Store-bought dog shampoos can be expensive. Making your own shampoo for your pooch at home takes only a few moments and can be an extremely cost-effective way to keep your pet clean and smelling fresh. Both Dawn dish detergent and white vinegar have cleaning and deodorizing properties that make them great ingredients to add to homemade dog shampoo.
Dawn dish detergent is a liquid soap usually used for washing dishes, but it can serve a variety of other purposes. Dawn is designed to cut through kitchen grease, but it will also wash away built-up oils on your dog's skin and coat that can make your pup look and feel less than his best.
In addition to washing away excess oils, lavender-scented Dawn dish detergent, which is available in stores, will repel fleas. Fleas can be a huge problem if your pet becomes infested, so this extra bonus is a welcome one. Your pet will also smell great after his bath, too -- so it's a win-win all the way around.
White vinegar has antibacterial and deodorant properties, so it is an excellent addition to your dog's shampoo. It will also make your pet's coat look shiny and healthy.
While vinegar is useful in dog shampoo for a variety of reasons, take care not to get vinegar in your dog's eyes. Household vinegar, which is mildly acidic, will sting.
If your dog is smelly, first apply a paste of baking soda and water and rub it gently all over your dog's coat down to the skin. A solution of 4 parts water to 1 part baking soda is ideal, but the quantities of both depends on the size of your dog.
Baking soda works to remove odors from your dog's skin and fur without the use of harsh chemicals. The baking soda paste should be applied before the shampoo and can be washed off as you lather homemade dog shampoo and then rinse both items off the dog with warm water.
In a large spray bottle, combine 2 cups of warm water with 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Add in 1/4 cup of Dawn dish detergent -- preferably lavender scented, although the classic variety will also work. Gently shake the mixture until bubbles form, then allow the bubbles to recede.
Wet your dog's coat with warm water. If you're using the baking soda paste, apply it all over your dog's coat.
Spray your dog with the homemade shampoo mixture all over his body and use your fingers to create a thick lather. Work the shampoo gently down to his skin to thoroughly cleanse him. Take care not to get the shampoo mixture into your dog's eyes as it will sting.
Rinse the dog with warm water until all of the soap is gone, then brush or groom him as necessary.
Leeann Teagno has been writing professionally since 2006. An English major, she continues to study information systems management at American Public University. Teagno is an organic gardener, cook and technology buff with past employment in mobile communications. She also volunteers at an animal shelter and operates a home bakery.