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9 DIY Vet-Approved Dog Shampoos with Coconut Oil You Can Make at Home

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By Nicole Cosgrove

a welsh corgi pembroke dog taking a bath with shampoo

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Dr. Paola Cuevas

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Your furry friend seems proud when it runs in the house covered with mud, but the pride soon becomes fear when the bathwater starts flowing. Bath time is not always a joyous occasion for your pup, but it’s necessary to keep the dog’s coat and skin healthy. Shampoos for humans are too acidic for canines, and they often contain fragrances and dyes that can irritate the skin. You can find several safe dog shampoos for your dog, but why not make a homemade formula to save a few dollars?

We found the best DIY dog shampoos with coconut oil, and we hope your dog learns to enjoy bath time with one of the all-natural formulas.

Please note that while many of these formulas include essential oils, some essential oils can be toxic to dogs. Some essential oils are used in natural dog shampoos due to their scent and insect repellent properties, but they are used in a very diluted form. Always research the ingredients and make sure they are safe for dogs, and never use undiluted essential oils.

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The 9 DIY Dog Shampoos with Coconut Oil

1. The DIY Labrador Site Shampoo

DIY dog shampoo
Image Credit: Thelabradorsite
Tools: Stovetop
Materials: Fresh rosemary, coconut oil, lavender oil, castile soap, water
Difficulty: Easy

If you’re interested in using more than one shampoo to clean your canine, you can look at the Labrador Site’s DIY recipes. It has links to dry shampoo, oatmeal shampoo, and one formula with coconut oil. The author of the coconut oil recipe mentioned that the homemade shampoo helped her black lab’s skin condition, and the dog no longer has smelly fur after playing outside. After boiling fresh rosemary, add castile soap, extra virgin coconut oil, and lavender essential oil. You can store the shampoo in a glass bottle with an airtight seal.

2. The Nerdy Farm Wife DIY Dog Shampoo

DIY dog shampoo
Image Credit: Thenerdyfarmwife
Tools: Food scale, stovetop, pot for cooking, soap molds, goggles, gloves
Materials: Distilled water, lye, olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, tallow, neem oil, lavender oil
Difficulty: High

This DIY dog shampoo bar recipe makes six paw-shaped soaps to clean your pet. The author includes a soap-making tutorial to make the process less intimidating if you’re new to soap-making. This recipe contains neem oil to repel fleas, and while it’s safe to use, pregnant women should not handle neem oil or add it to this recipe. When you cook the lye, open the windows and turn on the exhaust fan. Lye fumes are unpleasant and hazardous if inhaled. Cooking the ingredients is relatively easy, but you have to wait a while for the soap to cure before using it. It takes at least 4 weeks for the shampoo bars to finish curing.

3. Nothing But Room DIY Dog Shampoo

Nothing But Room Dog Shampoo
Image Credit: Nothing But Room
Tools: None
Materials: Dish soap, apple cider vinegar, water, coconut oil, essential oils (optional)
Difficulty: Easy

We love this DIY dog shampoo from Nothing But Room because it takes just a few seconds to put together and uses ingredients you probably already have on hand. All you have to do is put the ingredients together in a jar or container, shake, and that’s it!

This DIY features apple cider vinegar which may be a good addition if your pup suffers from dry, itchy skin or hot spots.

4. Beauty Munsta DIY Dog Shampoo

Beauty Munsta Dog Shampoo
Image Credit: Beauty Munsta
Tools: Funnel
Materials: Liquid castile soap, distilled water, coconut oil, lavender oil, rosemary oil
Difficulty: Easy

This DIY dog shampoo from Beauty Munsta uses Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap as one of its main ingredients. This vegetable-based soap is made without any synthetic ingredients, so it’s not only good for your dog’s coat and skin but the environment, too. As with the previous DIY, all you need to do is mix the ingredients together in a bottle, and your project is complete.

