Our dog loves spending time with us in the home, and we love having her around, especially for snuggles. But we don’t love all the hair she leaves on our furniture and floors!
So, eventually, we decided to do something about it.
Long story short, this involved me researching and trying a bunch of popular dog shampoos on the market, to try to figure out if these (actually) help reduce shedding. And, while not all of them worked, some deshedding shampoos really did reduce the shedding, and still do.
And in this post, I’ll share my top picks with you, along with some useful insight into why each deshedding shampoo made our list, to help you decide which one is best for your dog.
Best Dog Shedding Shampoos of 2021 (Top 6 Picks)
Our list of top deshedding shampoos is based on factors like the ingredients of the shampoo, how well it works, the value for money aspect and the overall quality. I’ve also tried to included something to suit a variety of dogs, since every dog is unique.
For example, some shampoos on our list are better for dogs with ultra sensitive skin and can help with things like itching, some are better for controlling doggy odors, and some are better for longer, thicker coats. So, while they’re all great for minimizing shedding, some may suit your dog better than others, which you will see as we progress through the individual reviews.
Here’s a summary of our top picks for 2021:
- FURminator deShedding Ultra Premium Dog Shampoo – Best for Deshedding
- Burt’s Bees for Dogs Natural Shed Control Shampoo – Best Natural Formula
- TropiClean Lime & Coconut Shed Control Shampoo – Best Overall Value
- Arava Natural Medicated Dog Shampoo – Best Therapeutic Formula
- The Coat Handler Deshedding Dog Shampoo – Best for Thicker, Longer Coats
- Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor and Shed Control Shampoo – Best for Odor Control
Now let’s take a closer look at each of our top picks, along with the pros and cons of each, to help you decide which shampoo is going to be best for helping reduce your dog’s shedding.
FURminator is a leader in the deshedding brush space, and their flagship deshedding tool is one we highly recommend. But it turns out they also make deshedding shampoos.
And their “Ultra Premium Dog Shampoo” works really well. Even after the very first bath we began to notice considerably less hair falling off of our dog in the coming days and weeks. And after continuing to use it, it has made a huge difference.
That said, just because it has worked well for our dog doesn’t necessarily mean it will for yours. But it does seem as though many others are seeing great results with this shampoo based on the comments and reviews I’ve seen. Which is likely why it has become so popular.
What’s in it?
This shampoo contains Omega 3 and 6, Aloe vera, Vitamin E and other ingredients like Calendula extract and Papaya Leaf Extract, to help nourish your dog’s skin and hair, while also loosening the old hairs in the bath. So it helps de-shed your dog right away, while also limiting future shedding by nourishing the coat.
Healthy Omega fatty acids can benefit dogs in a variety of ways, especially when it comes to skin and hair. Which is likely why marine sourced Omega 3 (like fish oil) is often found in shedding supplements and dog foods designed to promote healthy skin and hair.
And studies suggests that Omega fatty acids can also be beneficial when applied topically (ie. applied directly to skin). Which may be why many good dog shampoos include these nutrients, along with others like Aloe vera and vitamin E, to help reduce the shedding.
I also like that this doesn’t contain any chemical dyes or parabens (artificial preservatives) because sometimes what’s not in a shampoo can be just as important as what is.
Especially since some chemicals and preservatives may irritate your dog’s skin. And irritated skin can cause all sorts of problems for dogs, including excessive shedding. Which is why I typically avoid any shampoo that contains harsh chemicals or preservatives, which this doesn’t.
So, to sum it up, if you’re looking for a good quality, nutrient-rich dog shampoo that does an excellent job at reducing shedding, this is our top pick.
However, there are better alternatives for things like controlling doggy odors and soothing ultra sensitive skin. So let’s take a closer look at the other deshedding shampoos on our list.
The main thing I love about Burt’s Bees dog shampoo is that it’s made almost exclusively from natural ingredients (99.7%) and doesn’t contain any sulfates, colorants, or harsh chemicals.
Instead, it’s made from naturally cleansing ingredients like honey and beeswax, and nutrients such as Omega 3 and vitamin E. The formula is also pH balanced which makes it gentle on both adult and puppy skin and hair, so there’s less chance it will cause irritation.
The other thing I like about it is that it did a great job of reducing the “doggy odor” on our dog, without making her smell like perfume. It’s just a beautifully natural, mild scent. And I put this down to the fact that it doesn’t contain any artificial fragrances.
On the flip side, it’s not the most powerful deshedding shampoo I’ve tried, but it made the list because it works really well and it’s the best natural shampoo I’ve come across. So if you want something that uses the power of nature to clean your dog and reduce shedding, this is it.
