7 Best Smelling Dog Shampoos for Odor Control (for puppies & adults)

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pup in a dog bath getting his fur washed

There’s nothing better than cuddling up with an adoring puppy that smells fresh and clean. Unfortunately, for a lot of new puppy owners, the realities of living with a rambunctious puppy come with much fouler stench.

Canines are naturally inquisitive creatures already. During their early years, that curiosity is taken up a notch.

Puppies have yet to learn the ropes or possess the ability to distinguish between what’s right and wrong.

As a result, you can often find them rolling around in the mud, getting into garbage, and finding a way to stink up their fur.

While us humans find those smells awful, they’re an enjoyable sensory experience for puppies.Those smells accumulate over time, creating a very distinct odor that can linger in your home for weeks!

It goes without saying, but regular baths should be a regular part of your puppy’s grooming routine.

A high-quality odor control shampoo can do wonders for getting rid of any unwanted smells. They do much more than just mask bad aromas.

These shampoos can strip away the smell completely and leave behind a pleasant scent that you can enjoy. Some products can even control the smell your puppy produces moving forward.

There are plenty of great products to choose from. Here is a collection of some of the best odor control shampoos for your pup.

7 of the Best Smelling Dog Shampoos for Odor Control

1. Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs with Shea Butter, Aloe Vera & Chamomile

Particular Paws Oatmeal Dog & Cat Shampoo,

The oatmeal shampoo from Particular Paws may seem simple at first glance, but it is anything but. This high-quality shampoo contains natural ingredients that are designed to provide relief and comfort.

The oatmeal extract and aloe vera moisturize the skin to alleviate any itching. Meanwhile, the chamomile cuts through oils and deodorizes the fur. Overall, the shampoo has a very pleasant aroma that’s not overwhelming.

The various natural ingredients are safe for most puppies and can actually work to restore the natural pH balance of your companion’s skin.

2. Gerrard Larriett Aromatherapy Shampoo, Conditioner & Pet Odor Eliminator

Gerrard Larriett Aromatherapy Pet Care Aromatherapy Shampoo & Conditioner for Pets Dog Shampoo, Medicated Oatmeal Dog Shampoo & Pet Odor Eliminator

Want an all-in-one product that can control odor in an instant? Check out this shampoo and conditioner from Gerrard Larriett Aromatherapy Pet Care.

It’s a completely natural product that’s fully bio-degradable. You can rest easy knowing that it’s safe for your young puppy. The shampoo comes in liquid form. The tip of the bottle allows you to create a soothing foam that can be spread throughout your dog’s fur.

*The lavender and chamomile cut through oil and leave behind a pleasant smell after the product has dried.

3. Animology Dog Shampoo Puppy Love Gentle Skin

Animology Dog Shampoo Puppy Love Gentle Skin 250ml

This odor-controlling shampoo from Animology is specifically formulated for young puppies. It’s a relatively mild shampoo that’s pH balanced.

This makes it a great option for canines with sensitive skin. In addition to getting rid of dirt and smells, the shampoo can moisturize your dog’s skin and make their fur smooth. It has conditioners and vitamins mixed right in.

If you’re worried about the bathing process, this shampoo has you covered. It has easy rinse technology, making it easy to wash out after cleaning.

4. Magic Coat Reduces Odor Shampoo

Four Paws Magic Coat Reduces Odor Shampoo

The odor-reducing shampoo from Four Paws is suitable for dogs of all ages and fur types. The unique formula works up into a rich lather, allowing it to penetrate even the thickest hair.

When you’re bathing your puppy, the shampoo is easy to work into the skin where all the oil and odors lie. To get rid of those smells, this shampoo has some odor neutralizing compounds.

They counteract the smell and work in tandem with the oatmeal and papaya to keep your puppy smelling good.

5. Wahl Dog/Puppy Shampoo

Wahl Dog/Puppy Shampoo

If your puppy is suffering from itchy or dry skin, consider this shampoo from Wahl. It’s a relatively simple formula that’s free of potentially harmful chemicals.

You won’t find any parabens or alcohol. Instead, the shampoo is pH balanced to soothe the skin. It contains coconut, lime verbena, and oatmeal.

Even though the shampoo uses a considerable amount of natural ingredients, the smell is quite strong. It sticks to your pup’s fur to provide an enjoyable smell that lasts.

