The Best Homemade Dog Shampoo Options (2024)

If you’re like me, your dog is a part of the family. So naturally, you want only the best for them, which is why you might wonder if making your dog shampoo yourself is the way to go.

After all, you can control the ingredients and make sure that only natural, healthy ingredients are going into your pup’s coat.

homemade dog shampoo
The Best Homemade Dog Shampoo Options

So in this blog post, let’s look at some of the benefits of making your dog shampoo at home.

1) You know exactly what’s going into it. 

When you make something yourself, you know exactly what ingredients are going into it. This is especially important regarding products used on your or your pets’ bodies. For example, with store-bought shampoos, you might not be aware of all the chemicals in them.

But when you make your shampoo yourself, you can choose only natural ingredients that are good for your dog’s coat and skin.

2) It’s often more affordable. 

Another benefit of making your dog shampoo is that it’s often more affordable than buying name-brand shampoos from the store. In addition, when you make large batches of shampoo at home, you can save money in the long run by using less expensive ingredients.

3)You can customize it to your dog’s needs. 

Like people, dogs have different skin types and may require different shampoos to keep their coats healthy and to look their best. If your dog has sensitive skin, for example, you can tailor a homemade shampoo recipe to be more gentle on its skin.

4) It’s Earth-friendly. 

Making your dog shampoo also reduces waste since you’re not buying plastic bottles each time your pup needs a bath. And since you can control the ingredients, you can ensure they’re also all environmentally friendly.

5) It’s rewarding! 

Finally, one of the best benefits of making your dog shampoo is that it’s simply satisfying to use something you made yourself! Seeing how much your pup enjoys their bath time thanks to the shampoo you created will be all worth it

The Best Ingredients for Dog Shampoo—and Why They Matter?

Like most dog parents, you want only the best for your furry family member. That’s why you put a lot of thought into what type of food you feed them and what toys you buy for them. But have you ever stopped to think about the ingredients in your dog’s shampoo?

Chances are, you haven’t—but maybe you should. After all, your dog’s skin is just as sensitive as yours, and using shampoo with harsh chemicals can dry it out and cause irritation.

That’s why choosing a shampoo made with natural, gentle ingredients is essential. But what exactly are the best ingredients for dog shampoo? Keep reading to find out.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is an excellent choice for dog shampoo because it’s both gentle and effective. It can help moisturize your dog’s skin and coat, and it has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, which can help keep your dog’s skin healthy. Coconut oil is also known for being able to break down dirt, grime, and other buildups, making it great for dogs who like to roll around in the mud.

jar of coconut oil
Coconut oil has a lot of nutritional benefits for your dog!


Oatmeal is another ingredient often found in gentle shampoos because it can help to soothe and protect sensitive skin. It’s also hydrating, which can help to keep your dog’s coat looking shiny and healthy. Oatmeal can also be helpful if your dog has any existing skin conditions, such as allergies or dandruff. 

scoop of an oatmeal
Dogs love the taste of oatmeal, and an excellent healthy addition to their meals!

Aloe Vera 

Aloe vera is yet another ingredient that benefits humans and animals alike. It has natural anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to soothe irritated skin. It’s also hydrating, making it ideal for dogs with dry skin or coats.

aloe vera
Shampoo that contains aloe vera can relieve dog flea bites.

And like coconut oil and oatmeal, aloe vera also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which can help to keep your dog’s skin healthy.

The Best Essential Oils for Dog Shampoo

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is one of the most versatile essential oils out there. It’s excellent for relaxation, skincare, and improved circulation. When it comes to dogs, lavender oil can help keep their coat clean and shiny.

lavender oil safe for dogs
A lavender oil is beneficial to dog’s skin and coat.

It’s also a natural flea and tick repellent, which is always a bonus.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is another multipurpose oil used for everything from cleaning surfaces to treating skin conditions. For example, regarding dog shampoo, tea tree oil can help soothe dry, irritated skin. It’s also a powerful antiseptic that can help heal cuts and scrapes. 

tea tree oil
Tea tree oil can help deter dog fleas.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil has a refreshing scent that will leave your dog smelling great after its bath. In addition to its wonderful smell, peppermint oil is also a natural mosquito repellent. So if you live in an area with a lot of mosquitoes (like I do), peppermint oil is a must-have ingredient in your dog’s shampoo. 

peppermint oils in bottles
The peppermint oil is a great addition to a homemade dog shampoo.

