14 Best Dog Shampoos For Odor Control

best dog shampoo for odor
When dealing with pet odor water alone is not going to resolve the issue. Odor can be held inside the wax and oil secretions on the skin; This is the reason that dogs often smell bad again right after a bath. This review is going to look at the important points that make up the best dog shampoo for odor to make you and your pet more comfortable.
Table of Contents

Top 14 dog shampoos for odor

Pro Pet Works Organic Oatmeal Shampoo + Conditioner

Pro Pet Works All Natural Organic Oatmeal Pet Shampoo + Conditioner

Our Rating:

4.6/5

Price Range: $$

This shampoo is labeled as organic as well as biodegradable and hypoallergenic. The cleaning component of this shampoo is coconut-based cleansers. It also contains oat, aloe vera and almond oil to condition the coat and skin. This is a mild shampoo that can be used for routine cleaning. There is an emulsifier that helps to suspend the oils into the water, but it won’t strip the coat. Dog’s with odor due to really heavy oils may not be as fresh and clean as you like using this product. I always feel more comfortable trying the milder shampoo first because the stronger oil stripping products can really irritate some dog’s skin so if you don’t need them it’s best not to use them.
The company has a strong social mission including the use of recycled materials and cruelty-free production. Additionally, there is a 100% money-back guarantee.

What We Like About It

What We Don't Like

A quick tip from the Vet!

If you need to get oil off your dog you need to really massage the product down to the skin, and potentially leave it on for a few minutes. There is a lot of dissatisfaction with a product because the bathing is not being done correctly. Suds on the surface will not remove odor.

Earthbath

Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo

Our Rating:

4.5/5

Price Range: $$

This is a very simple product which is great for ingredient-conscious pet parents. It contains a coconut-based cleanser which is mild and not extremely oil stripping. The shampoo is biodegradable, which is a good feature in general but especially for outdoor bathing. A rosemary-scented shampoo which appeals to a lot of people. There are no chemical perfumes added. Rosemary can be overwhelming for some though so you’ll have to try it out for your dog and people family.
This is a mild shampoo that will not strip oils from the skin. It’s a great grooming option but may not get the odor control needed for dogs with oily, greasy coats. Starting with the mildest shampoo that could do the job is a good idea though. If you strip too much oil from your dog’s coat you will end up making them itchy.
The company promotes its social mission of a community giving program and support for local non-profits in addition to the cruelty-free manufacturer there is also a guarantee to look into.

What We Like About It

What We Don't Like

Paws & Pals Natural Oatmeal Dog-Shampoo And Conditioner

Paws & Pals Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and Conditioner

Our Rating:

4.5/5

Price Range: $

This is a natural shampoo. The ingredient list can be a bit intimidating because they use all the chemical names instead of common names. This shampoo uses a coconut-based cleanser and has several natural oils to moisturize the skin and coat as well as oat kernel flour for moisturizing and allergy relief. It contains an emulsifier which helps the oils to mix with the water and be lifted away but doesn’t strip and dry the skin. The term medicated is misleading because there isn’t actually any medication in it. The shampoo is also labeled as vegan which is a plus for vegan homes.
It’s recommended to let the shampoo stand on the coat for a minute or two for the product to have its full effect. This is very important for odor control because if you don’t penetrate through the coat and down to the skin you may not eliminate all of the odor.
This is a made in the U.S. product with cruelty-free labeling. There is not a stated warranty so that may matter to some people.

What We Like About It

What We Don't Like

Wahl Natural Pet Odor Shampoo

Wahl Odor Control Shampoo for Dogs

Our Rating:

4.5/5

Price Range: $

This shampoo is coconut and soy-based cleansers with emulsifiers to mix oil into the water so it washes off. It comes in a concentrate that says it’s equal to 24oz when diluted correctly. The scent is eucalyptus spearmint. It does contain coloring agents which disappoints me because that does not add value to the shampoo making it an unnecessary chemical. As long as the dog doesn’t eat the shampoo this should be a factor in soy allergies, but if there is another product that meets your needs then don’t risk it.
Though I don’t see any dangerous chemicals in the shampoo there are unnecessary ingredients such as the fragrance and color that this just wouldn’t be my first choice. It may work great for you and if it does I’m not saying throw it out, I just wouldn’t pick it first.
The company has U.S. manufacturing but does not state any warranty. Often times though if you have serious concerns the companies do want to work with you.

What We Like About It

What We Don't Like

A quick tip from the Vet!

