11 Best Shampoos for Shiba Inus in 2020

Taking care of your furry friend is incredibly important, and while you can’t stop them from getting dirty on their daily walk, you can help clean them up and stay healthy. A dog’s physical health is not only affected by its diet and exercise, but also by their hygiene and general cleanliness.

Most Popular

Earthbath Shed Control

  • Paraben and phosphate-free
  • Soap-free shampoo

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Overall Best

Buddy Wash Original

  • Simple formula
  • Natural and safe ingredients

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Most Affordable

Frisco Oatmeal Shampoo

  • Affordable price
  • Organic Certified aloe vera

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Giving your pooch a regular bath will help keep their coat nice and healthy, but just using water doesn’t always do the trick. That’s where dog shampoos come in. It’s vital to use a shampoo that is specially designed for your dog’s needs, as using the incorrect formula may lead to skin irritation. You can’t just use human shampoo either, as the formulas and ingredients would be completely different and may have disastrous results!

With so many different brands out there, it can be pretty difficult to choose the right shampoo formula, especially for a high maintenance breed like Shiba Inu. You’ll ideally need something that is sensitive enough for their skin, gets rids of bad smells, and helps to reduce hair shedding. Also, you’ll need to consider whether your dog has any allergies or pre-existing medical conditions, as all of this will definitely affect what type and brand of dog shampoo you’ll be able to use.

Below is an outline of the different types of shampoo available for this breed, as well as some of the best formulas available on the market.

6 Different Types of Shampoo for Shiba Inus


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  • Medicated Shampoo – This type of shampoo is perfect for dogs that may be suffering from skin or coat issues. Things like itchiness and hair loss can be easily treated using a medicated shampoo, though do make sure to contact your vet before purchasing any to make sure it’s right for your dog.
  • Hypoallergenic – Shiba Inus are particularly prone to having allergies to a range of products. Hypoallergenic shampoos can help treat and prevent any sorts of rashes that may come about form harsher formulas.
  • Deodorizing – While Shiba Inus are known to clean themselves, just like cats, that won’t always stop them from getting a little smelly. Deodorizing shampoos will have your dog smelling great in a matter of minutes!
  • Tearless – Tearless shampoos are a great option if you have a puppy or a particularly restless dog that refuses to sit still during bath time. The formulas are always very sensitive on their skin and won’t irritate their eyes if the shampoo gets in them.
  • Waterless – Just like the name suggests, waterless shampoos let you clean your dog without the use of water. They can really save you time when you’re on the go and don’t have access to a bath to rinse off your furry friend.
  • Shed Control – Shiba Inus completely “blow out” their coat twice a year and shed quite regularly throughout the rest of the year, so if you want to keep the stray hair to a minimum, consider a shed control shampoo. While it won’t completely stop your Shiba Inu from shedding, it will significantly reduce the number of stray hairs that will be covering every surface in your home for months at a time!

6 Common Special Health Feature Shampoos to Consider

  • Anti-Fungal/Anti-Bacterial – Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial shampoos will kill off the majority of bacteria, viruses, and fungi that may have found their way onto your dog’s fur. Warmth and wetness provide a perfect breeding ground for those microorganisms, so these shampoos are particularly helpful if you live in a humid climate.
  • Dander Control – If you suffer from allergies, you’re going to need a dander control shampoo. Shiba Inus shed continuously throughout the year so all of your possessions will be covered in both dog hair and dander. Reducing the amount of dander produced by your dog will make your life much easier.
  • Sensitive Skin – Any dog can suffer from allergies or sensitive skin, though Shiba Inus are one of the more sensitive breeds. Buying shampoo suited for sensitive skin will prevent any chemical burns or rashes from happening.
  • Skin & Coat Health – Shampoos that promote good skin and coat health need to a part of your dog grooming routine if you have a Shiba Inu. These dogs are very prone to dry skin and hair loss, so you need something to reduce and prevent these conditions.
  • Itch & Redness Remedy – As we’ve already established, Shiba Inus tend to have sensitive skin and may occasionally suffer from itchiness and redness. If this happens, consider buying an itch and redness remedy shampoo, as that will soothe your dog’s skin and stop them from feeling any discomfort.
  • Calming – Shiba Inus are quite prone to suffering from anxiety problems, so having a high quality calming shampoo on hand can really help out. These shampoos will use aromatherapy to soothe your dog and help them relax during, and after, their bath.

