Best Waterless Dog Shampoos (2020)


No matter how much we all love our dogs, we cannot excuse the smells that they seem to give off every now and again. Perhaps they’ve been dancing in the rain and have picked up an unfortunate wet dog smell, or do they have very thick fur and have a sweaty smell?

We all dread the fatal moment when we take our pets for a walk, and they decided to roll around in all sorts of questionable substances. There are a number of different ways that your pup can pick up a bad smell, and you need to attend to it as quickly as possible. 

Some dogs love baths, and some hate them. In fact, bathing your dog can be a very stressful situation for everyone involved. So, if your dog comes bounding up to you demanding strokes and you get a whiff of an ungodly scent, you need a different method of washing them. 

Luckily for dog owners everywhere, there has been a lot of development in the waterless dog shampoo market. This is similar to a dry shampoo for humans, but often comes in a liquified state for easy application. 

Simply rub some waterless shampoo on your pooch’s fur and watch the magic unfold! 

In a hurry? Are you in desperate need of a waterless shampoo for your dog? Perhaps you’re on holiday where you cannot get to a bath, or does your dog hate water so much that you can’t get them anywhere near the showerhead? Never fear – we’re here to help. 

Put the leash down and drain the tub; we’ve found the ideal solution. Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo is a great alternative to struggling through the bathing process. 

Benefit from the natural scent of lavender and chamomile and how easy it is to use. Simply massage into the skin and dry with a towel. Brush the coat out, and you’re done! Thanks to the calming ingredients, this shampoo is ideal for sensitive skin. 

You can see that this shampoo does more than merely cleaning the scent off of your dog – it moisturizes the skin, detangles the fur, and conditions the coat for that lasting shine.

This naturally scented lavender and chamomile waterless shampoo is ideal for not only dogs, but cats and horses alike. The main ingredients, which is where the shampoo gets its lovely smell, are also calming for pets. This means that instead of stressing your dog out with a shower, you can instead calm them down with a waterless bath. 

The Wahl Waterless Shampoo works to cleanse, condition, detangle, and moisturize your dog’s coat and skin, leaving them with a shine that you can usually only find outside a professional grooming parlor.  

Enjoy the ease of a foam shampoo that lathers straight into your hand. Massage it into the coat, dry with a towel, and brush through the hair. This pH-balanced formula is free of alcohol, parabens, and irritants, making this an excellent option for any on-the-go pup. 

This foaming shampoo is both gentle and refreshing on your dog’s skin and fur. One of the main ingredients is oatmeal, which is one of the most soothing and moisturizing ingredients out there. Aloe and chamomile are also active ingredients, which are great at cleansing the skin.  

Moreover, the presence of sweet almond oil conditions the fur to leave your pup with a glorious shining coat. Plus, you get the bonus of enjoying the natural scent of almond radiating from your dog.  

There are no parabens within the formula, and John Paul ensures that each bottle is made with environmentally friendly practices while keeping the formula cruelty free. Another bonus is that a portion of the profits is donated to animal and wildlife charities.

The Paw Choice Dry Dog Shampoo is anything but a poor choice for your dog, with a coconut-based formula that is perfect for sensitive skin. The scent is mango and pomegranate, but this foaming shampoo doesn’t just mask the smell – it cleans away the source.  

There are no harsh chemicals within each bottle, along with no alcohol, parabens, or sulfates, making it completely safe and effective for your pooch’s skin. Another foaming waterless shampoo, it could not be easier to apply and get to work.  

Paw Choice offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the product, which is a nice touch to ensure that your investment is protected. Use this shampoo for dogs who don’t like water, or after a surgery, or perhaps while you’re off on your travels without a big tub. 

TropiClean offers a dandruff reducing shampoo, deep cleansing options for both cats and dogs, a facial cleanser for your pet, hypoallergenic shampoo, and papaya scented shampoo. These are all waterless and super easy to use! 

This foaming cleanser could not be more natural to use – simply massage onto the coat and brush it out! The bristles allow the shampoo to reach all the way down the hair and give a great deep cleansing effect. Plus, brushing will be incredibly comfortable, thanks to the nourishing ingredients. 

Marvel at the paraben-free, soap-free, and dye-free formula with the majority of natural ingredients within it. Corn, wheat, and coconut are among the components within this shampoo, with 98.8% of the elements being natural. You can use this shampoo on puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs as well.

Choose between the natural scent of lavender, lemongrass, or oatmeal for this waterless shampoo from Bodhi Dog. It comes in a spray bottle for easy application and even contains conditioning ingredients to make brushing and grooming easier on us owners. 

This waterless shampoo has been formulated especially for sensitive skin so you don’t have to worry about any nasty reactions. The waterless shampoo uses all-natural ingredients without harsh soaps or detergents. 

Throw this bottle into your bag and take it on all your walks and trips away from home without worrying about it leaking. You can use the spray bottle to amend small patches of scent quickly, or you can use it for a full-body wash. 

An interesting anecdote is that the shampoo won the 2020 Family Choice Awards!

Best Waterless Shampoos for Dogs Buying Guide

waterless dog shampoo no rinse

Putting any substance on your pet is somewhat worrying, especially if you haven’t done your research beforehand. The last thing you want to do is cause a reaction on your dog’s skin so that you can’t give them a bath or put them in any discomfort. 

For this reason, we’ve created a handy guide that aims to give you the most useful information about how to choose the right waterless shampoo for your dog. Bear these factors in mind while comparing formulas, and you’ll be much more likely to opt for a high-quality shampoo. 

