DIY Natural Dog Shampoo

April 2, 2013 by Liz

DIY Natural Dog Shampoo | www.gimmesomestyleblog.com

This post for DIY Natural Dog Shampoo contains affiliate links.

How was everyone’s Easter? We had such a great day spending time at one of our favorite churches, eating and hanging out with our family and loving the BEAUTIFUL weather! It could not have been a prettier day! Everyone seemed to be having such a great time. Except our dog Veda… she still may have been holding a grudge against me.

Our dog hates having baths. It is one of her least favorite past times. Knowing that she would be spending time with family over Easter I knew she needed a bath. We ran out of shampoo after her last bath so I decided just to make my own DIY natural dog shampoo! I have seen many different recipes floating around the interweb, but I ran across this one and thought I’d give it a try!  

DIY Natural Dog Shampoo | www.gimmesomestyleblog.com

What you need for DIY Natural Dog Shampoo: 

DIY Natural Dog Shampoo | www.gimmesomestyleblog.com

What you’ll do to make your homemade dog shampoo: 

  • Starting with the dish soap pour the ingredients into your jar

DIY Natural Dog Shampoo | www.gimmesomestyleblog.com DIY Natural Dog Shampoo | www.gimmesomestyleblog.com DIY Natural Dog Shampoo | www.gimmesomestyleblog.com

  • Shake the jar to mix the ingredients together.

DIY natural dog shampoo | www.gimmesomestyleblog.com

  • Thoroughly wet your dog down with water and pour the shampoo onto your pet.
  • Lather the shampoo into your pet’s fur.
  • Rinse!

Poor Veda, she had no idea what was coming…as far as she knew it was a normal saturday afternoon.

DIY Natural Dog Shampoo | www.gimmesomestyleblog.com

She’s starting to figure it out..a bath is coming.

DIY Natural Dog Shampoo | www.gimmesomestyleblog.com

And there it is.

DIY Natural Dog Shampoo | www.gimmesomestyleblog.com DIY Natural Shampoo | www.gimmesomestyleblog.com DIY Natural Dog Shampoo | www.gimmesomestyleblog.com

Is that not the saddest face you have ever seen? Don’t worry, she made it through and she is just as happy as ever:) DIY Natural Dog Shampoo | www.gimmesomestyleblog.com

This shampoo made her fur very soft and left her smelling great!

DIY Natural Dog Shampoo | www.gimmesomestyleblog.com

DIY Natural Dog Shampoo | www.gimmesomestyleblog.com

And just for fun here is a photo of Tanner and I on Easter. He’s a cute one! ;)

Easter Sunday | www.gimmesomestyleblog.com

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About Liz

My name is Liz. I dwell in the "Paris of the Plains" (aka Kansas City) and am married to my highschool sweetheart. Together we have a dog named Veda and a 1976 VW bus. Both of which we love like they are our children. :) I write about all things pretty. I hope to leave people feeling hopeful and inspired as I share my little ideas with the interweb. Enjoy! Follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

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72 thoughts on “DIY Natural Dog Shampoo

  1. I always read you should not use dish soap on dogs.

    - beverly

  2. I have a quick question: where would you get glycerine? Please answer asap.
    Thanks,
    Amy Draves

    - Amy Draves

    • I recently purchased some at our Wal-Mart. I was told it would be in the isle with the bandages,(don’t know why) but our store keeps it in the pharmacy so you might want to check there.

      - Trish

    • Hey Amy, I got mine at hobby lobby in the soap aisle!

      - Liz

  3. Thanks for taking the time to post your recipe, but I have to agree with the groomer above. The dishwashing soap is way too strong and drying to use on your dog regularly. They use Dawn on animals who are victims of oil spills so that should tell you how strong dish soap is. It should not be used on a regular basis. Liquid castile soap is actually drying also. If you want to use a natural soap, Dr. Bronner’s bar soap in Peppermint has many good reviews by pet owners. It rinses real clean with no residue left behind.

    - Patsy

    • Being from the south and the never ending flea season, we had a vet told us if we didn’t want to use the shampoos with chemicals in them (we had a dog with flea bite dermatitis) that Head and Shoulders is a great alternative. Soap well into coat and let sit for 5 minutes. The fleas will be dead from the zinc from shampoo. And it leaves them soft. Use this with the other instructions and you could work some miracles for a coat!

      - Danielle

  4. Hi, great idea! Thanks for sharing! I was wondering if this is a single use recipe? I skimmed it since I don’t have a dog but have a few friends who might be interested in making it for their furry friends. :) By the way, you and your hubby look so cute together!

    - Sophie

  5. Hi there! Just wanted to pass along my own experience with DIY dog shampoo! I have a Jack Russell as well as two cats. Face it! Dog shampoo is darned expensive! Our Jack, Henry, seemed to need “special” shampoo because his skin always seemed dry and itchy. He would bite and scratch sometimes and chew big chunks of fur out. Especially in the summer when he would pick up fleas (and pass them on to the cats!). We tried various shampoos from the pet store and none of them seemed to help his problems. And I never liked putting topical flea treatments onto the animals, although I’ve had to when their flea problems were very bad. We live in Southern California, so the flea issues were a yearly problem and lasted about 6-8 months out of the year. About a year ago my granddaughter and I searched online and found a homemade recipe to try. It consisted of tea tree hand soap, vinegar, and a small amount of olive oil. It soaps up beautifully, rinses cleanly, makes the dog smell delightful, leaves his coat fluffy and soft. The added bonus? For the first time in years, we did not have a single flea on any of the animals for the entire year!

