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Dry shampoo is a rather simple product. The alcohol or starch soaks up the excess oil and grease in your hair and that makes it look cleaner and giving it a fresher appearance. It’s really simple to use and can be a huge time saver so some of us curious dog owners might wonder, can we use dry shampoo for dogs?
Can we even get dry shampoo for dogs? What are the advantages of using dry shampoo for dogs? Are there disadvantages to using dry shampoo for dogs? Well, I’m here to help you find out.
Can We Use Dry Shampoo for Dogs?
Well, yes. You can use dry shampoo for dogs. Their skin produces an oily substance called sebum and it helps to keep their skin healthy, shiny, and well moisturized. It also serves as a defense against bacteria because it has natural antibiotic properties. This is why dogs have their distinct scent. You won’t notice it but dogs can tell each other apart from it.
Dry shampoo helps to absorb excess oil so yes, it works, but it doesn’t remove dirt and other substances that build up over time.
Contrary to popular belief, dry shampoo doesn’t clean your hair. It may look clean but it should not be used as a substitute for washing. Only proper washing can clean their skin and fur and using too much dry shampoo will not only absorb excess oil but begin to destroy the natural antibacterial barrier on their skin.
It can also cause environmental toxins to build upon their skin and cause stunted hair growth.
Using dry shampoo continuously can also cause irritation and dryness on their skin and can clog pores which will cause rashes and pimples.
Can We Get Dry Shampoo for Dogs?
There are dry shampoo products made for dogs so when you’re searching you should narrow it down to this category. Like regular dog shampoo, these are also made to be suitable for the pH levels of their skin which is less acidic than human skin so please don’t use human shampoo whether wet or dry for them.
It’s also best to get a shampoo with natural ingredients because there’s a chance that they’ll lick it off their skin and you wouldn’t want them ingesting something toxic. Usually, manufacturers of dry shampoo for dogs will take this into account but you should still do your own research, just to be on the safe side.
How to Use Dry Shampoo on Dogs
Dry shampoo usually comes in spray, gel, or powder form. Spray cans might frighten them so you could use the gels or powder if that’s the case with your dogs. The powder is considered safer because small particles and environmental toxins won’t stick to them like the gels and sprays which remain on your dog.
After applying it to their coat, you’ll have to rub it in. Do this until it gets to their skin. It’s most effective on hair that holds a lot of oil because its job is to absorb the excesses and leave their hair looking clean and fresh. As long as you don’t use it on them too often it won’t cause any problems.
Dry Shampoo Myths
A lot of dry shampoos make ridiculous claims about their products. Here are some things you should know
First, dry shampoo won’t absorb or repel dirt.
It won’t mask or prevent sweating.
It won’t remove grease or grime.
It’s not a replacement for bathing and it won’t make your dog clean.
All it does is absorb excess oils in your dog’s hair. It isn’t actually shampoo because it’s not meant for cleaning hair. It just makes the hair look cleaner and it might include a fragrance to make it smell fresh. Excess use will lead to breakage and hair loss.
Are All Dry Shampoo Products Safe for Dogs?
As it is with a lot of things, not all our dry shampoo products are safe for dogs. You need to take extra care when buying dry shampoo for your dogs because a lot of them contain things like DMDM Hydantoin, FD&C Blue #1 (artificial color), artificial fragrance, and preservatives, and these can cause cancer.
Ingredients like “coconut-based surfactants” may sound safe and organic but this is just greenwashing (given them names to make them sound natural) and are actually harmful to your dogs. Some other harmful substances found in dry shampoo are Cocamide DEA, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Moisturizing Agents, and Mild cleansing agents.
To be safe, you can use natural solutions like cornstarch which works just like any other dry shampoo and has no negative effects on your dog. Make sure they aren’t allergic to corn though.
Another all-natural alternative is Fuller’s Earth. It is a clay-like substance that is composed of silica, iron, magnesium, and aluminum. It has been used as an absorbent for dirt and excess oil for centuries. It looks a lot like clay but is actually a superabsorbent form of aluminum silicate.
Even these should be used occasionally because they can have the same effects as using excess dry shampoo.
Can I Make Dry Shampoo for Dogs at Home?
You can make dry shampoo for your dogs at home and you might not have to buy any ingredients. What you’ll need are cornstarch and baking soda. You could also add perfume oils to add a nice scent to it but make sure whatever oil you use is safe for your dog’s skin. Just mix half a cup of cornstarch and half a cup of baking soda and then you can add a few drops of your chosen perfume and shake it together thoroughly.
You could use one of those clear plastic spice containers usually used for seasoning. That way you can sprinkle it onto your dog like you would with seasoning on food. Don’t sprinkle seasoning on your dogs. Spread it all over their coat and rub it in like you would with store-bought dry shampoo.
You could also use a brush but just make sure it doesn’t hurt and brush it in properly. After this, you can use a dry towel to wipe off any excess. I’d advise doing this outside because using powdered dry shampoo can get messy.
Are There Any Benefits of Using Dry Shampoo for Dogs?
Well, yes. Bathing some dogs can be a nightmare and professional grooming can be expensive if you have to get them cleaned very often. It can help you space out regular baths. It can also be really helpful in cases where you’re not supposed to get them wet, like after surgery because you have to keep their stitches dry.
If you’re somewhere where you won’t have the opportunity for a proper bath and your dog gets really dirty and smelly dry shampoo can be a lifesaver. You could also use it for spot cleaning. If they have dirty paws or they fell on something and just have stains on one area of their body you can just clean it off and use dry shampoo to freshen them up.
Maybe it’s too cold for a bath but you need to go somewhere with your dog or you just want them looking clean and smelling nice. Finally, for older dogs, it can be very useful when they can’t stand that long in the shower anymore or get into a tub. That way you don’t have to stress them with baths too often and they aren’t very active so they won’t get dirty.
But remember, it’s not a substitute for baths with regular shampoo. If you have the opportunity, give them a proper bath.
How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?
There’s no specific length of time. It depends on what activities they perform or you perform with them, their environment, and the type of hair they have. However, you should try to keep it as low as once a week and it should not exceed once in three months.
Dry shampoo can be used if the need arises between your bath schedule. If your dog gets too dirty or smelly then you should just give them a bath.
Dry shampoo doesn’t clean your dog’s hair. Only soap and water can do that. You can use dry shampoo as a quick fix. Maybe you’re expecting guests and there’s no time for a bath or you have to hurry somewhere and take them with you. Bath time can become really messy sometimes and using dry shampoo is quick and it is easy and you don’t require water but you should not use it as a replacement for proper baths.
Before you use any dry shampoo perform proper research. Some manufacturers mix in ingredients that can be harmful with other natural and good ingredients and this isn’t just a problem with dry shampoo for dogs but with a lot of other dog products. Don’t ignore these harmful products. Make sure you don’t use it so you won’t end up causing trouble for your dogs.