According to dog grooming experts and vets, you should bathe your dog once every 3-5 weeks. The question is how do you manage the stinkiness in between? Some parents use dry dog shampoo. But is dry shampoo safe for dogs?
Dogs can get really stinky. Sometimes its dirt and grime, sometimes its something they rolled in , and sometimes its simply natural.
On one hand, bathing your fur baby is critically important to keep their odors controlled, their skin clean, their fur healthy, and both of you happy.
And on the other, a healthy pup with a short, smooth coat, and no skin issues should not be bathed often.
In this post I answer the question: Is dry shampoo safe for dogs? From how often to use them to potentially dangerous ingredients to what dry shampoos to avoid. This section comes with a bonus info graphic that will make you think twice before you buy the first dry shampoo that you run into: 10 dog shampoo claims every pet parent should question.
The “read further” section all the way at the bottom is for pet parents seeking to deepen their knowledge on dog fur care. I have written extensively about this topic. Alternatively, feel free to stop by my blog. Spoiler alert: it is loaded with useful resources.
Bathing too frequently can lead to dry skin, dull fur, and all sorts of other problems. Nobody wants that!
What happens when your pup is due for a bath, but you need to buy some extra time? You want something to help keep your fur baby clean and cut back on strange dog odors, but what? Where do you turn?
One of the most widely recommended products on the market is dry shampoo. It comes in dozens of different varieties, with wildly different compositions. What are they, though?
Normal shampoo is a kind of soap. The soap breaks down oils and grime, making it easy for water to wash it away. The shampoo might have additional ingredients to moisturize skin and hair/fur to help protect it, or it might require you to use a conditioner or another product after the fact.
Dry shampoo doesnt seem like the same kind of product, right? How can a spray or powder have the same sort of effect on oil?
Dry dog shampoos are made out of alcohol-based or starch-based ingredients. When sprinkled or sprayed onto the coat and brushed in, the shampoo absorbs the oils and grime that has accumulated since the last washing.
Its important to note that dry dog shampoos dont break down oils or dirt; they simply absorb them. Its sort of like spreading cat litter on an oil spill or using baking soda to clean up spilled wine.
The dry powdery ingredient absorbs oil, and dirt comes with it. As a result, dry shampoo, reduces shine and makes fur look and feel cleaner, and since it traps dirt, old oil, and bacteria, it reduces odors as well.
Typically, dry shampoo is applied, let sit for a few minutes to do its work, and then brushed or combed out. It doesnt need to be washed away with water – and actually shouldnt be, otherwise you’d just use regular shampoo.
Is dry shampoo effective? In short, yes! Its not actually shampoo, though, and doesnt work in the same way, so you can’t expect the same results as a bath. It will however help remove some of that oil and dirt and freshen up your pup in between baths.
As you may imagine, not all dry shampoos are created equally. While they can be used effectively and safely, there are a few caveats. Here are a few things you should consider when using dry dog shampoos. We prefer the powder to the foam version of dry dog shampoos.
The number one mistake people make with dry shampoo – and this applies to people using it on themselves and to pet parents using it on their fur babies – is using it too often for too long.
The truth is dry shampoo can only do so much. As I mentioned earlier, it absorbs oil and traps dirt, which can partially be removed when you brush your fur babys fur, but it doesnt break down the remaining oil, fully kill bacteria, or clean the skin.
In other words, your fur baby will still need occasional baths with plain old water and real shampoo. Theres no way around it. Nothing short of a soap can truly cleanse the skin and fur.
Sustained use of dry shampoo without a bath can also cause a number of problems, including:
Again, though, its worth mentioning that dry shampoo isnt inherently dangerous. All of these side effects come from over-use. In human terms, imagine if you never took a shower and just used deodorant every day instead.
You might be able to stave off problems for a few weeks, but eventually, you might start to develop some health and skin problems. The same goes for your fur baby. Dry shampoo shouldnt be used as a replacement for the occasional bath.
How can I deodorize my dog without a bath?
Spray your dog with a homemade spray made with vinegar or a commercial waterless shampoo available at a pet supply store. Commercial options come in a variety of sprays and foams. The vinegar or cleaner solution can be applied to a specific area and then rubbed on and cleaned off with a damp cloth.
How can I keep my dog smelling good?
How can I make my dog smell better without a bath?
One of the best ways to keep your dog clean smelling great without going through the time and hassle of a full is to use a no-rinse, bathless foam shampoo. Sometimes called dry dog shampoo or waterless dog shampoo, it doesn’t require any water or rinsing and it’s easy to use anywhere.
What kind of dry shampoo can I use on my dog?
- Wild One Rinseless Shampoo.
- Rowan THE DRY SHAMPOO.
- Bodhi Dog Waterless Shampoo.
- Burt’s Bees for Dogs Natural Waterless Shampoo Spray for Dogs.
- Vet Recommended Waterless Dog Shampoo No Rinse Dry Shampoo for Dogs.
What dry shampoo do vets recommend?
Is dog dry shampoo the same as human dry shampoo?
How often can I use dry shampoo on my dog?