ReviewsWorthy.net is reader-supported. As an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases.Learn more
In Brief: Best Waterless Dog Shampoos
- Wahl Natural Pet
- Burt’s Bees
- Furminator deShedding
- SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care
- Bodhi Dog
- Paw Choice
- Miracle Coat Dog
- Pet Head Dry Clean
Grooming is one of the main parts of having a dog as part of your family.
There are many grooming options, including taking your dog to see a professional or performing the grooming tasks yourself.
Engaging in a full grooming process can take a lot of time and effort.
Using a waterless dog shampoo is an option that allows you to take care of grooming touch-ups in between major cleanings without a lot of fuss.
Dog shampoo is generally made of more organic and natural products like tea tree oil and aloe vera. Some contain hydrocortisone and other chemicals.
Since shampoos come in contact with the dog’s skin it is essential that you choose a shampoo that does not react adversely with the dog’s skin and fur.
Comparison table – Top Waterless Dog Shampoos
There are lots of waterless dog shampoos on the market. Some are for general cleaning and some have a specific purpose. It is important to choose the right one based on your requirements and your dog’s skin.
Here are the top shampoos along with their key specifications –
Wahl Natural Pet
|7.1 fl oz||
Coconut oil, oatmeal extract, aloe vera
Cleans, conditions, detangles, moisturizes
|Coconut Lime Verbana Lavender Chamomile||Check Price|
|10 oz fl||
Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Honey, Apple Extract
For Deodorizing, shed control, itching
|8.5 oz fl||
Oat protein, Kava, Vitamin E, Chamomile, Omega 3 & 6
SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula
|8 fl oz||
Chlorhexidine Gluconate, keratin, aloe
Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial
Best All Natural
|8 fl oz||
Coconut, Lemongrass / Lavender extract
Hypoallergenic, For odors, shiny coat and detangling
|Lavender Lemongrass||Check Price|
|8 fl oz||
Mild surfactant blend, polysorbate 20
For Odor control, coat conditioner
|8 fl oz||
Silk, Soy & Milk Protein, Aloe, Honey
For moisturizing, shining coat, detangling
|Deep Moisture Detangaling & Shine Puppy Spray||Check Price|
Miracle Coat Dog
|7, 8,12,16, 32 fl oz||
Extract of - Clover , White Ginger , Clove , Chamomile
Prevents allergy, cleans coat, Relieves itchy, dry skin
|Dirt shield Skin soothing||Check Price|
Pet Head Dry Clean
|15 fl oz||
Safflower Seed Oil, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Aloe extract,
For Cleaning & odor removal
Review of Top Waterless Dog Shampoos
Here are quick reviews of the most popular waterless Dog shampoos on the market now.
Wahl Natural Pet No-Rinse Waterless Shampoo
The Wahl Natural Pet Waterless Shampoo is an excellent choice for use with dogs with all skin types.
This plant-derived formula is very affordable and is safe enough to use on dry and sensitive, as it is formulated with oatmeal to provide relief from itchiness and general discomfort.
This waterless shampoo is available in two formulas: lavender chamomile and coconut lime verbena to suit your preferences.
The different formulas provide calming cleansing and moisturizing relief for your dog’s skin. Using this formula is very simple.
You can either spray it directly onto your dog’s coat or spray it into your hands and work it through your dog’s fur for even distribution.
This waterless shampoo will leave your dog’s coat, fresh, shiny, and smelling great.
FURminator deodorizing Waterless Spray
FURminator is a famous brand among pet owners.
They understand the need for a waterless shampoo that can act as a substitute for real bathing and can fight off a bad odour.
This shampoo comes in an easy spray bottle. Its unique blend of ingredients, all natural, makes it an effective product.
There are absolutely no chemical dyes or parabens in this product since they react with your dog’s fur and skin in an unwanted way.
They neutralize the bad odours that your dog often picks up between its baths. The product is manufactured in the United States of America.
