Suppose bath time is a major ordeal for you and your pooch. In that case, you’ll no doubt appreciate what a significant difference the best waterless shampoo for dogs can make to both of your lives.
No longer will you need to try and coax your canine companion into the tub, only for them to thrash around and jump straight out, sending all that water splashing all over the place in the process!
Instead, waterless dog shampoos -also commonly known as dry dog shampoos- can be gently lathered into their coats without the need for rinsing. As a result, they get to stay calm and happy while you ensure they’re clean and healthy from head to toe.
At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Waterless Shampoo for Dogs
- Wahl No-Rinse Lavender & Chamomile Dog Shampoo – Our Pick
- Lilian Ruff Waterless Dog Shampoo
- Burt’s Bees for Dogs Natural Waterless Shampoo Spray
- BioSilk for Dogs Moisture Waterless Shampoo Spray
- Animology Dirty Dawg No Rinse Dog Shampoo Spray
So far, so good, but with so many dry dog shampoos on the market, how do you know which one is right for your furry friend?
You start here with our guide to the very best waterless dog shampoos on the market. We’ve tried out dozens of this year’s leading brands, combined our own research with scores of customer reviews, and put our findings together to determine the products that will work best in keeping your dog happy and their coat fresh and shiny.
10 Best Waterless Shampoo for Dogs[sc name=”waterless-shampoo-for-dog”]
1. Wahl No-Rinse Lavender & Chamomile Dog Shampoo
We can make all the jokes we want about how difficult it is to convince our canine chums to sit and play nice at bath time. Still, the truth is, a lot of dogs aren’t jumping out of the tub and splashing around to be naughty or mischievous. They may not even be doing it to be playful.
Many dogs -even typically calm breeds– can get anxious and scared around water, which makes washing them a chore and can leave them feeling off for the rest of the day.
That’s just one reason why we love Wahl’s No-Rinse Lavender & Chamomile Dog Shampoo. The lavender & chamomile formula has a calming effect on our four-legged friends, helping them to stay nice and relaxed while you work it gently into their coat.
Not only that, but it also leaves them with a flawlessly fresh coat that smells amazing.
Most importantly though, Wahl’s waterless dog shampoo does what it’s supposed to do really well.
It cleans off dirt with ease, with some users reporting that simply lathering this into their hands and stroking their dog is enough to remove a thick coat of dirt and grime – exactly what you’d want from a good quality shampoo. Beyond that, this one also conditions, detangles, and moisturizes, providing great value-for-money as an all-round care solution for your pooch.
What’s more, the shampoo does all this while relying only on natural ingredients. The pH-balanced, hypoallergenic formula is free from alcohol, paraben, and PEG-80, which is just one of the reasons why Wahl’s No-Rinse Dog Shampoo is the go-to brand of choice for scores of professional dog groomers.
2. Lilian Ruff Waterless Dog Shampoo
As much as we may love our dogs, there’s no denying that they can start to smell pretty strongly without regular bathing.
If their smell is a big issue for you, then Lilian Ruff Waterless Dog Shampoo may be a great choice. It comes in a variety of scents, including lavender and coconut, citrus, vanilla, or lavender on its own, all of which will leave your pup smelling amazing.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that all Lilian Ruff shampoo does is cover up their odor. It also provides long-lasting cleanliness and leaves their coats looking shiny and healthy.
Best of all, it’s incredibly easy to use. Unlike other waterless dog shampoos that need you to towel them off afterward, all you have to do with this one is spray it into their coat and then either stroke them or brush their coat afterward.
This quick, easy application makes it a great choice if you’re simply looking for a good product to keep your dog clean between bath times or if you simply don’t have the time to invest in a longer grooming routine.
Lilian Ruff Dry Dog Shampoo uses a vegan formula that is gluten-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, and dye free, and it’s also made in the USA, a sure sign of quality if ever there was one.
3. Burt’s Bees for Dogs Natural Waterless Shampoo Spray
If you love the idea of a natural-smelling dry dog shampoo but find that either you or your pup (or perhaps both of you) don’t get on with the usual lavender smell. In that case, you may find the gorgeous apple and honey scent of Burt’s Bees for Dogs Natural Waterless Shampoo Spray more to your liking.
