15 Best Dog Shampoos For Odor Control

Dog Shampoo for odor control can vary from heavily deodorizing to lightly scented.

Each dog or puppy’s needs are different depending on the breed and other types of skin disorders that might exist.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog Breed Information

Some dogs also have a tendency towards odors and are more of a challenge when combating odors. 

In this article, we’re going to review the following Dog Shampoos For Odor Control:

Foamed dog in tub when bathing From: Dogster.com

Choosing The Best Deodorizing Shampoo

The choice of odor control shampoos and the amount of deodorization needed depends first and foremost on the breed.

Some dog breeds have more sebaceous glands than others, and an oilier coat overall.

Some dog breeds are prone to “odorous” areas alone, such as ears and backend.

My three greyhounds, because of their type of skeletal structure cannot sit fully, so lie on their backs instead, creating back odor consistently.

Some dogs such as the bloodhound, have such long ears that odors are trapped there.

Some other dog breeds such as Huskies and German Shepherds, despite their long coats, have drier skin and fur and don’t trap odors.

However, one thing is clear. All dogs have an odor, whether strong or not, as their PH is different from humans.

Their coats all trapped dirt too. Odor control shampoo is almost a necessity to prevent dogs and puppies from being offensive to others and to you!

Skin folds in breeds also make a difference in the amount of odor. Dead skin cells and debris becomes trapped in folds.

Bacteria grows then and boom, odor arises! Keeping skin folds clean and making sure that folds are lifted while bathing will assure a better smelling pooch.

If folds are not lifted while bathing, the debris remains, and a dog can come out of a bath with an odor remaining.

A list of the most odorous dog breeds

#1 St. Bernard 
This is a huge dog with a lot of sebaceous glands, and folds.

These breeds also drools non-stop which leads to “drool odor.” Cleaning drool and bathing often is recommended.

#2 English Bulldog 
The mid-sized dog that has a lot of skin folds and also drools.

The compounded problem again.

#3 Bloodhounds 
They drool, have a lot of sebaceous glands, have masses of skinfolds, and long, long ears that catch dirt.

Lots of cleaning and maintenance here as the ear odor can be overwhelming!

#4 Beagle 
This little cutie is considered very odorous. Lots of sebaceous glands and very oily fur.

They can emit such an odor that the surroundings take on the odor also. 

#5 Shar Pei 
Skinfold problems galore. Might take two lathers when bathing.

#6 Yorkshire Terrier 
The long coat here is the problem as it picks up a terrific amount of dirt constantly.

#7 Cocker Spaniel 
Another long-hair that holds dirt like a magnet.

#8 Pug 
Skin folds and drool issues make the “smell” a challenge if you own a pug. 

#9 Basset Hound 
Long ears, sebaceous glands, a “hound” smell from oily skin and this is a “doggie” smell dog.

#10 Maltipoo 
The ears are the smell problem. Prone to ear mites and infections the ears attract dirt and hold onto it.

#11 Lhasa Apso 
Long coat problems here.

Like the Yorkie, frequent bathing and grooming are needed.

#12 Irish Setter 
Ear mite problems also with this breed and a long coat. 

#13 Newfoundland
No dog drools as badly as this breed. Constant cleaning and bathing of the long curly coat because of this.

#14 Mastiff
Too many folds, too many sebaceous glands on this really large dog.

#15 Maltese 
Only a fur issue. Its dense long oily fur holds dirt.

Proper Bathing Is Important To Avoid Odor

There is a right way to bathe and a wrong way to prevent odors.

Ears should be protected with cotton, and lathering correctly down into the skin is important. Rinsing thoroughly is also needed.

This video shows a great method of complete bathing. Step by step proper methodology is imperative.

Read: How Do You Stop Dandruff On Dogs?

Choice Of Proper Deodorizing Shampoo Is Important!

There are literally tons of deodorizing shampoos on the market.

Many have other properties such as flea control, dandruff control, moisturization for dry skin, and a lot are all-natural and allergy-free.

Natural and allergy-free should always be sought.

