If you’re in a rush and don’t have time to read the full guide, we think the best dog conditioner is the Pro Pooch Dog Detangler Spray. Customers love how effective it is on matted hair and we love the quality ingredients that will have your dog’s coat gleaming.
Like human shampoos, the choice can seem endless when looking for the best dog conditioners, and there are few things to consider other than do you want an aloe vera conditioner or one that makes your dog’s fur smell like coconut.
The best conditioners for dogs will detangle your dog’s fur, protect the hair shaft, all whilst nourishing and being gentle on Fido’s skin.
In this article, we will be reviewing:
We will also look at:
- How do dog conditioners work?
- The benefits of using dog conditioners
- Leave-in or rinse out dog conditioners-which is best?
- When you don’t need a dog conditioner
The Best Dog Conditioners
Using a quality dog conditioner and shampoos for dogs will make your dog’s coat soft and much easier to brush; it will also soothe irritated skin and add moisture.
We have tested the top-rated options available, so let’s dive in and see which ones shine.
Buyers Guide and Reviews
Top Pick for Matted Coats – Pro Pooch Dog Detangler Spray – Hair Conditioner for Dogs – Professional Formula for Dematting & Detangling – Leave-in Grooming Spray for Your Pooch – 500ml
No more tangles! this PH balanced dog conditioner will detangle matted fur and is specially formulated to nourish your dog’s skin
With the soothing blend of citrus extracts and wheat proteins to restore shine, this dog conditioner spray will make the grooming process a lot easier and as with all Pro Pooch products, this conditioner is free from parabens, SLS, and alcohol, making it safe to use even on the most sensitive dogs
Trusted by professional groomers and pet owners alike to have dogs looking their best, Pro Pooch are an ethical company; none of their shampoos or conditioners are tested on animals and they partner with a charity donating a percentage of their profits to dogs in need
- Not much fragrance
Best Smelling Conditioner – High Maintenance Leave-In Conditioner, 8.5oz Strawberry Yogurt
We love this strawberry yoghurt leave-in conditioner; the lavender and aloe vera calm irritated skin and the added pro-vitamin B5 strengthens the hair cuticle leaving a soft and shiny coat that is free from tangles with no sticky residue.
All Pet Head shampoos are made in the USA using human-quality ingredients. Their pH-balanced dog grooming products will not harm Fido if licked and they do not contain any petroleum derivatives.
Best of all, and one of the reasons we love this brand are the unique fragrances that make your dog smell great and ready for cuddles.
- Some reviews mention it’s quite greasy, so it may not be great for oily coats.
Best Dog Conditioner for Dry Skin – CHI for Dogs Oatmeal Conditioner For Dogs, 177ml | Best Oatmeal Dog Conditioner For Dogs With Dry Skin | Sulfate And Paraben Free, pH Balanced For Dogs, Made in the USA
Sometimes the best dog shampoo is not enough and you need a separate conditioner to help detangle your dog’s fur and leave the coat shiny. CHI oatmeal Conditioner helps soothe and rehydrate the skin and coat.
Ionic technology seals the hair cuticle, reduces frizz leaving long-haired dogs super-soft and silky smooth. The luxurious PH balanced formula is gentle on sensitive skin and can be safely used on puppies from 8 weeks upwards.
Apply the conditioner from the back of the ears to the tail after shampooing (Chi also do an oatmeal shampoo,) massage into your dog’s coat, leave for around 5 minutes then rinse thoroughly
- We couldn’t find any negative feedback for this dog conditioner.
Top Choice for Leave-In Conditioners –Vet’s Best Moisture Mist Dog Dry Skin Conditioner and Detangler Spray, Relieves Itchy Skin, Refreshes & Soothes, 470ml.
Vet’s Best Moisture Mist dog conditioner is a leave-in spray jam-packed with natural ingredients like aloe vera, sage and cucumber, as well as pro-vitamin B5 and skin conditioners.
It’s perfect for dogs with flaky skin or skin allergies as it nourishes, detangles and adds lustre to dull, lifeless coats.
It is safe to use alongside topical treatments if you have a flea infestation and can be used daily between baths to restore moisture. Vets Best is a vet recommended brand committed to using plant-based ingredients for high quality, safe pet products.
Some customers are not keen on the pump-action spray.
This intensive Groom Professional conditioner contains a blend of Moroccan argan oil plus conditioning agents, which penetrate the coat restoring shine to lacklustre fur, leaving it soft and silky
Perfect for damaged coats, or ones in poor condition, essential fatty acids strengthen the follicles preventing breakage without stripping your dog’s natural oils
Suitable for all breeds, whether long or short-haired, this brand can be used safely on pups from 8 weeks old and is used by grooming salon owners all over the country. It has a dilution ratio of 10.1, so a little goes a long way. Groom Professional also do a complimentary argan oil shampoo
- Some owners find the scent a bit overpowering
Best for Big Dogs – Wahl Dog Detangler Spray – Easy Groom Dog Conditioner and Detangling Spray, 1 Gallon Refill
Wahl is a popular brand when it comes to grooming products and this professional-strength detangling conditioner is a great addition to your bath time supplies.
