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Dog Shampoos

5 of the Best Smelling Dog Shampoos


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I guess I’m dating myself here, but I remember, back in the day before we all got our knickers in a twist about scent-free environments, using wonderfully fragrant shampoos. After all, we didn’t want our hair smelling like – well, like hair – did we?

My personal favorite was Clairol Herbal Essence – the real thing, not that dumbed-down stuff that Clairol now markets as “Herbal Essences,” plural. I flirted a bit with Faberge Organics, too. It was made with wheat germ oil and honey. I’m pretty sure it didn’t take its scent from either of those ingredients, but it still smelled wonderful. Then there was Lemon Up, with the funky plastic lemon on the top of the bottle. As you might expect, it smelled like lemon.

And who can forget “Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific,” with that strong floral scent that seemed to last forever?

Those were the days, my friend, we thought they’d never end… Oops, there I go, dating myself again. Sorry, but that was a cool song! You can listen to it here.

There I go, starting my post with a lengthy digression. Again. But you’re probably used to that by now, and besides, as I frequently point out, my blog, my rules!

To get back to the point, I’ve been pondering dog shampoos. More specifically, I’ve been wondering which are the best smelling dog shampoos.

5 Best Smelling Dog Shampoos On Amazon

Click Below To Go To Amazon Rating Price
Cloud Star Corporation Buddy Wash
Oster Oatmeal Natural Shampoo
Lovely Fresh Almond Dog Shampoo
Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo

What led me to this line of thought? Joanne.

I seem to be talking a lot about her lately, most recently in 3 Best Boxer Dog Toys and 5 Best Dog Hair Blowers. What can I tell you? I’m actually starting to like her, and despite the fact that I think she’s probably a couple sandwiches shy of a picnic, she’s actually fitting in quite well with the rest of the gang at the dog park. I’m even beginning to tolerate her purse dog, Pierre.

What Is That Smell?

Anyway, a few days ago, Joanne asked me to hold her purse (and Pierre) while she used the dog park porta-potty. I wasn’t really sure I wanted to do that – I’m naturally suspicious of little bat-eared dogs. But I actually felt, on some level, honored that she trusted me with her dog (and her ridiculously expensive purse), so I agreed.

I looked warily at Pierre. He looked warily back at me. I ventured a little stroke on one of his bat ears, and he showed me his teeth – not in a nasty way, though; I think he was actually smiling at me!

Then I started to notice that Pierre smelled pretty good. So, when Joanne got back, I asked her what kind of dog shampoo she was using, and suggested that since it had such a pleasing fragrance, I might consider some for Janice and Leroy on the rare occasions that I need to bathe them.

“Oh, that’s not shampoo, dear,” she said. “That’s Joy by Jean Patou!”

Of course. Silly me. One of the world’s most expensive perfumes. On Batdog. Well, I guess if it pleases Joanne, and pleases Pierre, who am I to argue?

Most of us though, can help our dogs to smell great simply by using some of the best smelling dog shampoos.

Couldn’t I Use Human Shampoo?

Back in the day (there I go again) that’s exactly what most of us used. I bathed my first dog, Jake, in my very own Herbal Essence, and it didn’t seem to do him any harm. Of course, keep in mind that people used to do a lot of crazy things when it came to their dogs – using kerosene to kill ear mites, grabbing a bit of road tar to slap on a cut to stop it from bleeding, and offering bones that could splinter and make a real mess of a dog’s digestive tract. So, using human shampoo on Jake might not exactly have hurt him, but it still might not have been the very best idea.

The thing is that human skin is very different from canine skin. Your dog’s skin is protected with an acidic top layer that works to keep out bacteria and viruses, and also to make sure that your dog’s skin stays well-hydrated. Human shampoos can strip away this protective layer. Even dog shampoos will compromise the protective layer to some extent, but they also contain moisturizing ingredients to protect the skin until the natural oils are restored.

Of course, you also want your dog to be fragrant, so if you can’t afford Joy perfume, you can select from some of the best smelling dog shampoos.