Type of Waterless Dog Shampoo

There are different types of waterless dog shampoos on the market, and these can come in the form of foams, sprays, aerosol, powder, or gel. Let’s look into these to see which will fit the best with your lifestyle and puppy. 


A waterless spray shampoo for dogs is one of the most natural methods of giving your dog a quick rinse, and it comes in an easy to use spray bottle. Simply coat your dog with the liquid and massage it in with your hand or comb, and wipe it off with a dry towel. 

This is easy and effective. However, you may need to ensure that your dog is comfortable with a spray bottle. Spritzing your dog with water is a standard method of disciplining dogs so that they may get freaked out by a spray form of waterless shampoo. 


Alternatively, foam mousse is another excellent option for waterless baths. Apply the foam onto your hands and massage your dog’s fur until it is all soaked in. We think that this is the easiest method and would advise opting for a waterless foam shampoo. 

The only downside of a foam option is that you have to be very hands-on with the smell. If your dog has rolled around in a mess that you’d prefer not to touch, you wouldn’t have a choice with foam shampoo. 


We wouldn’t advise using an aerosol spray on your dog as the sensation has the potential to scare them and feel uncomfortable on their skin. You’ll have to use it far away from their coat to ensure that you don’t cold burn them. 

Moreover, there is a chance that your dog won’t want to stand still and wait patiently for their quick bath, so you may waste more product into the air than what actually reaches them and works how you’d like it to. 


Powder waterless shampoo is another alternative to use; however, this can be messy and isn’t always the easiest to apply to the coat of your dog. Plus, there is still the worry that the packaging will leak and be wasted in your pocket or bag.


Finally, gel can be used and often gives your pup a cooling effect, which is excellent for summer days. That being said, there is always a chance that a low-quality option will leave a sticky residue or dry hard. 

This can cause an adverse effect if your dog then rolls in some more mess, as the sticky gel will pick up more dirt and scents. Alternatively, if the fur sticks together, this can be uncomfortable for your dog and cause excessive grooming. 

How to Choose a Waterless Dog Shampoo?

no rinse dog shampoo


A dog’s coat covers their entire body, so putting an irritant all over their body can be detrimental to their comfort. No one wants to make their dog uncomfortable or put them in harm’s way, which is why checking the ingredients list is so important. 

If your dog has sensitive skin, consider soothing components such as chamomile. You should also try and opt for all-natural ingredients to avoid adverse reactions. Finally, we’d advise looking for a shampoo that contains moisturizing ingredients to prevent drying the skin out too much. 


The whole point of a waterless shampoo is to take away bad smells, so of course, you need to opt for a product that has a nice scent! However, that being said, the smell shouldn’t be so overpowering that your dog gets freaked out by the uncommon scent. 

If your pup has sensitive skin, you may want to choose a shampoo that comes with no scent at all, as artificial fragrances can irritate the skin and become uncomfortable. The shampoo will remove the bad smell and leave the fur clean without offering an unnatural odor. 

Age Recommendation

Make sure that you check whether your dog can use the waterless shampoo when it comes to their age. Most waterless shampoos for dogs can be used for all ages; however, some are better suited for puppies or senior dogs. 

Like with age recommended foods, the skin of your dog changes throughout their life, which is why different shampoos are targeted for different age ranges.


Make sure that the waterless shampoo that you purchase is not toxic for dogs. It seems obvious, but more dog owners skip over this fact. They see that the product is for dogs and just assume that it’s safe, and unfortunately, not all products are. If you have a dog that likes to groom themselves and lick their paws, you need to make sure that it is not toxic to ingest. 

You should always look at the customer reviews to make sure that previous buyers haven’t found an issue with the product. Some cases of allergic reactions are individualized and shouldn’t deter you from the shampoo. Still, if there is a large number of people complaining, we’d advise that you stay away and choose another option. 


If you have more than one puppy or perhaps even a cat, you can always check to see whether you can use your chosen waterless shampoo on all of your animals in case of an emergency. 

You should be able to use your waterless shampoo on all of your dogs. However, it’s always worth checking that there isn’t some hidden issue that would prevent you from doing so. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I rub baking soda on my dog?

Yes, you can use baking soda as an alternative to dog shampoo. It’s inexpensive, fragrance-free, and isn’t harsh on the skin. Simply sprinkle the baking soda onto your dog’s coat (avoiding the face) and massage it into the fur. 

Leave it to work its magic for a few minutes before brushing the powder out of the coat. Another plus of using baking soda is that it kills fleas quickly! 

Is waterless shampoo suitable for dogs?

Yes, a high-quality waterless shampoo is excellent and safe for your dogs. As long as the ingredients are natural and soothing for the skin, waterless shampoo is excellent for quickly relieving your nose from an unpleasant odor radiating off of your dog. 

Can you use baby shampoo on dogs?

As long as all of the ingredients are natural, and for sensitive skin, there should be no issue with using baby shampoo on your dog. However, there is always the chance that the ingredients are too harsh for your pet, so we’d suggest purchasing a shampoo designed specifically for your dog. 

How can I make my dog smell better without a bath? 

Put the perfume bottle down! There are a few ways you can remove odors from your pup without a bath, including waterless shampoo alternatives. After you’ve done this, you should clean their beds and blankets to avoid them getting the bad smell all over them again. 

The ears of your dog are one of the main places where bad smells reside, so make sure that you clean the ears regularly. Take some baby oil on a cloth and wipe inside the ears. Do this carefully, as your dog’s ears are also incredibly sensitive. 

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