Dog Health Supply Reviews

The Barking Muse Review – Can an Organic Dog Shampoo Tackle that Stinky Wet Dog Smell?

Getting rid of that wet dog smell after a swim
Written by Brittany

As we make our way into the dog days of summer one of the best and easiest ways for Spencer to cool off is by heading to one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes.

Spencer loves hanging out at the lake – playing fetch, swimming, and rolling in the seaweed makes for a great time. Unfortunately, even after we rinse him off, he still smells like a wet, soggy dog with a hint of fish! Not to mention, these trips to the lake leave his fur FULL of tangles!

For pet parents who have experienced these post-swim issues we are very excited to share with you a new dog shampoo that is helping us keep Spencer looking (and smelling) good!

The Barking Muse has sponsored this post so that we can help spread the word about their line of organic and all natural pet grooming products. Rest assured however, that the MyDogLikes team never promises a favorable review and gives our honest opinion on all product tested.

Introducing The Barking Muse

The Barking Muse was founded by pet parents, who were frustrated with the harsh, chemical-laden solutions available for their dog’s itchy skin issues. When none of the commercially available options were doing the trick, they looked into a more holistic approach. When they couldn’t find any grooming products on the market which met their standards, they decided to create their own!

Currently, The Barking Muse offers 2 different products:

  • Moiturizing & Conditioning Pet Cleanser
  • Paw and Nose Balm

They were kind enough to send us both products to test out, and we dive into our experiences below…

The Barking Muse Shampoo

This gentle and mild formula was designed to clean your dog’s entire body – while nourishing organic botanicals simultaneously soothe their skin. It is 100% natural and thus completely safe for the environment.

Digging deeper into the ingredients:

  • PH balanced for all ages & breeds
  • Organic Aloe to eliminate itching & dryness
  • Organic Coconut to moisturize & protect
  • Organic Jojoba to strengthen & fortify
  • Organic Olive Oil to soothe & nourish
  • Vitamin E to restore damaged hair follicles

Ingredients you will not find in The Barking Muse Pet Cleanser:

  • No Soap
  • No Parabens
  • No Sulfates
  • No Artificial Fragrances or Dyes

Putting the Pet Cleanser to the Test

Wanting to see what The Barking Muse was really made of, we hit the beach to get him sufficiently stinky before bath time. If this stuff can get rid of that dog-lake-water smell we would be seriously impressed.

The first thing I noticed about the product was that the consistency was thinner than normal shampoos that we are used to.

Why the thinner consistency?

The Barking Muse cleanser contains no sulfates – an ingredient that thickens shampoo and boosts lather in the shower.

Just because you don’t get a lot of lather doesn’t mean the cleanser isn’t working. Instead, I found it was actually easier to scrub the shampoo into Spencer’s fur.

After scrubbing the shampoo all over, rinsing Spencer off was quick and easy. Spencer came out of the shower smelling clean and not fragrance-y.

Next, we dried him off and brushed out his golden, curly locks. While brushing him, I was amazed and surprised how easy it was to brush out his tangles.

I’m used to applying an excessive amount of conditioner to make it tolerable for him, but this time I only applied one coat of the cleanser and rinsed him off, nothing else. Once combed out, Spencer fur was left fluffy and soft.

The best part – there wasn’t any odor coming from him. A real testament to the cleansing power of The Barking Muse!

The Barking Muse Paw + Nose Balm

From hot pavement to stepping on different elements, Summer can really take its toll on your dog’s paws. One way to protect them is by applying balm to them daily.

Check out these 100% natural ingredients:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Beeswax
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Orange Peel Extract
  • Vanilla Essential Oil

This Paw + Nose Balm is perfect for:

  • Treating Dry, Irritated, and Cracked Skin
  • Treating Hyperkeratosis
  • Hot Spots
  • Bug Bites

Since the balm is made with human-grade and natural ingredients, no worries if you dogs happen to find it irresistible to lick.  Each ingredient has been carefully sourced to not cause harm if ingested.

