The 10 Best Dog Shampoos Australia: Tested & Evaluated 2023
Generally, dogs are clean animals. Seeing your pooch cleaning their paws after being outdoors is not uncommon. However, we can't deny a dog's inexplicable instinct to roll around in mud and dirt. Some dogs might be scared to death of bath time, yet the hankering of foul odour on their coat is stronger than any possible phobia.
On the other hand, dog coats hide the fact that their skin is highly sensitive. Canines are susceptible to allergies, rashes and other skin conditions. I know this firsthand, as my toy poodle has ultra-sensitive skin that adds another layer of stress to bathtime. And that’s why picking the right dog shampoo should always be taken seriously, even if your dog is not so sensitive.
So how do you find the perfect shampoo for your beloved pooch? We're here to help you out! We've teamed up with vets, groomers, and other canine aficionados to test out the country's top choices for dog shampoos. After months of testing, we put together this list filled with amazing, expert-tested options. Our Best Dog Shampoo Australia guide is here to help you make the perfect choice for your dog.
Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
Melanie Newman Everyday Dog Shampoo
- Gentle formula designed for frequent washes
- Fresh smell
- pH balanced
- Soothes and moisturises the skin
- Perfect for multi-dog households
- Convenient packaging
Runner Up -
Paw by Blackmores Nutriderm Shampoo
- Suitable for dogs, cats, and horses
- pH balanced
- Suitable for all skin types
- Great for multi-pet households
Third Choice -
Petpost Oatmeal & Chamomile Shampoo
- Repairs dry patches in a single wash
- 100% money-back guarantee to unsatisfied customers
- Safe for dogs older than 2 months
Australia's Best Dog Shampoo's Reviewed
What sets this product apart from the rest?
"Finding the best dog shampoo from the many different options can be hard. All of the options listed here are a good choice and will do the job well. The Melanie Newman Everyday Dog Shampoo option stands out to me due to it's PH balanced properties and fair price."
The Melanie Newman Everyday shampoo is a great option to have on standby for everyday use. Gently cleansing and nourishing at the same time, this shampoo keeps my dog looking sharp and smelling fresh any day of the week.
The main ingredient in the formula is aloe leaf juice, which is great! As you might know, aloe is one of the best natural remedies for skin health, and that’s true for dogs too. Now, dogs should not ingest aloe, but it’s good for their skin, and since shampoo is something you will wash off immediately, it’s probably the best way to use aloe for furry friends.
Besides the aloe, this shampoo also contains a mix of essential oils including tea tree, peppermint, and eucalyptus. The oils give the shampoo a fresh smell and mild antibacterial and antifungal properties, more features that I appreciated about this product. Like our number two choice, this shampoo is pH balanced, which is important for protecting your dog's skin and coat.
According to the website, the Melanie Newman Salon Essentials Everyday collection was formulated specifically for medium-length coats of all types, but, truth be told, our expert testers note that it will work just as well for any type of coat.
Most importantly, this shampoo is perfect for dogs who get dirty. Working dogs or just troublemakers, dogs who need frequent baths will benefit from this shampoo because it can be used frequently without drying out the skin.
What sets this product apart from the rest?
When buying pet cosmetics, it’s always a good idea to choose reputable brands. When a brand does not have a proven track record, it’s difficult to know whether you should trust them. Blackmores has a long history of natural health products, which gives them plus points above others on this list for this reason.
This shampoo, in particular, is a great product suitable for dogs with all kinds of coats and skin types. The gentle formula will nourish dry skin or keep a healthy skin and coat in check. It is so gentle that it can also be used for horses and cats.
The formula includes oatmeal, which is one of the most common (and safest) ingredients used in pet shampoos to boost skin and coat health. Rosehip oil and vitamin B5 are also added to thoroughly hydrate the skin and lock in moisture. These exceptional ingredients combined with the shampoo's versatility make it a more expensive option than others on this list. And unlike our number one choice, it is suitable for all skin types and is not just for dogs with sensitive skin.
What sets this product apart from the rest?
A good dog shampoo not only makes the coat clean and shiny, but also works its way into the dog’s skin, nourishing it and healing any dry patches. This product from Petpost features a gentle formula that will left my pooch with healthy skin and a soft coat after a single use.
The shampoo formula contains chamomile, oatmeal, yucca and aloe vera. Our expert team has a lot of great things to say about these ingredients! Oatmeal and aloe are strong moisturizers that repair dry skin, while chamomile heals split ends and protects the skin and fur from outer factors. However, the real rock star ingredient is yucca. It soothes itching, hot spots and inflamed skin, and it’s perfectly safe for both young pups over 8 weeks of age and elderly dogs.
When using this shampoo, I massaged it into my dog's coat and left the lather on for around 5 minutes before rinsing it off. That way, it had enough time to penetrate skin layers.
