Cocker Spaniel Shampoo: Our 6 Picks for the Best Shampoo for Cocker Spaniels

Who can forget the long, wavy-haired fur of Lady from the Disney classic “Lady and the Tramp”? Perhaps the most famous Cocker Spaniel, cartoon Lady helped make her breed one of the most popular worldwide and demonstrates exactly what makes Cocker Spaniels so distinct and special.

Chewy Online Dog Supplies

35% Off at

+ Free Shipping

Save Now

Initially bred as a hunting dog, today’s Cocker Spaniels are mostly loveable house companions, though they do retain some of their hunting instincts. Cockers have bright, gentle, happy, and intelligent dispositions. They are highly trainable dogs though they may be a bit shy at first meeting, making early socialization a critical aspect of their puppyhood.

Cocker Spaniels require frequent grooming, which means maintaining their coat will take time and energy. A Cocker’s fur, when groomed properly, is smooth and silky. To achieve this high standard, Cocker Spaniels need daily brushing along with bathing and trimming every week or two, depending on their individual needs.

Using a high-quality shampoo will help protect a Cocker’s skin from irritation and will enhance the beauty of their fur. Sometimes, an antifungal or hypoallergenic shampoo will help keep skin healthy. Cocker Spaniels are prone to skin allergies, so finding a shampoo that will nourish their skin instead of aggravating it is critical to ensuring effective bathing.

Keep reading to learn more about the best shampoos for Cocker Spaniels.

Things to Consider When Shopping For a Top-Rated Cocker Spaniel Shampoo

Cocker Spaniels have very specific grooming needs because of their sensitive skin and thick coats. Choosing the right shampoo will help maintain the silkiness of the coat and soothe irritated skin. There are a few particular details to remember when shopping for shampoo for a Cocker Spaniel.

Choose Gentle Ingredients

Cocker Spaniels are known for having sensitive skin that is easily irritated by harsh ingredients. Irritated skin can mean rashes, redness, or even constant scratching, which itself might lead to infection. Potent chemical ingredients used in some shampoos will only exacerbate existing skin problems or cause new issues to occur.

If your Cocker is one of the many that suffer from skin sensitivities, consider a mild shampoo that will guard against redness and itching. For instance, start your search by targeting products that emphasize soothing or calming abilities. Gentler shampoos, like those with an aloe and oatmeal formula, will calm irritation and promote a healthy coat.

Frequent Bathing is Necessary for Skin and Coat Health

Keep in mind that Cocker Spaniels require regular grooming, even between professional appointments. Most Cocker owners will schedule grooming sessions with an expert every six to eight weeks, then maintain the coat with at-home brushing and bathing between professional visits. For a Cocker, at-home grooming is essential to healthy skin and fur.

Because bathing occurs so frequently, usually every other week, the shampoo will have to be suitable for such repeated use. If the shampoo is too strong for regular bathing, it will dry out the pet’s skin and fur, stripping the essential oils that keep the Cocker’s coat healthy and plush.

Discuss Using an Antifungal or Antimicrobial Shampoo with Your Veterinarian

Cocker Spaniels are prone to allergies that can lead to skin infections. Antifungal or antimicrobial shampoos are vital to promoting skin health and preventing infection. These shampoos help treat the irritation, inflammation, and dryness associated with skin infections.

If you notice intense scratching or licking, moist areas of skin, or a greasy coat, your Cocker may be suffering from a fungal infection, like a yeast infection. Antifungal shampoos clear up the infection and aid in healing, while antimicrobial shampoos kill the bacteria associated with infection.

These shampoos provide excellent support in maintaining skin health, but sometimes they are not enough to heal an infection on their own. If you are concerned your Cocker Spaniel may be suffering from a skin infection, be sure to check in with your veterinarian about proper treatment.

Consider the Type of Cut Your Cocker Has Before Choosing a Shampoo

Most Cocker Spaniels have one of two haircuts: a puppy cut, with the fur trimmed to the same short length all over the body, or the American Cocker Spaniel Show Cut, which showcases long, silky hair but is much higher maintenance. Different shampoos are more beneficial, depending on your Cocker’s cut.