Smell Isn’t Everything…

Don’t make the mistake of sacrificing quality for smell. You want to be sure that your dog shampoo also has the right pH balance for your dog’s skin, and to that end, you might want to invest a bit of money in your dog’s shampoo. Most of the time, you get what you pay for, and a low-priced shampoo could cause your dog’s skin to flake or peel, and he could even break out in a rash. Then, whatever you saved by buying cheap shampoo is going to be cancelled out big-time by the cost of a vet visit and medicated creams to correct the condition. Some of the best smelling dog shampoos are not necessarily the best shampoos, overall, for your dog.

…And Sometimes It’s Too Much

Remember, your dog’s sense of smell is much more refined than yours. So, the best smelling dog shampoos might be harmful to your dog’s respiratory system. The best ones usually are naturally scented, with lavender, citrus or other non-artificial ingredients. Organic shampoos are also usually best. Check your label for parabens (they can contribute to mammary cancer), DEA (a foam-increasing ingredient that has also been linked to various forms of cancer) and sodium laurel sulfate (which can irritate the eyes and can cause digestive upset if swallowed).

One good course of action when choosing the best smelling dog shampoo that is also good for your dog’s general health is to ask a groomer what he or she uses. Your vet can also recommend good, safe dog shampoos.

Moving Right Along…

Now, with all that in mind, here are my picks for five of the best smelling dog shampoos.

1. MinkSheen Pet Shampoo

MinkSheen is one of the best smelling dog shampoos for your dog’s sensitive nose, because it’s naturally scented with cedar oil, eucalyptus and citronella. The other ingredients are mink oil and vitamin E, which are great for your dog’s skin and coat. As a bonus, the scented ingredients also work to naturally repel insects.

2. Cloud Star Corporation Buddy Wash Lavender & Mint

Here is another of the best smelling dog shampoos that uses natural ingredients to deliver a pleasing fragrance. In addition to lavender and mint, this Cloud Star Corporation Buddy Wash also contains vitamin E, coconut oil and aloe vera extract for a healthy coat. Other great features of this shampoo are that it’s very easy to rinse off, and it also contains a conditioner, so you’ll cut bath time down a fair bit.

3. Oster Oatmeal Naturals Shampoo

This isn’t the most fragrant dog shampoo. In fact, the scents are quite light, but since they’re so pleasing (blueberry and mango/peach are a couple of popular fragrances), I’m including this in my top 5 best smelling dog shampoos. You might think that naturals dog shampoo would be pretty pricy, but Oster Oatmeal naturals Shampoo is pretty much in line with other brands, even those that are not chemical-free.

4. Lovely Fresh Almond Dog Shampoo

Lovely Fresh Almond Dog Shampoo from I Love My Dog really does have a “lovely fresh” scent, and I consider it to be one of the best smelling dog shampoos for people who appreciate a fragrance that’s light and tangy, but with warmer undertones. The main ingredients are oatmeal and neem, both of which help to keep your dog’s skin in good condition. This shampoo foams up nicely, but also rinses out without too much difficulty. It works a little differently from most dog shampoos, in that it’s meant to be applied to dry fur and then rinsed. I’m not sure what the logic is in that, but hey, if it ain’t broke, there’s no need to fix it!

5. Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo

This is a shampoo and conditioner in one, and if you’re looking for some of the best smelling dog shampoos, you’ll find several to love. Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo comes in heavenly fragrances like Mango Tango, Eucalyptus and Peppermint, Mediterranean Magic Rosemary, Orange Peel Oil and more. It will leave your dog’s fur shiny enough for show, and smelling incredible!

Any of these products is suitable for all breeds of dogs. None contain harmful ingredients, and all are indisputably among the best smelling dog shampoos you can buy.

5 Best Smelling Dog Shampoos On Amazon

Click Below To Go To Amazon Rating Price
Cloud Star Corporation Buddy Wash
Oster Oatmeal Natural Shampoo
Lovely Fresh Almond Dog Shampoo
Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo

The Final Word

I’d love it if a manufacturer of pet shampoo would find a way to duplicate the smell of the original Clairol Herbal Essence or Faberge Organics in a dog-friendly preparation. I suppose “Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific” would be a bit much for a dog’s nose, though.

Since that’s not likely to happen, though, I have no problem recommending any of the above as not just being very effective, safe, gentle products, but also among the best smelling dog shampoos on the market today. If you can’t afford (or don’t want) to douse your dog in Joy post-bath, the way Joanne does, give one of them a try. I think you’ll be more than happy with the results.

About the Author Ash

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