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How To Naturally Groom Your Dog

Updated on February 24, 2013

Dog Bath Time

Didn't we just do this bath thing last month?
Didn't we just do this bath thing last month? | Source

Dog Grooming Without Chemicals

Keep Your Dog a Clean And Healthy

When your dog is clean, he is beautiful, and more importantly healthy. The circle of life has a unique and fascinating method of rejuvenation, keeping every living thing in a constant state of flux; breaking down and getting rid of metabolic junk and old cells every minute of every day. As one cell ages-out, another must replace it for a healthy lively existence. Today's world makes this a pretty arduous task when we consider all of the nasty man made chemicals in our air, water, soil, and food. This heavy load is not lost on our dogs.

What You Think Really Does Matter!

Have you read the label ingredients in the dog shampoo you buy?

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Natural Dog Grooming

With all of the outdoor curiosities and great things to roll in, toxins are bound to build up in, and on your dog's body. Because of the way our dogs investigate the world, a higher degree of germ and parasite growth gets created. Toxins use more energy, which will decrease the vitality of your dog. With the extra battle caused by uncleanliness, your dog's organs and glands can get tired and stop functioning at their best. While a build up of these toxins may not directly cause a disease, they certainly reduce your dogs ability to fight off infectious disease, acute inflammation, and over time organ degeneration. In some of the more neglected cases, a dog can become the victim of chronic flair-ups, which can bring deep depression and unfortunately the death of a severely effected dog.

How Can I Tell If My Dog Is Suffering From Toxic Overload

Signs of Toxic Problems in Dogs

As with humans, the largest organ a dog has is his skin. When the skin shows signs of unhealthiness, it is pretty clear something is wrong. But, when the internal organs are suffering it can be a bit more difficult to assess just how common toxins are effecting your dogs health. Let's take a look at a couple of things to consider when discerning if your dog has issues with health associated with his cleanliness;

Golden Retriever Blanket Snuggle

Snuggling with a favorite blanket can soothe a sick dog.
Snuggling with a favorite blanket can soothe a sick dog. | Source

Dirty Dogs And Health Issues

Can Being Dirty Cause Health Concerns In Dogs

  • A sudden and damp eczema (known as "hot spots")
  • An attack of nephritis (inflamed kidneys)
  • Gooey eyes (excess vitamin loss, usually B vitamins)
  • Inconsistent fecal structure (diarrhea from parasites, nutritional loss, or disease)
  • Ear infections (smelly crusty debris at ear location)
  • Energy loss (lethargy and uninterested in life)

Early Signs Your Dog May Have a Toxic Condition

Low-Level Signs

I see many dogs at the dog park that are suffering the symptoms of a low-level, yet chronic toxicity, which includes; oily or smelly secretions on skin, ears, eyes, and also display plaque on their teeth. All of these are sure indicators that your dog's body is fighting hard to get rid of toxins.

Three Tips that Help Cleanse Your Dogs Body of Toxins

  1. FASTING: An occasional day of fasting does a dog good! Fasting helps your dog's digestive tract by reducing the workload for a day, and also helps other important organs break down toxins stored in fats, the liver, and miscellaneous tissues. The bonus to this fasting regiment is, while the work load is reduced in the digestive tract, it gives the dog's organs an opportunity to consume any extra stuff that is hanging around like scars, cysts, and growths.
  2. EXERCISE: Daily exercise keeps a dog clean! This one is simple. When your dog is active his waste system and circulation is active as well. Thus, elimination of toxins occurs more rapidly, making it less likely for toxic materials to be absorbed by cells and a slow moving digestive tract.
  3. GROOMING: Regular grooming keeps your dog beautiful and healthy! It makes sense that grooming your dog maintains his cleanliness by removing dirt and secretions mechanically. But, it also works to get the skin's natural cleaning process going in your canine.

Big intense animal eyes can see the difference between a dirty and clean dog!
Big intense animal eyes can see the difference between a dirty and clean dog! | Source

Natural Grooming and Skin Care for Dogs

Why Don't Wild Wolves Need a Bath

I have never tried to give a wolf a bath, but I imagine it would take great skill and strength. The truth is that a wolf doesn't really need a bath in the wild. Unlike our domestic canines, a wolf has the freedom to stay on the move. Which means that a wolf can move away from any infestation of fleas or other bacteria and parasites that may invade their housing. Our pet dogs, on the other hand, generally are forced to stay right where the infestation resides, in their bedding, carpet, or furniture. Causing re-infestation by eggs, larva, fleas, and bacteria that have been left behind right where they lay.

Why Do Domestic Dogs Need To Be Groomed

Another reason that we must bathe our domestic dogs, has to with human manipulation of the breeds. Many dog breeds have been developed over the centuries to sport long, or curly, or wiry, or fine, and even luscious style-able dog hair. Much of which is simply impossible for our pets to manage to keep clean with such primitive tools as a tongue, teeth, and paws. So, a build up of debris, dirt, mats, and crud cause mans best friend to suffer the results of irritated or diseased skin. Because this issue is pretty much due to our human intervention, it has to be up to us to help manage the increased scale of duty in keeping our pets clean; thus healthy and toxin free. (Makes you want to get yourself a hairless dog doesn't it?)

Natural Grooming Tips for Your Dog

Brushing Your Dog

Frequently brushing your dog brings the skin to life by stimulating healthy secretions from the oil glands, which lubricate the skin while also discouraging flea activity. These healthy oils act to reduce matting of the hair, as well as helping to remove stickers and burrs that get attached to the dog's hair. It is the first and most important step in your natural dog grooming arsenal.

