4 Best Odor Control Shampoos For Pets in 2021

Nature’s Miracle Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs

Four Paws Odor Shampoo

Isle of Dogs Everyday Deep Cleaning Shampoo

Best Odor Control Dog Shampoos Review

Dogs are one of the most loyal and adorable animals that most humans like to keep as pets, but even the biggest dog lover knows that these furry cuties aren’t fun to cuddle or play with once they start to smell. Dogs produce a unique natural smell that isn’t pleasant, and if a health problem doesn’t cause it, your dog won’t notice, but you will. Apart from that, dogs love to run around, which makes them dirtier, especially if they play outside. The main problem is that after giving them a bath, the smell doesn’t totally go away; they start smelling bad again in a few days.

However, odor eliminating shampoos can help deal with the smell problem but do not go overboard with too many baths or heavily scented shampoos or shampoos not meant for dogs as they could cause coat or skin issues. Also, dogs don’t like the same scent as we humans, so it would be unfair to subject your dog to a scent he doesn’t appreciate.

Occasional baths with an odor control shampoo will neutralize the worst dog smells without irritating their skin. In this article, we will discuss the best odor control shampoos, what causes dogs to smell bad, and the factors you should note before buying an odor control shampoo as you have to note your dog’s safety.


Before we begin discussing how odor control shampoos work or the factors to look out for in an odor control shampoo, let us first understand why dogs smell.

Why Do Dogs Have Strong Odor?

If you want to properly deal with your dog’s odor, you have to understand the cause of it. There are different reasons why your dog may smell, sometimes it depends on the breed, or it might be medical, while others are caused as a side effect of your dog’s activities. Your dog might smell because of excessive oil buildup, but the underlying reason could need your vet’s treatment. Your dog could also have a buildup of grime, dirt, and debris, or he could have rolled in something smelly.

Odor control shampoos are not suitable for dealing with medical conditions, as the bad smell might be a symptom of something greater. Failing to treat the issue could cause it to become worse. Also, your dog might have a wet dog smell probably because he has been swimming or under the rain; simply ensure that you dry him properly and make sure that he remains warm to fully dry as quickly as possible.

Below are the reasons that may cause your dog to smell bad.

Natural Oil Secretions

Dog do not sweat through their skin like humans. They cool themselves by panting and sweat through the pads on their paws. However, they produce oils on their skin for optimum coat and skin health. These oils, in turn, produce an odor, and depending on your dog’s breed, the smell will vary in strength.

Some breeds produce more oil than others. Breeds with thick double coats such as Labradors have coats designed to be water resistant and have insulating properties, so they tend to have strong odors.

Over bathing, your dogs will rid them of their essential oils, but occasionally bathing them will help reduce the excessive smells caused by the oils. Odor control shampoos also help to reduce oil buildup.

Played in Something Smelly

Lots of dogs enjoy rolling in the smelliest of things while on their walks. Sometimes you may find your dog trying to roll in mud or on a dead fish on the beach. They also enjoy rolling in smelly water. It’s been thought that rolling may be an instinctual behavior that lets dogs mask their scent, but it may also be linked to their social identification.

Getting rid of the smells isn’t easy, which is why an odor control shampoo is essential. For instance, dog poop can be strong, and it may require a specific shampoo designed to get rid of the odor. Also, know that dogs shouldn’t be shampooed more than every 3 to 4 weeks; if they are bathed more frequently, it may cause their skin to become dry.

Suppose your dog likes to roll in smelly things while on walks; you may need to work on controlling them better or take a different route. You could also keep them on a leash in areas that have smelling things for them to roll in.

If the rolling is on a specific patch of fur, you might want to use wipes or a dry dog shampoo. Non-rinse shampoos, also known as waterless shampoos, are not as effective at cleaning, but they are good at neutralizing dog odor.

Dirt Buildup

If it has been a while since your dog had a bath, or he enjoys jumping in mud and smelly ponds, then the dirt will start to gather on their coat. After a long time, the accumulated dirt on their fur provides the best breeding ground for bacteria, and this will cause your dog to smell bad.

