If your dog loves water – swimming, bathing, playing – then you are incredibly lucky. Some dogs hate water so much that when it comes to bath time, they will whine, cry, try to jump out of the tub, and can even hurt your arms by trying to cling to you, depending on the size of your dog. Dogs of the luckier pet parents will enjoy being wet and spending time in swimming pools.

The Benefits of Waterless Dog Shampoo
Photo: strelitzia

Every dog should be given a full bath at least once every few months. But what about when your dog has gotten some dirt on one area of his coat or he seems a little stinky in between baths? That’s where waterless dog shampoo comes in handy!

Most waterless dog shampoo can be applied to a washcloth or paper towel and wiped on the dog, and some come in spray bottles to conveniently spray the area on your dog’s coat that needs cleaning. You can also find waterless shampoos in powder or foam forms. They are all simple and effective, just select the type that meets your personal needs or preferences.

Benefits of Using Waterless Dog Shampoo

The best way to get your dog to enjoy baths is to get him into the tub frequently. You can start a great routine when he’s a puppy by giving him a bath once a week. Make it fun and give him plenty of treats afterward, and he’ll probably love baths by the time he’s an adult.

That’s not what most pet owners do though. Most of us don’t realize how much our dog’s dislike bathing until they are full grown and begin fighting back when we try to get them in the tub. If your dog gives you too much trouble, you can always bring him to a professional groomer, but that gets expensive.

I save myself time and money by bathing my dog with waterless shampoo in between his normal baths. You can find waterless shampoos in any pet store or in the pet care isle of most department stores. Not only are they easy to use, but they have a lot of benefits for your dog’s skin and coat as well.

Why I Use Waterless Shampoo

My dog is a golden labrador, pit bull mix, which means that she’s incredibly big. My dog also cannot stand water, and will do just about anything to get out of that bathtub when it comes to bath time. I’ve had my arms scratched up more times than I can remember. That’s why I use Perfect Coat Waterless Shampoo for my dog.

Benefits of Using Waterless Dog ShampooWaterless shampoo cancels out the dangers that come with bath time. For example, say you have a medium-sized dog, who hates the water and will do anything to get out of the tub. If your dog decides to bite you, because they are too scared or upset, or they try to jump out of the tub by going through or over you, both of you could get hurt.

RELATED: Dog Care 101: How to Groom Your Dog at Home

Waterless shampoo is sprayed on and rubbed, or brushed, through their fur, that’s it. No water, no soap, and absolutely no danger associated with a dog in water that hates being wet.

I try my best to use products that foster the relationship that I have with my dog. Struggling to get her in the tub and forcing her to get in the water is a very negative situation. Waterless dog shampoo gives us a chance to do something together that we both enjoy; I like making sure my girl is clean and smelling fresh, and she enjoys getting rubbed with a towel and having her fur brushed. It’s a win-win situation, as opposed to bathing which ends up being a bad experience for both of us.

No Worries of an Allergic Reaction

There are plenty of dogs out there who are allergic to ingredients in shampoos and conditioners for dogs. Some products even contain grain, which a lot of dogs can be allergic to, or cannot handle. My dog, for example, has an issue with grain. Her skin gets a rash and she starts to sneeze.

Initially we switched her brand of dog food, thinking that was the only dog product we used with grain in it. Then when I found out most dog shampoos contain grain, I switched her to waterless shampoo, and we’ve seen a complete change in her skin and coat.

If you have a dog who has allergies, switching him to a waterless shampoo could make him more comfortable, and it will give you a feeling of ease knowing that your dog is safe from coming into contact with anything that could give him an allergic reaction.

I’m not saying waterless shampoo is a cure-all solution. You still need to be wary of the products that you use on your dog’s skin. Make sure to read labels, and if your dog has a severe skin issue you should bring him into your veterinarian’s office for more information. Through allergy testing, your vet can find out exactly what is causing your dog’s skin irritation, and it may take more than waterless shampoo to help him.

Dogs With Medical Problems Will Stay Calm

If you have a dog with a medical problem, such as hip dysplasia or severe arthritis, using waterless shampoo will help keep him calm and comfortable during bath time. It can be extremely difficult to get a dog with a medical condition into the tub, even if you have a special step ladder for them.

RELATED: Best Pet Bath for Dogs: Booster Dog Wash Tubs

Your dog probably won’t lie down in water, and it can be hard on his hips and joints to stand in the tub for 20-30 minutes while you bath him. The pressure of you scrubbing his fur could cause your dog to slip or fall as well. Not to mention that many dogs become afraid when in the bathtub, and your dog may begin to shake or try to escape which could cause him a lot of pain.

Water can be comforting to a dog with certain health problems, but it’s better to keep them clear of the bath tub. Baths tend to stress dogs out. If you’re looking to bathe your dog in a setting that won’t freak him out, try a lake. Otherwise, waterless shampoo may be the best route to take for your dog.

Top 5 most popular waterless dog shampoos on Amazon:

  1. Wahl 820015 No-Rinse Waterless Shampoo
  2. Dog Shampoo – Natural, Instant Cleaning Mist
  3. Miracle Coat Spray on Waterless Dog Shampoo
  4. Waterless Pet Bath Enzyme Coat Stain and Odor Remover
  5. Fresh Dog Waterless Bath Foam Shampoo

* The above top 5 picks for most popular waterless dog shampoos are based on Amazon’s search results [July, 2015].

The Process Literally Takes Minutes

When you wash your dog with shampoo, it can take forever depending on how he reacts to bath time and the type of coat he has. Bath time requires the long process of wetting the dog, applying and scrubbing in the shampoo, rinsing it off, and drying the dog in or out of the tub. This can take more than an hour if you have a large dog with a thick coat, especially if your dog is fussy and wants nothing to do with soap or water.

The Benefits of Waterless Dog Shampoo
Photo: wsilver

However, with waterless shampoo, all you have to do is spray it on, rub it through their fur, and brush it out. The entire process takes ten to fifteen minutes, depending on the size and breed of your dog, and that’s it!

RELATED: Fluff Your Pup: Vital Pet Grooming Tools for the Job

This is also great for dogs who like to play in mud and get dirty, but hate the bath. If your dog is all muddy after a walk or romp in the woods, use a dish towel or a cloth to wipe most of the mud off. Then you simply spray your dog with the waterless shampoo, let it sit for a couple of seconds, and wipe it all off. It’s the quickest and easiest way to get your dog clean!

Waterless Shampoo is a Pet Owners Dream Come True!

Using a waterless shampoo on your dog if he has allergies, medical problems, or is very fussy when it comes to soap and water, is the best way to keep him happy and clean. Keep in mind that you should never use human shampoo or conditioner on your dog, because it’s extremely harmful to their skin.

Certain dogs need traditional baths more than others. For example, if your dog has long hair and is prone to mats and tangles, they should receive a bath more often to keep their fur soft and tangle-free. Mats can pull your dog’s fur and cause them pain.

If your dog requires more frequent baths, you may want to consider professional grooming. It is a little more expensive, but it will save you from having to wrestle your dog into the bathtub, risking injury to your self and your pup. Dry baths with waterless shampoos are great, but you can’t rely on them exclusively.

Speak to your vet about which brand of waterless shampoo, or even dry powder shampoo, is best for your dog. In the end, selecting the proper brand based on your dog’s size and breed is your best bet. Remember that for every four waterless shampoo baths, you should give your dog at least one bath with soap and water.