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Easy Homemade Pet Shampoo

Updated on April 1, 2015
Cute pups after a bath!
Cute pups after a bath! | Source

With the ever-growing list of ingredients on products these days, and 75% or more of them being difficult to even pronounce, let alone know what they are, how are you so sure that the personal care products that you are using on yourself and your pets are safe?

Sure, they make you smell nice when you’re done, but that may just be the chemicals, I mean, “ingredients,” talking.

Which homemade pet supplies are you most interested in making yourself?

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Ingredients that are Safe for Your Pets

Any pet owner will agree that the safety of their pet is their first concern. So why not make sure you're cleaning your pet with a safe shampoo!

Recalls: When it comes to the ingredients that you have no idea about, comes rare, but potentially fatal consequences. If you’ve ever had a product recalled, or have heard about a recall, this is exactly what happened.

Whether it was a bad ingredient or a hiccup in the manufacturing process, or even a contamination of the product altogether, the manufacturer is recalling them for a reason; it’s become a liability for them. I mean, “they are doing it for the safety of their furry customers.”

Sadly, it’s not uncommon for pet products to be recalled. Although it is more common to happen with their food or treats (scary!), it does happen to pet care products as well, such as shampoo.

See this FDA recall on pet shampoo; it goes on to mention that a death occurred to the woman bathing her dog due to an unapproved chemical in the ingredients. If one chemical that is not “FDA approved” can make it into one product, who is to say that there isn’t many others?

If you would like to stay up-to-date on FDA pet item recalls, you can see the list here. It’s a lengthy list, indeed.

Homemade Dog Shampoo Recipes

One way to know for sure what ingredients you are using on your pets is to make the products out of natural or common products, yourself. This way, you have full control over what is in the product and you know that nothing sketchy is happening during the manufacturing process.

Here are some homemade dog shampoo recipes:

How cute is this German Shepherd all wrapped up?
How cute is this German Shepherd all wrapped up? | Source

1. Basic Homemade Pet Shampoo

Needed ingredients:

  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of liquid castile soap
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 oz. of glycerine.

Directions: Mix all ingredients together in a large mason jar, pour onto wet pet, lather and rinse.

2. The “Dirty Dog” Shampoo

Needed ingredients:

  • 1 batch of basic shampoo
  • 2-3 drops of essential oils.

Directions: Take the basic shampoo and add a few drops of some safe, good-smelling essential oils such as lavender oil, lemon oil, orange oil, peppermint oil, tea tree oil, or lemon grass oil. Remember: a couple drops of essential oil goes a long way!

3. For Dry Skin

Needed ingredients:

  • 1 cup of oatmeal
  • 1 cup of liquid castile soap
  • 1 qt. hot water
  • 3 Tbs. aloe vera

Directions: Grind oatmeal in food processor, mix into all other ingredients in a sealable container, shake well and use right away. Leave on for 5 minutes before rinsing.

4. Flea and Tick Shampoo

Needed ingredients:

  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of liquid castile soap
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops of peppermint essential oil

Directions: Mix all ingredients together. Leave on for 5 minutes before rinsing.

5. Dry Shampoo

Needed Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 4 drops of essential oil of your choice

Directions: Sprinkle ¼ cup of baking soda at a time into a container followed by a drop or 2 of essential oil each time, so that the oil is well spread throughout the baking soda. Rub powder into pet’s coat and let set for 5-10 minutes. Comb or brush it out until you don’t feel anymore grits. Perfect for the dog that has a fear of the tub!

*Tip* You can also skip the oils and just use baking soda, as it is a natural odor-remover.

6. Blue Dawn Dish Soap

Although not-so-natural, blue Dawn has been around for a long time and has many uses outside of dishes, one of them is that it is effective at killing fleas! The ingredients suffocate the fleas if left on for 5-10 minutes.

Dogs love baths, except for this one!
Dogs love baths, except for this one! | Source

Great for Dogs and Cats

Although you can use these recipes on cats, too, cats don’t really need baths as often as they bathe themselves, and bathing them messes with the natural oils on their skin that can cause skin problems.

Of course, if your cat gets skunked or has fleas, a bath is a very much-needed option.

Making homemade dog shampoo will not only make your pets feel good, but you will also feel good knowing that you are doing what is best for your pets!

Organic and All-Natural Shampoo

If you can't make pet shampoo yourself or don't have the time, consider investing in organic pet shampoo made with natural ingredients that won't harm you or your pet.

Organic shampoos don't contain DEA, perfumes, synthetic dyes, and other harsh chemicals. They are a good option if your pet has sensitive skin, irritated skin, open sores, or allergies.

Disclaimer: As always, before using new, different, or homemade products on your pets, it is best to consult with your pet’s veterinarian first to determine the best path of treatment for any condition.

Homemade Pet Soap with Essential Oils


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