As a dog parent, a good hair conditioner is one of the most essential items needed in your grooming kit. Dog hair conditioners are designed to help canines retain moisture and give their fur a healthy look. A conditioner detangles the dog’s fur and gives it a shiny appearance. In line with DogGear’s commitment to always give you the best dog grooming products, we scoured the market to assess various brands of dog conditioners to draw up this list of the best dog hair conditioners in 2024.
Sometimes, your dog’s coat may be stripped of essential oils after washing it with shampoo. This does not mean you should stop shampooing your dog’s fur – how else will you remove dirt and grime. However, with a quality dog hair conditioner, you can keep your furry pet’s skin moisturized and replace essential oils in no time.
Dog parents always want the best for their pets, and the reason is not far-fetched. A well-groomed dog is a livelier and happier dog. Dehydrated skin is one of the things that could hinder your dog’s healthy living. Hair conditioners, among other things, help rehydrate your dog’s skin to give the coat a shiny look. We reviewed the best hair conditioners in 2024 above; in this buying guide, we explain the subtle details about dog hair conditioners, why they are needed, how to use them, and the different factors to consider when shopping for one. We provide answers to frequently asked questions about dog hair conditioners and general dog grooming in the final part of the guide.
Are Dog Hair Conditioners Really Needed?
This question is quite common among dog parents hearing about dog hair conditioners for the first time. They wonder if it is just another grooming item that will be a waste of money. Dog hair conditioners are not a waste of money as they offer immense benefits to dogs. Below are some important reasons to pick up a hair conditioner for your dog today.
Tangled and matted hair makes your furry friend look like a homeless dog. Matted hair is particularly common among dogs with long coats. After trying to detangle the hair with no success, a hair conditioner is all you need. Conditioners are designed to soften the dog’s coat, making detangling and combing easy. Therefore, if your dog often has a matted or tangled coat, you should pick up a hair conditioner for dogs.
When you bathe your dog frequently, it causes their skin to lose moisture and essential skin oils. This does not necessarily imply that you should stop washing your dog. Washing keeps your dog clean at all times. Instead, you should get a conditioner that closes the hair shaft to prevent the loss of moisture and essential oils.
Alleviating itchy skin
If you have been around dogs long enough, you know the kind of discomfort itchy skin causes them. Applying a conditioner after a bath soothes and softens their skin. While itchy skin could be a sign of other conditions like dandruff, a conditioner keeps them comfortable while you find a solution to the overarching problem.
Can I Use a Human Hair Conditioner Instead of a Hair Conditioner for Dogs?
You aren’t the first person to feel tempted to use their hair conditioner on dogs. A simple survey will even reveal that this thought has crossed the mind of most dog owners at one time or the other. However, the simple answer is no. If human hair conditioners work for dogs, too, there won’t be a need for dog hair conditioners in the first place. Humans and dogs have different pH levels, and the conditioners are made to suit the pH of their target users. This simple analysis means you risk upsetting the pH balance of your dog’s skin when you use human hair conditioners on them. Apart from that, human hair conditioners are more expensive than dog conditioners; you don’t want to waste such an expensive item and risk irritating your dog’s skin at the same time.
What Factors Should I Consider Before Buying a Dog Hair Conditioner?
A visit to your local dog store will show you that many brands of hair conditioners are available. Therefore, it is vital to know the important factors when buying the conditioner.
Your dog’s needs
The single most important factor you should consider is your dog’s needs. What skin/coat condition do you want the conditioner to combat? Identifying your dog’s specific needs will help you select the appropriate conditioner. While there are general-purpose dog hair conditioners, there are also conditioners that combat specific skin conditions like shedding and dry skin. However, if your dogs do not have any underlying skin condition, you can opt for the general-purpose conditioner that enhances the smoothness of your dogs’ coats.
Another factor you will need to consider is the conditioner’s scent. Some brands of dog hair conditioner are scented, while others are not. While the scented conditioners have the advantage of making your dogs smell nicer, some dog parents simply prefer unscented moisturizers. For those that prefer scented moisturizers, it is important to check the specific scent to ensure you like it. Some brands have multiple scents for you to select. It is also good to know how long the scent lasts. Some scents last a few hours, while some linger on for many days as well.
Rinse-out vs. Leave-in conditioners
When it comes to dog hair moisturizers, you have two options: rinse-out conditioners and leave-in conditioners. For rinse-out conditioners, you need to wash the conditioner off after application. Rinse-out conditioners are the thicker of the two types of conditioners. Leave-in conditioners are absorbed into the dog’s skin and thus do not require rinsing. They are good for detangling a dog’s coat.