Best Homemade Shampoos with Essential Oils

This homemade dog shampoo with essential oils is gentle, effective, and easy to make!

dog with funny coat
A dog in a bathtub with a funny coat!

1 cup unscented Castile soap
1 cup distilled water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Ten drops of lavender essential oil
Five drops of chamomile essential oil
Five drops of rosemary essential oil

After you’ve gathered all the ingredients, pour them into a clean spray bottle and give it a shake to mix everything. Turn on the warm water in your sink and drench your dog—you want your dog’s coat to be fully saturated.

Once he’s wet, start spraying on the shampoo (be careful not to get any suds near his eyes), working it in as you go—give extra attention to spots that are harder for him to reach when he grooms himself. Make sure you rinse all of the soap out before towel-drying him off.

If you’re not a fan of lavender, feel free to use other types of essential oils. However, if your dog has sensitive skin, exercise caution, as some essential oils might irritate their skin. Although this shampoo doesn’t lather much, it does an excellent job cleansing your dog.

The Best Homemade Dog Shampoos Money Can’t Buy

Nowadays, it’s easy to spend a small fortune on all sorts of products for our furry friends. From designer dog collars to gourmet dog treats, there’s no shortage of ways to show our pups how much we love them. But when it comes to shampoo, there’s no need to break the bank.

Toy Poodle bath time
Toy Poodle enjoys bath time on a basin.

In fact, some of the best shampoos for dogs are ones you can make right at home! Here are four of our favorites.

Oatmeal and Banana Shampoo

This gentle shampoo is perfect for dogs with sensitive skin. Just mix: 

1/2 cup of oatmeal
1/4 cup of mashed banana
One tablespoon of almond oil

Apply the mixture to your dog’s wet fur and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

Coconut Oil Shampoo

Coconut oil is excellent for both humans and dogs! It’s naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial, so it’s perfect for cleansing your pup’s skin and coat. To make this shampoo, mix the following:

1 cup of water
1/4 cup of liquid castile soap
1/4 cup of white vinegar
1/4 cup of coconut oil

Gently massage the mixture into your dog’s fur and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Thoroughly rinse off afterwards.

Lemon Juice Shampoo

This refreshing shampoo is perfect for summertime! Just mix:

1 cup of water
1/4 cup of lemon juice
One tablespoon of olive oil
One teaspoon of honey

Apply the mixture to your dog’s fur. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Then, rinse it off thoroughly.

Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

Apple cider vinegar is a powerhouse when it comes to cleaning! It’s excellent for removing dirt, grime, and residue from your dog’s fur. To make this shampoo, mix the following:

1 cup of water
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
One tablespoon of olive oil
One teaspoon of honey

After applying the mixture to your dog’s fur, wait 5-10 minutes before rinsing.

If I Don’t Have Dog Shampoo, What Can I Use To Bathe My Pup?

Human shampoo is never ideal for dogs. Even though it might clean them just as well, the pH levels are better suited for human skin than dog skin. This lack of moisture will cause itchiness and discomfort to your furry friend.

baby shampoo for dogs
A baby shampoo can be used for dogs as a one-time alternative option.

Water will do the trick if you’re looking for a quick fix. While it won’t help with the smell, it should get them clean. If you don’t have dish soap on hand, baby shampoo mixed with warm water at the same concentration (a cup of each per 2 cups of warm water) should work just as well.

At bath time, spraying your pet with white vinegar can help get rid of any unwanted odors. Just be sure to avoid their eyes, and wash them off after five minutes.

One cup (128 g) of cornstarch and 1 cup (230 g) of baking soda combined in a bowl can be helpful in removing dirt and grime from your dog’s fur. However, it might not be something to use too often, as it can cause residue to build up on their fur.


If you want to avoid harsh chemicals and potential allergens, or if your dog has a skin condition that requires a special shampoo, making your dog shampoo is the perfect solution. There are many recipes for homemade dog shampoo available online, and most of them include ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. By making your dog shampoo, you know exactly what’s in it and can be sure that it won’t cause any irritation or other problems for your pup.