Dogster Tips
Share this image

3 Simple Recipes for Homemade Dog Shampoo

Combating fleas? Soothing dry skin? There's a simple homemade dog shampoo recipe for all needs.

 |  Dec 13th 2013  |   5 Contributions


Dog grooming is a huge business, and many dog owners are excited that their puppy pals should look and smell their best when they go out in public. Of course, not every dog is going to strike a pose on the show stage, and it can be fun to craft your own homemade dog shampoo. These are recipes you can make in the comfort of your home with your partners, friends, kids, or other dog owners. There is a homemade dog shampoo recipe to fit any need, any budget, and whatever time you have available.

The ingredients are easy to acquire, most being ready-at-hand in the home, and most recipes are for single use, meaning there’s no need for storage containers. You can try a new one each time you wash your dog. Exactly how to wash a dog is a different matter. As anyone who has tried can tell you, convincing your dog to submit to a bath can be a challenging proposition. Thankfully, making your own dog shampoo at home is only as complicated as you want it to be.

Share this image
Dogs tend not to volunteer for baths, but sometimes needs must. Puppy ringing the bell to come in when all muddy by Shutterstock.

How to make dog shampoo: common ingredients

Things as simple as vinegar and baking soda show up as components in many a homemade dog shampoo recipe. Others that can be picked up in grocery stores or drug stores include castile soap, which is olive-oil based, and glycerine, a sugar-based alcohol compound. In many cases, your standard baby shampoo or non-toxic dish soap is often incorporated into a homemade dog shampoo recipe to bind ingredients together. The recipes we’ll focus on here are very simple, and require minimal preparation.

Homemade flea shampoo

There are several recipes out there for homemade dog shampoo for fleas, one of which is not only very simple to concoct, but is also ideal if you dog has sensitive skin!

This homemade flea shampoo for dogs requires:

  • 1 quart of water
  • 1 cup of white vinegar / apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of baby shampoo / non-toxic dish soap (many sites recommend Dawn by name)

Share this image
Bath time can be "fun" for the whole family. A beautiful mother, son and daughter family washing their pet dog, a bulldog outside in a metal tub by Shutterstock.

For a lower-volume homemade flea shampoo or for a smaller dog or puppy, try:

  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar / apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of baby shampoo / non-toxic dish soap

Apply either solution with a spray bottle or a thoroughly cleaned out condiment bottle to minimize waste. Work the homemade dog shampoo into your dog’s fur, particularly along hard-to-reach areas down the spine, the base of the tail, the chest, and under the forearms, and let it soak in for at least five minutes before rinsing. Comb or brush your dog during that time to remove dead fleas.

Dry shampoo recipe for dogs

If you bathe a dog too frequently, more than once a month or so, you run the risk of drying your dog’s skin. Between baths, a dog’s natural hair and skin chemistry reassert themselves, and you should give it time to do so. One potential solution between traditional baths is a homemade dry shampoo recipe for dogs. These homemade dry dog shampoos tend to involve baking soda, another item found in most homes and easy enough to get at any grocery store. Massaging a dry shampoo into your dog’s skin will give the dog the sensation of being petted and caressed without the resistance you might face in the traditional wet bath scenarios.

Share this image
A chef's hat for your dog is optional. Dog in a cook cap behind a kitchen table by Shutterstock.

Several homemade dry shampoo recipes for dogs also include baking soda. These tend to involve:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup of corn starch
  • A few drops of an essential oil –- lemon and lavender seem to be the most popular.

Sprinkle the mixture on your dog and massage it into the dog’s skin with your hands or with a comb or brush. It is best not to use too much baking soda at a time -- a cup for a mid-sized dog, half a cup for a very small dog or puppy -- and not to apply this method too frequently, since the residue from the powder can accumulate, no matter how much a dog shakes itself afterward. A dry shampoo is a good stop-gap, but nothing beats the fun of having your dog shake water all over you or your bathroom from time to time.

If your dog has dry skin

If you bathe your dog more frequently, or if your dog tends to have sensitive, itchy, or dry skin, you might want to try a homemade dog shampoo that will bring some degree of relief. Adding ingredients such as aloe vera gel or glycerine can help relieve itchy and dry skin. Glycerine is a sugar-based, water-soluble alcohol compound, much less frequently found around the house than vinegar or baking soda, but can easily be found in drug stores, pharmacies, and online.

Share this image
It is recommended you not stuff a tiny dog into a pot for a bath. Amusing, but impractical. A chihuahua taking a bath by Shutterstock.

A typical recipe for homemade dog shampoos for dogs with sensitive skin involves:

  • 1 quart of water
  • 1 cup of baby shampoo / non-toxic dish soap
  • 1 cup of white vinegar /apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of glycerine
  • 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel

This homemade dog shampoo recipe’s addition of glycerine and aloe vera provide soothing elements for dogs with sensitive or dry skin.

What are your favorite homemade dog shampoo recipes?

Have you ever created your own homemade dog shampoo? Are you a do-it-yourself aficionado? Do you prefer more sophisticated recipes? Do you enjoy the process of creating homemade dog shampoo as much as the results?

If you like putting things to boil, enjoy using specialty ingredients for fragrance and shine, or find that some methods work better for particular breeds of dog, let us know! Please, share your favorite shampoo recipe in the comments!

Contributions

Tip: Creating a profile and avatar takes just a minute and is a great way to participate in Dogster's community of people who are passionate about dogs.

blog comments powered by Disqus