DIY Natural Dog Shampoo
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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!
What you need for DIY Natural Dog Shampoo:
- 1 cup of natural liquid dish-washing soap (I used Method)
- 1 cup of organic apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup of warm water
- 2 ounces of glycerine
- Empty container for shampoo (I used a large mason jar)
What you’ll do to make your homemade dog shampoo:
- Starting with the dish soap pour the ingredients into your jar
- Shake the jar to mix the ingredients together.
- Thoroughly wet your dog down with water and pour the shampoo onto your pet.
- Lather the shampoo into your pet’s fur.
Poor Veda, she had no idea what was coming…as far as she knew it was a normal saturday afternoon.
She’s starting to figure it out..a bath is coming.
And there it is.
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:)
This shampoo made her fur very soft and left her smelling great!
And just for fun here is a photo of Tanner and I on Easter. He’s a cute one! ;)
I’m totally trying this with Henry!!!!
And oh my gosh — those photos of Veda figuring out that it’s bathtime are priceless!
Can you wash their face? Will it burn their eyes? I use baby shampoo on my dogs face when we bathe her. Thankyou
I washed my dog’s face with it and she was fine. I kept it out of her eyes though. I would assume since it has the dish soap in it that it would burn. When I wash her face I usually use a washcloth to cover her eyes:)
baby shampoo has Novocain in it to deaden the pain!!
There is no Novocain in baby shampoo.
Isabel (my Mom’s nickname!),
Thank you for the recipe and pictures! I plan to use this for our girl, Sadie.
My family dog growing up was named Sadie! Great name:)
What about flea does it keep them away for a long time?
I wouldn’t use this as a flea repellant, just a shampoo. Continue on with your normal flea protection :)
I just thought that I would add to this post. The Apple cider vinegar is an excellent flea repellent and will kill them as well. I do not use chemical flea repellent on my dogs so I use cider vinegar instead. Just FYI. :)
Thanks Keely that’s great to know!
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.
Could you add a scented oil to this? How well does it do at getting the doggy stink out?
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!
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! ;)
Thank you for posting this im about to make it and use it for Gennivive right now!
Enjoyed you blog about the soap Thanks…
I also lived in Kansas (Leavenworth- Platte City Mo. back to back)
Enjoyed the flat lands LOL
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!!!
Thanks for the tips Megan!
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.
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! :)
Hi …love your blog,…esp like this natural dog shampoo…thx
My blog is just new…https://owlinthefamily.com/
What a wonderful, chemical free way to wash the dog! The organic dog shampoos are sooo expensive, but this is not!
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!
Great idea with the tea tree oil! I will have to use some next time I make it! Thanks Faith!
Will tea tree oil work on fleas to get rid of them and to keep them away
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.
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.
THANKS SO VERY MUCK LOVE YOUR IDEAS .GREW UP WITH VW BUGS AND VAN .KEEP UP THE IDEAS COMING
Once a VW lover always a VW lover! ;)
I’d like to try this but is the glycerin necessary or optional?
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! :)
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 :)
Great suggestion with the coconut oil-I may have to give that a try!
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.
vinegar douche is the best thing to swab ears out with:>
vinegar is a great astringent and does a pretty good job knocking down the fleas too! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.
Dish soap is ok if it’s the natural one,or one with skin softener for your hand much milder on your skin than that 99cent store stuff. Dawn is an emergency soap for oil disasters, only use a little dawn like if your dog slept under a car and has an oil slick down his back.
Add a little lemon or orange juice as flea killer. Gives that Citric acid attack.
Add a dash tea tree oil, or ground oats for your sensitive skin creatures. Play with it, to dial in your dogs needs. This is going to be fun!
-Companion Animal Hygienist 30 yrs!
such a smart idea…any alternatives to glycerin? is it needed for anything other than moisturizing the pup’s skin?
Kristen, Try using olive oil if you’d like… The glycerin is just for added moisture so it isn’t completely necessary!
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! So glad you liked it!
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.
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! :)
This post is what I want exactly.
Nice tips and vivid photos
Oh wow.. Dogs are using natural shampoo as well lol.
First of all, I like vivid pictures on this post!
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. :)
She is a miniature golden-doodle! I wonder if that is what your dog is? I’m glad you liked the shampoo! :)
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:)
I love dr bronners! I’ve used it on my dog before!
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.
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).
I will definitely have to try that trick asap on my dog!
