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How to Make Your Own DIY Dog Shampoo (3 Simple Recipes)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Golden Retriever Shampoo

Have you ever looked at the ingredients in dog shampoo? You aren’t the only one struggling to make sense of why so many things are needed just to get an effective clean.

In reality, half the things added to store-bought shampoos are not even necessary. You can make your own shampoo with ingredients that are easy to find and that you probably already have on hand. Your dogs’ coat will be fresh and clean with no ingredients added. It’s a win-win situation for both parties. Read on for 3 ways that will teach you how to make the best homemade dog shampoo.

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1. Skin Refresher Shampoo

dog skin refreshing bath
Image credit: oritslama, Pixabay

Oatmeal is great for relieving dry, itchy skin, so this is good during the winter months, but it works nicely any time of the year. Baking soda is a deodorizer, so there is no need to add extra fragrances to this recipe, though you could add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil if you wanted to. With three simple ingredients, this best homemade dog shampoo is easy to make and works well at cleaning.

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 4 cups warm water

Blend the oatmeal into a fine powder, then combine it with the other two ingredients in a mixing bowl until it forms into a paste.

Rub it into your dog’s coat, giving them a nice massage while you are at it, and then allow the shampoo to sit for five to 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly, and try not to get let your dog ingest any of the shampoo because large quantities of baking soda are toxic.

Notes: This will not lather like your store-bought shampoos, but it doesn’t have to lather to clean effectively. Find something to distract your dog while the shampoo does its work, and you will see more results from this mixture.

2. Deep Cleanse Shampoo

dog deep cleansing bath
Image credit: karlinimrie0, Pixabay

To get a deep clean and fresh scent that kills fleas like a boss, mix up this shampoo the next time your dog needs a bath. We recommend Dawn Dish Soap, since it is formulated to kill fleas and remove oily residue. You can use other brands if you wish.

Cider vinegar is good for treating itchy, flaky skin, relieving hot spots, killing skin bacteria, and repelling fleas. The dish soap cuts through the strong smell of the vinegar, so there isn’t any unpleasant odor when washing your dog.

  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup dish soap

Mix well and lather up on your dog’s coat. Leave to soak in for five to 10 minutes; this gives the detergent time to act on those pesky fleas. Rinse well and repeat if needed.

Notes: This shampoo will lather since it has the dish soap as an ingredient. The only negative is that it does take time to rinse it free from the coat if you have a long-haired dog.

You may like: Alternatives to dog shampoo

3. Silky Smooth Shampoo

dog silky smooth bath
Image credit: AmandaCullingford , Pixabay

For a shampoo that smells great, moisturizes, and kills bacteria, this is a great option. Adding lavender gives the shampoo a lovely scent that will cling to your dog’s coat and will also help your dog relax. Coconut oil will moisturize and nourish the hair to prevent shedding and keep the hair strong. White vinegar is ideal to decrease bacteria on the skin and will leave the hair shiny and smooth. The last ingredient is baking soda — it deodorizes and removes the buildup of oils on the hair.

  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup dish soap

Add all the ingredients to a bottle, and shake to mix. Keep in mind that the baking soda will react with the vinegar, so do this slowly at first. If your coconut oil is solid, melt it a little in the microwave so it can incorporate with the other ingredients.

Apply to your dog’s coat, and let the shampoo to sit for five minutes to allow the vinegar and baking soda to do its magic. Then rinse thoroughly.

Notes: You can use other essential oils if you don’t prefer the scent of lavender, but be careful if your dog has sensitive skin because essential oils can be irritating to some types of skin. This shampoo will not lather, but it does a great job at cleaning.

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Give these easy homemade shampoo recipes a try. Learning how to make dog shampoo is easy and can provide great benefits to your dog’s coat and skin. You have control of what goes on your dog’s body, and with these shampoos, you can be sure of the ingredients and know that you are providing the best treatment.

What’s even better is that they are so simple to put together, you will wonder why you didn’t start making your own shampoos sooner. Here’s to happy mixing and even happier washing.

Featured image credit: angel1238812, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

Authored by

Nicole is the proud mom of Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway, and Baby, a Burmese cat. Originally from Canada, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. Nicole has a strong love for all animals and has experience caring for all types of dogs, from Yorkies to Great Danes. Nicole even worked as a dog sitter during her travels through South America and cared for stray pups — something she ...Read more

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