Skip to content

7 Water Free Dog Shampoos – Guide to Waterless Wash for Dogs

Written by Viena
Viena is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Published on
Sunday 16 August 2020
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
water free dog shampoos
This page may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links.

Not all dogs enjoy taking a bath. And, if your dog is one of them, you don’t need to worry. Accordingly, water-free dog shampoos are the answer to your problem.

Dog parents who are having a hard time bathing their pets will find this shampoo very convenient. Especially if your puppy just needs a quick touch-up in between baths. However, with the many products available, you need to choose the best waterless dog shampoo suited for your pup.

What are Water Free Dog Shampoos?

Just like humans, your dog needs natural oils for the skin to stay healthy and hydrated. However, there are certain areas on a dog that produce more sebum than necessary. Typically, these parts are under your pup’s chin, at the back of the neck, around the paws, and tail.

Excessive sebum can cause dull and greasy fur, which consequently absorbs dust and dirt more easily. And, here is where the waterless dog shampoo comes in to play. Accordingly, it helps absorb extra oil from your dog’s skin and fur. Plus, this dog water-free shampoo can restore the shine and softness of the coat while giving a fresh, clean scent. These shampoos typically contain starch powders or clays to absorb the oils. Meanwhile, the pleasant scent usually comes from essential oils and natural or artificial fragrances. But, you do not want to use a waterless foam shampoo for dogs too much. Besides, it can interrupt the natural pH balance on your dog’s skin.

If this happens, your pet’s skin can become dry, flaky, and vulnerable to bacteria and germs. Also, these things can eventually lead to hair loss. Remember that the right amount of natural oils is essential for your dog to stay healthy. Therefore, you must use vet-recommended waterless shampoos with caution by following the product’s specific instructions.

water free dog shampoo
Water-free shampoos are great for dogs who hate bath time.

Types of Water Free Dog Shampoos?

Dry shampoos come in various forms. But all types of vet-recommended water-less shampoos need to be appropriately applied to the dog’s coat. Subsequently, massaging the product into the skin and brushing or wiping off residue are also necessary. Which type to use will largely depend on your fur baby. Let’s look more closely at these different types of water-free shampoos.


If you find your dog stinking without being dirty, then a dog powder is the perfect thing for you. And, if you are not keen on bathing your pet, this dry shampoo can help with the smell. Simply put, you can use a powder by distributing it directly on your dog’s coat. Then, thoroughly rub it in since you want it to get through the fur and onto the skin. Let the powder sit for about two to five minutes, depending on how bad your dog smells. Finally, don’t forget to brush the product out of its coat.

But, there’s a catch. Unfortunately, powder causes the whitening of your pup’s fur. However, you can minimize this by thoroughly brushing the coat to eliminate excess powder and dirt. And, to ensure that there is nothing left, you can run your hand through the fur. Do this in the direction opposite the growth. If you can still feel some grainy objects, brush your dog some more. Do this until there is no more gritty feeling when you touch your pet’s coat.


It is a common type of dry shampoo that is typically used by pet owners due to its ease of use. Further, a spray shampoo also ensures a more even distribution of product on your pup’s coat. Accordingly, this type of shampoo comes in a spray bottle. So, you just have to spray the content on your pet. Then, you can either use your hand or a comb to massage the liquid it into the fur. Sometimes, you might need to wipe the excess liquid with a clean cloth.

However, some dogs get irritated when you spray something on them. Nevertheless, there are some spray bottles with a silent nozzle to solve this problem. But, it is still most prudent to determine whether your pet is okay with a spray bottle before using one.


This type of waterless shampoo comes in a foaming pump. Similarly, it’s a convenient solution that enables you to spot clean your pet anytime, anywhere, even without water. Likewise, you simply apply the foam onto your dog and lather it from head to tail. Lastly, use a clean towel to dry the coat and brush out any excess foam.

You and your dog may find using a foam shampoo agreeable because it is easy to lather on to the coat. Yet, foam shampoos can contain scent, which may be irritating to dogs’ strong sense of smell. So, try to look for foaming shampoos that have a natural scent to make your dog more comfortable.


An alternative dry shampoo you can use is in the form of a gel. You can use this product much the same way as you would use a styling gel for your hair. Correspondingly, you put the shampoo in your hand or directly on your dog. Then, using your hands, massage the gel to distribute the gel throughout the fur evenly.

A waterless gel shampoo has the same functionality and effectivity as a spray. Thus, choosing which type to use will primarily depend on the convenience and comfort it brings to you and your pet.

7 Best Water Free Dog Shampoos

Looking for a dry shampoo that will suit the needs of your pet should not be complicated. Hence, here is the list of the best dry shampoos for dogs with sensitive skin and other skin types.

