The Best Soap-Free Shampoos for Dogs

Water-only baths are a great way to cleanse the skin, without causing irritations or allergic reactions.
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Many dogs, like basset hounds, require frequent bathing. Consistently bathing with soap may dry the skin of your furry friend, so it’s often necessary to seek out soap-free shampoos. In general, the best soap-free shampoos are going to feature all-natural, organic ingredients, but also be strong enough to eliminate odors.

Oatmeal Shampoos

When your dog is suffering from itchy, dry skin, look for oatmeal shampoos on your pet store’s shelves. Oatmeal shampoos are ideal for dogs who suffer from prolonged skin irritations. Your dog will enjoy the relief that oatmeal shampoos provide, without suffering from the added dryness soap-based shampoos can cause. You can make an oatmeal shampoo at home by grinding a single cup of oatmeal into a fine powder, using a food processor or a blender. Add this powder to a container with a secure lid. Add a single cup of baking soda and a quart of warm water to the container and shake vigorously. Use the mixture immediately for best results. Massage it into your dog’s fur and skin, leaving it on for at least 5 minutes before rinsing.

Rosemary Water

According to veterinarian, Dr. Sherry Weaver, “There is no specific need to bathe the dog except to make him a more enjoyable companion.” If you’re simply looking to wash out an unpleasant smell, water should do the trick. Apply rosemary water, if you want your dog to have a pleasant after-smell. You can make your own rosemary-infused water and apply it each time you give your dog a water-only bath. In a saucepan, mix together 4 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of fresh rosemary. Bring the mixture to a boil, removing it from heat as soon as boiling commences. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes, before straining out the rosemary. Once the rosemary water has cooled, it’s ready for application. After thoroughly rinsing your dog with water, pour the rosemary water over his coat. This will leave him smelling great, with a nice shiny coat and soft fur.

Baking Soda

Baking soda makes an excellent dog cleanser, because it’s nonirritating and 100 percent soap free. Baking soda is a dry shampoo, meaning there’s no need to add water. Simply sprinkle ½ cup baking soda along the body of your dog, avoiding his face. Using your hands, rub the baking soda in and then thoroughly brush him. Afterward, any unpleasant odors should be eliminated. If there is still a lingering unpleasant odor, apply the baking soda a second time.

Water and Essential Oils

Essential oils are ideal for dog owners looking to heal a dog with skin irritations, cuts or hormonal imbalances. Essential Animals is a website dedicated to educating animal owners on holistic ways to heal and train their pets. It suggests essential oils as a nontoxic, organic way to treat these ailments. Mix together a few cups of warm water with two to three drops of your best-smelling essential oil to treat hot spots or minor cuts. You can pour this mixture directly on your dog’s coat. This should provide relief to any minor scrapes or cuts and afterward, your dog’s coat will be soft, shiny and smelling great.

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