before the bathAs the proud pet parent of three terrible terriers, I spend much of my time figuring out the best ways to improve their lives and well being.  I buy into the idea that organic food, while costly, really is best and I purchase expensive treats that not only make their tails wag, but also help maintain the health of their teeth and gums.  Where my dogs are concerned, money is rarely an issue, and because of this, I have been duped on occasion into buying expensive products thinking they’re the best.  Case in point, dog shampoo.  There are many dog shampoos on the market claiming to benefit your dog’s skin and coat when, in actuality, they are causing more problems than they solve.

One of my dogs has very sensitive skin and it seemed that no matter which shampoo I bought, the problem just got worse.  I spent more money than I’d like to admit on products supposedly designed for dogs with his particular problem, only to be disappointed over and over.  After doing some research online, I discovered a miracle—homemade dog shampoo that is so simple and so inexpensive I was sure it was a hoax.  But with my ever-decreasing bank account and ever-increasingly itchy dog, I decided to give it a try.


1 pint water
1 pint Dove or Ivory liquid dishwashing soap
1 pint apple cider vinegar
4 oz. vegetable glycerin (which can be purchased at a drug store)


1. Simply mix everything together and store in a container.  I use an old shampoo bottle.

2. To use, lather as much as you need into your dog’s fur.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes, then rinse with warm water.  Or, rinse with half water half vinegar.

3. Towel dry your dog or let him/her dry off in a sunny spot.

Yes, it’s THAT easy!  For those of you wanting your dog to emerge from the bath smelling like strawberries or bananas or some exotic tropical flower, this recipe may not be for you.  But to tell the truth, most of those heavily scented shampoos actually cause dry skin, flaking and irritation.  If you’re dead-set on scenting your shampoo, however, you can add a few drops of tea tree or lavender essential oil to the mix, but before you do, place a small amount of the oil on your dog to make sure there is no allergic reaction.

If you’re still not convinced, let me just add that since using this shampoo, I’ve seen the following changes in my dogs:

-Softer coats
-The doggy smell has disappeared
-Tangles and excess fur comb out more easily
-My dogs have stopped scratching and all previous red areas are now perfectly clear
-I know exactly what ingredients are being used

For mere pennies per application, you have nothing to lose, so give it a try.  Your dogs will thank you!

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