Overall Best Shampoo For Shiba Inus

Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

Key Features: 

  • A two-in-one shampoo and conditioner, so need to buy separate products.
  • Made with natural ingredients and extracts like aloe vera, green tea, and rosemary.
  • Alcohol-free and coconut-based, so no harmful chemicals.
  • Uses wheat protein as a natural deodorizer – works on even the dirtiest of puppies!
  • Not tested on animals and safe for human use.

Best Overall – The Buddy Wash combined conditioning shampoo has been specially formulated to only contain natural ingredients. This protects your dog’s skin from any unwanted allergic reactions or chemical burns that come about from harsher products. The lavender and mint essential oils contained within the formula will work wonders, soothing any irritated skin and working as delicate aromatherapy to help calm your furry friend down during bath time.

Pros:

  • Two products contained in one bottle.
  • Made from simple and natural ingredients.
  • Leaves your dog’s coat incredibly soft and shiny.
  • Safe to use on irritated and dry skin.

Cons:

  • Contains wheat protein, which some dogs are allergic to – consult with a vet before purchasing if you’re worried about an allergic reaction.

Frisco Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs & Cats, Almond Scent

Key Features: 

  • Has a combination of oatmeal, chamomile, and aloe vera to help soothe irritated skin.
  • Uses oat proteins to actively hydrate the skin and coat, leaving behind a beautiful shine.
  • Coconut-based formula, free of any harmful chemicals.
  • Almond scent adds a boost of freshness to bath time!

Most Affordable Shiba Inu Shampoo: The Frisco Oatmeal shampoo is a great option for dogs with skin that’s on the more sensitive side. It has a simple, plant-based formula without any ‘secret’ or unnecessary chemicals, that helps to naturally soothe and moisturize the skin and coat.

While other shampoos may leave a slight chemical smell behind, Frisco has designed a great scented formula that adds a boost of freshness instead of overwhelming you. It’ll leave your dog subtly smelling of delicious almonds all day long!

Pros:

  • Costs under $8 for a 20-oz bottle!
  • Made with zero dye or parabens.
  • Incredibly gentle formula containing only natural ingredients.
  • The aloe vera used is a Certified Organic product.
  • Oat proteins help to boost the hydrating and protective properties of the formula.

Cons: 

  • Formula isn’t great for specific needs since it’s suitable for both dogs and cats.
  • Almond scent is an added fragrance rather than from natural almond ingredients.

Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control Natural Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner

Key Features:

Great deodorizing formula that will help you keep even the dirtiest puppies clean.

  • A two-in-one shampoo and conditioner in one bottle, so no need to buy two different products.
  • Fresh scent lasts for up to 6 weeks!
  • Leaves coat exceptionally clean and shiny.

Best Shiba Inu Puppy Shampoo – Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control shampoo is one of the best puppy shampoos out there. It leaves your furry friend looking and smelling clean, and contributes to a healthy coat. The formula is incredibly long-lasting and only needs to be used about once a month. It’s also safe to use alongside any topical treatments your puppy may need, like a flea or tick spot-on.

Pros:

  • Very gentle, so perfect for sensitive puppy skin.
  • Can also be used on adult dogs.
  • A great all-rounder that cleans, moisturizes, deodorizes, and protects your puppy’s skin and coat.
  • Safe to use on any puppy breed.

Cons:

  • Instructions say it should only be used once every 4-6 weeks, which may not be often enough for some puppies.

Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo for Dogs

Key Features:

  • Contains a blend of natural ingredients and essential oils including oatmeal, tea tree oil, and d-limonene.
  • Designed to soothe sensitive and dry skin.
  • Suitable for any breed of dog.
  • Can be used as often as necessary as the delicate formula won’t cause skin irritation.

