Dogs are considered man’s best friend. They are cute and cuddly and truly are amazing companions. Dog lovers around the world love their dogs and the dogs love their owners. However, occasionally, your dog will become smelly and you will have to bathe it properly. A clean dog is a happy dog.
A trouble you may face when trying to bathe your dog is either running out of dog shampoo and not having time to buy some right away or not having dog shampoo at your disposal. Otherwise, you may be one of those people who prefer using alternatives for dog shampoo to avoid any harmful chemicals in them.
Though dog shampoo is specifically designed to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy, you may have found that the brand of shampoo that you use doesn’t work for your dog. In such circumstances, there are some household items that you can use instead of dog shampoo, to give your pup a good clean. These alternatives can be great, especially if your pet starts to develop an allergy to regular shampoos.
Here is our list of alternatives for dog shampoo that is both safe and effective for use.
1. Baking Soda
There is a good chance that you have baking soda in your kitchen. Baking soda can be a great alternative to help you clean your dog when you don’t have dog shampoo at hand.
Baking soda works really well as a cleaner. In fact, it even works well as an alternative to human shampoo. It is safe and effective and easy to use on your dog. Baking soda is inexpensive and is readily available. All you have to do is sprinkle a bit of baking soda on the dog’s fur and brush it well through the coat.
The baking soda works to absorb any foul smells on your dog, leaving your dog smelling fresh and clean. It is also good to mix some salt with the baking soda to remove any loose dirt that may be trapped on the coat.
It is an easy and effective means to clean your dog. You are left with a fresh smelling dog with clean and beautiful fur.
2. Castile Soap
Castile soap is usually free of chemicals. As a result, it provides a great pH balance for your dog’s skin. It works well on canines with sensitive skin and does not come with scents or fragrances which could cause irritation.
You can make your own homemade dog shampoo using Castile soap and some other common ingredients that you find at home.
You would need,
- 2 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of Castile soap
- 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 2-3 drops of essential oil
- Sterile jar
Simply mix the components in the jar and shake well to combine the ingredients together and your doggie shampoo is ready for use.
If you aren’t at the task of making dog shampoo, you can simply use the Castile soap, which works well as an alternative to dog shampoo.
3. Vinegar and Water
This alternative works really well for a light clean. The acidic nature of vinegar works well to clean your dog’s fur and gives it a nice shine.
Simply combine water with vinegar which is easy enough to do. You want to combine equal parts of water with vinegar and use a spray bottle to spray the contents all over your dog’s fur. You want to ensure to shake the bottle well to ensure that the contents are blended and mixed in well before use.
Vinegar and water work well to clean your dog and can be something you use if you bathe or shower your dog on a regular basis. It is easy enough to use and is effective when used as a light clean.
This is a great substitute to dry dog shampoo. Cornstarch is commonly found in most kitchens. It is easy enough to use and can provide your pooch with a good clean.
Simply shake the cornstarch over the coat of your dog and it will work to freshen up the fur. You want to work the powder into the fur as much as possible for the best results. Use a comb or brush to pull away excess powder on the coat.
Cornstarch is an excellent solution to give your dog a dry bath. It is very inexpensive and works to absorb excess oil on dogs with skin problems. It also works to soothe the itch of dogs that have dry skin.
Though cornstarch won’t replace a bath entirely, it will work to prolong the freshness until you have access to proper dog shampoo. Otherwise, you can use cornstarch for a dry clean and bath your dog using vinegar and water.
5. Baby Shampoo
Baby shampoo is considered the best human shampoo to use on dogs. While it isn’t recommended that you use normal human shampoo on dogs, baby shampoo is specially formulated and can work to give your pooch a good clean.
Baby shampoo is much gentler, hence they are less harsh on your dog’s fur and skin. You can use baby shampoo just the way you would use regular dog shampoo. However, this is not a long term solution, since regular use can lead to the dryness of your dog’s skin and can cause moderate irritation.
6. Dish Soap
Some dish soaps can be a safe and effective means to clean your pooch. Dawn dish soap has been used by wildlife rescue organisations to clean crude oil from waterfowl and other animals. It can be a great way to remove buildup and dirt from the coat of your dog.
However, when you use dish soap, you want to ensure that it is free of fragrances and other harsh additives. Though Dawn dish soap works well at cleaning your pooch, all dish soaps are not suitable for your pup. Hence you would want to ensure that there are no harsh additives and that it is mild enough to be used on your dog.
Do not use the dish soap straight from the bottle. You want to mix it with water and dilute it prior to using it. Mix 2 cups of water with 1/4 cup of Dawn dish soap and 1/2 cup of vinegar. Apply the mixture on your dog’s wet fur and lather gently. Do avoid getting the mixture on their eyes, nose or mouth.
