Do I really need a conditioner?

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Do I Really Need To Use Conditioner on My Dog? 

Most people dislike bathing their dog because, let’s admit it, it’s a pain in the rear end. By the end of the process you’re wetter than your dog, and the bathroom is left in shambles. So for most, the idea of prolonging the bathing experience one minute longer is not even an option. However, that one or two extra minutes to condition your dog can really improve the state of their coat.

The case for conditioners – As we all know, shampoos by design are used for removing unwanted grime from the skin and coat. But shampooing, without sealing the coat afterwords, leaves the hair shaft open where residue can enter and oils and hydration escape. But conditioning after shampooing will close the hair cuticle and restore hydration, moisture and elasticity.

Conditioners also fill in the damaged hair that drying, brushing, dematting and petting cause. Just normal wear and tear chips away at the hair cuticle which a conditioner will restore to a smooth state and one that gives a more lustrous appearance and feel.

So, in a nutshell it’s definitely better to condition your dog than not to condition. But some dogs benefit more than others. To determine if your dog is a good candidate and if the extra two or three minutes conditioning your dog is worth your time, answer the following questions:

1. How long is your dog’s coat?
2. Does he/she have an under coat?
3. How often do you wash your dog?
4. Does your dog have itchy skin?
5. How adverse is your dog to bath time?

Long Coats

If your dog has a long coat, then it may be prone to mattes and tangles (think Maltese, Yorkies, Afgans). Using a conditioner will not only make your dog’s coat healthier it will make your job a lot easier by helping to remove mattes and tangles and the after bath brush out will be a breeze.

SDS Recommendations - 

Cindra - Moisture Plus Conditioner

Keep those luxurious long silky coats supple and shiny. Remoisturize dry hair and skin with our unique combination of special oils and vitamins. This unique, non-greasy conditioner is designed to penetrate and soften the coat and skin. Eliminate the need for additional hot oil treatments, detanglers, anti-statics, creme rinses and chalk helpers. 

Groomer's Edge - Re-furbish Coat Conditioner and Creme Rinse

REFURBISH™ is the ultimate conditioner for long-haired and thick-coated animals! Loosens tangles to make comb-out easier. Helps loosen undercoat during shedding periods. Leaves hair silky and shiny. Enriched with Panthenol, Aloe and vitamins A, D, and E.


Dog’s without undercoats will probably receive the most benefit from a conditioner. Because their hair most resembles human hair, it’s thin, easily tangles and gets dirty quickly. Dogs with undercoats usually have thicker coarser hair (like a lab) and therefore do not matte and the coat tends to repel dirt.

Best Shot - UltraMax - 8:1 Pro Conditioner

For the most stubborn shedding, thick undercoat, and long drop coats requiring added slip and flow

  • Silk protein enriched
  • Makes thick coats flow gracefully
  • Technically advanced hydrating conditioners
  • Features extra Coat Release

Also Recommended for wrestling severely damaged, matted, or tangled hair. Try using with our original Ultra Wash or One Shot Whitening shampoo and discover endless possibilities.

Coat Handler - Undercoat Control Conditioner

Coat Handler™ Undercoat Conditioner contains special fatty acids and vitamins to combat shedding by adding strength to the root of hair follicles, controlling hair loss.

Wash Frequency

If you wash your dog often (more than 1x per month) you should definitely condition your dog to close that hair shaft so the coat retains moisture. 

Itchy Skin

If your dog has itchy skin, you may want to bathe your dog more often to get rid of allergens. And if you’re washing you dog frequently, conditioner is a good idea. Be sure to use one that has oatmeal which works wonders for itchy skin and other botanicals to help combat itchy skin. Look for herbs like aloe, burdock, comfrey and boswellia to help with inflammation.

Pure Paws - Oatmeal and Aloe Vera Conditioner


This truly remarkable formula contains Wheat Germ Oil, Protein, Vitamin E, and other special ingredients that deep condition instantly, leaving the coat shiny and in top show condition. Super Cream™ moisturizes and revitalizes the skin to help prevent and relieve dryness and itching. It is great for dry, damaged hair. Super Cream™ is non-irritating, anti-static, and pH balanced to natural skin acidity.

Bath Time adversity

If your dog really really hates the water and can’t hang around in the tub for one minute longer, there are still things you can do to condition your dog. For example, there are some great 2-in-1 Shampoos and Conditioners you can check out like Bubbles ‘n Beads. Not only does it smell amazing but it gets the job done fast. Or, get a leave-in conditioner that you simply spray into the dog’s coat after a bath. This aids with the brush out process and adds moisture into the coat. Most of these can be used on a wet or dry coat.

Bark 2 Basics - One Step Silky Shampoo + Conditioner

ONE STEP SILKY SHAMPOO + CONDITIONER cuts bathing time in half! Washes away impurities, dirt & build-up and renews moisture retention improving hair strength and resilience in one easy step. Our fortifying formula detangles and strengthens and a unique combination of natural ingredients adds extra shine.

EZ Groom Leave In Conditioner

Ultra Rich Leave in Conditioner Non-aerosol spray-on keratin amino acid conditioner rebuilds coat and results in excellent texture. Leaves coat tangle free! This unique spray on, leave in conditioner is enriched with Awaphui extract, an ancient Hawaiian ginger known for its natural moisturizing capabilities. Excellent for dematting on dogs prior to washing.

Pure Paws Wilk Basics Leave In Conditioner 

A Light weight deep penetrating intense leave-in conditioner that nourishes, heals & hydrates dull parched skin & coats and transforms them into silky smooth glowing healthy strands. Perfect for easing wet combing, improving coats elasticity and providing a brilliant shine.

Shop ALL conditioners HERE!