Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dog Recipe: Homemade Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs

One time I introduced my orchestra as the Shampoo Music Makers instead of the Champagne Music Makers. – Lawrence Welk

So simple.

Henry has bad skin on occasion. It gets very flaky and subsequently he gets itchy and uncomfortable. Sometimes it's so bad he has his skin red.

I remember when Simon was alive he used to get “oatmeal emollients” at the groomer's. His skin wasn’t dry but I’m sure it benefitted my "best buddy." (Henry's a best buddy, too.)

Dry skin can lead to a whole host of problems and opens your best friend up to potential infections. Dry skin flakes fall all over your house, clothes, children – literally everything your dog touches – and with it any infections that skin may be carrying. 

Usually dry skin in dogs points to dietary problems. They require oils in their food to ensure optimal skin condition. Often fish oil supplements are suggested by vets, or even feeding canned fish.

Look to your vet first, of course. He may suggest supplements or medicine to allay skin problems in conjunction with shampoos. But if, like me, you’re already feeding good food your next step may be oatmeal shampoo.

Oatmeal emollients and shampoos are some of the most popular shampoos for home use, as well as at doggy salons. Oatmeal shampoo works by helping the dog’s skin to retain moisture. This helps fight the dry skin condition that is visible as flakes.

If you look online you will get a thousand opinions on using human shampoo on animals. I believe a gentle shampoo is the way to go. Many shampoos contain some unpronounceable ingredients that probably aren't all that good for us, let alone our dogs.

Think all natural or baby shampoo and you’re on the right track, or a gentle shampoo that has some other benefits too.

This shampoo has a healthy portion of oatmeal, combined with purchased shampoo to get a lather going.

On the site they state the following:
Oatmeal shampoo offers many benefits to dogs with skin problems, including moisturizing and soothing itchy skin. It also helps relieve symptoms of allergies, dry skin, hot spots, and flea and tick problems. Oatmeal shampoo also helps clean and soften a dog’s coat.

The recipe I used as a base was also on that site even though I found it via a different source.

I looked for a while at the store before choosing a shampoo. My choice was one that had aloe vera and avocado. I’m hoping that the aloe vera helps with any inflammation. 

The avocado helps counter dryness as well. Avocado oil is quite similar to the oil in our skin. In humans, avocado is used topically for psoriasis – in conjunction with chamomile cream.

The only problem with the shampoo I chose was it was scented. Try to avoid that if possible, although our boy should smell quite pretty after his bath.

The recipe yield is in volume. How much you use will depend entirely on the size of your dog. Henry’s quite a big boy. I'm assuming this is only one bath. I have no idea how long this shampoo would last so perhaps small batches is the best way to go. It only takes about 5 minutes to make.

Henry will be having his bath Saturday morning. So we’ll see how it goes. He’s a pretty good boy when he’s being bathed. We’re lucky.

Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs
Time: 5 min  |  Yield: 2 cups
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup baking soda
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup gentle shampoo, like Johnson’s Baby Shampoo

Measure oatmeal and put into a food processor. Blend until you've ground it as close to powder as you can get.

Add the baking soda and pulse again until mixed. Then add the water and purée until very smooth and creamy.

Finally add the shampoo and just pulse until blended. Don’t foam up the shampoo.

Make sure you rinse your dog well after use, the same as you would for any other shampoo.


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