Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dog Shampoo Bars Update

The dog shampoo bars are finally able to get animal tested :)  Fortunately, the two dogs were very dirty and stinky; perfect test subjects!  I only wash them about once a month, and with all the melting snow outside, they're definitely in need of a bath.

They hate baths - I'm sure they find them extremely degrading.  This is how their baths normally go:  I convince one unsuspecting dog to come in the bathroom with me.  I stick it in the bathtub (and they both start to freak out).  I get the one in the tub wet, get it all sudsy with my liquid dog shampoo, rinse it off, and wrap it in a towel to dry off a little.  Then I *try* to dry the first one with my hair dryer.  The wet one will run around the bathroom, rubbing his / her head, back, sides, and everything else on the floor (or me) as I try to get them to sit still while I attempt to get them as dry as possible.  Once released from the bathroom, they both run around the house like nutburgers, rubbing their entire bodies all over the carpet, furniture, and anything else they can find.  Then, it's time to repeat the process with the other one, who is so much harder to corral into the bathroom, since he / she knows what's coming...

So, with that bit of background, here's how today's dog bathing went.

Hobbes (on the top) was the unsuspecting first dog.  The soap bar I made is right next to their usual shampoo from a big box pet store in the picture on the top left.  This part went as expected with both Hannah and Hobbes.

Then, it was time for the washing.
Man, wet dogs are nearly impossible photo models!  They also look so tiny when wet, like oversized rats.
It's tough to see from this picture, but the soap wasn't bubbly at all. It was definitely a creamy lather.  I rubbed the bar on their wet backs and chests, got a little more water on my hands, and spread the soapy lather on their legs, feet, and necks.  I didn't wash their faces, as I am sure the soap would sting their eyes...

You can see that they do have the soap lather all over, and they didn't seem to mind the smell of the soap (neem oil, tea tree, eucalyptus, and lavender).  I rinsed them off, towel-dried them, and here's the surprising part:  Neither one ran round like crazy headless chickens when I released them from the towel!  They sat very nicely while I hair-dried them.  Hannah was her normal crazy self after I let her out of the bathroom, but she didn't act nuts as long or as intensely as in the past.  I'm not sure why this is - maybe the soap didn't irritate their skin as much as the liquid version?  Not sure.  I will test again next month to see if I get the same results.  This alone is enough reason for me to continue to use this soap :)

Finally, they were dry and ready to be bribed with treats for "final pictures":

It's hard to tell here, but their hair is so nice and shiny (and soft!!)  They both have different kinds of hair - Hobbes has a lot of thick, fluffy hair, and Hannah has less hair and it's courser and more wiry. They both feel amazing right now, though, and they haven't been rubbing themselves on the carpet or itching at all.  Since I washed their heads and faces with a wet washcloth (and not soap), I can definitely tell a difference between their clean hair and the unwashed hair on their heads.

While I wish this soap was bubblier, it seems to be a winner for the two puppies!  If anyone else has tried the recipe, I'd love to hear your feedback on it.

Hobbes wanted to show off what a good helper he is and also his football sweater, which we'll (hopefully) be able to put away soon!  Hello, Spring!
Have a great weekend everyone!



  1. Okay, I'm definitely printing off your recipe and trying it if I can get my hands on some of those ingredients. Your dogs' bathtime sounds exactly like our dog's bath experience too, and that's so interesting that they didn't get all crazy after using your shampoo bar! Hobbes and Hannah make such adorable models, thanks for sharing your update! :D

  2. Good luck with this recipe, Cee - I'd love to hear your thoughts on it! Besides the lather not being have that nice "freshly-washed" smell that they get from their commercial soap. If I stick my nose in their hair, I can smell a faint scent of the soap, but nothing overwhelming. I wonder if their calm reactions come from a less distinct scent? I need to investigate more, and also wash them again next month to see if they have the same reaction.

  3. Cute doggies! That's interesting that they sat so nicely after their bath (when you tested your soap). I've thought about making a shampoo bar for my dog, but that's as far as I've gotten, lol. Need to research more, I guess...just want to make sure that what I make is safe. My dog does the same thing after she gets a bath..rubs and scoots her body on the carpet, it's hilarious! :D

  4. Thanks, Kalla! I only have one data point so far on this dog soap, but it seems to be acceptable to my two dogs. I cannot wait to try again in a month, and maybe also get some of my friends with dogs to test this out to see whether they get similar results.

    It cracks me up each time my dogs run around, rubbing themselves all over everything (well, until they try to do it on freshly-folded clothes or something!)

  5. They are so sweet <3 My dog also rubs herself on the carpet after I have washed her and she hates to be washed. But she stays in the shower and does not run away. It it funny that she does not like the shower but could play and swim for hours in the sea.
    But back to the soap. I don´t think creamy lather is a problem. I told you earlier that I wash my dog with castile soap and the creamy lather washes her fur nicely. The only thing is that it has no scent. I could try your recipe and see what I think about it (and the dogs reaction too).

  6. Tea tree oil is poisonous to dogs.


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