We like this one because while the scent is certainly both unique and appealing, it’s not overpowering. Your dog isn’t going to walking around smelling like they’ve just been let loose in a perfumery. Still, they will walk around without the usual doggy-odors thanks to this 99.7% natural formula dry shampoo.
It achieves this – as well as serving as both shampoo and conditioner for your dog’s coat- without using sulfates, fragrances or chemicals, and is pH-balanced as all good shampoos should be.
4. BioSilk for Dogs Moisture Waterless Shampoo Spray
If yours is the kind of pampered pooch who truly prefers the finer things in life. In that case, the luxury brand BioSilk for Dogs Moisture Waterless Shampoo Spray may be just the ticket.
Using a combination of silk and enriching vitamins, this deluxe dry shampoo restores the moisture balance in their coat to cleanse and nourish both fur and skin, leaving your dog looking fresh and feeling healthy.
Like the Lilian Ruff spray, this one requires no toweling off – just spray from the back of their ears to their tail, gently massage it into their fur and brush through to leave them with a soft, luxurious, and pleasant-smelling coat.
5. Animology Dirty Dawg No Rinse Dog Shampoo Spray
Animology Dirty Dawg No Rinse Dog Shampoo Spray is one example of a product that does precisely the opposite of what it says on the label, leaving your dawg -excuse us, your dog– anything but dirty.
The pH-balanced, hypoallergenic formula is designed primarily to serve as a between-bath “spot-clean” solution, ideal for a quick spray after they’ve been out for a walk or if Fido happened to get caught out in the rain!
That doesn’t mean that it has to be used exclusively for in-between cleans. Dirty Dag is strengthened with pro-vitamin B5 and built-in conditioners to improve the strength, health, and vitality of their coat, meaning it works just as well as a main bath-time alternative.
6. Bio-Groom Waterless Cats and Dog Bath Shampoo
We’ve talked a lot so far about those waterless dog shampoos that feature a particularly distinctive smell. While that may be just what many dog owners are looking for, we understand that sometimes particularly strong odors -even pleasant ones- can be off-putting to both canines and humans alike.
That’s just one of the reasons why we love Bio-Groom Waterless Cats and Dog Bath Shampoo. While it certainly leaves your pet smelling clean and fresh, it does so without the kind of overwhelming odors that you get with other brands.
We also like that this cost-effective shampoo works equally as well on our feline friends, making it a great choice for those with both dogs and cats in their family.
PH-Balanced and paraben-free, this high-quality shampoo simply sprays on and can be massaged in and brushed through to keep your beloved pup clean, healthy, and looking at their best.
7. PetPotion Refresh – All-Natural Waterless Spray Bath
The main thing we love about PetPotion Refresh – All-Natural Waterless Spray Bath is that it comes in a variety of options to suit all dogs and all situations.
Suppose you have a dog that’s prone to anxiety. In that case, the naturally calming and soothing vanilla option can be gently massaged into their fur to help them stay nice and relaxed. At the same time, you work to clean their fur.
Suppose you have a dog with particularly oily or flaky skin. In that case, you’ll find the apple cider vinegar balanced variety is purpose-made for just that purpose. At the same time, its antibacterial, antiseptic, and antibiotic properties can also prove beneficial for a variety of health concerns.
Alternatively, if you just need a strong, odorless solution to keep their coat clean, refreshed, and brimming with vitality without that strong smell, the unscented refresh brand will do the job perfectly well.
8. Begley’s Natural No Rinse Waterless Pet Shampoo
If you haven’t figured out by now, we’re big fans of lavender-based pet shampoos. Although we’ve been sure to include both alternatively-scented and unscented shampoos, the lavender scent is especially appealing because not only does it smell pretty, but it has a naturally calming effect on both people and animals.
Given that one of the main reasons for using a waterless shampoo is to overcome the problem of dogs getting scared, nervous, or anxious when it’s time for a wash, we say that anything that can help them stay calm is most welcomed.
Still, there are countless lavender-based options out there, so why does Begley’s Natural No Rinse Waterless Pet Shampoo make it onto the list?
