The Ultimate Guide to Making Homemade Dog Shampoo

Craft your own natural dog shampoo—simple, eco-friendly, and tailored for your pup’s needs. Join the DIY pet care community.

A dog in the bathtub having his head scrubbed.

My girl, Maddie, is getting up there in years. In fact, she’s been in my life longer than my children. With age comes a funky smell and sensitive skin. I have finally perfected making a natural shampoo for her, and I wanted to share it with you.

The process itself is a breeze. A few measurements, a bit of mixing, and you’ve got a personalized dog shampoo ready to go. The joy of concocting this potion is in the final product and the journey—the hands-on experience of creating something tailored to your furry friend’s needs.

Why to M.Y.O. Dog Shampoo

Crafting your own dog shampoo isn’t just a creative endeavor; it’s a gesture of love and care for your furry friend. Here are a few compelling reasons why you might want to make your own dog shampoo:

Tailored to Specific Needs

Commercial dog shampoos often come in one-size-fits-all formulations. When you make your own, you have the flexibility to tailor the ingredients to address your dog’s specific needs—whether it’s sensitive skin, allergies, or a unique fur type.

Avoiding Harsh Chemicals

Many commercial pet shampoos contain harsh chemicals and additives that can be irritating to a dog’s skin. Homemade shampoos allow you to control the ingredients, opting for natural and gentle components, reducing the risk of adverse reactions. Coconut oil, for example, is excellent for a dog’s skin.

Custom Fragrances

Homemade dog shampoos let you choose fragrances you and your furry friend enjoy. Essential oils add a pleasant scent and offer additional benefits, such as repelling fleas or promoting relaxation.


Creating your own dog shampoo can be cost-effective in the long run. Many of the ingredients may already be in your pantry, and buying in bulk can further reduce costs compared to regularly purchasing commercial shampoos.

Sustainable Practices

For environmentally conscious pet owners, making your own dog shampoo allows you to choose eco-friendly ingredients and reduce the use of plastic packaging. It’s a small but impactful step towards a more sustainable approach to pet care.

Creating your own dog shampoo is a holistic approach to pet care, offering a tailored, natural, and mindful solution that reflects your beloved canine companion’s unique needs and preferences.

Making Your Dog Shampoo

Grind your oatmeal to the consistency of coffee grounds until you have 1 cup. I used my old coffee grinder to grind mine. Mix the oatmeal and baking soda, and then use a funnel to pour it into a bottle. I used a glass milk bottle from our local farm. Add the essential oils, coconut oil, and Dr. Bronners, and sort of swish them so they mix together a bit. Add the warm water and baking soda, and gently tilt the closed container back and forth until the ingredients are mixed. Don’t shake, or you will have bubbles all over the place.

Using Your Natural Dog Shampoo

To use, massage into your dog’s skin for a few minutes and then rinse thoroughly. The Dr. Bronners will clean the fur. The coconut oil rehydrates the skin, the baking soda eliminates funky odors, and the essential oils add a pleasant scent and help to repel fleas.

It’s everything you need in one bottle.

Store your natural dog shampoo in the fridge and bring it to room temperature before bath time. Swishing to reincorporate the ingredients.

NOTE: This is not thick like a traditional shampoo. It is a thinner “rinse” style shampoo. Also, use caution when using on dogs with long hair. If you have trouble rinsing out the oatmeal, wait for your pup to dry and then brush out any excess oatmeal.

After your dog’s bath, how about a custom essential oil flea collar and an apple-oatmeal doggie treat?

Frequently Asked Questions

Generally, yes. However, be mindful of your dog’s allergies. Test a small amount and watch for reactions.

Yes, many are safe for dogs. Popular choices include lavender, chamomile, and cedar for flea control.

Yes, initial costs may be higher, but bulk ingredients make subsequent batches economical.

For those looking to pamper their pups with more than just a refreshing wash, I’ve got you covered. Check out my post on crafting an all-natural flea deterrent collar using essential oils, ensuring your furry friend stays pest-free. Then, explore my recipes for crafting nutritious, homemade meals and delicious, apple oatmeal treats that are sure to get tails wagging.

If you’ve found value in this blog post and enjoyed reading it, why not share it with your Pinterest community? Pin the image below and spread the love!

A Pinterest-friendly graphic for my homemade dog shampoo recipe.

So there you have it—your ticket to becoming your dog’s personal spa chef. Crafting homemade dog shampoo isn’t just about suds and bubbles; it’s a gesture of love, tailored care, and a touch of eco-consciousness. So, next bath day, ditch the store-bought stuff, grab those kitchen essentials, and treat your furry friend to a spa day that’s as unique as they are. Their wagging tail will be the ultimate seal of approval!

Ever tried making your own dog shampoo? Share your paw-some experiences, favorite scents, or any tips you’ve discovered in the comments below!

A glass pump bottle of homemade dog shampoo.
5 stars

Pawsitively Pure Dog Shampoo

This dog shampoo cleanses and nourishes with grounding oatmeal, refreshing coconut oil, and a dash of essential oils, leaving your furry friend with a coat so pure you'll want to cuddle all day.
Print Recipe
Total Time:10 minutes

This post may contain paid links. If you make a purchase using the links in this recipe, I may earn a commission.


