Dry Shampoo For Dogs: When and How to Use it

Mar 05,2022

Walking, playing, sniffing, exploring the surroundings...dogs are creatures, interested in their environment and all the smells and sounds that it offers. That is why most dog owners need to get used to the messy appearance of their paw friends and accept the fact, that they will smell terrible from to time. Of course, the activity level of the dog, as well as their desire to investigate the surroundings depend on the breed and the dog as an individual. Before choosing a dog breed, most of you are likely to check the most essential breed characteristics, including the type of the coat and the time frame required for the dog to be bathed. Those of you whose dogs are “real explorers” are likely to be tired of constant battles in the bathroom, wet dog’s fur and water everywhere. You may wonder if there are options, that could replace regular bathing.

We would like to take a closer look at the dry shampoos as an alternative to bathing that becomes more and more popular among the dog owners. Are dry shampoos safe for your dog, when and how to use them and what you should consider if you opt for a dry shampoo-these are some questions that we will answer in today’s article. First we would like to let you know what a dry shampoo is and how it works.

What Is a Dog’s Dry Shampoo?

A dry dog’s shampoo is a product designed to clean your paw friend’s coat, without requiring water rinsing. This type of shampoos remove any unpleasant smells and dirt. Also, they absorb the excessive amount of sebum, secreted by the sebaceous glands. Sebum is a yellowish, oily substance beneficial for both the skin and the coat of your paw friend as it keeps them neat and maintainedDespite the indisputable benefits of the sebumonce its amount increases over time, it is likely to lead to an unpleasant odor. This is exactly the repulsive smell, that your dog emits sometimes.

Are Dry Shampoos Dog Safe?

Yes, there are dry shampoos designed for dogs, that are safe to use. However, we would recommend that you take a look at the shampoo ingredients prior to purchasing. In order to ensure that a certain dry shampoo will be the best option for your dog, it has to contain natural ingredients. Synthetic ingredients may be considered a red flag for you. They can not only irritate the skin and the coat of your paw friend, but also end up in your dog’s digestive system through licking. If your dog has a more sensitive skin and coat requiring extra maintenance, you definitely should forget about synthetic ingredients such as artificial fragrances and colors, alcohol, sulfates or parabens. Also, you may want to check the shampoo’s pH level and make sure that it is balanced.

When to Use a Dry Shampoo?

The use of a dry shampoo may help you save time and energy. It can be easily applied to your dog’s coat, and you will achieve the wanted results quicker and easier. Also, there are cases when dry shampoos will be more beneficial for your dog than regular bathing. 

Your Dog Is Extremely Active

If you have an overly playful and hyperactive dog, you may struggle to bathe them. Dogs tend to be hyperactive during the puppy phase, however, some breeds remain quite energetic even after entering adulthood. The energy level depends on the dog as an individual as well. Bathing a hyperactive dog may be unpleasant and even dangerous, as you might get hurt while trying to make your dog stay still. A dry shampoo may be a great alternative in this case as it gives you the opportunity to arrange the next bathing session at a more appropriate time when your dog is calmer.

Your Dog Does Not Stand Water

There are dogs that just hate water. If you do not have much time to run after your pup and try to motivate them to go in the shower, using a dry shampoo may be a better option. Some owners use special pads smeared with peanut butter to encourage their dogs to stay calm during a bath time. However, a dry shampoo will make your dog clean really quickly and will remove any bad odors. You will not have to search toys or treats to redirect your dog’s attention every time your pup needs to get cleaned.

It Is Too Cold for Bathing

If the temperature outside is too low for bathing, you can apply a dry shampoo to your dog’s coat to keep it maintained.

Do Not Overdo Bathing

Let’s take a look at the following scenario-the last bath of your canine was a day ago, but they noticed a puddle or decided to dig a hole in your backyard. There is no sign of the wonderful washed and silky coat and pleasant odor of your doggy, isn’t it? Instead of bathing your canine again, which may be not only annoying for them, but also irritating for their skin, you can rely on dry shampoos for quick results. There are dry shampoos on the market, suitable for daily use, that will help you not overdo with bathing. 

Clean Certain Body Areas Only

You can use a dry shampoo, when certain areas of your canine’s body only need to get cleaned and all struggles with bathing do not worth it.

There are also health-related factors that make the use of a dry shampoo a preferred option by many dog owners. 

After Injury/Surgery

If your dog is still recovering from an injury or has gone through surgery, that requires their coat to not get wet until full recovery, you can use a dry shampoo as a suitable replacement of bathing. That way your doggy will smell nice again and will get their coat cleaned. We would recommend that you contact a veterinarian in regard to the safe ways to keep your canine’s coat neat after surgery.

Your Dog Has a Sensitive and Itchy Skin

 If your canine’s skin is more sensitive and prone to irritations and itchiness, you may want to consider using a dry shampoo for relief. Too frequent bathing may worsen the skin problem and create discomfort for your dog.

How to Apply a Dry Shampoo on Your Dog’s Coat

There are dry shampoos in various forms such as sprays, gels and powders. You need to apply the shampoo on the dog’s coat and through massaging movements gently rub the product into the skin. If there are any product residues, you can remove them with a wipe or a brush. 

Remember that dry shampoos can not replace bathing at all, but only reduce its frequency.

What to Consider When Buying a Dry Shampoo

There are some factors, that you should pay attention to prior to buying a dry shampoo for your doggy.

Skin Type and Coat Length

There are different types of dry shampoos, based on the type and length of the dog’s coat. Moreover, the ingredients of certain shampoos are specially designed to sooth sensitive skin. Considering the information in this point, we can logically move to the next factor:

Shampoo Ingredients

As we mentioned above, you should pay attention to the shampoo ingredients and avoid purchasing products that contain synthetic onesWe would recommend that you buy only shampoos with natural ingredients, that are pet-friendly and safe to use.

Does the Shampoo Affect the Effectiveness of other Products

You may wonder what products your dog’s dry shampoo should be compatible with. We are talking about products used for prevention or treatment of fleas and other parasites. You need to make sure that the dry shampoo you are using will not reduce the effectiveness of any parasite treatment that your doggy might be going through.

Size of the Shampoo

If your dog is a representative of a large breed you may want to buy a shampoo in a big bottle or even a  bulk. By buying bigger amounts you will be able to save money on shipping and reduce your costs in the log-term.

Price and Brand of the Shampoo

Talking about price, we would recommend that you make research and find out what brands are reputable and popular among dog owners. You should not opt for the cheapest product, as its quality may be insufficient and negatively affect your dog’s skin. Of course, that does not mean that the most expensive product will be automatically the best one. However, bio ingredients of a high quality, are likely to be more expensive. When choosing a shampoo you may want to check online reviews about the shampoo brand, and not only the product price itself.

DIY Shampoo

You can try making a shampoo for your doggy yourself. That way you will make sure that only natural ingredients are featured. If you think that it is worth trying, you should prepare:

-Cornstarch and/or baby powder- 2 cups (According to some sources, unscented talc can be used as a replacement of these two ingredients);

-Table salt- ½ cup

-Baking soda- 1/2 cup 

Put all ingredients in a container with a cover, and shake it well or blend it until it all becomes homogeneous.

As we explained in many of our articles, when you try a new product, whose effect on your dog’s skin or general health condition you are unfamiliar with, you should start with a small amount of it. Also, we would recommend that you consult your dog’s veterinarian in regard to any side effects of a DYI shampoo that you may have forgotten to take into account.