Here’s My Recipe for a DIY Dog Shampoo


Making your own dog shampoo isn’t rocket science. By: adria.richards/Flickr

A wide variety of dog shampoos are available in stores, of course. But you might find no need at all to buy a specific shampoo for your canine companion:

I’ve found that I can easily create a do-it-yourself dog shampoo from ingredients that most people have in their homes.

DIY Dog Shampoo

(This is the one pictured above.) Mix 1 cup apple cider vinegar with 2 tablespoons lemon dish detergent. Add 2 tablespoons pure aloe vera. Shake the bottle well. You may immediately use the shampoo or store it for future use.

I couldn’t stop this article with just ONE recipe. I have a few more.

Shampoo for Dry Skin

Many pet owners struggle with their puppy’s dry skin problems. This next simple recipe will help alleviate scratching and discomfort:

Mix 1 cup lemon dish detergent with 1 cup white vinegar and 1/3 cup glycerin. Stir the mixture into 1 quart water. Use as you would any other hair cleanser. Store your homemade dog shampoo in a clean bottle for future use.

DIY Skunk Odor Remover

At some point, your curious dog might get skunked. This is never an easy situation to handle. Many prepared remedies on the market don’t make much of a dent in eliminating the awful smell.

Your pet wants the odor removed just as quickly as you do!

What’s that smell? By: Marie Hale

First, put on some eye protection, just in case, along with rubber gloves. The following DIY de-skunking recipe comes from the Humane Society of the United States. I have not yet tried it myself, because fortunately my dog hasn’t been skunked (yet).

Mix 1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide with ¼ cup baking soda and 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid. This next sentence is incredibly important: Use this mixture immediately after you make it, as it will explode if you put it into a closed container.

Let me repeat that: It is dangerous to put this solution in a closed container. So do not store it, and do not close the container.

Apply the shampoo to the dog, and work it vigorously into the coat for three to five minutes. Some more cautions:

  • Do not get the mixture in the dog’s eyes.
  • Do not get the mixture in the dog’s mouth.

Rinse thoroughly with water. Let the coat dry, and repeat as often as needed to remove the smell.

For much more on do-it-yourself deskunking strategies, check out this related article:

DIY Rinse for Great-Smelling Dogs

For a good-smelling rinse, boil 2 cups water and add 2 tablespoons of any essential oil. Let cool and store in the refrigerator. After bathing and thoroughly rinsing your pup with clear water, allow the dog to shake out. Now apply the rinse. Your pup will smell wonderful.

book-cover-smallest1Have you tried making your own dog shampoo? Tell us about it in the comments below. If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love Pets Adviser’s email newsletter. It’s free to sign up, and you’ll be among the first to get alerts about major pet food recalls. New subscribers also get instant access to our 40-page ebook — which has “secrets every cat and dog lover should know.” Learn more here.

From Around the Web

  • Jamie

    Is dish detergent ok for dogs? Sorry I am worried that there’d be too much chemical… anybody knows?

    • Vickiej

      Yes,it’s fine as I use it on my Pomeranian and Black lab.

  • Kerri Stallings

    Dish detergent wont hurt a dog.
    I wouldn’t use it on my Lhasa Apso though. I use special shampoos and conditioners to keep his hair silky.
    Dish soap is good for killing fleas. Ive done that before drys my dogs hair out though.
    This year none of the flea meds worked,Frontline Plus and Advantix.

    • Panda_h12

      Give comfortis a try. It’s a little bit more pricey than frontline or advantix, but it’s a monthly pill and it WORKS. The problem with frontline and advantix is that they havent changed the formula much in years, and fleas have built an immunity. Comfortis is systemic, and I have found that since switching to comfortis, I actually only have to give it to my dogs in the warmer months because their system builds up enough to last throughout the winter. I haven’t seen a flea in years. However, if you are in an area where ticks are an issue…comfortis does not prevent ticks.

  • Panda_h12

    I can’t speak as to the safety of the lemon dish soap, but I know they use the original blue dawn dish soap to clean up animals caught in oil spills. It’s gentle on the skin and does not affect the pH or natural sebaceous glands. It is also recommended as the safest method to remove fleas from kittens and puppies who are too young to be exposed to regular chemical flea treatments.
    I have used it on my dogs and my cats and never had any problems.