NEVER use human shampoo on a dog or puppy as their pH balance is a lot higher than that of humans and skin issues can occur fairly quickly.

Bathing your dog regularly gives you a chance to check for any injuries, scratches, or abrasions. But you can wash your dog too often!

It is recommended that every three months can be sufficient if you have a dog that doesn’t get very dirty.

But it also depends on the drooling and skin folds.

Using a gentle shampoo that is all-natural will assist in not “overwashing” a pup or dog.

There are some factors you should consider:

  • Coat: Wavy, curly, and long fur needs more washing.

  • Activity Level: The breeds that are active outdoors just simply get dirtier. An active dog quite frankly is a smellier dog.

  • Allergies: Your vet will advise on this. Some breeds have allergies that require certain shampoos.
    Deodorizing shampoos can contain flea and tick control, dry skin control, and moisturizers for dogs and puppies that need more of this.

  • Skin Conditions: Some conditions require more bathing, others less. Again a vet should be consulted. Dandruff that builds up can smell tremendously. 

At a minimum, it is generally advised to wash a dog every three months, or at the most every three weeks.

Too much bathing upsets the pH balance of the skin, and too little also leads to odor and skin problems.

Dogs have natural oils and bathing too many strips these off. If doggie odor offends you then breeds with less odor should be chosen.

You should be prepared before the bathing by having the tub or shower ready with a non-slip pad on the bottom.

Soap and all supplies should be handy.

Towels at the ready and it’s a good idea to provide a distraction such as a lick of peanut butter on the side of the tub or shower to distract your pooch.

Clean from bottom to top always!!!! The dirt on the bottom should be rinsed off first!

Always and I mean always brush thoroughly to get rid of any debris and dead hair.  Lather sparingly and get right down to the skin.

Use an all-natural deodorizing shampoo to make sure that the good scent lasts. And have fun too!

Kisses and hugs help dogs, especially puppies, enjoy the experience. 

Why Use A Deodorizing Shampoo?

Dogs and puppies are active and inquisitive creatures. They will sidle up to skunks and stick their head down holes.

They will roll in the dirt and other really nasty stuff that doesn’t need to be mentioned here.

A good deodorizing shampoo will help maintain SOME great smell. But maybe not for long.

However, it is better than using soap that is totally unscented.

However, all products should be all-natural as many deodorizing shampoos can be made with perfumes and dyes. Avoid colored products at all costs!

And if it smells good, carefully read the label. Another thing to look into is a grooming service.

If you use one, make sure that they are aware you want “all-natural” products.

There is no way to tell if they will do this once you leave, so I always bathe my three greyhounds myself.

This also saves money for me, since they can become smelly as soon as they go in my yard again.

With three I have to balance their activity with the costs of a groomer.

Shouldn’t The Best Smelling Shampoo Be Chosen?

No, not really.

Remember, some really strong smelling shampoos contain lots of dyes and perfumes.

You will trade in a smelly dog for an itchy dog, and cause problems.

Natural fragrances such as mint, lavender, melon, vanilla, oatmeal, and even spruce, are effective yet gentle.

How Are Deodorizing Shampoos Different from Regular One?

Deodorizing shampoos simply give a dog or puppy a great smell and prevent the doggy odor from returning that quickly.

Let’s face it, dogs will always smell like dogs. It’s in their DNA.

But giving a good bath with a deodorizing shampoo will make them less offensive and also make other people want to hug and pet them.

That is always good for them and for you. Shampoos that deodorize also prevent the doggie odor from invading your home and furnishings too greatly.

Check: Is There A Dog Shampoo That Reduces Shedding?

Problems You & Your Puppy May Face If Deodorizing Shampoos Are Not Used

  • Dogs and Puppies can transfer the smell to soft surfaces such as their beds, your furnishings, and even your clothing.

  • People can avoid you and your dog or puppy if your loved little family member emits an odor.  Human hands can have the odor of your dog or puppy linger.

  • Believe it or not, other pets will follow you and your dog or puppy on walks as they are attracted by the odor.  We all know this can be a real situation at times.