For a puppy cut, less frequent grooming is acceptable. As long as the skin and fur are healthy and odor-free, bathing only has to be done when needed. Keep in mind that this might still mean bathing every other week based on the activity level and environment of each pet. For less frequent bathing, it is safe to use a deep cleansing shampoo.

If your Cocker Spaniel has a longer cut, you will most likely need to bathe at least every other week to maintain cleanliness. Make sure that whatever shampoo you choose is suitable for frequent bathing without irritating the skin and stripping the fur.

Rinse and Re-rinse

After bathing your Cocker Spaniel, rinse the fur until the water runs clear. Leaving shampoo residue on the skin leads to the irritation of already sensitive skin. Ensuring all shampoo is washed out from your pup’s fur will also keep it looking smooth and free from dandruff.

The 6 Best Dog Shampoos for Cocker Spaniels

Here are some great options to check out when shopping for the best shampoos for Cocker Spaniels.

Best Overall: HyLyt Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Essential Fatty Acids for Dogs and Cats

HyLyt Shampoo is perfect for the sensitive, finicky skin of a Cocker Spaniel. The hypoallergenic, soap-free formula is gentle on skin, soothing irritation and calming skin suffering from signs of infection. HyLyt contains natural moisturizers that promote hydration and maintain smooth, soft skin and fur.

Since some Cocker Spaniels require frequent bathing, HyLyt can be used as often as necessary without drying the skin or stripping the fur. With an almost perfect 5-star rating, consumers admire HyLyt’s ability to provide deep cleaning while enhancing the softness of the coat. Many customers rave that their pet’s fur has never looked healthier or fluffier.

HyLyt has also proven to work well on thick coats, like that of a Cocker Spaniel. It does not strip the fur of natural oils, which keeps it looking full and wavy. A Cocker Spaniel’s luxurious coat and delicate skin are both sure to be satisfied by the mild yet effective cleansing power of HyLyt Shampoo.

Vetoquinol Vet Solutions for Itchy, Dry Skin Aloe & Oatmeal Soap-Free Shampoo

Explicitly formulated for itchy, dry skin, this shampoo is a great choice for irritated Cocker Spaniel skin. Emollients work to restore moisture to sensitive skin and, because it is soap-free, cleansing is gentle and maintains the skin’s natural oils.

A common side effect of regular bathing is dry skin, especially for Cocker Spaniels that already struggle with skin issues. Vetoquinol, though, with its mild aloe and oatmeal formula, enhances hydration instead of stripping skin. In fact, this shampoo is safe to use weekly for Cockers that require frequent bathing.

With excellent consumer reviews, Vetoquinol shampoo has proven to relieve dry, itchy skin, just like the kind suffered by a Cocker Spaniel. Many customers claim they saw results after only one bath with improved skin softness and fur health. This shampoo promises to return your Cocker’s fur to its natural glossy smoothness.

Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

While Buddy Wash comes in a variety of scents and formulas, none is more popular than the original blend of lavender and mint. Calming lavender and invigorating mint scents offer a perfect bath time balance between effectiveness and relaxation. Added botanical extracts and essential oils guarantee a lasting result.

A combination of a shampoo and a conditioner, Buddy Wash provides deep cleansing and fortifying hydration. Natural ingredients, like green tea and lavender, are gentle on skin, soothe itching and dryness, and prevent bacteria production. Lavender also offers antifungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties that promote skin health.

Buddy Wash’s mild, wholesome ingredients will not irritate sensitive skin, making it an excellent choice for Cocker Spaniels. However, this shampoo is best for bathing once every two weeks, so if your Cocker needs more frequent maintenance, a different product is better. When used correctly, this hybrid shampoo and conditioner renews silky fur and soft skin.

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo

Antiseptic and antifungal shampoos are excellent for Cocker Spaniels since they treat skin infections, such as pyoderma and dermatitis. This shampoo features two primary ingredients: benzethonium chloride to kill bacteria and ketoconazole to eliminate fungus. This specific formula also contains aloe vera to soothe and heal troubled skin.

Cocker Spaniels are prone to allergies that affect their skin, causing itching, redness, dryness, and infection. Using a medicated shampoo like this one helps to prevent and treat skin infections, returning skin to a healthy state. Plus, this product will deodorize your pet, keeping him fresh until his next bath.