Though it may sound unorthodox, oatmeal works really well to give your dog a good soak. It is a great alternative to shampoo and works to remove odours and clean the fur.
Simply fill a stocking with rolled oats, tie off the end and place under warm running water in the bathtub. Once the temperature of the water is suitable for your dog, place your dog in the tub and allow your dog to soak in the tub for about 5 to 10 minutes.
The bath works really well to remove any odours which may be originating from your dog’s fur and also works to help resolve dry and itchy skin.
Handy Cleaning Products for Dog Owners
There are a few handy products that are worth mentioning, that are great for quickly cleaning your dog with the least amount of hassle.
This is something that all dog owners should keep handy. Doggie wipes are one of the easiest ways to give your dog a good clean without the need for soap or water. They are like moist towelettes.
Simply run the wipes over the dog’s coat to remove any dirt and you are good to go. They are great for muddy paws and dirty behinds. There are both scented and unscented wipes that you can find in the market.
Though they don’t really replace a good shower, they do come in handy when you are looking for a quick clean.
This is another great find for dog owners. Waterless shampoo is a spray-on shampoo that is sprayed in the dog’s fur. It produces a foam that works to remove dirt and oil from the fur and can be an effective means to clean your dog.
Once the foam is formed on the fur, you want to then use a towel to remove the excess moisture and then brush the coat to give it a proper clean and detangling. You can then allow your dog to air-dry.
This is a handy product to have at hand and can be an effective way to give your dog a good clean. The only drawback to waterless shampoo is that your dog might not like being sprayed.
Pet deodorants are yet another product that you should look to keep handy, especially if you don’t use dog shampoo. They are quick and easy to use and do provide a good alternative to shampoo.
Pet deodorants are available in a variety of scents. You can spray the pet deodorant on the dog’s fur to rid your pet of any odours. They don’t actually work to clean your dog. It doesn’t work to remove dirt or clean the fur, but only mask odours. Hence, it doesn’t replace the goodness of a proper shower or bath.
Should I Use Human Shampoo on my Dog?
Though human shampoo works to remove dirt, grime and odours from your dog’s skin and fur, it may not be entirely safe for the dog’s skin. Human shampoo is designed with different pH levels to suit human skin and hair. It is not well suited for the skin needs of your dog.
You could face a variety of mild to moderate issues if you use human shampoo on your dogs. Your dog could experience dryness, itchy and irritated skin. This is because the ingredients in human shampoo would strip away the natural moisture barrier of your dog’s coat.
Hence, if you are looking to use human shampoo on your dog, you should think otherwise. Baby shampoo does work as a temporary fix, however, it may cause dryness and itchiness if used in the long run. Your best bet for a reliable alternative to long term bathing would be vinegar and water.
Using anything that is formulated for humans and not for dogs will cause some form of irritation in the long run. Hence, you should be careful and look to avoid it whenever possible. Once again, baby shampoo is a good temporary alternative, however does not work to help wash your dog on a more permanent basis.
Best Dog Care Routine Without Using Dog Shampoo
If you have made a decision to not use dog shampoo or live in an area where you don’t have access to dog shampoo, here is what you have to do to ensure that your dog is clean and healthy.
First, you want to give your dog regular dry baths using cornstarch or baking soda. This will work to clean your dog’s fur and remove any foul smells.
Then you want to use the water and vinegar alternative to give your pooch a good light clean. Since you are mixing dry baths with a light clean, your pooch’s coat should be both clean and healthy and you should not have any trouble with any foul smells.
This is the routine that we consider as the best to use when you don’t have access to dog shampoo. Don’t simply reach for the human shampoo or soap. Instead, rely on these three ingredients that you find in almost every kitchen and use that to clean your dog.
Alternatives for Dog Shampoo
Formulated dog shampoo is still the best way to wash your dog. However, for various reasons, you may not have dog shampoo at hand. Either you ran out, or simply prefer using more natural alternatives as a lifestyle choice. Either way, we have provided you with a few alternatives to dog shampoo that could work to both clean your dog’s fur and give it a nice shine.
Though you may be tempted to reach for the human shampoo and just wash your dog with that, as we mentioned, this isn’t the best alternative to dog shampoo. You would better benefit by giving your dog a dry bath using cornstarch or baking soda and then give him a bath at a later point using water and vinegar.
We hope that you found our list of alternatives useful and that you found the information that you were looking for. We do hope that reading this word to word has helped you; wash and bathe your pooch and give it a nice clean!