Burt’s Bee Waterless Shampoo
The Burt’s Bee Waterless shampoo is another popular product in the market.
It is specially formulated for dogs so that the pH of their skin is maintained.
There are no sulphates or artificial colouring which might cause allergies. The product is not only gentle on dogs but also gentle on nature since it does not harm the environment like synthetic chemicals do.
It fights bad odours that are often a big problem for dogs between their baths.
Bodhi Dog New Waterless Dog Shampoo
The Bodhi Dog Waterless Dog Shampoo is a 100% non-toxic natural formula that is safe for use with most dogs and even cats.
The simple spray bottle can be used to apply the formula directly to your dog’s skin or to spray the shampoo into your hands so you can rub it on yourself.
You can use this waterless shampoo for spot cleanups or for full refreshers in between major grooming sessions. This formula is 100% detergent and alcohol-free, making it extremely gentle.
After cleaning your dog with the Bodhi Dog Waterless Shampoo, they will be left with a light and refreshing scent of lemongrass.
The natural and basic formula means that this shampoo can be used on dogs who are struggling with various skin conditions and allergies.
Miracle Coat Dog Shampoo
The Miracle Coat Dog Shampoo is another spray option which is very reliable. While this shampoo is a higher investment, it pays off in quality.
The bottle is outfitted with a noiseless sprayer to avoid spooking your dog during grooming.
The Miracle Coat Dog Shampoo is a safe option for your dog, as it is formulated with natural and pharmaceutical-grade ingredients.
To clean your dog’s coat using the Miracle Coat shampoo, spray the fur in all areas, use your hands to massage the shampoo into a lather on your dog’s skin and coat, let the shampoo sit for a bit, then towel dry your dog and brush out its coat.
This waterless shampoo is a helpful option if your dog is suffering from itchy or irritated skin.
Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo
The Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo is a natural formula made with mango and pomegranate for a fresh and fruity scent.
The shampoo is a coconut derived formula which is safe for use on the most sensitive skin and can be combined with topical flea treatments.
This formula comes in a foaming bottle, which means you will put the shampoo into your hands and then rub it into your dog’s coat. This is to avoid scaring your dog with a spray sound and sensation.
This waterless dog shampoo is cruelty-free and manufactured in the USA at an EPA registered facility.
This formula provides an effective maintenance product to use between major grooming sessions, as it removes odor-causing bacteria rather than simply masking it.
This formula will work to condition your dog’s skin and coat while refreshing and deodorizing.
Pet Head Dry Clean Waterless Spray Shampoo
The Pet Head Waterless Spray Shampoo is another affordable option which comes with the fun after the scent of a blueberry muffin.
This Pet Head formula is safe to use as it is designed to keep your dog’s pH levels balanced.
It is made with ingredients that will not cause a negative reaction even if your dog licks and ingests the formula.
Pet Head products are made in the USA in eco-friendly facilities and are cruelty-free.
This Pet Head Waterless Spray Shampoo is ideal for use in between grooming sessions and can also be kept in the car for quick cleanups after outdoor adventures.
If your dog is sensitive to the grooming process, try leaving the shampoo in the sun before using it to provide a warm and comfortable cleaning experience for your pup.
- In Brief: Best Waterless Dog Shampoos
- Comparison table – Top Waterless Dog Shampoos
- Review of Top Waterless Dog Shampoos
- What is a Waterless Dog Shampoo?
- Waterless Dog Shampoo: Buying Guide
- How Waterless Shampoo Works
- Benefits and Limitations of Waterless Shampoo
- How to Use a Dog Waterless Shampoo Spray
- Are Waterless Dog Shampoos Safe?
- Does Waterless Shampoo Replace Showering Dogs?
- Dog Deodorant vs. Waterless Shampoo
- Is It Okay for Dog to Lick Waterless Shampoo?
- Precautions to be taken with dog shampoos
What is a Waterless Dog Shampoo?