Benefits Of Using Odor Preventing Dog Shampoos

  • You and your furry family friend will feel better and want to snuggle more.

  • Your friends and acquaintances will not shy away from you and your dog.

  • Your dog will be petted more and experience more hugs.

  • You will save your furnishings and clothing, as well as your dog’s “gear” by preventing too much odor.

  • You can buy products that will address other issues too along with the deodorization, such as flea and tick control and dry skin. 


What To Look For In Deodorizing Dog Shampoos?

A good scent, but all-natural ingredients. Cost-effective, yet deodorizing enough, given the breed of dog.

Read the labels carefully to make sure your breed will be helped by a shampoo.

Some shampoos are better for longer-haired, curly-haired, and wavy-haired dogs.

Some shampoos are best for those that droll, some for those that have many skin layers or “wrinkles”.

It’s imperative to read all labels carefully! If a certain problem exists such as fleas or ticks, look for a “dual” product that contains these ingredients too.

It just takes some research. Even some wipes exist for quick touch-ups on dogs that are prone to smelliness such as beagles and bloodhounds.

Related Reading: Is Waterless Shampoo Good For Dogs? 

Chihuahua Dog Breed Info, Pictures, Characteristics

The Right pH Level Is Really Important

Dogs have a different PH than humans, and a PH balance protects them from disease and parasites.

Disturb the PH balance with an incorrect shampoo and your dog will pay the price for this eventually. Dry skin is the usual result of itchiness and scratching.

PH balance also prevents digestive issues, and PH is the difference between alkaline and acidic levels.

The range is 0-14 with good PH being a 7, meaning a balanced alkaline and acidic level.

Of Course, A Good Scent Is Nice To Have!

  • Tons of great scents abound that are all-natural.

  • Lavender, which also relaxes

  • Mint, which is rejuvenating

  • Citrus, which is energizing

  • Oatmeal, which is soothing

  • Spruce, which is rejuvenating

  • Peach, which is relaxing

  • Melon, which is refreshing

  • Chamomile, which is relaxing

  • Sage, which is relaxing

  • Honey, which is soothing

Almost an abundance of scents, if you look for what you want!

As long as the scents are obtained from natural ingredients without additives, you can find a whole spectrum of scents.

Some are stronger than others and it depends on you and your dog! Plant-based are the most natural and easier on the environment too!

Odor Elimination

There is a good possibility that if you choose a stronger scent, your pooch will smell better for a longer period of time.

However, dogs do have DNA that is built into their makeup and the PH level is higher, so no dog or puppy will have complete odor elimination.

Dogs recognize each other according to smell so this is not something that can or should be eliminated entirely. They are after all, “dogs.” 

Cleansing Agents

More care should be given to cleansing agents, with those that lather the most sometimes containing harsh chemicals.

A good lather does not mean good cleansing.

Look for all-natural and work the lather down into the skin after a good brushing.

Cleansing agents work best if the skin and coat are prepared properly. The lather is not that important.

Doesn’t Cause Skin Sensitivity

Hypoallergenic and all-natural products should always be used to prevent skin sensitivity.

Read labels carefully and avoid any and all chemical additives and dyes, especially if a dog or puppy is already allergic to certain things or has existing skin problems.


Avoid Products with Lots of Alcohol

Some alcohol may exist in all shampoos, as this is a preservative, and extends the shelf life.

However, as little alcohol as possible in products should be sought. Read the labels carefully!

Avoid DEA, DEA Cocamide, and Sodium Laurel Sulfate

These additives may at times be used to make a great lathering product.

However, it is unclear if they are carcinogens, so steering clear of them is really very important.

The literature does not really state how safe these are.

Sodium Laurel Sulfate is a salt product and can also cause itchy skin, although it is present in the human shampoo.

However, dogs have a different PH than humans.

DEA and DEA Cocamide is made out of coconut oil so would see safe; however, it is genetically modified to the point where it becomes a possible carcinogen!

Choose Paraben Free!

Paraben is quite simply a wax. Look at the back of a candle.

While it may add some shelf life to a product and make it thicker, it really does not seem to add any benefit to your dog or puppy’s bath time!

