The best natural dog shampoo

Pet Shampoo

A decent dog shampoo is pretty essential because, as all dog lovers know, our canine friends love to get dirty. If there’s a muddy puddle within reach, you can guarantee that they’ll find it.

Human shampoos aren’t designed for dogs, so they can cause irritation. While there are plenty of pet shampoos on the market, many are quite harsh. They can strip away your pet’s natural oils, leaving their skin sore, itchy or inflamed.

Thankfully, all the pet shampoos we sell here at Big Green Smile are natural and free from parabens, SLS and other harsh ingredients.


Our recommendations for the best natural dog shampoo


Faith in Nature Dog Shampoo

Faith in Nature is one of our most popular brands. Its dog shampoos are formulated with natural, gentle ingredients. They’re cruelty-free, vegan and PH-balanced. Plus, they contain Vitamin E to add shine.

If your dog has sensitive skin, the best shampoo to use is the chamomile one, as it’s extra gentle and calming.  


Long-haired dogs will be grateful for the detangling properties of the Coconut Dog Shampoo, while mud-loving hounds will find they’ve met their match with the Lavender Deep-Cleaning Dog Shampoo.

If you’re trying to cut down on plastic, you’ll be pleased to hear that Faith in Nature offers a solid Dog Shampoo Bar. It’s packaged in cardboard and made with coconut to detangle and hydrate.

Do you run a pet-care business? Buy in bulk and save money with the Faith in Nature 5 litre bottles.


Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap

Is there anything you can’t use Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap for? It’s a multi-purpose natural soap that can clean people, clothes, dishes, floors and, yes, cats, dogs and other pets. It’s also natural, Fairtrade and scented with essential oils. (Which smell an awful lot better than muddy dog.) Top tip: try the lavender-scented soap for nervous pets.

As an added bonus, Dr. Bronner’s kills fleas. And it’s not just dogs that can be washed with it. Dr. Bronner’s is suitable for cats, chickens, goats, horses and most other animals. While all the fragrances are super-gentle, we do recommend sticking to the Baby Unscented Castile Liquid Soap for cats and pets with sensitive skin.


J.R. Liggett's Dog Shampoo Bar

If your dog keeps scratching and you’ve ruled out fleas, it might have dry skin. J.R. Liggett's Dog Shampoo Bar is designed to remove oil, dirt and other grime without irritating your dog’s skin. It also contains aloe vera and other natural ingredients to soothe irritation and boost hydration. Goodbye doggy dandruff.

Plus, as it’s a bar shampoo, there’s no risk of it getting knocked over and spilt by an over-enthusiastic (or keen to escape) pooch.


How to wash your pets

It’s generally easiest to wash smaller pets in a tub or bath. If you have a large pet, you may want to tie it up outside instead.

Step 1: Prepare

If you’re washing your pet indoors, make sure the bathroom door is closed to prevent any breaks for freedom. You might also want to don some rubber gloves and cover your arms if your pet is likely to nip or scratch.

Step 2: Soak

Wet your pet thoroughly. You can use the shower nozzle or hose for most dogs, but you’ll likely find that too much for cats, small furries and nervous pets. In these cases, use a wet sponge. Leave their head dry if possible.

Step 3: Lather

If you’re using a liquid shampoo, pour a small amount onto your pet’s back. If you’re using a bar shampoo, wet it and rub it onto a sponge or in your hands until you have a decent amount of lather.

Step 4: Wash

Use your hands or a sponge to massage the shampoo into your pet’s fur. Keep it well away from their eyes and ears. In fact, you might want to avoid their head altogether. As soon as their head is wet, they’re likely to start shaking the water off.

Step 5: Rinse

Rinse the shampoo off your pet. Again, use a sponge if your pet is scared of the shower. Rinse for longer than you think you need to. You want to get as much of the shampoo off as possible to reduce the risk of irritation.

Step 6: Dry

Dry your pet with an old towel. Then stand back and let them run!


Frequently asked questions about dog shampoo

It is best to use a natural pet shampoo?

Some shampoo residue is likely to remain on your pet’s fur, however well you rinse them. And unless you make them wear the cone of shame, they’re going to lick their fur. With a natural dog shampoo, they’ll only be ingesting plant-based ingredients rather than synthetic chemicals.

Natural pet shampoos are also designed to be gentle and work with your pet’s natural oils. So they’re unlikely to cause any irritation and shouldn’t lead to dry, flaky skin.


Can you use human shampoo on dogs?

Most human shampoos aren’t suitable for pets. They can cause irritation and dry skin. However, you can use a natural all-purpose soap, like Dr. Bronner’s.


Can you use dog shampoo on cats?

As anyone who’s ever tried to shampoo a cat knows, they really don’t like it. Thankfully, it’s not something that usually needs attempting very often. Occasionally, however, you can’t get out of it – for example if the cat is covered in oil or something else that it shouldn’t be left to lick off.

Cat fur is very different to either dog or human hair and cats don’t react well to essential oils or other fragrance. So, it’s best to use a specialist cat shampoo. This needs to be gentle enough not to affect your cat’s natural oils or irritate its skin. You’ll also want to choose a natural shampoo so that any lingering residue won’t harm your cat. And don’t forget to wear gloves and cover your arms to protect yourself from those razor-sharp claws.

Our top cat shampoo is the J.R. Liggett's Cat Shampoo Bar. It’s fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and made from natural ingredients.

Another great all-rounder is Dr Bronner’s Baby Unscented Pure Castile Soap, which is gentle enough to use on most pets.


Where can I buy a natural pet shampoo?

Head right this way…