Waterless shampoo is a unique variety of shampoos.
These do not require water for their action on the skin and fur of dogs. You simply apply the shampoo on the dog and make sure it spreads well. In order to spread it, you can work it well with a towel.
After a while, you can brush it off so that the chemicals don’t remain in.
These are generally used for those dogs who are scared off or do not like water. It is a convenient solution for such dogs and dog owners.
These shampoos can also be used on other dogs as a replacement for the normal shampoo.
For example, if you do not want to go through the tedious process of bathing the dog or you have to bathe the dog often because it keeps getting dirty, you can spray on some waterless shampoo.
If you choose the right shampoo, the dog and you will not feel the difference between a conventional shampoo and the waterless one.
Some brands in the market can match traditional shampoos to such an extent that they make the fur as soft, remove the smell and do not leave extra oils behind.
As is the case in traditional shampoos, in waterless shampoos too, the organic and natural ones are most well-received from the side of both the dog and the owner.
These ones tend to cause minimal damage and are gentler.
Waterless Dog Shampoo: Buying Guide
If you are thinking about using a waterless dog shampoo for the first time, there are probably a few factors you will want to consider before choosing the product that is right for you and your dog.
Here are some features to look for:
Dry shampoo already raises the bar when it comes to convenience and grooming your dog.
The ability to clean your dog without using any water is helpful and makes regular upkeep simple.
Choosing a waterless shampoo that comes in a spray bottle will further streamline the process.
One of the main factors when using a waterless shampoo for your dog is ensuring that you spread the product well.
Using a spray bottle will help you cover more area of your dog’s body with less effort.
Suitable for Skin Type
It’s extremely important to pay attention to the dry shampoo you choose to use on your dog so as to avoid causing any irritation.
Check the packaging for indications of what skin types the shampoo is safe for.
Your best bet is to choose a waterless dog shampoo that caters to your dog’s specific skin type, such as sensitive or dry, or that is safe to use on all skin types.
While waterless shampoo is an option that is meant to be used between real cleanings, that does not mean you won’t need to use it at a time when your dog has picked up a foul smell.
Look for dry shampoos that kill odor-causing bacteria to make sure that your dog smells as fresh as possible between major grooming sessions.
Chances are you will be using the waterless dog shampoo you choose on a regular basis.
That’s why it is vital that you invest in a product that is made with a mild formula.
This is important because it will prevent the chance of having your dog’s coat stripped and thinned out from the use of waterless shampoo.
Choose Hypoallergenic if needed
You never know when allergies may strike your dog. Choosing a waterless dog shampoo that has a hypoallergenic formula means one less possible allergy trigger to worry about.
Select the one with Works with Flea Treatments
There are some flea treatments which require a topical application.
If your dog uses this type of flea treatment, you will want to make sure that the waterless shampoo you choose does not interfere with the flea treatment’s effectiveness.
If you are going to use a waterless shampoo on your dog, you might as well choose one that offers skin nourishing properties while cleaning your dog’s skin and coat.
Look for formulas with ingredients such as coconut and Aloe Vera.
Using a foaming formula waterless dog shampoo makes the cleaning process extremely easy.
These formulas are simply applied to and spread throughout your dog’s coat, and left to dry. You can brush your dog’s coat out later for an even shine.
Balanced for pH
Your dog’s skin has a specific pH level which it needs to maintain for optimal health. Some products are not formulated safely and can disrupt the balance.
Make sure you choose a waterless shampoo that will keep your dog’s pH level where it needs to be.
In addition to odor-fighting, you may want to use a waterless shampoo that leaves your dog with a pleasant, but the not overpowering scent.
Things to Avoid
When shopping for a waterless shampoo, there are things you’ll want to avoid, especially in the ingredients list.
