Hi there - Kind of an odd question, but we just got a puppy (lab, 3 months old), and I know we'll need to give her a bath sooner or later. I went shampoo free (I use bs and vinegar) about a year ago and just can't buy a 'normal' dog shampoo after looking at the ingredients. Any recommendations? Thanks!
For years we've used Buddy Wash (Lavender & Mint) on our dogs. Here are the ingredients - Lavender & Mint Buddy Wash Ingredients: Coconut shampoo base, aloe vera gel, essence of lavender, essence of mint, chamomile extract, sage extract, nettles extract, rosemary extract, wheat protein extract (natural deodorizing agent), tea tree oil, vitamin E, vitamin C. They tell us they love the way it makes their fur and skin feel and our dogs have never lied to us.
Practically anything else will dry the dog's skin out and make things worse. Anyway, as soon as you bathe a dog, they roll around in the grass or something else that has a strong scent. Anything you did to make the dog smell nice has just been defeated by the dog.
One that my Ma always used on our dogs was:
1c mouthwash (or some sort of natural alternative) 1 'good squirt' of dish detergent 1/4 peroxide
There are ways to hack this even better, I am sure, with natural alternatives. Still, I found it always worked well. My current lab has pretty sensitive skin, too.
Best of luck!
Ok. I admit. I spoil my dog.
He gets a Raw, Prey Model, diet. Good, healthy, pasture fed and wild...yum.
He also sports a Paco Collar and "swag" accessories (Yelp Reviews), which ain't cheap...
BUT, when it comes to shampoos, I just go for the cheap stuff. Suave's $2.99 bottles work well enough as he likes to be clean. He gets a bath every 10-14 days, which keeps his coat soft, shiny, and clean. And, no, this schedule does not dry out his coat, as he gets lots of Salmon oil and fats from a healthy diet.
So my advice is to figure out what works for your dog. If the cheap stuff works, go with it. If not, search for a solution.
I have 3 toy dogs. In my opinion dogs don't need to be bathed unless they get into something sticky or smelly. At least the 2 shorthairs don't. In fact, my Boston Terrier had skin problems after I used various shampoos but his skin problems cleared up when I stopped bathing him and switched all 3 to a raw diet. I do have one long-haired dog and he gets bathed once or twice per year. People compliment me frequently on the looks of my dogs, and none of them has any unpleasant odor, so I think diet has a lot to do with needing to be bathed.
UPDATE: 11-21-11, I am now using soap nuts to do my laundry and for personal hygiene. It's much easier on my skin and the website says it's great for animals too. Very natural!
Anyhow, it's the first time in my life I haven't had a lot of itchy skin/scalp. It's so gentle I can believe it won't strip the oils from pet coats.
I have a a mini chocolate labradoodle who is bathed relatively often. As a groomer, I can tell you the best thing for their coat would be a RAW diet. Think Paleo for dogs. I bath my dog weekly. mainly because he has hair (poodle like) and plays at daycare. He would stink otherwise. I use Earthbath products. Personally, I use the Clear Advantage because of the frequent washing but, they are all great. I then use a little touch of oil on his fur as a conditioner (if needed). Remember that dog's have a different PH than humans so, it's preferable not to use human shampoo although baby shampoo could be used in a pinch. Many dog's never have issues with human shampoos but, I suppose that depends on coat type, frequency and possible skin issues. Castile soap is fine but, it is still soap which can be drying - dilute it well.
Labs should not be bathed as it drys out the skin. I rinse my labs with water often as they swim almost every day and hold lots of sand and dirt. They only have a bath if they roll in something nasty.. like bear poop..then I'll use my (organic, non-chemical) shampoo.
Edited to agree... Taste of the Wild.. thats what I feed also, plus raw meat daily.
I agree with those who say diet is important for your pup. I have had people come over surprised that my dog doesn't stink!! My house does not smell like a dog, either. They are amazed, especially since my dog is 80+ lbs and has a lot of hair (goldendoodle).
I have him groomed every few months, that's usually the only time he gets a bath...or after a trip to the dog park. I do not feed him a Raw/BARF diet, but I feed him a grain-free dog food (Taste of the Wild). Most people I know buy the cheapest dog food they can find for their dogs. Then again, most people I know buy the cheapest people food they can find, too!
Give your new pup quality food and you will eliminate most of the dog smell. You probably will only need water to rinse off your lab. Enjoy your puppy! 8)
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