Every dogs skin is different, so when using shampoo you should make sure the shampoo is PH balanced. Since there is no way for the average person to check the proper ph of a dog’s healthy skin, we must educate people on what not to use. To start with, never use human shampoo on dogs. Most human shampoos have a high PH level that will damage your dog’s skin. We have to remember that a dog’s skin needs it’s oils to keep it from becoming dry and irritable. Other things such as the environment, food and bugs like fleas can cause irritation of the skin also.
Your dog’s skin is the most alkaline of all species, which makes it a ideal breeding ground for skin infections if the PH balance is not right or changed. When this happens infections and inflamed spots may occur from the skin being too dry from the outer most layer of skin called the epidermis being depleted. A dog’s skin is very thick, but the epidermis is not. If you bath your dog with shampoo that is too acidic or alkaline you will strip away that outer skin layer and cause many skin issues. This is why we recommend making your own shampoo.
Homemade dog shampoo recipes
Making your own dog shampoo is really very easy. You only need a few ingredients.
- One quart of Water
- 1 cup of liquid Castile soap
- 1 cup of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
Now you will read many places that tell you it is ok to use baby shampoo or dish soap such as Dawn to name one. Dawn has formaldehyde in it and baby shampoo that claims to be mild will still strip away your dogs skin layers. Stick with castile soap and save your dogs skin.
The dog shampoo recipe I just showed you is the basic shampoo that can be used for all dogs. But if your dog has dry or irritated skin then try this recipe.
Ingredients for Dry Skin
- Take one cup of oatmeal and blend it fine.
- 1 cup of baking soda
- 4 cups of warm water
Combine all the ingredients, it should look like a paste. Take it and rub it into your dogs coat. There will be no lather like you see in most shampoos. Let it soak in for about 5 minutes and rinse it out.
Oatmeal has been used for years to help with dry itchy skin. It is a natural cleanser and moisturizer. Baking soda is a great way to eliminate odors.
Now the shampoo that I use the most is the next one I will show you. I have dogs with sensitive skin, so I use this recipe the most.
Ingredients for Sensitive Skin
- 1 quart of water
- 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel
- 1 cup of liquid castile soap
- 2-3 drop of lavender essential oils
Vinegar is antibacterial and acts as a deodorizer, it will also keep your dogs coat shiny and healthy. One note though, make sure to not get this in your dogs eyes as they will not like it. It can be very painful. I love adding lavender oils as they smell really good and help to keep fleas away. You can also use lemongrass oil. Essential oils are great because they are anti-parasitic, antiseptic and anti-bacterial. Insects hate them. Just make sure you do not go over board with the oils. Too much and your dog may not like it.
When making your own dog shampoo, do not make too much. These homemade shampoos contain fresh ingredients and have no preservatives. You will need to use them with in two weeks, so make small batches.
Also watch your dog for reactions to the shampoo. Some dogs might have allergic reactions to new ingredients. Also try to keep the baths to once a month if you can, so your dogs skin stays well balanced. I have a hard time following that rule, because one of my dogs who likes to roll in smelly things. If you have this same problems, homemade shampoos will help keep your dogs skin moist and soft before the next accident.