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9 Best Waterless Shampoos For Dogs Who Hate Water

Before now, people adopted the available limited option of the soap-and-water approach to take care of their dogs.

Subsequently, thanks to the recent development we experience in the world, which cuts across all industries, there are diverse means of caring for our pets, and more importantly, save pet-owners a great deal of stress.

Now, if you look for ways to cut back on several baths you give to your pooch, the answer to your request is to get the best waterless shampoo for a dog which is also called a dry dog shampoo or no-rinse dog shampoo.

Top 5 Waterless Shampoos For Dogs (Summary)



  • Very pleasant
  • Seals natural proteins and sugars
  • pH balanced
Burt's Bees

Burt’s Bees

  • Soothes and conditions dog’s fur and skin
  • Eliminates itching
  • Hypoallergenic
John Paul

John Paul Pet

  • Never causes any irritation
  • Gentle to your dog’s skin and fur
  • Great to use during colder weather
Vet RecommendedVet Recommended
  • Removes bad smell
  • Doesn’t discolor the coat
  • Ideal for a fresh and clean dog between washes
Bodhi Dog

Bodhi Dog

  • Fresh lavender scent
  • Great in detangling hair
  • Makes fur soft and fresh smelling

9 Best Waterless Shampoos for Dogs – Pros and Cons

1. Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo for Animals – Lavender & Chamomile

Without the need to be rinsed, Wahl Waterless Dog Shampoo is a perfect choice for your pet, especially if he or she isn’t a fan of wet shampoos.

You only need to dry their hair with a towel and brush coat and your dog will be ready for the day. This product doesn’t cause any allergies since it’s free from harmful ingredients and alcohol.

Additionally, it’s pH balanced and has a pleasant chamomile/lavender aroma. The shampoo will penetrate deep into your dog’s hair to moisturize it perfectly while sealing all the necessary sugars and proteins.

The product is ideal to be used between baths and will keep your pet smell fresh and clean long after.

Wahl Waterless Shampoo for Dogs 

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  • Moisturizes dog’s hair and seals natural proteins and sugars
  • A very pleasant and fresh scent
  • pH balanced and free from alcohols and parabens
  • Some may find the smell too strong

2. Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo, Waterless, No Rinse Foam Mousse – for Bathless Cleaning of Coat and Removing Pet Odor

When you bath your dog with Paw Choice Waterless Shampoo, you can rest assured that it’ll be mild and good for sensitive skin and coat of your pet.

There aren’t any harsh chemicals in this product and it’s entirely natural coconut derived formula. A formula like this removes all the bad smells, not just mask them.

Your dog will always feel fresh and clean and you won’t have to use water or rinse his hair when using this product.

Most of the customers find the coconut smell very pleasant, but others think it might be too strong, so you should give it a go and see how it works for you and your dog.

paw Choice

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  • Refreshes, deodorizes and conditions the skin and coat
  • No water or rinsing required
  • Gentle and has a wonderful smell
  • The scent is strong and will linger for days, which some customers don’t like

3. Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo for Animals – Oatmeal & Coconut Lime Verbena

The oatmeal formula of Wahl Waterless Shampoo for Dogs is derived from coconut lime verbena and oatmeal and is great for keeping your dog clean and refreshed.

The product is great in conditioning your pet’s coat and detangling its coat, all while moisturizing dry and itchy skin and making it healthier.

Formulated with all-natural cleansers, this item is a perfect choice for pet owners who want to avoid using harsh chemicals when bathing their dogs.

There’s no need to rinse it and it’ll still make your dog’s fur softer and smoother than ever. Finally, this shampoo doesn’t cause any allergies, so you can use it on your dog without any worry.

Wahl Oatmeal

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  • No rinsing required
  • Moisturizes dry and itchy dog skin
  • Makes coat smooth and soft
  • Smells very intense

4. Burt’s Bees All Natural Waterless Shampoo Spray for Dogs

Mild formulation of Burt’s Bees Waterless Shampoo works amazingly well for all dogs and puppies and is pH balanced to ensure that it’s free from any harmful ingredient.

The product’s main purpose is to clean, soften and soothe your dog’s dry and itchy skin, all while giving its fur natural and amazing shine.

