How to Make Your Own Dog Shampoo
So, have you ever been muddling (or muttling as I like to call it) through a busy day going to retrieve your dog covered in mud or *worse* feces or urine and in need of a bath, only to realize you forgot to buy your dog shampoo the last time you were at the store?
You might think that your shampoo, the one you use every day for soft supple hair would be alright to use in a pinch on your dog.
However, you would be wrong.
Don’t get me wrong, I would probably use whatever means necessary to get poop or pee off of my dog (especially since they occasionally snuggle with me) but it is safer to use something that is PH balanced for your dog and his specific skin.
People think if it works for us and hydrates our hair it will work for our dogs.
Or if the food we eat is good for us it is good for our dogs.
Or even *gasp* if the medication works for us, it would work for our dogs (this one can and does kill dogs every year).
But, dogs aren’t people. They have different needs, different skin, and things that work for us can be extremely toxic to them.
There Are a Few Exceptions
There are a few exceptions, bath wise that is, when it comes to your dog.
Baby shampoo is a good go to in a pinch because it is such a mild soap. It can also be a good “binder” when it comes to making your own dog shampoos.
Mane and Tail, a shampoo that became all the rage back in the 90s can also work well on your dog (but make sure you get the kind that was truly made for horses, not those that are made differently and marketed to humans).
Mild dish detergent can also be effective and mild. Remember the commercials where they wash the wildlife covered in oil with dish soap? These can also work on your dog, but make sure it is that brand ;) It can also make a good “binder” other ingredients.
Many dish soaps contain bleach and harsh chemicals in order to kill the bacteria that can cover our dishes.
I also often use a good old baby wipe in times of minor dirtiness. Baby wipes can take off the surface dirt and some stink, but of course won’t totally clean a super stinky or dirty dog.
Let’s face it, if you live in any place where fleas rear their ugly heads, we might as well add something that will kill those little buggers just in case!
- 2 quarts of water
- 2 cups of white or apple vinegar
- 2 cups of baby shampoo or mild (Dawn©) dish detergent
Several drops of essential oils, such as lavender, lemon, mint or other
I have large dogs, so I like to mix a decent amount and keep it on hand (it is so very much cheaper than regular dog shampoo), but you can half or quarter the ingredients if needed.
*Be sure to leave on for 2-5 minutes before you rinse.
I used to work with a groomer who swore it didn’t matter what shampoo you used, if you left any shampoo on long enough it would break down the exoskeleton of fleas and kill them. And, I like to believe that is true although I am not a professional groomer!
For the EASIEST, BEST way to wash your dog read this best tip ever!
Dry Skin Shampoo
Actually follow the steps above
And, then add
- 4 table spoons of Aloe Vera
- 2/3 of a cup of Glycerin
- 2 table spoons of Coconut oil
Many vets and pet owners recommend 1 tsp of coconut oil per 10 # of dog can improve coat and skin among other things!
Sometimes you just want to cut some dirt, wetness or stink and for that a shake on and massage in dry shampoo can be just the ticket!
- 1cup of corn starch
- 1 cup of baking soda
- Several drops of essential oils if you desire a more pleasant smell
You can use this in a pinch but if you overdo it residue can be left in the fur and on the skin and may build up and create problems.
Whether making your own shampoo or using your favorite over the counter shampoo, make sure to keep him clean and comfortable! A clean dog is a happy dog!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.