Skip to main content

Get reimbursed on your pet's routine care with Mint Wellness by Pet Assure! Enroll Today >

Sit. Stay. Read.

How to Make Homemade Dog Shampoo for a Natural Clean

Homemade dog shampoo is a safe and effective way to clean and moisturize your dog’s skin and coat.

June 15, 2023 4 min read
How to Make Homemade Dog Shampoo for a Natural Clean

How to Make Homemade Dog Shampoo for a Natural Clean  

Dog shampoos play an important role in keeping your pet’s skin and coat clean and moisturized. Unfortunately, dog shampoos (with the exception of medicated shampoos) are not regulated by the FDA, meaning they may contain ingredients that are dangerous to animals.

Just like human shampoos, it’s important to review the ingredients list before buying your dog a new shampoo. Or better yet, switch to a homemade dog shampoo that will help your pet achieve a natural clean. Learn more about the risks associated with traditional dog shampoos and how to make your own homemade dog shampoo.

Toxic Ingredients in Dog Shampoos

Dog shampoos often contain ingredients that pose health risks to your pet. Some ingredients commonly found in dog shampoos that you should avoid include:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Artificial dyes and colors
  • Phthalates
  • Sulfates
  • Parabens
  • Ammonium laureth sulfate
  • Cocamidopropyl betaine
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Perfumes
  • Mineral oil
  • PEG-40 lanolin
  • Polyethylene glycol
  • Methylparaben
  • Polysorbates

Is Human Shampoo Safe for Dogs?

The use of human shampoo on pets is not recommended. Human shampoo is designed to wash away the natural oils and wax build-up on the human scalp. However, dogs have sensitive skin that is more alkaline than human skin. A dog’s skin has a pH level of around 7.52 compared to human skin which has a pH around 5.5.

Dogs require a shampoo that is pH balanced for their unique skin to avoid irritation that can leave them susceptible to dryness, flakiness, viruses, and parasites.

How to Make Natural Homemade Dog Shampoo

Homemade dog shampoo requires a few basic ingredients and can be prepared in just minutes. Check out these easy, simple, and effective homemade dog shampoo recipes you can make at home.

1. Regular Dog Shampoo

Regular dog shampoo is excellent for dogs with normal to dry skin.

You’ll need:

  • Clean dispenser bottle
  • 3 cups warm water
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup fragrance-free natural dish soap made with plant-based cleansers (e.g., Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap or Method Dish Soap)

2. Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

Oatmeal dog shampoo is ideal for dogs with dry skin as oatmeal has hydrating and nourishing properties.

You’ll need:

  • Clean dispenser bottle
  • 4 cups warm water
  • 1 cup of uncooked oatmeal that has been ground in a coffee grinder or food processor
  • ½ cup baking soda

3. Antibacterial Dog Shampoo

Anti-bacterial dog shampoo contains apple cider vinegar which has natural antifungal and antimicrobial properties.

You’ll need:

  • Clean dispenser bottle
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup fragrance-free natural dish soap
  • 1 cup organic apple cider vinegar
  • 2 ounces of vegetable glycerin

4. Anti-flea Dog Shampoo

Many dogs suffer from fleas at one time or another. Fortunately, you can make natural anti-flea dog shampoo at home.

You’ll need:

  • Clean dispenser bottle
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup natural baby shampoo

5. Dry Dog Shampoo

Similar to how humans use dry shampoo for a quick touch-up on days they don’t feel like washing their hair, dogs can also benefit from dry shampoo.

You’ll need:

  • Clean container (e.g., regular or large-mouth mason jar)
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil

How to Use Homemade Dog Shampoo

Making homemade dog shampoo is easy. Simply put all of the ingredients into a clean dispenser bottle, secure the top onto the bottle, and shake until well combined. You can then pour a small amount into your hand, create a lather, and wash your dog as you would with any dog shampoo. Rinse well with warm, clean water and towel dry your pet.

When making dry shampoo for dogs, combine all ingredients into a clean container, secure the top, and shake. When you’re ready to “bathe” your dog, grab a small amount of the mixture with clean, dry hands and run your fingers through your dog’s coat.

How Often Should I Shampoo My Dog?

It is important to remember that, unlike humans, dogs do not require daily baths. The frequency of baths your pet requires will depend on the breed. For example, hairless dog breeds, such as the Chinese Crested, will often require weekly baths. Dogs with thick or double coats, such as the Siberian Husky, should be bathed no more than once a month to avoid stripping too much oil from the skin.

Tips on Washing Your Dog

Just like when using regular dog shampoo, you’ll want to create a calm and comfortable environment for your pet. Reassure your dog before starting the bath and offer the occasional treat. Brush your dog to ensure that there are no tangles or matted fur that could result in irritated skin.

You’ll also want to test the water temperature before putting your dog in the bath. The water should not be too hot or cold. Wet your dog’s body in warm water before applying shampoo. Do not apply shampoo to your dog’s face or head and avoid the eye area. If your pet’s face is dirty, use a clean, damp cloth to wash this sensitive area.

When it’s time to give your dog a bath, it’s important to use a shampoo that won’t harm your pet or irritate its skin.  Homemade pet shampoos containing natural ingredients is the ultimate choice. Making your own homemade dog shampoo is also a great way to save money while keeping your pet safe from toxic ingredients.

Ready to start saving money on pet wellness care?

Then take a look at Mint Wellness, the pet wellness plan that provides fast reimbursement on routine pet care. Save on vaccinations, wellness exams, preventatives, dental, and more!

Learn More