3 DIY Dry Shampoos for Your Dog You Can Make at Home

White powder in a glass jar on a wooden table.

While some breeds have more of that Eau de Dog smell, all dogs can occasionally be stinky. That’s because our pups have sebaceous glands attached to their hair follicles as well as near the paws, chin, back of the neck, rump and their tail area. These tiny glands, located just under the skin, produce a kind of oil called sebum. When functioning normally, they keep the skin moisturized and healthy.

But a little too much of a good thing, and the build up of sebum makes the fur look dull and dirty — and makes your dog a bit smelly. Even a long walk on a hot day or a dip in the lake or a kiddie pool can make dogs smell funky.

For those dog parents, who don’t have time for an emergency bath, dry shampoos may be a good option for you. They are easy to use, require no water (meaning no sad puppy eyes in the tub) and work well to deodorize your dog and remove dirt and debris between baths. Also, if you pup suffers from dry, sensitive skin, it can be great option.

Related: The Best Dog Shampoos You Can Make Right at Home

If you don’t have any dry shampoo on hand, or you’re concerned about allergens or toxins, you can whip up a batch of DIY dry shampoo with ingredients you most likely have on hand in the pantry.

Here are three tried-and-tested recipes for dry shampoo that are easy, safe, and most importantly, effective in de-stinking a smelly pooch.

The Basic

All you need for this dry shampoo is a box of baking soda. Sprinkle it onto your dog’s coat. Rub it thoroughly, getting it into the hair and down to the skin. Let it sit for one to five minutes depending on how bad your dog smells.

Then brush it out completely. To be sure you get it all, run your hand through your dog’s coat in the opposite direction of its natural growth. If it feels gritty, you need to keep brushing. Repeat until the hair is no longer gritty.

Essential Oil Shampoo

You’ll need a jar or container with a lid. Gather the following:

  • 1 cup of cornstarch
  • ½ cup of baking soda
  • 5-10 drops of lavender oil
  • 5-10 drops of tea tree oil

Pour in the cornstarch and baking soda first. Add the essential oils. Close the lid securely, and shake until completely mixed. You can empty into a jar with a shaker top like a salt shaker. Sprinkle onto the dog’s coat, rub in thoroughly, wait a few minutes and brush out completely.

Related: Here Is What to Do If Your Dog Is Sprayed By a Skunk

Gourmet Dry Shampoo

For the best smelling dog on the block, try this mixture. You’ll need:

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mix together thoroughly. Pour into a shaker jar. Sprinkle on the dog’s hair, leave on for a minute or two, and brush out thoroughly.

Related: 10 Money-Saving Tips for Dog Owners

By Jillian Blume

Jillian Blume is a New York City–based writer whose feature articles have appeared in magazines, newspapers, and websites including the New York Observer, Marie Claire, Self, City Realty, the ASPCA,, Best Friends Animal Society, The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, The Pet Gazette, and many others.

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