Best Waterless Shampoos for Your Dog - iPetCompanion

Best Waterless Shampoos for Your Dog

No matter how much you love your canine companion, things can get annoying when he doesn't smell great. Dog body odor can become a problem, even when you're a huge dog lover. Therefore, there's no substitute to regular bathing and proper grooming. Giving regular baths to your dog will help immensely in keeping dog odor at bay and making your pup look and smell just perfect. The issue is that not every dog owner has the time for a thorough doggy baths, and that's when waterless dog shampoos come into the picture. A good waterless dog shampoo will go a long way in making your dog smell good without having to spend a lot of time in bathing. Here are some of the very best dry shampoos for dogs to buy.

The Best Waterless Dog Shampoos: Our Top Picks

BioSilk Waterless Shampoo Spray

BEST spray

  • Aloe vera for nourishment
  • pH balanced formula

Rated by: Amber

Paw Choice Waterless Dog Shampoo


  • Coconut-based formula
  • No chemicals
  • Natural lavender scent

Rated by: Amber

Lillian Ruff Waterless Shampoo

Best for fleas

  • Easy to use
  • Repels fleas and ticks
  • Chemical free

Rated by: Amber

1. BioSilk Waterless Shampoo Spray

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

For those looking for a water shampoo in a spray form should give this one a try, as it contains human-grade ingredients only. You'll like the fact that it uses a combination of silk and soy proteins with almond oil. It means its regular application won't cause any harm to your pup's coat and may even nourish it by cleansing it gently.

Its formula puts it right at the top along with some of the finest dry shampoo sprays available today. You'll also find oatmeal extracts in its formula, which is another reason why it cleanses just perfectly. The presence of aloe vera is yet another added benefit. Aloe vera not only helps eliminates allergens, but it also plays a role in soothing the skin of your dog.

The application of this aloe vera based shampoo is easy too. You just need spray it over your dog's coat and then brush it gently. There's no need to use any cloth or towel to wipe it down. Overall, it's a great product for dog owners, but keep in mind that it may cause an allergic reaction in some dogs.


  • It contains aloe vera for nourishment
  • It contains natural oils
  • It has a pH-balanced formula


  • It may cause allergies in some dogs

2. Paw Choice Waterless Dog Shampoo

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

If you're looking for a good dry shampoo for your dog, which is easy to use and delivers good results, you may want to check what Paw Choice has to offer. This particular foaming mousse formula will make your dog's coat healthy and shiny. The good thing is that it completely eliminates the need to use any water whatsoever. You don't even need to wipe him down with a towel, so you'll save in this respect as well.

In terms of ingredients, you won't find anything harmful in this formula. It contains coconut oil, which works great to condition your pup's coat. It actually helps promote better skin health because you'll be gently massaging it into the skin. The application is quite simple, as you just need to lather it in your dog's coat and then leave it to air dry.

This American waterless shampoo works great for dogs of all ages, so you don't need to worry in that regards too. It lacks any artificial scents, but there are natural ingredients giving it a delightful lavender and chamomile scent. Moreover, you're going to like the fact that this shampoo leaves no greasy residue behind, making it even safer for your dog. Overall, it's a great choice but it may be a bit more expensive as compared to some other similar products.


  • It features a coconut-based formula
  • It contains no chemicals or detergents
  • It eliminates the need to use a towel to dry


  • It may be a bit expensive

3. Lillian Ruff Waterless Shampoo

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

If you're looking for a good shampoo to avoid regular baths every week, you may opt for this particular product for good effects. The best thing about this shampoo is that it contains coconut oils and lavender, which is why its use will help repel ticks and fleas. As it's available in a spray form, you can apply it with utmost ease. Just spray it thoroughly and leave it there to air dry.

Along with other beneficial ingredients, it also contains aloe, which has skin conditioning and soothing properties. It's safe to use for most dogs with allergies because it's free of any parabens, preservatives, dyes, and sulfates.  Moreover, it's gluten-free, too, so you may really want to give it a shot if you need a shampoo for your dog with sensitive skin.

Though it doesn't contain any chemicals, it still has an awesome scent. It's important to point out that though it works great as your go-to dry shampoo, you may not notice any benefits when you're using it as a topical flea treatment for heavy infestation or a remedy for other serious skin conditions. Moreover, many users have complained about the spray nozzle becoming dysfunction after use. This shouldn't be a deal-breaker though, as you can get a new one easily.


