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11 Best Pug Shampoos in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on June 11, 2024 by Dogster Team

11 Best Pug Shampoos in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Pug Bath

Pugs are notoriously known for having sensitive skin, which typically means that your average shampoo just won’t cut it. Finding a shampoo that doesn’t irritate your pug’s skin yet still cleans well is challenging. However, it’s absolutely necessary if you want to properly care for your dog.

Luckily, there are a few options on the market that are great for Pugs. Some of these shampoos are specifically designed for Pugs, while others just happen to be a great option. Either way, these shampoos should work for even the Pugs with the most sensitive skin.

We’ll review each suggested product in turn, helping you choose the best option for your Pug.

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A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo
  • Soothing formula
  • Excellent lather and scent
  • Chemical-free
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo with Colloidal Oat Flour Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo with Colloidal Oat Flour
  • Colloidal oat flour included
  • Completely pH balanced
  • Extra-moisturizing
  • Third place
    Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo
  • Soap-free
  • Light vanilla scent
  • 100% biodegradable
  • Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo
  • 100% paraben-free
  • Veterinary formula
  • Soothes skin and speeds up healing
  • Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Contains botanical extracts
  • Light lavender and mint scent
  • Coconut-based
  • The 11 Best Pug Shampoos

    1. Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo – Best Overall

    Hepper oatmeal pet shampoo green background

    Scent:  Cucumber and Aloe

    We have to say, out of all the excellent pet shampoo products out there, Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo is our favorite for the best overall shampoo for Pugs. It checks all the boxes for what makes shampoo great.

    This shampoo has a great scent and lather. Our double-coated Pugs can really take a lot to fully coat. But with this aromatic shampoo, a little goes a long way! We coated our pups from head to toe and it rinsed out beautifully.

    We also love that this shampoo has excellent ingredients that are very gentle for the skin, like oatmeal—free of chemical agents like soap, gluten, DEA, parabens, synthetic dye, sulfates, and phthalates. So, you can feel good about every ingredient—and it’s great for all skin types.

    We think this shampoo provides deep clean, gentle ingredients, a sudsy clean, and a residue-free finish. What’s not to love? Plus, it’s from a trusted company that stands by the integrity of their products.

    At Dogster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool pet company!

    Pros
    • Soothing formula
    • Excellent lather and scent
    • Chemical-free
    • Leaves no residue
    Cons
    • Slightly pricey

    2. Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo with Colloidal Oat Flour – Budget Buy

    Burt’s Bees Oatmeal

    Scent: Honey

    If you need to save a bit of money, you may be interested in the Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo with Colloidal Oat Flour. It is suitable for most canines, though it is much less expensive than other options. It features a gentle formula that includes honey and colloidal oat flour, which is the same stuff used to treat sensitive skin in people. These two ingredients combine to reduce irritation and prevent redness before it sets in.

    With the extra moisturizing ingredients, this formula is particularly good at keeping a Pug’s skin and coat healthy. The oat flour helps reduce itchiness, which is a common problem with Pugs. Green tea extract is even included, which strengthens your dog’s hair follicles to ensure that their hair grows healthy.

    Plus, this formula is completely pH balanced, so it won’t irritate your dog’s skin. It will also help your dog stay protected from yeast and bacteria—another common problem that Pugs have to deal with.

    We loved that this formula is almost completely natural. It contains no colorants or sulfates, either. Overall, it is easily the best pug shampoo for the money.

    Pros
    • Colloidal oat flour included
    • Completely pH balanced
    • Extra-moisturizing
    • Less expensive
    Cons
    • Small bottle

    3. Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo

    Scent: Vanilla and Almond

    Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo is extremely natural and designed to keep your dog’s skin as healthy and happy as possible. It is made using only the gentlest ingredients possible, such as aloe vera and oatmeal. The formula is completely soap-free, making it a good option for sensitive dogs out there. It is made specifically for easily-irritated, itchy skin.

    This shampoo can help re-moisturize your dog’s skin, which is a great option for Pugs that already have irritated and itchy skin. However, it is also great at keeping your Pugs from experiencing these problems.

    With a gentle vanilla scent, this formula doesn’t leave excessive amounts of scent behind. However, it does leave enough scent to keep your dog smelling fresh for a few days. This formula is suitable for all dogs over 6 weeks old. It is also 100% biodegradable, and it is completely paraben and phosphate-free, making it safer than other formulas.

