Tag Archives: grooming

DIY Dry Shampoo for pups

The first time I  heard of dry shampoo was several years ago when my 10 year old girl Bailey was admitted to the emergency vet. She was lethargic and in obvious discomfort and we didn’t know why.  Thankfully, our vet directed us to the emergency vet where she was admitted in extreme gastric distress and was there for several days.  With each update that I received about her condition, a clean up using dry shampoo was part of her routine.

Recently, it seems like dry shampoo keeps popping up in trendy beauty tip lists and I was reminded that it could be a good thing to have on hand when the girls are in between grooming sessions and need a quick clean up.

When I was at the BlogPaws conference in April,   I spent some time talking to a rep for a brand that uses human grade, organic ingredients in their products. They have a dry shampoo in their line which led me to do a little research on dry shampoos and I decided to make my own. I have 2 recipes that I’ve been using, the first made out of ingredients commonly found in the pantry and the second made with ingredients that are slightly more expensive but extremely gentle and soothing for the skin.

DIY dry shampoo for pups

I have also used the first one as a carpet deodorizer.  Over the years, I’ve sprinkled straight baking soda on my rugs, let it sit for at least 10 minutes (or longer) and vacuum.  I decided to try the blend and I liked the extra fresh fragrance boost after I cleaned it up.

Easy as 1,2,3 Dry Shampoo

An easy, inexpensive DIY dry shampoo to keep your pups fresh smelling in between baths.  

You can also swipe this out of the grooming bag and use it on yourself!

(The most difficult step of this recipe is getting the label off of the spice jar.)

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 5-10 drops essential oil of your choice I chose a skin safe lavender blend
  • 1 empty spice jar

Instructions

  1. Measure equal parts baking soda and corn starch into a mixing bowl.  Add essential oil and stir slowly to avoid a dust cloud.  Increase or decrease quantities based on the size of the jar.

  2. Using a funnel, transfer mix into the spice jar. Be creative with your label.

  3. Sprinkle into fur, let sit a few minutes and brush through. The baking soda neutralizes odors and the corn starch absorbs oils and acts as a de-tangler.

Recipe Notes

*As with most household items, keep out of reach and do not allow your dog to ingest large amounts of this mix.  Ingesting large amounts of baking soda can be toxic to dogs.  Sprinkling small amounts on their skin is safe, but if you notice an allergic reaction, please call your vet.

Soothing dry shampoo for dogs

This recipe includes colloidal oatmeal which is soothing for itchy, dry skin. It is also moisturizing without being oily.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1/3 cup colloidal oatmeal
  • 5-10 drops essential oil of your choice (lavender, rosemary, citrus ect.)
  • 1 empty spice jar

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients into a bowl, stirring slowly.

  2. Using a funnel, transfer into a spice jar. 

  3. Sprinkle into the fur, let sit for a few minutes and then brush through.

Recipe Notes

This is a great alternative to the Easy as 1,2,3 recipe.  For a dog with allergies or sensitive skin, colloidal oatmeal is soothing and moisturizing.

Arrowroot has similar properties to cornstarch. 

You can make your own colloidal oatmeal by buying organic oats at the grocery store (not instant) and then grinding them in a food processor or grinder into a very fine powder.

What’s in your grooming tool kit?

Winn and I went to a grooming seminar last weekend.  It was hosted by the people who have taught us so many things about this breed I love.  They fostered Annie and gave her the first taste of what her life should be.  We met when we went to their home to welcome Annie into our family and we immediately knew that we had made some new friends.  They have had Newfoundlands for as long as I have, but until I met them, I didn’t know about local breed clubs, water and draught work, and how to find an ethical breeder.

I went to learn more about how to care for Maisie and Winn’s coats and how to keep them looking good.  My biggest takeaway is that every dog is different.  Their coats are different, their shape is different, their needs are different and what works for one, might not work for another.  This was a huge relief because of my four female Newfs that I’ve had, each one is unique.  Bailey and Annie were both black and their hair was more coarse.  Bailey had a very think undercoat and Annie did not.  Maisie and Winn’s brown fur is less coarse, but Maisie’s is curlier, whispier and not nearly as thick as Winn’s.  My big challenge with Winn is that it takes 2 to 3 times longer to get her dry as compared to Maisie and Annie. She is also a wiggle worm and very restless and would rather be doing anything else than getting groomed.B37F77CF-8F8E-40FC-8D54-B2F16F157617Everyone there had their own grooming kit and their favorite items.  The fun part for me was checking them all out, talking about all of the different choices and trying out some new tools.IMG_2146IMG_2210  This is the amazing set up our friends have put together:IMG_2142IMG_2145I keep my tools in a tote bag, but I may need to graduate to something bigger pretty soon!IMG_6119My favorite tool has always been a grooming rake.  I bought a cheap one 15 years ago and it worked beautifully on Bailey.  I would brush her at night while watching tv, and she would snore through the process.  Eventually, a couple of the pins bent and started to snag and I have bought multiple rakes since then trying to find one that worked as well as that one.  Even though I no longer use that one, I still have it, comparing it to others while my search continues.IMG_6271

The session was led by an experienced Newfoundland groomer.  She enthusiastically shared her wisdom and tips on washing and drying, brushing out and trimming both for a pet Newfoundland and the polished look of a show Newfoundland.  We talked at length about shampoos, conditioners, sprays, brushes, combs, rakes, and scissors, scissors, scissors.  She demonstrated trimming on one of our friend’s dogs. She would show us how to do an area and then walk around the room and help each of us individually before moving on to demonstrate another area.  There was a good mix of dogs there of different ages with different grooming needs and I learned so much, not only trimming Winn, but observing other owners working on their dogs as well.IMG_215829064461_1399729936840073_6507868451321644101_oIMG_2179I’m comfortable giving ear and paw trims to keep a neat appearance, but what I really needed help with was what to do with her lion’s mane and her leg feathers.  Winn’s adult coat is continuing to come in and I haven’t done anything other than bathing and brushing her regularly. The biggest change occurred with her neck trim.  Suddenly, she looked smaller and in better proportion without all of her crazy fluff around her head!

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All clean and brushed out before we left home.
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Her neck is more defined and her linebacker shoulders have been reduced. Now she can show off her beautiful face.

Overall, I didn’t take too much off of her and was able to give her a cleaner look.  Winn has limited patience so we took lots of breaks but she let me know when she had enough!IMG_6199I could certainly keep going with the blending shears, but she looks pretty and now I’m more confident about how to tackle those bigger areas.

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Before
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After: Her neck, chest and belly are still fluffy but less scraggly.  I love her tail plume and only shaped the tip a tiny bit.

When the session was over, several of us sat around the dinner table, drinking, eating and web surfing for scissors, rakes and products with credits cards ready to go! I ordered a new rake (I’ve got high hopes that this one might be THE one), a leave in conditioner which will hopefully add more moisture to Maisie’s coat, a detangling spray and another pair of shears.

I left feeling accomplished and with so much more knowledge.  I now know I need to clean my brushes more frequently and oil my scissors after each use. I can dry blow them outside to keep them clean in between baths and control the shedding.  Spayed girls have a different coat texture from non-spayed girls. Dogs, just like humans, come in all shapes and sizes and each have different grooming issues.  The rake that works well for Maisie doesn’t work well on Winn, and that’s OK!IMG_2324