Dog in bathtubFrom: NaturalDogCompany.com


Other Harmful Chemicals to Avoid

  • Propylene glycol
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Phthalates
  • Formaldehyde
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine
  • MANY others! The list is very extensive!

A good rule of thumb is if you can’t pronounce it, don’t use it!!!!. Formaldehyde is used in embalming.

Very scary product ingredient. Avoid anything scary-sounding at all costs. 

Best Dog Shampoos For Odor Control

#1 Nature’s Specialties Smelly Pet Shampoo

Can be used on cats and dogs, and even dogs with a heavy undercoat. It’s highly scented, and comes in a rather large size, 32 ounces.

Removes even stubborn odors such as skunk, according to the label. Might not be 100 percent all natural despite the name.


  • Big bottle
  • Can remove stubborn odors such as skunk, smoke, and skin disease odors
  • Can be used on all breeds
  • Lasting fragrance
  • Shows horses and very smelly dog breeds on the label


  • Does not state it is all natural and the pink color may be an additive
  • Has no real application info for the types of animals
  • Doesn’t say how it removes all these really bad odors
  • May have heavy perfumes in it

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

#2 Wahl Odor Control Shampoo For Dogs

Spearmint and eucalyptus, which is a great scent, and a nice size, 24 ounces. Priced well, and a name brand that many users turn to when choosing.

No additives or preservatives or alcohol.  Paraben free. PH balanced. 


  • States it can be used for dogs and puppies! 
  • Great long- lasting scent
  • All natural
  • Good price
  • No alcohol or parabens
  • Great lather
  • Rinses clean
  • Plant based



  • May need a few bottles every three months if more than one dog or puppy
  • States it is for puppies but not WHY it’s OK for puppies
  • Only talks about dogs on the label and doesn’t give enough info on puppies
  • Not enough info on the PH balance which would be important for puppies

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

#3 Pet Head Dry Clean Spray Shampoo

This product from Pet Head helps an owner keep a dog clean easily.

It’s a spray and go waterless product that may be used as often as necessary and wherever you and your dog are.

The label says just spray and brush. 15.2 ounces in a bright green bottle.

Nice to look at, and a somewhat unusual blueberry smell.

Not very budget friendly however, although the convenience may be worth it. Video and fun Website again. 


  • A convenient product
  • Spray and go
  • Just brush through
  • Great blueberry scent
  • All natural
  • Video on the product


  • Seems a little pricey
  • Can’t tell if it would leak when traveling
  • Can’t tell if it can be used on puppies
  • Doesn’t specify breed
  • Not clear if there are any real additives as the bottle is not clear

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

#4 Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control Natural Oatmeal Shampoo & Conditioner

A two in one product that is all natural.  Deodorizes and conditions. Can be used on all breeds and comes in a great size at a good price.

32 ounces and also can relive itchiness with the addition of oatmeal. 


  • Phenomenal sage and honey scent
  • Great size
  • Two in one product, which also detangles
  • Relieves itchiness
  • All natural with no additives
  • Oatmeal for skin conditions


  • No other scent besides sage and honey
  • Doesn’t state whether it can be used safely on puppies
  • Nice size, but not sure how much lather it produces, as this is not stated

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

#5 Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo

Although labeled “dry” it’s a good choice when a dog is ill, as it is a “mousse” that can be left in.

It’s between a regular lather shampoo and a dry shampoo actually.

8 fluid ounces so it IS a liquid. All natural in a pump bottle.

Price is a bit higher than regular shampoos.


  • Pump bottle
  • Good for dogs that are ill no water needed
  • Can possibly be used on puppies
  • All natural
  • Nice scent of mango and pomegranate
  • Reasonably priced
  • Good for all breeds


  • List of ingredients is short
  • Doesn’t state all plant based although it is
  • Pricier than regular shampoos
  • Doesn’t say how often it can be used

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

#6 Four-Legger USDA Certified Organic Dog Shampoo

All natural in a 16 oz. bottle. For sensitive and itchy skin as it contains Aloe.

