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11 Best Cruelty-Free Dog Shampoos

Written by: Arlene Divina
Arlene Divina, one of the content writers at IHD, loves going on adventures with her adorable fur baby. She now creates informative content for pet parents. Read more
| Published on January 12, 2024
iHeartDogs is reader-supported. Some of the links below may be paid affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on a product at no additional cost to you. 

Since dog parents often love animals of all species, many seek out cruelty-free pet products, such as shampoo. It’s good to have products that help your own pets while also preventing harm on other animals. “Cruelty-free” refers to any products that don’t experiment on animals, which is important because those practices cause a lot of pain and suffering to harmless animals. Since there are ways to produce safe products without animal testing, more and more companies are starting to turn to cruelty-free methods. However, even with this knowledge, some popular brands still test on animals. So, keep reading to find out which dog shampoos are cruelty-free so you can feel good about the products you use.

Happy dog in bubble bath

How Can I Know if My Pet Shampoo is Cruelty Free?

Look for Certifications

There are several organizations that certify products as cruelty-free. Labels to look for include the Leaping Bunny logo, PETA’s “Cruelty-Free” bunny logo, or Choose Cruelty Free’s rabbit logo. If you spot these on the packaging, it’s a good indication the product wasn’t tested on animals.

Check the Product Label

Many cruelty-free products will state “Not Tested on Animals” or “Cruelty-Free” directly on the label. However, note that these claims aren’t always regulated, so it’s a good starting point but not definitive proof.

Visit the Company’s Website

Many brands committed to cruelty-free practices will make this a prominent aspect of their brand philosophy, discussing it on their website. Check their “About Us” or “Our Commitment” sections.

Research Online Databases

Websites like Leaping Bunny and PETA have directories of companies and products that are certified cruelty-free. You can search for your specific shampoo brand to see if it’s listed.

Contact the Company Directly

If you’re uncertain or want more detailed information, don’t hesitate to reach out to the company directly. Ask them about their animal testing policies, and if they can guarantee that none of their ingredients or final products are tested on animals.

Read Ingredient Lists

Some ingredients commonly found in shampoos, like keratin (often derived from animals), might indicate animal involvement. While this doesn’t directly pertain to animal testing, it’s something to be aware of if you’re looking for completely animal-free products.

Be Aware of Global Policies

Remember, while a brand might not test on animals in one country, they might sell in another country (like China) where animal testing is mandatory for foreign cosmetics. In such cases, the brand can’t be considered wholly cruelty-free.

Stay Updated

The list of cruelty-free brands can change as companies evolve their policies or get acquired by larger corporations. Regularly checking updated lists or revisiting company websites can ensure you remain informed.

Best Cruelty-Free Dog Shampoos

PetHonesty Allergy Anti-Itch Shampoo
  • Soothes itchy skin and helps coats shine
  • Vet-recommended
  • Includes natural ingredients like coconut oil and jojoba oil
  • Has a coconut-lime verbena scent

Not only is PetHonesty’s shampoo cruelty-free, but this product is a special type of dog shampoo that can relieve itchiness. It’s a vet-recommended option for helping soothe sensitive skin. It can also help give your pup a shinier coat. To ensure it’s safe for pets, this formula uses natural ingredients like coconut oil, jojoba oil, and oatmeal extract. After using it, your pup’s coat will have a pleasant coconut-lime verbena scent. With this unique shampoo, your dog’s coat will be cleansed, moisturized, and deodorized.

Burt's Bees for Pets Oatmeal Dog Shampoo
  • Cleans, softens, and conditions your dog's coat
  • Includes colloidal oatmeal, honey, and beeswax
  • Good for dogs with sensitive skin
  • Safe for dogs and puppies

Burt’s Bees for Pets Oatmeal Dog Shampoo is a popular pet grooming brand in the USA. It’s designed to soothe, soften, and condition a dog’s dry skin and coat using high-quality ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, honey, and beeswax. This tearless shampoo is safe and gentle for all dogs and puppies, as it is free of fragrances, sulfates, colorants, and harsh chemicals. To use, simply wet the dog, apply the shampoo from the back of the ears to the tail, avoid the eyes, lather, and rinse.

earthbath Sweet Orange Dirty Dog Shampoo
  • Degreases and removes stains
  • Made with coconut-based cleanser, aloe vera, and sweet orange
  • Free from sulfates, parabens, and dyes
  • Good for dogs with sensitive skin

Earthbath Sweet Orange Dirty Dog Shampoo is a cruelty-free dog shampoo and conditioner that’s made in the USA. The shampoo is designed to clean and deodorize your dog’s coat safely and thoroughly, leaving it shiny, soft, and smelling like orange. The formula is made with natural and organic ingredients, including renewable plant-derived and coconut-based cleansers, organic aloe vera, and sweet orange to help neutralize odors. Earthbath products are free of toxins, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, phosphates, dyes, and soaps. They offer a happiness guarantee and have been cruelty-free since 1995.

