side, so if your dog is really smelly, this may not fully control odor. 

Wahl Waterless No Rinse Shampoo for Animals

Wahl Waterless No Rinse Shampoo for Animals

If you like the coconut-lime scent of human body washes and shampoos, you’ll love this dog dry shampoo from grooming experts Wahl. This waterless shampoo offers a yummy smelling coconut lime verbena scent and an oatmeal formula for moisture and softness. We love that this product is alcohol free, paraben free, and ph-balanced for pets. To use, you simply pump some out, spread it on your dog’s coat, towel dry, and brush. No rinsing necessary. This is a great option for dogs with sensitive skin or allergies, too. 

Highlights

  • No alcohol or parabens.
  • We love the scent.
  • pH balanced for pets.
  • Great for dogs with sensitive skin or allergies.
  • Oatmeal helps moisturize and condition skin. 

Things to Consider

  • The scent is quite strong, so if you’re sensitive to scents, this might not be for you.
  • You should towel dry your dog and brush your dog to remove residue. 

Burt’s Bees for Dogs Natural Waterless Shampoo Spray

Burt's Bees for Dogs Natural Waterless Shampoo Spray

Unlike some other dry shampoos for dogs, this one from Burt’s Bees is a spray instead of a foam. We like the simplicity of a spray, as it’s a bit easier to disperse onto your pet. This all-natural formula is made with apple extract and honey for a light, delicious scent and stand-out shine. This no-rinse dog shampoo is made without sulfates, colorants, fragrances or harsh chemicals and it’s pH balanced to work with your dog’s skin. What’s not to like?

Highlights

  • All natural ingredients without sulfates, colorants, or fragrances.
  • We like the simple spray application.
  • Nice light honey scent. 
  • Suitable for both dogs and puppies.
  • pH balanced for dogs.

Things to Consider

  • The scent is not strong or particularly long lasting. If you want something with a scent that lasts, this isn’t the one for you.  
  • Some reviewers found the packaging didn’t produce a lot of spray, so it took quite a bit of spraying to coat their dogs. 

ExerShield Dry Powder Shampoo for Dogs

ExerShield Dry Powder Shampoo for Dogs

If you’re not in the mood to use sprays or foams, then this powdered dry shampoo for dogs may be just the ticket. It comes in recyclable, shaker-style packaging that’s environmentally friendly and very easy to use. To use this product, all you have to do is shake some on to your dog’s fur, work it in, and brush it out. Natural ingredients like frankincense, cedarwood, lavender, aloe, and chamomile all work together to deodorize and condition your dog’s coat. 

Highlights

  • Powder formula is easy to sprinkle on and brush out.
  • All natural ingredients.
  • Packaging is environmentally friendly.
  • Has a natural scent that sticks around for a bit. 
  • Made in the USA.

Things to Consider

  • The powder can be a little bit messy if you’re not careful.
  • On dogs with dark coats, it may leave a white-ish cast. Brush it out well to avoid this.

Arm & Hammer for Pets Aerosol Dry Shampoo for Dogs

Arm & Hammer for Pets Aerosol Dry Shampoo for Dogs

As a trusted name in household products, Arm & Hammer knows what it takes to deodorize stinky pets between baths. This dry shampoo for dogs is blood orange scented, all natural, and pH balanced for our four-legged companions. This formula uses the power of baking powder to help cut down on odors and refresh your dog’s coat. It is easy to spread over your dog’s coat and dissolves quickly. 

Highlights

  • Uses baking soda to deodorize and refresh.
  • pH balanced for dogs.
  • Easy to use and spray. No residue.
  • Veterinarian recommended. 
  • Blood orange scent. 

Things to Consider

  • Does need to be shaken before use. 
  • The spray is quite forceful, so timid pups may be startled.
  • Some pet owners may not like this particular scent. 

Tropiclean Waterless Shampoo for Pets

Tropiclean Waterless Shampoo for Pets

We’re big fans of Tropiclean products. In fact, their deodorizing pet spray makes our list of best pet odor eliminators. And their waterless shampoo products also help kick gross pet odors to the curb. This is a foam formula that you spread on your dog and work into their skin. No rinsing is necessary. We love that this shampoo is hypoallergenic and made in the USA. Better yet, it comes in four different scents, allowing you to pick one that works best for you and your pet.

Highlights

  • Variety of scents and options for your dog.
  • Foam is easy to work into your dog’s coat and skin.
  • Easy to pack on the go.
  • pH formulated for dogs and cats.
  • Made in the USA.

Things to Consider

  • Should only be used on dogs and cats 12 weeks and older.
  • Some reviewers had a difficult time with the pump working correctly.

Mighty Mutt Hypoallergenic Waterless Shampoo for Dogs

Mighty Mutt Hypoallergenic Waterless Shampoo for Dogs

For a dog dry shampoo with limited, all-natural ingredients, we really like this one from Mighty Mutt. It’s made without sulfates, parabens, dyes, phthalates, and other toxins. It is a foam shampoo that is easy to apply—just work it in, let it air dry, and brush it out. We like the fact that this waterless shampoo is tearless (although it’s best to avoid getting it in your dog’s eyes). It’s also hypoallergenic, meaning it won’t dry out your dog’s skin or cause itchiness. 

Highlights

  • All natural, limited ingredients.
  • No sulfates, parabens, dyes, or phthalates.
  • Refreshing “fresh breeze” scent.
  • Hypoallergenic and tear-free formula.
  • Made in the USA.

Things to Consider

  • For an 8-oz bottle, it is a little more expensive than some other shampoos. 

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