6. Fresh Wave Odor Removing Dog Shampoo

Fresh Wave Odor Removing Dog Shampoo

Interested in getting a shampoo that’s not only safe for your dog, but also the environment? This product from Fresh Wave may be the one for you.

It’s made of non-toxic and non-GMO ingredients. Even the bottle is eco-friendly. It’s recyclable and meets strict EPA standards.

When it comes to the formula, this shampoo is quite effective. The natural ingredients get rid of oil and stubborn messes. It’s even strong enough to tackle skunk spray.

7. Fresh N Clean Scented Shampoo, Classic Fresh Scent

Fresh 'n Clean Lambert Kay Scented Dog Shampoo

This shampoo can provide your young puppy with a lot of benefits. For one, it smells great and is designed to get rid of odors instead of just masking them.

Furthermore, the scent is strong and lasting. If you want to refresh the smell, simply wipe your dog down with a wet towel. In addition to having a great smell, the shampoo can also moisturize the skin and help loosen tangles.

It also has an anti-static agent to make your puppy’s fur easier to manage.

2 of the Best Smelling Waterless Options to Deodorize Your Pup’s Coat Without Bathing

1. Lillian Ruff Waterless Dog Shampoo Spray to Deodorize Pet Odor and Freshen Coat

Lillian Ruff Waterless Dog Shampoo - No Rinse Quick Dry Shampoo for Dogs Spray - Tear Free Lavender Coconut Scent to Deodorize Pet Odor and Freshen Coat - Made in USA

This Liliian Ruff waterless shampoo can be a great refresher whenever your puppy starts to smell a bit funky. It comes in a portable 16-ounce bottle so that you can take it with you on the go.

To apply it to your pup’s fur, simply give it a good shake and spritz away. The natural lavender oil, coconut oil, and aloe vera will get to work breaking down dirt.

These ingredients smell very pleasant. Not only that, but they’re also a natural alternative to flea repellants.

2. BioSilk for Dogs Silk Therapy Deep Moisture Waterless Shampoo Spray

BioSilk for Dogs Silk Therapy Deep Moisture Waterless Shampoo Spray | Best Waterless Shampoo Spray For All Dogs and Puppies

BioSilk is a company that’s made a name for itself creating luscious hair products for humans. However, this moisturizing waterless shampoo is formulated to keep your puppy fresh and clean.

It has no unhealthy parabens. The shampoo is also pH balanced for ultimate safety and comfort. It contains aloe vera, oatmeal, mild cleansing agents, and vitamins. This unique blend of ingredients cleanses the fur while also keeping the skin supple.

To use it, all you have to do is spray your dog down from head to tail. Then, it’s recommended to brush your pup’s fur to evenly distribute the product and promote drying.

Following the Scent

The best way to tackle your puppy’s odor problem once and for all is to be an informed owner.

There are a number of reasons why your young dog is smelling. It could be as innocent as a behavioral problem or something more serious.

By understanding why your dog smells, you’ll have the tools you need to minimize problems in the future and prevent odors from getting out of hand.

Instinctive Behavior

Have you ever watched your dog find a random spot on the ground and start rolling in it? It’s a quirky behavior that looks innocent enough.

However, they may be sensing something you don’t.

When dogs do this, it’s often because the spot has a very strong odor. It may have been where another dog did its business or an area with decaying organic matter.

Whatever the case may be, dogs love to roll around in the smelly stuff. It’s basic instinct.

The act masks their natural scent from would-be predators. Plus, most puppies just love to be around new and exciting smells.

Unfortunately, tiny particles of dirt and matter stick to your pup’s fur, resulting in a distinct aroma.

Worst of all, that smell gets worse the longer you don’t address it.

Excessive Oil Production

While they may not sweat in the same way that we humans do, it’s still something that happens with young puppies.

If you let your dog outside for a few hours to frolic in the sun, there’s a pretty good chance that they’ll come back in carrying a stench.

Dogs have sebaceous glands throughout their body that produce oil. The oil sticks to their fur and becomes more pronounced as the oil builds up.

If you want to give your dog a quick rinse to solve the problem, think again. Mixing plain water with this oil is the worst thing you can do. It produces that unwanted “wet dog” smell.

Medical Problems

If smells persist, even after a thorough bath, your dog may be suffering from one of many different health issues.