    - Kirsten

  6. I really like your blog and how you have it set up. Your doggie is so adorable. Your concept and idea of acquiring a natural shampoo for your animal is very honorable and noble.As a dog groomer for over ten years and a veterinary student, I would just like to add that using a dish washing soap of any kind is not the best for your animals. The reason being is because the pH levels for a dog is in the range of pH 5.5-7.7 depending on the breed of the dog and other factors. Shampoo being used shouldn’t have levels higher than that medically stated. A dogs shampoo should be of an alkaline solution NOT acidic. The acidic levels in the apple cider vinegar and dish washing soap is way too high. With levels that high you are allowing bacteria killed at alkaline levels run rampart producing an over abundance that leads to a number of skin issues.That being said the use of a dish washing soap pH levels are so high that it actually dries the beautiful natural coat causing a host of problems. I have been a witness to this problem in a dog grooming shop where Dawn was being used to wash the dogs and not a pH balanced dog shampoo. Owners would bring there dogs back to the shop complaining about constant scratching after grooming visits. When the owners sold the shop and pH balanced dog shampoo was utilized the complaints stopped. For a more safe approach use products that are more alkaline more basic and not acidic.

    - Saundra

  7. is this shampoo good for fleas as well?

    - TONY

  8. It is better or possible to replace dishwashing liquid with baby shampoo instead? We would not think of using dishwashing liquid to bathe on our own skin let alone use dishwashing liquid on an animal.

    - Jamie

    • Whatever type of soap you use I would definitely go with a natural option. I used method dish washing soap but a natural baby soap would probably work fine!

      - Liz

      • I was actually recommended to use a mild dishwashing liquid and mild baby shampoo on my dog when she was a puppy from both a vet and a well-known groomer. It helped kill fleas before she was old (and heavy) enough for prescription flea repellant. As long as you don’t a strong detergent like Dawn that is made to strip the grease off of dishes your dog will be fine. Now that she’s older, I normally use either Wen (yeah for people) or other natural shampoos for my dog. I like your post and I WILL try it soon :)

        - Taja

  9. I made this recipe and the apple cider vinegar coagulated my natural soap by Dr. Bronner. I am hoping my cockapoo can tolerate this shampoo. She has really dry skin that makes her crazy whiney for a scratch. I am afraid to wash her. She does well on the no bath ever protocol. BUT it would be nice to have a clean pooch for Christmas:)

    - Deanna

    • Hi, here’s a trick to try for your dog’s dry skin. Immediately after you bathe her, massage her with extra virgin olive oil. Make sure to really rub it into her skin. A little goes a long way so go slow & sparingly. Then when it’s applied wrap her in a warm towel (like fresh from the dryer “warm” and try to get her to stay that way for as long as possible. The warm towel will help the oil stay more fluid and absorb easily into her skin. When she’s had enough of the towel treatment just give her a good rub down with another clean towel. You can also try adding olive oil to her dry food and also if you eat tuna the juice can be mixed in with her food as well, NOT the water packed kind though. Since it’s winter, running a humidifier will help (that’s what we do for our 2 girls).

      - Stacey

    • My dog has dry skin as well. It tends to be a food allergy reaction. We switched our dogs food and give him fish oil pills or feed him Evangers Canned Salmon to help his skin.

      - Misty

    • I love dr bronners! I’ve used it on my dog before!

      - Liz

  10. Hello,

    The shampoo is great! I love your pictures! OMG, your dog looks exactly like mine, but I dont know her breed whats your dogs breed? Hopefully you get back to me. :)

    -Monse

    - Monserat

  11. Oh wow.. Dogs are using natural shampoo as well lol.
    First of all, I like vivid pictures on this post!

    Nice post!

    - Eric Kim

  12. This post is what I want exactly.
    Nice tips and vivid photos

    Great!

    - Natural Eric

  13. I like your recipe for the shampoo. I have been digging for more healthy things for my dogs. I made a bad mistake a few weeks ago and gave my dogs chew treats that came from china. They got sick from them, but thankfully recovered. I have been searching for new ideas, treats, shampoo, etc. Have you used any organic dish soap in your recipe? I want to stay as natural as possible. Nice blog! Glad I came across it.

    - barbara

    • Barbara,
      Thanks for the kind words! I have used Method Dish soap and also Seventh Generation Dish soap which are both natural. I’m sure any natural dish soap would be the best option! :)

      - liz

  14. I tried this today, it was amazing. Of course, my dog was miserable at first lol. But he realized he was clean. He was super happy after and took a nice nap next to me. He is all smiles Thank you. I was using regular dog shampoo. He hated that stuff this was refreshing for him and I.