Scented by lemongrass and aloe.

Soothing and for all breeds. Decent price. Made in the USA.


  • All natural
  • Great lemongrass scent
  • Plant based
  • No additives
  • Soothing with aloe


  • Small bottle
  • Not the best buy
  • Doesn’t say whether can be used on puppies or all breeds

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

#7 EarthBath All Natural Shampoo

All natural from a brand name.

16 ounces and states it is good for the planet meaning there are no harsh chemicals or derivatives.

Can be used on all breeds. Rosemary scent which is nice and crisp. 


  • Great rosemary scent
  • Good size
  • Good price
  • Good for the planet
  • All natural
  • No additives
  • Plant based


  • Odd NAME of Scent:  Mediterranean Magic!
  • Doesn’t’ state whether for puppies
  • Can’t really state how much it lathers or lasts

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

#8 Pawstruck Shampoo for Dogs

A large spray bottle that is a wet shampoo. 16 fluid ounces, which can go a long way, as it’s only “spray and wipe” which makes it usable for puppies too.

Nothing is worked into the fur with water, just wiped off after a few minutes.

Nice deodorizing shampoo product that can be used to “spot clean” or as often as needed without the messiness of a bath.

Totally organic and plant-based.


  • Can be used for puppies
  • It can be used to spot clean
  • Can be used as often as needed
  • Great citrus scent
  • Convenient spray bottle with little mess
  • Plant-based
  • Organic
  • All natural


  • Can be somewhat expensive
  • No choice of scents
  • Really careful brushing is needed first to remove surface debris
  • Careful brushing afterwards

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

#9 PL 360 Dog Grooming Wipes

Not a total bathtub product again, but so useful also for puppies as well as dogs!

Large selection of sizes to order, but this is the 240 count, as I have 3 dog children!

This can be used whenever and wherever you go.

Can be tested in a purse or suitcase for trips and vacations.

Great mandarin scent, and all natural. Great for ill and older dogs too.


  • Can be carried anywhere
  • Variety of sizes to choose from, one pack or hundreds
  • All natural
  • Can be used on puppies
  • Can be used on older and ill dogs
  • A real convenience type of product
  • A bath in a packet, it can be used to spot clean anywhere, anytime!
  • Great mandarin scent


  • Seems a little expensive depending on the size of the animal
  • Can maybe work better on dogs with less dense coats
  • Can dry out if the packaging is left open

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

#10 Pet Head Puppy Fun Puppy Tearless Shampoo

This is an intriguing product specifically for puppies!

It’s tearless, shaped like a bone, 16.1 ounces, in a bright blue bottle.

It’s really nice looking when viewed, and the company has a video about it, rather than a full blown description!

It’s a new line of products that seems to be doing well. Mid-priced. Tearless too.


  • For puppies alone!
  • Nice packaging
  • Fun product
  • Tearless
  • All natural
  • Video to watch about the product!
  • Great orange scent


  • Strange amount, 16.1 ounces
  • No real ingredients listed, unless you are Spanish as the bottle is mostly written in Spanish
  • A bit more expensive than other known brand names.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

#11 PL 360 All-in-One-Dog-Shampoo & Conditioner

A good offering of an all in one product combatting odors and also conditioning the coat.

16 fluid ounces with a really good price. Although all types of shampoo products are offered by the company, the pomegranate scent is deodorizing.

All natural and very easy to use with a push cap on top. Pour into your hand and apply easily.


  • Great pomegranate scent
  • Easy push cap for dispensing
  • Great modest price
  • All natural
  • Combines deodorizing with conditioning


  • Does not state if it can be used on puppies
  • Does not have other scents for deodorization
  • No other sizes to choose from
  • No real directions on usage or dog breeds

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

#12 Paws and Pals Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and Conditioner

A good all around product. Deodorizes but also moisturizes and conditions the skin.

If odors from eczema or dry skin are a problem it might be a good choice for some.

The bottle is pretty too and it’s a larger size than most, 20 fluid ounces. Aloe vera, oatmeal, and medicated ingredients, lend to the deodorization.