During active infections, this shampoo can be used twice per week until the skin heals. Afterward, for maintenance, it can be used once per week to prevent further infection. In this way, it is perfect for Cocker Spaniels that need frequent baths to stay clean and healthy.

BioSilk Therapy Tearless Puppy Shampoo

Even though this shampoo is labeled for puppies, BioSilk works well for adult dogs, too. With its gentle cleansing agents, it will not harm already sensitive skin. This pH-balanced formula contains silk and enriching vitamins that moisturize skin and fur.

Shampoos with mild ingredients are best suited for a Cocker Spaniel’s delicate skin because they clean without causing irritation. Since it is formulated for puppies, BioSilk uses only the safest ingredients that moisturize the skin and keep it healthy.

BioSilk is beneficial to a Cocker’s fur, too. A Cocker Spaniel’s coat is naturally thick and plush, but without proper grooming, it can become greasy and flat. BioSilk hydrates and renews the fur so that it maintains its silkiness and softness. Customers report that BioSilk is especially effective in removing mats and preventing future ones from forming.

PetAg Fresh ‘N Clean Scented Dog Shampoo, Classic Fresh Scent

This shampoo features soap-free, plant-derived cleansers that wash away dirt without stripping the skin and fur of natural oils. These gentle ingredients will not aggravate a Cocker Spaniel’s delicate skin. In addition, the light, pleasant scent lasts for two weeks, so your Cocker will smell fresh until her next bath.

While a Cocker Spaniel’s thick coat is beautiful, it can be challenging to maintain. PetAg shampoo makes the coat more manageable with extra conditioners that detangle and moisturize. Vitamin E and aloe leaf juice, in particular, hydrate the fur and increase shine for a luxurious look.

3 Tips for Bathing a Cocker Spaniel

Bathing your Cocker Spaniel maintains a healthy coat and cares for sensitive skin, but there are a few important tips to remember in order to achieve optimum results.

Be careful of your Cocker’s ears and eyes. When bathing, make sure no shampoo gets into your pet’s ears or eyes as it can cause tearing and stinging in the eyes and infection in the ears.

Remember to brush before bathing. Brushing your Cocker Spaniel every day helps remove loose hair and mats and detangle knots, which makes bathing a much simpler process.

Be patient at bath time. Not all dogs love baths, though they will adapt with time. Positive reinforcement, like treats or toys, helps make bath time a fun activity that your Cocker Spaniel looks forward to. Starting regular bathing when your dog is a puppy also aids in acclimating them to bath time.


Do you have questions about bathing your Cocker Spaniel? Learn the answers to some common questions below.

What Should You Do During a Grooming Session with Your Cocker Spaniel?

To correctly groom your Cocker Spaniel, you will need to dedicate some time at least every few weeks. Even if you use a professional groomer every six to eight weeks, your Cocker will require maintenance in between appointments.

Start with brushing. If your Cocker has long hair, you need to brush him every day to prevent matting, detangle knots, and remove loose hair. Next, bathe your dog using a gentle yet effective shampoo that will nourish the skin and hydrate the hair coat. Build up a good lather then rinse completely until the water runs clear.

Finally, towel dry your Cocker Spaniel. If the weather is cold or your Cocker is going outside after his bath, ensure he is entirely dry first. Unless you have grooming experience, it is best to leave the clipping and trimming to a professional.

Can You Use Human Shampoo on Your Cocker Spaniel?

No, it is not safe to use human shampoo on your dog. Dogs have more sensitive skin than humans, so human shampoo strips away the protective layer of a dog’s skin, creating an environment where bacteria thrive and infection can occur.

How Often Should You Bathe a Cocker Spaniel?

Cocker Spaniels need regular bathing, usually every two weeks. If your Cocker has long hair or gets dirty quickly, you will probably need to bathe once every week to maintain skin and coat health.

How Can You Tell if Your Cocker Spaniel Has a Skin Infection?

Symptoms of skin infection vary from pet to pet, but the most common signs include excessive scratching, licking, and biting; areas where the skin looks red or moist; and foul odor. You may notice certain areas like the paws, skin folds, or armpits appear more irritated than others.

If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian to seek advice on appropriate and safe treatment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *