Shampoo Bars for Pets

It’s not just us people that can switch from regular shampoo to solid shampoo bars. If you are looking for a natural dog soap, then you should consider shampoo bars for pets.

We had a big hairy wriggly golden retriever, and he needed shampooing regularly. He had long hair and it didn’t take long (or much rolling in gross stuff) for him to start smelling. Mmmmm stinky dog smell – yuck!

I’d buy a bottle of shampoo from the vet and it’d be gone in just a few washes.  I needed to use a lot each time (he was huge), and inevitably would waste a lot with all his wriggling around.  I’d squirt some in my hand while holding him with the other.  It would slop out on to the ground, and only half would make it on to the waiting stinky (and very excited) dog!

I wish I’d known that there were shampoo bars for pets! 

Why use shampoo bars for pets?

Washing your dog with a pet soap bar is a good idea because:

  • Shampoo bars last longer.  One solid dog shampoo bar is equivalent to about 3 bottles of regular pet shampoo.
  • Because shampoo bars last longer, you will save money.
  • Most pet shampoo bars are made of natural ingredients and are mild (especially if you make it yourself – scroll down for recipe)
  • Less plastic waste – most bars come with biodegradeable or recyclable packaging.
  • Pet shampoo bars are easy to use. Instead of trying to wrangle a wriggly, excited dog in one hand and a handful of liquid in the other, you just rub the bar straight onto your doggo.  They love it, like a doggy massage.
  • You can choose one to suit your dogs needs.
  • If you make your own shampoo bar (it’s easy) you can choose the ingredients and choose what it smells like.

So… a dog shampoo bar is a great all natural pet soap option!

If you want to try one out, here are some options that have great reviews on Amazon.  If you want to make one yourself, then scroll down for an easy recipe. 

Pet shampoo bar recommendations

No matter what you are after – the best puppy shampoo – the best smelling dog shampoo – the best dog shampoo for stinky dogs – you’ll find an eco-friendly dog soap bar for your pooch.

Check out these dog soaps on Amazon – Ethique (my favourite) also do a conditioner – and it smells amazing!

Or if you want to make your own dog soap…

Recipe for homemade dog shampoo bar




Olive oil, 275g or 270ml (a bit over a cup).  Any is fine, extra virgin probably best.

Coconut oil, 150g or 3/4 cup.  Melt into a liquid state.

50g Neem oil.  Great for skin - has antioxident properties and helps itchy scalps.

Castor oil, 25g or 25 ml.  Fights inflammation and helps keep hair follicles healthy.


Water, 190g or a bit over ¾ cup.  Just use tap water!

Lye, 70g.  This is what does the actual cleaning.  It's also known as sodium hydroxide, and is very caustic (wear gloves, be careful).  Don't worry, it's needed for the process but the end product (your dog shampoo bar) is safe.

Essential oils.  You choose, but make sure they are safe for dogs, as many aren’t.  There is loads of information online about this, or you could ask your vet.  Lavender is a good choice.  Only use a few drops - you don't want it to be scent overload for your dog.


  1. Get your work space ready and put on safety gear (goggles/glasses, gloves).  This is important, as this recipe uses lye, which can burn your skin.  Don’t worry, lye is just needed for the process, and the end product is perfectly safe for you and your dogs skin.
  2. Measure your water into a bowl, and add the lye slowly.  Do this with the windows open, fan on, or outside if possible.  Keep lye out of reach of children.
  3. As you mix the lye in, it will get cloudy and warm, then as it cools down it will return to a clear state.
  4. Mix your oils into a separate bowl (if any are solid, melt gently to a liquid state so you can mix them).
  5. Mix in your lye solution and stir.
  6. Keep mixing, then blend with a stick blender until it gets cloudy and thick.  It’ll be obvious when it’s done.
  7. You can add your essential oils and blend them in (remember, only oils that are safe for pets).
  8. Pour it into some soap molds.  You can use a big one and cut the bars up later. Here is an affordable option from Amazon, but you can use almost anything.
  9. Leave it for a couple of days to cure, then take them out of the mold.
  10. The longer you leave it to cure, the harder it gets, and the longer it lasts.

If you want to know more about lye, and why you need to be careful handling it, check out our guide here.

A few notes about using shampoo bars for pets

  • If your dog has a skin condition, check with your vet first.  Some are very sensitive.
  • You shouldn’t wash your doggo too often.
  • Essential oils – it’s really important that you only use essential oils that are ok for pets, and only a little bit.

Lastly… a happy dog to brighten your day!



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