DIY dog beauty: 5 pet shampoos you can make at home

It costs about $84 a year to buy grooming supplies for your dog. That’s an an additional cost to the total annual expenses that pet owners face, including costs for food, toys, vet visits and kennel boarding.

Save money by beautifying your furry friend with ingredients you can find in your home. Here are five DIY shampoos that will deodorize, cleanse and protect your dog’s coat.


Basic dog shampoo 

Dish soap is meant to slice through grease on your dishes and pans. It can do the same for the grease that builds up on your dog’s coat and skin. Antibacterial white vinegar also has deodorant properties, and will leave your dog’s coat shiny and clean. Be sure not to get any vinegar in your dog’s eyes.


  • 2 cups of warm water 
  • 1/4 cup of dish soap
  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar


  1. Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake to mix.
  2. Then wet your dog’s coat with warm water and spray with shampoo, avoiding his eyes.
  3. Work the shampoo into his coat, creating a thick lather.
  4. Rinse thoroughly and repeatedly, even if you think all signs of shampoo are gone.
  5. Dry him off.



Doggy dry shampoo

It’s recommended to bathe your dog once a month, if his skin type is normal. In between baths, sprinkle dry shampoo to ward off unpleasant smells. You can use the dry shampoo weekly, but be sure to get as much off your dog’s fur as you can after each application.


  • 1 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • Essential oil (optional)


  1. Add baking soda and cornstarch to an empty plastic spice container.
  2. Add a few drops of essential oil (but remember: a little goes a long way).
  3. Sprinkle a liberal amount of dry shampoo on your dog’s coat, while shielding his face.
  4. Rub the dry shampoo into the coat until it reaches the skin.
  5. Brush your dog thoroughly to get the rest of the shampoo of the fur, then rub your dog down with a clean towel.


Shampoo for dry skin

Relieve itching, dry or sensitive skin with a recipe that features aloe vera, and one that contains oatmeal. Soothing aloe vera and oatmeal can be found in many commercial grooming products, but you can save money by making your own concoctions.

Aloe Vera and Glycerin Shampoo


  • 1 quart of water
  • 1 cup of baby shampoo or nontoxic dish soap
  • 1 cup of white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of glycerin
  • 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel


  1. Mix all ingredients in spray bottle and shake to thoroughly combine.
  2. Apply to your dog, avoiding his eyes and work into his coat.
  3. Rinse thoroughly.


Oatmeal Dog Shampoo for Dry Skin


  • 1 cup of uncooked oatmeal
  • ½ cup of baking soda
  • 1 quart of warm water


  1. Grind the oatmeal in a coffee grinder or food processor until it’s the consistency of flour.
  2. Pour into a large bowl and mix in baking soda.
  3. Add warm water and stir until incorporated.
  4. Wet your dog with warm water and then lather him up with your homemade shampoo.
  5. Work into his coat and allow it to sit for a few minutes, if he’ll let you.
  6. Then rinse thoroughly and dry.


Fragrant and gentle dog shampoo

Castile soap gently washes away dirt, and lavender oil offers a snuggle-worthy scent.


  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of unscented castile soap
  • 2 drops of lavender essential oil


  1. In a large mason jar, mix together all ingredients and gently shake to combine.
  2. Use just enough shampoo to form a lather on your dog.
  3. Rinse thoroughly.


Shampoo to repel and kill fleas

Not only does lavender provide a fresh scent for your furry friend, it’s a natural antiparasitic and antibacterial. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t apply 100 percent essential oils from aromatherapy products on your pet, especially on broken skin. Also make sure they don’t ingest essential oils.


  • 10 ounces of warm water
  • 2 ounces of aloe vera gel
  • 1 tablespoon of Castile soap
  • 2 drops of lavender essential oil

Note: you may also add 2 drops each of rosemary, peppermint, and eucalyptus essential oils.


  1. Combine all ingredients in a clean spray bottle and shake to combine thoroughly.
  2. Wet your dog with warm water, spray on shampoo and work into his coat, especially in harder to reach places, making sure not to get any in his eyes.
  3. Rinse thoroughly.


All of these ingredients can be found at any of our Nutrition Smart stores. Click here for a list of all our locations.