Diluting the shampoo in some warm water will often make it easier to work it through the coat and quicker and easier to rinse clear.

Nature’s Miracle Shampoo

Nature's Miracle Supreme Odor Control Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

Our Rating:

4.5/5

Price Range: $

This is a very difficult product for me to evaluate because one-half of the ingredients are a mystery. Plant surfactants and odor control system, rinsing and conditioning agents, fragrance, and preservatives could mean a huge range of things and some may not be very safe. So all I can say is that if they aren’t going to put the ingredients on the bottle I have to say no to the shampoo. It’s a honey sage scent which actually sounds really good and the oatmeal would be soothing, but I can’t say much more about it.
The shampoo is noted as being made in the U.S. but has no stated warrantee. Natures miracle has been around for a long time with some very successful and effective floor and odor treatment products, but the ingredient list concerns me too much to use this as a shampoo. This shampoo really doesn’t hit and points for social consciousness either.

What We Like About It

What We Don't Like

SynergyLabs Soothing & Deodorizing Formula Shampoo

Veterinary Formula Oatmeal Shampoo Eliminate Odors

Our Rating:

4.1/5

Price Range: $

This shampoo ingredient list reads like the chemical name of the company. There are so many unnecessary ingredients including the coloring agents which serve no purpose at all. Some of the chemicals such as acrylates copolymer can act as thickening agents and hardening agents which I’m not sure how that makes the shampoo better. It says that it contains fragrance extenders which worries me what this chemical might be. This has too many chemical agents that aren’t really helping the dog’s skin and coat for me. I would have to say no to this shampoo. The scent is lily and lavender, and I don’t see lavender oil in the ingredients so that’s another red flag for me.
The shampoo is made in the U.S. and there is no reference to a warranty. If your concern is not just if it works but also how it works I’d move on down the aisle past this one.

What We Like About It

What We Don't Like

Gerrard Larriett Aromatherapy Shampoo, Lavender & Chamomile

Aromatherapy Shampoo & Conditioner for Dog Shampoo, Medicated Oatmeal & Pet Odor Eliminator

Our Rating:

4.5/5

Price Range: $$

This shampoo’s cleaning formula is coconut-based cleansers. The glycerin will help remove some oil. It’s lavender and chamomile scent, but the ingredients just list fragrance so I’m not sure how they come by the scent. It’s listed as an aromatherapy shampoo which is a non-starter for me. Most dogs don’t like strong essential oils.
The conditioner is lanolin based which is important to take note of because some people are sensitive to lanolin and you wouldn’t want to be scrubbing your dog with this. I have no concerns with it being used on a dog though. It is a biodegradable product which is a good feature for the environment. If you are trying this shampoo I would pay really close attention to your dog’s comfort level with the scent during the bath and the first 24 hours after.
The shampoo is manufactured in the U.S. and labeled as cruelty-free and the container is labeled as recyclable.

What We Like About It

What We Don't Like

Buddy Wash Dog Shampoo & Conditioner for Dogs with Botanical Extracts and Aloe Vera

Buddy Wash Dog Shampoo & Conditioner for Dogs

Our Rating:

4.7/5

Price Range: $$

This shampoo is made with pure botanical extracts (plant-based) and has coconut-based cleansers. It contains several plant extracts that have strong scents so if you are sensitive to smells this one may be a bit potent.
The shampoo scent is rosemary mint. Tea tree oil is a strong astringent which will strip oil from the coat. For dogs that have an odor due to or in conjunction with heavy oils this could be very effective. Wheat protein is also used as a natural deodorizer, and as long as your dog isn’t eating the shampoo this should not be an issue with food sensitivities or allergies.
The shampoo is made in the U.S. and claims no animal testing. An interesting label point is that says it’s safe for humans (this is a bit concerning with the pH differences) but not recommended in cats. It is also labeled for use in dogs only. That is an unusual label that I’m not sure what the idea is behind it. They don’t clearly state a warranty but they do put a contact number on the back of the packaging.

