How To Pick The Right Shampoo For Your Shiba Inu (Solved)

With the wide variety of different types of dog shampoo on the market, some even breed specific, it took some time to narrow down everything I saw into a concrete list of go-to dog shampoos.

The best types of dog shampoo for Shiba Inus tend to have four things in common. They minimize harmful included harmful ingredients, focus on natural scents if any, prioritize keeping your Shiba’s coat and skin properly moisturized, and do all of that with the right PH balance. 

Since Shiba Inu’s are a dual-coat dog breed it’s critical you get their shampoo choice just right. And the best way to pick the right dog shampoo for your pet is by understanding what makes a given dog shampoo good or bad for them.

Shiba Inu being bathed

Indicators Of A High-Quality Dog Shampoo

If you are looking for the best dog shampoo for your Shiba Inu, there are a couple of rules you want to follow when you go shopping.

  1. Prioritize naturally derived ingredients, instead of chemicals.
  2. Look for soap-free options that hydrate and soothe skin, instead of drying their skin and coat out. Coconut, sweet almond, and sunflower oils are excellent for hydrating your pet’s coat and fur.
  3. Use pet-specific specially formulated shampoos instead of what you use on a daily basis. Your dog’s fur and skin is different from ours, and has different needs.

Another fantastic ingredient you can look for in dog shampoo is oatmeal. Oatmeal is used to help gently clean your pet’s skin and coat and is highly recommended for Shibas with sensitive skin.

Do not use human soap or shampoo on your Shiba. Human skin has a lower PH level than dog’s skin, human skin is more acidic. Lower PH-based soaps and shampoos commonly dry out a dogs skin and coat, along with irritating sensitive areas like your pet’s eyes and ears.

It’s best to use shampoos specifically formulated for dogs, this is one corner you don’t want to cut. What you gain in convenience, you lost in your Shiba’s health and safety. With that being said, let’s cover common dog shampoo ingredients you should avoid whenever possible.

Common Shampoo Ingredients You Should Avoid

  • Alcohol
  • Parabens
    • Methylparaben
    • Propylparaben
    • Isopropylparaben
  • Formaldehyde Precursors
    • 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bronopol)
    • Doazolidinyl urea
    • DMDM hydantoin
    • Imidazolidinyl urea
    • Quaternium-7, -15, -31, -61
    • Sodium hydroxymethyl glycinate
  • Artificial colors/dyes
  • Sulfates
    • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
    • Sodium laureth sulfate (SLS)
    • Ammonium lauryl sulfate
    • Ammonium laureth sulfate
    • Sodium coco sulfate
    • TEA lauryl sulfate
    • MEA lauryl sulfate
  • Ethanolamines (typically 3-letter acronyms)
    • Monoethanolamine (MEA)
    • Diethanolamine (DEA)
    • Triethanolamine (TEA)

While it can be difficult, you want to avoid as many of the above ingredients when looking for dog shampoo for your Shiba Inu. Higher-quality products avoid most, if not all, of the items on the list above.

If you realize your current dog shampoo has one or several of the ingredients I’ve covered,I recommend you stop using it and switch to a healthier option, I’ve listed my top picks for different categories below.

The Best Shampoos For Shiba Inus

The exact type of shampoo for your Shiba depends on your exact needs, preferences, and budget. All the dog shampoos I’ve listed below I’ve either used personally or got glowing reviews from other Shiba Inu owners.

Best Budget Dog Shampoo – Burt’s Bees Itch-Soothing Dog Shampoo

burts bees dog shampoo

Sometimes you just need something affordable that gets the job done, and Burt’s Bees itch-soothing shampoo is an excellent option for those budget-conscious pet owners that don’t want to skimp out on quality. It strikes a healthy balance between cleaning my Shiba’s skin and fur while not stripping away too many of the precious oils she relies on to stay clean and healthy. It even dodges common negative ingredients, like sulfates, which other budget dog shampoos include.

Best Shampoo For Shedding – Nature’s Miracle Shed Control Shampoo

natures miracle dog shampoo

One way to help keep your Shiba Inus constant shedding under control is by using a dog shampoo that focuses on moisturizing your pet’s skin and coat. And Nature’s Miracle shed control shampoo is one popular option many Shiba Inu owners have turned to. It’s a scented shampoo that leads your Shiba with a hint of citrus or palm-hibiscus, your choice depending on which bottle you choose.

Best Shampoo For Fleas & Ticks – Sentry Flea & Tick Oatmeal

sentry dog shampoo

If you think or know, your adult Shiba is struggling with fleas then get Sentury’s Flea & Tick oatmeal shampoo. I specify adult because it’s unfortunately not formulated for puppies, puppies have different needs and levels of sensitivities when it comes to adults. But for adults struggling with fleas, it’s amazing. It’s gentle, effective, doesn’t irritate their skin, and leaves your Shiba with a pleasant Hawaiian ginger scent.