It’s made with the highest-quality ingredients to deodorize and strengthen your pet’s hair while reducing its breakage.

This shampoo is also hypoallergenic, so you’ll be covered on that end too without worrying that it’ll cause any allergies.

Burt's Bees

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  • Softens, soothes and conditions dog’s fur and skin
  • Eliminates itching and deodorizes
  • Adds healthy shine and is hypoallergenic
  • Doesn’t work that well for long hair

5. John Paul Pet Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs and Cats, Sensitive Skin Formula

Formulated to work incredibly well for all dog skin types, including sensitive one, John Paul Pet Waterless Shampoo is gentle while cleaning and refreshing your pet’s coat and skin.

After you apply it, you’ll notice that your dog has much softer fur. Being made of the mix of oatmeal, aloe and chamomile, it doesn’t cause irritation.

There’s also a sweet almond oil that adds a beautiful fragrance, so your pet will also smell nice. The product produces a thick foam which enables it to remove any dirt that’s stuck on the fur.

Gentle formulation of this item works in cleansing, moisturizing and soothing your dog’s skin and removes all the flakes in case there are any.

John Paul

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  • Cleans, refreshes and is gentle to your dog’s skin and fur
  • Never causes any irritation
  • Makes fur soft and soothes the skin
  • Tends to feel a bit greasy

6. Vet’s Best Waterless Dog Bath – No Rinse Dry Shampoo for Dogs – Natural Formula

Crafted with natural ingredients, among which are aloe vera and neem oil, Vet’s Best has a soothing fragrance.

Nevertheless, it’s possible that some dogs won’t like it. The product should be used only on dogs who are 12 weeks old or older.

The main benefit your pet will get is a moisturized skin and coat. After the application, you won’t have to rinse it at all.

The price is also one of the things you’ll love about this item since it’s more than affordable.

Vet's Best

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  • Moisturizes skin and conditions coat
  • Uses natural ingredients that have a relaxing and calming scent
  • You don’t have to rinse it
  • Some dogs may not like the smell of it

7. Vet Recommended Waterless Dog Shampoo No Rinse Dry Shampoo for Dogs

With a package that’s made of recycled materials and eco-friendly, Vet Recommended Shampoo is safe for your pet and has a fresh apple scent.

The formula is mild and suitable for all hair types and also sensitive skin. It doesn’t just mask odors but instead removes it altogether.

Both skin and the coat of your dog will benefit from the use of this product and it won’t get discolored. Your pet’s skin will feel silky smooth.

This item doesn’t contain alcohol and is detergent free. You should only spray it, wipe and allow to dry and it’ll leave your dog’s skin and coat cleaner than ever before.

Vet Recommended

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  • Doesn’t discolor the coat
  • Cleans and soothes skin and coat
  • Removes bad smell and cleans deep into the hair
  • Somewhat sticky

8. TropiClean Waterless Shampoos for Pets

By just massaging TropiClean Waterless Shampoo and brushing it out, your dog will experience all the benefits this product has to offer.

Easy application without rinsing and a mild formula enriched with natural ingredients take care of your dog’s coat and skin, nourishing them and making them fresh and clean.

The scent reminds of light and sweet coconut, which most of the pets love. Also, in case your dog fights with itching, this product will make sure to relieve it.

Additionally, it helps eliminate all the tangles in its fur. However, you might not like the fact that it doesn’t create foam at all.


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  • Easy to use and doesn’t require rinsing
  • Nourishes sensitive skin 
  • Eliminates fur tangles and relieves itchiness
  • Doesn’t foam up

9. New Waterless Dog Shampoo – All Natural Dry Shampoo for Dogs or Cats No Rinse Required

Manufactured mostly for sensitive dog’s skin, Bodhi Dog Waterless Shampoo works fast and is very effective in making your pet’s fur clean, smooth, soft and shiny.

It also detangles all the knots in its fur and it’s extremely gentle to the skin. Since it doesn’t contain alcohol, parabens or sulfates, it’s entirely safe and doesn’t cause any allergies.

The fresh lavender scent is light and very pleasant. On a side note, it dissipates rather quickly.

