Natural dog grooming begins at home. Pet supply stores are a good support, but you can also make effective homemade dog shampoo.
Regularly bathing a dog is good for a shiny coat, healthy skin, and a sweet-smelling companion. Let’s face it; dogs can get pretty stinky. A dog wash and homemade shampoo is a key to natural dog grooming. A previous article gives a recipe for oatmeal shampoo and rosemary conditioner. Read on for several additional recipes for homemade shampoo and conditioners.
Commercial pet shampoos loaded sometimes with chemicals, artificial colors and scents, and surfactants and other non-natural ingredients. Using these products regularly can place a heavy load on a dog’s skin and fur. Pet supply stores may also carry a line of natural shampoos and soaps would be preferable. But it is too easy to make homemade shampoos that are great for the dog’s bath, and that use safe ingredients.
Dog Shampoo Recipes
Homemade shampoos take a little time to make, but the ingredients are natural and safe. The recipes here use common ingredients easily found by anyone. Some methods target frequent bathers, flea and tick, dry skin, itchy skin, and skunk-sprayed fur.
An Effective Natural Shampoo
- 1 cup liquid antibacterial soap or dish soap
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
- 1/3 cup glycerin.
- 1-quart water
Directions: Place the water in a large container for mixing. Add the liquid soap, vinegar, and glycerin, mix well. Use as a whole-body shampoo, but avoid the ears and the eyes. Rinse very well.
Flea and Tick Shampoo
- 2 tablespoons peppermint oil
- 2 tablespoons white cedar oil
- 2 tablespoons eucalyptus oil
- 1/4 cup citronella oil
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 2 cups warm water
Directions: Place the warm water in a bowl for mixing. Add the peppermint, white cedar, eucalyptus, and citronella oils, mix well. Pour in the vinegar, mix thoroughly. Use this shampoo to bathe the dog as soon as fleas or ticks are noticed. Rinse very well.
All-Around Oatmeal Treatment
- 1 cup oatmeal, coarsely chopped in a blender
- 2 cups hot water
Directions: Heat the water just to boiling in a saucepan. Mix in the oatmeal and stir until it becomes a starchy mixture. Load this mixture into an old sock. In the bath, wet the dog’s coat thoroughly. Rub the sock with the oatmeal all over the dog’s body, skin deep. Let it sit on the skin for about 5 minutes. Rinse very well. Follow with a conditioner.
- 1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide
- 1/4 cup of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of liquid soap, such as Ivory
Directions: Carefully mix the peroxide, baking soda, and liquid soap. Dowse, the affected fur of the dog. Be sure to avoid the ears and the eyes. Rub it in and then rinse very thoroughly. This should reduce or eliminate the skunk smell.
Homemade Dog Conditioner Recipes
Applied conditioners to a dog’s coat after shampooing and rinsing. Homemade conditioners can give a healthy shine to the skin and a soft feel to the fur. Fur conditioners are applied typically after the rinsed shampoo.
Rosemary Seeds Natural Conditioner
- 2 tablespoons rosemary seeds
- 2 cups boiling water
Directions: Bring the water to a boil and add in the rosemary seeds. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool to body temperature. Strain out the rosemary seeds. After the final bath rinse, pour the conditioner over the dog. Rub it in and then towel dry without further rinsing.
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons warm water
Directions: To a small bowl, add the egg yolks and the water. Whisk until it becomes creamy. Add in the eggs whites and whisk again to blend well. After the final bath rinse, pour the eggs over the dog’s coat. Let it sit for about 2-3 minutes. Rinse it thoroughly with warm, not hot, water.
How to Use and Store Homemade Shampoos
The easiest way to use homemade shampoos is to pour the mixture, prepared as above, into a plastic squeeze bottle. Bottles with flip up tops are easier to use than those with a screw off caps. Picture it; with one hand holding the wet dog, it’s not easy to unscrew a lid with one hand!
The easiest (and green revolution solution) is to recycle squeeze bottles from used-up shampoo. Just rinse out any remaining old shampoo. Inexpensive squeeze bottles are usually available at most camping supplies stores. Discount stores with travel accessory sections typically carry empty travel shampoo bottles, as well.
Homemade shampoos can be effective cleaners for a dog’s fur and can help to relieve itchy skin. The recipes above use safe, economical ingredients. Natural dog grooming for health can be done well, at home. Remember, bath time should never be painful or stressed. Ideally, it should be a pleasant activity for owner and pet.