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How to Make Dry Dog Shampoo

My 2 year old basset hound and I have one thing in common – we both dislike the groomer. I’m not the groomer’s biggest fan for two reasons. One, the cost which has risen from $26 for a bath, brush and ear cleaning to almost $40. The second: Last time I took my anxiety-ridden dog to the groomer he got off his leash, took off and landed in a puddle of newly-fallen, muddy snow. Joy?

In an attempt to save myself from the headache of hauling him to the groomer, I’ve taken on the Herculean task of bathing him at home, which is not fun considering he HATES the water and gets cold very easily. Searching the Internet I discovered my salvation: DRY DOG SHAMPOO.

This is ideal for smaller, sensitive dogs –including my niece’s 5 Chihuahuas – or anyone that doesn’t want to deal with wet, smelly dog on their rugs and furniture. This is also the perfect way to maintain the dog’s coat between regular home or professional groomings. However you look at it, dry dog shampoo is cheap, quick and awesome.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup baking soda. The baking soda soaks up the oils, excess dander, and dirt on the dog’s skin and coat. The oils and dirt are the culprits making your favorite furry kid smelly and don’t always require the hassle of soap and water to get rid of them.
  • 1 cup cornstarch. This might seem redundant, but cornstarch is just another weapon to remove the stink and moisture from your dog’s coat. Cornstarch plays double-duty because it also makes your dog’s coat lustrous and shiny.
  • 3 to 5 drops lavender essential oil.  Look for the oil at your neighborhood dollar store or raid a crafty friend’s closet before purchasing this otherwise-unnecessary-for-everyday-life ingredient. The lavender oil smells great and helps naturally protect your dogs against fleas.

DIRECTIONS

1. Mix the ingredient together in a new plastic storage bowl. Avoid the temptation to reuse a bowl previously filled with last night’s leftovers to prevent transferring any lingering odors to your pet. Poke a few holes in the bowl’s matching plastic lid to create a make-shift sprinkler.

2.If weather permits, use the dry shampoo outdoors on a patio or other hard surface. The dry shampoo is a little messy, but well worth the money and hassle you’ll save by skipping a grooming appointment.  If you can’t go outside, set your smaller dog into a large cardboard box to cut down on clean-up time by isolating the mess. Bigger dogs obviously require more space. To cut down on the mess, cover a non-carpeted area with newspaper.

3. Remove any clumps of matted fur, snarls and dead hair with your dog’s regular grooming brush or an old hairbrush you’ve slated for the garbage. Sprinkle a healthy amount of the dry shampoo over your pooch and work it through his coat with your fingers. Let the shampoo sit for around five minutes before working the brush through your dog’s fur to remove the bulk of the dry shampoo mixture. This gives it time to soak up the oils and odors from his skin and fur.

4. Between the dog’s natural shaking motion — which shouldn’t be discouraged because this is his way of keeping the product out of his ears, eyes and nose — and a final rub down with an old towel, the dry shampoo will be eliminated.

5. Once you’re done simply let the dog go, pick up the newspapers and throw them into the trash. No water. No wet dog trail throughout the house. Heavenly smelling dog without the arduous clean-up. How can you go wrong with this?

This product is ideal for dogs of any age, size or breed.  It’s also perfect for a pet suffering from dry skin or one that just plain hates traditional baths. If your dog is resistant to this type of bath as well, simply give him a regular supply of treats to help the process go more smoothly.

This has been a guest post by Jaimie from Chippewa Falls, WI
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

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12 thoughts on “How to Make Dry Dog Shampoo”

  1. Anonymous says:

    What exactly is lavender oil? And where do you buy it?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Would this work for cats as well? :)
    Yes, we bathe our cats, don’t laugh.

  3. Mary Smith says:

    I do this and just add vanilla from my kitchen and with 2 dogs and 3 cats,I use a lot in the winter.My son uses this on his cat so the answer is yes.

  4. does anyone know if you can do the same for a cat? He hates water and gets really dry skin.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is worth a try since bathing my 52 lb. dog that’s been shedding takes ages! Does anyone know if Lavender can be substituted for anything else?

  6. Candra Long says:

    I’ve tried dry shampoo on my dog and he still stinks! lol. I tend to give him a bath at home at least once every couple of weeks, which works for us because he’s small. Because I use our shower, I can regulate the temp and he doesn’t get cold. He’s even okay with the blow dryer on the high setting as long as it doesn’t get too close to his ears…
    But if you don’t want to bathe your dog in your own tub, find a self-serve doggie wash place- my town has several of them, and it only costs about $15. You get to use their tubs, soap, towels, and dryers, and usually you can ask them to clip the dog’s nails for you and it only runs like $5.

  7. Candra Long says:

    I’ve tried dry shampoo on my dog and he still stinks! lol. I tend to give him a bath at home at least once every couple of weeks, which works for us because he’s small. Because I use our shower, I can regulate the temp and he doesn’t get cold. He’s even okay with the blow dryer on the high setting as long as it doesn’t get too close to his ears…
    But if you don’t want to bathe your dog in your own tub, find a self-serve doggie wash place- my town has several of them, and it only costs about $15. You get to use their tubs, soap, towels, and dryers, and usually you can ask them to clip the dog’s nails for you and it only runs like $5.

  8. Candra Long says:

    I’ve tried dry shampoo on my dog and he still stinks! lol. I tend to give him a bath at home at least once every couple of weeks, which works for us because he’s small. Because I use our shower, I can regulate the temp and he doesn’t get cold. He’s even okay with the blow dryer on the high setting as long as it doesn’t get too close to his ears…
    But if you don’t want to bathe your dog in your own tub, find a self-serve doggie wash place- my town has several of them, and it only costs about $15. You get to use their tubs, soap, towels, and dryers, and usually you can ask them to clip the dog’s nails for you and it only runs like $5.

  9. Edie Webster says:

    This is an interesting idea, thanks for posting. We have about 14 dogs (I know, ridiculous), and while the majority of them don’t really mind being bathed, the hassle of cleaning up after them and blow drying them (on lowest setting) so they don’t get cold, is too time consuming. You wouldn’t think a mini aussie has so much hair, but holy crap, they do.

    So this is definitely something I’ll be trying out, thanks again. :)

  10. Thanks for this great recipe I have an elderly dog that hates water hates groomers and hates being brushed n clipped but one out of four isn’t as bad as all four at her age so I am definetly going to try this thank you again

  11. Anonymous says:

    Nice tips. I don’t like going to the groomer either because of the cost and the requirement of yearly shots that I think are unnecessary. This may sound crazy, but, we just take our dogs in the shower with us when they get dirty. It works really well as long as you don’t have a dog that sheds like crazy. Two of my dogs need conditioner after shampoo to make their hair soft. If you have a dog that requires a haircut, you can take them to the groomer just for the haircut and bathe the dog yourself. The best part of all of this is that my kids fight over who gets to clean the dogs. Thankfully with 3 dogs, we can keep everyone happy.