Petpost so firmly believes in the quality of this shampoo that they offer a 100% happy dog guarantee. This means that if you find this product doing nothing more than any other dry-skin dog shampoo on the market, you’ll get your money back without trouble.
Another thing worth mentioning about this pet company is that it’s environmentally conscious. The ingredients they use are all naturally derived, and the packaging is recyclable. That's a huge plus to eco-conscious Aussie pet parents.
This dog shampoo from Anicura is a perfect example that a high-quality product can be made with just natural and naturally derived ingredients. This mild shampoo is great for dogs of all skin types, even those with sensitive or flaky skin.
Sea buckthorn, safflower and tea tree are the key ingredients of this natural shampoo. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, all of which are beneficial for both skin and coat. Our team of canine experts loved that there are no artificial compounds like parabens or SLS that can be harmful to your dog. Even the fragrances are 100% natural. The shampoo has a lavender and chamomile scent, which both you and your dog will love.
Don’t expect this shampoo to go all bubbly. Natural ingredients are only capable of creating a so-called “low foam.” When you apply the shampoo to your pooch’s coat and massage it in, you’ll see a thin layer of foam creating. However, there won’t be bubbles everywhere like it happens with regular shampoos, since this one lacks artificial chemicals.
Another thing to keep in mind is that dogs shouldn’t be washed too often, even with natural shampoos, as it may disturb their coat’s oil production. So if you're a pet parent who loves to bathe their dog as frequently as possible, consider choosing our number one option over this one.
Perfect Coat is a brand that offers professional grooming products at a budget-friendly price. Their shampoos are made with high-quality ingredients that will give your pooch a healthy and shiny coat. One of their products stood out to our entire team of dog shampoo testers - the Mild Puppy Shampoo.
We’re all well aware of how sensitive pups are. That’s why you’ll need a shampoo that’s gentle enough to clean the coat and skin without stripping them of their natural oils. This shampoo does just that. Its formula features keratin and jojoba oil, which protect and soften your pup’s fur. Both of these ingredients are tearless, so they won’t sting or irritate the dog’s eyes if the shampoo gets in. This is especially important for those energetic puppies that go wild when in the tub.
I also love how this shampoo has an easy-rinse formula. This means that there’s no shampoo buildup on the coat and the lather is easily washed off, which I experienced when shampooing my own pup. The one thing that does stay behind after rinsing is the baby powder fragrance which will make your pooch smell beautiful. After a bath, our experts suggest you towel dry your pup’s coat thoroughly, to prevent getting that “wet dog” smell.
Our four-legged friends aren’t that much different from humans. We’re all troubled by things like weather, sweet tooth or allergies. The last one can be in direct relation to the type of shampoo you’re using for bathing your pooch. Fragrances and harsh chemical ingredients are the most common cause of allergies in our canine friends, and if your pooch falls into this sensitive category like mine does, then it’s time you get a proper shampoo with a hypoallergenic formula.
This shampoo from Ivory Coat combines jasmine, calendula, comfrey, aloe vera, macadamia, avocado and tea tree oil. It’s free from sulphates, parabens, synthetic chemicals, dyes and fragrances. This makes it a welcoming change from our number five option, which some testers found to smell too strongly. Its all-natural formula deeply cleanses and moisturises the dog’s skin. Allergens and dirt are rinsed away, while the coat remains soft and rejuvenated (3).
Besides the long list of hypoallergenic soothing ingredients, another reason why this product is considered the best shampoo for dogs with sensitive skin is the fact that it is soap-free. This type of formula is safe to use around the dog’s eyes, and it’s gentle for even the youngest of pups. Because it's so gentle, it may not thoroughly wash more rowdy outdoor dogs like other shampoos on this list can.
The shampoo comes in a 500 ml pump bottle dispenser. This is so convenient, as it gives you the desired amount of shampoo, and it can be used with one hand.
While you may perceive your Great Pyrenees as a strong, tough guard dog, in reality, they’re just delicate furry flowers that require our care. Like other dogs, they’re susceptible to different skin conditions, from allergies to yeast and bacterial infections. In most cases, a medicated dog shampoo, such as MediDerm from PAW can be necessary for treatment.
MediDerm is a low-irritant, antibacterial and antifungal shampoo that contains Piroctone Olamine, an active compound usually used for treating fungal infections. This ingredient is combined with pawDerm® sulphate-free cleansers, and together they make a product that effectively treats different skin conditions and removes grease and scaly skin. Thanks to glycerin and water, the shampoo does its job without impacting the skin barrier.
This shampoo works fast. Five minutes of bath time is more than enough for it to start fighting those nasty infections. And since it’s so gentle on the skin, it’s ideal for long term treatment of recurrent skin conditions.
