This review is of John Paul Pet’s Cleanse Oatmeal Shampoo, the sensitive skin formula, in a 16 oz bottle.

Full Disclosure: We were given this product for review by our affiliate partner, We have not allowed this to influence the honesty or objectivity of our review.

As a dog owner, we are always hunting for products that are safe for our dogs, not too much of a strain on our pocketbooks, and not bad for the environment. We were sent this sensitive skin shampoo made by John Paul Pet for review, and after looking at the ingredient list (a good owner should always do this), we decided to give it a shot.

The Ingredients

The bottle is tall and white, and looks just like a human salon product. The ingredients are: water, sodium laureth sulfate*, cocamide DEA*, cocamidopropyl betaine*,prunus amygdalus dulcis (Sweet Almond) oil, hydrolyzed oats, chamomilla recutita (Matricaria) extract, aloe vera (Aloe Barbadensis) leaf juice, citric acid, methylchloroisothiazolinone*, methylisothiazolinone*, tetrasodium EDTA*, propylene glycol, fragrance, yellow 5 (Cl 19140). 

The majority of these ingredients are quite standard in shampoos for pets and dogs, but I did look them up to better understand what was in the product. The product has many natural extracts, which is nice. However, a few of the ingredients are less than ideal. We have seen worse products, but really wish manufacturers would move away from including such a vast array of chemicals!

Rest assured, if we believed this product to be unsafe, we wouldn’t have put it on our dog. However, for your information, we have listed the particular ingredients we dislike (the ones we starred in the above list) at the bottom of this article.

ConclusionBath Time!

Albion hopped into the bath and got ready. He wasn’t exactly dirty, so you aren’t likely to notice any marked differences between the photos. Still, I wanted to include them, for thoroughness sake. As usual, he accepted bath time with a kind of stoic resignation. Once his coat was damp, we started applying the shampoo, per the instructions on the label. To our delight, it smelled great!

The Oatmeal Shampoo has a very light scent that does not cling to the dogs fur, but it sure smells nice. It is an almond oil scent that can be quite attractive as a long term scent. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the same brand conditioner, and used a different scent of conditioner after. The smell was easily masked by the new scent, once that was applied.

The Lather

When using the product, I felt that it didn’t lather up as much as I would have liked, so I did have to use a little extra to get it throughout my dog’s coat. Using a little extra water in the fur and a bit more shampoo, you can get more suds throughout. This seeming lack of suds was partly due to the issue that my dog’s hair had gotten very long between his grooming, if his hair had been shorter, we would have been able to use much less.

Surprisingly Gentle On The Hands And Eyes

Despite our misgivings about some of the chemicals in the shampoo, it was also very gentle, and the lather didn’t seem to bother our dog’s sensitive eyes or nose when we applied it to his face. Of course, we didn’t intentionally put it into his eyes or rub it on his nose, but even the ‘fumes’ from some shampoo can bother our his eyes and nose. The shampoo didn’t make him itchy during washing and was easy to rinse out of his fur, a big plus. After the shampooing, my pup seemed to have no itchiness and his skin did not get red. As what is labeled a ‘sensitive skin formula’ I would say this product works well.

After the bath his fur was soft and shiny. You can kind of see this in how much sun is reflecting off his muzzle and head in the photo, although his ears were still damp and dark. Combing out the tangles in his ears seemed easy after they dried some, which was nice.

Overall, I liked the John Paul Pet’s Cleanse Oatmeal Shampoo (Sensitive Skin Formula) for how it worked. We may use it up, but will not buy it again after it is gone, since there are good products with simpler ingredient lists and less chemicals on the market, such as TropiClean Papaya Plus Natural Shampoo, available from the same vendor.

JPP’s shampoo is about average in cost, about $10 per bottle online at My cockapoo seemed to be okay with it, and was not bothered by the pleasant scent. It made him nice and soft, and his hair looked shiny.

However, due to some of the ingredients we’re not really fans of, we’ll probably go back to one of our normal shampoos afterwards, and cannot give it our recommendation. Many shampoos with less chemicals are a similar price to this product.

Pros: Works good, gets your dog clean and soft, smells mild and pleasant, helps untangle long hair, didn’t bother our dog’s sensitive skin.

Cons: Several chemical ingredients we do not like, may take slightly more than some shampoos to create a rich lather.

The Ingredients We Questioned

*SLS, or Sodium Laureth Sulfate, is a detergent or soap product found in a large number of cosmetic cleansers for both humans and animals. Some testing has shown irritation in humans and animals, but the FDA recommends monitoring only in large amounts and concentrations.

*Cocamide DEA is a liquid that is used as a foaming agent in bath soap and shampoo. My problem with this ingredient is that it has been added to the list of cancer-causing agents for humans in a California study. I can find no studies of tests on animals, but I imagine it has the same issues for them. On further research, I found that only the one state had listed this as a cancer-causing agent, while claims that it is safe in soap products that are used for short periods and rinsed off. Considering how common this ingredient is, I am inclined to believe this to be true.

However, cocamidopropyl betaine (which is also in the shampoo) is an organic compound that has replaced cocamide dea in many products. It is also used to thicken or emulsify in soaps and is very safe on the skin. We aren’t chemists, but if these products both do similar things, and one is safer than the other…shouldn’t John Paul Pets just use the organic one to be safer, instead of both?

*Methylchloroisothiazolinone is used as an antibacterial and anti-fungal additive, to help the product remain shelf stable. It is an allergen in 2-3% of individuals. *Methylisothiazolinone (different than the above ingredient) is also used for antibacterial safety and is most often used in conjunction with the previous big M word. It can also be an allergen. Keep in mind, however, that these ingredients are typically highly diluted and even those small amounts are largely rinsed off. Overall, our research indicates safety, although we would rather they weren’t in there at all.

*Tetrasodium EDTA is a water softener and preservative and is deemed safe at this time, although it is slowly being taken out of some products due to irritation in a small percentage users. Again, it would be better to not have to worry about this kind of thing in the shampoo.

The rest of the ingredients are quality naturals or standard and harmless, and on a whole this dog shampoo seems to be made safely. The product is tested on humans first, which we like.