What We Like About It

What We Don't Like

Lillian Ruff Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

Lillian Ruff Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

Our Rating:

4.6/5

Price Range: $$

This is a coconut-based cleanser that contains an emulsifier to lift oil into the water, away from the skin. It contains oatmeal, lavender and coconut oil as conditioners. It does unfortunately list added fragrance. It is lavender coconut scent which is a very appealing mild combination. The ingredients are labeled as vegan which may meet the needs of some households well. They do lay claim to flea and tick repellency but be sure to note that lavender oil does this very slightly and it would not prevent a flea infestation in your house. I look at it more as a nice little side bonus.
The product is manufactured in the U.S. and is labeled cruelty-free and no animal testing. The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you have the chance to try it out and get your money back if it’s not working for you. Considering the vegan ingredients and cruelty-free production and no animal testing this may be a company that has a social mission that resonates with a lot of people.

What We Like About It

What We Don't Like

FURminator deOdorizing Ultra Premium Shampoo

Furminator deOdorizing Ultra Premium Dog Shampoo

Our Rating:

4.5/5

Price Range: $

This shampoo states that it uses mild surfactants (this is the agent that breaks up oil) but doesn’t state what they are made from. It also has vegetable protein extract but no idea from what vegetable. If you are okay with getting past that the other ingredients are actually really appealing. The wheat protein and baking soda act as odor neutralizers.
The oat protein and multiple oils act as moisturizers. Multiple leaf extracts that are astringents which strip oil away. There is also the mystery fragrance and preservative. The shampoo has a minty smell.
In order for this product to work the company recommends 5 to 10 minutes of leave on time to penetrate the coat and clean properly. This is really worth thinking about because if you do a quick wash and rinse you will not likely be satisfied. So is bath time with the pup amenable to your dog being wet and soapy for 10 minutes? If not I would select a different product.
The shampoo is manufactured in the U.S. and there is no stated warranty.

What We Like About It

What We Don't Like

Hartz Groomer

Hartz Groomer's Odor Control Dog Shampoo

Our Rating:

4.1/5

Price Range: $

This shampoo is made with cleansers without any clarity if the source is natural or not. It also contains chemical agents for thickening and the mystery malodor counteractant. Additionally, there are artificial colors that serve no benefit to the dog what-so-ever. The scent is a green apple. There are way too many chemicals in this for my liking that don’t even help the shampoo work.
This is definitely one I would not be eager to put on my dogs. With these synthetic chemical formulations, it makes me think along the lines that, yes if I wash my dog in gasoline it will really strip all the oil away and leave the dog really clean, but that doesn’t make it a good idea.
The company recommends you brush your dog out prior to bathing. Depending on your dog and their coat this may be tough to do. The origin of manufacture is not stated so quality control is unknown. This is a product I would just need to avoid.

What We Like About It

What We Don't Like

Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo

Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo

Our Rating:

4.3/5

Price Range: $$

This is a waterless dog shampoo that has coconut-derived cleansing agents, and emulsifiers that will lift oil into the water. I’m not clear on how much good the emulsifier can do in a product that doesn’t use water to rinse the dog. It is labeled as all-natural but does not list what it uses for fragrance or preservative. This is lavender and chamomile scented which is generally mildly floral.
This will never fully replace bathing because you aren’t rinsing debris away from the skin and coat. For very oily dogs it will be hard to get satisfaction on odor control with a waterless shampoo. If climate or your dog prevents a bath though this is certainly worth a try. Brushing after the treatment will help a lot in cleaning up both the coat and the skin.
Combining U.S manufacture, and a 30 day guarantee would make this company easy to work with if you had questions or concerns.

What We Like About It

What We Don't Like

Nootie Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

Nootie Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

Our Rating:

4.5/5

Price Range: $$

This is an all-natural shampoo that uses cleansers that are probably derived from coconut though it doesn’t state that explicitly. There are multiple oils and aloe vera so it’s a very soothing shampoo. A compound called ordenone binds odor-producing molecules and neutralizes them.
This is a very mild sensitive skin shampoo that has a bonus odor controller so for delicate skin dogs this would be a really good one to try first. Be sure to really work the shampoo down to the skin to both remove oil and odor as well as get the conditioners working for you.
The shampoo carries a 100% money back guarantee with a U.S. manufacturer location.

What We Like About It

What We Don't Like

A quick tip from the Vet!

Always be sure to rinse even more than you think you need to because dried shampoo on the skin causes terrible itching.

