Waterless Dog Shampoo

Although dogs do not have the same reputation for hating water and baths that cats do, many pet owners find that a waterless dog shampoo is a beneficial alternative to a standard shampoo when cleaning their animals. Waterless dog shampoos can be used to maintain hygiene and odor and do not require a full bath or any water treatment whatsoever. While they do not always provide the same level of thoroughness that a standard shampoo does, waterless shampoos are an excellent way of quickly cleaning your pet or keeping him acceptably hygienic in between full baths.

How a Waterless Shampoo Works

Dry shampoos utilize baking soda or corn starch to pick up debris and dirt from your pet's coat and skin. They also remove odors that develop on your pet's body. The result is that dogs that have been treated with dry shampoos have shiny, lustrous coats and are generally cleaner overall.

Although dry shampoos require minimal clean-up, they are still best used outdoors, as the powder can get on the furniture or the carpet if you attempt to bathe your pet inside. Typically, the bathing process involves an initial grooming of your pet to remove any clotted hairs or large debris, followed by treatment with the powdered shampoo itself. Rubbing the shampoo into your dog's fur and skin helps to clean him more thoroughly. After allowing your pet to sit for a few minutes, simply brush the powder off of him, using a towel to help clean up any excess waterless shampoo that might remain.

Benefits to Waterless Shampoos

Waterless shampoos are less messy and easier to use than standard dog shampoos. A waterless shampoo treatment requires only a few minutes, and many dogs enjoy the procedure. Additionally, they are inexpensive and can even be made at home. Many veterinarians and websites provide recipes for easy-to-make waterless shampoos with a baking soda or corn starch base. Finally, waterless shampoos do help to protect your dog from skin infections and other conditions that may develop without proper bathing.

Limitations of Waterless Shampoos

Waterless shampoos should not be used on dogs with open sores, skin irritation or parasites. These conditions require specialized medicated shampoos that are typically only available in standard wet form. Treating your dog with a waterless shampoo when he has lesions or other wounds may cause pain and further irritation.

Regular shampoos are more effective at cleaning your pet than waterless shampoos are. For this reason, most veterinarians recommend not using waterless shampoos exclusively. Rather, you should plan on giving your dog a regular bath at least once per month, with waterless shampoo treatments in the intervening time to help keep him clean between baths.

Some dogs experience allergic reactions to waterless shampoos. If you notice any unusual physical symptoms or reactions after treating your pet with a dry shampoo, discontinue use and take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible.