A happy dog is a healthy dog, and a healthy dog has strong, shiny hair. Your dog’s coat will greatly benefit from the use of DIY Dog Shampoo. It’s easy to make and use, and it also saves you money.
It is essential that you adopt good grooming habits for your dog. To keep your dog’s coat clean, regular brushing is best. By doing this you also keep a check on your dog’s skin, hair and overall condition. Shampooing is only one part of Dog Grooming. To learn what else you will need to do and when, read our article on DIY Dog Grooming.
But… dogs do smell. However, dogs don’t care if they smell, but we sometimes do! And that’s why you need to understand when you should and when you shouldn’t shampoo your dog with DIY Dog shampoo.
What Does Your Dog Think About DIY Dog Shampoo?
Is your dog calm and does he stand still for every shampoo?
Or Does Your Dog
- Try to escape?
- Shake and tremble?
- Wriggle and squirm?
- Try to bite and nip?
If your dog exhibits any of the above behaviors you need to act to stop them and make bath time a pleasant experience for you and your dog. When you understand how your dog thinks you can help him to stay calm and co-operate. Doggy Dan the Online Dog Trainer can show you how to take this first step.
The Four Most Common Questions Dog Owners Ask About DIY Dog Shampoo
- Why shampoo my dog?
- Can I just use human shampoo or soap on my dog?
- How often should I shampoo my dog?
- What should I use to shampoo my dog?
We answer all these questions (and more) for you.
1. Why Shampoo?
Your decision to shampoo is based on why your dog needs a shampoo and you should be taking into account all of the following factors;
BREED – short haired dogs seldom need a bath, but dogs that shed or have long hair may need to be bathed more often. Also harsh-textured coats repel dirt pretty well so they don’t get as dirty as a soft-coated dog.
SMELL – does your dog really smell bad or are you just sensitive to smells?
SKIN CONDITION – has your vet diagnosed your dog with allergies or dryness (seborrhoea) or hair loss (alopecia) and advised you to wash your dog?
LIFESTYLE – does your dog exercise in a park among other dogs or does your dog spend most of his time inside and sleeping on a dog bed? Your dog’s lifestyle will affect his cleanliness in different ways.
HEALTH REASON – bathing can soothe sensitive skin, which is common in dogs. However your vet should diagnose the condition before you shampoo your dog, or you may actually be exacerbating a problem and causing irritation to your dog, rather than helping.
2. Can I Just Use Human Shampoo or Soap?
A dog’s skin and hair is not like humans, so don’t use human shampoos and soaps on your dog as they are too harsh.
Basically, human shampoo is not good for dogs because their skin is more sensitive than ours. Human shampoos are designed to wash off the natural oils and wax on our hair. If used, these would leave your dog’s coat dull and brittle and could cause rashes. All dog shampoo should be in a neutral PH level (around 7) with no artificial colors or fragrances. Otherwise it could aggravate or cause skin and coat problems for your dog.
There is little or no regulation of pet grooming products, says veterinarian Dr Jean Hofve DVM, so companies can use perfumes, detergents and other potentially harmful chemicals. This is especially true of shampoos intended to kill fleas or solve skin problems like flaking or itching. Your dog’s skin can absorb many of these chemicals which can also get into the blood, and that can put a strain on the liver which has to break them down.
Natural pet grooming products that use mild ingredients — including safe herbs — are gentler on the skin and less likely to be absorbed and accumulated in the body.
A DIY Dog shampoo can be ideal for your dog if you follow the basic rules;
- Do not use detergents.
- Don’t add any potentially harmful chemicals.
- Exclude all artificial colors.
- Do not add artificial fragrances or perfumes.
3. How Often Should I Shampoo?
Most dogs will benefit from a shampoo, however the frequency depends on your dog’s breed, smell, and health and lifestyle factors. Brief and frequent brushing of your dog’s coat is more essential for your dog’s overall health than shampooing your dog. To learn what else you will need to do and when, read our article on DIY Dog Grooming.
If you keep your dog fairly clean with regular brushing you might get away with fewer baths. That’s because brushing helps to reduce grease levels which can build up in a dog’s coat. Because it stimulates the skin, it also promotes good blood circulation. Now, the question of frequency varies among canine experts, so its best to ask your dog’s vet about what is right for your dog. In general, dogs need to be bathed about every 3 months, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®).
IMPORTANT: Do not use bathing as a home remedy to treat skin conditions. If your dog’s skin is red or itchy, has dry or wet patches or if he is losing hair, see a veterinarian for diagnosis.
4. What Should I Use To Shampoo?
A DIY Dog shampoo is an ideal solution for shampooing your dog as you will know precisely what is in it. There’s no reading and deciphering of labels needed. Some off-the-shelf products are often found chemically laden which can do more harm than good. Your DIY Dog Shampoo ingredients will be fresh and without any preservatives or artificial colors or fragrances added.
You make DIY Dog shampoo in a small batches and use it within a short period. Because there’s no waste, it is a very cost effective and natural shampoo solution for your dog.
DIY Dog shampoo – actually any dog shampoo – does not need to lather up to be effective.
5. How To Prepare your DIY Dog Shampoo and DIY Dog Shampoo Rinse.
The first step to washing your dog using a DIY Dog shampoo is to prepare both the Shampoo and the Shampoo Rinse.
Once these are both prepared you are ready for the fun part, and that’s washing your dog.
The 4 Key Ingredients of DIY Dog Shampoo.
1. Liquid Castile soap – is a natural soap which will clean your dog. Castile soap is traditionally formulated from the purest organic unrefined vegetable oils such as olive, coconut, flaxseed, and other organic oils.
The liquid castile soap should not contain any preservatives or synthetic detergents that will aggravate your dog’s skin.
2. Olive oil – contains three major antioxidants including vitamin E which is a natural skin moisturizer.
It is beneficial to use Olive oil as it penetrates deeply into the skin while also cleaning. It won’t clog pores or exacerbate skin conditions but it will rehydrate your dog’s hair.
3. Essential Oil – lavender is best as it is known to be a natural insect repellent. That helps to keep fleas and ticks away and it can also provide relief to dry, itchy skin. But only ever use it sparingly.
It is important to make sure you use Essential Oil and not a cheaper substitute which may be synthetic (not natural).
4. Water – to liquefy and bring all the other components together.
The best choice is filtered water, where harsh chemicals have been removed. However, if it isn’t an option, you can always boil the water first, but let it stand and cool before use.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING DIY DOG SHAMPOO
In a clean container that can be capped to allow shaking of the ingredients, combine;
1 Cup of Water with
2 Tbs (tablespoons) Olive Oil adding
2 Tbs (tablespoons) Liquid Castille Soap and finally add
2 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil
Now, give it a good shake. Wet your dog and use the entire contents in one wash.
**** DIY Dog Shampoo does not need to lather to perform its cleaning function.
**** This DIY Dog Shampoo is to be used fresh, so ideally you should use it within 24 hours of mixing.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE USING DIY DOG SHAMPOO
Wash off the DIY Dog shampoo with a thorough rinsing with water to remove any residual shampoo from your dog’s skin. This is important, so some veterinarians recommend rinsing for twice as long as you think is necessary.
Now that you have washed off the shampoo with water, follow up with a DIY Dog Shampoo Rinse.
The 2 Key Ingredients of DIY Dog Shampoo Rinse
1. Vinegar is most effective when used as a rinse after you’ve already shampooed and rinsed your dog.
Vinegar can be used to alleviate a skin problem or simply to enhance your dog’s coat. Due to its acidity and live enzymes, vinegar is said to kill the bacteria that cause flaking skin conditions.
2. Water – to dilute the vinegar (1 part vinegar to 5 parts water) and enable it to be poured over your dog (avoiding his eyes). Follow up the vinegar rinse with lots of clear water.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE FINAL RINSE
Combine the vinegar in a 1-part-to-5-parts mixture with warm water in a clean container that can be capped or closed to allow shaking. Pour the vinegar rinse over your dog, taking care to avoid getting it in his eyes, and rub it in to distribute it through his coat. Finally, rinse your dog a couple times with clear water. While you are rinsing, scrub with your fingers all over to eliminate all residues.
Remember, in addition to the benefits to his skin and coat, the vinegar rinse will eliminate residue that your DIY Dog shampoo might leave behind. It can also help to soothe your dog’s itches, heal his skin and leave his coat soft and shiny.
6. Learn DIY Dog Grooming
Anyone can learn dog grooming – if you learn it the right way! Click on the image below and find out how you can learn dog grooming from a professional who has perfected the techniques most suitable for a dog owner who wants to get involved in some DIY Dog Grooming and SAVE MONEY doing it!
To learn more about Dog Grooming, read our article on DIY Dog Grooming.