Homemade dog shampoo for dandruff

Written by jennifer marlowe
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Homemade dog shampoo for dandruff
Doggy dandruff disappears with a few ingredients found in most kitchens. (dog image by Ramona smiers from Fotolia.com)

Hearing a veterinarian call your dog's skin condition, "exfoliative dermatoses," may seem a bit frightening. In truth, exfoliative dermatoses is another name for a variety of skin conditions where skin cells shed to such an extent your pet becomes itchy and covered in flakes. Several potential medical reasons exist for the problem, but common dandruff usually deserves the blame.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Electric blender
  • 1 cup tearless, baby shampoo
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 2 tsp rum extract
  • 12 finely ground cloves
  • 1 box baking soda

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  1. 1

    Rule out any medical reasons for your dog's flakiness. Visit the veterinarian and rule out other causes like parasites (cheyletiellosis, demodicosis or mange), vitamin/mineral deficiencies, skin infections and allergies. Your vet will also have suggestions on dealing with your pet's itchiness.

  2. 2

    Pour one cup of baby shampoo into the blender. Use only gentle shampoos on your dog or watch the dandruff problem worsen. Add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. The vinegar will kill the pore-blocking bacteria and allow natural oils to surface. Add 1/2 cup of cider vinegar for severe dandruff.

  3. 3

    Add the 3/4 cup apple juice, two teaspoons of rum extract and 12 ground cloves to the blender. Set the blender to a low speed and blend the mixture for 30 seconds. Larger dogs may require more shampoo. The amount in this recipe serves a 50 to 60 pound dog. Adapt the measurements to your pet's size.

  4. 4

    Wet your dog's fur completely. Pour the mixture onto your pet's back and begin massaging the shampoo, thoroughly, into the fur. Avoid applying the shampoo near your dog's eyes. Though the shampoo is tearless, the vinegar will sting. Rinse the shampoo and repeat if needed.

  5. 5

    Rub baking soda into your dog's fur once he has completely dried. One handful of baking soda works well for a small dog, while 3 to 4 handfuls serve a medium-sized pooch. Make certain the baking soda reaches the skin beneath the fur. In between shampoos, apply the baking soda on a weekly basis until the dandruff disappears.

Tips and warnings

  • Take your dog to the veterinarian, again, if the dandruff continues for two weeks or more after the shampoo, especially if patches of fur disappear. Parasites, like sarcoptic mange, have similar symptoms to dandruff and sometimes get misdiagnosed. Ask the veterinarian to perform a skin scraping and observe the skin under a microscope.

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