Got A Stinky Dog? This DIY Dry Dog Shampoo Can Help

Kol’s Note: I think we’ve all dealt with smelly dogs. I totally admit that in the winter, the Felix smells like a foot pretty much all the time. You can’t bath your dogs every week. It would be a total time suck, plus it’s not very good for their skin. Frequent baths can actually dry your dog out and make them itchy. So how do you combat that doggy smell without sudsing them up?

* * *

We love this simple, natural DIY Dry Dog Shampoo

from Maggie Marton at Oh My Dog!

Sometimes my dogs smell. Like, really smell. But even if they stink (think: a long walk on a hot day, a dip in their kiddie pool, etc.) they’re not necessarily dirty, and I hate to over bathe them, especially the two bullys who have sensitive skin. So I’ve whipped up a quick and easy solution to get rid of the smell. Bonus: It’s non-toxic, eco-friendly, and super cheap.

There are two ways to do this: the easy way and the ridiculously easy way.

Let’s start with the easy way. First, gather up your supplies:

  • Baking soda

  • Container

  • Essential oil (optional but nice)

DIY Dry Dog Shampoo

Fill your container with approximately ¼ cup of baking soda. Add a few drops of essential oil. Add another ¼ cup of baking soda and top off with a few more drops of oil. I like to add the oil in layers like this so that it gets dispersed evenly throughout. Stir it up, then put the lid on. And voilà! See? Easy!

Now, for the ridiculously easy way: Open a box of baking soda.

That’s it! If you’re not going to add oils, there’s no need to decant the powder into another container.

DSCF3414Whether you mixed up your own concoction or plan to use it straight-up, the next step is to sprinkle the powder along your dog’s coat.

Thoroughly rub it in. You want it to get through the fur and onto your dog’s skin. Let it sit for a minute or two – or five if your dog is really stinky. Then brush it all the way out of your pup’s coat. To make sure that all the powder is gone, run your hand through your dog’s fur in the direction opposite growth. If you feel anything gritty, keep brushing.

There you have it: The easiest way to de-stink your dog!


Maggie and Emmett webMaggie Marton is a freelance lifestyle writer and dog blogger. If she’s not online, you can find her walking, hiking, and training with her three dogs, Emmett, Lucas, and Cooper.





  1. Words With Wieners says

    This seems like such a DUH thing… I mean ‘duh’ as in why didn’t I think of it before? I mean, people often use baking soda to deodorize their carpets, so why not dog fur? I’ve thought about adding it their shampoo, but never really considered just rubbing it into their coat directly and brushing it out. Does it really take the odors away?

    • says

      So my Lucas is a smelly guy. I’m not sure what it is… something about his body chemistry. Some dudes are just like that, I guess. But after a walk or even just a nap in the sun, he smells. But he’s also TERRIFIED of the bath. So I use this to keep him fresh in between torture sessions, aka baths. It totally works!

    • KolchakPuggle says

      Ditto what Maggie said. We used to buy a dry shampoo that was baking soda based and it worked great. Ever since she told me this recipe, we’ve been using it to de-funk Felix’s beard every couple days and it definitely works!

  2. says

    This is awesome! I can’t get my boy into the bath anymore and have been thinking of options: like summertime bathing in a kiddie pool which is going to be an adventure in itself, but a dry shampoo that is all natural? Awesome sauce! Thanks for sharing!

    • KolchakPuggle says

      Pups definitely still need real baths on a regular basis, since this won’t wash away actual dirt – just absorb any greasiness and stank smells. We do love this though and it’s a great way to stretch the time between baths.

  3. Jen@MyBrownNewfies says

    This is great! Sherman gets really stinky under his chest from all the drool and this would be a quick shampoo I could mix up!

  4. says

    I am fortunate that Chester and Gretel never get really ripe. I use a baby wipe on them as needed between baths. This looks really handy if you had a dog with hair though :)

    • KolchakPuggle says

      I can get by with “wet napping” Kol, but Felix’s paws and beard get stanky. That beard some days…yuck

  5. Isabel Kitson says

    Hi! This really works on my smelly, scared-of-water, German Shephard. But I was wondering if it matters what kind of brush I use on the dog?!?….

    • KolchakPuggle says

      Different brushes will work better, depending on the type of dog you have and their coat type. For example, on Koly I use a short bristled horse hair brush. On Felix, I use a grooming rake.

      I’m a GSD neophyte, so I asked a friend who is a life-long fancier and she says a grooming rake will get the job done (and likely remove a bunch of the undercoat and some of the smelliness with it!) You may want to finish off the top of the coat with a ZoomGroom or a grooming paddle to get the hair to lay flat.

  6. anonymous says

    Better make sure the essential oil is one that can be taken internally since dogs always lick themselves.

    • Rose Cagle says

      You Can get essential oils at Walmart where vitamins and supplements are sold for us humans. You can also buy them from Amazon. I am sure many drug stores carry them. Just make sure it is something they can tolerate.

  7. LP says

    Can’t wait to try this. Our dog is wearing the dreaded “cone” for another 7-10 days but is starting to smell. Trying this dry shampoo on her tonight. Need something to stretch until she’s coneless and cleared for regular baths. Thanks.

  8. jana rade says

    I’m typically more concerned about the source of the stink than the stink itself. Did they roll in something nasty? How much bacteria are there along with the stink? Do they have a skin infection or something else going on?

    My goal is to remove the cause more than it is to remove the stink.

  9. Alicia gsd says

    In the winter my fluffy German shephers love nothing more than rolling all goofy in the snow. We use a dryer sheet to wipe them down before we towel them off. Works great! I can’t wait to try this. My shadow girl has such sensitive skin so bath time is a “only when necessary” thing. Thank for this idea!

  10. Janelle says

    Hi guys.
    Just curious as to what the ‘essential oil’ is and where I’d be able to get some.

    • Kolchak says

      Essential oils are scented oils used in aromatherapy. I get mine at a certified aromatherapy shop. Not all oils are pet safe, so you have to make sure you choose something safe and a certified aromatherapy shop can help!

      • Mary Ann says

        Hi, I wish you would add this info to the ingredient list regarding buying oils that are safe to ingest in case someone doesn’t read the comments. Very important for people to know! Thanks!

  11. Angela Darling says

    I already have this concoction made up, baking soda with lemongrass essential oil, but what do I use it for? My cat’s litter box! I sprinkle a little on top each time I refill her box and when she scratches in their it makes the room smell good. Thanks for the great tip, I will try this on our Yorkie for in between baths.


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