    Pros
    • Soap-free
    • Light vanilla scent
    • Suitable for all dogs over 6 weeks
    • 100% biodegradable
    Cons
    • Expensive

    4. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo

    Veterinary Formula

    Scent: None

    The Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo is a little bit different from other formulas. It is a veterinary formula that is designed specifically to relieve bacterial and fungal infections. If your Pug is prone to these problems, this formula can be a lifesaver. It allows you to clear up their skin and prevent further problems.

    Your vet may recommend this formula for dogs that have repeated fungal and bacterial infections. However, you should speak with your vet before using this formula, as too much of a good thing isn’t the best choice for all dogs.

    This formula does include aloe vera, which is specifically designed to soothe skin and speed the healing of infections. It is a perfect option for dogs that have redness and irritation, even if they don’t have current infections.

    The directions ask dog owners to use the formula twice a week when dogs have a current infection. After that, you can use it once a week to prevent flare-ups and further infection.

    We found this formula is 100% paraben-free, which is great for dogs with easily irritated skin.

    Pros
    • 100% paraben-free
    • Veterinary formula
    • Designed to treat fungal and bacterial infections
    • Soothes skin and speeds up healing
    Cons
    • Only for dogs with serious problems

    5. Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

    Scent: Lavender

    Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner is the only washing product that you need for most dogs. It is completely soap-free and features both shampoo and conditioner. It builds into a rich lather, helping leave your dog’s skin soft and silky.

    There are very few harsh chemicals in this formula. It includes botanical extracts of various sorts, including chamomile, sage, aloe vera, and green tea. These ingredients help support your dog’s overall skin and coat health. The liquid itself is coconut-based and completely alcohol-free. It features lavender and mint extracts to make the bath a calming experience.

    Plus, it leaves your dog smelling pretty good, too.

    Wheat protein is utilized as a natural deodorizer, making it safe for frequent use. Therefore, this formula is great for dogs with sensitive skin that also need to be bathed regularly.

    Pros
    • Contains botanical extracts
    • Light lavender and mint scent
    • Coconut-based
    • Uses wheat protein as a deodorizer
    Cons
    • Includes conditioner (which is not ideal for some dogs)

    6. Zesty Paws Itch Soother Dog Shampoo

    Zesty Paws Itch

    Scent: Vanilla Bean

    While this formula is not specifically designed for Pugs, Zesty Paws Itch Soother Dog Shampoo is great for dogs with sensitive skin—including Pugs. This shampoo is extremely gentle, featuring ingredients like oatmeal, aloe vera, and vitamin E. These ingredients help support your dog’s skin health, ensuring that their skin stays well-hydrated.

    The oatmeal in particular is helpful at relieving dry skin. If your dog suffers from dry skin or skin allergies, this oatmeal can help soothe their skin. Aloe vera is also very helpful at keeping your dog’s coat soft and shiny. While Pugs don’t have tons of fur, it is vital that you take care of the fur they do have.

    Plus, we also found that this formula features a gentle, vanilla scent that leaves your dog smelling nice without being overpowering.

    This shampoo is advertised as suitable for breeds of all sizes and ages. However, it’ll be particularly helpful for dogs such as Pugs that have issues with their skin.

    Pros
    • Includes oatmeal, aloe vera, and vitamin E
    • Gentle, vanilla scent
    • Suitable for breeds of all sizes
    • Keeps skin well-hydrated
    • Decently large bottle
    Cons
    • Somewhat expensive (though the bottle is quite large)

    7. TropiClean Luxury 2-in-1 Papaya & Coconut Shampoo & Conditioner

    TropiClean Luxury

    Scent: Papaya and Coconut

    TropiClean Luxury 2-in-1 Papaya & Coconut Shampoo & Conditioner is quite popular. Many dog owners utilize this formula on their canines, as is apparent from all the reviews. This formula is designed to help retain your dog’s natural moisture and oils. It is even soap-free, which makes it much gentler than other formulas. We also liked that you can use it alongside flea and tick treatment without much of a problem.

    As you’d expect, this formula includes both coconut and mango. These work to bring moisture to your dog’s coat and skin. It also has a detangling effect. However, for Pugs, you likely won’t notice this benefit. The coconut oil does a good job of cleansing the fur from dirt and oils.