After each use of this item, your dog will look clean and you’ll love cuddling with him providing that its coat and skin will be soft and silky.

Bodhi Dog

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  • Makes fur soft and fresh smelling
  • Great in detangling hair and leaving them smooth and shiny
  • Fresh lavender scent and doesn’t cause allergies
  • Scent doesn’t last for long

So what is a waterless shampoo for dogs?

You will be lucky to have a dog that is comfortable in its durable dog toy, loves the water bath and treats its bath time as an exciting and fun activity.

What is a waterless shampoo for dogs and the benefits of using it?

It is however unfortunate that this is not always the case because quite a number of dogs have an aversion to water, and will almost always want to avoid baths.

Well, your reason for wanting to give them a good bath is all yours to make.

This is where dry or waterless shampoos come in. Thus, the question- what is a waterless or dry shampoo for dogs?

As its name implies, a waterless shampoo is a kind of shampoo that can help you clean your dogs without having to wrestle or struggle with putting them into the tub weekly or bi-weekly.

Grooming a pet can be quite tasking, and time consuming. This is what waterless dog shampoo brings to the table- ensuring a seamless, effortless and healthy dog grooming.

In other words, dry or waterless shampooing cuts in between major pet cleanings without too much fuss.

Waterless or dry shampoo is a unique version of shampoos which afford users a way of bathing their dogs without necessarily using water.

The shampoo can be applied to the dog, and have to be spread well with a towel. After that, it can be brushed off to remove the possible chemicals that might remain.

Dog’s dry shampoos are generally made from organic and natural products such as tea tree oil and Aloe Vera. Others contain hydrocortisone and some other worthy chemicals.

Because shampoos must come in contact with the dog’s skin, you will be doing yourself and the innocent pet a lot of good when you choose a shampoo that does not have adverse reactions/effects on their skin and fur.

Benefits of Using a Dry Dog Shampoo

The following are the benefits of using a dry/waterless dog shampoo:


One of the top reasons to get a waterless shampoo for your dog is for the purpose of maintaining and simplifying the grooming sessions.

Many dogs resist the traditional washing process, and that means rather than try to do it very frequently, you can strategize on different sessions with a dry shampoo in between.

Beneficial for dogs that hate water: If your dog makes the grooming process very difficult by getting aggressive or moving around too much, a waterless shampoo is a practical alternative to keep them clean and free of dirt without necessarily having to force them.

Benefits of Using a Dry Dog Shampoo

Ease of Use

The basic idea of waterless dog shampoos is the convenience they offer.

Candidly, washing your dog so regularly with a standard shampoo and water can be some grueling work, not to mention that some dogs might not be easy to groom.

With a dry dog shampoo, however, the process becomes way easy. Just apply the shampoo on the dog’s coat, let it be absorbed for some time, and brush it off.

Allergy Prevention

There are several standard shampoos that trigger skin irritation and allergies in dogs. But with waterless dog shampoos, they do otherwise.

They help treat existing skin allergies because they are made with milder formulas and are less likely to cause irritation.

Other benefits: better clean and puppy-friendliness.

How does a waterless dog shampoo work?

Dogs are treasures of pet owners, and a lot of us will go out of our ways to give them a good life. This is what dry shampoo for dogs provide.

Meanwhile, since dogs, like humans, have differing body configurations and things they like, bath time can be fun for some while it can be torture for others. Hence, you must understand where your dog falls into this category before choosing a dry shampoo.

Elevated dog bowls are a good dog product and a worthy tool for our dogs. Waterless shampoo is as much important.

There are different dry shampoos available in the market, and they function differently, with slightly different ingredients as well.

Though many manufacturers rarely share the product’s ingredients, tagging the lists “proprietary information.”

Yet, the same principle applies, waterless or dry shampoos are produced with an oil-absorbing ingredient that specifically performs the function of removing excess oil on your dog’s skin and coat.

Many times, they feature pH-altering substances to encourage the necessary bacteria which keeps the skin of your pet really healthy, and particularly, discourages the smelly types.

The way waterless shampoos work is that they do not necessarily remove much dirt when compared to the traditional soap-and-water approach.

There are some absorbent chemicals in some of the products (depending on the manufacturer’s specification) that may glue to dirt particles and make them much easier to remove when brushing your dog off later on.