The shampoo has a mild, botanical fragrance (as do all products from PAW), which can barely be felt on the dog’s body after a shower. Our team of experts note that botanical scents are a much better option than artificial ones not just because it fades, but because synthetic fragrances are often a source of skin allergies.
There are two types of dogs - those that just sniff smelly poos, and those that use every chance they’ve got to roll in it. Scientists explain that dogs inherited this behaviour from wolves, who would roll in poop to hide their scent from prey. There are several other theories that try to explain why dogs do this, but the fact is - it’s disgusting. Your dog will need a bath as soon as you get home. For this horribly stinking smell, you’ll need strong deodorizing dog shampoo, like the Dirty Talk from Pet Head.
The Dirty Talk shampoo is specifically made to neutralize odours rather than just covering them up. Baking soda and ordenone are the two ingredients that make that possible. Unlike the other options on this list, the shampoo also features vegetable protein extract and soy protein which make the coat look shiny and full.
After a thorough bath with this shampoo, dogs smell like they've just got out of a grooming salon. No one will ever have to know about that poo under the tree…
The PET HEAD Dog Dirty Talk Shampoo being tested by our independent expert team.
This orange-scented dog shampoo comes in a pink bottle with a bone-shaped cap. When I removed that, I noticed that there’s a push-pull cap underneath that allows you to properly distribute the product over my dog’s body. This is genius since it allowed me to evenly distribute the shampoo to my dog's coat without spilling it around the tub.
Every long-haired person knows the importance of using a conditioner. Some learned that the hard way, by forgetting to use it and struggling to brush out the hairy mess afterwards. Well, brushing through a long-haired dog coat isn’t much different. No matter if you own an Alaskan Malamute or an Afghan Hound, a conditioner should be a staple in your dog’s regular wash and groom routine.
A 2-in-1 product is even a better choice. Our panel of expert testers discovered that this dog shampoo and conditioner from PAW is suitable for dogs of different coat types. The shampoo is pH-balanced, hypoallergenic and sulphate-free. It penetrates deeply into the coat to clean it without any irritation or dryness. Thanks to vegetable glycerin and panthenol, the coat gets soft and easily detangled after a bath.
Finally, jojoba and lavender essential oils give the product a fresh scent that will make your pooch smell like heaven. It's a nice change from the last option by Pet Head that uses fragrance as opposed to these natural essential oils.
This conditioning shampoo comes in a 500 ml bottle with an easy pour clip top cap. That’s not a horrible choice, but with a bottle that large, our team noted that a pump would be a better option.
With dogs, there’s almost never a middle ground when choosing preferences. When it comes to getting wet, they either love or hate it.
If your pooch falls under the second category like mine, then you already know how much work dog bath times can be. Getting your canine companion into the bathroom is one thing but getting them into the tub is a whole other story. In such cases, I have learned that dry shampoo can prove to be an invaluable alternative.
Dry shampoo, such as this one from Pet Head, is great for spot treatments. No matter if your pooch stepped in dirt or you managed to spill tomato sauce all over him (it happens!), there’s no need for a proper bath time if you own this product.
Our panel of expert researchers also note that it is ultra-simple to use. Just spray the dirty area and dry it with a towel or a hairdryer. After that, you should brush the area out, as it might get tangled from spot cleaning. That's it!
The PET HEAD Shampoo Dry Clean Spray being tested by our independent expert team.
Also worth noting, when spraying, avoid the area around the dog’s eyes and ears. Like all other Pet Head products, this dry shampoo isn’t harmful when ingested in small amounts, so don’t worry about your pooch accidentally licking it. The shampoo has a blueberry muffin fragrance, so don’t be surprised if your dog is turning heads wherever you go. If you or your pup are overly sensitive to fragrance, this may not be your favourite option.
How I Choose The Right Dog Shampoo
Before embarking on the difficult task of choosing the best dog shampoo, you need to define what your pooch needs. Since the pet cosmetics industry is largely unregulated, there are tons of shampoos on the market that claim to be the best option. To make the right choice, we asked our experts to identify the best criteria so you know what to look for.
Determine your dog’s skin type
If your dog’s skin is allergy-prone or sensitive, like mine, then you need to pick a shampoo that’s hypoallergenic and doesn’t have harsh chemical ingredients. Instead, opt for gentle compounds, such as aloe vera, oatmeal or vitamin E that can have soothing effects on your pooch’s skin. I can absolutely see the difference in my dog after switching to more gentle dog shampoo.
Check for possible parasite or skin infections
If your dog struggles with a skin condition ranging from seborrheic dermatitis to fungal, yeast and bacterial infections, you may need to buy medicated shampoo for dogs. According to our experts, this type of shampoo soothes irritated skin while it treats the condition with appropriate active compounds (1).
Ingredients like aloe vera or oatmeal are commonly found in a shampoo for itchy dogs and these are great at calming the irritated skin and killing these pathogenic organisms. Ketoconazole or Salicylic acid or Benzoyl Peroxide are the active ingredients that will target the ongoing infection.
