Poodle Shampoo: Our 5 Picks for the Best Dog Shampoo for Poodles

This breed comes in three different sizes ranging from very small (under 10 pounds) to large (about 50 pounds). The Poodle is easily recognized for his curly coat but is loved for his friendly personality, boundless energy, and sharp wit. These dogs make excellent family pets in any size.

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Though the Poodle is a smart and trainable breed, his curly coat requires a certain degree of care. Add to that the fact that these dogs have a high risk for allergies and skin infections, and you’re looking at a fairly high-maintenance breed. Fortunately, with the right shampoo, you can keep your Poodle’s skin and coat looking and feeling healthy.

To help you keep your Poodle’s skin soft and his coat in good condition, we’ve assembled our picks for the best shampoo for Poodles. Keep reading to learn more about bathing your Poodle and caring for his skin and coat.


What to Look for in a Top-Rated Poodle Shampoo

The Poodle’s coat requires a significant amount of upkeep to remain healthy. If you don’t brush your Poodle’s coat often, it could develop mats and tangles which can be uncomfortable or downright painful for your dog. This breed also needs to be trimmed every 4 to 6 weeks because its coat will continue to grow and will only become more difficult to manage as it does. Routine brushing and grooming are also important for healthy skin – it helps distribute the natural oils that keep your dog’s skin moisturized.

On top of the need for regular brushing and grooming, your Poodle may need special shampoo to help treat various skin problems. Poodles are highly prone to contact allergies – these are caused by environmental allergens like pollen, dust, and mold. The breed is also at-risk for food allergies and sensitivities which can cause recurrent skin problems as well as other health problems like hypothyroidism, sebaceous adenitis, and demodectic mange which can affect his skin and coat.

Bathing your Poodle on a regular basis with a shampoo designed for sensitive, allergy-prone skin is the best way to keep him looking and feeling his best. Here are a few things you should look for in a shampoo for Poodles:

  • Hypoallergenic – Because your Poodle has sensitive skin, you should choose a hypoallergenic formula for his general-purpose shampoo and make sure any medicated shampoos are as well.
  • All-Natural – Avoid any shampoo made with harsh chemicals and artificial additives like colors, fragrances, parabens, phosphate, and sulfate.
  • Moisturizers – Whether your Poodle has skin allergies or not, keeping his skin moisturized is very important. Look for ingredients like oatmeal, aloe vera, and almond oil.
  • Soap-Free Cleansers – Soap can dry out your Poodle’s already sensitive skin, so look for a shampoo made with soap-free cleansers.
  • pH Balanced – Your dog’s skin has a different pH than yours, between 6.5 and 7.5. A pH-balanced shampoo will help keep it in good condition.
  • Deodorizers – Because you’ll be bathing your Poodle every 3 to 6 weeks, a deodorizing shampoo may not be necessary, but it is always a bonus a good shampoo keeps your dog smelling fresh.

Now that you know what qualities to look for in a shampoo for Poodles, you may be wondering what types of shampoo are out there. Keep reading to learn more.

Different Types of Shampoos for Poodles

Although the Poodle’s coat is very low-shedding, it is very fine and curly which means that it needs to be washed fairly often. When your Poodle’s skin is healthy, he’ll need a bath every three to six weeks, but if he suffers from allergies or skin infections, you may need to do it more often. You’ll also need to be careful about choosing the right kind of shampoo for your Poodle’s skin.

Here is an overview of some of the different options in shampoos for Poodles:

  • General Purpose – This type of shampoo is what you’d use for routine baths. For Poodles, a general-purpose shampoo should be made with natural ingredients and designed to gently cleanse and moisturize your dog’s skin.
  • Puppy Shampoo – Puppies have extra-sensitive shampoo so look for a tear-free formula made with soap-free cleansers and soothing natural ingredients to gentle clean and condition.
  • Flea & Tick – This type of shampoo can be used to kill fleas and ticks on contact, but it shouldn’t be a replacement for a long-lasting flea and tick preventive such as a flea collar.
  • Medicated – These shampoos are designed to soothe itchy, irritated skin caused by allergies and infections. They come in different forms, so choose the right one to treat your dog’s problem.
  • Color-Enhancing – Dogs with white or black fur can benefit from color-enhancing shampoo. Whitening shampoo can help white Poodles look their best, and black shampoo can brighten a black Poodle’s coat to give it that healthy shine.
  • Conditioner – Because a Poodle’s coat is fine and curly, conditioning is highly recommended. Look for a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner or condition your dog’s coat after bathing.

Because Poodles have sensitive skin and a high risk for allergies, you may need to purchase a moisturizing general-purpose shampoo and keep other shampoo for allergy relief or skin infections on hand for when you need them.

The 5 Best Dog Shampoos for Poodles

By now you know the basics about the different types of dog shampoo and which kinds are best for your Poodle. Keep reading to see our top 6 picks for the best dog shampoo for Poodles:

Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

Overall Best Poodle Dog Shampoo: If you’re looking for a general-purpose shampoo to keep your Poodle’s skin soft and his coat healthy, try this Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner. This shampoo and conditioner offers double the benefits, cleansing your dog’s skin and coat with soap-free cleansers and conditioning his coat with natural moisturizers. It features pure botanical extracts like sage, aloe vera, green tea, rosemary, and chamomile, plus it has a soothing lavender and mint scent. You’ll also be glad to know that it is made in the USA and safe for use even on puppies.

