Subscribe to Newsletter
Want the best dog product reviews and guides delivered directly to your inbox? Sign up for the Heel Boy Heel newsletter.
Your dog has a problem, an odor problem and some people can not stand to have a smelly dog, that wet dog smell for most people is just unbearable. Let’s not mince words – your best friend stinks, which is why in this guide we are going to introduce you to the best dog shampoo for odor.
Hopefully, by the end of this review, your dog will be smelling fresh and that wet dog smell will be a thing of the past.
Our dogs can get their noses into some messy situations, and when they do regular dog shampoo doesn’t always cut it so to keep your dog smelling great, sometimes you need a dog shampoo.
Sometimes people just don’t like that natural dog smell, and although we can’t completely get rid of their natural smell, we can give it a good go with some great dog shampoos designed especially with odor control in mind.
So we have provided you with our top five picks below, and we’ve also picked a winner at the end!
Calm Shampoo is a safe and natural formula made with a hypoallergenic no-tears blend suitable for skin ranging from young puppies to epidermis conditions.
Rocco & Roxie Supply Co. Calm Shampoo contains the highest quality ingredients to clean, calm, and restore the coat’s natural oils, providing unparalleled moisture and softness.
The key ingredients that target this common issue are a super-calming oat extract, olive oil, creamy shea butter, aloe vera, and chamomile.
You won’t find formaldehyde, paraben, mineral oil, phthalates, or isopropyl alcohol on the list of ingredients, nor artificial colors or dyes either.
Plus, it’s easy to use.
Family-owned and operated Rocco & Roxie Supply Co. have put together a great line of high quality, smart-looking pet products, and their Soothe dog shampoo is no exception.
The combination of mostly natural ingredients is perfect for cleaning away smelly muck and grime without causing skin irritation.
Soothe is specially formulated to reduce skin irritation, which is a common side-effect of many shampoo products
An impressive list of authentically natural ingredients
Rocco & Roxie Supply Co. offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee, or your money back
It's the second-most expensive product on our list
Made in the USA, Pet Head Dirty Talk Deodorizing Shampoo is specially formulated to handle smelly pets that need a little extra help by neutralizing the odors – not covering them.
Dirty Talk Deodorizing Shampoo incorporates wholesome and eco-friendly ingredients in a pH-balanced formula that’s safe if licked or swallowed.
The formula contains baking soda, Pordenone, spearmint, and lemongrass to deodorize and freshen the skin and coat.
Included in the ingredients, vegetable protein extract, and soy protein build body and elasticity – leaving the coat looking fuller and luscious.
Unlike other dog shampoos, the Pet Head range contains fresh and unique fragrances, a luxurious stand out feature compared to competitive brands.
Another perk is the eye-catching packaging, and funny product names like Life’s An Itch, Feeling Flaky, and of course Dirty Talk Deodorizing Shampoo.
Great for dogs that like to get really dirty and smelly including skunk spray
Pleasant orange smell
Transparency in labeling
Less natural ingredients
Frisco has developed a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner that gently cleans with deodorizes with plant-based cleansers.
Frisco 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner with Organic Aloe for Dogs & Cats are natural and clean scented with added pro-vitamin B5 and vitamin E to support skin and coat health.
It’s easy to lather and rinses thoroughly while maintaining a paraben-free formula which is crucial for a consistently shiny coat.
This product is suitable for adult small, medium and large breeds and helps to combat dandruff.
The Frisco line of products, sold exclusively through Chewy.com, covers just about every conceivable need you might have as a pet owner.
Aloe and vitamins for natural skin and coat health
Suitable for small, medium and large dogs and cats
Higher price point
Only for use on adults
Made in the USA, Nature’s Miracle is soap-free and contains no dyes or parabens.
The Supreme Odor Control Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and Conditioner is safe to use with spot-on flea and tick products as well as ideal for sensitive skin.
This natural cocoa surfactant shampoo incorporates colloidal oatmeal, honey, and sage to tackle even the dirtiest of dogs by providing exceptional cleaning, enhanced hair softness, reduced static electricity, and long-term clean.
As a shampoo and conditioner, it boasts of 4-in-1 benefits such as neutralizing a variety of odors, soothing itchy skin, cleansing the coat and skin and providing rich conditioning.
Great for soothing irritated and itchy skin
Four-in-one formula leaves dogs with a soft coat and smelling good without overpowering perfume smell
Safe to use with flea products
Lather rinses quickly
Light fragrance, not suitable if you're seeking a stronger scent
Are you looking for a product with a fresh, longlasting scent?
The Earthbath Deodorizing Rosemary Dog & Cat Shampoo deodorizes pets that need that extra help to stay fresh.
Earthbath created a coconut-based deodorizing shampoo with the essence of rosemary that’s designed to gently cleanse skin and fur leaving behind a soft, plush coat with no remaining unpleasant smell.
The two key ingredients (coconut and rosemary) work together to soothe itchy skin, without washing off topical flea treatments and leaving behind a long-lasting, naturally fresh scent for days.
This product also contains organic natural aloe vera which helps fight against irritation and helps moisturize sensitive skin.
This product has maintained an excellent reputation amongst trusted groomers and veterinary professionals for 15 years.
