Since our skin is our largest organ (yes, our skin absorbs into our bodies everything we put on it), I’m pretty strict about every single ingredient I use. Just like our food, conventional skin care products are full of nasty stuff that really do affect our bodies. I’m not in a place in life where I’m willing to bargain with my health–so I keep my skin care regiment simple & easy (a post for another day).
Using that logic, it’s only natural (pun actually intended here 😉 ) that I would want that same standard for my sweet Allie girl. Her skin is just as important to me because she’s a part of our family, too.
Isn’t she a doll?
I haven’t always been so kind to this black and white beauty and her beautiful locks. Though I’ve been on a clean lifestyle journey myself for a few years, it’s just recently that I’ve learned how to care naturally for her. And guess what? I’m still learning. Every single day.
I love to share what I learn, but in no way does it mean that I’ve got it mastered or that I’m way ahead of you. I’m taking baby steps out of my comfort zone, too, this subject matter being one of them.
I try to tackle a new topic every week or two and build from there. So if you’re ready for a simple, easy fix to clean your furry friend without breaking the bank, that doesn’t take a lot of time, AND that will be a better option for cleaning your dog, then try this recipe 🙂
All it takes to clean your dog safely is these few ingredients + water.
Distilled White Vinegar: Vinegar is the superpower of my life. I use it to clean my house, as fabric softener, to mop my floors, and here as part of my dog shampoo recipe. In this recipe, the vinegar is antibacterial, a deodorizer, and a coat shiner! Yes, you might smell a strong vinegar odor while washing, but don’t worry–it really does go away after you rinse your dog!
Olive Oil: The olive oil will help moisturize your dog’s skin & coat and won’t allow the soap to strip them of their natural oils.
Castile Soap: This natural soap is vegetable based and is extremely gentle. The brand I use is Dr. Bronner’s (you can get at Earth Fare, Whole Foods, Kroger, Publix, etc). I choose the unscented version to keep it simple & pure. My family uses the bar soaps for bathing and for making laundry detergent, but for this recipe, you’ll want to get the liquid form. This will serve as the “soap” base for the shampoo and will make the suds 🙂
Essential oil: Essential oils are natural compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of the plants that have physical and emotional wellness and healing properties. Lavender oil is gentle, soothing, and a great oil to ward off fleas. In fact, we rid Allie of fleas (she was an outside dog for almost 7 years) with lavender oil and water alone. No chemicals needed. There are various kinds of oils sold through direct selling companies (like doTERRA and Young Living) or you can buy them from a health food store, but I do feel like the quality of the ones from direct selling companies are better! I distribute for doTERRA and am always glad to get oils for family and friends at a discounted price. One bottle of lavender costs $21, and will last a very long time. This oil is great for SO many other things like sunburn, bug bites, sleep aid, and to calm, so I know you would get your money’s worth! If that doesn’t interest you, get the best quality one you can from a health food store, and make your shampoo 🙂
1/2 cup Castile Soap
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
5 drops Lavender oil
(I know you love my shadow in that picture 😉 )
Put all ingredients in a mason jar and shake. Wet dog with warm water, pour some shampoo in your hand and lather dog, scrubbing well. Rinse thoroughly.
Note: This recipe lasts us TWO washing applications. Allie is a 22 ish pound Cocker spaniel. If you have a smaller dog, this could last you longer, or if you have a larger dog, this might be for only one washing.
I don’t have the exact breakdown of this shampoo. You will spend some money upfront, but it will LAST. It’s an investment worth indulging in. AND you can use these ingredients for much more than this shampoo recipe. In general, this recipe ends up being pennies on the dollar compared to buying pre-made “green” options. Plus, you’ll be treating your dog’s skin right by offering a healthy and safe way to clean her coat. Give it a shot and see what you think!