These are chemicals and additives that can be toxic to your pet and cause negative reactions including rashes, hair loss, allergic reactions, and severe sores. Some ingredients you should avoid are :
- Artificial fragrances and dyes
- Ammonium laureth sulfate
- Cocamidopropyl betaine
- Cocamide MEA/cocamide monoethanolamine
- Formaldehyde preservatives (Bronopol, Diazolidinyl Urea, DMDM Hydantoin/DHDH hydantoin,
- Imidazolidinyl urea, Quaternium-7/15/31/61, or Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate)
- Isothiazolinone preservatives (methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazolinone)
- Isopropyl/SD-40 alcohol
- Parabens (butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben)
- PEG-40 Lanolin (a derivative of natural lanolin)
- Polyethylene glycol (PEG)
- Propylene glycol
- Sodium benzoate preservative
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)/Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
- Triethanolamine (TEA)
You should also steer clear of products that don’t list their ingredients at all or hide behind terms like “proprietary blends” or generic terms like “conditioners” or “moisturizers.”
Keeping these features in mind will help you choose the waterless dog shampoo that best suits your needs.
How Waterless Shampoo Works
Natural oils are healthy, however, there are certain spots on your dog where they have a large number of sebaceous glands that can overproduce sebum, an oily substance that is supposed to keep their skin healthy and hydrated.
These spots are around their paws, under their chin, around their tail, and at the back of their neck.
When too much sebum is produced for any reason, it can make their coat feel greasy and look duller than usual.
It can also attract dirt and dust.
Waterless dog shampoo works by absorbing excess oil from your dog’s skin and coat.
This will restore their shiny, soft fur while also leaving behind a fresh scent.
There are usually starch powders or clays that absorb the oils while the pleasant aromas usually come from things like essential oils or similar natural ingredients or artificial fragrances if you chose a waterless shampoo that uses those.
Since natural oils are essential for your dog’s health, you don’t want to use these dry shampoos too much.
They will absorb too much of the naturally occurring sebum and can disrupt your dog’s natural pH balance.
This can cause dry, flaky skin and leave them vulnerable to bacteria growth. You can also clog their hair follicles causing breakage and hair loss.
For it to work properly, spray or rub the waterless shampoo on your dog following the specific instructions for the product in question.
Make sure to focus on any areas where you know there is excessive oil built up.
Some dry shampoos will tell you to leave the product on your pet or to brush it through their coat while others will say to use a towel to wipe down your dog.
Be sure to do what the instructions say so that you get the most out of the product.
Benefits and Limitations of Waterless Shampoo
Although they may not be the traditional choice for dog grooming needs, waterless dog shampoos have a lot to offer.
Benefits of Waterless Shampoos
Here are the benefits you and your dog stand to gain from the use of a waterless dog shampoo:Maintenance: one of the best reasons to invest in a waterless dog shampoo is to make maintenance between main grooming sessions simple and fast.
Some dogs resist the washing process, so instead of trying to do it very frequently, you can plan main sessions with cleanings using a dry shampoo in between.Use with Dogs who do not like water: if your dog makes the grooming process especially difficult by moving around too much or even getting aggressive, using a waterless shampoo is a practical alternative.
It will allow you to keep your dog’s coat free of dirt without forcing an unpleasant situation.Ease of Use: the whole point of waterless dog shampoos is the convenience they offer.
Washing your dog on a regular basis with standard shampoo and water takes a lot of time and effort, not to mention that some dogs may not be easy to groom.
Using a waterless shampoo is super simple. All you need to do is apply the dry shampoo to your dog’s coat, let it absorb, and brush your dog.Prevent Allergies: many standard shampoos trigger or further irritate skin allergies in dogs.
Many waterless shampoos are made with milder formulas that are unlikely to cause irritation and may even be able to help treat existing skin allergies.Better Clean: while a standard shampoo may provide a better clean in theory, if your dog is anxious or uncooperative during grooming, regular shampoo and water may not get the job done very well. Dry shampoos may help you clean your dog’s coat more thoroughly than usual. Puppy-Friendly: if you have a new puppy, there’s a chance they may be afraid of the water, which will compromise your ability to get them sufficiently clean with a classic shampoo.