They could be experiencing anal gland swelling due to a poor diet, periodontal disease from a damaged tooth, liver disease from a bacterial infection, an ear infection from yeast, or a number of other things.

All of these conditions come with a distinct smell.

If you suspect that one of these problems may be the culprit, bring your puppy to a vet as soon as possible. In most cases, odors will subside once the underlying cause is treated.

The Key to Keeping Your Puppy Smelling Fresh

best smelling dog shampoos

Keeping your puppy’s smells at bay is as simple as giving them thorough baths on a regular basis with a shampoo that’s made to meet their needs.

Puppy shampoo is formulated to cut through the grime and work with your puppy’s unique biology. While you may be tempted to use a human product, it’s not recommended.

Puppies have a higher skin pH balance than humans do.

You could cause an influx of oil production, dry skin, and even more smells by using a human-grade product.

It’s also important that you take time when bathing your puppy.

Quick jobs will leave behind odor-causing bacteria and oils. If you want the smell to go away, you need to make sure that every inch of your puppy is cleaned down to their skin.

Finding the Right Shampoo

After a bath, your puppy will only smell as good as the shampoo you use. To ensure that your pup gets a thorough cleaning, here are some things you want to look for when you’re shopping.

Cleaning Agents

The purpose of shampoo is to cut through the grime and wash smells away.

Needless to say, the way the shampoo accomplishes this is important. Pay attention to the ingredients list and look out for quality agents like oatmeal and coconut.

Oatmeal has been used throughout history to nourish the skin, remove bacteria, and reduce smells. It’s a great natural alternative to many of the chemical products on the market.

If you want to get the most powerful clean possible, you can get a shampoo with salicylic acid.

This ingredient is often used on skincare products because it can control the oil glands and prevent bacteria buildup.

When used in a shampoo for puppies, salicylic acid absorbs into your dog’s pores. There it can decrease oil production and keep the skin balanced.


Shampoos are available in a number of different fragrances.

While you may be tempted to go with a product that smells like expensive perfume, it’s always recommended that you stick with natural fragrances.

Chemical perfumes contain alcohol, which is known to cause irritation in your puppy’s nose. They may even develop an allergic reaction when it gets on their skin.

Natural fragrances come from the use of essential oils.

Not only do they produce a strong aroma during your bath, but the oils stick to your puppy’s fur to provide a lasting scent.

The oils can also prevent dry skin, which is very a very common issue among puppies who are washed with alcohol-based shampoos.

Essential oils are completely safe and will nourish the skin while your pup’s fur is getting stripped of all its awful smells. Some great fragrance options include aloe vera, lavender, oatmeal, vanilla, and more.

Before you stick with a particular fragrance, test it out to see how your dog reacts.

Many young puppies are very sensitive to strong smells. Citrus, in particular, has been known to send pups into a sneezing frenzy.

Keep your dog’s personal preferences in mind when you’re choosing a fragrance to ensure that they’re not completely miserable after a bath.

Extra Benefits

Odor-control shampoos are also available with a number of extra perks.

They can be formulated to tackle many different ailments. Flea shampoos are the most common. They contain insecticides to kill fleas instantly.

Also available are antiseptic shampoos for dogs with rashes, moisturizing shampoos for puppies with dry skin, and medicated products to treat infections.

What About In Between Baths?

In most cases, it’s better to avoid giving your puppy a bath if you’re not able to perform a thorough job. As we mentioned earlier, plain water and oily fur just don’t mix.

It’s best to wait until you’re capable of bathing your dog from head to toe. So does that mean you just have to settle for the smell in the meantime?

Waterless shampoos are a great short-term solution to keeping your puppy’s odor under control. As the name would suggest, they don’t need any water.

They come in both sprays and foams. Simply apply it to your dog’s fur, work it into their hair, and let it dry.

While they won’t be completely clean, you may notice that their fur feels less oily and carries a much better scent.

In Conclusion

Curious young canines can’t help that they are smelly creatures. They’re not offended by the same odors that we humans are, so there’s a pretty good chance that they don’t even know they smell.

If you want your puppy smelling fresh at all times, invest in a quality odor-controlling shampoo and follow a regular grooming routine.

Before long, your once smelly pup with fit right in with your clean home.

Also Read: Is it Okay to Use Baby Wipes on Dogs?

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