  • Good size
  • Good price
  • Three in one product
  • Combats odors that are specific to skin diseases


  • Doesn’t state safe for puppies
  • Doesn’t really look all natural, as it has a pink color
  • Doesn’t really seem to scent the dog, but rather prevent the odor

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

#13 Arm & Hammer Super Deodorizing Shampoo & Spray for Dogs

Made with baking soda by Arm and Hammer, a well-known brand.

Focuses on odor removal AND odor prevention which makes it different from other offerings.

More expensive for 20 ounces however. Can be used it states on dogs and puppies. 


  • Can be used on dogs and puppies it states
  • Great Kiwi Blossom scent
  • Contains baking soda for odor prevention
  • Well-known brand name


  • Doesn’t specify breeds it is best for
  • Not medicated and questionable if the baking soda will dry the skin of a dog
  • No other sizes
  • Quite expensive compared to others
  • Bottle is not clear so couldn’t discern color

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

#14 Veterinary Formula Triple Solutions Triple Strength Dirty Dog Concentrated  Shampoo

Boasts some type of dirt repellant technology, not quite sure specifically what that is.  It has conditioners, deodorizers, and the dirt repellents.

20 ounces, but it says it is super concentrated too and used by groomers and veterinarians.

So perhaps a little goes a long way as it is not the cheapest. Pictures show large, heavily coated, dirty dogs. Shea butter for moisturizing. 


  • Works for even the dirtiest dogs according to the labels
  • Moderately priced
  • Concentrated
  • Moisturizes too for less grooming hassles
  • Great green apple and tea scents
  • Vitamin E
  • Aloe
  • 3 times more cleansing agents


  • Might not be good for thin coated dogs
  • Might not be good for allergy prone dogs
  • Doesn’t really seem all natural or all plant based; the label is not specific
  • Label can be more specific on usage too

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

#15 Pet Head Dirty Talk Deodorizing Shampoo

Another product from this new company. The company has a whole line of intriguing products with videos and this is no exception.

16.1 ounce but for dogs only. Really dirty dogs.

Has the same signature orange scent as all their products do and is mid-priced.  Great display bottle shaped like a bone.


  • Great orange scent
  • Good for really dirty dogs
  • Video to watch while deciding what to buy
  • Fun Website
  • Lots of other products to purchase to go along with this
  • All natural


  • Instructions on the bottle are mostly in Spanish
  • Not the cheapest product out there
  • Doesn’t specify dog breeds exactly

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Shampoos For Odor Control

# Do deodorizing shampoos really work?

The answer is yes and no. Dogs and puppies will be dogs and puppies. Some smell more than others as their DNA and PH levels dictate this.

They are not human, are covered with fur, and love to romp in stinky, dirty stuff! So the shampoos work to a point.

I personally like the new touch up products which I found very helpful in keeping my doggies smelling good.

I enjoy doing the touch-ups, they enjoy it, and they smell better longer.

Breed plays a part in odor too with skin variations, fur variations, and even activity level playing apart in odors.

So the shampoos work as well as they can, but miracles do not happen. Dogs will be dogs!

# Are deodorizing shampoos safe?

If all unnecessary chemicals, additives, or preservatives are avoided they can be as safe as any shampoo on the market.

It’s when they smell too good, that the consumer should be careful, as that usually signifies that perfume with a lot of alcohol exists.

Also, the color can be significant as dyes can be at work in brightly colored products.

# Is anything really new lately in deodorizing shampoos?


The new wipes and waterless touch and go sprays are great time savers and keep dogs and puppies fresh longer without all the hassle and trauma of too much bathing.

My Personal Choice of Product

I’ll be honest, I fell for the Pet Head Dry Clean Deodorizing Spray No Rinse Shampoo

It’s so hard to find puppy shampoo, and I have a greyhound puppy plus two older greyhounds.

Greyhounds cannot sit on their haunches so they lie on their backs all the time.

I needed something such as the touch up also offered so the whole line from this company works for me.

It’s a bit pricier but a little goes a long way and I especially enjoy the touch-up spray.

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