Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dog Shampoo: Activity Level and Skin Type

by Pup + Bones

If you're a dog owner, choosing the right shampoo for your furry friend can make a world of difference in their overall health and well-being. With a multitude of options available, it's important to consider factors such as your dog's activity level and skin type before making a decision. Human shampoo is not suitable for dogs due to differences in pH levels, so it's important to opt for a formula specially designed for our canine companions. Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Natural Pet Shampoo is a popular choice, known for its clean ingredients and soothing properties for skin allergies. For puppies and dogs with sensitive skin, Burt's Bees 2 in 1 Tearless Shampoo & Conditioner provides a gentle option. TropiClean PerfectFur Thick Double Coat Shampoo is designed specifically for dogs with double coats, helping to reduce shedding. If you're looking for an organic option without any artificial fragrances, 4-Legger Dog Shampoo is a certified choice. Your dog's grooming routine just got a whole lot simpler with these top-notch shampoo options.

Activity Level

Dogs come in various activity levels, and it's important to choose a dog shampoo that matches their energy levels. The activity level of dogs can be categorized into three main categories: high energy dogs, moderate energy dogs, and low energy dogs.

High energy dogs

High energy dogs are those that require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Examples of high energy dog breeds include Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, and Dalmatians. These breeds need a shampoo that can effectively clean their coat after a long day of running and playing.

Moderate energy dogs

Moderate energy dogs fall somewhere in the middle of the activity spectrum. They enjoy daily walks and playtime but don't require as much activity as high energy dogs. Breeds like Golden Retrievers, Beagles, and Cocker Spaniels are considered moderate energy dogs. A dog shampoo that provides a thorough cleaning without stripping the natural oils of their coat is ideal for these dogs.

Low energy dogs

Low energy dogs are typically more laid-back and don't require as much exercise or stimulation as high or moderate energy dogs. These dogs are content with a short walk or play session and spending most of their time lounging around. Examples of low energy dog breeds include Bulldogs, Basset Hounds, and Shih Tzus. A gentle and moisturizing dog shampoo would be suitable for these dogs, as they are less likely to get their coat excessively dirty or sweaty.

Skin Type

Just like humans, dogs can have different skin types that require specific care and attention. Choosing a dog shampoo that caters to their specific skin needs is crucial for their overall skin health and coat appearance.

Normal skin

Dogs with normal skin have a well-balanced and healthy coat. Their skin is neither too oily nor too dry, and their coat is generally soft and shiny. A gentle and moisturizing dog shampoo that maintains the natural oils and pH levels of their skin is ideal for dogs with normal skin.

Dry skin

Dogs with dry skin often experience itchiness, flakiness, and dull fur. Common causes of dry skin in dogs include allergies, weather conditions, and certain medical conditions. A dog shampoo that is specifically formulated to moisturize and hydrate their skin can help alleviate dryness and improve the condition of their coat.

Oily skin

Dogs with oily skin tend to have greasy and smelly coats. Excessive oil production can lead to skin issues such as dermatitis and a higher chance of developing skin infections. A dog shampoo that effectively cleanses their coat while regulating the oil production can help balance their skin and reduce odor.


The ingredients used in dog shampoos can vary greatly, and it's important to choose a shampoo with ingredients that are safe and beneficial for your furry friend. Here are three main types of ingredients commonly found in dog shampoos:

Natural ingredients

Natural ingredients are derived from plants, fruits, and other organic sources. These ingredients are generally considered safe and gentle on a dog's skin and coat. Natural ingredients like oatmeal, aloe vera, and chamomile are known for their soothing properties and can help calm irritated skin.

Hypoallergenic ingredients

Hypoallergenic ingredients are specifically formulated to minimize the risk of allergic reactions in dogs. These ingredients are often free from common allergens such as fragrances and dyes. Hypoallergenic dog shampoos are a great choice for dogs with sensitive skin or allergies.

Chemical ingredients

Chemical ingredients are sometimes used in dog shampoos for their cleansing and antibacterial properties. However, it's important to be cautious when using shampoos with chemical ingredients, as certain chemicals can be harsh and potentially irritating to a dog's skin. It's best to choose shampoos with minimal or natural-based chemical ingredients.


