Healthy Homemade Dog Shampoo

Do you know what’s lurking in your pet’s shampoo? Actually, many of the same troublesome ingredients that our found in human beauty products. I had never really considered it before, but I have become so accustomed to scanning ingredient lists on beauty products, that when I inadvertently read a label on a dog shampoo I was purchasing (an “all-natural” one at that), I had a major “what?!!!” moment. I saw creepy parabens listed, and when I started looking at other brands saw the usual list of shady characters including sodium lauryl sulfate and the ever mysterious fragrance. If I won’t use those ingredients on my kids or myself, why would I use them on my dogs?

I looked around to see what other DIYers were washing their dogs with, and found a few interpretations of a formula that combines a mild dish soap, glycerine, vinegar and water. Sounds good! Using an all-natural dish soap (Seventh Generation, Ecover, etc.) will work to clean, glycerine is a humectant and emollient, and vinegar will boost shine and remove odor.

1/3 cup glycerin
1 cup all natural dish soap
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 quart water

Mix ingredients into a large bottle, shake, and use as needed.

For tips on how to bathe your dog, see this guide on

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Sarah W.
Sarah W.4 years ago

can you add drops of oils for different fragrances like coco nut, vanilla, tea tree. lavendar, orange?

sandra sheehy
Past Member 4 years ago

well with a large gigantic hairy old english sheepdog,ill definately try it out.

Gita Sasi Dharan
Gita Sasi Dharan5 years ago

Thanks for the information.

Chris S.
Chris S.5 years ago

Does this work for cats as well? Just want to be sure before I whip this up to find out that I'll be using it for myself instead. Lol.

Courtney Coggins
Courtney Coggins5 years ago


Daisy Brambletoes

Vanilla! That sounds wonderful; I'll have to try it. I have a gingerbread-scented dog shampoo and cologne that I got from my groomer, and it is wonderful to smell at Christmas.

Rebecca S.
Rebecca Stover5 years ago

I checked with my vet and added a few drops of Vanilla oil to this. Boy, do I have the best smelling dog in the world. She smells like a fresh baked cookie LOL! AND you don't have to worry about this hurting their skin if they have skin troubles, my vet said this was a great mix.

Paula M.
Past Member 6 years ago

I accidently went to the Made from Earth skin care website when looking for something for my research paper, and it was one of the best accidents i ever had. I tried their Organic Tea & Protein Shampoo and loved it….It has a great scent and is gentle on my scalp. Compared to the $30-40i I used to spend on organic shampoo this is an even match at a cheaper price. Best for use to make your hair fuller and fresher….

Joan D.
Joan D.6 years ago

Going organic with your pet is a great idea. If you must wash your dog outside, you might want to consider using a drinking water safe hose.(look in the camping department at walmart) Why quibble about shampoo ingredients when your spraying your pet with plasticizers?

Caralien S.
Caralien S.6 years ago

Daniel: glycerin used to be found in the lotion or first-aid aisle in drugstores (near Corn Huskers lotion or other eczema treatments); most health food stores also carry it for both edible (ie for lip products) and topical uses

If you have a big dog and wash them outside, use a (new) plant sprayer with the garden hose. Add in your soap mixture (we'll use my soapnuts liquid come spring), attach to hose, and you have a shampoo sprayer.