It may seem odd to blog about dog shampoo on a wellness blog, but my furry babies are as much my children as my human children are and I want them to live as long as possible. So far, both my dogs I’ve had as an adult have lived to be 16 1/2 years old! Not to mention, my skin touches their shampoo also. All that said, dog shampoo should also be toxin free.
You don’t want to use human shampoo on your dog. Shampoos are formulated for average pH levels and using the wrong balance can throw off dog’s skin health. The epidermis of a dog is only 3 to 5 cells thick while in humans it is about 10 to 15 cells thick. Dogs and humans also have different natural pH levels of the skin. Dogs are around 7.0 and humans approximately 5.0.
Not only do you not want toxins on your dog, you don’t want them on you. So it’s so important to ensure you use a clean product when bathing your furry babies.
Ingredients to avoid:
- Fragrance can signify hundreds of thousands of unnatural ingredients you don’t want to put on your dog’s skin.
- Methylchloroisothiazolinone (I know that’s a mouthful!) Is added for anti-fungal and preservative benefits, but this is a proven carcinogen that leads to organ poisoning.
- MEA/ Cocomide DEA is derived from coconut, but chemically altered to the point it is carcinogenic, and an endocrine disruptor.
- Mineral Oil is a by-product of distilled gasoline made from crude oil. Not only does this coat skin and prevent natural detoxification, it is a carcinogen.
- Artificial Colors artificial colors and dyes are made from petroleum by products or from coal tar – both are carcinogenic.
Other dog shampoo ingredients to avoid: Propylene glycol, all sulfates, phthalates, parabens, methylparaben, formaldehyde, cocamidopropyl betaine, isopropyl alcohol.
Homemade Dog Shampoo:
- 2 cups of water
- 2 oz aloe vera
- 2 tablespoons of castile soap
- 2 tablespoons of carrier oil (I use Vit. E or Jojoba oil)
- 5 drops of Lavender (aids in skin health and helps prevent fungus growth, and has a relaxing affect)
- 2 drops of Thieves (neutralizes bacteria/ viral pathogens, and is healing to skin)
- 2 drops of Eucalyptus (among others, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory)
- 2 drops of Rosemary (protects from skin cell damage and is a natural disinfectant)
I mix these ingredients in a mixing bowl, using a whisk, then pour into a pump bottle. Because this doesn’t have a thickening agent, the shampoo will be watery. The foam pump is amazing and the shampoo lasts longer.
The essential oils in this recipe also work to repel fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.
Just for a little additional tip on dogs, below is a calming mist I use on one of my dogs that get’s anxious from time to time.
Calming Mist for Dogs
- 5 drops of Rosemary
- 5 drops of Roman Chamomile
- 5 drops of Lavender
- Fill the rest with water, witch hazel, or vodka (I use vodka because it evaporates quickly)
- Glass spray bottle
Add ingredients, fill the rest of the bottle with carrier liquid. Shake before each use. I spray the mist around my dog, not directly in her face. Or I spray the mist into the palms of my hands and massage her neck, back, and chest to help her relax.
Just for the record, this can also be used on humans to achieve calming.