Putting the Paw Balm to the Test

It was easiest to have Spencer lay down on his side to apply this balm. Using my figure tips I rub about a dime size amount on at a time to each of his pads.

Dry Paw Pads Before Application

I was amazed how fast Spencer’s pads soaked up the balm. I continued to apply until it was no longer soaking up and there was a thin layer on each pad. It was clear to see that this balm was doing a great job getting some moisture back into those dry paw pads!

Paw Pads AFTER Moisturizing!

I was surprised to see afterwards Spencer left his feet alone not licking at all. However, knowing this balm was made with 100% natural ingredients provided comfort in case he did lick.

Why MyDogLikes the Barking Muse

Being the first time, I’ve tried an organic shampoo and balm, I was amazed by the overall quality of the product.

The cleanser has a pleasant (but not overpowering) scent which did a great job at eliminating the fishy lake smell from Spencer’s coat – It even made brushing him after a bath much easier. While we would recommend it for all dogs, a gentle formula like this would be especially beneficial for those pups with allergies or skin conditions.

The Paw balm did a great job moisturizing his paws and I look forward to using it throughout the remainder of the Summer and beyond. Those dry, cold Minnesota Winters can also be tough on a dogs paw and nose!

Most importantly, I love the fact that with The Barking Muse I know that what I’m putting on my dog is not only safe, but will actually improve the overall health of his coat and paws. 

Want to try out The Barking Muse for Yourself?

Click Here to Browse the Line on Amazon!

or enter the giveaway below!

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About the author


Nurse by day, blogger by night, and full time dog mom! Living in Minnesota, my husband and I are passionate about two things - our rescue dogs and taking advantage of all four seasons. Our furry little ones include Spencer, a 10-year-old Goldendoodle, and River, a 2-year-old who is believed to be Black Mouth Cur rescued from a high kill shelter in Alabama. Whether it is warm or cold, our family finds adventures around every corner!

Visit Brittany's blog at Spencer the Goldendoodle!


  • my girls dont swim, they dont even like baths or the water hose. they are chickens. they do have a few issues with their paws, so i have to put cream on the bottoms, and sometimes they will itch some. right now they both need to be clipped and bathed badly. i will use some things the vet gave me and i use the paw cream or some argon oil.

  • I just got 2 puppies and they scratch in the same place. I’m not sure why they are doing this. I’m afraid they are going to make sores. I would love to try this product. I want my babies to be itch free and not worry about the chemicals in the shampoo harming them.

  • My dog has allergys and breaks out in hives in the warm months. I’ve used aloe and coconut oil to soothe his boo boos.

  • I noticed that Dexter gets more itchy during the summer and his belly will also turn darker from pink to an almost muddy brown

    • Jennifer,

      Many dogs typically develop seasonal allergies as the change in the weather, causes changes in your dog’s skin. Summer time itch canhat last through the summer months.

  • Our dog does have some summertime allergy issues on her skin. We have found that natural shampoo helps her.

  • I have a 12 year old Boston who has dry skin and dandruff. I find the giving him coconut oil, he loves it, and a good shampoo helps.

  • I typically use an oatmeal shampoo on my dogs when they get dry or irritated skin due to weather or allergies. My youngest, my girl, Megumi, has taken to making a break when someone opens the front door and twice now has actually gotten out and made her way to the pond in the middle of our subdivision. Of course, she just HAD to take a swim and get all muddy and her fur covered with algae and who knows what else. I would love this shampoo for the next time (hopefully there won’t be one) she gets into the pond.

  • Our boy Bailey has problems with itchy I have been giving him a fish oil pill. It has not help him
    these products sounds amazing.

  • My Rocky’s paws are dry. Have not tried anything yet. Would love to win and try this.

  • Yes, I have dog that has skin allergies, I haven’t found anything yet, that totally works.

  • My dogs get quite itchy in the summer due to allergies. I find that baths with oatmeal shampoo and rubbing coconut oil on them help some. If their itching gets really bad, I give them Benadryl.