The conditioner’s versatility is a point you may want to consider, particularly if you have multiple dog breeds or multiple pets. For instance, if you have two dogs with different coat types, you should look for a conditioner that works on long and short coats. It is also a good idea for those that have dogs and cats to opt for a versatile hair conditioner that is suitable for both animals.
You should check the ingredients used to formulate the conditioner to ensure it is free of toxic substances. It does not matter if your dog has sensitive skin or not; conditioners that contain toxic ingredients should be avoided. Instead, you should opt for conditioners with natural ingredients like honey, aloe vera, and oatmeal.
This factor is even more important for dogs that have allergies. Ensure the conditioner does not contain any substance that may trigger your dog’s allergy.
How to Apply Dog Hair Conditioners
Applying conditioner on your dog’s hair is not rocket science. After shampooing your dog, rub the conditioner on the dog in the direction the hair grows. If it is a rinse-out conditioner, rinse off the conditioner after three to four minutes. If it is a leave-in conditioner, you don’t need to rinse it off. You can check additional instructions on the bottle.
How Much do Dog Hair Conditioners Cost?
Hair conditioners for dogs cost between $5 and $150. Size is the first factor that determines the price of dog hair conditioners. The ingredient used is another factor that determines the price.
If your dog has tangled hair and reeks of bad odor, this is the dog hair conditioner for you. The PetAg Dog Hair Conditioner does not just condition your dog’s hair; it leaves it smelling nice for up to two weeks. This specially formulated dog conditioner has a lower pH level that closes the dog’s hair cuticle to prevent the loss of skin nutrients and moisturizers. The PetAg Dog Hair Conditioner also contains aloe vera and vitamin E that lubricates and moisturizes the dog’s hair for easy combing.
This is a conditioner that works for both dogs and cats. Yes, you read that right. The John Paul Pet Dog Hair Conditioner is an all-in-one solution for pet parents that have dogs and cats. This conditioning rinse contains five conditioning agents, including chamomile and oatmeal, to create a conditioner that leaves your pet’s hair soft, shiny, and easy to comb. This dog hair conditioner is pH-balanced and free of paraben. It comes in a 16-ounce bottle that costs less than $8 and a bigger 128 fl oz bottle.
Coat shedding is every dog parent’s nightmare. When you notice your canine’s coat sheds heavily, it is time to pick up the TropiClean dog hair conditioner. This anti-shedding hair conditioner comes in three packs – 1 gallon, 2.5 gallons, and 20 fl oz –allowing you to choose the one that suits your needs. It is free of dye, soap, and paraben. The conditioner leaves your dog smelling nice because it has the refreshing scent of lime and cocoa butter.
Reduces shedding and leaves the dog smelling nice
Adaptable and can be applied to a cat’s fur as well
The Warren London Dog Hair Conditioner is a hydrating leave-in conditioner that works for all types of coats. It is easy to use because it doesn’t need post-application rinsing. This non-oily conditioner comes in two scent variants – the guava and mango scent variant and the pomegranate and acai scent. An application keeps your dog’s skin hydrated for 24 hours. The conditioner is the perfect solution to your dog’s dry skin as it releases emollients every 2 hours for the next 24 hours.
Absorbs quickly and doesn’t need to be rinsed off after application
The Burt’s Bees Dog Hair Conditioner is every dog parent’s delight; it does it all. It soothes your dog’s skin, softens the hair, and moisturizes your dog’s dry skin. The conditioner blends the moisturizing capabilities of ingredients like avocado, lavender, honey, and oatmeal.
This dog hair conditioner is vet-recommended and made of all-natural ingredients. It is free of sulfates, parabens, and colorants. The conditioner is pH-balanced to ensure your dog’s skin does not react negatively to its application.
Suitable for all dogs, irrespective of age
Free of harsh chemicals
The conditioner may be too thin for thicker coats
People Also Asked
Q: Do double-coated dogs need conditioner?
A: Yes, they do. When you use a conditioner on a double-coated dog, you loosen the undercoat, making it easy to comb and brush through.
Q: Can I wash my dog with only conditioner?
A: For best results, it is recommended that you use a conditioner after shampooing your dog. Ideally, a conditioner is meant to close up the hair shaft after a bath.
Q: How often should you condition your dog’s hair?
A: You should condition your dog as often as you wash it.
Q: Are 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner good?
A: Yes, they are. However, 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioners tend to focus on the shampooing part than the conditioning part. This is why stand-alone conditioners are preferred to 2-in-1 products.
Jarett and his vapor wake dog, Toxi, help keep the students and public safe on the University of Notre Dame’s campus. Jarett knows what equipment, food and toys to keep Toxi safe, productive and still able to have fun.