As a pet owner, it’s likely that you watch what goes into your dog’s body when it comes to food, so it’s only right you watch what goes on it, as well – this includes shampoo. Homemade dog shampoo can be just as effective as a store-bought shampoo. When you make your own, you know what’s in it. It’s made with love and most importantly, it’s cost effective.
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Some basic ingredients commonly used in homemade dog shampoo are castile soap, lavender essential oil (to help combat fleas), coconut oil (to moisturize), distilled white vinegar (to remove smells) and rosemary (to moisturize).
Essential oils are used in many homemade dog shampoos, but be careful! You should avoid pennyroyal and tea tree oils, as they can be harmful to dogs. Add essential oils sparingly to your homemade dog shampoo — otherwise it can be a scent overload for your pet.
Here are five natural recipes that will have your pup smelling fresh:
1. Simple and easy
Making your own dog shampoo doesn’t have to be complicated. Just pull out some dish soap and white vinegar. Dish soap is formulated to cut through kitchen grease, which makes it perfect for washing away any accumulated oils on your dog’s skin and coat. Avoid dish soaps that have strong scents or artificial additives.
White vinegar is an antibacterial, acting as a deodorizer to help your dog’s coat look shiny and healthy. While it’s a great ingredient to add to your shampoo, it’s not an eye rinse. Vinegar is mildly acidic and may be painful if it gets in your pup’s eyes (if it does, rinse to flush it out).
2. Oatmeal shampoo for dry, itchy skin
Oatmeal is used in many pet grooming products, as well as human products, for its healing, soothing and pH balancing properties. If your dog has naturally dry skin or allergies, oatmeal can provide relief. You could grab an oatmeal-based shampoo at the pet store, but they can get pretty costly. Making your own is inexpensive and easy.
3. Keep fleas away with lavender essential oil
Dog owners are always looking to keep fleas at bay. Adding lavender essential oil to the mix can help fight fleas. Lavender, cedar wood and lemongrass essential oils are all anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial and antiseptic – meaning, they all naturally repel insects.
4. For a fresh-smelling and shiny coat
To give your dog a shiny coat use rosemary as the base of your shampoo. Its moisturizing qualities are great for dogs with dandruff issues. Rosemary also acts as a flea treatment.
5. Doggy dry shampoo
Dry shampoos are a great quick fix when you don’t have time to fully bathe your dog but you don’t want him to stink either. A powdery dry shampoo will help remove any oils that have built up on your dog’s coat.
When making your own dog shampoo, don’t go overboard. Since most homemade shampoos use fresh ingredients without preservatives, you should use them within a week or two and make them in small batches. Store your shampoo in a dark, cool place or in the refrigerator.
And be sure to keep an eye out for any possible reactions when using a new shampoo on your dog in case she is allergic to a new ingredient. If you have a dog sitter, you can share your dog shampoo tips with them!