1. Burt’s Bees All Natural Waterless Shampoo Spray for Dog

This waterless shampoo with all-natural ingredients is so mild that you can use it regularly on all dogs and puppies. Burt’s Bees made it even more convenient by putting it in a bottle spray. Just pray it on your pet from the back of its ears down to the tail and let it dry. And, your furball is all ready to cuddle and play.

The waterless shampoo spray from Burt’s Bees efficiently cleans, soothes, and softens the dry skin of your pup. It also conditions the coat to bring back its shine. The dry shampoo contains skin-nourishing apple and shine-boosting honey. Further, it does not have any fragrance, sulfates, colorants, or harsh chemicals. Thus, you are sure that this dry shampoo for dogs with dry skin is safe.

Some pet owners might not like that this dry shampoo does not have any scent at all. However, pets commonly get easily irritated by strong smells. Hence, you can be sure that this scentless product is gentle to your dog.

2. Douxo (Sogeval) Chlorhexidine Shampoo for Dogs & Cats

This product contains chlorhexidine making at an effective antiseptic solution to fight skin irritation. If your pet has any skin disease related to pyoderma, then this dry shampoo is perfect for your pup. It also has Lipacide that helps keep moisture when completely lathered on your pet’s coat.

The Douxo shampoo controls bacteria and fungi from growing and infesting your dog. It also helps manage skin conditions like seborrhea and inflammation with its antiseptic lathering solution. Thus, regular use of this shampoo can eliminate dog itching.

Just a precaution, ensure that your pet will not ingest this product to avoid getting poisoned. Therefore, it is necessary to let the shampoo completely dry before letting your dog be on its own.

douxo dog shampoo
Make sure the dog shampoo is completely dry.

3. Fresh ‘n Clean Scented Shampoo

If you are looking for water-free dog shampoos that can remove mats and tangles, then Fresh ‘n Clean is an answer. It contains antistatic agents that help coats become more manageable. So if your pet has long fur, this dry shampoo will make your job a lot easier. Further, it leaves a long-lasting scent that keeps your dog fresh for up to two weeks.

Also, this product uses soap-free and natural plant-based cleansing agents. Therefore, cleansing your pet’s fur gently while keeping the skin protected from fleas and ticks. Further, it has aloe and vitamin E that soothes and moisturizes your fur ball’s coat.

Some users found it too foamy if used directly on pets. You can solve this by diluting the shampoo in a little amount of water before putting it onto your dog’s coat.

4. Vet’s Best Waterless Dog Bath

One of the best waterless shampoos for dry skin, this product contains aloe Vera, micronized oatmeal, and neem oil. All of these ingredients moisturize and soothe your dog’s skin. It also has a calming fragrance that keeps your dog relaxed during the whole process.

This shampoo can also provide relief from existing hot spots, itching, and irritation. Its fast-acting formula is alcohol-free; thus, it gives a no-sting feeling on your fur baby. It’s effortless and quick to apply even without water for wetting or rinsing.

However, Vet’s Best is not recommended for fur babies younger than 12 weeks and nursing or pregnant dogs. What you can do is use an alternative mild shampoo for them instead.

5. Espree Dog Shampoo

No products found.

Are you looking for an all-natural way to care for your dog’s coat? Then choose Espree dog shampoo that contains tea tree and aloe extracts. It is a natural solution to treat dry and irritated skin. It also contains coconut oil, salicylic acid, avocado oil, and shea butter. These ingredients heal and provide relief on dry and itchy skin.

Espree dog shampoo helps relieve fleabite dermatitis, hot spots, clipper burn, and hair loss. It also has an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and pH-balanced formula to protect your pup from skin irritations. Moreover, it is pesticide-free, thus safe for regular use.

But, never use this shampoo to puppies less than six weeks old. And, always use this product according to the label to avoid unnecessary incidents.

6. Vetoquinol Aloe & Oatmeal Shampoo

The Aloe & Oatmeal Shampoo works perfectly for all breeds of dogs. It thoroughly cleans and moisturizes without taking away the natural oils on your pet’s coat. This rich lather shampoo helps address dry and itchy skin while gently cleansing it. You are ensured that this mild shampoo is safe for your pup since it contains no soap, paraben, and silicone.

Moreover, this dry shampoo contains vitamins C and A, antioxidants, and enzymes that are known to be highly anti-inflammatory. Further, it has a delicate coconut scent that can keep your pets smelling fresh and clean after every wash. You can also pair it with the no-rinse Vetoquinol Aloe & Oatmeal Conditioner for maximum results.

However, this shampoo can never be used for cats. This product may have some ingredients that can be sensitive to felines.