Allergy and Itch Control Shampoo for Shiba Inus: The formula of Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief shampoo is specially formulated to bring comfort to dogs with sensitive and dry skin. It contains specific essential oils that coat the skin (without making it greasy) and protect it from allergens and microorganisms. Using this shampoo will not affect any topical tick or flea treatments as the formula focuses on gentle cleansing. It will leave your dog smelling clean and fresh, though it is not intended as a deodorizing product.

Pros:

  • Soothes irritated skin by washing away the allergens or microorganisms causing discomfort.
  • Formula was specially created using veterinarian guidance and advice.
  • Conditioner isn’t required to achieve desired effects.
  • Completely cruelty-free product.

Cons:

  • Can only help with rashes and itching caused by allergens, so not recommended for treating dry skin.
  • Formula isn’t delicate enough to be considered a tear-free shampoo.

Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog & Cat Shampoo

Key Features:

  • Helps to control and reduce the effects of fungal and bacterial infections.
  • Deeply moisturizes dry skin and soothes itchiness.
  • Manages both superficial and severe skin conditions.
  • Prevents further inflammation and loss of moisture from the skin.

Fungal and Bacterial Infections: Douxo Chlorhexidine PS is a special, medicated shampoo to help treat fungal and bacterial infections in dogs. The formula is antiseptic, meaning that it eliminates any microorganisms that may be causing your dog discomfort. The active ingredients include chlorhexidine, climbazole, lipacid, and phytosphingosine, which have all been proven to help reduce the harmful effects of a range of skin conditions caused by infections.

Pros:

  • Chlorhexidine and climbazole control fungi and bacteria populations, preventing the worsening and continuation of symptoms.
  • Product deposits a long-lasting film along the skin that helps protect it from further irritation.
  • Contains phytosphingosine, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Lipacid restores the skin’s natural protective barrier.

Cons:

  • While the shampoo does help control symptoms, it’s not a definitive cure or fungal and bacterial infections.

HyLyt Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Essential Fatty Acids for Dogs & Cats

Key Features:

  • Gentle and hypoallergenic formula.
  • Soap free, without any ‘hidden’ chemicals.
  • Deeply hydrating for both skin and coat health.
  • Helps to control skin flaking.

Soap Free & Hypoallergenic: The HyLyt Hypoallergenic formula is a great option for pets with sensitive skin or allergies. It doesn’t use any soaps derived from animals as they are often too harsh for pets, especially if they have allergies. The shampoo has been specially designed to be non-drying, and contains natural moisturizing ingredients to ensure this. It can be a great way to help control symptoms of seborrhoea in both cats and dogs.

Pros:

  • Uses fatty acids derived from synthetic sources rather than animals, meaning the formula is much more delicate.
  • Non-drying and non-stripping properties.
  • Contains proteins that help to achieve an optimal pH level on the skin.
  • Reduce the flaking and scaling of dry skin.

Cons:

  • Formula isn’t delicate enough to be considered tear-free.

5 Other Top Rated Shiba Inu Shampoos

Earthbath Shed Control Green Tea & Awapuhi Dog & Cat Shampoo 

Great for when your Shiba Inu starts “blowing out” its coat.

TropiClean Luxury 2 in 1 Papaya & Coconut Pet Shampoo & Conditioner

A great smelling, deeply moisturizing product.

Ark Naturals Don’t Worry Don’t Rinse Me Waterless Dog & Cat Shampoo

Perfect if you’re on the go and don’t have access to a water source.

Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo with Colloidal Oat Flour & Honey for Dogs

Made with 100% natural ingredients to help soothe dry skin.

Allerpet Dog Dander Remover

Perfect for Shiba Inu owners with dander allergies.

Our 2020 Guide to Bathing your Shiba Inu

Each dog breed has its own preferences and requirements when it comes to grooming and bathing. Unfortunately, Shiba Inus definitely aren’t huge fans of taking baths and can be quite temperamental about it.

Follow our helpful guide to make this experience as easy as possible for both you and your furry friend.

