Stinky Dog Shampoo

8-6-2010 002I don’t know why, but our little dog always smells really bad. Even right after a bath, she still reeks! It’s not just wet dog smell, it’s like old people smell from the rest home. She is old, so I originally thought she is just getting “old smelling”, like old people smell (kind of rude to talk about it, I know). I just couldn’t stand it anymore. We can smell her before we see her. Not good for an indoor dog. Our whole house smelled like sour dog.

I was going to go on the hunt for some special (a.k.a. expensive) shampoo for super smelly dogs, but decided to research online some homemade recipes for dog shampoo first.

We tried using the following:

  • Human dandruff shampoo.
  • Human cheap shampoo like White Rain.
  • Bar soap.
  • Dog shampoo that cost $11.
After trying all these, she was still smelly! No change! In fact, in some cases she was worse smelling than before, especially with the dandruff shampoo. I decided to research some homemade recipes next. It should have been my first reaction for a Thrifty Gal like me, but I felt desperate to get rid of the smell!
The recipes we tried:
  • Baking soda and water.
  • White vinegar rinse after shampooing.
  • Dial antibacterial soap mixed with white vinegar.

The winner is: Dial antibacterial soap mixed with white vinegar!
The recipe:
  1. Mix equal parts Dial antibacterial soap and white vinegar in a small bottle with a lid.
  2. Shake it together until it is well mixed.
  3. Squirt down your wet dog’s back like you would any dog shampoo.
  4. Massage for several minutes into your dog’s coat. Be very careful not to get the soap into your dog’s eyes, it will burn!
8-6-11 019My dog does alright with shampooing, she doesn’t like it, but she will stand in the tub without jumping out. I was able to get her ears too with the mixture. Don’t risk the head at all if you dog is skittish about being bathed.
For a few pennies we are now able to have a decent smelling dog for about a week. She is still old after all and will have a tendency to smell.
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Celeste B.

Celeste B.

I love saving money and I will show you how too. Over the past 25 years I've mastered the art of making our funds go farther and purchase more. Living the dream!
Celeste B.

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About Celeste B. 71 Articles
I love saving money and I will show you how too. Over the past 25 years I've mastered the art of making our funds go farther and purchase more. Living the dream!

8 Comments on Stinky Dog Shampoo

  1. Well it’s been 4 years now and our dog’s skin is doing just fine with the shampoo we use. And overall she is much healthier and happier than she was when we first picked her up from the pound. In fact she still acts like a young puppy when she gets excited. Obviously this is not the BEST shampoo to use on your dog. But negative side effects have yet to be seen. And of course websites will tell you to use “special” dog shampoo, because they want to sell you overpriced shampoo 😉

  2. I appreciate your view, but beg to differ on this point. Our dog visited the veterinarian recently and I asked him specifically what he thought about our dog's coat and skin. He reported that it looks excellent! Her coat is actually healthier than it used to be. It may be related to other things, but she is definitely not suffering from our course of bathing treatment.

    I will add that a few months ago we added a couple of drops of Melaleuca Essential Oil to the shampoo. The balding patches that she had when we rescued her from the pound over 9 years ago are now almost gone. You can Google Melaleuca or Tea Tree Oil and see the articles on hair regrowth.

  3. Celeste, I have to agree with the first blogger post. Shampoo for humans has a different pH balance than for dogs. Dogs have much, much more sensitive skin than people because it's covered by fur; introducing harsh acids and sulphonating soap may get rid of your dog's odor, but you may find that while it is a quick fix, your dog may develop skin conditions later that leads to a hefy veterinarian bill. Penny wise, pound foolish. Your dog's dehydrated skin will thank you when you invest in a better shampoo. Better formulations also make sure your pooch will smell lovely; just remember to let the lather sit for a minute or two. Looks like your dog's a real trooper!

  4. Yes, we did try a regular dog shampoo and then used a white vinegar and water rinse as I mentioned in the things we tried section of the article. It wasn't quite enough.

    We found that for our old smelly dog, she needed the recipe above. Our other younger dog doesn't. I was thinking it may be age, but they also are different breeds and have different fur types.

  5. While a product like U Smelly Dog may do the trick, this blog focuses on thrifty alternatives to commercial products. Our dog has an oily coat and we have found that the method mentioned in our blog, antibacterial soap and vinegar, actually leaves her with the healthiest and cleanest coat she has ever had. This may not be the case with dogs that already suffer from dry skin.

    As a side note, my son has also used the mixture that we use on our dog, Maggie, on his own hair with excellent results. He has typically oily hair and bad acne. Since using this mixture on his hair, his acne and oily skin and hair have been reduced.

    The addition of vinegar actually acts as a softener and balances the pH for hair. I'm not a scientist, so I cannot offer any more information on why or how this works, just my own testimonial.

  6. The antibacterial soap with white vinegar can have a very detrimental effect on a dog's coat. It has the potential to strip them of a lot of nutrients and essential oils leaving their skin incredibly dry. I myself prefer Mutt Nose Best dog care products. They have one type of shampoo that is made with wild Maine blueberries. Not only will your dog finally not smell like "old people," but she will smell like a batch of fresh blueberries! Their shampoo doesn't strip their coats of oils and nutrients either, they actually add to it and make it healthier! They have other scents and unscented products too if blueberries aren't your thing.

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