Bathing your dog with an odor control shampoo removes the dirt, controls the bacterial growth, and gets rid of the foul odor.

Lack Of Care

If you don’t have time to properly take care of your dog, like bathing and grooming them, then they could develop a foul odor, especially if they are a long haired breed.

Health Issues

Sometimes, foul odor from your dog’s coat may be caused by a health condition. If your dog’s bad smell comes with other symptoms, or if it returns quickly even after having a bath, do not keep bathing your dog, hoping the smell goes away. Ensure you reach out to your vet to establish if there is an underlying health problem that requires treatment.

Some of the common health issues that may cause your dog to smell badly include;

  • Seborrhea: It is a relatively common health condition that causes new skin cells to proliferate or multiply at a faster rate than usual. It comes in a variety of oily and dry, which means it can cause greasy coats with a strong odor and sometimes dandruff. The treatment depends on what is causing the problem. In some cases, a specific anti-dandruff shampoo can help.
  • Poor Diet: Feeding your pet low-quality dog food means that your dog is not getting enough beneficial fatty acids and other nutrients that promote healthy skin, which can cause dry skin and a musty odor. Bathing your dog too often can also cause your dog’s skin to dry out more. If you aren’t sure of the nutritional quality of your dog’s food, you could speak to a Board Certified Vet Nutritionist.
  • Skin Yeast Infections: Fungal infections are quite common in dogs with allergies and are prone to oil buildup and certain breeds. Fungal infections usually create a sweet but unpleasant smell. Sometimes using an antifungal shampoo might help, but make sure you ask your vet first.
  • Food or Seasonal Allergies: If your dog is prone to skin problems due to allergies, it can lead to an odor problem. It is vital that you find out the root cause of the allergies; you and your vet would have to go through a process of exclusion to find the real issue. Dealing with an allergy may require you to change your pet’s diet or limit his exposure to environmental allergens.
  • Impacted Anal Sacs: If you find your dog licking their butt a lot or dragging it across the ground, it could mean that their anal glands have become blocked. It usually comes with an unpleasant fishy odor caused by secretions escaping from their rear end. To solve the issue, you can have your dog’s anal glands expressed and also changing their diet to a high fiber diet. If it becomes a recurring problem, ask your vet.
  • Ear Infections: Yeast and bacterial ear infections are a common source of bad odor in dogs. Breeds such as Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels that have long pendulous ears tend to have ear infections. They are also common among dogs that like swimming, especially if their ears are cleaned properly or dried afterward.
  • Poor Dental Health: If your dog has a buildup of plaque and tartar, it could lead to bad breath or gum disease. One of the most common dental issues in dogs that vets see regularly is periodontal, and it can cause infections, bone loss, and destruction of the tissues in the mouth. Helping your dog adopt healthy hygiene practices is the best way to prevent your dog from developing this disease. Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly is also important.


These days, there are numerous brands that make great shampoos for dogs. These shampoos help to eliminate odor while leaving your dog with a pleasant smell. Below are some points that will help you understand why these shampoos work so well at eliminating odor.

  • Odor control shampoos cleanse the skin and get rid of excess oil secretions that will cause your dog to develop a bad odor, they also get rid of the smell causing bacteria.
  • These shampoos come with creamy lather formula, making it easy for them to penetrate the pores, thus leading to effective cleaning.
  • Certain dog shampoos contain salicylic acid, which is known to be anti-seborrheic, so it is used to treat skin conditions caused by excess oil secretions. It also relieves itchy and scaly skin.
  • Apart from their cleaning and treating properties, these shampoos contain certain pleasing fragrances such as lavender oil, tea tree oil which are transferred to your dog’s coat after washing, thus leaving your dog smelling nice.

However, you shouldn’t bathe your dog too frequently as it could rid them of their essential oils and cause them to develop skin issues such as dryness. If your dog has a skin issue, then bathing him more frequently with a medicated antibacterial shampoo formulation may be unavoidable.