    You can use this formula for both dogs and cats, which shows just how great it is for more sensitive dogs.

    With that said, this formula is not hypoallergenic. It also includes a conditioner, which is not a good option for some dogs. There were also complaints that this formula is not as easy to lather as other options.

    Pros
    • Soap-free
    • Gentle enough for dogs and cats
    • Can be used alongside flea and tick treatments
    Cons
    • Contains a conditioner
    • Not easy to lather

    8. CHI Gentle 2-in-1 Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

    CHI Gentle

    Scent: None

    Like quite a few options on this list, CHI Gentle 2-in-1 Dog Shampoo & Conditioner includes both shampoo and conditioner. It is a good option for those that want to use conditioner on their dog and have a canine that isn’t terribly sensitive. However, these combos do tend to be less effective than just purchasing shampoo by itself.

    This formula contains only mild surfactants, which is what gets your pet clean. It will not hurt your dog’s eyes. However, this also means that it doesn’t work quite as effectively as other options out there. It just doesn’t have the cleaning power required for tough messes, though that also makes it gentler.

    You cannot use this formula on dogs under 8 weeks of age. However, it can be used for all puppies and adults over this age limit.

    With that said, some dogs were more sensitive to this formula than others. We found more reports of irritation and redness with this shampoo, for instance.

    Pros
    • Only contains mild surfactants
    • Suitable for most types of dogs
    • Gentle
    Cons
    • Not as effective at cleaning up messes
    • Leads to more irritation than other formulas

    9. John Paul Pet Sensitive Skin Formula Dog & Cat Shampoo

    John Paul Pet

    Scent: Almond

    For pets with really sensitive skin, you may want to consider John Paul Pet Sensitive Skin Formula Dog & Cat Shampoo. This formula is made with a blend of aloe, chamomile, and oat protein. All of these ingredients help moisturize your dog’s skin, even if it is already dry and flaky. Furthermore, sweet almond oil is also added to condition your dog’s coat and leave behind a lasting fragrance.

    We liked that this formula is made in the USA and cruelty-free-tested. Therefore, you can rest assured that it is safe for your pooch, even if they have very sensitive skin.

    This formula is a bit more expensive than other options. While the list price isn’t that much more expensive, the bottle is a lot smaller. Therefore, you’re paying more per ounce than you might otherwise.

    Pros
    • Made in the USA
    • Light almond scent
    • Blend of aloe, chamomile, and oat protein
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Scent is a bit too light for some

    10. Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo for Dogs

    Vet's Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo for Dogs

    Scent: None

    For Pugs that have skin allergies, Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo for Dogs may be a solid option. It is specifically designed for dogs that have allergies and tend to itch. Excessive scratching can further irritate already stressed skin. Therefore, it is important to prevent it as quickly as possible.

    This formula includes a variety of different ingredients, including oatmeal and tea tree oil. It is specifically designed to be as gentle as possible, while also providing your dog with some relief. Plus, this formula also washes away allergens that may irritate the skin of some dogs.

    However, this is a very niche formula. Unless your dog specifically has skin allergies, you should likely look elsewhere. Otherwise, you may end up irritating your dog’s skin even more. Plus, this formula doesn’t work all the time. There are several occasions where it didn’t work for some dogs.

    Pros
    • Includes oatmeal and tea tree oil
    • Calms excessive scratching
    • Designed specifically for skin allergies
    Cons
    • Very niche formula
    • Expensive

    11. PetAg Fresh ‘N Clean Scented Dog Shampoo

    PetAg Fresh

    Scent: “Clean”

    The PetAg Fresh ‘N Clean Scented Dog Shampoo is an extremely clean formula that is completely soap-free. It is also completely pH-balanced and features plant-derived cleaners. Out of all the formulas on the market, this option is one of the gentlest.

    Furthermore, this formula is great at nourishing your dog’s coat. It does contain conditioners that can help keep your dog’s coat shiny, however, with a Pug, you probably aren’t worried about tangles.

    Extra vitamin E is added to help keep your dog smelling fresh and clean. In fact, your dog may continue to smell good for up to 2 weeks after a wash. Therefore, you may be able to elongate the time you spend between washes, allowing you to avoid over-washing your pug.

    With that said, some users were a bit disappointed with this shampoo’s scent—many complained that it didn’t leave their dog smelling fresh at all.