Scared puppies will not even realize it’s bath time when you use a dry shampoo.Assist with Lack of Time or Space: not everyone has a bathtub large enough to facilitate the functional grooming of their dog as well, and an outdoor hose is not always an option either.
If grooming space is one of the main issues you face when trying to wash your dog with standard shampoos, then waterless shampoo may be just the solution you’re looking for. Not to mention they save a lot of time.
Limitations of Waterless shampoos
Although these shampoos clean up the dog well, it often leaves a greasy layer behind which attracts more dust and dirt to settle in and make the dog dirty again.
It cannot replace conventional shampoos and bathing completely.
How to Use a Dog Waterless Shampoo Spray
The process of using waterless dog shampoo is extremely simple, which makes it one of the most popular options among pet owners. To use a waterless shampoo with your dog, follow these steps :
- Decide where you want the grooming to take place and situate your dog there. You will not need to limit your dog’s movement too much, as the dry shampoo process is very easy.
- Rub or spray the waterless shampoo all over your dog’s coat. Make sure you get shampoo on the areas that you feel are extra dirty.
- Leave the shampoo in your dog’s coat for the time indicated on the product packaging.
- If the dry shampoo is a foaming formula, use a towel to wipe your dog down.
- Brush your dog’s coat when the indicated time period has passed. There are some dry shampoos that do not require brushing.
Are Waterless Dog Shampoos Safe?
If you’re new to using a waterless shampoo for your dog, it’s important to know that they are completely safe as long as they are used properly.
When using a dry shampoo for your dog, it’s important to remember that you will still need to bathe them properly.
The safety of dry shampoos will vary by individual brand and model in terms of triggering irritation.
However, the only safety issue that could arise from the use of dry shampoos is an unhealthy amount of buildup of product and dirt. This means regular bath is essential even when you are using waterless shampoos.
This is a possibility if you only use dry shampoos and could cause your dog’s skin to become irritated or break out in sores.
Does Waterless Shampoo Replace Showering Dogs?
The main thing to keep in mind when using a waterless shampoo is that they do not serve the same purpose as standard shampoos.
This is why they are not meant to act as a total replacement for showering or bathing your dog.
Rather than using water to help remove dirt, oils, and debris from your dog’s coat, a dry shampoo is a formula that is meant to absorb the grime.
This is functional for keeping your dog’s appearance and smell maintained but is not sufficient as a complete replacement of classic grooming.
A waterless shampoo will absorb the excess dirt in your dog’s coat, but at some point, you will need to use a standard shampoo to completely wash it out.
Dog Deodorant vs. Waterless Shampoo
When searching for a waterless shampoo, make sure that you don’t mistakenly invest in a dog deodorant.
While both products will help rid your dog of unpleasant smells, a dog deodorant will not provide any type of cleansing to your dog.
Dog deodorants are meant to freshen your dog up for a short period of time.
They work to break down or neutralize the bad odors sticking around your dog’s skin or coat, leaving them smelling fresher than they were before. This is a short-term solution.
If you’re looking to get rid of odors while also keeping your dog’s coat clean in between showers or grooming sessions, you should opt for a waterless shampoo.
Is It Okay for Dog to Lick Waterless Shampoo?
One of the hardest parts of grooming your dog is making sure that they leave the products to set and dry once you’re done.
Dogs are curious and accustomed to licking their coats regularly.
Generally, you probably don’t want your dog licking and ingesting their grooming products.
When it comes to waterless shampoo, the reality is that it will sit on your dog’s coat enough for a while, which means that your dog is very likely to lick it at least a little bit.
It all comes down to the ingredients included in the waterless shampoo you use.
If you make sure to invest in a dry shampoo that is formulated with safe ingredients which are as natural as possible, then you will not need to spend much time about what will happen when your dog inevitably takes a lick.