What species of dogs will benefit from dry shampoos?

Of a truth, many dogs will still require an occasional bath now and then, washed off with the traditional soap and water approach.

As we know that there is some best indoor dog potty that serves special purposes for dogs, to give them a particularly amazing life.

Waterless and dry shampoos are equally a valuable tool to keep the dog clean and smell its best between baths.

Thus, dry shampoos can be purposely used in the following situations:

Dogs that have difficulty with standing comfortably

In the case of an elderly or injured dog, or even one suffering from arthritis, and cannot stand well for the period of 15-20 minutes required for bathing, a dry shampoo offers an exclusive short-cut and more viable means of limiting the wear and tear on the dog’s body.

Dogs with an unpleasant odor

If you have your family coming over to your place and you do not have the luxury of time to give your stinky dog a complete bath, a quick dry/waterless shampooing is recommended to prevent your dog from exuding very disturbing odors.

Dogs with a phobia for water

Again, some dogs do not just like water or taking baths. Bathing these types might be very difficult.

Dogs with a phobia for water

In case you still want to give them an occasional both, a dry shampoo is the best way to stretch out the time and keep your pets as clean as you desire.

Dogs with a massive size

Some dogs are just so gigantic for safe bathing. They can be very difficult to handle, control for the bath.

In fact, some might resist the process. Imagine trying to wrestle a 200-pound Giant Dane, it is a disaster.

Therefore, it is best and wisest to give giant breeds a professional touch of a bath. Dry shampooing can help keep the dog clean.

Dogs who need just a spot-cleaning

If your dog just got its feet dirty as a result of running or bumping into some mess, a bit of dry shampoo can be applied to avoid a full bath.

Having said that you could give your dogs a water-free, waterless washing, there are many good shampoos on the market.

The following are generally considered based on the best ratings from expert dog owners.

Types and Forms

Generally, dry shampoos come in the form of powders, sprays, gels.

For each form, some shampoo is simply applied to the dog’s coat, massaged down into its skin, given a few minutes and the residue is wiped or brushed off.

It should be noted that some might dry up and remain on your dog still.


You might think dry shampoos should come in powdered form, at least from its name.

But often, it also comes in other forms like spray, gel, and foams. The choice is then down to personal preference.

Foam shampoos on the other hand, tend to give or produce the best lather, while powder shampoos have much versatility to be used on the pet’s betting and carpets.


Spray shampoos are perhaps the best and easiest to distribute on your pet’s coat.


Gels are in between the foam and spray options. They are used and best for pets who love being touched since a lot of contacts would be required here for even distribution of the product.

How to choose the best waterless shampoo for dogs

If you have plans of buying and using a waterless shampoo for your dog and it’s your first time, there are certain factors you must consider to choose the best product for you and your dog.

There are specific features you must look out for, and they include:

Skin type

Skin type of your dog

Skin type is a great feature you must consider for the type of waterless shampoo you choose. That way, you will avoid any unpleasant consequences as a result of irritation.

So, as a pet owner, it is due diligence that you check the package of any shampoo you choose to determine the indications of the type of skin the product is safe for.

Best to use here would be a dry or waterless shampoo which appeals to your dog’s specific skin type- whether sensitive or dry, or is safe for all types of skin.

To use a dry or waterless shampoo on your dog, it is pertinent that you choose one that nourishes the skin of your dog with its properties.

That means you have to pay attention to the formulas and ingredients like coconut and Aloe Vera.

Formula and Ingredients

It is likely you will be using the dry dog shampoo regularly. It is then vital that you pick a product designed with a mild formula so you don’t end up stripping your dog’s coat.

In addition, the foaming formula is a great consideration too, as dry dog shampoo simplifies the cleaning process.

Thanks to these formulas, you can apply the shampoo on your dog and spread it out on their coat.

At a later time, you can even brush the coat off for an impeccable shine.

Odor fighting

Yes, waterless shampoo is good for in-between real cleanings.

That does not translate to you won’t need it at a specific time when your dog has picked up a foul smell with its fur or paws.

Choose dry shampoos that can kill odor-causing bacteria to keep your dog fresh and smelling good always.