  • It contains aloe and lavender to repel fleas
  • It doesn't contain any chemicals
  • It's extremely easy and convenient to use


  • The nozzle could've been of better quality

FAQ - A Buyer's Guide

While most people can take a bath in no more than 10 minutes, things are entirely different when it comes to bathing your dog.  You need to have the time as well as the space to give your pup a good bath. For larger dogs, it can be even difficult because they'd need the entire bathtub. You'd need to buy so many towels for regular bathing and have to deal with the wet doggy smell that usually takes hours to go away.

To resolve the issue, you can limit thorough bathing to once a month and switch to the best waterless dog shampoo to keep your dog smell good. Some experts are still not sure about the safety of a waterless dog shampoo, but ultimately, it comes down to the brand you pick. Here's a bit more to know before you decide to buy the best waterless dog shampoo for your canine friend.

Is Waterless Shampoo Good for Dogs?

If you opt for the best waterless shampoo for dogs, it's surely going to resolve a lot of your problems. By using the best waterless dog shampoo, you'll be reducing the dangers associated with bath time. For instance, not every dog is a fan of water or bathing, and it could be a lot messy, and may even be dangerous, to control your pup during the bath time. Sometimes, dogs can get scared and nervous, and this makes them aggressive towards you, which is not a good thing at all.

Here are some good reasons why you should opt for a waterless shampoo for dogs.

  • Using a waterless shampoo for dogs is a great idea when you have a fearful dog that becomes nervous when you show him the way to the bathroom. Some dogs would try whatever they can to avoid getting wet, and that's when using a waterless dog shampoo would do the trick, as it will help clean your dog by working directly on his skin and coat, and lower the anxiety associated with the exposure to water.
  • Using a waterless dog shampoo may be the right choice for some dogs with physical ailments. During the bath, you'll have to move your dog a lot and it could be difficult, especially for a large dog. Failing to handle him properly would make him uncomfortable and may even aggravate the injury. Therefore, using a waterless shampoo for dogs would be the best bet here.
  • By using waterless dog shampoos, you can also alleviate the risk of developing an allergic reaction, especially when your dog has dry skin.  With so many options available, it's easier to pick what's suitable for your dog's skin. These shampoos don't include grains and many other products, which many dogs are allergic too, so you can use them with full confidence. Nevertheless, it's a good idea to use the waterless dog shampoo on a small skin area if your dog is prone to developing allergies.
  • Using a waterless dog shampoo may be a good choice for older dogs with specific health problems. For instance, it may not be a great idea to make your older dog with hips and joints problem to sit in the bathtub for several minutes. Moreover, you may scrub them the wrong way and the pressure can sometimes cause them to fall, further augmenting the risk of injuring your pup. Therefore, you may want to use a dry shampoo to avoid dealing with these issues and keep your older dog calm during the procedure.
  • Even when your dog loves water but you don't have time to go through the extensive bathing routine, you can use a waterless dog shampoo for a touch up between regular baths. You can use a waterless dog shampoo immediately when your pup comes home all dirty after rolling in something nasty outside.

What's more, a regular use of dry shampoos for dogs would considerably lower the time you spend during regular baths – not to mention how effective this option is in reducing the watery mess involved in giving your dog a thorough bath. Just make sure to buy the best waterless dog shampoo to ensure it doesn't cause any harm to your dog’s skin and coat, and is suitable for your dog’s skin type in general.

In fact, it's important to educate yourself a bit about different types of waterless shampoos available on the market these days. By digging deeper, you'll come across five different types of waterless shampoos for dogs, including spray, foam, powder, aerosol, and gel. Depending on your dog’s skin type, you can pick one to get the best results. Experts believe that foam and sprays are often the best dry dog shampoos available today, as they're easy to use, work great for dry skin and never leave any residue behind.

What is the Best Waterless Shampoo for Dogs?

There are proponents and opponents of waterless shampoos, which means that you'll be the best judge of when to switch to these products. However, if you're really interested in using a doggy dry shampoo, you may want to pay attention to its ingredient to select the best waterless shampoo for dogs.

Not all waterless dog shampoos would have ingredients safe for dog’s skin. You need to pick a popular brand when looking for a shampoo for dogs. Keep in mind that you can't rinse off the dogs dry shampoo, which is why it's extremely important to ensure that the dog shampoo you're using meets the highest safety standards. It's important because your dog will always spend time grooming himself and that's when there's a risk of ingesting the residue of a dog dry shampoo. If those ingredients are harmful, your dog may develop serious health issues.