    - Crissy

  15. such a smart idea…any alternatives to glycerin? is it needed for anything other than moisturizing the pup’s skin?

    - Kristen

    • Kristen, Try using olive oil if you’d like… The glycerin is just for added moisture so it isn’t completely necessary!

      - liz

  16. I’d like to try this but is the glycerin necessary or optional?

    - Jessica

    • I have read that olive oil can be an alternative to glycerin, but I am not completely sure. I bought my glycerin at Hobby Lobby though for about 3 dollars. I’m sure it isn’t completely necessary if you just want to leave it out! :)

      - liz

      • Hi :) Love your site!
        I’m thinking’ coconut oil would be a great alternative for glycerin. Not the smell that olive oil would add. Healthy benefits of skin conditioning and pleasant smell. I’m sure the apple cider is a huge plus – such cleaning powers – and dogs LOVE vinegar! Don’t quote me on this – research it first – but I seem to recall vinegar is good for their tummies :)

        - Sally

        • Some vets are recommending vinegar (white distilled) for maintaining an acidic environment to keep bugs, mites, etc. from living on pets. I was told to clean out my dog’s ears daily with a cotton swab dipped in vinegar. I even put a spoon of it in his breakfast.

          - Connie

        • Great suggestion with the coconut oil-I may have to give that a try!

          - Liz

  17. THANKS SO VERY MUCK LOVE YOUR IDEAS .GREW UP WITH VW BUGS AND VAN .KEEP UP THE IDEAS COMING

    - jeanette(sue)caillouet

  18. DO NOT USE TEA TREE OIL ON CATS!!! It does work great for fleas, etc., but there is something in it that isn’t good for cats. (Sorry but can’t exactly remember what it was) I washed a cat with tea tree oil in the shampoo and the cat went crazy. I later found out why. The cat wouldn’t come to me for a few days afterward. It burns their skin.

    - Deborah

  19. I shampoo my dog with dog shampoo except for the head and face. where I use baby shampoo. I may try your idea for replacing the dog shampoo, but still use baby shampoo so not to burn her eyes.

    - Karla

  20. What a wonderful, chemical free way to wash the dog! The organic dog shampoos are sooo expensive, but this is not!
    Love it!
    We tried this DIY with Method Lavender soap, and put a few drops of Tea Tree Oil in it, and the dogs are mosquito bite free so far as well!

    - Faith

  21. Hi …love your blog,…esp like this natural dog shampoo…thx

    My blog is just new…http://owlinthefamily.com/

    - Donna

  22. Nice Idea!!!

    - Libella

  23. Hey! i never read of a homemade shampoo for dogs…i think it is awesome! Question: do you think it would work well with cats? i would love to try this with my pretty Lia once.

    - Laura

    • Laura,
      Thanks for reading! I’m not sure…I have never owned a cat. If you have any concerns I would check with your local vet! :)

      - liz

  24. At our clinic, we use a dropper to put a drop of mineral oil in the dog’s eyes before a bath to keep shampoo out! Soap free shampoos are also great. As for baby shampoo, dog skin has a different pH than humans and human shampoo (even baby) will dry their skin out. Best bet with any of them is to be careful not to get in their eyes at all… Just like any baby! ;)
    Going to try this for sure. I have four dogs and live on a farm. They excel at getting yucky. I will let y’all know how it is on smell!!!

    - Megan

  25. Enjoyed you blog about the soap Thanks…
    I also lived in Kansas (Leavenworth- Platte City Mo. back to back)
    Enjoyed the flat lands LOL
    Dottie

    - Dottie Kluempers

  26. Thank you for posting this im about to make it and use it for Gennivive right now!

    - Dominique

  27. The vinegar should leave the dog’s hair smelling clean, so unless you just want a particular scent, your dog should smell fine after using this. I use an ACV-water mix on my hair and my toddler – both of us have wonderfully conditioned hair after using it and no smell. Just clean and soft, tangle-free, pretty hair. Thanks for the recipe! I’ll be trying this on my Japanese Chin soon! ;)

    - Jamie

  28. Could you add a scented oil to this? How well does it do at getting the doggy stink out?

    - Courtney

    • I’m sure you could, I would just make sure to use an all natural oil or make sure that the oil you use is safe for pets. I haven’t had any trouble at all with my dog smelling afterwards but she isn’t an overly smelly dog so I’m not completely sure. I know with Veda she smells really fresh after using this recipe!

      - liz

  29. I would like to use oatmeal in the mix. Do you suggest doing this. My Boston and my moms gets really dry skin from weekly baths. Or, does the glycerin soften.

    - Laura

  30. Isabel (my Mom’s nickname!),

    Thank you for the recipe and pictures! I plan to use this for our girl, Sadie.

    - repentedhipster

  31. Can you wash their face? Will it burn their eyes? I use baby shampoo on my dogs face when we bathe her. Thankyou

    - Isabel

  32. I’m totally trying this with Henry!!!!

    And oh my gosh — those photos of Veda figuring out that it’s bathtime are priceless!

    - Ali | Gimme Some Oven