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DIY Thursday: natural dog shampoo

We all love our furry friends, and they’re even nicer to snuggle up with when they have soft, clean, shiny fur.  Most dogs should be bathed around once a month – more frequently if you have a long-haired breed or your four-legged buddy likes getting dirty. However commercial pet shampoos – especially “natural” brands - can be very expensive.
Making your own dog shampoo is simple and can really help your budget.  
This recipe uses gentle, natural ingredients which will leave your pup with a healthy coat and moisturised skin.  It includes lavender oil for its skin-healing and antiseptic properties and eucalyptus oil to deodorise and deter ticks and fleas. 
Note:  always exercise caution using essential oils around pets, especially cats.  In small amounts in shampoos and for cleaning pet quarters, essential oils are safe for most dogs and an excellent natural alternative to chemicals, but never allow pets to ingest them or apply large quantities to their skin undiluted.  Talk to your vet if you have any concerns about your dog and essential oils.
Bosisto’s Natural Dog Shampoo
You’ll need:
½ cup liquid Castile soap (purchase at online stores such as ebay or health food shops)
¼ cup vinegar (white or apple cider)
1 tbsp of vegetable glycerine (health food stores, or the soap-making section of craft stores)
OR 1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
5 drops or ¼ tsp Bosisto’s Lavender oil
5 drops or ¼ tsp Bosisto’s Eucalyptus oil
A small, lidded bottle or pump dispenser
A funnel
Use the funnel to pour ½ cup liquid castile soap into a small, lidded bottle.  Add ¼ cup of vinegar, one tablespoon of vegetable glycerine (or olive oil) and two tablespoons of water.  Add the essential oils.  Put the lid on the bottle and shake gently to mix all the ingredients together.  Gently shake before each use.
How to use:
Use a generous handful of the shampoo and rub well into your dog’s wet coat, through his fur down to his skin. Take care to avoid the eyes.  After lathering well, rinse to remove all traces of the shampoo and dry/groom as needed.
Quick Tip!
…. Did you know you can bathe your dog in the shower?  This and other great dog-washing and grooming tips can be found in this article at the ASPCA (American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) website.