What makes the best waterless shampoo for dogs

Scent/ Smell

Coupled with fighting odor, you may want to choose a waterless shampoo that gives your dog a pleasant scent.


There is no doubt that dry shampoo has already raised the bar in terms of convenience and grooming.

Thus, the ability to successfully give your dog some periodic cleaning without using water is a lot helpful. It also simplifies your regular upkeep.

Likewise, choosing a dry shampoo that comes in a spray bottle will streamline and ease the process further.

After all, one of the main factors you want to put in place is that the product should spread well when using it on your dog. A spray bottle will help cover a larger surface area, and with minimal effort.

Additionally, flea treatments require a topical application. Make sure you choose the waterless shampoo that does not have any form of interference with the effectiveness of flea treatment, especially if your dog is using this type of flea treatment.

pH balance is another factor to consider under value bearing in mind that your dog’s skin has a specific pH level, which is required for optimal health maintenance.

The truth is, some products have unsafe formulation and have the potentials of disrupting the balance. Hence, as a pet owner, make sure you choose a dry shampoo that keeps your dog’s pH level where it should be.

Altogether, these things guarantee that you get value for your money.

What ingredients should you look for in the best dry dog shampoos?

As earlier mentioned, waterless dog shampoos are made from natural organic products.

Therefore, look out for products that contain hydrocortisone and some other worthy chemicals.

If needed, since you may not know when allergies may strike your dog, choosing a dry dog shampoo of a hypoallergenic formula means you have one less potential allergy concern to deal with.

What ingredients you should avoid in waterless dog shampoos?

You must then avoid ingredients like artificial fragrances and dyes, ammonium laureth sulfate, Cocamidopropyl betaine, cocamide MEA/cocamide monoethanolamine, Formaldehyde preservatives, Isopropyl/SD-40 alcohol, Triethanolamine (TEA), sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)/sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), sodium benzoate preservative, phthalates, propylene glycol, polysorbates, polyethylene glycol (PEG), Parabens, Isothiazaolinone preservatives, to mention a few.

Does more spending mean more quality?

Just the same way it works with any other product you get, spending more does not always equal quality.

Quality here is in terms of how well your choice of waterless dog shampoo can serve the purpose.

Therefore, what is important is how it serves you and not how much you got the product for.

On average though, spending fairly well translates to you knowing what you want for your dog, what serves it best, and especially, how much you can afford.

How to use waterless shampoo for dogs

Natural oils are healthy for the body and skin. Dogs have a large number of sebaceous glands that can produce excess sebum- an oily substance that is meant to keep their skin hydrated and as much healthy.

For any reason, if too much sebum is produced, their coat might feel greasy and duller than it ought. This can also attract dirt and dust. Waterless shampoo, therefore, works by absorbing these excess oils.

Thereafter, it restores their shiny, soft fur and gives them a fresh scent.

For effective functioning, spray or rub the waterless shampoo on your dog and focus on areas where you think there is an excessive buildup of oil.

Many dry shampoos will require that you leave the product on your pet or brush it through their coat.

Others will require that you use a towel to wipe the dog down. Pay attention to the instruction to get the best of the product.


Dos and Don’ts of a dry dog shampoo

Specifically, being a professionally-inclined product, it is germane that you make appropriate consultation with a vet person to get the best in terms of ingredients that can benefit your dogs.

Conversely, when you get to the market to get dry dog shampoo, there are certain things you will want to avoid.

These are particularly in the list of ingredients. Some chemicals and additives can be toxic to your dog, and birth negative reactions like rashes, hair loss, severe sores, and allergic reactions.

Also, steer clear of products that do not include their ingredients on their package or those who hide behind “proprietary conditions” or the ones who use generic terms like moisturizers or conditioners.

With these features at the back of your mind, you will be able to choose from the best dry/waterless dog shampoo that suits you and your dog.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the limitations of dry dog shampoos?

While these dog shampoos clean up the dog well, a greasy layer is left behind.

This attracts more dirt and dust on their skin and makes them dirty again. Another limitation is that this cannot entirely replace traditional shampoos and bathing.

How do I use a dry dog shampoo spray?

