You might be thinking, “Why try to DIY dog shampoo when there are tons of ready-made options out there?” Well, think of it like cooking at home. You save money and control the ingredients by doing it yourself. It’s also a much greener practice (smaller batches and fewer plastic containers!). Plus, if your dog rolls in something truly foul on a late night walk and stores have already closed, there’s no way you’re waiting until morning for a bath. Desperate times, desperate measures.
The good news is homemade dog shampoo is much easier than it sounds. The ingredients are often household staples and the recipes are short and sweet. We did some research on various concoctions to find both a healthy base recipe and a few formulas that target common issues.
Two important notes: Never use human shampoo and always patch test your homemade dog shampoo. The first note has to do with the pH levels in human skin versus dog skin. The American Kennel Club, an organization many top breeders and Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show hopefuls turn to for guidance on their pup’s looks, states the average pH of canine skin falls between 6.2 to 7.4. This is less acidic (more basic) than human skin. So, using human shampoo meant for more acidic skin can irritate your dog’s skin.
The second note has to do with trial and error. If you whip up a batch of homemade dog shampoo and the ratio doesn’t gel with your pup’s skin, you’ll be glad you didn’t slather it all over him. Always do a patch test!