When we first bought our place and the dogs were allowed to come inside, we had many arguments over bathing the dogs. I had these dogs before we got married. I don't hear so much anymore how they are my dogs, but I used to. Now they are very much a part of the family. Hairy, stinky, family members who drool. My husband wanted to bathe them every two weeks minimum. I think that's a little excessive--I mean really, who has that much time on their hands? This unreasonable insistance finally died out about the time I was pregnant and could no longer get down to bathe the dogs and he had to do it all by himself.
As they've gotten older, my dogs have developed rather sensitive skin. It took a lot of searching, but I finally have found a shampoo that agrees with their skin. Today I am passing along a recipe for homemade dog shampoo that I have been using for awhile and have been very pleased with the results. This shampoo is far better than most you can buy (assuming you are like me and would not spend $30 on prescription dog shampoo). It is so gentle on their skin, rinses completely clean, and deodorizes while you bathe the dog so that you do not have to suffer that horrible, sour-egg, wet-dog smell. I cannot say enough good things about vinegar's cleaning properties and I believe that is what makes this shampoo so wonderful. After bathing both of my dogs last night, the tub was actually cleaner than it was when I started (other than for all the dog hairs I had to rinse down the drain). This shampoo does not leave any soap scum or ring around the tub. It does not leave behind a residue on your dog's coat that will irritate the skin later. It gently removes the stinky dog oils and leaves their hair very soft and clean.
It is very cheap and easy to make. It only takes about 5 minutes to mix up.
You will need:
- 1 cup of Ivory dish soap
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup of glycerine
- A 32 oz. clear bottle or spray bottle to mix it in.
- A funnel
A 16 oz. bottle of glycerine costs about $18, but you will get 6 batches of shampoo out of it. The other ingredients are very cheap.
Combine all in your bottle and shake before each use. It's that simple! I found it helpful to mark a line on the clear bottle as I added each ingredient for quick and easy measuring of the next batch.
This shampoo mixes up to a very thin consistency and I recently found the adjustable nozzle spray bottle perfect for applying the shampoo to the dog without wasting any. (I found mine in the gardening section of Walmart). This shampoo doesn't lather as heavily as regular shampoo, but does work up a nice amount of suds. I drizzle a little water on the dog's back as I go to help make more suds. For my long-haired chow mix, I also work in a little Mane and Tail conditioner after rinsing. This makes it easier to brush her out and prevents matting of her thick, wooly hair. I've often wondered if I shaved this dog in the summer if I would get enough hair to knit a sweater. She is quite the hairball.