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Dog Soap Alternatives: Safe & Easy to Use

By Aviram K.
May 11, 2022
4 min read
Dog Soap Alternatives: Safe & Easy to Use
✏️ This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy.
🏥 The information in this article is not a substitute for professional help.
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It’s bath time for your dog, and everything is going smoothly.

You’ve adjusted the water to the perfect temperature your pup adores and have successfully lured them into the tub with a trail of treats. It’s showtime!

But then it happens. You grab your pup’s shampoo, flip it upside down, and squeeze hard…but barely a pea-sized amount pops out.

Shoot. The last time you washed them, you knew that you were running low, but you totally forgot to buy more. You don’t have time for this!

There has to be something else you can use to wash your dog, right?

Several simple household items can be used as dog soap alternatives. Depending on your pup’s needs, you can make your own dog soap by combining ingredients like aloe vera, oatmeal, dish soap, vinegar, and essential oils. Dog wipes and baby shampoo can also be used in place of dog shampoo.

In this article, I will reveal the best dog soap alternatives. I will also show you how to make your own homemade dog shampoo.

So, if you find your pup’s doggy shampoo has reached the bottom of the bottle, no need to fret! You likely have just the right mix of basic ingredients in your cabinets to give your pup a proper bath after all.

Come along as I show you how to turn lemons into lemonade…or oatmeal into dog wash…

Let’s go!

Table of Contents
Best Dog Soap Alternatives
Making Your Own Homemade Dog Shampoo
Don’t Be Shy to DIY!

Best Dog Soap Alternatives


There are many ways to cleanse your pup other than using actual dog soap or dog shampoo. But sometimes, as the saying goes, “if you want the job done right, you’ve got to use the proper tools.”

If you want to totally cut out any guesswork, the best thing to wash your dog with is just plain old dog shampoo. This can be the easiest way to keep things simple because you don’t want to use any old products to clean your pup!

Out of all the things you could wash your dog with, you definitely never want to use human shampoo on them.

The reason is that dogs’ and humans’ skin have very different pH levels. For example, a human’s pH level is 5.5 to 5.6, while a dog’s pH ranges between 6.2 and 7.4.

Using shampoo formulated for humans on your pup can be too acidic and harm your pup’s delicate skin.

But what if you run out of your dog’s normal shampoo? Or if you realize your pup’s shampoo has expired? Or maybe you’d just like to get creative and experiment with some other options to get your little buddy squeaky clean?

Here are some easy dog soap alternatives you can try:

  • Baby shampoos like classic Johnson and Johnson
  • Dog wipes like these compostable, hypoallergenic, plant-based wipes from Earth Rate
  • Waterless no-rinse pet shampoo like this ph-balanced, alcohol-free one from Wahl brand
  • Wipes formulated for babies or gentle, all-natural makeup removing wipes
  • Cornstarch or baking soda rubbed into your pup’s skin as a dry shampoo if you’re in a bind

Making Your Own Homemade Dog Shampoo

So, you’re feeling brave and want to try mixing up your own cleaning concoction for your pup.


There are several options and combinations to create homemade dog shampoo, depending on your dog’s unique skin type and needs.

The most important rule of thumb is to ensure that any shampoo you make for your dog is a 7 on the pH scale.

But how do you do that?

Luckily, others have gone before you and have gotten these recipes down to a science. No chemistry degree is required!

All you need to do is evaluate your pup’s skin and select the homemade shampoo that will suit him best.

Here are a few generally safe ones (use at your own discretion):

Normal Skin

This simple formula deodorizes and cleanses and is great for use on dogs with regular skin. Combine all ingredients together in a spray bottle and shake:

  • ½ cup of white vinegar
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • ¼ of a cup of natural dish soap

Pro tip: when you’re done bathing your pup, rinse them extremely well, even if it appears all soap is gone!

Dry Skin

Oatmeal or aloe vera-based soaps are two great options for treating dry dog skin. Give these recipes a try:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup of finely ground oatmeal
  • A quart of warm water

Mix all ingredients together and allow the paste to sit on your dog’s skin for just a few moments. Rinse thoroughly.


  • 1 cup of all-natural, gentle dish soap or baby shampoo
  • A quart of water
  • 1/3 cup of glycerin
  • 1 cup of vinegar, white or apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel

Combine everything into a spray bottle, shake it up and distribute it onto your pup, rinsing well when finished.


Flea proof your pup with this homemade dog shampoo infused with lavender essential oil:

  • 1 tablespoon of Castile soap
  • 10 ounces of warmed water
  • 2 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 2 ounces aloe vera gel

Put all ingredients into a spray bottle. Dampen your pup’s coat with warm water and run this mixture through their skin and fur. Cover hidden places where fleas are known to dwell and rinse well.

Don’t Be Shy to DIY!


Maybe you’re all out of your dog’s regular wash, or you’d just like to experiment with something more natural for your pup. With a plethora of dog soap and dog shampoo alternatives available, there’s truly no reason to hold back!

A simple sweep through your cupboards will likely reveal at least one or two ingredients needed to whip up your own special creation.

For normal to dry-skinned dogs and even flea-prone pups, there are easy cleaning formulas you can make yourself. And when you’re not feeling so creative, you can purchase simple dog soap alternatives like wipes or waterless pet shampoo.

Washing your dog has to be done…so why not make it fun? Simply grab the right ingredients and get ready to give Fido the specialized and loving cleaning of a lifetime! `

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