If your dog is like most others, this is the time of year when you start to notice irritated paws, watery eyes, and a whole lot of scratching. With springtime also comes allergies, and sometimes it seems that no matter what you do, your fur-baby is never without the “itchies.”
One way you can curb your dog’s allergies is by making a super simple hypoallergenic shampoo. What it means to have a hypoallergenic product is making sure that all care has been taken to reduce the risk of allergic reactions when that product is being made. This recipe is designed for dogs who get extra sensitive to the outdoor elements during this time of year, using simple, skin-friendly ingredients that will clear away gunk and leave your dog feeling fresh as a daisy.
Here’s a simple recipe for shampoo and all the benefits of each ingredient:
1 tbsp. Coconut Oil: This acts as the glycerin in most shampoos– that which binds all the ingredients! In addition to all its other wonderful nutritional properties, coconut oil is an amazing cleansing and moisturizing solution as long as your dog is not allergic. Alternatives to coconut oil include olive oil or vegetable glycerin.
2 tbsp. Bronner’s Soap: A lot of DIY recipes call for dish detergent as the soap base, but if you’ve ever done a load of dishes by hand, you know how much detergent can dry out your skin. The same goes for your dog. Dr. Bronner’s is an animal-friendly (and cruelty-free!) soap base for your dog’s shampoo. They make all types of soap that are perfect for diluting, but for dogs, we recommend their Baby Unscented soap (the light blue label), which is fragrance-free and contains just a few ingredients.
1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar: ACV is the purifying element of this recipe, as its bacteria-killing superpower will strip away the dirt from your dog’s coat. Adding a small amount of ACV to the shampoo is all you need to reap the benefits without making your dog smell like a salad.
10 drops of Essential Oils: Leave your pup smelling nice and fresh with one of these skin-friendly essential oils. This part is optional and up to the discretion of the owner and preference of the dog. While some oils will dry the skin out, some oils you can use include Frankincense, Chamomile, and Lavender.
1/2 cup water: This is to dilute the shampoo– a little will go a long way!
Mix all the ingredients together. From there, you know the routine: rinse, lather repeat. If you find the recipe works for your dog, just remember not to bathe them too frequently, as their skin does need to naturally produce oils that could get dried out if they’re bathed too often. If you find your dog is frequently getting itchy, you can always spot clean the irritated places with this formula and a washcloth.
Of course, if you decide you like the shampoo, you can always play around with batch size, ratio, and even add in your own elements to make the recipe meet your needs!
Have you tried this recipe at home? Let us know in the comments below!