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This winter, since we have had so much snow and yucky weather, my dogs have really started to stink. I have three dogs. An old black lab, a 4 year old Chihuahua, and a 4 year old Miniature Pinscher mix. They are my fur-babies, and live inside with us. My Min-Pin is just a big baby, and loves to be under the blankets with me on the couch. But man, lately I have had a tough time letting him in! He has been stinking so bad!
Well, I was cleaning my house for my granddaughter’s first birthday party (and her mom’s 23rd) and decided that the house just wasn’t going to smell good if the dogs totally stunk. And I was out of dog shampoo. So I went to Pinterest to get some inspiration for my own dog shampoo. I have long known that vinegar is a great and gentle cleanser that helps neutralize odors, so using it in dog shampoo was a no-brainer. I saw multiple recipes for shampoo using apple cider vinegar, Dawn dish soap, and water. It also helps kill and repel fleas.
Unfortunately, I was out of Dawn dish soap too. So, like I so often do, I improvised. I took the top off of an old shampoo bottle and put some kids shampoo and the generic dish soap that I had in the bottom of the bottle. Then I poured in some apple cider vinegar. I also ground up some oatmeal in an old coffee grinder and put it in there too. Oatmeal is great for itchy, dry skin (which my Min-Pin is very prone to).
In the meantime, I had boiled some water in a pot and threw in some mint leaves and rosemary leaves. After it boiled for a few minutes, I threw in some coconut oil and set it to the side to cool. Once the infused water was cool enough, I topped off the old shampoo bottle with it. Then I just shook gently to mix everything together. –Side note: I also had a lot of “tea” leftover so I poured it in a spray bottle and added some apple cider vinegar to make a between-bath dog coat freshener.
I put my dogs, one at a time, in a warm shallow bath, and got them all wet. I poured some of my dog shampoo all down their back and lathered up, adding more water as needed to help it get nice and lathered. I massaged them all over and let it soak into the fur for a few minutes. Then I just rinsed them really thoroughly.
After they dried, my pups were all super soft and fresh! Even my Min-Pin, who is normally kind of wiry, is nice and soft. One problem, though. I think I got some of the mixture or the bath water in my Min-Pin’s ear, and it is now kinda red and irritated. He has been lowering his ear and really favoring it. So I went to Pinterest again. I found one ear cleaner for dog ear infections that called for just white vinegar and rubbing alcohol. I tried this in his ear and it really seemed to hurt him. So I decided I wouldn’t do that on him again.
I found some other ideas using green tea, or saline, as a ear rinse. I brewed some green tea and put some salt in it. I put it in a condiment bottle and squirted it in his ear. This was much better and much less painful. Then I put some Aloe Vera Gel on the inside of his ear and massaged it in really good. This really did the trick. The next day it was much better, and was totally cured the next day.
What natural, homemade products do you use on your dog? Please share your ideas in the comments!