    Pros
    • Extra vitamin E
    • Soap-free
    Cons
    • Weak scent
    • Not as nourishing as other options

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    Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Pug Shampoo

    Usually, purchasing dog shampoo isn’t a huge deal. However, when it comes to Pugs, it absolutely is. They are known for having extremely sensitive skin. It is vital that you choose a gentle shampoo for your canine; otherwise, you may find yourself with an itchy dog.

    Sorting through all the ingredients and fragrances can be challenging, especially if you’re new to sensitive dogs. Below, we’ll explain everything that you need to know to choose the best shampoo for your Pug.

    Ingredients

    First and foremost, the ingredients in the shampoo matter a lot. While you don’t necessarily need to become an expert at shampoo formulation to find a shampoo that works for your dog, there are some things to keep an eye out for.

    Generally, the more ingredients there are in shampoo, the more likely a dog will react to one of the ingredients. Therefore, you preferably want a shampoo with very basic ingredients. If the ingredients are few and natural, then the odds of your dog having a reaction are not terribly serious.

    Of course, some dogs will have reactions to specific allergies. If your dog commonly has reactions, then you need to check the ingredient list and find the common denominator. Sometimes, it will be simple and even “natural” ingredients. Other times, they will be obvious chemicals.

    With that said, many dogs do not have specific allergies, though they may be sensitive to some harsh chemicals. Many pugs react to harsher chemicals, for instance. Therefore, we highly recommend that you choose a more natural option.

    There are also quite a few ingredients that are commonly added to shampoo to make it easier on a dog’s fur and skin. For instance, many include vitamin E, which is vital for skin health. Furthermore, aloe vera is commonly added.

    Some dogs react very well to these ingredients, while others don’t react at all. Other ones may even be sensitive to these ingredients, so it is vital for you to keep track of what ingredients are in your dog’s shampoo. If they have serious reactions, you should avoid shampoos with those ingredients in the future.

    Pug Bath
    Image By: Ezzlo, Shutterstock

    Price

    While we would all like to not worry about the price of products, it is extremely important when shopping. You don’t want to purchase something that you can’t afford. When looking at the price, keep the size of the bottle in mind as well. Smaller bottles may cost less, but they may actually be more expensive in the future. Therefore, you should look very carefully at the size and price.

    We took into account all of the prices while reviewing each product. Therefore, you should have a good idea of what each product costs by reading out reviews. Of course, prices do shift and change—just because a product was cheap the first time you purchased it doesn’t mean that it will continue to be cheap.

    We highly recommend that you keep looking at the price every few times you purchase to ensure that it is still worth the price.

    Effectiveness

    While we do want these formulas to be gentle, it is also vital that they clean effectively. A shampoo that doesn’t do its job is not a very good one—even if it doesn’t prevent your canine from getting irritated skin.

    However, there are several different ways that shampoo can work. For instance, while the primary purpose of shampoo is to clean, there are other ways that they works too. Many shampoos on this list are primarily designed to moisturize your dog’s skin and coat, which is a common problem of this breed.

    If your dog needs something to clean, you’ll need something different than if your dog has seriously dry skin. It all depends on what you need.

    If your dog has a clinical problem, then you may need a medicated shampoo. Obviously, this is going to be a bit different than just finding a cleaning shampoo. We highly recommend that you speak to your vet about the specific formulas that you should be looking for. Often, they will have a specific option that you need to purchase.

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    Conclusion

    There are lots of shampoos out there that may be gentle enough for pugs. However, they are not all made equal, so it is vital that you choose the right option for your canine. Of course, what your exact dog needs depends on a variety of factors, so you may need to try many different formulas before you finally settle on one.

    Still, our favorite option is the Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo. It is designed specifically to moisturize your dog’s skin and does an extremely good job at it. Plus, it is also a solid option for practically any sensitive dog out there, making it great for multi-pet homes.

    Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo with Colloidal Oat Flour is a cheaper option that is still very gentle. It has a natural pH balance that matches a dog’s skin and features many calming ingredients, like oat flour. However, the bottles are a bit smaller, so you may pay more in the long run.

    We hope that one of these formulas is suitable for your canine. When in doubt, we recommend speaking to your vet, especially if your dog has health problems. Often, they can recommend appropriate ingredients.


    Featured Image Credit: KDdesignphoto, Shutterstock

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