If you are concerned about some of the ingredients in commercial dog-bathing products, consider making your own homemade dog shampoo and conditioner. Not only will you know exactly what is in your dog's shampoo, you will be able to customize the recipe to combat skin problems such as dryness or itchiness.
Combine 1 quart of water with 1 cup of apple cider vinegar in a small bucket. The water is the base of your shampoo and the vinegar will help to combat odor. If odor is not a big problem for your dog you may choose to omit the vinegar and add more water instead.
Add 1/3 cup glycerin and 1 cup of all-natural liquid dish soap to the mixture. The glycerin will help soften your dog's skin while the dish soap acts as the cleaning agent. All-natural dish soap should be mild enough to prevent irritation of your dog's skin.
Add a teaspoon of aloe vera to your shampoo if your dog has dry, itchy skin. Aloe vera will help soothe his irritated skin and add moisture to prevent further itching.
Stir in 2 teaspoons of an essential oil like lavender, rosemary, lemon or eucalyptus to give your shampoo a pleasing scent. These essential oils may also help to repel fleas.
Whisk together the ingredients until the mixture reaches a gravylike consistency.
Pour the shampoo into your preferred plastic storage containers. For ease of use, try pouring the shampoo into small squeeze bottles. You will need to shake the bottle before you use the shampoo to combine the ingredients.
Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to boil in a small saucepan, then stir in 2 teaspoons each of dried chamomile flower and dried sage.
Let the water cool for 10 to 15 minutes before stirring in 1 tablespoon of honey. The herbs and honey have conditioning properties that will help improve the health of your dog's coat while also soothing skin irritation.
Cook 1/2 cup of oatmeal according to the directions on the package. Pour the oatmeal and the warm water mixture into a blender or food processor and blend it smooth.
Add 1/2 cup of coconut oil, 2 teaspoons aloe vera gel and 1 cup mayonnaise then blend the mixture again until smooth.
Beat one egg in a small bowl using a fork, then add a whole banana and mash it. Pour the egg and banana into the blender and pulse the mixture several times to combine the ingredients.
Add several drops of lavender oil and rosemary oil to the blender, then pulse it a few times to combine. You may substitute other essential oils if you prefer a different scent. The essential oils will not only give your conditioner a pleasing fragrance but they will also help to repel fleas.
Transfer the conditioner into a medium bowl and whisk it until it reaches the consistency of pudding. Cover the bowl and store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Bathe your dog as you normally would and apply the conditioner to his coat after rinsing out the shampoo. Let the conditioner sit for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse it out completely.
- When bathing your dog, be careful not to get any of the shampoo or conditioner in your dog's eyes because it could cause irritation. Wash your dog's face using a damp cloth to avoid getting water in his eyes.
Katherine Barrington has written on a variety of topics, from arts and crafts to pets, health and do-it-yourself projects. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a creative writing concentration from Marietta College.