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Healthy Homemade Dog Shampoo

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

Read more: Pets, Everyday Pet Care, , , ,

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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5:51AM PDT on May 15, 2011

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

5:12PM PDT on May 12, 2011

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

12:31AM PDT on Oct 3, 2010

Thanks for the information.

8:44AM PDT on Sep 20, 2010

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.

4:24PM PDT on Jun 1, 2010


8:17AM PST on Dec 29, 2009

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.

1:56PM PST on Dec 22, 2009

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.

7:47PM PDT on Apr 13, 2009

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….

3:26PM PST on Feb 25, 2009

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?

10:34AM PST on Dec 31, 2008

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.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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cute video, but I feel sorry for the other elephants that are clearly jealous and maybe even need wa…

Great practical info thank you!

Thanks for the info.


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