Can I Use Dry Shampoo on My Dog?

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Dry shampoo can be a real saving grace for people who don’t have enough time for a full shower but needs to give their hair that freshly washed look and smell.

Just a few quick sprays or a dusting of dry shampoo, and you’re good to go!

As you probably already know, dogs can be difficult to bathe at home, and the cost of professional grooming can add up quickly.

Therefore, you may wonder if you can use the same miracle product on your pup while lengthening the time between baths or grooming sessions.

Although you shouldn’t really apply almost any human grooming product on your dog, you can absolutely try a dry shampoo formulated specifically for pet odor, and even make your own.

In this post, I’ll cover everything you need to know to get started.

Is Dry Shampoo Safe for Dogs?

First, keep in mind that your dry shampoo may not be safe for your dog. It can irritate his skin or coat, causing itchiness, flaking, and general discomfort.

Also, dog hair isn’t the same as human hair, so it most likely wouldn’t be as effective as you’d think.

More importantly, the ingredients in dry shampoo for humans could be toxic if your dog ingests them. Unfortunately, some dogs have a tendency to lick themselves, especially if their skin is itchy and irritated.

Dry shampoo for dogs, on the other hand, is perfectly safe! Just as there are many dog washing liquids and products on the market, there are many types of dry shampoo just for our pets.

The brand Paw Choice Naturals makes an excellent choice that you can safely use on your pooch in between baths.

It has no harsh detergents or ingredients, so it’s gentle on your dog’s skin and coat. Plus, the lavender and chamomile scent helps keep your canine friend smelling fresh and clean!

When Should I Use Dry Shampoo?

Dry shampoo is great for any time your pet needs a quick cleaning, but you don’t have the time or resources to give him a full bath.

For example, if you’re traveling or going hiking and your dog starts to smell or gets dirty, keeping a bottle of dry shampoo in the glove box can be a lifesaver!

That doesn’t mean you should always use dry shampoo in place of regular bathing. Dogs still need regular washings, and if you use dry shampoo too often or in too large of amounts, it can build up in their coat and make them dirtier.

So, be sure to follow the directions for use and recommended amounts on the packaging and continue regularly bathing your dog when you can.

How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?

The recommended amount of time between baths with soap and water varies depending on the type of hair your dog has, his environment and activity levels, and more.

For example, a large dog with long fur that you take hiking every day on muddy trails would certainly need to be bathed more frequently than a small, short-haired dog that stays indoors.

As a general guideline, you should wash your dog no more frequently than once per week to once every three months.

If your dog gets sprayed by a skunk accidentally, then, of course, you should wash him right away rather than waiting a week, even if he just had a bath.

Pay attention to the scent, texture, and appearance of your dog’s fur to determine how often he needs to be washed within those parameters.

Again, if you’re using dry shampoo, use it in between these regularly scheduled baths, not in place of them.

Can I Make My Own Dry Shampoo for Dogs?

Yes, absolutely! You can make your own dry shampoo that’s safe for dogs, using ingredients you may already have in your home.

The following recipe is inexpensive, easy to make, and has the benefit of being customizable according to which scent you’d like to add. The scent added in this recipe is a lavender essential oil, which also acts as a natural flea repellant.

If you prefer another one, you can use another type of essential oil. Just make sure that it’s safe first, because some essential oils, such as tea tree oil or peppermint oil, aren’t recommended for use on pets and may be toxic.

Also, remember that essential oils are highly concentrated, which means a little bit goes a long way. The following recipe calls for just a few drops of lavender, so be careful not to exceed this by more than a drop or two to avoid skin irritation.

To make your own pet-safe dry shampoo, all you need is cornstarch, baking soda, and a few drops of lavender essential oil (or the essential oil of your choice, provided it’s safe for dogs).

Simply combine half a cup of cornstarch, half a cup of baking soda, and three to five drops of lavender essential oil. Be sure to mix the ingredients together and place in a shaker bottle, like the ones used for seasonings.

Brush your dog first, then use the shaker to sprinkle the dry shampoo over his coat. Then, brush him again to work the dry shampoo into his fur and use a dry towel to get rid of any excess.

Since using a lot of powder can be messy, you may want to apply the dry shampoo outside, in an empty bathtub, or over a towel.

You’ll notice that this simple recipe requires equal parts baking soda and cornstarch, so it’s very easy to make a big batch and gift it to other dog lovers!

About the author

Li-ran Bukovza

Li-ran believes that our dogs can teach us more than we could ever teach them. He's fascinated by the dog-human bond and loves researching and writing about new pet trends. With the help of Richie (his trusty Maltese sidekick), he hopes to help as many people as possible understand the beautiful, complex world of canine companionship.