Who doesn’t love that wet dog smell? Other than a dog? While dogs don’t necessarily need to be bathed every week, some owners are tempted to rid their pet of their natural scent for something a bit more pleasant. Before reaching for that commercial shampoo, however, how many have read the ingredients listed on the back?
Top commercial brands boast natural ingredients like baking soda or oatmeal for itchy skin, chamomile for calmness, or jasmine for freshness. Turning the bottle around and reading the back of the ingredient list an owner would need a dictionary or even a book of chemical breakdowns to explain what Amphoteric Surfactants and Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride does for a dog’s fur coat, not to mention her skin.
It is vital for healthy skin to not only create but maintain a balanced layer of acidity. The top layer of skin protects the rest of the layers from bacteria and viruses. Normally, soaps and shampoos wash away the important acidic layer. The top layer should balance itself in about twelve hours, but if it doesn’t the skin will become dry, itchy and flaky.
If a dog’s layer of acidity is out of balance, bacteria will run amok across the skin causing odor, itchiness and flakes. Washing the dog again and again may exacerbate the issue instead of healing it.
There are natural ways to balance a dog’s PH level without dousing her in chemicals and heavy scents that may damage her olfactory system. Certain breeds are naturally more acidic than other breeds. Baking Soda is alkaline based and good in a pinch for odor control. Sprinkle into the dogs coat, give her a good rub down and brush her out. Odors should be greatly diminished and baking soda is gentle on the dog’s skin. A paste of ground oatmeal, baking soda and water will help with itchy, dry skin.
Some homemade recipes suggest using commercial soap as a base. This can be tricky, depending on what is in the base soap. The dog may still have skin issues.
To go completely pure, it’s best to use whole and natural products. There is no second guessing Ph level when the ingredients are right there.
Some other ingredients to try are all natural aloe gel for flaky skin and apple cider vinegar for a soft, shiny coat. Vinegar is also an excellent flea repellant.
For chronic skin ailments try a red tea rinse. Red (roobios) tea contains thirty-seven antioxidants. Antioxidants help maintain health and wellness whether it is consumed or poured on.
Make a pot of red tea, let it steep for fifteen minutes, cool to room temperature and gently pour over the dog’s coat. Rub the tea down into the skin and let it sit, absorbing the bacteria. Rinsing is not necessary. Since it is a red tea however, the owner may want to add some lemon juice before dousing a white dog. Unless a reddish tint is desired.
Some recipes call for essential oils. A dogs’ nose is incredibly sensitive and may have a reaction to the new smell. Some essential oils are toxic if consumed. Use essential oils with caution
There is hope for a perpetually stinky dog and the owner who wants to live naturally. Homemade shampoos are quick, easy and less expensive than commercial brands. Try it today, breathe easy tomorrow.