DIY Waterless Dog Shampoo for the Extreme Cold Winter Months

January 17, 2018 3 min read 1 Comment

DIY Dry Dog Shampoo Recipe: An Easy Homemade Dog Shampoo Recipe You Can Make

It is no secret that we aren't big fans of dry shampoo for dogs.

First and foremost it is misleading. Dry dog shampoo isn't "shampoo" and it isn't a "bath" despite the fact that it is often referred to as such.

We are strong believers in washing off with water, the environmental toxins that accumulate on your dog's body using 4-Legger's safe and non-toxic dog shampoo. Remember, your dog licks so what is on them will end up inside them. Keeping their gut healthy is just as important as their skin and coat! 

We recommend a dry bath for dogs only if your pup has an actual odor caused by an excess buildup of sebum.  If the following two points better describe your dog's situation, you should avoid using a waterless formulation of any kind.

  • If your dog has a skin condition, yeast infection, dry skin, or got something on them that needs to be cleaned off you should NOT use waterless dog shampoo.
  • Odors caused by hormonal imbalances, poor nutrition or allergies will not benefit from a waterless application. You are simply masking the problem instead of solving it!  Allergens will continue to be a problem if left on your dog's skin and coat.  

Also, if you are going to search for a commercially available option, we urge you to look at the ingredients very carefully. You can search our dog shampoo ingredient database to determine if the ingredients are natural or synthetic and whether or not they are safe for your dog. Many of the waterless shampoos contain alcohol to help them dry quickly and also contain potentially toxic ingredients - so you end up with potentially toxic ingredients that will quickly dry on your dog's skin and coat! Yikes! 

We do however realize that in the dead of winter when there is a -10 wind chill outside, giving your dog a bath may not be desirable if there isn't time to also dry them before they need to go outside!

If there is time, check your thermostat - you may want to bump it up a degree or two to warm the house, and give them a healthy bath with 4-Legger USDA Certified Organic Dog Shampoo!  

While we would not give our own dogs a dry bath, we wanted to provide you with a natural recipe that is a safe alternative to store-bought options.

Here is a small batch, homemade recipe for giving your dog a dry bath: 

  • 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons)  powdered arrowroot*
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) baking soda
  • (optional) 5 drops of essential oils

* some recipes will call for cornstarch which is fine unless you are avoiding corn/grain products for your dog.  Arrowroot is an herb and is therefore gluten-free and grain-free option.

Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl and if desired add an animal safe essential oils (we recommend animalEO blends).  Once combined, put the mixture through your kitchen sifter or food processor/grinder to get rid of any clumps and lumps!

Brush your dog thoroughly to get rid of excess hair and apply a light dusting of the dry mixture using one of the application methods (below). 

 There are 2 options for applying to your dog: 

  1. Put the mixture in a glass dish with a lid and apply with a clean/new makeup brush for a very light dusting over your dog.  Works best for smallish dogs.
  2. Put the mixture in a shaker container with small holes (you can use an old spice shaker, parmesan cheese shaker or something similar) and put a very light dusting on your dog. 

Rub your hands all over your dog's coat to distribute it throughout. Towel off any excess powder. 

Arrowroot works to absorb the excess oils in your dog's skin.

The baking soda works to naturally deodorize. 

We also recommend giving your dog a bath with water between dry touch-ups! 

A few notes: 

  • Both arrowroot and cornstarch are safe and non-toxic but are used to thicken.  A very light dusting is important as you want to absorb the EXCESS sebum (oils) in your dog's coat, not soak up ALL of the sebum. 
  • This recipe is, incidentally, very similar to the 2-Legger homemade deodorant we use on ourselves - it is just missing vegetable glycerine mixed to the point where it is a smooth consistency! 

1 Response

Donna Davis-Prusik
Donna Davis-Prusik

December 17, 2019

:( Everything is for small dogs—- Mine is handicapped and weighs at least 100 pounds—Can’t use his back legs. He is also allergic to corn and some other plants/trees that I don’t think you would use as an ingredient (I hope), and Pork. I am keeping the allergies under control since he can’t get outside anymore. But I will be 70 this year and really need an effective no rinse dry shampoo. Yes, I do him by myself, here in the house over his floor mats. Any helpful, encouraging suggestions?

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