While you need to check the availability of natural ingredients, make sure the dog waterless shampoo you're using is free of any toxic content. For instance, it should not contain parabens, which can lead to problems related to endocrine and reproductive functions in dogs. It's also associated with some forms of cancers. Similarly, some waterless shampoos may contain alcohol or ethanol to increase the absorption of other harmful ingredients, so it's better to avoid these. Moreover, you should avoid buying a waterless dog shampoo if it contains an ammonia-derived compound, called cocamide DEA or is loaded with artificial colors or dyes.

Does Dry Shampoo Work for Dogs?

Considering the popularity, you may also be thinking of using a dog waterless shampoo. But, quite like other pet owners, you might also be thinking exactly what it is and if it really works for your dogs.  The truth is that a waterless or dry dog shampoo is quite like a dry shampoo for humans, which eliminates the needs to rinse it out.  The shampoo may be available in the form a gel, spray, or foam. You can also find a dry dog shampoo in a powder form.

Whatever the form, these waterless shampoos work by eliminating excess oils from your dog’s skin. Once you get rid of those excess oils, you won't have to worry about doggy odors as well.  You can use a dry dog shampoo in many different situations, but most experts are of the view that you should use them in-between regular baths to improve their efficacy and maintain the health of your dog’s skin.

 As there are different types, it's also important to learn how to use the waterless dog shampoo properly. Mostly, all you have to do is follow the instructions on the bottle of dog shampoos. If you're using liquid, foam, or gel dog shampoos, you should take enough to treat as much area of the coat as you want. Apply it thoroughly and then wipe using a dry towel or cloth. You should also brush the coat gently – and you may also want to blow dry the area to get better results. If you're using the powder, all you have to do is brush the coat out after the application. Just keep in mind that not all waterless shampoos require you to wipe them off, so it's imperative to follow the instructions you find on the bottle.

It's critical to understand that though waterless shampoos will surely make your life easy, you should never take them as a substitute for baths. Even the best waterless shampoo won't provide you with the benefits associated with immersing your pup in water to get rid of oils, dead skin cells, allergens, and contaminants. You can always use waterless shampoo for spot-cleaning but don't rely too much on these dog shampoos because there's nothing like water when it comes to cleaning.

How Do You Make Waterless Shampoo for Dogs?

Washing off your dog with water is always the best option but certain situations certainly justify the use of a waterless dog shampoo. You may not want to use it on your dog with sensitive skin or that needs a topical flea treatment. A dry shampoo spray may also prove ineffective in the treatment of yeast infections, which directly affect the dog’s coat and result in dog odors.

As mentioned already, you need to make sure you're buying the best dry shampoo for dogs or else it may be harmful to your dog’s coat. You can judge the quality of a dry shampoo for dogs by checking its ingredients. There shouldn't be any ingredients that would disrupt the balance of healthy bacteria in your dog's gut, as it's not only dangerous for your dog’s coat but is bad for his overall health. A good idea is to consider making your own dry shampoo for dogs.

Here's what you need to make a dry shampoo that is easy to use and contains natural ingredients only.

  • 4tbsp of powdered arrow root
  • 4tbsp of baking soda
  • 5 drops of essential oils

Instead of using the arrowroot, you can also switch to cornstarch, which produces great results, but may not be a great choice if your dog is allergic to corn/grain products. Arrowroot is a better choice because it's grain- and gluten-free.

Take a small bowl and mix all these ingredients nicely. Then, put the mixture in your food process to ensure there are no clumps or lumps left in it. Now, use the regular brush to groom your dog first, as it helps eliminate any excess hair or dust.  Now, take a clean makeup brush, dip it in the mixture, and apply it directly over your dog’s coat.  The application is easy and quite effective for smaller dogs.

In case you have a larger dog, you may want to use a shaker container with holes to apply the mixture on your dog’s coat. But, be sure to rub your hands thoroughly over your dog’s coat to properly distribute the mixture. Once done, you can use any clean towel to get rid of any excess powder from your dog’s coat.

Buy the Best Waterless Dog Shampoo

Immersing your dog in water will always have its benefits but using a pH balanced dry doggy shampoo does have its upsides too. You can use it to clean a particular area on your dog’s coat or you can use it between regular baths to prevent excessive oils. Buying the best shampoo is the real catch though and that's when you can put your money on Paw Choice pH Balanced Dry Shampoo for Dogs. It contains safe ingredients and is free of toxins. You can use it easily and get great results in no time. Try it!

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