Here are the best waterless dog shampoo we’re covering:
- For dogs with allergies and sensitive skin: Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo
- For short-haired breeds: Warren London Dry & Waterless Shampoo
- For dogs with skin conditions: Vet’s Best Waterless Dog Bath
- For smelly and dirty dogs: Bodhi Dog Non-Toxic Waterless Dog Shampoo
- For dogs with dry or brittle hair: John Paul Pet Oatmeal Waterless
If you’re looking for a way to get your dog clean without having to spend a whole lot of time and energy wrestling them into the bathtub, you may want to consider using a dry shampoo! Just like dry shampoo for human hair, waterless shampoos for dogs can be an easy, stress-free way to freshen up your dog’s coat and leave them feeling refreshed and ready to get back out there!
Dry shampoos work by spraying a fine powder onto oily hair or fur. The powder soaks up the natural oils on your dog’s coat and forms into little clumps that are easy to wick away. While it may not be as effective as a full grooming treatment, it’s usually a quick and simple solution that will leave your dog’s coat looking cleaner and feeling a lot lighter.
Our recommendation for the best waterless dog shampoo
In general, the best waterless dog shampoo is one that works well for both you and your dog. On your end, this means that you should look for a shampoo that is easy for you to use. Look for quick-drying shampoos that won’t leave a lot of residue to pile up around the home and try to find an easy-applying shampoo that sprays in a fine mist.
“Straight shooters” may seem cleaner, but they also tend to be too strong, increasing your chances of spooking your dog.
On the canine side, look for shampoos that are designed for sensitive skin. Even if your dog doesn’t have particularly sensitive skin, it’s always a good idea to pick a gentler formula whenever possible. This will greatly reduce the risk of your dog developing any skin issues or aversions to waterless shampoos.
Finally, try to steer clear of scented skin and hair products. Your dog may not have any allergies that you’re aware of, but scented products tend to contain harsher chemicals that can wreak havoc on a dog’s senses.
If you’re looking for a way to reduce doggy odors, try to find a product that neutralizes or cancels out any unpleasant smells instead of masking them. This will give you a fresher scent without impacting your dog’s overall health and wellness.
Ultimately, no matter what you choose, as long as it works for you and makes your dog happy, you should be in the clear to keep using whatever brand of dog shampoo you like best!
There are a lot of fantastic waterless shampoos available on the market today. The product you choose ultimately comes down to what works best for your dog’s personality and coat type, along with your own personal preferences for which product is easiest to use.
We’ve picked five of our favorite dry shampoos for you to check out, along with a list of pros, cons, and what kind of dog best fits with each individual product. Feel free to use these products as a starting point as you search for the best brand of waterless shampoo for you and your dog!
Made of a soft, oatmeal-based formula, Wahl Pet Friendly waterless shampoo is a gentle, nourishing cleanser that’s specifically designed for dogs with allergies or particularly reactive skin. It’s got a mild coconut lime scent, but the formula is made of wholly natural ingredients, so you won’t have to worry about harsh chemicals.
Pros: allergy-friendly formula, moisturizes dry skin and prevents itching, easy to use and wipe away with a brush or a cloth, results in soft, clean coat, comes in a quick-drying foam application for less of a mess than the traditional powder spray, pleasant lime scent
Cons: keep this waterless shampoo away from your dog’s eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. While there aren’t any harsh chemicals or allergens in the product, it still contains cleaning additives that can sting a little in sensitive areas.
Perfect for: dogs with allergies, dogs with sensitive skin, dogs with dry skin mixed breed dogs with thick coats or curly hair
Another great option that was designed for animals of all sizes, the Warren London Dry & Waterless Shampoo is easy to wipe down with just a cloth or a brush. Although it has a mild green apple scent, this shampoo aims more at neutralizing those natural doggy smells instead of masking them.
Pros: mild scent, neutralizes odors without triggering allergies, great for short-haired dogs, works on large or small animals, easy to use and easy to clean, leaves minimal residue, doesn’t interact with flea medications or treatments for other parasites, very fine spray
Cons: as with other spray-on shampoos, you may want to make sure that this doesn’t get anywhere near your dog’s eyes or mouth. Moreover, if your dog’s odor persists, you may want to seek a medical opinion instead of continuing to apply the waterless shampoo.
Perfect for: short-haired breeds, dogs with fine hair, dogs with a noticeable odor, owners who don’t want a mess
Vet’s Best Waterless Dog Bath is made of completely natural ingredients and is gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin. It’s also designed to work with other skin treatments without canceling them out, so you can rest easy knowing that your dog’s skin and coat are as healthy as can be!