There are numerous dog shampoos available on the market, and they all have varying quality and performance ratings, which is why we have taken the time to write this guide to help you select the best odor control shampoo. Keep in mind that it’s not just about the effectiveness of the product, but it’s also about your dog’s safety.

When choosing a high-quality shampoo to deal with odor, opt for a product that gets rid of excess oils, neutralizes odor while leaving a pleasant yet mild smell. Also, it shouldn’t contain any harsh ingredients.

Natural Fragrances

When selecting an odor control shampoo, ensure that you choose one that is pleasant, gentle, and has a natural fragrance that will make your dog smell nice. You can opt for shampoos that are infused with essential oils or other natural ingredients such as vanilla, oatmeal, lavender, chamomile, and aloe vera. However, if your dog is allergic to odor or highly sensitive, it may be better to opt for a fragrance-free dog shampoo; they are much gentler on your dog while eliminating any bad odor. Also, be careful when using essential oils in diffusers around your dog. Some are safe for your dog, but others may be uncomfortable or dangerous to your dog.

Cleaning Properties

It is important that you note that the cleaning properties of the shampoo you choose as it is an essential feature. A good quality dog shampoo cleans the dirt and grime out of your dog’s skin and coat without causing harm. If not, a regular soap can do the job, but it’s a matter of safety.

It’s best if you opt for a shampoo that contains natural cleaning ingredients such as coconut, shea butter, olive oil, aloe vera, oatmeal, or salicylic acid. Some shampoos also contain baking soda to eliminate the unpleasant smell. It’s also vital that the product produces enough lather; if not, you may need to use more shampoo than usually necessary to properly clean your dog. The best dog shampoos generally contain gentle ingredients that are safe for your pet while being effective at cleaning. Using harsh chemical based cleaners such as synthetic sulfates can worsen skin issues; avoid them along with parabens and alcohol.

Odor Eliminating Properties

Lots of dog owners complain that despite bathing their dogs regularly, the odor is still there. This is because the shampoo they are using isn’t strong enough to eliminate the odor-producing bacteria. There are dog shampoos that come with an enzyme-based formula that offers more satisfying results by breaking the chemistry of the smell causing bacteria.

Moisturizing Properties

Apart from offering effective cleaning, the best odor control shampoos should contain moisturizing ingredients that help maintain the pH balance of your dog’s skin. It is best to avoid harsh and acidic dog shampoos. Opt for products that contain plant-based ingredients such as argan oil and aloe vera; they help soothe your dog’s skin while maintaining hair moisture without any side effects.

Avoid Artificial Preservatives and Colors

Make sure that you avoid harsh and dangerous artificial colors and preservatives when purchasing an odor control shampoo. They can lead to dry and itchy skin, and they barely offer any real benefit when it concerns cleaning your dog. The fewer ingredients in a shampoo, the better the quality. This is important, especially if your dog has skin allergies.

Multifunctionality and Special Formulations

Different shampoos have specific functions. Some are made for basic purposes such as cleansing and conditioning the skin and coat. In contrast, others offer special benefits such as antifungal cover, anti-itch skin soothing, and coat color enhancement.

When choosing a dog shampoo for odor control, it is best to opt for one that offers multiple functionalities. Preferably one that offers basic cleaning and conditioning and something a little extra, whether it’s reducing inflammation, soothing the skin, or managing itchiness.

This is important because most causes of odor are due to more than just dirt buildup on your dog. Having the extra functionality helps you deal with both the odor and its source.

Deodorizing Effect

You’ll know the quality and efficiency of an odor control shampoo by how it deals with the smell. Some work by binding the particles to form a neutral, odorless complex. They are effective because once you rinse off the shampoo, all the bonded particles will be washed away in a compact form, and any surviving smell is stripped of its power.

On the other hand, others work by masking the odor with a strong pleasant smell, but that is not always effective, especially with strong odors. It’s like spraying dirty clothes with perfume; it will only last for so long before the odor worsens. Shampoos with this effect are best paired with something such as skin-soothing or odor binding properties.

The final options are shampoos that deal with the odor by taking care of the root cause. They include anti-itch, skin repair, and soothing formulations. They may take a little longer to work, but they’ll leave your dog with a natural scent.

