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The Best Dog Grooming Shampoo

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

When it comes to choosing the best dog grooming shampoo, it is essential that you understand what the dog shampoo has to offer to ensure coats are much more manageable, whatever their hair type or grooming needs are.

In this guide to the best dog grooming shampoo you will discover what each dog shampoo does and how it has been designed to help a specific grooming problem, whether it's an extremely greasy coat or a long one that is prone to knotting easily, and what are the common ingredients in a dog shampoo.

What makes a good dog grooming shampoo?

Back in the 80's and 90's dog groomers weren't as conscious about the shampoo they used as they are today. Many would use cheap hairdressing shampoo that contained high levels of salt, which would cause skin irritations. When it comes to bathing dogs it is wise to use a specially developed shampoo that has been formulated for a dog's skin. A dog's skin has a pH of 7.52, while a human's is between 5.4 and 5.9. This means a dog's skin is more alkaline. Many shampoos were and are still today made to include Sodium Lauryl Sulphate.

What is Sodium Lauryl Sulphate?

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate can be found in many products that we use every single day. From cleaners to toothpaste, it is a common ingredient that cleans and creates foam for deep cleansing. In 1998 an email came out of the US instilling fear in shampoo users around the globe alleging SLS to be carcinogenic and could be harmful. However in 2015 a review of SLS found that there was no claim to support the dodgy email of 1998. However it had the desired effect as lots of dog groomers switched to "all-natural" shampoos that proudly assert their SLS-free status.

Can SLS cause irritable skin?

SLS can irritate skin under certain circumstances. If the shampoo is left on the skin for an extended period of time and not rinsed properly, it can cause skin irritations. Still, even with the lack of evidence linking SLS and cancer, some groomers would rather use a natural SLS free shampoo.

What does hypo-allergenic mean?

To create a shampoo that is hypo-allergenic means it does not contain synthetic fragrances, colours or anything that could cause a skin irritation.

What are Parabens?

Parabens are powerful preservatives that help prevent your shampoo building - up fungus and bacteria in long life products that are expected to last longer than 6 months. In 2008 the European Commission that overseas cosmetic regulations rules that potential interactions between cancer cells and paraben compounds had been inconclusive.

Other research bodies in fact discovered that there are other chemicals found in our food and water that could be responsible for the increase of cancers.

So if you choose to go paraben free, you'll need to learn how to spot a product that has a good preservative. Preservative free shampoos are a bit of a risk. They're be better for your skin, but in a hot humid salon it is the ideal environment for bacteria to thrive.

How do you tell if a shampoo is contaminated?

Firstly, the colour starts to change. When you take off the cap, you'll get a gas noise and then comes the pungent bad egg smell. Get these conditions, it needs to go into the bin.

Do you need to dilute dog grooming shampoo?

In the professional dog grooming industry it is widely known and respected that you should dilute dog shampoo. But why?

Water is the carrier for getting shampoo into a dog's coat. Depending on the shampoo you are using will determine how much you can dilute your shampoo by. Normally if you are buying less costly dog grooming shampoo the dilution rate will be lower. But firstly before we explore diluting rates you need to access the dog's coat to see if it is very dirty and greasy. If this is the case, the coat of the dog must be pre-washed and then washed again to ensure it is clean.

Grease breaks down the foam and soap suds and when you think there's no foam you could be thinking the shampoo isn't working. If your shampoo has a high dilution rate you can guarantee it has a high level of active ingredients.

Do's and Don'ts for diluting dog shampoo

  • To dilute shampoo you must use a clean, sterilised bottle and only dilute shampoo when you need it, and only mix what you need for that wash.

  • Never pour diluted shampoo back into its original undiluted source.

  • Always designate one diluting bottle to the product you are using.

  • Never use bottles that have housed other solutions.

  • Regularly clean your shampoo diluting bottles often with hot water and detergent.

Misuse of mixing bottles and pumps in the grooming salon is a common place. If they are not kept clean, then there is a high chance of cross-contamination. Label your pumps with the product and when not in use cover with a plastic bag and tie on.

How to dilute shampoo

Read the label of your shampoo carefully and dilute to the manufacturers recommendation.