Precautions to be taken with dog shampoos
Some specific / general precautions before buying a shampoo for your beloved dog”
- Shampoos should generally be bought after consultation with a vet. They know what is best for dogs. In case you want to purchase a shampoo without consultation you should be aware of the effects of most chemicals in the shampoos. Some may have minor effects like dryness and itchiness while others may cause cancer. Therefore it is essential that you take some precaution.
- Never use human shampoos on dogs since they are too harsh on them
- Consult your vet before choosing shampoos and conditioners for your dog
- Shampoos methylisothiazolinone may react adversely with your pet, so see the label before you purchase a product
- Spray formulations may have alcohol which causes allergies in dogs
- Hydrocortisone and Lidocaine may also cause allergies in some cases
- Some spray on shampoos might leave a greasy and heavy fur. Avoid these shampoos.
Human shampoos, in general, have a pH level balance that is strictly tailor-made for human skin to balance the acidity. When a human dry shampoo is applied on a dog’s coat, it disturbs the natural pH balance. This leads to loss of excess moisture resulting in skin irritation and allergies.
DIY dry dog shampoos are an excellent inexpensive way to provide your pooch with all-natural products while tailoring a product according to his needs. Most of the ingredients needed for a DIY shampoo are available in every kitchen pantry. Moreover, adding different essential oils to your concoction ensures anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, soothing and flea-killing properties.
Bath wipes for dogs is a good way of ensuring a quick cleaning routine when your dog is on the go or is smelling unbearable. Good dog wipes that are free of overpowering smells and harsh chemicals containing moisturizing compounds that leave your pet’s coat clean and shiny. You can also use them in between baths to help alleviate unwanted dog smells.
It is harder with older dogs to get them standing for prolonged periods or get them into the bathtub. They are vulnerable to cold and with arthritis, it is nearly impossible to wash them properly. Waterless shampoos are a savior to senior dogs to keep them smelling fresh and prep them for their monthly or weekly baths.
Every dog breed and type requires a specific bathing routine. An outdoor dog may require more than one dry shampoo bath every week while an indoor dog may require lesser. A dry shampoo coupled with a normal shampoo extends the bathing period. Hence, while you can dry shampoo your dog once every week, you may bath him normally once in a month and a half.
The starch and clay powders are the key elements in a waterless shampoo that help absorb excess moisture and dispel unwanted smell. However, if a shampoo contains these elements in excess amounts the consequences maybe severe. They will absorb too much moisture, clog your dog’s pores and may deteriorate your dog’s immune system.
A good quality waterless shampoo is a good alternative to a dog’s post-operation bathing. Since bathing is strictly prohibited soon after amputation surgery, maintaining your pet’s cleanliness could become a challenge. They may start stinking bad soon and this is where waterless shampoo plays a crucial role.
Spray and mousse are the two most common types of dog shampoo. A spray shampoo as the name suggests is a liquid spray that allows your dog to have a quick clean up after a day’s walk. However, some dogs do not react well to the practice. Mousse shampoos are applied to a dog in a similar way as you apply mousse for styling your hair. However, it is not the best choice when you are trying to give a clean dry bath. Thus, the use of both the shampoos depends on your dog and the kind of cleaning you wish to do.
When it comes to waterless shampoos, we recommend that you consult a specialist (vet). Spray conditioners come in handy to clean up the dog between its baths, especially to remove merely.
A product that is used so often requires some research. Always look at the label so that you are aware of the chemicals in the shampoo and their effects.
Also be aware of the chemicals that your dog is allergic too so that you buy the right shampoo.
Here is the list of top waterless dog shampoos for you again, do check them out –
- Wahl Natural Pet – Best Overall
- Burt’s Bees
- Furminator deShedding – Best for De-shedding
- SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care – Best Medicated
- Bodhi Dog
- Paw Choice
- Miracle Coat Dog
- Pet Head Dry Clean
Last update on 2022-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API