It works efficiently, separating and conditioning your dog’s hair without any uncomfortable pulling and tugging.
It contains no silicone, so there won’t be any sticky residue. You can use it as a regular conditioning treatment after shampooing, or alternatively, it can be used as a leave-in conditioner.
This big bottle is ideal for professionals or those with large dogs with high maintenance coats and if the reviews are anything to go by, pet owners love the fragrance.
- Cheaper to buy the refill, but you need to purchase the original 500ml bottle first
Top Choice for a Hypoallergenic Conditioner – Earthbath Fragrance-Free Dog Conditioner, 472 ml, Oatmeal and Aloe
This fragrance-free conditioner has been developed to nourish and detangle your pet’s coat effectively.
The Earthbath oatmeal and aloe conditioner helps soothe dry and itchy skin and, when used with the Earthbath shampoo, will leave your dog’s fur in prime condition.
Like all the products in their range, this Earthbath oatmeal and aloe conditioner contains no parabens, artificial dyes, sulphates or artificial fragrances and is completely cruelty-free. Safe to use on puppies from 6 weeks of age, it can be diluted 10.1 and it will not wash off topical flea treatments.
- Not the cheapest in our round-up
Money-Back Guarantee – Animigo Professional Grooming Conditioner For Dogs & Cats – 500ml – Natural Pet Care Conditioner For Dematting & Detangling – With Lavender, Coconut & Avocado Oil
Treat your dog to a premium quality hair care treatment with this odour eliminating dog conditioner. The unique combination of coconut oil, aloe vera and lavender will have Fido’s coat soft, shiny and smelling divine.
It also contains natural cleansing agents, so you can use this on your dog’s coat even if they haven’t been in the bath. There are no toxic nasties that could harm your pet in this formula and it comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee for peace of mind.
Using natural ingredients, Animigo has found a way to leave your dog clean, tangle-free and smelling fresh without fuss. What’s not to love?
- Can be used for cats too, so Fido may need to share
Best for Curly and Thick Coats – Groomers Evening Primrose Oil Conditioner For Dogs, 250ml
Groomers are a brand that features in most of our dog shampoo reviews as they do a fantastic range and this great conditioner is no exception.
Perfect for dogs that have sensitive, itchy skin and thick coats, the evening primrose oil helps to get rid of the toughest tangles leaving your pooch feeling pampered and preened to “pawfection”
Evening primrose oil boasts fantastic healing and moisturising qualities containing fatty acids and Omega 3; it can help repair skin and boost new hair growth. Recent studies have shown that it also benefits several skin conditions such as alopecia and dandruff and it can also help with excessive shedding in some dogs.
- Contains SLS
Burt’s Bees Dog Shampoo for Puppies, 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner, Buttermilk and Linseed Oil, 16 Oz
If you don’t want to use a separate conditioner, we recommend this 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner by Burt’s Bees. It is recommended by vets and is free from sulphates, artificial fragrances and colourants.
Nourishing buttermilk soothes the skin and linseed oil conditions your dog’s fur leaving it sleek, shiny and smelling lush. Colloidal oat flour, honey and beeswax are ideal for dogs with skin conditions and the all-natural, safe ingredients make it safe to use on delicate puppy skin too.
Burt’s bees conditioner gets fantastic reviews; pet parents love the luxurious formula, natural plant-based ingredients and ethical approach of this brand which is why it’s one of the best shampoo and conditioner options available.
- May be a bit pricey for some
Why Using a Conditioner May Benefit your Dog’s Coat
Breeds with Long Hair
Like humans, if your dog has long hair, it can be a pain in the rear end trying to remove tangles after shampooing. Using the best dog conditioner will not only improve the coat, but it will also make those mats much easier to tackle. There is also sensitive skin shampoo for dogs which may be worth considering if your pet is often in pain due to their coast and skin. Think breeds like:
- Afghan Hound
- Yorkshire Terrier
Dog’s without undercoats have hair that resembles human hair, it’s thin and easily tangles, so will definitely benefit from using a canine conditioner. This coat can become brittle, so a conditioner will help strengthen the hair shaft, leaving a smooth glossy finish. Breeds without an undercoat include;
- Wheaten Terrier
Pet parents with a double-coated breed will already know the challenges their coats present, not least the shedding. These breeds always need conditioning after a bath as their hair can become extremely matted. Our resident groomer Dyane from Bright Eyes Dog Grooming, recommends using a dog conditioner spray and a good brush between baths to keep loose hair to a minimum. Breeds that have double coats include;
- Golden Retriever
If you have a dog that gets frequent baths, for example, a show dog, one with skin conditions or one that just gets filthy after every walk, you should definitely be using a conditioner, as too many baths strip away your dogs’ natural oils leaving them prone to dry, itchy skin and infections. Dog conditioners close the hair shaft and retain moisture and many have added ingredients like oatmeal, shea butter and coconut to soothe your dog’s skin.
