Creating homemade dog shampoo for itchy skin is not only economical, but is fairly easy to do. In addition, you can feel better knowing the ingredients are all natural and void of the chemicals that can be found in commercial shampoos.
On occasion I have caught my dog biting at his paws, which the vet has determined to be mild seasonal allergies. In addition, our foster dog has sensitive skin that gets dry, and itchy, if we are not careful to treat it with care.
Even the very best of human shampoos should never be used on a dog since their skin is much different than ours. Using human shampoo can be an irritant, making a dog’s dry and itchy skin even worse, in addition to leaving behind a dull and lifeless coat.
A while back I noticed that our foster dog’s fur wasn’t looking quite as shiny and gleaming as it used to. His paws were also looking a bit pink and he was biting at them. I then came to realize that human shampoo was being used for his baths (which he needs more frequently than we would like, due to doggy doo- doo sticking to his behind…ugh).
Of course, I would never reveal who the culprit was that was using the human shampoo on our pup. For example, I would never say it was someone like…perhaps…my husband…just an example, of course…ahem. But, in all fairness, that completely unnamed person had no idea that it wasn’t a good idea. 🙂
Since then I’ve been using the below recipe for my dog’s DIY shampoo and it has served them very well. To date, their skin is looking fantastic and their coats have remained sleek and shiny.
It may be a bit of work, however, I’ve tried other DIY dog shampoos and have not found them to work nearly as good as this one.
Here is a breakdown of the ingredients and why I chose them:
Oatmeal – particularly useful for nurturing dry, itchy or sensitive skin (both humans and dogs can benefit from oatmeal baths!)
Rosemary – helps to moisturize your dog’s skin, and condition the fur. Known to be an anti-inflammatory herb that can assist in reducing redness or swelling. Helps to fight off harmful skin bacteria. And, as an added bonus, it is also used as a flea repellant!
Coconut Oil – fantastic for dry skin issues, can disinfect skin wounds, and promotes a shiny coat
Baking Soda – helps relieve itching, neutralizes odors
Peppermint Essential Oil – peppermint is related to rosemary, so I thought it a great addition to the recipe for scent and freshness. It is also considered an anti-inflammatory. It’s purely optional, but certainly a nice little extra.
(Note: Always be careful with essential oils as not all of them are good for dogs.)
Homemade Dog Shampoo For Itchy Skin
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1 quart water
- 1 fresh rosemary stem
- 1 tblsp coconut oil
- 3 drops peppermint essential oil (optional)
- Place 1 fresh rosemary stem into 1 quart of water and bring to a low boil. Continue to boil for 15 minutes.
- While the rosemary water is preparing, grind oatmeal into a flour by placing it in a food processor, or coffee bean grinder.
- In a large bowl, combine oatmeal & baking soda, mix well
- Once rosemary water has boiled for 15 minutes, add the coconut oil; stir and dissolve. Let cool to room temperature.
- Pour rosemary water through a mesh strainer, or colander (to remove rosemary pieces), into the oatmeal/baking soda mixture; stir well.
- Add 3 drops peppermint essential oil (optional)
Next step…get that pup wet, and pour on your DIY shampoo!
It will not suds up like soap, but will have a creamy, silky texture that tends to stand on your pup, rather than slide right off. Which is a good thing because you want the oatmeal to sit on the skin as long as your pup will allow. I pour it on my pup’s paws first (since this is their trouble spot) to ensure it has time to sit for a while prior to being rinsed off.
~ Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator; shake well before using ~