Using a dry/waterless dog shampoo can be very simple. This is why most pet owners consider it the top option.

To use the product, you must first decide where the grooming should take place and place the dog there. There are times you might need to get them a suitable dog water dispenser.

There is no need to limit their movement too much because the shampooing is an easy process. Then, rub and spray the shampoo all over the dog’s coat.

Ensure the shampoo gets to the extra-dirty areas. Now, leave the shampoo in the dog’s coat for the period of time stated on the product description package.

If a foaming formula, wipe the dog down with a towel and brush the dog’s coat thereafter. Some dry shampoos do not need brushing anyway.

Are waterless dog shampoos safe?

In case you are new to the use of a dry dog shampoo, be certain to find out how safe they are before using them.

On a general basis, you do not have to be bothered because they are very safe, especially when used properly.

Meanwhile, the safety is dependent on the brand and model of the shampoo in terms of the potential irritation.

Yet, the only safety issue that could spring up is an unhealthy amount of the product’s buildup and dirt from the use of dry shampoos. That means a regular bath is even more essential.

Does dry dog shampoos replace showering dogs?

Keep in mind that when using a dry/waterless shampoo, they do not serve the same purpose as the standard shampoos.

This is the reason they are not used as a total replacement for showering your dog. Instead of using water to remove dirt, oil, debris from their coat, a dry shampoo can help absorb the grime.

It does not entirely replace classic grooming but can keep their appearance and smell in the place.

How often should I use dry shampoo for dogs?

The frequency of usage is dependent on their breed and lifestyle. For active outdoor dogs, they will need to be washed more than the ones who stay at home almost all day.

Also, for dogs with normal skin, they should be bathed monthly. With a dry shampoo to supplement the routine, you can bathe them once every six weeks and the dry shampoo weekly or thereabout.

For dogs with dry skin, they should be bathed less often, about once every two or three months. For top professional advice, contact a vet.

Can you use waterless dog shampoo on cats and other pets?

Generally, waterless shampoos are not exclusive to dogs. They can as well be used for other pets, especially cats.

Meanwhile, you must bear in mind and take all the necessary factors into consideration as well.

Are waterless dog shampoos replacement for standard dog shampoo?

Standard dog shampoos are fine and are the basic tool for any dog grooming session.

To be specific, waterless dog shampoos are only used in-between these sessions to save some time especially. As such, waterless dog shampoos cannot entirely replace standard dog shampoo.

Are dry shampoos safe for dogs?

One hard part of the grooming process is making sure the products are left to set and dry upon completion.

Dogs can get curious and since they are accustomed to licking their coats, you do not want to see them lick and ingest these grooming products.

Waterless dog shampoo will sit on the dog’s coat for some time and that means your dog is likely to lick it a bit. Nonetheless, the implication is down to the ingredients used in the chosen dry dog shampoo.

Again, it cannot be overemphasized that you have to invest in a dry shampoo that is formulated with the safest ingredients.

That way, you will not have to spend all day watching after them to make sure they do not lick the product, and even when they do, you are rest assured there are no consequences.

Dog Deodorant vs Waterless Shampoo

There is a difference between a dog deodorant and waterless shampoo. When searching for a dry dog shampoo, be sure you don’t mistake it for investing in a dog deodorant.

Yes, both products help rid your dog of unpleasant smells but a dog deodorant will not give any kind of cleansing. They are only meant to freshen your dog up for a while.


It is recommended that if you are not sure how to go about it yourself, consult with a vet.

Vets know what is best for your dogs, and if you want to purchase a shampoo without consulting one, take note of the effects of the chemicals in the shampoo.

Some can have minor effects like dryness while others may cause grievous concerns like cancer.

Overall, take precautions and ensure you do not use human shampoos on dogs. They are too harsh on them.

Get your dog a cool waterless shampoo today, and take note of the several factors you must consider before making a choice.

Photos from: Chalabala /, willeecole /, Flydragonfly /, dimarik /, melory /, AndrewLozovyi / 

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Big pet lover and a dog training and behavior expert who loves to share his knowledge and experience. Happy owner of two amazing dogs Labrador Bela and Jack Russell Terrier Piksi and one cuddly cat Tom.