Best Shampoo For Puppies – Burt’s Bees Tearless Puppy Shampoo

burts bees puppy shampoo

While some of the other shampoos on this list will work for puppies, it’s best to stick to products that are specifically formulated to your pup’s age, just like their food. Burt’s Bees was the winner for our budget shampoo option and their at it again for the best shampoo for your Shiba Inu puppy. The ingredient list is surprisingly clean, missing common problems like sulfates and paraben, all while still being properly PH balanced for your puppy’s skin, reducing the risk of irritation.

Best Shampoo For Multiple Dogs – Wahl Oatmeal Shampoo Concentrate

wahl oatmeal dog shampoo

Wahl’s oatmeal concentrate is another fantastic option for those budget-conscious pet owners and is even better than Burt’s Bees for multi-dog households. Their main ingredient, oatmeal, helps gently clean the dirty and grim your Shiba picks up while running around outside without irritating their eyes, ears, or sensitive skin. It’s even great for those seeking out a naturally scented dog shampoo thanks to it’s main ingredients: oatmeal, coconut, lime, aloe, and lemon verbena. And to top it all off, Wahl avoids common harsh ingredients like alcohol and parabens.

Vet Recommended – Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Hypoallergenic Shampoo

veterinary formula clinical care dog shampoo

What Veterinary Formula lacks in scents it makes up for in quality. Their hypoallergenic shampoo is ultra-gentle on your Shiba Inu’s coat and skin all while still getting the hidden dirt and grim hiding in their double coat. It’s fascinating for those with allergies, and it even keeps their skin nice and hydrated thanks to the coconut-based ingredients they’ve incorporated. It’s easily one of the best universal dog shampoos on this list, unless you’re looking for something gently scented.

Pet Groomer Recommended – Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe

earthbath dog shampoo

The absolute standout for “best shampoo recommended by groomers” is easily Earthbath’s oatmeal & aloe blend. It’s cruelty-free, leaves a natural artificial-free scent, and really cleans your Shiba’s double coat, all while keeping ear, eye, and skin irritation at an absolute minimum. That pleasant scent being vanilla and almond.

Do Shibas Inus Need Conditioner?

Most vets and pet groomers recommend getting your pet conditioner if they’re washed more than once a month, and since you at most want to bath a Shiba Inu once a month, conditioner isn’t recommended for them.

Shiba Inus are naturally clean and dog-scent-free, only needing to be bathed under exceptional circumstances, like if they get muddy, or if you want to help minimize the loose fur around coat blowing season.

Summary Of How To Pick The Best Dog Shampoo

Picking the right shampoo for your Shiba Inu can seem daunting at first, but we can quickly narrow that massive list down. If you are just starting out I highly recommend you grab a bottle of Burt’s Bees dog shampoo, it’s affordable, is commonly unscented, and will easily lasts for months – since you don’t have to bathe Shiba Inus that often.

If you struggle with allergies then I highly recommend the Veterinary Formula shampoo. It’s also fairly affordable, and while I myself don’t suffer from pet allergies some of my friends do and have started switching over to this shampoo because it’s helped them.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Human Shampoo Can I Use On My Dog?

No human shampoo or soap is safe or healthy enough to use on your dog. That’s because our skin has a lower PH balance, is more acidic, than our dog’s skin. Using human soaps and shampoos on pets leads to ear, eye, and skin irritation. While drying their skin and coat out.

Is Johnson’s Baby Shampoo Safe For Dogs?

While baby shampoos, like Johnson & Johnson, are gentler on skin than regular adult shampoo you still should avoid using it as a substitute for your dog’s shampoo. While shampoo formulated for babies is tear-free it can still lead to unwanted ear, eye, and skin irritation.

What Dog Shampoo Do Vets Recommend?

Vets focus on your pet’s health first and foremost, making vet-formulated and tested shampoos their number one recommendation. The most recommended dog shampoo I’ve heard from vet’s is Veterinary Formula’s clinical care hypoallergenic shampoo, commonly found on Amazon.

What Dog Shampoo Do Groomers Recommend?

Pet groomers focus on making your dog look, feel, and smell their very best. A common shampoo recommendation they make to help most real pet owners achieve that is Earhbath Oatmeal & Aloe shampoo, commonly found on Amazon. It is scented but through natural ingredients.

How Often Should You Wash A Shiba Inu?

While Shiba Inus require regular brushing but the same isn’t true for bathing. Shiba Inus are a double-coated dog breed that relies on the natural oils on their outer coat to repel dirt and moisture. Shiba Inus should be bathed, at most, once every 6 weeks.

Colby Adkins

I am a proud Shiba Inu owner who is just looking to share any tips, tricks, or advice I have to help others.

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