Underwater Dogs Haircare Shampoo

Underwater Dogs Soap Free Dog Shampoo

Our Rating:

4/5

Price Range: $$

This shampoo has a fairly simple ingredient list and though it’s not stated most of these products come from coconut these days. The origin of the fragrance is not stated but the scent is coconut vanilla milkshake, which may not be a good choice if you are on a diet.
Even though the company promotes this as a shampoo that will leave your dog soft it does recommend following up the shampooing with a conditioner. The company produces an entire pet care line so if you like this product you can additionally use conditions and soothing sprays.
The shampoo is manufactured by an Australian company, in Australia. They offer a 100% money-back guarantee. Safe and gentle products are declared to be a mission of the company but there is no statement regarding animal product testing. This company may not hit the mark for pet parents that are looking for companies that combine quality with a social mission.

What We Like About It

What We Don't Like

Why do dogs get odor problems?

As is the case with a lot of things in our lives there are multiple causes. Some dogs could have more than one cause at the same time. To think of it in the simplest terms odor comes from secretions made by your dog as well as things that are picked up in the environment. Dogs produce natural oils and secretions, get infections and they like to roll in things. We’ll take a look at each of these categories in detail.

Dirt and Grime

Dogs like to roll in the dirt, mud puddles and most anything that we think smells terrible. A huge variety of materials can get stuck in the hair or fur as well as the oils of the skin. Much of this material can’t be removed without really getting the oil off the skin.

Anal glands and gas

Dogs deal with a lot of digestive issues that can make them very gassy. In addition, dogs that have trouble breathing through their like Boston terriers and French bulldogs swallow a lot of air by mouth breathing and pass a lot of gas. The anal glands are a scent producing tissue that is part of the fecal marking system for dogs. When frightened and sometimes randomly the fluid is expressed. This is an extremely odiferous oily substance so water alone won’t get it off. Some dogs have medical conditions that complicate this.

Skin oils

There is actually a lot happening here. Due to genetic disposition or disease, some dogs produce excessive oil. The greasy coat will trap more debris. Also, the oil itself can go rancid when it has been on the skin for weeks and that has a bad odor. In addition, when heavy oil stays on the skin some dogs will get bacteria or yeast infections under the oil which creates more odor.

Medical issues

Endocrine diseases such as thyroid problems and Cushing’s in particular affect oil secretions in both quantity and consistency which affects proper self-grooming. Immune diseases, infections, wounds also create odors.

How does a dog shampoo for ordor work?

4 Reasons To Start Using Dog Shampoo for odor control

10 Tips For Choosing The Right Shampoo

Without a doubt, the number one thing we are looking for is that it works. It’s also very important that it be safe for our dogs and leaves their skin feeling good and the coat in good condition. The product should also be easy to use.

Eliminates odors

I know when I’m giving a bath to get rid of odors I want them gone, not just covered up. I hear this feeling echoed often. In order to eliminate the odor, the shampoo has to get at the cause, which means a deep cleaning wash.

Effective cleaning

In order for a shampoo to clean effectively, it has to get the oils off the skin and out of the coat. The dead skin and debris needs to be pulled off the skin level and out of the coat. The shampoo also has to rinse clear easily, because shampoo left on causes itching and even skin inflammation.

Quality ingredients

It’s important that the shampoo is made by the safest and most effective ingredients. There are both unsafe but effective ingredients, as well as safe but not effective ingredients. The entire formulation needs to be quality balanced to get the job done for our dogs and our homes.

The right pH level

Dog shampoo is formulated for dogs, having a pH of 6 to 7. Human shampoo is formulated usually around pH of 5 for humans. The big lesson here is to use dog shampoo. It’s good to have the added assurance on the bottle that it is indeed pH balance specifically for dogs.

Doesn’t cause skin sensitivity

It’s extremely important that the ingredients of the shampoo are safe, but there is also an individual aspect to this. Different dogs have differences in their skin chemistry so there is no one fits all shampoo. I encourage starting with an overall high-quality shampoo then really pay attention to how your dog feels after the first bath. This is a big part of why I love money-back guarantees. Even the best product simply won’t work for every dog.

Additional uses

Natural fragrances

Most of the time this means essential oils. People are highly variable as to whether they think they smell good or not. Strong scents, even when made of natural substances usually irritate your dog. With any new fragrance you try to see if it bothers either one of you, we’re all individuals.

Paraben-free?

Parabens are a preservative that originally was used in human products. There is a history of localized skin inflammation and suspicions of a link to cancer. There is very little factual evidence of harm in dogs, but the vast majority of manufacturers have already removed them and you will generally find a note right on the bottle or the manufacturer web site that they are not in the product.

