9 Best Smelling Dog Shampoos That Last with 3 Homemade Shampoos

Do some dog shampoos make you want to gag? Are they overpowering? Or too perfumey? Do some of them smell like Old Spice on a dog? If you don’t like the scent, imagine how your dog feels! His sense of smell is many times greater than yours. He has to live with the odor. We can help. In this article we’ll discuss:

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  1. Are good smelling dog shampoos safe and effective?
  2. What to look for in a good smelling dog shampoo?
  3. And we’ll tell you the best smelling dog shampoos around!
  4. Plus, we’ll give you the recipes for three homemade DIY good-smelling dog shampoos.

Keep reading!

We all know that if you give a dog a choice, he would rather smell like roadkill than your expensive perfume. You may have witnessed your little pooch happily rolling around in manure or something equally disgusting. Your dog may have a powerful nose but he probably doesn’t like the same scents you like. How are the two of you supposed to agree on a dog shampoo that smells good to both of you? We have some tips below. There are some scents that you and your dog will probably both like – and one that humans love and most dogs hate. But first, a little info about dog shampoos and their scents.

Are good smelling dog shampoos safe and effective?

Fragrances in dog shampoos can come from various sources. Some can be safe and others not so safe. For example, artificial or synthetic fragrances can come from various chemicals which don’t have to be listed on the product label. Some of them have been linked to various cancers.

Shampoos that say they have fragrance added will likely contain something called pthalates. Pthalates are used to bond the fragrance to other ingredients. They are hormone disrupters so they can interfere with an animal’s endocrine system. Many good shampoos today will state that they are pthalate-free.

If you’re looking for a good-smelling shampoo that is safe for your dog, we recommend choosing one that uses essential oils for fragrance and which is free of pthalates.

What to look for in a good smelling dog shampoo?

The first thing we look for in any dog shampoo is a product that will clean your dog. If it doesn’t clean your dog’s coat, then it really doesn’t matter how good it smells.

The shampoo should be pH-balanced so it’s suitable for your dog’s skin. Dogs have a skin pH that is in the neutral range (6.5-7.5), unlike humans. Our skin has a pH of about 5.5. Shampoos formulated for humans, even baby shampoos, are not suitable for dogs. They can be too harsh for your dog’s skin.

Many times you get what you pay for with dog shampoos. You don’t have to buy the most expensive dog shampoo ever made. However, if you buy the cheapest shampoo, you often get a bottle full of chemicals instead of better quality ingredients. (Personally, I love a bargain but I also want to buy a good quality product for my dog.)

When it comes to choosing a scented shampoo – and most of them do have some kind of scent – one scent that most dogs detest is citrus. Humans love citrus scents like oranges and lemons but most dogs take one sniff and run the other way. If there’s one scent you should probably try to avoid in a scented shampoo for your dog, it would be shampoos that have a heavy citrus smell.

Shampoos that have a very strong scent could make your dog miserable since dogs have such a sensitive nose. We suggest that you either avoid shampoos with a heavy scent or rinse them very thoroughly to lighten the smell. Even when you can barely smell the scent your dog will be keenly aware of it.

Shampoo scents that dogs can tolerate, as long as they aren’t too heavy, include lavender, rosemary, cedar, eucalyptus, and mint. Citrus scents, in small amounts, or something like lemongrass or lemon verbena would probably be acceptable, too. There are many shampoos that use some of these essential oils.

If you’re not sure what kind of shampoo to use on your dog’s coat you can talk to a professional groomer, especially if the groomer has worked on your dog before. Groomers usually try many different kinds of shampoos and other products so they have a wide experience with what works for different dogs. They also use different dog colognes. Dogs usually leave a grooming salon smelling great. That doesn’t mean that the dog is always happy with the way he smells.

Overall Best Smelling Dog Shampoo

Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo

A topseller and customer favorite, we love the scent of Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo. It may be the best-smelling dog shampoo that lasts. It has a vanilla and almond scent that lasts long after your dog’s bath. The shampoo is soap-free and made for dry, itchy skin. It provides relief for your dog and deodorizes with irritating his skin or washing off topical flea treatments. Oatmeal and aloe work together to remoisturize and heal scratched skin and reduce itching. Suitable for puppies and kittens over 6 weeks of age. It’s 100 percent biodegradable and it’s paraben and phosphate-free.

8 More Top-Rated Dog Shampoos that Smell Great

Oster Oatmeal Naturals Extra Soothing Dog Shampoo, Country Apple

Dog lovers rave about the scent of Oster Oatmeal Naturals Extra Soothing Dog Shampoo. It has a long-lasting country apple scent that people love. It contains natural oatmeal, soothing aloe, and chamomile extract to moisturize and soften dry, itchy skin. It cleans your dog’s coat and makes it shiny and soft. The formula is pH-balanced and contains no dyes, parabens, phthalates, or alcohol. Gentle for use on sensitive skin. Safe to use with topical flea treatments. Made in the USA. One of the longest lasting, best smelling dog shampoos.

Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner is another huge customer favorite. People love the lavender and mint scent. The gentle two-in-one formula is a conditioning shampoo that’s formulated with natural cosmetic-grade ingredient. It has botanical extracts and essential oils for lasting freshness. It’s an all-natural soap-free shampoo and conditioner that makes a rich lather and rinses out easily. Aloe vera and tea tree oil soothe itchy, red, irritated skin to leave your dog comfortable. Contains sage, rosemary, green tea, and chamomile. Alcohol-free. Wheat protein is a natural deodorizer and it’s safe for frequent use. This product is not tested on animals. Made in the USA.

4-Legger Organic, Hypo-Allergenic, Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo

4-Legger Organic, Hypo-Allergenic, Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo has a lemongrass and rosemary scent. It contains no artificial or synthetic chemicals. Aloe vera is good for all skin types, including dogs with dry, itchy skin or allergies. It’s USDA-certified organic. Will not remove topical flea treatments. This is a concentrated formula so a little goes a long way! It contains no artificial thickeners, detergents, parabens, sulfates, or synthetic preservatives. It’s eco-friendly and non-toxic. Plus, it’s 100 percent biodegradable and made with sustainably-sourced non-GMO ingredients. It’s cruelty-free, vegan, and gluten-free. Made in small batches in a USDA-certified organic facililty to ensure quality.

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

For a classic floral scent, many dog owners love PegAg Fresh ‘N Clean Scented Dog Shampoo, Class Fresh Scent. This is a long-lasting scent that keeps your dog smelling good. It has natural, soap-free, pH-balanced plant-based cleansers and special coat conditioners, Vitamin E, and soothing aloe vera leaf juice to moisturize your dog’s skin and make his coat tangle-free and manageable. The fresh scent stays with your dog’s coat for up to two weeks for long-lasting doggie odor control. PegAg has many other dog shampoos that also have nice scents.

Earthbath Ultra-Mild Wild Cherry Puppy Shampoo

Puppies are notorious for getting into things they shouldn’t. From Earthbath we have this good-smelling, ultra-mild shampoo formulated for puppies: Earthbath Ultra-Mild Wild Cherry Puppy Shampoo. The wild cherry scent comes from natural cherry essence. This shampoo is tearless, soap-free, and pH-balanced for a puppy’s sensitive skin. It has  natural cleansers and aloe vera to soothe skin and reduce itching. Suitable for puppies over 6 weeks old. Safe to use with topical flea treatments. It’s biodegradable and paraben and phosphate-free.

Richard’s Organics Deodorizing Shampoo

Richard’s Organics Deodorizing Shampoo may be the best smelling dog shampoo for odor. It’s formulated with baking soda, zinc, rosemary extract, and lavender oil. The baking soda and zinc deodorize and promote healing of irritated skin.  Aloe heals, soothes, and moisturizes. It’s perfect for dogs with sensitive skin. It won’t remove essential oils that can result in skin irritation. Lavender oil also soothes and can help prevent possible infections. Leaves your dog’s coat clean, shiny, and healthy. Safe to use on puppies six weeks and older.

Rocco & Roxie Supply Co. Calm Dog Shampoo

Made with rosemary and chamomile, Rocco & Roxie Supply Co. Calm Dog Shampoo is perfect for puppies and dogs with sensitive skin. This is a hypoallergenic, no-tears blend. Aloe vera soothes and moisturizes the skin. It contains no formaldehyde, parabens, mineral oil, phthalates,  or isopropyl alcohol. And no artificial colors or dyes.

Four Paws Magic Coat Reduces Odor Dog Shampoo

Four Paws Magic Coat has several products with nice scents we like. Four Paws Magic Coat Reduces Odor Dog Shampoo is made especially for dogs that need some help with getting rid of bad odors. It’s a deep-cleaning shampoo with a papaya and oatmeal scent. It’s formulated with odor-neutralizing compounds to eliminate bad odors with an intense clean that is tough on dirt but gentle on your dog’s skin. Produces a lustrous coat that shines. Works with all coat types. You can use it alone or with other Magic Coat grooming products.

3 homemade DIY for good-smelling shampoos

If you would like to try to make your own good-smelling dog shampoos at home, here are three recipes we found on Pinterest that might work for you and your dog. As always, we can’t vouch for them but they look like they would be good to try.

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best homemade good smelling dog shampoo (1)

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We all have different ideas about what smells good. You and your dog are no exception. When choosing shampoos and other grooming products, keep in mind that your dog’s sense of smell is much better than yours. If you douse him with products that have very strong scents he probably won’t be very happy. Try to choose lighter scents or rinse shampoos until they don’t have a very strong smell remaining. Your dog will thank you.

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