The scent of a dog shampoo can vary greatly, and while it may not be a crucial factor to consider, it can certainly enhance the bathing experience for both you and your furry friend.


Unscented dog shampoos are ideal for dogs with sensitive skin or those who are easily irritated by strong fragrances. These shampoos provide a clean and fresh feel without any added scent.


Scented dog shampoos come in various fragrances, from fruity to floral to musky. While these scents can make your dog's coat smell pleasant, it's important to choose a scent that will not overwhelm your dog or cause any skin irritations. It's also important to keep in mind that dogs have a much stronger sense of smell than humans, so what might seem like a mild scent to you could be overpowering to them.


Choosing a reputable brand for your dog's shampoo ensures that you are using a product that has been carefully formulated with their best interests in mind. There are various brands available in the market, but it's important to consider factors such as brand reputation, certifications, and veterinarian recommendations.

Popular brands

Popular brands often have a wide range of products and a strong customer base. These brands have gained popularity due to their effectiveness and positive customer reviews. However, it's important to look beyond just popularity and consider other factors such as ingredients and suitability for your dog's specific needs.

Certified organic brands

Certified organic brands focus on using natural and organic ingredients in their product formulations. These brands often have certifications from reputable organizations that guarantee their commitment to providing safe and eco-friendly products. Choosing a certified organic brand ensures that you are using a shampoo that is free from harmful chemicals and synthetic ingredients.

Veterinarian recommended brands

Veterinarian recommended brands are those that have received endorsements and recommendations from professionals in the field. These brands have typically been tested and approved by veterinarians for their safety and effectiveness. Consulting with your veterinarian and seeking their recommendations can help you choose a brand that caters to your dog's specific needs.


The cost of a dog shampoo can vary based on factors such as brand reputation, ingredients, and product size. It's important to find a balance between a product that fits your budget and provides the necessary benefits for your dog.

Budget-friendly options

Budget-friendly options are typically more affordable and offer basic cleaning and moisturizing properties. These shampoos may not have all the bells and whistles of higher-end options but can still effectively clean your dog's coat.

High-end options

High-end options are often priced higher but may offer additional features such as specialized formulations for specific skin conditions or coat types. These shampoos may contain more premium ingredients and come in larger sizes, making them suitable for owners who are willing to invest more in their dog's grooming routine.


When choosing a dog shampoo, it's important to consider its effectiveness in addressing specific skin concerns or promoting overall skin health. Different shampoos offer various benefits, and finding the right one for your dog's needs can make a significant difference in their coat condition and overall comfort.

Soothing skin allergies

If your dog suffers from allergies or skin irritations, choosing a dog shampoo with soothing properties can provide relief and comfort. Ingredients like oatmeal, aloe vera, and chamomile are known for their calming and anti-inflammatory properties, making them suitable for dogs with skin allergies.

Reducing shedding

If you have a dog that sheds excessively, choosing a dog shampoo that helps reduce shedding can be beneficial. Look for shampoos that are specifically formulated to target excessive shedding and promote a healthy coat. These shampoos often contain ingredients like omega fatty acids and supplements that help maintain a healthy coat and reduce excessive shedding.

Treating skin conditions

Dogs can suffer from various skin conditions such as dermatitis, hot spots, and fungal infections. Choosing a dog shampoo that is specifically formulated to treat these conditions can provide relief and help improve your dog's skin health. These shampoos often contain medicated ingredients like ketoconazole or chlorhexidine, which help combat bacteria, fungi, and inflammation.


Choosing the right dog shampoo requires careful consideration of various factors. Taking into account the activity level and skin type of your dog is essential for determining the most suitable shampoo. Additionally, evaluating ingredients, scent, brand reputation, cost, effectiveness, usage requirements, and customer reviews can help you make an informed decision. Remember, the best dog shampoo is the one that meets your dog's specific needs and helps promote a healthy coat and skin. So, take the time to research and choose a shampoo that will keep your furry friend clean, comfortable, and happy during bath time.

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