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How to Make Homemade Puppy Shampoo

Chihuahua getting a bath in a small blue bucket

Want to learn how to make Homemade Dog Shampoo for Itchy Skin? Click here to learn more.

There is nothing like that fresh puppy smell, is there? But give them a backyard filled with leaves and mud, and you’ve got one stinky little pup in need of a good bath. There are many shampoos to choose from; they all cost a pretty penny and sometimes we worry about what is actually in them, right? Chemical-laden shampoos from the store worry us because we know those commercial products can be really hard on a dog’s skin. 

Some might tell you to just get a bar of soap and give them a good rub down in the shower, but like humans, dogs sometimes have sensitive skin and that could land you in a vets office and the only happy person there will be the vet when he hands you the bill. 

There are others who might think, “Fido, had dandruff and so did I. Hey, let’s try ‘Head and Shoulders.’ It worked great for me.” Stop. Dog skin is more alkaline and needs a milder shampoo, so human shampoo can dry out dog skin. Using one, may create or exacerbating a problem and you’ll once again have to see the vet. 

Hey, why not use the adult dog shampoo on the little nipper, right? You can, but be sure to stay away from any medicated dog shampoos, such as a flea and tick shampoos because it is way to strong for your pup.

Going to the store and picking up bottle after bottle and wondering how much it will cost and if it will be effective is also something you would like to avoid as well, right? Great. So, let’s skip all of that and talk about a much better solution. One that is cheaper, more effective and best of all, you can do yourself in a matter of minutes. Homemade puppy shampoo for whatever occasion; weather its fleas, dry skin, greasy hair, itchy skin or for just getting that fresh puppy smell. If done right, it should only take five minutes. 

  • Please be sure NOT to wash your pup before he is 12 weeks old. 
  • Use warm water. Not too hot nor too cold.
  • Never get the mixtures or soap into your pup’s eyes or ears. 
  • Avoid washing their heads.
  • Be sure to rinse thoroughly. If you don’t, it could get into her skin and become an irritant. 
  • Try to reassure your pup often and not force him aggressively into the sink, tub or bowl  

Here is a great video for showing how to wash a pup, by PetSmart

Need a DIY Flea Shampoo for Puppies? Click here to learn how to make one.

Essential oil bottle on rustic table top with flowers in background

First up, Puppy Shampoo with Essential Oils

Every Day Dog Mom recommends using basic oils like lavender and rosemary for a clean, fresh, earthly smell that is very easy to put together that both you and the your pup will love. (I’m pretty sure the pup will not really care too much, he just wants to get out from under the hose, but okay.) 

There are a few things recommended that I highly agree with. 

  1. Make sure to purchase the essential oils that come in amber, cobalt, blue or violet glass bottles only. Essential oils can be weak against UV rays, diluting their compounds and making them acidic. Bottles that contain citrus oils can become poisonous from UV rays. 
  2. Check the country of origin. 
  3. Check how the oil was extracted. 
  4. Check for the words common and scientific.  
  5. Make sure you can find the terms 100 Percent Pure Essential Oil and Therapeutic Grade.
  6. Be sure to keep the bottle in normal room temperatures. (Not too hot nor too cold.) 
  7. Check with your vet first, just to make sure before trying. 


  • I cup of distilled water.
  • 1 tsp of olive or coconut oil.
  • 2 tsp of vegetable glycerin.
  • ¼ cup of Dr. Bonner’s Castille soap.
  • 5-7 drops of lavender essential oil.
  • 3-4 drops of rosemary essential oil. 


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a pump style bottle. 
  2. Shake well. Be sure to shake every time you use to make sure the ingredients are well mixed. 
  3. Make sure your dog is nice and wet. 
  4. Spray a generous amount on your dog.
  5. Massage time… Rub the mixture in thoroughly from nervous face to sinking tail. (Do not worry about getting a thick lather. Due to the mixture being sulfate free, it is going to to do that, but what it will do is leave your dog with clean skin and coat and smelling great. 
  6. Be careful NOT to get the mixture in your pups eyes.
  7. Avoid the dirt, mud and leaves for a while. 

How Do You Make Homemade Dry Dog Shampoo? Click here to learn more.

Homemade Puppy Shampoo for Normal Skin

Fluffy puppy in washtub with bubbles outside in the grass

We all want to get that deep cleaning in our dogs. They naturally begin to smell quickly, so try this one recommended by PetCareRx Inc


  • Two cups of apple cider vinegar
  • Natural or organic dish soap with a 7-8 pH. (see list below for dish soaps to avoid) 
  • Four cups of warm water.
  • 4oz of vegetable glycerin.

Key Takeaways

You can easily customize homemade puppy shampoo for the specific needs of your pup – different formulations work for fleas, dry skin, stinkiness and more.

You should never bathe a dog with shampoo before they are 12 weeks old (it’s OK to give them a rinse).

Making your own puppy shampoo will save you money AND you get to control the ingredients.

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