  1. Most importantly, don’t get frustrated. Shiba Inus are kind of the drama queens of dog breeds, so any emotion you show, they’ll show it three times more intensely. Be gentle yet firm when talking to them – don’t use too much baby talk, (they’ll just ignore you) but also don’t shout at them (they’ll hate you for it).
  2. Make sure to allow at least 45 minutes to 1 hour for bathing time, and have all of your towels, shampoos, and buckets ready beforehand.
  3. Have enough buckets –  at least one each for clean rinsing water and soapy water, depending on the size of your Shiba Inu.
  4. Use lukewarm water and a soft sponge or your shower head to gently wet your dog’s fur all over, avoiding the ears, eyes, and mouth.
  5. Squeeze some of the correct shampoo onto your hand or sponge and lather up!
  6. Make sure to carefully rinse all of the shampoo from your dog’s fur – Shiba Inus have very thick fur, and any leftover product may irritate their skin.
  7. Use a nice, fluffy towel to dry your dog off, all while praising them for behaving so well. Avoid using hair dryers as they usually just dry your dog’s skin out, and may even burn them if the dryer gets too hot.

Due to their specific temperament, some Shiba Inus may be more scared of taking baths than others. If you find that you’re seriously struggling with teaching your dog that baths aren’t the spawn of evil, consider contacting a dog behaviorist.

This is especially important if your Shiba Inu is an adult, as they’ll be way past their impressionable, early developmental stage where teaching them new things is relatively easy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best shampoo for Shiba Inus? – Honestly, the best type of shampoo for your Shiba Inu will depend on its individual needs. If you’re unsure or don’t think your dog has any specific requirements, opt for a gentle or hypoallergenic shampoo just to be on the safe side.
  • How often should you bathe your Shiba Inu? – Aim to bathe your Shiba Inu every 3 to 4 weeks, more often if they’re currently shedding their seasonal coat. If your dog really loves getting muddy when going outside, make sure to choose a shampoo that you can use as often as necessary – you don’t want to accidentally irritate your dog’s skin by bathing them too often! Make sure to properly rinse and dry off your Shiba Inu – their fur can get incredibly thick, and leftover product or trapped moisture can do their coat a lot of harm.
  • Why does my Shiba Inu stink? – A clean and healthy Shiba Inu shouldn’t have any sort of smell as this breed is known for their self-grooming. If, however, your furry friend is starting to get a little stinky, it’s probably because of all the dirt their thick fur has accumulated from all those walks. Shiba Inus can have pretty thick fur, so any mud, moisture, and microbes they encounter on a daily basis may get stuck in it. You’ll need to have a pretty regular grooming routine, especially if your Shiba Inu enjoys going outside often. A simple bath with a high-quality dog shampoo should help to get rid of the smell. You may need to repeat the lathering and rinsing process a few times if your pup gets especially grimy after a walk!
  • Can I use human shampoos on Shiba Inus? – Under no circumstances should you be using human shampoos on any dog breed, but especially on Shiba Inus. This breed is much more prone to having sensitive skin than most other dog breeds, and using human shampoos can really harm them. Human shampoos usually have a pH of 5, while dog shampoos have a pH of 7. This different pH will often cause irritation and dry skin, and even chemical burns in worst-case scenarios.
  • Why does my Shiba Inu still stink after a bath? – If your dog is smelly, it should usually go away after a bath or two. Shiba Inus have pretty thick fur, so you’ll need to make sure you’re really getting their fur thoroughly cleaned and rinsed, which can take multiple baths to fully do. Also, make sure the shampoo you’re using isn’t expired. If the smell persists after a bath, however, do consult a vet as it could be a medical problem causing this.

Conclusion

So, in conclusion, there is quite a lot of variety when it comes to shampoos for Shiba Inus. You’ll have to really make sure that the shampoo you’re planning to use meets all of the needs your dog may have, although many of the shampoos mentioned in this review have overlapping properties. Make sure to do thorough research to avoid doing more harm to your dog than good.

For first-time Shiba Inu owners, we’d recommend a more general yet gentle formula to see how your dog’s skin and fur react, then move from there to see if you need to cater to dry skin or excessive shedding. Also, make sure to read the reviews on each of the products to get a better understanding of how they work – simply reading our reviews may not give you enough information to go off of.

Most importantly, however, our best advice would be to speak to your vet and find out your dog’s exact needs when it comes to shampoos to avoid making the wrong decision.

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