So you want to make homemade dog shampoo. Whether you just want to avoid all the chemicals found in store-bought dog shampoos or just enjoy making your own, I have several different DIY dog shampoo recipes for you to try.
You can find an endless number of homemade dog shampoo recipes online. I have tested all of the recipes below to rate how easy they are to make, how well they clean, and how much they lather.
You can find all of these ingredients to make your own dog shampoo at home in our Amazon Shopping List by clicking here.
Make sure to get quality essential oils, brands such as Edens Garden, Young Living or doTERRA.
Speak with your veterinarian if you have any concerns over using essential oils with your dog.
Depending on the size of your dog you may want to double the recipe. I found all these homemade shampoos very watery, which makes it easy to pour but also increases the need to use more.
If you have a large dog like our 90lb Bear, I recommend using 2 cups of water and increase the other ingredients accordingly. If you have a small dog, then 1 cup of water should be plenty for one bath.
Recommended reading: 7 Important Dog Bath Tips
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Dish soap (we used the standard blue Dawn) is formulated to cut through grease and will do a great job of washing away oils that build up on your dog’s coat and skin. For this reason, I don’t recommend this soap if your dog has dry itchy skin. Vinegar has odor-fighting properties that will leave his coat shiny and clean.
4 out of 5 stars – This shampoo is very easy to make, and most people have these ingredients in their home already. We didn’t like the vinegar smell that lingered for a few hours after bath time. But it did clean and lather very well.
You can always mix up this recipe without the essential oil. Speak with your veterinarian if you have any concerns over using essential oils with your dog.
5 out of 5 stars – This is our favorite, it made our dogs fur very soft… with the bonus of repelling fleas and ticks. It’s easy to make, but you may need to purchase the ingredients. It cleans and lathers well.
Learn more about all the health benefits coconut oil has for your dog!
3 out of 5 stars – It’s easy to make, but you may need to purchase the ingredients and oils. It cleans and lathers okay, I suggest adding more castile soap if you want more of a lather.
Our dog, Ginger, hated the strong scent of the oils. As soon as she was done, she ran over a dirt pile and rolled around it in!
Other essential oil options include rosemary, peppermint, and eucalyptus.
4 out of 5 stars – It was pretty easy to make, but not everyone has these ingredients in their pantry. This was a nice option and the aloe vera made our dog’s fur soft similar to the coconut oil soap.
It cleans and lathers okay, I suggest adding more castile soap if you want more of a lather.
This homemade dog shampoo is not only great for a fresh smelling dog but also works as a flea and tick Repellent because of the lavender essential oil.
Grind the oatmeal in a food processor or blender.
2 out of 5 stars – This is our least favorite. The original recipe did not call for Castile soap, which left this one in the dust.
Oatmeal is good for dry itchy skin. But we found that this dog shampoo recipe does not lather and is better suited for a soaking bath than a cleaning shampoo. If you want to make it into a sudsy soap, I recommend adding 1 tablespoon of Castile soap.
After making and testing all of the above dog shampoo recipes, our favorite is the DIY dog shampoo and conditioner with coconut oil. The coconut oil made Bears fur so soft with the added bonus of repelling fleas and ticks.
Since you’re working with fresh ingredients and no preservatives, make small batches so you can use them within a few days.
So tell me, which one did you try and did you make any adjustments to the receipt? Will you continue to make homemade dog shampoo for your dog, or will you go back to store-bought dog shampoo?
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Debi McKee is a mom of three kids, two dogs and the creator of Rescue Dogs 101... where she guides you in your journey of adopting and raising a rescue dog every step of the way. She also volunteers for a local dog rescue and Humane Society.