  1. Take a clean, sterilised bottle.

  2. Fill your diluting bottle with warm water so it can dilute the active ingredients.

  3. If your shampoo recommends 10 - 1, this means 10 parts water and 1 part shampoo.

Water quality can impact on the pH level when it comes into contact with the dogs coat. Water runs at a pH level of 7, but with having chlorine added to water it can increase the pH level to 9.

How long does dog shampoo last?

Storing shampoo is essential so it does not spoil. During extreme weather and climate change it is best to keep your shampoo stock low, but to order more frequently. Hot weather and a freezing winter can cause shampoo to "go off", giving a bad egg small. If also left in a window, shampoo can also discolour. Turning your inventory over more frequently reduces the likelihood of it spoiling. Most shampoos that contain a good active preservative, have a shelf life of 12-24 months.

So, what are the best dog grooming shampoos?

Clipit Curls Dog Shampoo

Doodles and poodle cross breeds are everywhere. Based on a recent survey 47% of groomers see poodle crossbreeds as their most popular breed of dog that comes into their salon. That is a huge amount, so we have developed the Curls dog shampoo to ensure those challenging coats become much more manageable, allowing you to create a stunning grooming finish.

The Clipit Curls shampoo ensures unruly coats are cleaned and conditioned, helping to avoid tangles. Naturally derived and pH balanced for canine skin, this shampoo is gentle and allergy resistant. It is available in a 5 Litre professional size.

Clipit De-Shed Dog Shampoo

De-shedding a dog is part of the process in releasing dead undercoat. The hair cycle is influenced by the seasons, and when it's de-shedding time, a groomer needs all the help they can get. Containing argan oil, aloe and wheat protein, both natural conditioners, the Clipit De-Shedding shampoo adds oil to the shaft of the hair, helping to release the dead coat and shredding skin. Dirt, dead cells and dry sebum tend to hold the dead hair tight to the skin, so working with a product that offers conditioning this will allow you to work smarter than harder.

Available in 5 Litres, this shampoo, with the others in the range are all diluted at 25-1. Using a product such as the Clipit De-Shed Shampoo it will also reduce the amount of hair that will need groom out when dry.

Clipit Relax Shampoo

This shampoo is bursting with naturally derived ingredients, that are high in antioxidants, rich in Vitamin C to help boost the coats natural defence. This gentle, nutrient rich shampoo does not strip the natural oil from the sebum layer. As a groomer, it is imperative you use shampoos that are not harsh and be mindful that you are caring for the hair as well as the skin.

With essences of pear and freesia refracta, this specially developed shampoo has many uses. Freesia is widely known for its use in aromatherapy as a means for stress release. So next time you have a dog that gets agitated when it comes to bath time, use Clipit's De-Shed Shampoo. It's great for everyday use, plus its leaves the coat and skin feeling cleansed and nourished. Remember a healthy sebum is the secret to healthy skin.

Clipit Dettox Dog Shampoo

Over time a dog's coat can start to feel chalky, where grease from the sabaceous gland has guilt up. When this happens, you need to reach for a shampoo that can break down and neutralise shine-compromising hard water. Just like 'descaling" the coat, this Clipit Dettox dog shampoo has a cleansing formula that leaves the coat squeaky clean.

With a calming harmony of Lavender and Mint, this product envelops your headspace with a heavenly perfume to keep your client happy while lifting your spirits at the bath.

A gentle shampoo for removing grease build-up
Clipit Dettox Dog Shampoo

Certain breeds tend to suffer with a greasy coat more than others. With grease, comes an odour which is produced by the sabaceous gland secreting excess sebum, that can lead the skin becoming sore, itchy, red and smelly. This skin disorder is known as Seborrhea and it can be found in certain areas of the dog's body to include:

  • Along the back,

  • Behind the armpits,

  • Behind the ears,

  • In the folds of skin.

If dogs experience this condition, it is best to look at their diet, give them a dietary supplement to include Omega fatty acids, bath them in a gentle shampoo and if severe, take the dog for veterinary advice.

Summing Up

To get the best results for bathing dogs, always use a good quality dog shampoo, rinse well, rinse well, rinse well.

We would love to hear your comments about this post.

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