7. Tropiclean Oxy-Med Oatmeal Shampoo

For fast-acting allergy relief, try Oxy-Med anti-itch medicated oatmeal shampoo. It quickly soothes itchy, inflamed, and irritated skin. It contains Alpha Hydroxy, Beta Hydroxy, and tea tree oil to exfoliate and clean the without drying. This dry shampoo is a safe solution that is soap-free, paraben-free, and dye-free. It has natural salicylic acid that helps eliminate flaking and scaling due to seborrhea.

This gentle cleanser provides a luxurious lather that consequently results in a fresh and unmistakably clean pet. It also has a deodorizing formula that is safe for regular use. This product is infused with vitamin E that helps reduce swelling and redness of your pup’s skin.

The TropiClean Oxy-Med oatmeal shampoo is not tear-free, thus can cause eye irritation. Therefore, make sure that the lather will not get into contact with your pet’s eyes to prevent irritation.

waterless shampoo for dogs
It is still important to give your dog a a regular bath.

Water Free Dog Shampoos – FAQs

Always remember to read the user guide that comes along with the water-less dog shampoo before using it. It ensures that you will be using only the appropriate product for your fur baby. Similarly, here are some of the answers to the questions you might have about dry shampoos.

Is There a Waterless Shampoo for Dogs?

There are many waterless shampoos for dogs. Waterless shampoo is a product that does not need your dog to get wet when you apply it. Further, this type of shampoo does not require any rinsing. Using a waterless shampoo for dogs is just like using dry shampoo for humans. Therefore, you just need to directly put, lather, massage, and leave it on to your pup’s fur. Consequently, these shampoos keep your puppy clean and odor-free until you have the opportunity to bathe your pet.

However, keep in mind these water-less products cannot completely replace the conventional dog shampoos and bathing. Giving your pets a bath using clean water and the proper dog shampoo is still a must.

Are No-Rinse Shampoo Safe for Dogs?

Just like any dog product, waterless shampoos are safe for dogs, for as long as you use them properly. However, the safety of dry shampoos will depend on the ingredients and how your dog reacts to these elements.

Just remember, using only dry shampoos without giving your dog a proper bath may result in skin breakouts and sores. Thus, it is also crucial that you let the product completely dries out. It will avoid the accidental ingestion of chemicals if your pup decides to lick its fur after a dry bath.

Lastly, it is wise to consult with your vet before using any dry shampoo product. Specialists can advise you the suitable products for your pet. In general, try to avoid dog shampoos that contain harmful ingredients like any of the following:

  • Artificial fragrances and dyes
  • Ammonium laureth sulfate
  • Cocamidopropyl betaine
  • Cocamide monoethanolamine
  • Formaldehyde preservatives
  • Isothiazolinone preservatives
  • Isopropyl or SD-40 alcohol
  • Polyethylene glycol (PEG), propylene glycol, or polysorbates,
  • Phthalates, or parabens
  • Sodium benzoate preservative
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
  • Triethanolamine (TEA)

How do you Make Waterless Shampoo for Dogs?

All you need are cornstarch, baking soda, and a clean container. Further, you may add essential oils that can fight against bacteria, fungi, and flea, while making your dog comfortable.

Do-It-Yourself shampoos for dogs are cost-effective. Plus, it is a safe way to ensure that the product you will use does not contain harmful ingredients. You can even tailor the shampoo according to the requirements and wants of your pet.

What is the Best Dry Dog Shampoo?

Choosing the best waterless shampoo primarily depends on your pet. Relatedly, each dog will have a different reaction to each type of product. However, the following are the common factors that pet owners need to consider to find the perfect dog shampoo:

Suitable for Specific Skin Type

Pay attention to the ingredients of the dry shampoo you choose to prevent skin irritation. Always check the packaging for any indications. Also, the package typically tells you for what skin type it is suitable for use. So, it is best that you also know the skin type of your pet, whether it’s sensitive or dry.

Mild Formula

If you are going to use waterless dog shampoos regularly, it would be wise to get one with a mild formula. Doing so will prevent the thinning out of your pup’s coat. Likewise, get a hypoallergenic one if you can.

Moreover, it is best if you can obtain a shampoo that will maintain your dog’s pH level as necessary. Finally, if you are getting a dry shampoo, you might as well choose one that has coconut or Aloe Vera. These ingredients will condition and nourish your dog’s skin.


There are dry shampoos that can kill odor-causing bacteria. Getting one of these can help you get rid of your dog’s foul smell. And, it will keep your fur baby smelling fresh in between baths or grooming. Also, you might want to use a shampoo that leaves a pleasant smell. But, make sure that the scent is not overpowering that can make your pup irritated.

When it comes to dog water-free shampoos, it is still best to consult with your veterinarian. Also, be mindful of the chemical ingredients of any product before buying. Finally, no-rinse dog shampoos should not replace the much-needed regular shower and bath of your fur baby.

vet approved waterless shampoo
Consult with a vet to find the best waterless shampoo for your dog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *