DIY pet shampoos 17



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Our pets are like our children – we want to take care of them and give them everything they need, but it can be pricey. We’ve done the hard work for you and found the best DIY shampoo recipes for your cat or dog so that you can stop paying too much and keep your pet happy and healthy.

Sensitive skin shampoo

If your dog or cat has sensitive, itchy or dry skin, this homemade shampoo will relieve them naturally as the aloe vera and glycerine soothes the skin.


  • 950mL water
  • 1 cup of baby shampoo
  • 1 cup of white vinegar/apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of glycerine
  • 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel

Items needed

  • Jar or bottle
  • Small funnel

Combine gently in a bowl and use funnel to transfer to bottle or jar.


Anti-flea shampoo

Fleas can really irritate and stress out your pets but with this all-natural recipe, you can comb it through their fur and see the results immediately.


  • 1/2 cup water (preferably distilled)
  • 1/3 cup pure castile soap
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 20 drops of pure essential oil such as rosemary (dogs) or peppermint (cats)

Items needed

  • Jar or bottle
  • Small funnel

Combine all ingredients and use a small funnel to put in jar, shake well before each use. It should keep for about 6 months.


Dry shampoo

Your pets can get dirty but washing your dog or cat too much can strip their skin of natural oils, and just like humans, they can use dry shampoo. This power absorbs brilliantly – and not just moisture, but smells too.


  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup baking soda

Items needed

  • bristle brush
  • scissors
  • bowl with cover
  • flour sifter


1. Take your pet outside and brush them to remove burrs and tangles, and cut off pieces that are matted.

2. Combine the cornstarch and baking soda in a bowl and secure the lid. Gently shake the covered bowl to mix the items together. Remove the lid and empty the dry mixture into the flour sifter. Sifting the ingredients removes any solid clumps before you apply it to your pet’s fur.

3. Sift the baking soda and cornstarch over your dog or cat’s fur. Massage the mixture into their coat with your fingers while sifting. This allows the dry shampoo to reach the odour-causing oils and dirt stuck beneath the surface.

4. Let the dry shampoo sit on the coat for 10 to 15 minutes after you’ve completely worked the mixture into the fur. This gives the naturally absorbent ingredients time to soak up any smells and oils.

5. Remove the remaining dry shampoo by firmly brushing the entire coat with a bristle brush. As a reward, give your dog or cat a treat once you’re finished.


Shiny coat

A shiny coat is often the best sign of a healthy pet, so when it’s not looking so good, we need to look at what we’re applying to their skin. This natural shiny coat wash will make you cat or dog shine!


  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 cup of bi-carb soda
  • 4 cups of warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of baby shampoo
  • 10 drops of essential oil

Items needed

  • Blender
  • 2L soft drink bottle with lid
  • Small funnel


1. Blend the oat in your food processor so the consistency is like flour.

2. Grab a clean soft drink bottle and pour the ingredients in there.

3. Pop the cap on and shake!

4. Apply to a wet coat and massage in before rinsing.


Simple shampoo

If you’re not looking for anything fancy and don’t want to spend a fortune, this simple shampoo will do the trick!


  • Organic unpasturised, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (as much as needed)


Apply, gently rub into fur and skin, you can rinse it off or allow your the fur/skin to air-dry.


Scented shampoo

Scented shampoos for your pets can be $25-50 for a bottle, but these DIY liquids are super effective and smell great.

Scents for cats: lemongrass, peppermint, spearmint, rose, ylang ylang
Scents for dogs: orange, lemon, cinnamon, lavender


  • 90mL castile soap
  • 30mL vegetable glycerine
  • 60mL distilled water
  • 5-10 drops of essential oil

Items needed

  • Small bottle with over 300mL capacity
  • Funnel
  • Bowl


1. Mix ingredients in the bowl.

2. Pour mixed ingredients into small bottle via the funnel.

3. Apply to your pet’s coat and rub in gently before rinsing.


Anti-itch herbal rinse for chronic skin allergies

If you have a pet that can’t stop itching, there’s a solution that doesn’t require a vet visit. Rooibos is naturally anti-viral, anti-allergenic and a mild anti-anxiety mediator. Try this before you spend the big bucks…
  • 2 tea bags of Rooibos tea
  • Fresh squeezed juice of one lemon


1. Place the tea bags and lemon juice in hot water and allow to steep for 15 minutes

2. Remove the tea bags and allow the resulting ‘tea’ to cool

3. Then use the tea as a conditioning, soothing rinse. You do not have to rinse the ‘tea’ off of your dog or cat after application.

Note: Don’t use rooibos tea rinse on dogs or cats that have white fur unless you add lemon juice. Rooibos tea is red, but when fresh lemon juice is added the intense red is softened to light yellow, and will not affect white fur.


What do you use to wash your pets? What type of fur and skin do they have? How often do you groom them? Tell us below.

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. There is no way on heaven or earth that I can wash my little Josie (Aust terrier/cattle dog cross)! She hates being bathed and suddenly acquires the strength of Hercules. I even tried to drag her into the shower with me – without success. After many tries, and upsets for both of us, I gave up and now have a lady with one of those mobile dog grooming vans who comes as needed. And of course Josie sits there quietly and well behaved. “Wot! Me play up? No. Mum’s lying! I love baths” !!!

    Just look at her! Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth!!

    1 REPLY
  2. My dog Rosie went to be groomed today, hubby bought her home. Feet shaved, toes nails trimmed. Trimmed on one side of her body only! She may have been brushed but she is still quite shaggy. As you can see she is a Springer spanial, she looks quite weird from the back with only half of her “feathering” clipped! Hubby is going to be busy with the scissors this afternoon!!!

  3. Our airdale has fur that is water repellent. Each bath he has, our water bill goes sky high as it takes so much water to soak him. We did him at a pet supply place once and once only as it was on a timer and after $40 our money ran out and we only had him shampooed and had to bring him home to be rinsed off. 🙂

  4. I’ve just forwarded this article to our Vet. I find it very interesting and I’m sure she will too.

  5. I am very anxious to try the rooibos tea bags and lemon juice on my king Charles spaniel. She has a chronic itch. I will let you know if it works for her.

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