Don’t forget to regularly check your dog’s coat for fleas and ticks. These nasty pests, besides being annoying, are possible carriers of different health problems ranging from anemia to Lyme disease. If your pooch happens to be infected with parasites, you should focus on eliminating them right away. There are different medical shampoos on the market that kill and repel these pests. Furthermore, you should consider getting your dog some type of parasite prevention.
Pick an appropriate shampoo for your dog’s age
Most dog shampoos are safe to use for dogs of all ages, but sometimes, they have age restrictions. These shampoos usually have a certain ingredient that’s too irritating to a puppy’s skin and should be only used for dogs over 6 months of age.
Consider other possible issues a dog shampoo can help solve
Does your dog shed way too much? Shampoos with antioxidants, beneficial oils and amino acids can be helpful with lowering the amount of shedding. They also make the coat strong and shiny.
Some dogs have a much stronger odour than others. There are a variety of reasons for that, ranging from excess oil production and anal gland problems to the uncontrollable urge to roll into every poop encountered during their walk. Some shampoos are formulated in such a way to help eliminate that nasty odour.
Depending on your dog's coat, you might be struggling with brushing your pooch after every bath. Certain breeds are more prone to hair tangling, and it can become quite a task to comb through their fur, which happens with my dog when I don't use the correct shampoo for his skin and coat.
Just like human hair, a dog's coat can be treated with a conditioner that nourishes and moisturizes the coat while making it easy to comb through. However, we’re not suggesting using a human hair product for your pooch’s bath. But our team of experts point out that there are dog conditioners that are specially formulated to untangle and restore the coat’s natural oil production.
Related: Home Remedies For Matted Dog Hair.
Finally, there’s a product every dog parent should own - a dry shampoo. These come in a variety of forms, from sprays and powders to gels and foams. What’s common for all of these is that you don’t need to rinse them off with water. This is a fast and convenient way to freshen your pooch’s coat between baths and spot clean any possible dirt buildup. However, keep in mind that dry shampoo will never be better than regular shampoo for a deep cleanse. This is only a temporary solution that you can use on the go.
The Final Verdict
Keeping your pooch clean and smelling nice is quite a task. Their urge to get dirty and roll in smelly things is so strong that one second of your lost attention can result in a half-an-hour long bath time.
As we’ve seen, there’s a variety of different shampoo formulas on the market, which makes picking the right product difficult. But our experts tested them all and then some and have two recommendations for your dog. Melanie Newman shampoo keeps the dog’s coat clean while at the same time nourishes and repairs dry and itchy skin. Its ingredients are safe for puppies and dogs with sensitive and allergy-prone skins.
However, if your pooch is struggling with more serious skin issues than a bit of itchiness, consider getting a medicated dog shampoo. Paw Mediderm shampoo for dogs effectively treats fungal and bacterial conditions while being extra gentle on the dog’s skin and coat.
If you absolutely must, you can use human shampoo as a one-time emergency solution, but this should never become a usual practice (4).
The pH level of a dog's skin and hair is not the same as a humans. While our level is slightly acidic, the dog's pH level is neutral. Repeated usage of an acidic human shampoo can irritate the dog’s skin and cause it to dry out and flake.
The answer to this question depends on your dog’s skin condition, coat type and lifestyle. As a rule of thumb, a monthly bath is ideal. However, if your dog seizes every opportunity to get dirty, this can and should be done more often.
It’s always better to start with a small amount of shampoo. The first time you try out a new dog shampoo you’re never sure how much lather it will create. If you go ham and use too much product, you will have a hard time rinsing out the shampoo excess from the coat.
There are certain dog shampoos that have the “for cats and dogs” label on it. If you own a shampoo that doesn’t specifically state it’s cat-safe, then you should never try bathing your feline friend with it. Cats are generally more sensitive than dogs, and some ingredients found in different dog shampoos are toxic to them and can cause serious health concerns.
- PetMD Editorial. January 2, 2019. “Do You Need a Medicated Dog Shampoo?”. PetMD. Retrieved February 23, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/dog/grooming/do-you-need-medicated-dog-shampoo
- Lotz, K. December 14, 2021. “How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog? Groomers Weigh In”. AKC. Retrieved February 23, 2023. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/how-often-should-you-wash-your-dog/
- Horne, K. February 2016. “Scratching the Surface of Allergies in Dogs”. Today’s Veterinary Nurse. Retrieved February 23, 2023. https://todaysveterinarynurse.com/articles/scratching-the-surface-of-allergies-in-dogs/
- Reisen, J. April 30, 2021. “Can You Use Human Shampoo on Dogs?”. AKC. Retrieved February 23, 2023. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/human-shampoo-on-dogs/