Kellye Fox | 

How to Make DIY Dry Shampoo for Dogs

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My two-year-old fur babies and I have one thing in common — we both dislike the groomer. I don’t like the cost, and my dogs freak out whenever they go.

Fortunately, there’s a way out of this headache — a DIY dog shampoo. Making your own lets you control the ingredients, and it can also prevent irritation since many soaps can cause dry skin and have a lot of preservatives. Of course, before diving into any homemade dog shampoo project, chat with your veterinarian to ensure that the ingredients are recommended for your breed. Or, you can do a small spot check on your dog and continue the next day. In addition to showing you how to make your own dry shampoo for dogs, you’ll also get step-by-step instructions on how to apply it.

Stop by the KCL dog coupons page to see what you can save on other pooch essentials.


1. Make your own dog shampoo with baking soda, cornstarch, and lavender essential oil.

A container of DIY Dry Dog Shampoo sitting on a towel next to a box of Arm & Hammer baking soda, a box of Great Value corn starch, and a jar of lavender essential oil. There is a dog brush, a measuring cup, and bone-shaped dog treats scattered in front of the towel. To the left is a dog looking toward the treats.

Baking soda for pets is perfectly safe and effective. It’s a natural cleaner and disinfectant and doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals. The cornstarch is great for absorbing dirt and oil, and the essential oil just adds a freshness (and a chill experience for your dog). So, as far as ingredients for a dry shampoo for dogs, these are economical and safe.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 C. baking soda
  • 1 C. cornstarch
  • 3-5 drops lavender essential oil
  • Dog brush
  • Towel
  • Dog treats
  • Empty bulk spice container or a plastic storage bowl and lid you can poke holes in

Make sure the container to hold the ingredients is clean and doesn’t have any lingering smells in it. Poke a few holes in the container’s plastic lid to create a makeshift shaker top. You’ll need it later.


Step 1: Before applying the dog shampoo, thoroughly brush your dog for a smooth application.

A dog is sitting on the grass next to a person in a chair who is using the dog brush to brush the dog's fur. There are tufts of fur scattered on the grass.

Remove any clumps of matted fur, snarls, and dead hair with your dog’s regular grooming brush or an old hairbrush. Doing this will allow the dry dog shampoo to penetrate better (it won’t be trapped in matted fur) and go on smoother.

Step 2: Sprinkle a healthy amount of shampoo all over your pooch.

A dog is looking up while a person is sprinkling the homemade Dry Dog Shampoo onto its fur.

Now that the hair is combed through, time to shake, shake, shake that dog shampoo. Apply it liberally, avoiding his/her face and eyes. Start from the back of the ears and go to the tail.


Step 3: Work the dry dog shampoo through your dog’s coat with your fingers.

A dog is standing and the image focuses on a person's hand rubbing the homemade Dry Dog Shampoo into the dog's fur.

Let the shampoo sit for about five minutes, giving the baking soda and cornstarch time to soak up the oils and odors from his or her skin and fur. This is a great time to gaze into your fur baby’s eyes and tell him/her how much you love them. That way they don’t shake off the shampoo.


RELATED: 7 Unusual (and Non-Toxic) Ways to Get Rid of Insects


Step 4: Brush out the bulk of the homemade dog shampoo from your dog’s fur.

A dog is standing on grass and looking forward while a person is using a dog brush to brush its fur.

Imagine how much you like your hair rubbed! Your dog should be able to stand still enough for you to tackle this task. Like in tip 1, you’ll want to thoroughly and gently comb their fur to remove the dry dog shampoo.


Step 5: Rub down your dog’s coat with an old towel.

A dog is sitting on grass and looking forward while a person is draping a towel over the dog's back.

Your dog is going to want to shake off the dry shampoo — totally fine — and a towel will just about get the rest of it. Be sure to follow the ear-to-tail path to make sure that all of the shampoo is off. Ideally, all of these steps are performed outside so the breeze can carry any extra shampoo away.


Step 6: Blow dry any remaining dog shampoo from your dog’s coat.

A dog is sitting on grass and looking to the side while a person is using a hair dryer to dry its fur.

Blow drying your dog’s coat will remove excess dry shampoo. Just be sure to set your dryer to the warm or cool temperature setting (not hot). By now your pooch has been very patient, so hopefully you have a few treats ready to go!


Step 7: Enjoy your pet’s shinier, flea-free coat and better skin, courtesy of your DIY dry shampoo for dogs.

A close up of a dog sitting on grass and taking a treat from its owner's hand.

Not only does lavender oil make your dog smell fresh, it also protects your dog from fleas. If you use it as a DIY flea shampoo for dogs, it’s 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 ease the process.



2. Create a gentle, non-toxic oatmeal shampoo for dogs.

A person putting ingredients for the DIY Dog Oatmeal Shampoo into a metal mixing bowl that is sitting on their kitchen counter next to more of the ingredients. A dog is just behind the person, peering out.
Oatmeal is a great ingredient for dry shampoo for dogs because it’s gentle and non-irritating. It also cleans and softens the dog’s fur. With just a few more ingredients, you’ve got a handy waterless dog shampoo.

Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs Ingredients:


  1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients together.
  2. Funnel the mix into the empty spice container.
  3. Generously shake on your dog’s fur.
  4. Let it sit for a few minutes, then use a brush to disperse it thoroughly.


3. Assemble oatmeal, coconut oil, honey, and water for a DIY dog conditioner.

A dog laying down on the floor next to a sitting person who is using a spray bottle to apply DIY Dog Oatmeal conditioner onto its fur.

Just like human hair, a dog’s hair needs conditioner to retain shine and moisture, and it also helps soothe itchy, dry skin. While this isn’t a dry hair product — like the dog shampoo — it’s still effective, hypoallergenic, and is made from natural ingredients like these:

DIY Dog Conditioner Ingredients:

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. This leave-in conditioner is perfect for a post-bath (dry or not) finish or an everyday freshen up. Now you have a homemade dog shampoo and conditioner at your fingertips.

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