Dog shampoo is a special formulation that is made for dogs.
They have special ingredients, like aloe vera or tea tree oil, which are gentler.
Human shampoos prove to be really harsh on the dog’s fur and skin. They disrupt the delicate balance of oil and moisture on the dog’s skin.
Therefore, a special dog shampoo is needed that provides the correct pH balance and retains essential oils.
Dog shampoos come in two forms- spray and standard.
Spray shampoos can be sprayed onto the fur where they act and then wiped off.
They do not require water for action. On the other hand, standard shampoos act like human shampoos, where they are applied with water, lathered and rinsed off after a few minutes.
Shampoos can also be medicated so that they help the dog to fight against a number of diseases and allergies.
Shampoos are often combined with conditioners so that your dog’s fur is conditioned and maintained over time. You should always consult a vet before purchasing shampoos or any other pet care products.
Why do dogs shed?
Just like we lose hair, dogs also shed their hair.
It is natural for them to shed since that allows new hair to grow in its place.
It is a natural cycle of rejuvenation and that cannot be stopped.
Some dogs shed more hair than other, and this property depends on the dog’s breed. Regular shedding is not a problem but excessive shedding is.
There are several reasons why your dog may be shedding more than usual. Let us look at them.
Dandruff – Dandruff is also termed as ‘seborrhoea’. It occurs due to dry and flaky skin. Excessive dandruff leads to excessive hair loss in dogs.
Hair is lost in patches which disturbs the overall balance of the fur. It also leads to itchiness.
Bad diet/health– When your dog does not get proper nutrition, he starts to shed. This also happens when he has some disease that is depleting his health.
Make sure that your dog is getting all the vitamins and minerals. And when you feel that something is wrong with your dog’s health, get it checked by a vet.
Seasonal variation – Generally during spring and fall season, dogs shed a lot. This occurs because the dog is preparing for a new season by growing a new coat.
For example, during fall it sheds the lighter coat and makes way for a thicker coat for winter. The opposite is true for spring.
How can shampoos help?
In most cases, you cannot stop your dog from shedding but you control the mess that it creates.
To do this, brush your dog at least once a day to remove all the hair that it is likely to shed over the house. In this way, you contain the mess.
You can also bathe your regularly with warm water and a good shampoo that keeps your dog smelling fresh and clean.
Bathing also removes the weak hair that is about to fall and soothes the skin.
This is where shampoos come in.
There are different shampoos available in the market that gives a fresh odour to your dog. They also have ingredients that help to soothe the dog skin.
If the dog is shedding due to bacterial, fungal or yeast skin infections, then you can use medicated shampoos to fight these diseases.
Popular Homemade Dog Shampoo Recipes to Prevent Shedding
Shedding can be tackled in two ways – fighting the infection that is causing irregular shedding or removing regularly shed hair with a warm water bath.
So, the shampoos that you need can be medicated or non-medicated, as per your use. Let us look at a few homemade shampoos hat fit the bill.
Homemade Oatmeal and Essential oil Shampoo
Ingredients- 1 ½ cups of water, 1 cup of oatmeal, 20 drops of essential oil, 1 cup of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of honey
Procedure– Use a food processor to grind the oatmeal well.
Ensure that the oatmeal is ground in such a way that it has the same texture as flour. Mix the oatmeal, oil and baking soda together.
Slowly add water as you mix the ingredients together. When the mixture is mixed properly, add honey and shake it well.
This mix is ideal for one wash. Shake the mixture before you use it for a second time. Use it on damp fur and leave it for 5-10 minutes for the soothing action to take place. Use warm water when you are treating shedding hair.
Homemade Oatmeal Shampoo
Ingredients – ½ cup of baking soda, 1 cup of oatmeal, 1 quart of warm water
Procedure – You need to grind oatmeal for this recipe too. After it has reached the consistency of flour, add water and baking soda to it.
If you have a big and furry dog, you can increase the amount of water in the recipe and mix well. Allow the mixture to cool and set before you use it as a shampoo.
Wet your dog with warm water and use this mixture. The oatmeal in the shampoo will soothe the dog’s skin which is essential if it has dry and flaky skin from dandruff.
Homemade Lavender & Oatmeal Shampoo
Ingredients – 1 cup of apple cider, 1 cup of oatmeal water, 1 cup of castile soap (Dr. Bronner’s lavender scent)
Procedure – Add a roll of oatmeal to a cup of water and leave it overnight (8 hours).
Sieve out the water from this setting and use it in our recipe. Mix all the ingredients together in a container and shake them well.
This shampoo will give your dog a fresh and lavender smell. You can change the odour by using a different soap from Dr. Bronner’s. The fresh smell will fight the smell during shedding season.
Homemade Soothing Shampoo for Dry Skin
Ingredients – 1 cup of baby shampoo, 1 quart of water, 1 cup of white vinegar, 1/3 cup of glycerine, and 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel
Procedure – These ingredients need to be mixed well together and the shampoo is ready for use. The aloe vera gel soothes and moisturizes dry skin.
The baby shampoo ensures that the shampoo is tearless and does not irritate the eyes of puppies or dogs. Glycerine also has a moisturizing and conditioning effect on the fur.
Bathe your dog with warm water for best effect against shedding hair.
Homemade Soothing Shampoo without Vinegar
Ingredients – 2 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 2 teaspoon of castile soap
Procedure – Mix all these ingredients in a bottle and shake it well. These ingredients are natural and do not contain harsh chemicals that might react with your dog’s skin.
Vinegar has been replaced by olive oil because it can harsh on the dog’s skin and cause a severe allergic reaction in some cases.
Thus, an alternative recipe is needed. Use this shampoo like the others mentioned before. Use warm water to ease the bathing process and the removal of dead hair during the bathing process.
Precautions to be taken
Homemade shampoos are very different from synthetic shampoos available in the market.
They are safer and gentler since they are made from natural ingredients. It is less likely that your dog will have a acute reaction to products in homemade shampoos.
There are still a few precautions to be taken when making and using homemade shampoos.
Some shampoo mixtures are hot during preparation, so let them cool down before you use it.
We do not advise you to use or make heavily scented shampoos since they can be overwhelming for a dog. Their sense of smell is much greater than ours.
These shampoos are made with natural ingredients. The problem with natural ingredients is that they are not built to last for a very long time.
So it is better to make a fresh batch of shampoo every time you bathe your dog. You should not rely on the freshness of a batch that you made months ago.
Ensure that even the compounds in the homemade shampoo are not those that your dog is allergic to them. If your dog does show an allergic reaction, take it to a vet as soon as possible.
Homemade shampoos are a good option for those who want to save on dog shampoos.
These are also more natural and gentler than the pet grooming products available in the market.
Certain precautions should be maintained while making and using them.
We would recommend homemade shampoos for general use but not when you require medicated shampoos for infections.
Lastly, we would recommend that you consult a vet before you use a particular product on your pet.