Are you feeling a little hairied in your search for the best dog shampoo for your Goldendoodle? Wondering which shampoo is best for your Doodle dog?
Then we’re happy you found our pack. The Goldendoodle dogs and I hope we can help you out!
At HappyGoDoodle® our mission is to help more Doodle dogs and their parents live the most joyful life together. And that includes happier, stress-free bath time routines!
As a Goldendoodle mom with 10+ years of DIY Doodle grooming experience and as a research hound, I’m always hunting down better, easier solutions. And, most importantly, I’m constantly searching for ways to give Doodle dogs the best life possible.
Needless to say, with two Goldendoodles in our pack—a 10-year-old F1B Goldendoodle and an F1 Goldendoodle puppy—there are a lot of baths in our household. Yes, you could say you’ll catch me at the spa on the weekends. No, not at a human spa, but our DIY dog “paw spa” (a.k.a. our guest bath 😉).
By the end of this article, you’ll have our personal bath time picks for our Goldendoodle dogs.
Note: Happy-Go-Doodle is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Short on time? Here’s the spoiler alert:
For our adult Goldendoodles, we use Chris Christensen Ice on Ice shampoo. It has been our go-to dog shampoo for the last several years. Why? It came down to two factors: 1) softness 2) tangles. For those Goldendoodle puppy days? We use Wahl Puppy shampoo for its gentle formula.
Now for the nitty-gritty.
Why these dog shampoos are “our answer”
If you’re the parent of a Goldendoodle, you already know that they are adventurous souls who love a good romp in the yard, game of fetch, swim, or even rolling in stinky stuff.
Over the years, we’ve tried a few different brands of shampoos. But a few years ago, we found our answer.
You may have noticed I said, “our answer.”
That’s because, after doing some homework, we believe there is not one all-encompassing “best” shampoo for all Goldendoodles.
Why? Because, as you know, all Goldendoodles are not alike. And neither are their coats.
Some are curly. Some are wavy.
Some have course hair. Some have fine hair.
Each Goldendoodle may need a type of shampoo more tailored to his or her specific needs. That said, there are some common qualities you can look for that may help you find the best choice for your dog. Next, let’s look at the basics on dog shampoos.
What to look for in a dog shampoo
In considering different dog shampoo for our puppers, we found these characteristics to be important:
- A gentle shampoo that will remove dirt and not strip natural oils or dry the skin
- A shampoo that doesn’t expose our dog or us humans to toxic compounds
- A shampoo created by a company that’s reputable. Since US manufacturers are not required to list the ingredients on dog shampoo labels, a company that’s well thought of by groomers and pet parents was important to us
- USA-based company
Ingredients you may want to avoid
Now that you have an idea of what to look for in a dog shampoo, let’s get a handle on what you may want to avoid. As you’re doing your research for what’s best for your Goldendoodledog, check the shampoo ingredient list.
According to PreventiveVet.com, you should look for non-irritating ingredients and the shampoo should not include, “fragrances, dyes, formaldehyde, alcohol, mineral oil, phthalates, parabens, sodium lauryl, and polysorbates.” (Note: Fragrances are hard to avoid.)
Types of dog shampoo
Next, there are many different types of dog shampoos. They can be broken down into the following categories:
- All natural
- Best for tangles
- Puppy shampoo
- Sensitive skin
As you can see, there are a lot of choices and it can be somewhat overwhelming to determine the type that’s best for your dog.
If you have any questions, your veterinarian is always your best source of information for your individual dog’s needs.
Also, if you’re specifically searching for information about shampoo therapies for itch relief, this article from Veterinary Partner, Itch Relief for Dogs and Cats, offers in-depth information.
Furthermore, there is one type of shampoo that you’ll notice is not included on the list above—human shampoo. Let’s see why.
Can you use human shampoo on your dog?
If you’re about to reach for your own bottle of human shampoo and suds up your Goldendoodle, you may want to think again.
According to my research, there are several reasons why dog shampoo is best for dogs and human shampoo is best left for the humans.
Without getting into too much detail, human skin and dog skin don’t have much in common. Dogs have different pH balances and fewer layers of skin cells. (Humans = 10-15 skin cell layers. Dogs = 3-5 layers.) So dogs have more sensitive skin than humans.
That means human shampoo is a no-go for dogs.
I checked out several sources to confirm this. Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t share your human shampoo with your dog.
Reasons to avoid using human shampoos on dogs
- According to PreventiveVet.com, “The pH is more acidic, which can be irritating to a healthy pets’ skin which tends toward a more neutral pH. Additionally, with continued use, it (human shampoo) can alter your pet’s skin pH balance making their skin prone to drying and flaking.”
- According to PetMD.com, “…if a shampoo that is formulated for human skin is used on a dog, the dog’s acid mantle will be disrupted, creating an environment where bacteria, parasites, and viruses can run rampant. Unknowingly, many pet owners will repeat washings of their dogs because of the smell caused by a proliferation of bacteria, making the problem worse as the skin’s acid mantle/pH level becomes more imbalanced.”
- And this, according to PreventiveVet.com, “…they (human shampoos) can be very irritating to the pets’ eyes and cause corneal irritation.”
We humans can share everything with our dogs—from the pillow where we lay our heads at night to our backyards where we play fetch together—but human shampoo needs to stay on our own heads.
How I found the best shampoo for our Goldendoodle pack
While attending the Westminster dog show, I stopped at the Chris Christensen booth. This brand had been on my radar and seeing it used widely among breeds during the competitions reassured me that it was a quality product.
So I also checked in with Goldendoodle grooming Facebook communities.
Many DIY Goldendoodle moms like me and even groomers were recommending Chris Christensen products. Like many brands, Chris Christensen offers a variety of products with different features.
After some research, I landed on Ice on Ice for its detangling properties. I’ve been using it for the last few years now when bathing our Goldendoodle.
The reason it’s a winner for me? I can’t get over how soft my Goldendoodle’s coat is after a bath. And it makes combing through my Goldendoodle’s coat easier and smoother.
Initially, I questioned the price. Would it be worth it?
However, if I was going to groom and bathe my Goldendoodles myself, I decided I needed the best tools for the job. And my Goldendoodles deserved to feel like it was a day at the spa.
(For dog bathing tips, check out my article, How To Bathe a Goldendoodle.)
- Helps smooth out tangles and knots
- Makes the comb go through the coat smoother and easier
- Made in the USA
- Bonus: Includes sunscreen
- Coat feels ultra-soft
- Sticker shock
- Ingredients aren’t listed on the label, but you can got to their website to find them
Putting it all together
Like you, when snuggling up with our pups, I want our family’s Goldendoodles to be comfortable, mat-free, and have a healthy coat that feels soft. Here are my fave four products for our pack.
Goldendoodle puppy shampoo
If you have a Goldendoodle puppy, there are shampoo formulations made specifically for puppies.
For both of our Goldendoodles, we started with Wahl Puppy shampoo for the first year. This is our fave shampoo for puppy days.
- Ph balanced, alcohol-free, paraben-free
- Gentle formula designed specifically for puppies
- Widely available at big box stores like Target and on Amazon
- Plant-based ingredients
- Concentrated—a little goes a long way
- Tear-free formula
- It’s easy to miss that this shampoo is a concentrate. If you want to get the most uses out of the bottle, remember to dilute a small amount of shampoo with water.
Thanks for stopping by our little corner of the world called HappyGoDoodle.com. We hope that you’ve discovered some helpful tips for choosing the best shampoo for your Doodle dog.
Doodle kisses and tail wags!