Professionally Thinning Your Dogs Hair for Summer

In hot climates your fluffy dog may really struggle to stay cool. A particular breed may have been developed for really cold climates, making your beautifully sculpted Arizona backyard a death trap for your big thick undercoated1 Husky. Never shave off all of your hairy dog's coat either. Your dog's hair acts as an insulator from the hot sun, the hair dances around when a cool breeze happens by, trapping the air between each hair and cooling the skins surface. If you shave off this hair, your dog not only looses this cooling utility, but becomes vulnerable to the harsh sun rays, which can burn his now exposed skin. Having a professional groomer thin this undercoat can help your dog stay cool, clean, and healthy.

1Huskies are among the spitz breed of dogs and have an undercoat. These breeds have a layer of hair under the top coat that is very thick and fluffy. It is design to keep them protected while acting as an insulating barrier from harsh natural elements.

How to Naturally Bathe a Dog

Bathing Your Dog is a Great Flea Deterrent

Since fleas are killed by soap and water, bathing your dog is just about the safest way to control infestation. A bath has a huge roll in maintaining a clean, healthy dog. However, bathing your dog too often can strip away needed oils and cause the skin to dry out (fleas just love to dine on your dogs dry skin). A bath once or twice a month is really all it takes, providing your dog isn't a real pig-pen. Keep in mind that, should your dog have a serious flea problem, or a skin disorder, a weekly bath could be in order. In this situation, you will need to use a very mild shampoo that won't strip away the natural (and needed) oil from your canines hair.

Natural Formulas for Bathing Your Dog

How to Make a Natural Flea Repellant Dog Shampoo

Ingredients for Natural Flea Shampoo

  • Bottle of Natural Shampoo or Castile soap.
  • Five drops of pennyroyal or eucalyptus essential oils. (DO NOT apply these oils directly to the dogs skin, they will be be far too irritating in pure form.)

Simply add the drops of essential oil to the shampoo bottle or Castile soap, mix thoroughly, and use as you would any dog shampoo.


A few tips to follow when bathing your dog

  1. Remove his collar.
  2. Gently tuck cotton into his ears to keep water out (just deep enough to stop water, never deep into the ear canal).
  3. Support him by keeping one hand under his belly (especially when he is in a slippery tub).
  4. Use lukewarm water only.
  5. Wet and soap-up your dog's neck first (this kills and keeps fleas from heading north towards his head).
  6. Soap-up and wash your dog's whole body, then rinse lightly with lukewarm water (use a gentle sprayer hose or a container).
  7. Shampoo again, only work the soap in really well, allow it to stay on your dog for around five minutes (or as long as the dog can stand it). Leaving the soap on for a bit will kill more fleas.
  8. Most importantly, be certain to rinse your pet thoroughly. Soap residue can really irritate your dog's skin.

How to Make a Natural Rinse for Your Dog

Ingredients for Natural Vinegar-water Rinse for Dogs (This rinse will help remove soap residue as well as providing dandruff prevention.)

  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 pint clean lukewarm water

Mix ingredients together. Pour the solution all over the dog and work it into the fur completely. Rinse again with clean lukewarm water. Now that's one squeaky clean dog!

How to Make a Natural Conditioner for Your Dog

Ingredients for Natural Hair Conditioner for Dogs

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 1 tablespoon fresh, or 2 rosemary tea bags)
  • 1 pint boiling water

Add the rosemary ingredient to the boiling water and allow it to steep for about 14 minutes, while covered. Strain out he rosemary and cool until it is lukewarm. Pour the rosemary infused water over your dog following the final rinse. Using a dry towel, rub in the conditioner while getting your dog towel dry. Do NOT rinse out the rosemary conditioner.

When drying off my dog, "Kal" prefers Egyptian cotton towels to dry off with following his bath.  It must be the natural fiber!
When drying off my dog, "Kal" prefers Egyptian cotton towels to dry off with following his bath. It must be the natural fiber! | Source

After Your Dog is Bathed

Now that your dog is clean and towel dry, let him do his doggy thing. Plenty of running around, shaking off, licking excess water off, rolling and rubbing is bound to follow any bath, natural or not. Make sure your pooch has a warm place to finish drying off for several hours. Your doggy duty is done for the day! Now go snuggle up with your clean, healthy canine companion...

...this would be a good time for a healthy snack reward for both of you!

Labeling Terms for Product Toxic Rating

Label Term
Lethal Dose for An Adult Human
As small as a pinch
Approximatly 1-teaspoon
Approximatly 2-teaspoons to 2-cups
No Label Warning
Is considered to be non-toxic
Information derived from American Association of Poison control Centers @ [Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222 serves as a key medical information resource]

Comments for "How To Groom Your Dog Without Chemicals"

Submit a Comment
  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 

    4 years ago from Florida

    My Min. Schnauzer is a digger! She could use a bath every day after playing in the yard all day, but I can't do that. I bathe her once a week.

    Good info here. Voted UP, etc.

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    7 years ago from Northern, California

    Cara~ Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I prefer a natural approach when it comes to the care and treatment of people, as well as pets, too!

    I appreciate that you made it by!


  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    7 years ago from Northern, California

    Prasetio30~ Thanks for leaving your comments. I am glad you feel dog lovers will enjoy the hub!


  • cardelean profile image


    7 years ago from Michigan

    Another great hub on dog care! I love the natural remedies that you included. What is good for humans, should be good for our animal friends too!

  • prasetio30 profile image


    7 years ago from malang-indonesia

    Very informative hub. I believe that dog lovers will love this information. I learn many things about to groom our dog naturally. Rated up and useful!



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