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Storing up on supplies and learning how to become self sufficient impacts the whole family. Sometimes, this means the furry four-legged family members as well. Making your own food supplies is actually very simple, as is making your own beauty supplies. It may not seem like it because it has so many ingredients in the stores, but dog shampoo is actually very easy to make. Some people make their own pet shampoo because they want to save money, and others make it because their dogs are allergic to the components in a lot of store-bought shampoo. For whatever reason, making dog shampoo is a fun and easy home task that anyone can do. It’s just like a science project or cooking, but with obvious differences in the end product.
Honestly, the ingredients for homemade dog shampoo are so simple and effective that you will never buy another over-priced bottle of store-bought stuff ever again. Some people use one or two more ingredients, but if you want to keep it simple, then all you have to use is clear antibacterial soap and white distilled vinegar. Mix it in equal parts and apply to your dirty dog. Sometimes people also use water to thin out the soap just in case it is a little harsh on their dog’s skin, and other times people add a bit of glycerin, but other than that, dog shampoo is simple to make.
However, if you want something that is even more natural, there are other options. If you have a dog with extra sensitive skin and it can’t even handle gentle dish soap, then you can try to make an oatmeal-based shampoo. For this, all you need is oatmeal, baking soda, and water. You need to blend the oatmeal into a flour-like texture and then mix it with the baking soda and water. Finally, shake well.
If you want to make natural dog shampoo that smells better than soap and water, there are oils and butters that can be added to your homemade mix. Lavender and chamomile essential oils can be added to the oatmeal or soap-based mixtures, and they will add a pleasant smell to your dog after bath time. These oils can also be used to treat skin conditions. Lavender is good for irritable and itchy skin, and chamomile is a natural anti-inflammatory, making it a good match for dogs with chronic skin conditions or for dogs that are allergic to other shampoos.
Solid bars of dog shampoo can also be made. These are good for storage, and you can make a lot at one time. Plus, they make great Christmas gifts for your dog-loving friends. The base for these dog shampoo bars are cupuacu butter and shea butter. Olive oil can also be a base for making bar-form dog shampoo, as well as a handful of other base oils. The same process for making dog shampoo bars is the same for making shampoo bars for humans. The typical ingredients for any shampoo bar are:
- coconut oil
- olive oil
- castor oil
- jojoba oil
- shea butter
- cocoa butter
- milk (any kind)
Unless your dog has extra sensitive skin, this shampoo bar will work just as well for canines as it does for people.
Besides shampoos, it is also possible to make homemade flea treatments for your dog as well. Sometimes they are built right into the shampoo, and other times they are made separately and applied to hot spots. If you put peppermint into a bar of homemade dog shampoo or in the liquid version, it will help drive away pesky fleas. Fleas do not like the smell of peppermint or lavender, so both will work as homemade flea treatments. However, the best way to ensure that your dog does not pick up fleas is not through proper oils and spray, but by keeping them healthy. Fleas are much less likely to stay on healthy dogs; they usually infest unhealthy dogs or dogs with poor immune systems. If you find that your dog does have fleas, there are some natural ways to get rid of them. One way is through vinegar. The vinegar you use in homemade liquid dog shampoo will work for this. Again, fleas do not like the smell of vinegar, just as they do not like the smell of certain essential oils. Dishwashing liquid in general is good for getting rid of fleas. This time though, it is not the smell that repels them, but rather the oil used in the liquid that kills and drives away fleas. It is also possible to make a flea spray by combining water, lavender oil, and cedar wood oil.
Coincidentally, many of these same remedies for fleas will also work for ticks too. Many areas of the United States have ticks that can attach to you and your dogs. Ticks carry lime disease just like fleas can carry tapeworms, so it’s best to thoroughly check your dog every time they run through the forest or through tall grass.
Since most homemade dog shampoo also drives away fleas, it makes you wonder why so many manufacturers of pet products make you buy them separately or why they prevent shampoo from also getting rid of fleas. Just like making homemade products for yourself, making them for your pets is a way to know exactly what you are putting into or on your body. The chemicals that come in shampoos for both dogs and humans are not all necessary to clean hair; they are mostly additives that can strip hair of natural oils that would otherwise keep it shiny and healthy. Lots of different additives are added to our pet’s food in addition to their shampoo and flea medication, but often just simple essential oils can get rid of a flea infestation, so why would you spend upwards of twenty dollars on flea medication that often doesn’t properly work or gives your dog irritated skin?
Not only can you make healthy and natural pet soap and shampoo, but you can also make natural dog food as well, which can help your pet’s coat and flea problems. If you know the diet that your dog needs, it is pretty easy to whip up a meal that will help their coat, their skin, and their teeth. Different breeds of dogs often have different dietary needs, and if you want, it is very easy to make a big batch of specially-made dog food and can it so that your dog is able to enjoy it for months.
If people care enough about their pets to make them sweaters, then they should care enough to worry about their coats, skin, and dietary needs as well. Humans aren’t very happy when they’re forced to use shampoos that make their skin itch or when they find that their house is invaded by pests, so why would our dogs be happy about it? It’s not enough to play with them and give them a warm place to sleep. Our dogs also deserve proper health care, including shampoo and flea treatments that are gentle, natural, and effective.
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