Tropiclean’s dog shampoo is a great all-round solution for shedding. It’s made from ingredients such as coconut, wheat, oats, aloe vera, and contains nutrients like Omega 3. It’s also soap, paraben and dye free, is made in the US, and represents great value for money.
From a shedding perspective, where this really shines is when it’s combined with TropiClean’s conditioner. Reason being, the conditioner contains cocoa butter which is high in fatty acids and, according to healthline.com, forms a protective barrier over the skin to hold in moisture.
The cocoa butter, along with the other natural ingredients in the conditioner, aim to moisturize your dog’s skin and promote an optimal coat. Which is great for minimizing shedding.
The downside, however, is that to take advantage of this you would need to buy two products (the shampoo and conditioner) and bathing will take longer than if you used just one product. But given the low cost and potential added benefits, I personally don’t see this as a huge drawback.
Either way, TropiClean’s shampoo is a great shedding solution in and of itself, and one that will leave your dog smelling beautiful and fresh thanks to the refreshing coconut and lime scent.
Arava Natural Medicated Dog Shampoo is, as the name suggests, a shampoo that is more therapeutic in nature. It contains 28 natural active ingredients including aloe vera, tea tree and oatmeal, and it’s enriched with dead sea minerals and botanical oils.
It’s not my top choice for shedding, but it’s great for dogs with dry, itchy, or flaky skin. All of which can contribute to shedding, especially if your dog is scratching or chewing himself as a result.
So it’s ideal if you’re looking for a natural dog shampoo to help sooth dry, irritated skin. Which is a common cause of excessive shedding to begin with. And, since it contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal botanical oils, it may help with things like hot spots and dandruff.
The main drawback that I can see, at least based on the comments I’ve read, is that some dogs are sensitive to it. Which may be because there are so many ingredients used. So it might pay to consult your veterinarian if your dog has sensitive skin or allergies, before trying this.
On the plus side, it comes with a 30 day money back guarantee and may be worth considering if you feel your dog could benefit from a more therapeutic dog shampoo.
The Coat Handler isn’t as well-known on sites like Amazon. But according to the company, it has been used by professional groomers since 1980, so it is a well-established brand.
More importantly, it works.
This shampoo contains the core ingredients you want to see in a deshedding shampoo, such as Omega 3 & 6 and vitamin E, without all the additives many popular dog shampoos contain. It’s also soap free and is made in the US.
The main thing I like about this shampoo, however, is how effective it is for dogs with longer, thicker coats and for those with an undercoat. For example, German Shepherds and Malamutes which are very heavy shedding dogs with thick double coats.
You really need a deshedding shampoo that’s up for the challenge with thick coated breeds like these, and that’s where The Coat Handler excels.
It loosens the undercoat fur and dead hairs on the outer coat so they fall off during bath time instead of filling your home. While at the same time moisturizing and nourishing the skin and coat to help limit future shedding.
The biggest downside to this shampoo is the immediate cost. It’s not the cheapest option because only comes in a one gallon bottle. But it does work out to be quite cost effective once you dilute it with water (according to the manufacturers instructions), so it’s really just the upfront cost.
Nature’s Miracle is a trusted U.S. brand that has been in the pet industry for over 35 years. And while this isn’t my top pick in terms of deshedding, it is a high quality (soap free) formula that does a great all-round job.
The Supreme Odor and Shed Control Shampoo provides a thorough clean which softens your dog’s hair and helps maintain the moisture in her skin, and because it contains Omega 3, aloe vera and vitamin E it helps nourish the skin and coat too.
However, the one thing this shampoo does better than any other dog shampoo on our list is its ability to control odors and make your dog smell beautiful.
It works by neutralizing doggy odors as you wash, while at the same time deodorizing your dog’s coat with a plum hibiscus scent. It also comes in a citrus scented formula, and both come in either the 16 oz or 32 oz bottle depending on your budget and how much you need.
Overall, this is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a good quality dog shampoo that helps reduce shedding, while also nourishing the coat and making your dog smell beautiful.
Why Do Dogs Shed So Much Hair?
So shedding is a perfectly normal thing in most healthy dogs. Even excessive shedding can be “normal” depending on the breed of dog and time of year.
For example, Siberian Huskies are a high shedding breed at the best of times, but they also blow coat (shed profusely) once or twice per year, normally during spring and fall.
That said, sometimes excessive shedding can be caused by things like dry skin and hair, poor diet, fleas, allergies, or any number of underlying health issues. So it’s not always normal and as such, a visit to a qualified veterinarian may be your best option if you’re concerned.
In any case, there’s no way to completely stop the hair falling out. But there are some great ways to keep shedding to a minimum, and one of these involves bathing your dog.
Do Dog Shedding Shampoos Really Work?
Deshedding shampoos definitely can help reduce shedding, but there’s no magic solution to completely stop the shedding either. So, regardless of how good the dog shampoo is, it’s really only something that can help minimize it.
