Why You Need to Use Homemade Dog Shampoo Recipes

If you’ve read other posts of mine in the past, you know I’m a big fan of making things at home. Today, we’re talking about homemade dog shampoo recipes!

There are several reasons I prefer to make things at home.

Mainly, a few years ago my own health was in shambles. I was plagued with skin infections and stomach issues. The doctors tried several different medications but nothing seemed to work and I felt hopeless.

With not much home left in modern medicine, I wanted to get back to basics. I decided to become a certified health coach and when I did I learned really how dangerous our food system has become.

I started looking at the back of every label I would pick up in the store, and often found that more than half of the ingredients were chemicals that I couldn’t even pronounce.

And it’s not just our food. It’s also the products we use to clean our home, and the bath products that we put in our skin and hair.

It’s these chemicals that I believe are making us fat, sick, and are giving us 90% of the health issues that are rampant today.

Once I started looking at human products, I immediately started looking at the products I was using on my dogs. Boy, was I shocked at the things that I saw. 

homemade dog shampoo recipes store bought chemicals

Homemade Vs Store Bought

Chemicals. So many chemicals.

Polyethylene glycol, Isothiazolinone, Pthalates, just to name a few. Can you even pronounce them?

Formaldehyde?! Formaldehyde is used today to preserve dead bodies.

Even more shocking, these companies never removed formaldehyde after getting bad press. They just renamed it into a “slow-releasing compound”.  Why the hell is it in dog shampoo?!

Scientists have yet to find out the long term effects of these chemicals on our dogs, but I’m not letting my dog be one of the guinea pigs.

Just like humans, the largest organ for dogs is their skin.

We would never put any of these chemicals on our skin, so why would we do it to our dogs?

You can always buy organic shampoo from the store, but they are often quite expensive.

By making homemade dog shampoo recipes at home, you’re not only preventing all of those chemicals and preservatives from going into your dog, but you’re also saving a good chunk of change over the course of the year!

How Often Should You Wash Your Dog

Many dog owners are told that they should bathe their dog about every 2 months.

But this is because chemical store bought shampoos can cause skin irritation and other problems.

With homemade or organic shampoos, it is safe to wash your dog as often as once a week.

I usually wash Archie and Cali every other week with Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Soap (affiliate link), which is the same soap my husband and I use.

This soap comes in several different scents and is the base for most homemade dog shampoo recipes.

As a side note, Dr. Bronner’s Soap is organic and has over 18 different uses. Other human shampoos and soaps should never be used on your dog because they can cause an allergic reaction. 

homemade dog shampoo recipes coconut shampoo recipe

Homemade Coconut Dog Shampoo

This homemade dog shampoo recipe is the main one I usually use.

The Dr. Bronner soap really gets all that underlying dirt out, while the coconut oil moisturizes their coat and the lavender kills any fleas and makes your dog smell amazing.

Just add the ingredients together in a spray bottle and you’re ready to go!


  • ½ cup castile soap
  • ¾ cup distilled water
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 5 drops lavender oil (i.e. essential oil)

Note: Do not use any essential oils on your female dog if they are pregnant or lactating.

This can cause damage to the puppies. Just make the shampoo without the essential oil and it will work just as well. 

Homemade Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

If your dog tends to have dry, itchy skin, then this is the homemade dog shampoo recipe for you.

At first I thought rubbing your dog down with oatmeal was a little…odd.

But after doing my research I learned that oatmeal has been used for generations to soothe inflamed, itchy skin.

I use this recipe on Cali after camping trips because something in the woods always makes her skin break out.

Start by blending the oatmeal into a powder. Then mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until they make a paste.

For the oatmeal to be most effective, I recommend leaving the paste on your dog for 10-15 mins for a maximum soothing effect. 


  • 1 cup oatmeal 
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 4 cups warm water
homemade dog shampoo recipes skunk shampoo recipe

Homemade Skunk Stripping Shampoo

If your dog has ever had the unfortunate chance of being sprayed by a skunk, you know that that offensive smell can clear out the whole house.

I remember when I was little my Rottweiler got sprayed by a skunk during a camping trip.

He was so stinky he had to ride in the bed of the pickup truck on the way home!

Most people will tell you to use tomato juice to get rid of the smell, but I can tell you first hand that it doesn’t work at all.

Luckily, this recipe actually washes out the smell and leaves your dog smelling brand new! Just keep in mind you may have to scrub your dog down 2-3 times for maximum effect. 


  •  1 quart of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 1/2 cup of Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)
  • 1 teaspoon of liquid soap


I hope these recipes are helpful and something you can use as an alternate to store bought shampoo.

Do your dogs use any other special shampoos that I didn’t list a recipe for? Let me know in the comments so I can add a recipe for you to this post!

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  1. You are an great writer! I just bookmarked your site.

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