TropiClean 2-in-1 Papaya & Coconut Dog Shampoo
  • 2-in-1 dog shampoo and conditioner
  • Gentle papaya and coconut scent
  • Controls odor while moisturizing the skin and coat
  • Uses natural ingredients while avoiding dyes and parabens

TropiClean’s products are cruelty-free with pleasant scents. The pictured product is a coconut and papaya shampoo that also includes conditioner. However, there are lots of other shampoos to choose from, such as aloe and coconut or berry and coconut. Some TropiClean shampoos tackle specific issues like itch relief or flea & tick relief. This brand’s shampoo products leave dogs with silky coats and soft skin. They’re derived from natural ingredients without the use of parabens or dyes, making them safe for a variety of dog breeds.

Pet Pleasant Dog Shampoo and Dog Deodorizing Spray
  • Pack includes dog shampoo and deodorizing spray
  • Both have a light lavender scent
  • Hydrates skin and keeps fur shiny
  • Safe for all ages and breeds

This product is a set of dog grooming supplies that includes a dog shampoo and a dog deodorizing spray. The shampoo is made with oatmeal and lavender, designed to moisturize dry skin and neutralize odors. The deodorizing spray is lightly scented and can be used between baths to freshen up the dog’s coat. The product is also marketed as cruelty-free and vegan, with a focus on using natural oils for nourishing the fur.

earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog Shampoo
  • Helps soothe dry, itchy, and flaky skin
  • Made with colloidal oatmeal and aloe vera
  • Keeps coat clean and shiny
  • Avoids using parabens, synthetic dyes, and sulfates

The earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog Shampoo is a fragrance-free shampoo designed to address dry, itchy, and flaky skin in dogs. Recommended by veterinarians, it contains colloidal oatmeal and organic aloe vera to combat skin irritations and re-moisturize sensitive skin. This soap-free and pH-balanced shampoo cleans and deodorizes while leaving the pet’s coat and skin soft and clean. It’s safe for all animals over 6 weeks old and does not contain any harmful ingredients such as soap, gluten, DEA, parabens, synthetic dyes, sulfates, or phthalates. Additionally, the product is cruelty-free and comes with a 100% money-back guarantee.

Zogics Pet No Rinse Waterless Shampoo
  • Waterless shampoo (no rinse required)
  • Lightly scented with vanilla and almond
  • Good for dogs with sensitive skin
  • Includes organic ingredients like Moroccan argan oil and oatmeal

Zogics Pet No-Rinse Waterless Shampoo is a foaming cleanser designed to freshen up dogs between baths. It has a pleasant scent and does not require any water or rinsing, making it convenient for quick clean-ups. The shampoo is hypoallergenic and made with organic ingredients, including oatmeal, aloe vera, and argan oil, to nourish and soothe sensitive skin.

LunaMarie Avocado Mint Pet Shampoo
  • Moisturizes and soothes your dog's skin and coat
  • Eliminates bad odors and detangles
  • Has a pleasant avocado mint scent
  • Formulated for dogs and cats

The LunaMarie Avocado Mint Pet Shampoo is a cruelty-free and vegan pet shampoo designed to moisturize and soothe your pet’s skin while effectively cleaning their coat. It’s made with gentle natural ingredients and has a pleasant avocado scent that can help calm anxious pets and promote relaxation. Suitable for both dogs and cats of all breeds, sizes, and ages, this shampoo leaves your pets clean and with a healthy and lustrous coat. It’s easy to apply and safe for your furry friend.

ATTITUDE Natural Soothing Shampoo for Cat & Dog
  • Made for dogs and cats with long coats
  • Biodegradable and hypoallergenic
  • Made from renewable raw materials like coconut oil
  • Good for dogs with sensitive skin

The ATTITUDE Natural Soothing Shampoo for Cat & Dog is a hypoallergenic and vegan shampoo made with oats and glycerin. It has been dermatologically tested and certified by PETA as a cruelty-free product. The surfactants used in this shampoo are biodegradable and made from renewable raw materials like coconut oil. ATTITUDE is a Canadian brand focused on creating clean and sustainable products for both consumers and the environment.

Bark 2 Basics Wild Berry Dog Shampoo
  • Crafted with an herbal blend
  • Nourishes and conditions the skin and coat
  • Has a gentle wild berry scent
  • Used by grooming professionals

The Bark 2 Basics Wild Berry Dog Shampoo is a 1-gallon bottle of shampoo that’s made with a unique herbal blend. Plus, it can be diluted to make 16 gallons of shampoo. It gently cleans the dog’s coat while delivering nutrients and moisture to the skin and coat. The shampoo is crafted with natural ingredients that soothe the skin and eliminate odors. This product is used by grooming professionals and is made in the USA with high-quality, naturally derived ingredients. It’s cruelty-free, soap-free, and biodegradable.

Burt's Bees for Pets Natural Hydrating Shampoo With Coconut Oil
  • Hydrates your dog's skin and coat
  • Uses natural ingredients like coconut oil
  • Good for dogs with sensitive skin
  • Safe for puppies and adult dogs

Burt’s Bees for Pets Care Plus+ Natural Hydrating Shampoo is a popular pet grooming product that’s highly regarded by pet parents in the USA. It effectively moisturizes dry dog coats, leaving them soft and silky. The shampoo is made with natural ingredients, including coconut oil, which provides much-needed moisture. It’s suitable for all dogs but especially beneficial for those with dry and itchy skin. The formula is safe and gentle, pH balanced for dogs, and free of colorants, sulfates, and added fragrances.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cruelty-Free Pet Shampoos

What does “cruelty-free” mean in terms of pet shampoos?

Cruelty-free refers to products, in this case, pet shampoos, that haven’t been tested on animals at any stage of production. This ensures that no animals were harmed or subjected to potentially painful tests for the sake of the product.

Are cruelty-free shampoos also vegan?

Not necessarily. While cruelty-free ensures no animal testing, vegan guarantees the absence of animal-derived ingredients. It’s possible for a shampoo to be cruelty-free but still contain animal by-products, so check labels carefully if you seek both attributes.

Why should I choose a cruelty-free shampoo for my pet?

Choosing a cruelty-free shampoo aligns with ethical consumerism, ensuring no animals were harmed for the product’s testing. It also often indicates a brand’s commitment to natural and gentle ingredients, which can be beneficial for your pet’s skin and coat.

Are cruelty-free pet shampoos more expensive than regular shampoos?

Not always. While some cruelty-free shampoos might have a higher price point due to quality ingredients and ethical branding, there are many affordable options available, ensuring you can make ethical choices regardless of your budget.

How can I verify a brand’s cruelty-free claim?

Check for recognized certifications, like the Leaping Bunny or PETA’s logo, on the product. Alternatively, consult online databases of these organizations, or contact the company directly for a clear understanding of their animal testing policies.

Do cruelty-free shampoos have a shorter shelf life due to natural ingredients?

While many cruelty-free shampoos emphasize natural ingredients, their shelf life isn’t necessarily shorter. Many contain natural preservatives or have formulations ensuring the product remains effective for a typical duration.

Can I trust all labels that claim “not tested on animals”?

While many brands are genuine, the term “not tested on animals” isn’t always regulated. It’s wise to look for third-party certifications, consult reputable cruelty-free directories, or directly contact the brand for clarity.

Are cruelty-free shampoos effective against fleas and ticks?

The efficacy against fleas and ticks depends on the ingredients, not necessarily the cruelty-free status. Some cruelty-free shampoos might offer this protection, so check the product description or consult the brand.

Are there any downsides to using cruelty-free pet shampoos?

Generally, no. However, as with any product, individual pets might have reactions to specific ingredients. It’s always wise to monitor your pet after introducing any new grooming product.

How can I encourage more brands to go cruelty-free?

By supporting and purchasing from cruelty-free brands, you’re voting with your wallet. Additionally, spreading awareness, leaving positive reviews for products you love, or even directly writing to companies can encourage a shift towards more ethical practices.

Lab in bathtub

Conclusion: Best Cruelty-Free Dog Shampoos

In wrapping up our exploration of the best cruelty-free dog shampoos, it becomes clear that compassion and quality can coexist harmoniously in pet care. By choosing these products, not only are we offering our dogs the best in skincare, but we’re also taking a stand against animal testing and advocating for a kinder world. With each lather and rinse, we’re making an informed choice that reflects love for our pets and respect for all living beings.

iHeartDogs is reader-supported. Some of the links below may be paid affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on a product at no additional cost to you. 

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