Tear-Free Formulation

This is an important factor to note; you do not want to choose a product that will put your dog in physical pain during bath time. Tearless formulations are gentler on your pet, and they are also easier for your to work with. This is because you wouldn’t have to handle an irritated dog trying to fight its way free. It may seem like a small detail, but it makes all the difference.

Additional Factors

Some dog shampoos come with different features than simply odor control; some are great for flea treatment, hair de-matting, hair shedding, and more. There are dog owners who use flea shampoos even if their dog doesn’t have a flea infection; it ensures they stay safe from the infection.

If a shampoo has odor-eliminating properties, it may not have flea treatment or de-matting features. There are different shampoos for dealing with various ailments. For example, antiseptic shampoos help heal hot spots, hypoallergenic shampoos are suitable for dogs with sensitive skin, and medicated shampoos can deal with fungal problems.


Running out of shampoo when your dog has just rolled in something smelly has to be the worst. While you may note using your own shampoo, it may likely cause some problems as human shampoos contain harsh chemicals that are okay on humans but are toxic to dogs.

Dogs have a more alkaline skin pH level than humans. So your shampoo can disrupt your dog’s skin pH balance and natural protective barrier known as the acid mantle, which could cause skin irritation and dryness.

After going through the buying guide, you’ll be able to choose the best odor control shampoo suitable for your dog. To make it easier for you, we have compiled a list of the best odor control shampoos available on the market. Let’s take a look at the list.

The Best Odor Control Shampoos Are Reviewed Below

Below is the list of the best odor control shampoo. We have provided a detailed review on each of them; go through the reviews and carefully select the best option for your dog.


Nature’s Miracle Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs

This shampoo from Nature’s Miracle is a soap-free option for odor control. It contains ingredients that help neutralize odors instead of masking them, and this makes a great choice for really smelly dogs.

It contains ingredients such as colloidal oatmeal, which has anti-inflammatory, cleansing, and moisturizing effects. This shampoo will eliminate odor without causing irritation to your dog’s skin. It also contains D-Panthenol, which is a naturally occurring form of vitamin B5. It helps to strengthen hair and give it a natural shine. It works together with the chamomile extract to strengthen and soothe your dog’s skin and coat.

The shampoo’s formula is made specifically to deal with deal with stubborn smells. It contains Ployacrylate Polymer, which is synthetic but safe; it works effectively to control strong odors. It does the same thing as Soyethyl Mopholinium Ethosulfate which is derived from soya and is used in different deodorants and some air fresheners.

This shampoo stands out because of its 4 in 1 functionality. It works as a shampoo and conditioner. Your dog’s hair will be easier for you to manage and de-matt throughout the grooming session. Nature’s Miracle shampoo and conditioner is the best odor control shampoo available; it will leave your dog clean and smelling fresh.

Key Features:

  • pH balanced
  • natural honey and sage
  • contains oatmeal
  • soap free formulation
  • formulated with no parabens


  • Brand: Nature’s Miracle
  • Model: NM-6095
  • Weight: 0.42 Ounces
  • Dimensions: 4.5 * 2.5 * 10 inches
  • It doubles as a conditioner
  • It offers long term odor control
  • It works great at dealing with stubborn smells
  • It offers you great value for your money
  • Not every dog likes the shampoo


Four Paws Odor Shampoo

Four Paws has been offering the best quality products since 1970. Their product is always available for purchase. This shampoo is made with specific odor neutralizing components, making it a great odor control shampoo for dogs.

It helps you get rid of stubborn smells; it contains oatmeal and papaya, so your dog will be left smelling fresh. It is suitable for all dog breeds, coat types, and sizes. This shampoo cleans, shines, and freshens your dog. The formula used in this shampoo is very gentle, not to be harmful to your dog.