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.
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!
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 :)
have English Bulldogs and when I would take them to the Vet , the girls their told me to use Baby Shampoo, I use the Johnsons brand
is this shampoo good for fleas as well?
I haven’t used it as a flea repellant or remover, I would recommend using something else for fleas!
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.
Could you substitute Castille soap for the dishwashing soap? My pet groomer agrees with Saundra’s comments. She also states that it is unwise to use baby shampoo on dogs, can’t remember why, ph is probably wrong.
Jeryl, I think castile soap would be a great substitution!
Castille soap, although I love it, has a PH level of 9
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!
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!
This recipe makes enough for probably 3-4 baths on my medium sized dog. Hope that helps! :)
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.
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!
I use that myself all the time it is great. Now my dog is getting an introduction. It is suppose to keep bugs away.
I have a quick question: where would you get glycerine? Please answer asap.
Hey Amy, I got mine at hobby lobby in the soap aisle!
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.
I always read you should not use dish soap on dogs.
I have a white Maltese I would like feedback on how to make shampoo.I’m tired of store bought. Thx
I actually just gave my “mini schnorkie” a bath. (Mini schnauzer/yorkie) lol. He is his own breed I guess. Anyways, I saw this on another website that led me to it. I was like HECK YEH! DIY DOG SHAMPOO! Then I saw the dish detergeant. And of course my dog has to be “one of those” dogs that has the skin issue. Lol. He was actually on “special shampoo” at one point bc of a FUNGUS he had!! Idk even KNOW where he got that from! He has to get a bath every 5-7 days so I know about the expensive thing. If he didn’t have the whole “skin issue” ordeal, I would make this and try it. Good post! Alot of dogs don’t. It probably helped a lot of people! And btw, LOVELY PHOTOS!
Great doggie shampoo! I cut back on the Dawn and I add 1 teaspoons of lavender or lemon Essential oil. I also add 1 – 2 teaspoon of Emu oil. Works great.
love this dog shampoo idea! where can i buy glycerin?
Great recipe and I’ve been reading the comments too. I was with a dog rescue group for several years and had to shampoo a lot of them back then and the recipe would have really helped.
I see some folks have dogs with skin issues. I’ve had several Schnauzers who get skin problems due to fleas or just allergies in the summer. My older Mini Schnauzer, Jeremiah, who I adopted at the age of 8, had a lot of hair loss and itchy skin and I saw they sell Oatmeal dog shampoo. I made up my own by adding oatmeal to the dog shampoo I had. I used my food processor to grind uncooked oats and added it, with some tea tree oil, to the shampoo and it did wonders for his skin! Hope this helps some others too.
A great recipe, thanks. I added a few drops of peppermint or tea tree for additional smell.
Actually, Keely, it’s “a photo of Tanner and ME”. It’s become fashionable to appear overly correct by way of grammar, as if the word “me” is somehow dirty. But you wouldn’t say “it’s a photo of I”, would you? The “me” in this case is not the nominative, it’s the accusative. But don’t feel bad, half of all Americans never remember that part of grade school.
I cannot resist commenting about your precious Veda’s “pre-bath’ photo-shoot!. The expression upon her face (s) are so wonderfully classic, AND readable!. I saw my own little dog’s face reflected in those soulful eyes! So knowing of what lies ahead!. Thank you for the recipe, and the heartfelt smile! my best to you and your loved ones, Sincerely, Sharon Adams
I will try this. Thanks for sharing=)
This is cool! and it is much cheaper compared to buying a shampoo on your local store. I may have to try this.
This worked so well! It made all three of my dogs so clean and white and soft! All three of my dogs have patches of white fur on them and this made their white spots so bright .. I did tweak the recipe a bit — I used seventh generation dish soap and added a few drops of lavender esstental oil and a couple tablespoons of coconut oil. Thank you!
Thanks for sharing with us, Rachel — we’re so glad your sweet pups are so fresh and clean! :D
My dog Truffles always has struggled with dry skin and fleas. So to help with her dry skin and I always add some Fresh aloevera for a moisturizer and a little witch hazzel which works wonders for skin irritation in general but especially irritation caused by Flea bites. Also something else that works wonders when trying to combat fleas is to put a little dolap of Vaseline directly on anywhere you see a flea and the fleas get trapped in the vaseline, essentially preventing them from being able to jump around which makes picking them off far less challenging.