How to Wash a Dog without Dog Shampoo

10 - 30 Minutes
2 Weeks


You might have an incredibly dirty dog, or you might have an incredibly stinky dog. Either way, he needs to be washed. But what happens if you happen to be away from home or completely out of dog shampoo? Just how do you get your fuzzy friend clean and smelling good without shampoo? 

There are a few different ways you can cleanse your dog without shampoo and even without water, especially for those dogs who have recently had surgery and cannot get wet. There might be many reasons why you need to wash your dog without shampoo but no matter the reason, know that you can still have a fresh-smelling, clean pup with a little bit of effort.

Dog's Perspective

If your dog got into something stinky or filthy, he might already be a little embarrassed or even a bit nervous about his choices. If your dog doesn't like baths he might be anxious about being cleaned with something else as well. No matter the reason for the bath, try to keep your voice calm because he will sense your energy. Also, give him treats for good behavior and to keep him focused.

Caution & Considerations

  • Your dog might be filthy, but if he cannot get wet such as times after surgery, remember you can spot clean him or at least keep him smelling fresh while his surgical wound heals. There will be plenty of time for bathing with water after healing.
  • You can make your own dog washes at home and keep harmful cosmetic chemicals off your dog.
  • Baking soda works great for times when your dog needs to smell fresh but you don’t have time for a shampoo bath.
  • Dry washes can be performed with baking soda and cornstarch or even a dry shampoo from your local pet store. These dry ingredients grab onto dirt and oils in the fur and continue to work as your brush them out of your dog’s fur.
  • Washing your dog in a wet bath using shampoo too often can cause dry skin, so dry baths are something helpful to get your dog clean with a sweet puppy scent.
  • Dry baths or wet wipe cleanings are great for dogs who get dirty but hate bath time.
  • If your dog doesn’t mind a wet bath but you do not have or want to use dog shampoo, water, vinegar, and a small amount of coconut oil can soothe your dog's itchy or dry skin.
  • Adding essentials oils to brushing sessions will freshen up your dog’s scent. Lavender has been known to calm an anxious dog and keep away bugs on top of leaving a pleasant scent behind.


Give your pup a fun and fur-tastic scent without dog shampoo. You can bathe him wet or dry and get him clean and smelling fresh. Many owners dislike harsh chemical ingredients in dog shampoos or would like to save money and make their own solutions from home. Help your best friend stay top dog with a sweet puppy scent and a beautiful coat by keeping him clean.

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