Key Features:

  • It contains oatmeal and papaya
  • Deep cleaning formula
  • Specially formulated with odor neutralizing compounds


  • Brand: Four Paws
  • Model: 100522313
  • Weight: 1.9 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 10 * 4.5 * 2.3 inches
  • It is suitable for all coat types
  • It comes at a great price
  • It doesn’t over lather
  • It is effective against hound smell
  • Not every breed of dog likes the shampoo
  • The bigger bottles have less fragrance than the smaller bottle


Isle of Dogs Everyday Deep Cleaning Shampoo

This shampoo from Isle of Dogs has a unique scent. It’s a blend of red berry and hints of champagne. It is a great way to give your dog a nice, fresh scent without breaking the bank. The fragrances are pet friendly, so your dog won’t develop any skin reactions or start sniffing because of strong smells.

This shampoo helps your dog’s hair be bouncy, shiny, and healthy because it uses the volumizing conditioner formula. It is great for dogs who have naturally porous fur. The formula moisturizes and offers your dog’s hair a full-body look and also makes it feel healthier. This shampoo leaves your dog smelling nice and looking great.

Key Features:

  • Paraben free formula
  • pH balanced
  • contains vitamins A, D, and E
  • tearless
  • odor neutralizing


  • Brand: Isle of Dogs
  • Model: 822-16
  • Weight: 8.64 Ounces
  • Dimensions: 8.4 * 2.5 * 2.5 inches
  • It is affordable
  • It leaves your dog’s coat healthy and shiny
  • It’s effective against strong odors
  • The scent might be a bit strong during baths


Furminator deOdorizing Ultra Premium Dog Shampoo

The FURminator makes odor control shampoos and multiple grooming tools, bathing, and hair care products. Their odor shampoo deals with the strongest odors; it also helps reduce shedding by bringing up the loose undercoat and leaving your dog’s coat soft, clean, and shiny.

It is enriched with baking soda and vegetable protein extract, which helps to deal with strong odors. The shampoo is free from parabens, chemical dyes, and artificial colors, so it is 100% safe for your dog.

Key Features:

  • Enriched with baking soda and vegetable protein
  • It contains no artificial colors, parabens, or chemical dyes


  • Brand: FURminator
  • Model: 285319
  • Weight: 10.4 Ounces
  • Dimensions: 3.1 * 1.98 * 9.5 inches
  • It has a nice scent
  • Its scent is longlasting
  • It is affordable
  • The conditioner comes as a separate bottle

Buying Guide Questions

Below are answers to some FAQs.

What can I bathe my dog in to get rid of smell?

To get rid of strong odors, you could try odor control shampoos, try some that contain oatmeal or tea tree oils as they are best for fighting odors. Ensure you brush your dog at least 2 to 5 times a week as it helps distribute their essential oils.

Why does my dog smell even after washing?

A smelly dog can be caused by a buildup of natural oils and microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast. They tend to emit a bad smell when combined with water after bathing or swimming. Ensure you dry your dog properly after a bath.

What do groomers use to make dogs smell good?

Groomers use water, shampoo, conditioner, rubbing alcohol, and cologne or perfume to help your dog smell better.

What home remedy gets rid of dog smell?

Sprinkling baking soda over carpet and furniture and letting it sit overnight can help you get rid of the dog smell. It’s completely safe for your dog, so you don’t have to worry.

How do I make my dog smell better?

To help your dog smell better, make sure they are bathed regularly but not too often, brush your dog frequently, pats their fur with baking soda, feed them high quality dog food and ensure you wash their beddings regularly.

Why does my dog get stinky so fast?

Food or seasonal allergies can cause your dog to secrete too many oils, leading to a musty smell. A poor diet could also contribute to bad odor and may also cause yeast infections.

What causes a dog to have a strong odor?

Seasonal and food allergies cause inflammation in the skin, which leads to excess oil secretions, and this can cause your dog to have a strong odor.


Being able to cuddle your dog without getting wafts of bad odor is comforting; you also don’t have to apologize to your guests about how your house smells like a dirty dog. Once you have the right odor control shampoo, you can enjoy having your pet around without the musky smell. Go through the list of product reviews and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Also, see;

(Best Dog Shampoo For Shedding)

(Best Dry Dog Shampoo)