  • My girls have dry itchy skin all year round this would be great for them thanks

  • These products all sound awesome. Luckily, no one in our pack has a skin condition. I especially, would like to try the nose balm.

  • her feet bother her from the grass in the summer. I use baby wipes when she comes in and that helps

  • My Springer Spaniel scratches here and there, so I don’t have to intervene very much, but I do bathe him in oatmeal type shampoos periodically.

  • Our dogs name is Tiny and she does have allergies. She has dry skin to she is a chihuahua. Right now we really dont know what to do. It just started happening. It is so weird that I found this because we were going to a vet asap to ask for help.

  • My dogs are suffering from really bad allergy’s this year, nothing seems to help. I have them on Zyrtec. The vet wanted me to put them on a prescription allergy medication, but one is a older dog and I don’t want to lower his immune system on that medication. I am at a loss and don’t know how to give them relief

  • My dog could really benefit from these. I use baby powder on him in between washes to cut down on smells.

  • My Westie was licking his front paws constantly. Vet said it’s allergies and gave him meds that seem to have calmed it down.

  • We use coat conditioner for my dog, Artie. He loves the water and it dries his coat and skin.

  • My German shepard has itchy paws and I haven’t found a remedy for that yet.

  • My dog gets dry skin, and paws, in the summer. I use organic coconut oil and hemp oil on his paws, and skin, to help. I also feed him these treats I make that are made with organic coconut oil, organic peanut butter, and cinnamon. The treats are great for his coat, dry skin, and are really healthy.

  • I always try to get shampoo that has oatmeal in it for his skin. This is what my Dog Doctor (Veterinarian) recommended. Thanks for the chance to win and Good Luck Everyone!!!!

  • Lucy has really dry skin so I use a oatmeal shampoo and conditioner I bought from her groomer along with a lotion.

  • Our pup doesn’t swim but he has severe allergies. We need to give him prescription pills twice a day. His paws still get red anyway and we use paw balm to help him.

  • I have four dogs and I haven’t found anything yet that stops them from scratching themselves from hotspots and dry skin. Some of them scratch themselves so hard they leave scabs on their bodies.

  • My Sadie Mae has a mild form of psoriasis. We do use medicine but she really enjoys and gets relief from a cool oatmeal bath.

  • My dog is prone to ear infections. She also is allergic to one brand of shampoo – it makes her crazy itchy even if you are double sure it was all washed out.

  • My dog has really bad allergies. I would love to try the balm and the shampoo on her. Especially the balm since you said he stopped licking his feet after using it. My dog is always licking her paws!

  • Our pup has skin allergies. We have tried medications and OTC hot spot spray with little improvement. I’d love to try something new.

  • My Golden Girls are inside 90% of the time but they get that summer stink a lot and wet dog smell from going in the pool

  • Gibbs is 8 months old and luckily so far no skin issues, he does love going to the beach and going in the water so he always needs a good bath when we come home.

  • I have a Terrier rescue who is always itchy. I would love to try these products on him!

  • Coco doesn’t like to swim much and doesn’t seem to have any allergies, but his paws do get dry.

  • My furry friend Romeo suffers from allergies and would really like to try the shampoo to see if it would provide relief.

  • My dog doesn’t seem to have any sensitivities, but I use an oatmeal shampoo on him that works great. It even got rid of skunk odor on the first try.

  • Wonder if washing my this will help with the after work smell? I’m kidding!! My pooch would love this protection! Thanks for the chance to try it!!

  • Our new puppies skin has been a little dry recently but we haven’t figured out the best option to help with it. Right now we are trying oatmeal shampoo.

  • My Dog Continually Looses His Hair So I Have 2 Bathe Him 2 times a weeks !! He Has Allergies So I Wash him Nice in luke warm Oatmeal Shampoo !! Tsvm 4 The Chance 2 Win !!!

  • She gets very dry skin from the heat, plus really itchy from it, we haven’t found any perfect remedy for it yet

  • Just adopted a new puppy, 4 months old. A chihuahua. I’d love to try this on her!