Won’t wash away flea and tick treatment

This should be an issue of the past for most dogs. Oral flea and tick products are safe and far more effective. That said, there is no such thing as a shampoo that doesn’t wash off your topical product. The product settles in the oil glands and gets secreted all month, every time you strip away the oil, you strip away some product. This often results in the product only lasting 2 to 3 weeks instead of 4. So it’s true ONE bath will not strip your product off. If you want to wash your dog a couple of times a month you should be fine.

Cruelty-free

This is a term that is not clearly defined by law and does not always equate to no animal testing. There is leniency in that the final product may not have been tested on animals, though research was. Also, it has a different meaning when manufactured in another country. It’s a great idea, but unfortunately not a rock-solid guarantee that company ethics match yours.

What does it mean when your dog smells bad?

A Buildup of natural oils:

Your dog needs a bath. If the oils start to get rancid and hold variable kinds of the debris to the skin and coat there will be a strong odor. This is not that noticeable on outdoor animals but when they are sleeping in bed with you or joining you on the couch it can be pretty overwhelming.

Infection:

Yeast and bacterial infections can produce a lot of odor. If you give your dog a regular soothing grooming bath and the odor does not improve it’s a good idea to see your family veterinarian to check for health issues. Ear infections are a big part of this because they will often rub their ears and spread the smell to other parts of their bodies.

Anal glands:

This might be simply expressing the gland which dogs do mainly at times of fear or extreme excitement. The oily scent material gets into the coat. This also can be an infection in the gland which is common.

Dental disease:

When dogs have moderate to severe dental disease they have pus in their mouth and often distribute that to the coat during grooming. This can results in a foul smell all over. As a side note, I have seen plenty of dogs with over 10 abscessed teeth that were still eating dry food and chewing their dog bones and toys.

Eliminate the "Wet Dog" Smell

Generally, if your dog has an odor after bathing it is because all of the oils were not cleaned from the coat. Dogs have a natural scent and it’s accentuated when they are wet. So we have a twofold issue here, are you smelling something unusual or just normal dog scent that is not appealing to you.
I have found if you don’t like perfumes oatmeal shampoo competes really well with natural dog scent so you get a cooking oatmeal smell after the bath which most people like better. The best way to get your dog truly clean is to make sure that the shampoo is worked all the way through the coat to the skin level.

Home remedies for a smelly dog

F.A.Qs

How do I manage pet odor in my home? Keeping the dog clean is the starting point, but if the odor is already there, consider hiring a professional cleaner. Upholstery and carpet padding hold a lot of oils and debris and they can be very difficult to remove. Citrus cleaners are very good at breaking down oils and adding a clean scent so that is always an option.

How do you get dog smell out of your car? The quickest way is a professional detailing. If you want to do it yourself it depends on if you have leather or upholstery seats. The leather you should be able to wipe down with a leather cleaner and take care of it. Upholstery and carpeting you can steam clean, wipe down and then there are always odor neutralizers like Febreeze type products.

My dog doesn’t like water, how can I keep him clean? For most dogs, I’ve had my greatest success with reward training. Take baby steps. Have your dog sit near the wash area (tub, hose etc.) and give them a treat.

Start with a few seconds, work up to a minute. Once the dog can calmly sit for treats then turn the water on and give treats.
Once your dog can calmly sit next to running water, splash a little on the dog and give treats.
Little by little you acclimate your dog to the water. Do this VERY slowly in tiny steps. If you frighten the dog go back to the start.
This can take months in very skittish dogs, but once you’ve done it you simply give them a bath when you want to.

The alternative would be waterless dog shampoo. This does not work as well but does help. Also, you can take the dog to a groomer. Often times they act up less when you aren’t there, it depends on the dog.

When should I take my dog to the veterinarian for the odor?

If you give your dog a good cleansing bath and the odor remains I would make the appointment at the first available. The range of problems go from mild to severe, but they are all easier to resolve the earlier they are managed.

conclusion

With dogs happily living in our homes and sleeping in our beds odor management is a big issue. Our top pick for best odor shampoo for dogs is Lillian Ruff oatmeal shampoo with Lavender coconut scent. The shampoo is mild, but will lift away oil and clean effectively. It’s safe to use as a regular grooming shampoo and will fight odor, leaving a pleasant scent that often lasts more than a week. As with all things puppy, every dog is an individual so look at the information, try the products you feel comfortable with and try it out for your dog and family.

Woof On The Street!
the woof on the street
Share your experience with the products mentioned throughout this review in the comments below or Feel free to share your own product recommendations as well.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *