Are you wondering how to wash your dog without dog shampoo?
You might if you find yourself with a muddy dog and no dog shampoo in the house.
Or maybe Fido’s has skin sensitivities that make it impossible?
Fortunately, I’ve got your back with 6 tips on how to clean a dog without shampoo.
Just keep on reading.
6 Tips on How to Wash a Dog without Dog Shampoo
One of the first things you wonder when you discover you’re out of dog shampoo is if you can substitute it with yours.
Unfortunately, that’s a bad idea because your skin has a lower pH than your dog’s.
If you wash your pooch with human shampoo, you’re going to irritate and damage their skin. So, human shampoo isn’t suitable for your pet.
Fortunately, there are other things you can use as a substitute when you don’t have shampoo.
FYI, this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.
#1 Make Dish Soap Shampoo
A friend once asked me if you can wash a dog with Dawn. If you don’t know it, people use Dawn to remove oil from birds after an oil spill.
It’s also useful when your dog encounters a skunk because it removes the stinky, oily residue.
In general, dish detergent is one of the grooming tricks you use to wash a dog without dog shampoo.
That’s because dish soap is designed to break down oil and grease, so it will remove dirt and grime off your pet’s coat.
The Necessary ingredients for dish soap shampoo are:
- Dish detergent
- White vinegar
Once you’ve acquired the ingredients, follow these steps:
- Mix half a cup of white vinegar with a quarter of a cup of dish soap in a bowl.
- Add two cups of water and pour the mixture in a spray bottle.
- Shake it well to mix the ingredients well.
- Then bath your dog and rinse the homemade shampoo.
However, you shouldn’t use dish detergent too frequently on your dog’s fur.
That’s because dish soap has some harsh ingredients. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be effective in removing oily residue and stains.
So, stick to using it for the stickiest and stinkiest situations.
#2 Castile Soap and Essential Oils
Besides dish detergent, you can use Castile soap to wash your dog without a shampoo. Castile soap is an olive-based soap, so it contains only natural ingredients and has excellent moisturizing properties.
That makes it not only safe for dogs but also suitable for pets with sensitive skin.
Castile soap combines well with essential oils. These oils are beneficial if you want to get rid of the unpleasant doggie odor coming for your pet’s coat.
However, not all essential oils are safe for dogs, so consult with your vet before you use them.
But, usually, lemon, orange, and lavender are safe for dogs. In fact, lavender is an effective home remedy against fleas and can help you get rid of these nasty biters.
So, to use castile soap, follow these instructions:
- Get half a cup of liquid castile soap and mix it with a quarter of white vinegar.
- Add a tablespoon of glycerin, two tablespoons of water, and 3-4 drops of dog-friendly essential oil.
- Pour the concoction into a spray bottle and mix it well, and you’re ready to wash your dog.
#3 Use Oatmeal
Dogs with sensitive skin might not react well to dish soap. In these cases, you can prepare an oatmeal bath for your pooch.
While it sounds strange, oatmeal has powerful soothing properties, and it’s a common ingredient in many commercial grooming products.
- Uncooked oatmeal
- Baking soda
To prepare the oatmeal shampoo, follow these steps:
- Use a coffee grinder to grind one cup of oatmeal until it has the same texture as a flour.
- Then pour the oatmeal in a bowl and add half a cup of baking soda.
- Mix in water and stir the ingredients. Then pour it in a spray bottle.
Remember to wash the oatmeal shampoo from your dog’s fur well. You can also use it to give your dog a sponge bath.
#4 Make a “Dry” Shampoo
Does your dog hate getting wet? Then bathing your pooch can be an exhausting experience.
Fortunately, sometimes you can use baking soda as a dry shampoo. Here’s how it goes:
- Start by brushing your dog well to remove any tangled/matted fur, debris, and dirt.
- Depending on your dog’s size, measure ¼ to 1 cup of baking soda.
- Then sprinkle the baking soda on your dog’s coat and massage it well with your fingers.
- Be careful not to get any into your dog’s eyes, nose, or ears.
- Wipe down your dog with a wet rag.
Instead of baking soda, you can also use cornstarch to wash your dog without a shampoo.
In addition to this, you can get a commercial waterless shampoo. These come in several forms, for example, powder, spray, or foam.
What’s good about them is that they allow you to freshen up your dog’s coat and detangle matted fur quickly.
#5 Use Wet Wipes
For those situations when your dog isn’t all that dirty, one of your best options is wet wipes.
You can use baby ones as long as they don’t have a fragrance that could irritate your dog’s skin.
Alternatively, you can get pet wipes. Just be careful to avoid your dog’s eyes, when you wipe your pooch down.
What I like about wet wipes is that you can carry them around in your bag and wipe your dog’s paws. After all, no one wants to clean dirty paw prints from the car or the carpet.
Wet wipes also come handy in other situations when you’re walking your dog if you get what I’m saying.
#6 Get a Dog Spray
Do you need to make your dog presentable quickly, and you don’t have time for a proper bath with a shampoo? Then all you need is a dog spray.
These dog grooming sprays improve your dog’s smell and freshen up their coat.
Some of these products can also detangle fur and make brushing your dog’s hair easier. Moreover, you can carry them in your bag for emergencies.
I admit that such sprays aren’t a good replacement for dog shampoo. However, they’re easy to use and work quickly.
You can also make your own dog coat freshening spray! Here’s how:
As you can see, it’s not that hard to wash a dog without shampoo as long as you’re creative and know what’s good for your dog’s skin and what’s not.
Some dogs also enjoy it when you’re giving them sponge baths with these homemade shampoos.