5. The Chenry Show DIY Dog Shampoo

The Chenry Show Dog Shampoo
Image Credit: The Chenry Show
Tools: None
Materials: Distilled white vinegar, coconut oil, castile soap, essential oil, warm water
Difficulty: Easy

This dog shampoo DIY written by an event planner blogger, is moisturizing and deodorizing. Like the previous shampoo, it requires Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap, though the soap takes the backseat to distilled white vinegar, which comprises most of this recipe. White vinegar has antibacterial and deodorant properties, so it can help keep your pup’s coat shiny and clean. The author also used lavender-scented castile soap and lavender oil to leave her pup smelling delicious.

6. The 104 Homestead DIY Dog Shampoo

The 104 Homestead Dog Shampoo
Image Credit: The 104 Homestead
Tools: Coffee grinder or blender, funnel
Materials: Ground oatmeal, baking soda, liquid castile soap, coconut oil, essential oil, warm water
Difficulty: Easy

A self-proclaimed, self-sufficient homesteader created this dog shampoo. It’s made with ground oatmeal which may help relieve dry and soothe irritated skin. However, the author stressed the fact that you should not use instant oatmeal for this shampoo. We liked this DIY because it’s easy to put together, and the essential oils can be customized depending on your end goal. For example, the author used lavender and cedar oils because they may repel fleas.

Use caution when using this shampoo on dogs with long hair, as the oatmeal can make it difficult to wash out.

7. Dream a Little Bigger DIY Dog Shampoo

Dream a Little Bigger Dog Shampoo

Tools: Stir stick
Materials: Unscented dish soap, coconut oil, aloe vera, distilled water, essential and/or fragrance oils (optional)
Difficulty: Easy

This five-minute dog shampoo features a powerhouse combination of aloe and coconut oil to moisturize your pup’s coat. You can add vinegar to the mixture if your dog smells a little funky, but we don’t recommend doing so if it has sensitive skin. Instead, stir the mixture together gently to prevent over-bubbling. The oils will separate over time, so give the shampoo a gentle shake to incorporate them before using it on your pup.

8. First Home Love Life DIY Dog Shampoo

First Home Love Life Dog Shampoo
Image Credit: First Home Love Life
Tools: Stovetop
Materials: Boiled water, rosemary stems, coconut oil, baby-mild liquid soap, lavender essential oil
Difficulty: Easy

Though this homemade dog shampoo DIY is a bit more labor-intensive, it’s worth the extra work if your dog has dry skin or dander issues. You’ll start by making rosemary water by sticking a rosemary stem in a pot of boiling water. Let the rosemary steep for a while before removing it from the heat and allowing it to cool down. Once cool, remove the stem and pour the water into a container. Add your remaining ingredients and give it a good shake.

9. The Things We’ll Make DIY Dog Shampoo

Tools: Safety goggles, gloves, kitchen scale,
Materials: Olive oil, coconut oil, neem oil, rapeseed oil, castor oil, distilled water, lye, essential oils
Difficulty: Hard

This dog shampoo bar soap tutorial is labor intensive and requires some specialty ingredients, but the end result is a high-quality homemade soap bar you can feel good about using on your dog. Read the instructions thoroughly, as there are some important safety precautions you need to know before you begin this project. Don’t forget your PPE, as lye is caustic and can burn your skin. It’s best to put this shampoo together in a well-ventilated area or, better yet, outside.hepper-dog-paw-divider2

Veterinary Advice

The authors’ dogs tested the shampoos from our list, but it’s best to check with your veterinarian before using a DIY dog shampoo. Unless your pet is due for a checkup, you will not need an appointment, but you can email or call the doctor for advice on the shampoo’s ingredients. Some dogs may be sensitive to essential oils or other natural ingredients from the recipes.

dog having it's heart rate checked at the vet clinic
Image By: Tyler Olson, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

Cleaning a filthy dog in the bathtub can be quite an experience, but now, you can wash your pet with your own concoction. Unlike the commercial brands, the DIY shampoos do not contain chemical fragrances, dyes, parabens, or unpronounceable ingredients. Whether you make a liquid shampoo or bar soap, we’re sure you’ll love the shine and feel of your dog’s fur after using one of the coconut oil recipes.

See Also: Can Humans Use Dog Shampoos?

Featured Image Credit: Masarik, Shutterstock

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