  • Pros: Natural soap-free formula, 2-in-1 shampoo, and conditioner, makes a rich lather, leaves coat silky and shiny, pure botanical extracts, natural conditioners, natural deodorizers
  • Cons: Scent may fade quickly after the bath

TropiClean Hypoallergenic Gentle Coconut Puppy Shampoo

Best Shampoo for Poodle Puppies: Poodle puppies have extra-sensitive skin, so they need a gentle shampoo that will keep their skin and coat healthy and moisturized. This TropiClean Hypoallergenic Gentle Coconut Puppy Shampoo is a great option because it is hypoallergenic, soap-free, and extra-mild. This shampoo features soothing natural ingredients to cleanse your puppy’s skin while also replenishing its natural moisture. It won’t irritate or dry out your puppy’s skin, and it is mild enough that it won’t affect flea and tick products. Plus, it has a pleasant scent that won’t bother your puppy’s nose or eyes.

  • Pros: Hypoallergenic formula, replenishes skin’s natural moisture, soothing natural ingredients, extra-mild, soap-free cleansers, won’t affect flea and tick products
  • Cons: Scent may be too strong for some dogs, bottle cap may break easily

4-Legger Hypoallergenic Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo

Best Shampoo for Sensitive Skin: Because the Poodle has a high risk for skin problems like allergies and infections, a hypoallergenic shampoo like this 4-Legger Hypoallergenic Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo is a great choice. This shampoo features premium natural ingredients to cleanse, soothe, and moisturize your dog’s skin and coat. It contains a holistic blend of essential oils such as lemongrass which is known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. This shampoo is also highly concentrated which means that it is easy to lather and rinse for a deep clean. Plus, it is 100% biodegradable, eco-friendly, and nontoxic.

  • Pros: Hypoallergenic formula, natural and organic ingredients, 100% biodegradable, holistic blend of essential oils, cleanses and soothes skin, moisturizes skin, antibacterial and antifungal benefits
  • Cons: Consistency may be a little thinner than other products

2 More Top-Rated Dog Shampoos for Poodles

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo

Poodles are prone to a wide range of clinical skin problems including sebaceous adenitis, demodectic mange, and yeast infection which all require medicated shampoo. One of our top picks for the best medicated shampoos for dogs is Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo. This formula is formulated with benzethonium chloride to kill bacteria with ketoconazole to relieve fungal infections. It contains soothing natural ingredients like aloe vera with natural deodorizers and gentle cleansers. It is safe for use twice weekly until the infection clears.

Earthbath Light Color Coat Brightening Lavender Dog Shampoo

This shampoo features a unique blend of natural ingredients and herbal essences to cleanse, soothe, and moisturize your Poodle’s skin and coat. It is delightfully aromatic but gentle enough not to bother your dog’s sensitive nose or eyes. It features soap-free ingredients like coconut to lift away dirt and stains with other natural ingredients to whiten and brighten your dog’s coat. This shampoo is 100% biodegradable and free from paraben and phosphates as well.


6 Tips for Bathing a Poodle

Bathing your Poodle may seem as easy as putting him in the tub and turning on the faucet. Before you do, however, you may want to take a look at these Poodle bathing tips:

  1. Choose the right location for your Poodle’s bath – a toy or miniature Poodle might be more comfortable in a sink than in a large tub.
  2. Brush your Poodle’s coat thoroughly before each bath to get rid of dead and loose hairs – you also want to work through any mats or tangles prior to bathing.
  3. Be very careful with the water temperature – toy and miniature Poodles are extra-sensitive to hot water, so test the water on your wrist and make sure it is a little on the cool side.
  4. Make sure you thoroughly rinse away all traces of shampoo residue before drying your Poodle – soap residue can dry out his skin, so run your hands down his back to check for residue.
  5. If your Poodle has tear stains, use an alcohol-free wet wipe or a damp cloth to clean the face rather than getting it wet in the bath.
  6. Consider using conditioner or a spray-on conditioning spray to keep your Poodle’s coat in good condition between baths.

Bathing your Poodle is just something you’ll have to get used to doing. After the first few times, you’ll get the hang of it and (hopefully) your Poodle will get used to it too.


How often should a Poodle be bathed? – When it comes to bathing a dog, you need to be concerned about bathing so often that you end up drying out the dog’s skin. Poodles, however, are already prone to a variety of skin problems including allergies and infections which are best treated with medicated shampoos. To keep your Poodle’s skin and coat healthy, you should bathe him every 3 to 6 weeks. If he requires treatment for a skin problem, you may need to bathe him more often.

How can I make my Poodle smell better? – Bathing your Poodle regularly is the best way to keep him smelling fresh and clean. Unfortunately, this breed is prone to skin allergies and infections which often come with an unpleasant odor. To keep your dog fresh between baths, try using a medicated dry shampoo or a spray-on conditioner. Cleaning your dog’s ears, brushing his teeth, and feeding him a high-quality diet are also things you can do to keep that “dog smell” away.

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