Guys…dogs just stink. We love them like crazy, so we put up with it until we’re to the point of not even wanting to be in the same room anymore.
In spite of what some vets recommend (and lots of people on the internet who are just quoting each other), our dogs do best with baths once a week.
But when your dogs are 70 & 80 pounds and double-coated, weekly baths are
rarely not always going to happen that often. So what do you do with two giant stink bombs in between baths? DIY dry shampoo!
There are lots of dry shampoo recipes for dogs out there, and several commercial shampoos available too. And we tried lots of them before experimenting on our own.
First, we tried the powders made from oats and cornstarch, then one with just cornstarch and essential oils. While they helped with the stink…I kinda hated them.
Why most DIY dry shampoos don’t work
If your dog has missed enough baths, you know they get oily just like we do. The cornstarch in the recipes very effectively absorbs the oil…but then it stays on the dog. Then when you pet the dog, your fingers get coated with a layer of stinky, oily powder. Not so pleasant. Actually, it’s really unpleasant.
And it also makes them itchy.
It turns out, you need VERY LITTLE cornstarch to do the job effectively. But if you apply the cornstarch as a powder, there’s no way to apply such a small amount evenly and effectively.
How to make DIY dry shampoo that DOES work
The key is spray DIY dry shampoo for dogs. Most of the spray “shampoo” you can buy for dogs is basically just chemical fragrances to cover up the stink. And then they’re not real ingredients, so not only did they always end up giving me a stomach and/or headache, there was NO TELLING what they were doing to the poor dogs. Others that were more natural still did nothing to help with the oiliness, and they were expensive too.
After some experimentation, I came up with a recipe that works perfectly for us.
How to make your own DIY dry shampoo for dogs:
Time needed: 10 minutes.
– a spray bottle (we use these, but you could just pick up some from the travel section of most grocery or home stores)
-a small funnel (this is the kind we have)
– 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
– 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol
– 1/4 cup of water
– a few drops of essential oil (we like a blend of lavender and eucalyptus)
(optional–and some can be harmful to dogs too, so do research and ask your vet first–also let your dog sniff a tiny bit of the oil first to make sure they don’t hate the one you use–some dogs are picky and/or sensitive)
(Affiliate links above–if you purchase from them, Amazon will give me a little bit back at no cost to you.)
- Pour each ingredient through the funnel into the spray bottle
- Shake the bottle
- Spray the dog
Not enough to soak him or her, just enough to dampen the outer coat
- Rub it in, either with your hands or a brush
We love this brush for it because it gets the spray down to the skin, and it’s easy to clean.
The one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol helps it to dry quickly, but it’s not enough to dry out their skin or damage their fur. And just one tablespoon of cornstarch is plenty for 1/4 cup of water. Just enough to be effective, and not enough to coat the dog and everything he touches with greasy powder.
Super easy, and super affordable. In fact, you probably already have all the supplies in your house–that would make it super free.
And this also makes a great gift idea for any friends or family with dogs!