So many products in our homes are full of toxic chemicals that harm not only our bodies, but our dogs bodies as well. When I brought home my little German Shepherd puppy, I knew I wanted to be super careful about what I was putting in and on her body, so I came up with this simple, natural, moisturizing, flea repellent shampoo!
First let’s just get the yucky stuff out of the way. What are some of the chemicals found in conventional dog shampoo?
- Artificial Fragrances – These chemicals may smell like fresh air and flowers but there definitely are not. Fragrances can include thousands of different chemicals and all that is required to be on the label is “fragrance.” Fragrances have been shown to cause cancer, reproductive and developmental toxicity. That’s why I use essential oils because they come right from the plant. They are real! (1)
- Artificial Colors – Your dogs shampoo does not need to be blue. That colored shampoo can cause organ damage, cancer, and allergic reactions. (2) Just say no!
- Formaldehyde Preservatives – Watch out for ingredients like Bromopol, Doazolidinyl urea, DMDM Hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl urea, Quaternium-7, -15, -31, -61, and Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate. This can trigger an immune response in your pupper that can cause itching, blistering, and burning of their skin. (1)
- Mineral Oil – This ingredient sounds nice and natural but it actually puts a protective barrier (which sounds good) over the skin which does not allow your dog to release its natural oils and toxins. Our skin is meant to release toxins and when it can’t, that can lead to a multitude of issues. It also is made from crude oil… yuck. (1)
- Propylene Glycol – This conditions the skin but at a high cost. It may be an immune system toxin, neurotoxin, reproductive toxin and skin toxin. That’s a lot of “toxin!” (1)
Not to mention all of the horrible chemicals found in flea collars, shampoos, and sprays. These contain insecticides! “Insecticides rank as # 2, on the list of Top 10 Dog Poisons according to the ASPCA. It is extremely important these days, to protect ourselves, our pets and the earth, by using products that are environmentally friendly and free of chemicals.” (3) Do more research on this before putting this junk on your precious doggo!
Keep in mind that these are only a few of the bad ingredients in your dog’s shampoo. I encourage you to google every single ingredient on your dogs shampoo to see what you are really putting on your dogs skin.
Now we know we need to ditch the chemicals and switch to a natural shampoo! This recipe is so ridiculously easy! You, your dog, and your wallet, will love you for it.
You will need:
- ½ cups of water
- ½ tablespoons of castile soap
- ¼ cup of ACV
- 1 tsp aloe vera
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 5 drops of Lavender
- 3 drops of Rosemary
- 3 drops of Lemon
- 5 drops of Citronella
- 3 drop of Cedarwood
- An empty 8 oz bottle
All you have to do is mix all of these ingredients together in a bottle, top it off with water, shake it up, and wash your dog! How easy was that?!
Why did I chose these ingredients?
Simple. I used castile soap because it’s all natural and gentle.
The apple cider vinegar and aloe vera helps repel unwanted pests, reduce itching, and will leave your dog’s coat soft and shiney! I love using ACV on my own hair as a conditioner. It works wonders!
Coconut oil is of course amazing so I had to add it in this recipe! Coconut oil will help moisturize the skin, minimize odor, promote wound healing, and leave your dogs coat super shiney (1). I have a long haired German Shepherd puppy so I felt one teaspoon was a good amount for this shampoo since she is still small, but has a lot of fur. If you have a bigger dog I would use more and if you have a smaller dog with a little fur, I would use a bit less or else your dog might come out of the bathroom looking like a grease ball.
As most of us know, essential oils have outstanding health benefits! I use essential oils every day on myself and on my fur baby because I know just how much they can help both of us. Plus I feel much safer using natural essential oils on my dog instead of toxic, man made chemicals.
These essential oils help keep my dogs coat pretty, make her smell great, and also helps keep pests away! I recommend doing some simple google searches on each one of these oils to learn more about them!
A lot of people are very concerned about using essential oils on their dogs which is totally understandable! They are our babies! If this is you, I want to help you relax a bit. If you use high quality essential oils on your dog, like Young Living (this is the only brand I trust), you dilute the oils, and only use a little bit at a time, your dog will love them and will most likely not have a bad reaction.
Also consider the fact that most people are super worried about using essential oils on dogs but not about the toxic shampoos they are cleaning their dogs with… doesn’t make sense to me.
*Note: this shampoo is not for cats! You must be extra careful when using essential oils on cats.
*Note: I am not a veterinarian. This post is for knowledge purposes only. If you have concerns, reach out to your vet, but know that they most likely will not understand how essential oils work. You are in control of your dogs health.