For one thing, it’s a breeze to use. Simply spray a few drops onto a cloth (or preferably a good quality grooming glove) and brush into their fur. After leaving the shampoo to dry, take out your grooming brush and groom them as you normally would, and that’s all there is to it.
For another, we love the all-natural, plant-based formula, meaning you don’t have to choose between cleaning your dog and protecting the environment.
Finally, it’s good that this is one of the few waterless dog shampoos that can be safely applied to their face as long as it’s sprayed onto a cloth or glove. Most shampoos will tell you to avoid the face altogether, and while we wouldn’t advise you to spray this one directly onto that area (lest it gets in their eyes), it’s good to know there’s a shampoo out there for messy eaters and mucky-mouthed pups.
9. John Paul Pet Oatmeal Waterless Foam Shampoo
Along with our beloved lavender, oatmeal dog shampoos have proven increasingly popular in recent years, with John Paul Pet Oatmeal Waterless Foam Shampoo establishing themselves as one of the best of the best in this category.
With this one, the gentle botanical formula is designed to mix in with the oil and dirt built up in your dog’s fur so that it can easily be brushed right out again, leaving them with a fresh, vibrant, and healthy coat. Meanwhile, the added sweet almond oil creates a sweet -but not overpowering- scent.
We should also mention that this is one of the best budget-friendly options there, not only proving to be relatively inexpensive compared to other brands but requiring only two or three small pumps per clean so that you can be sure it will last you longer than other varieties.
10. Bissell No-Rinse Dog Shampoo
Last but by no means least, Bissell No-Rinse Dog Shampoo is a pH-balanced, alcohol-free, waterless dog shampoo that proves particularly effective for dogs with dry skin, dandruff, and other skin conditions.
Like most good no-rinse shampoos, this one simply sprays on and brushes through, making it a great choice for quick cleans or those times when you’re running out of time to give them proper grooming. After that, the light mulberry smell will provide a pleasant odor that isn’t overpowering for either humans or your dog.
While it tends to run out pretty quickly for large pups, it’s a great choice to have to hand for those dogs who need a special shampoo for their sensitive skin.
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look For When Choosing a Waterless Dog Shampoo
By now, you’ve seen what we consider to be the ten very best waterless shampoos for dogs, but how do you decide which one is the best choice for your beloved companion?
If you find yourself torn between our above recommendations (or if none of them immediately stand out to you), here are a few things you might want to look out for:
Scented or Unscented
We’re big fans of scented dog shampoos. After working through your dog’s coat to get them looking shiny, healthy, and clean, they leave a soft, gentle aroma that makes your dog -and to some extent, your home- smelling lovely.
However, we do know that such shampoos are not for everyone. For some people, even the gentlest of scented shampoos can be overpowering, and the same applies for dogs too. If your dog tends to feel sick or generally shows their displeasure at scented shampoos, then it’s perhaps best to avoid them.
Suppose you do go with a scented shampoo. In that case, you’ll have lots of options to choose from, whether it’s honey and apple, coconut, or something else entirely. However, if your dog is the type to get scared or nervous when it comes to bath-time, then you might want to consider one based on lavender or vanilla.
These tend to have a nice, calming effect on dogs, helping them to stay relaxed while you work on their coat.
Above all else, we’d always recommend that you look for a shampoo based primarily -if not entirely- on natural ingredients.
Not only is this generally better for the environment, but it’s also a much healthier -and safer- option for your cherished companion.
The Final Word on Choosing the Best Waterless Shampoo for Your Dog
If you’ve read this far, then you should have everything you need to help you make an informed decision about the best dry shampoo for your dog. To sum up though, while any one of the top ten options above will certainly serve your dog well, our favorite has to be Wahl’s No-Rinse Lavender & Chamomile Dog Shampoo.
Coming from a world-renowned brand with a reputation for quality, this premium dog shampoo does an exceptional job at leaving your dog with a soft, shiny coat full of vitality while offering that all-important calming effect of lavender and chamomile which is so important for turning those bath-time ordeals into a gentle, relaxing, and enjoyable experience for you and your dog.