If your dog has itchy skin, you may need to bathe them more often to get rid of allergens. And as mentioned above, washing too frequently can cause its own problems. An oatmeal formula like the Earthbath oatmeal and aloe conditioner is a good choice to soothe and repair your dog’s skin and look for added botanicals such as chamomile and evening primrose oil.
We all love a snuggle with our best friends, but sometimes the “Eau de Dog” can be a bit over-powering; having a sweet-smelling conditioning spray to hand will make cuddles much more pleasant, which is why the Pet Head leave-in conditioners get top marks.
Bath Time Blues
If your pup hates getting bathed, it can be a stressful experience for both dog and owner, but the good news is; there are still things you can do to keep Fido looking and smelling his best. There are some excellent dry shampoos available and you can use a leave-in conditioner afterwards, which will help with the tangles and leave your pup smelling sweet.
How a Dog Conditioner Works
When you wash hair, be it human or dog hair, shampoo lifts the dirt and oils from the shaft and the hair dries out; this makes it easier to tangle and uncomfortable to brush.
Conditioner helps by coating the hair, which smoothes the shaft, allowing the hairs to slide freely apart from one another; most conditioners also moisturise the skin, which can become dry from too many baths.
Most groomers use conditioners containing silicones; whilst some don’t like these being used in doggy products, they coat the hair and protect it from damage, leaving it smooth and silky.
Brushing daily using a leave-in conditioner will mean less time messing about in the bathroom and your dog will benefit from the increased blood circulation, which will strengthen the hair; also, there are so many water variables in the UK, a good dog conditioner is a must.
Which is Better, A Leave-in Spray Conditioner or Rinse Out Dog Conditioner
A regular dog conditioner is applied after shampooing and then rinsed out after a few minutes. During this time, it closes the cuticles to prevent tangling and restores the moisture lost during the bathing process.
Leave-in conditioners can be applied to either wet or dry fur and are a great pick me up for your dog’s coat between baths; they are usually lighter than rinse out dog conditioners and maintain that freshly bathed appearance; they also make daily grooming easier.
It’s really down to personal choice and the condition of your dog’s coat and skin which you choose; some brands do both so that you can use a rinse-out one in the tub and a spray for freshen ups after walks etc.
When Don’t you Need a Dog Conditioner?
When you don’t need to use conditioner, even the best dog conditioner can be overused and like too much shampooing, it will do more harm than good.
Wire coated breeds shouldn’t be conditioned as it softens their wiry fur too much and show dogs that have specific cuts that need to stay in place can omit the conditioner too, so the hair stands up better for scissoring.
You should also check with your vet if your pooch suffers from skin conditions; even a good shampoo and the best dog conditioner can cause an allergic reaction in dogs, especially if they contain tea tree oil or wheat proteins.
Can I use a human conditioner on my dog?
Human conditioners and human skin have a different PH level to dogs, so don’t go reaching for the Alberto Balsam; they are too harsh for a dog’s sensitive skin and may damage it. Use the best dog conditioners for the best results.
Do dogs really need a conditioner?
Even a shorthaired dog may benefit from a conditioner, as they protect the hair shaft and moisturise the skin; if you don’t want to invest in a separate product, there are some excellent 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner options.
What’s the best dog conditioner for a Labradoodle?
This breed definitely needs a dog conditioner; not only are they prone to mats and tangles both parent breeds, the Poodle and Labrador, are prone to skin conditions and allergies; therefore, I would go for one that removes matted fur and is hypoallergenic like the Earthbath oatmeal and aloe conditioner.
Conclusion and Top Pick
Many people don’t particularly like bathing their dog; in my case, I end up wetter than the dog and the bathroom looks like a warzone. So it’s no surprise we want to get the job over and done with as soon as possible.
But wait, spending an extra couple of minutes conditioning your pooch can make all the difference to the condition of their coat and make the subsequent brushing much easier. Take a look at the different dry shampoos for dogs for alternative options.
We’ve reviewed the best dog conditioners above and in our opinion and many other owners going the reviews the best is Pro Pooch Dog Detangler Spray. It’s great for matted hair leaving your dog’s coat smooth and soft.
The best dog conditioner may be seen as a bit of a luxury but just think how our hair feels when we don’t have a human conditioner. Most dogs benefit from conditioners, so don’t just shampoo; condition too!