Pros: works to boost other skin treatments, great for use with tick or flea medication, all-natural ingredient, relaxing aroma designed to calm down nervous dogs, easy to use, soothes and moisturizes skin, brushes away easily after each application
Cons: because of the entirely natural formula, the scent of this shampoo may not be as long-lasting as that of other similar products. In addition, the ingredients used (aloe vera, oatmeal, and especially neem oil) may create a slightly off-putting aroma for owners.
Perfect for: dogs with skin conditions, dogs who are undergoing treatment for some other issue, dogs with sensitive skin or higher risk of allergies.
Another multipurpose cleaner, the Bodhi Dog Non-Toxic Waterless Dog Shampoo is gentle on human hands and pet skins alike. Bodhi Dog’s commitment to eco-friendly products means that this shampoo is as good for the environment as it is for your dog. Overall, just a gentle, effective, and easy-to-use and water-free dog shampoo!
Pros: fresh lemongrass scent, light and refreshing without being overpowering, natural, locally sourced, and sustainable ingredients, eco-friendly packaging, suitable for use on all breeds, gentle on human skin as well as dog skin, softens and conditions coat, easy to clean
Cons: while the lemongrass smell is naturally derived and won’t hurt your dog’s coat at all, you may find the scent a little overwhelming. Again, as with other products, keep this shampoo away from your dog’s eyes and nose.
Perfect for: environmentally conscientious owners, dogs with allergies, dogs with a strong odor, dogs who like to spend a lot of time getting dirty outside.
Another oatmeal-based formula, the John Paul pet shampoo is designed to be as gentle and non-irritating as possible. The soft, nourishing formula restores the natural lipid layer of your dog’s skin and encourages healthy hair growth without having to worry about their coat drying out or being exposed to harsh grooming products.
Pros: light almond fragrance, restores and nourishes natural oils, doesn’t strip away natural protection, rich formula for shinier, healthier coat, specifically designed to clean away dirt and odor-forming residue, softens coat and replenishes skin, human-grade hair care quality, but designed for dogs
Cons: while this shampoo works beautifully on short-haired dogs, the natural oils may build up on dogs with already oily hair or dogs with long, thick coats. Test the shampoo out on a small area before applying it to the whole dog.
Perfect for: short-haired breeds, dogs with dry or brittle hair, dogs that struggle with harsher grooming products or dried skin conditions.
Most of us don’t use waterless shampoos very often. As a result, it’s perfectly natural to have some lingering questions before you break out the spray can. Some of the more common of these questions include:
Is waterless shampoo good for dogs?
Probably the biggest advantage when it comes to waterless shampoos is the obvious lack of water. A lot of dogs just don’t like taking a bath, and it can be a major pain to try and coax them into the tub.
In that respect, waterless shampoo can be very good for dogs in that it helps reduce the fear and anxiety that many dogs associate with bathtime.
Moreover, waterless shampoos can be a good way to keep your dog clean without having to take them to a groomer. By regularly shampooing your dog’s coat, you reduce their risk of tangled or matted hair. In turn, this reduces their risk of parasites like ticks and fleas, along with the associated health risks that often accompany those pests.
Can waterless shampoo hurt my dog?
Waterless shampoo is about as safe as regular shampoo, which means that the answer really boils down to it depends. If you’re using a harsh, scented product, it may not be entirely safe, and you may run the risk of hurting your dog’s skin.
However, if you’ve done your homework and found a waterless shampoo that cleans without irritation or abrasion, your chances of hurting your dog are extremely low.
As with any new product, keep an eye out for how your dog reacts to your trying a new shampoo. If you notice any signs of irritation on the skin or any signs of discomfort at all, stop using the shampoo. Talk to your local veterinarian or switch to a gentler product than the one you’ve just started trying out.
How often can I use waterless shampoo?
This is another question that largely boils down to an answer of it depends. If your dog has particularly oily fur or spends a lot of time outdoors, you can probably use dry shampoo once a week or so. If your dog is not especially prone to getting dirty, you’ll probably be able to get away with shampooing them far less often, around once or twice a month.
Regardless of your dog’s habits, you really don’t want to shampoo them more than once a week. If you’re overly ambitious on your grooming schedule, you run the risk of irritating your dog’s skin. Moreover, by constantly stripping the natural oils of your dog’s coat, you increase your chance of dry and brittle fur that breaks off easily.
Can I use human dry shampoo on my dog?
Can you? Yes. Should you? Probably not. Human dry shampoos tend to be a lot tougher than shampoos designed for dogs, which means that they’re far more likely to contain chemicals or additives that can seriously harm your dog’s skin and fur. They can also trigger allergic reactions that can then evolve into far more serious health concerns.
If, for whatever reason, you’re in a situation where you have no choice but to use human waterless shampoo, try to find a product that’s designed for sensitive scalps. Stay away from any product that advertises a strong scent and check the ingredient list to make sure it’s made with mostly natural ingredients.
For a one-time solution, it probably won’t be the end of the world, but you should definitely try to avoid using human products on dogs.