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How to Use Dry Dog Shampoo So It Really Works

How to Use Dry Dog Shampoo So It Really Works

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Dry dog shampoo is all the rage, but does it really work?

How exactly is a powder supposed to clean your dog? Does dry dog shampoo work as well as a bath? Is it safe?

I know. I had all these questions myself before I started using dry shampoo on Kolchak.

Let’s be real. Giving your dog a bath isn’t always the easiest task! Kol hates getting clean. It seems like he works hard to build up that weird dog smell and when I try to wash it off he takes it as a personal offense. He’s not the only one. So many dogs HATE a bath, try to escape and want it to be over as quickly as possible.

Dry shampoo for dogs can be a really great solution for a quick freshen up, but it’s not a replacement for good grooming habits and regular baths.

What is the difference between dry shampoo and a water bath?

Waterless or dry dog shampoo work by absorbing excess oils from your dog’s fur.

Pros: quick, easy and convenient
Cons: Does not actually clean or remove dirt, can dry out skin & fur

Wet baths work by removing the dirt from your dog’s fur and washing it away.

Pros: An actually clean dog, can be better for skin and fur
Cons: Can be messy or difficult for some dogs, wet dogs are a hassle

How to Use Dy Dog Shampoo So It REALLY Works

how to make dry shampoo for dogs

Dry dog shampoo can be a great time saver and an easy way to freshen up your dog's coat between baths. Here's what you need to know to make sure it works every time.

Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Dry Dog Shampoo
  • Dog Grooming Wipes
  • Dog Grooming Spray


  • Dog Shedding Tool
  • Rubber Dog Grooming Brush


  1. Start with a good de-shedding brush out.

    brush out shampoo for dogs

    Have you ever noticed your dog smells better after a good de-shedding? that's because loose dog hair holds odours so well, you guys! By brushing your dog out to remove loose, dead hair, you're making sure the dry shampoo only works on the dog hair your dog needs!

    Go over your dog's whole coat with the de-shedding tool, removing as much loose fur as you can.
  2. Trim any long hair that comes into contact with the ground

    Y'all the ground is gross. I can't imagine the odor-causing bacteria and dirt dogs walk through every single day. *shudders* Leaving long hair on the feet, legs and belly increases the contact points to the grossness and creates opportunities for bacteria and smells to grow. A good trim is a great tool for managing those dog frito feet smell.

  3. Use a quality dry dog shampoo - or make an all-natural version yourself.

    There are so many dry dog shampoo products on the market, but not all are created equal. Like with any products, many contain chemical ingredients that I am just not comfortable with. I try to avoid products with artificial fragrances, coconut based surfactants, Ammonium Lauryl Ether Sulfate and pretty much anything with "ethyl" or "methyl" in its chemical name.

    Since dry dog shampoo's job is to absorb excess oil, I love to use the simple, basic option: baking soda. Our DIY Dry Dog Shampoo recipe is easy to make and my favourite choice for giving my dog waterless baths.
  4. Use an appropriate amount of product.

    baking soda dog bath

    When it comes to waterless dog baths, people seem to think more is more, but using more shampoo doesn't lead to a better result. You could actually be doing more harm than good in over-applying your dry dog shampoo to your pet's fur. Using too much product makes it difficult to brush it all out since the product is designed to trap oil and odor, the leftover product can dry out your dog's skin making them itchy as woof. Not to mention that while the product will still collect the oil and odor, if it's still in their fur, it won't make your dog smell any better! Follow the instructions for your dry dog shampoo closely and use it as directed.

    Be cautious not to use the product in sensitive areas like your dog's face or groin area or in any place you won't be able to brush it ut.
  5. Brush out the dry shampoo out of your dog's fur using a rubber brush.

    how to use brush out dry dog shampoo

    This Kong Zoom Groom is my favourite brush for short-haired dogs, but it also worked great for working dry shampoo through my fluffy dog's hair. The rubber brush is a great and gentle way to brush the dry shampoo away from your dog's skin and through the length of their fur. Brush thoroughly until all signs of powder or dust are out of your dog's hair and the fur is glossy again.
  6. Wipe your dog down with a grooming wipe.

    dry shampoo dog grooming tips

    Inevitably, this process always leaves behind some loose fur and dust! The grooming wipe collects all this rogue hair and contains it. Use a clean wipe and wipe down any area of your dog that didn't get the dry shampoo, such as the face, paws and belly. You can either use store-bought grooming wipes or DIY your own.
  7. Finish with a grooming spray.

    I find I can extend the scent benefits if a dry shampoo if I finish up with a grooming spray. Much like the dry shampoo, there are a lot of options out there filled with chemicals and other junk, but there are some really great natural options as well p- or you can always DIY your own dog grooming spray using our recipe.

How often is too often to give your dog a waterless bath?

Since dry shampoo works by absorbing oil, using it too often will lead to dry skin and since it’s not actually cleaning your dog, you still have a dirty dog in your house which is not ideal.

I use dry shampoo on Kolchak no more often than once a month. I make sure he gets a real soap and water bath (which can seriously help to reduce shedding) or a bath with our Bark Bath at least once every 4 – 6 weeks, so he’s squeaky clean and he smells great.

Do you use dry shampoo on your dog? Which kind do you love? Share your tips for making it work GREAT.

Want more tips on how to keep your dog stanky fur free?
We gotchoo you.

shedding solutions for short hair dogs

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