The reason dog shedding shampoos are often so effective is because dry, irritated skin is one of the leading causes of excessive shedding, and good quality dog shampoos are formulated with natural ingredients that can help improve your dog’s skin and hair.
For example, many good deshedding shampoos contain some form of Omega 3, because this is known to help improve and add moisture to a dogs skin and coat, which in turn can help reduce shedding. While others contain ingredients like vitamin E, coconut oil and Aloe vera, which are known to help sooth dry skin and promote healthy hair growth.
See also: Does Coconut Oil Reduce Shedding?
Aside from the ingredients contained in a given dog shampoo, another important thing to consider is that the shampoo doesn’t upset the natural pH level of your dog’s skin.
Which is one of the reasons why human shampoos typically aren’t suitable for dogs, because humans have a different skin pH to dogs (our skin is more acidic). So using a human shampoo that is too harsh for a dogs skin may cause dryness and irritation, which in turn could actually increase the shedding and lead to things like excessive scratching and itching.
To sum it up, dog shedding shampoos definitely can help reduce shedding. However, it’s important to select one that contains the right balance of good quality ingredients, ideally one with as few chemicals as possible, and one that isn’t too harsh for your dog’s skin.
How Often Should You Bath Your Dog?
How often you should bath your dog really comes down to the characteristics of the breed and the needs of the individual dog. Specifically, what sort of coat your dog has and how messy he gets himself.
For example, breeds like the Boxer and Dalmatian have really low maintenance coats that generally don’t require much in the way of bathing and brushing. So, to give you an idea, bathing a shorthaired breed like these every couple months or so is considered normal.
On the other hand, longer haired breeds like the Poodle have high maintenance coats, so they need to be bathed and brushed more often than the average dog. Otherwise they can get dirt and debris caught in their coat which can lead to mats and tangles.
As a general rule, we like to bath our dogs once or twice per month with a good quality dog shampoo, and rinse their coat with warm water between baths if they’ve been for a swim. But it does depend on what sort of mess they’ve gotten themselves into.
Some people bath more frequently, not because of the breed or that their dog is dirty, but because it can be a great way to loosen up and remove your dog’s old, dead hairs before it drops off and onto your floors and furniture. And that’s good and well.
But it’s important not to bath your dog too often. Because excessive bathing, especially with a harsh shampoo, may strip your dog’s coat of its natural oils and dry out his skin. Which, in turn, may lead to excessive shedding and other problems as a result of the dry, irritated skin.
This is why I always recommend speaking to your veterinarian about how often you should bath your dog, and carefully reading the dog shampoo manufactures guidelines before use. That way, you can be more confident that your chosen bathing routine is right for your dog.
You can also check out our comprehensive dog breeds page, which provides insight into the shedding and grooming characteristics of well over 100 different breeds.
Other Effective Ways to Reduce Shedding
Aside from bathing your dog with a good dog shampoo, there are a couple main ways to reduce shedding.
The first, and perhaps the most important, is proper diet.
Making sure your dog’s diet is optimal is one of the best ways to combat shedding. Simply because a good quality dog food provides your dog the nutrients he needs to thrive, and can help him develop healthier skin and hair. There are also some great natural supplements on the market that contain things like Omega 3 (DHA and EPA), which are specifically formulated to combat shedding in the form of a chew treat or oil that you can add to your dog’s food.
The second main way to reduce shedding is with proper brushing.
This is a simple and effective way to reduce shedding, not just because it removes the dead hair from your dog’s coat before it drops off, but because brushing helps spread his natural coat oils which in turn promoted healthier skin and hair follicles.
However, it’s important to consider the type of coat your dog has before selecting a deshedding brush for your dog. Because some brushes are more suitable than others depending on the individual dog and what you need it for.
For example, some brushes suit dogs with longer versus shorter coats or those with or without an undercoat, and some are designed for regular brushing, while others are more for deshedding. See our guide to the different types of dog brushes to learn more.
In any case, proper diet and grooming are fundamental to reducing shedding because they work together, from the inside out, to help your dog thrive and keep his coat in optimal condition.
From there, it may be worth using a good dog hair vacuum and/or air purifier to help keep your home as free from dog hair as possible, especially if you’re someone who suffers from dog allergies or just want to make your job of cleaning up the loose fur as easy as possible.
Dogs shed hair, and there’s no way to completely stop this.
But there are some great ways you can minimize it, including using a dog shampoo that’s designed to nourish your dog’s coat and reduce the amount of hair she drops.
This, along with some of the other methods we’ve mentioned in this article such as proper diet and brushing, can make a big difference and help keep your home as fur-free as possible.
See next: 13 Ways to Reduce Excessive Shedding