Great for dogs aged 6 weeks +
No synthetic dyes, or perfumes
Soap-free formula is gentle, and great for dogs with allergies and especially sensitive skin
Contains aloe vera which reduces skin irritation and helps remoisturize
Not suitable for owners that dislike stronger scents
Won't repel mosquitos
Before we get too far into our discussion, we should probably make sure that giving our dog a bath will actually resolve the problem.
There are many potential causes of dog odor, and even the best-rated dog shampoo for odor won’t help if the source of the problem is related to a health issue.
Try to pinpoint the exact cause of the odor.
Flatulence is obviously a problem that isn’t going to be helped by a bath.
A little passed gas now and then isn’t cause for concern, but if you’re noticing an unusual frequency, you may want to look for an underlying cause. It may indicate a health problem or the need for a change in diet.
Impacted or infected anal glands may also be a cause of the persistent odor.
If you suspect that this may be a problem, consult a veterinary professional. Don’t take matters into your own hands.
Check for bad breath. Chronic canine halitosis could be a sign that your doggie needs some dental care, but it might also indicate a serious health problem.
Yeast and bacterial infections, particularly on the paw pads and ears can be another source of bad odors and are best treated with a combination of targeted cleaning and diet.
A skin infection may cause odor, and whilst a shampoo might help, it may not treat the underlying cause.
A skin infection will also present with inflammation and possibly hair loss in the affected area.
If the bad odor seems to be an “all over” problem, or if it is something new, it could mean your best friend rolled in something he/she shouldn’t have or is just otherwise dirty.
If that’s the case, then a bath is definitely in order.
It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that your four-legged friend might need to bathe—how many days can you go without a shower before you start smelling a little funky?
Just remember, your dog’s bathing needs aren’t going to be the same as yours.
Experts recommend bathing your dog, at a minimum, once every three months – but not more than once every other week. Bathing him/her too often can cause dryness and irritation, and will strip away natural oils that promote a healthy coat.
Several factors will determine the bathing frequency.
Long-haired dogs will probably need a shampoo more often than short-haired dogs. Outdoor dogs will naturally get dirtier—and smellier—than those who stay inside most of the time.
Most shampoos work by breaking up the naturally occurring oils in the hair and on the skin, where dirt, grime, and smelly bacteria tend to collect. The resulting lather binds to these oils and carries them away when we rinse.
Many formulas include a fragrance, and some also have ingredients that moisturize to promote hair health.
Humans and dogs have different needs when it comes to shampoo. Our hair and skin are not the same.
Healthy human skin has a pH of about 5.5, which is slightly acidic, while dog skin ranges from 6.5 to 7.5.
Put simply, a human shampoo product will dry out a dog’s skin, and that might actually cause an odor problem to worsen.
A generic pet shampoo may well be safe to be used on dogs but its always better to opt for a well designed dog shampoo over a pet shampoo and avoid any potential harsh chemicals that could cause issues like dry skin or irritated skin.
Dog shampoos for odor control work by first killing the smell-causing bacteria on hair and skin and breaking up the oil residue. Then they add something to make your dog smell fresh and clean.
Coconut oil and oatmeal are natural cleansing ingredients found in many products. Oatmeal is a common ingredient in soaps for both humans and animals and is believed to promote skin health.
Some believe that the carbohydrates in oatmeal-based shampoos may “feed” yeast organisms present on a dog’s skin, worsening an existing skin condition. However, there is little evidence to support this claim.
Generally, an oatmeal shampoo will be quite soothing for a dog and will reduce irritation to the skin. But if an oatmeal shampoo is not for you then an aloe vera based shampoo could be the way to go.
Aloe vera is a great ingredient to look out for, especially organic natural aloe vera as it is great for the skin for both human and dog alike.
Some shampoos contain salicylic acid, which acts as an antibacterial, and strips away dry, crusty skin, which can cause itchiness. If no skin condition is present, you probably won’t need a medicated shampoo.
Many shampoos are infused with herbal extracts and oils such as lavender, tea tree oil, vanilla, rosemary.
These primarily serve as fragrance, though some have additional beneficial properties.
Tea tree oil is also sometimes recommended as an alternative to salicylic acid in the treatment of skin conditions, but it is not as effective.
Tea tree oil may be used as a fragrance, but concentration should not exceed 1%.
You’ll see the words “Paraben free” on a lot of products. Parabens are a class of preservatives that have been widely used in cosmetic products for many years, and which may accelerate the growth of some types of cancer.
While they are considered safe for use by the FDA, many people choose to avoid products containing them for themselves and their four-legged friends. My advice would be to do some research and then make an informed decision yourself before using any shampoo with controversial ingredients or suspected harsh chemicals.
These are all great products, and the specific needs of your pet are going to be a more critical factor in determining your choice.
However, on the basis of effectiveness in eliminating and controlling odor, and overall value, the best dog shampoo for odor, in our opinion is Pet Head Dirty Talk Deodorizing Shampoo.
Dirty Talk seems to consistently conquer the worst odor problems and will have your dog smelling fresh.
To us, Dirty Talk is one of the best smelling dog shampoos for odor.
Bottom line, if your best friend has an odor problem, it’s your problem too, and ignoring it won’t make it go away.
Check out all the products on this list and read the reviews, paying attention to what works best for dogs like yours—breed, size, activity level, allergies, and existing skin conditions.
If you’ve had an experience with any of these products that you want to share or have a suggestion that didn’t make the list, be sure to share!