  • Coffee Grinder


  • 3 ½ – 4 c. Warm Water
  • 1 c. Oatmeal ground; not instant
  • 1 c. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Dr. Bronners
  • 1 tsp. Coconut Oil fractionated
  • 10 drops Essential Oil(s) I like lavender and rose geranium because they repel fleas


  • Grind your oatmeal to the consistency of coffee grounds until you have 1 cup.
    1 c. Oatmeal
  • Add the essential oils, coconut oil, and Dr. Bronners, and sort of swish them so they mix together a bit.
    1 tsp. Coconut Oil, 10 drops Essential Oil(s), 1 tsp. Dr. Bronners
  • Add the warm water and baking soda, and gently tilt the closed container back and forth until the ingredients are mixed. Don’t shake, or you will have bubbles all over the place.
    3 1/2 – 4 c. Warm Water, 1 c. Baking Soda
Keyword: Dog, For the Home
Servings: 1 bottle
Cost: 12.50

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  1. Anonymous says:

    just made this , i liked the health benefits to the ingredients just didn’t like the results of them together.not enough suds to work out the dirt from my dogs hair and felt like the oatmeal was just a mess to get out of their hair.think i’ll try another recipe??

  2. Hi Jessica,

    Can this be used on cats as well?

    1. Jessica Lane says:

      You can so long as you exclude the essential oils. Cats are very sensitive to essential oils. Kudos to you for being brave enough to shampoo your cat. I’m pretty sure mine would eat me alive lol.

  3. Thank you for this recipe! I have two dogs that are sensitive. One is a saint Bernard and the other is a rat terrier/Chihuahua mix.
    Thanks again,

    1. Jessica Lane says:

      You are so welcome!

  4. Hi,
    I would like to ask if this recipe is for once use? or few times bathing?
    How long can it be stored?
    1 more question, can I use PALMAROSA essential oil instead of Lavender ? For it’s good for Flea & Tick treatment too.
    Need info. Thanks

    1. Jessica Lane says:

      I can be used several times (depending on the size and dirtiness of your dog). I keep mine in the fridge and it lasts quite a while. Just pull it an hour or two before bath time so it can get back to room temperature. If you forget, you can run the container under the bath water to warm it back up.

  5. Do you have to use the oatmeal?

    1. Jessica Lane says:

      You don’t HAVE to, but it helps alleviate skin irritation and dryness.

  6. I followed the directions, and it is fairly runny after just 2 cups of water. I’m letting it sit for a few minutes before I decide to add any of the other 2 cups . . .

    1. I thought I ground the oatmeal to be like coffee, but I think not! Lol! I used it on my Pomeranian, and I think I’ll be picking oatmeal chunks out of her hair for a while. Next batch, will leave in the grinder a bit longer!

      1. Ok, I just had another thought . . . is it one cup of oatmeal before grinding (which is what I did), or is it one cup of ground/powdered oatmeal? THAT would explain a lot if that is the case.

        1. Jessica Lane says:

          After grinding. I’m sorry that wasn’t clear. I will update the post to better explain that. Yes, it’s a thin mixture, but your observation may explain why people were finding it SO thin.

  7. If I get the dr. Bronners peppermint soap will I still need to use an essential oil of my choosing? Thx!

    1. Jessica Lane says:

      I suggest you do. I checked out the ingredients list for Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap. It contains extracts from two types of mint (funny that neither is actually peppermint), but I’m not sure if they are concentrated enough to work at repelling fleas. Maybe consider cutting back the amount of essential oil you apply and see how it goes.

  8. Does it have to be stored in the fridge? I don’t store my oils, coconut oil, my oatmeal or my baking soda in the fridge? LOL so does it actually HAVE to be stored in the fridge? Can I leave it in dark bathroom cupboard?

    1. Jessica Lane says:

      I would highly suggest it. Once water is added to the oatmeal, it can get funky quickly.

  9. How long will the shampoo last when stored in the fridge?

    1. Jessica Lane says:

      In the fridge, it will last at least three months and maybe as long as six months.

      1. awesome! Thanks! Going to give it a shot!

  10. I wonder if you tell me what dr Bonners is? Do u think this shampoo would help hot spots and other skin conditions?

    1. Jessica Lane says:

      Dr. Bronners is a castile (vegetable-based) soap that doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or ingredients. You can buy it on Amazon (here) and some Walmarts may carry it in the cleaning department.

      1. Health food store carry Dr. Bronners too. Many discount it a bit if they carry it in bulk tanks and you bring your own container. It coms in unscented, lemon, lavender and I think, a few other scents. Good stuff!

  11. Is it supposed to come out so watery?

    1. Jessica Lane says:

      It is thin, but it shouldn’t be watery. Did you grind the oatmeal so it was similar to a flour consistency?

  12. thehomesteadinghippy says:

    Oh, I need this! My dog likes to roll around in the chicken coop. She doesn’t smell to purty after that 🙂

    1. It works great for that. In addition to old-dog-stink, my girl often carries an ode de chicken poop smell as well 🙂