#3 in a series of 4 about Bathing Your Morkie

Morkie in kitchen sinkYesterday we looked at all the different types of dog shampoos – from medicated, to flea killing and all-natural oatmeal shampoo.  Today I’ll pass along some recipes to make these shampoos yourself at home.

There are lots of recipes for homemade dog shampoo online but I’ve sifted through them to find ones I believe are sensitive enough for a small dog like a Morkie.

Regular dish detergent and vinegar might be ok for a Golden Retriever but not so much for the Maltese-Yorkie mix.

*Controversy about most dish soaps

7th-generation-soapMany groomers – experts in caring for dogs’ coats and skin – think a dish detergent like Dawn – which shows up a lot in DIY shampoo recipes –  is too harsh and has too many additives.  Plus the Ph level in most commercial grade dish soaps isn’t balanced to a dog’s skin.

An alternative is to find an all-natural, clear dish soap, like Seventh Generation Dish Liquid.  Available at most natural food stores, or in 6 packs from Amazon.com.




Castile SoapAnother substitute is 100% pure Castile soap. Named after the region in Spain, Castile soap can be purchased in liquid format or the cheaper bar soap.

Castile soap is available at most health food stores and from many mainstream drugstores. Just watch for unscented.

The bar form is quite a bit cheaper than the liquid and can be easily shredded on a cheese grater, and soaked in water to make a liquid version.


Rinse and repeat?

Don’t worry about the old rinse & repeat directions – that’s just the best marketing phrase ever, designed to increase consumption!


Homemade Flea Shampoo


Fleas can make life really miserable for your Morkie

This one is made with natural ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of Castile soap or all-natural, clear dish soap

Put the shampoo in a spray bottle or carefully cleaned out ketchup squeeze bottle and apply it to your wet Morkie, giving special attention to under the tail, the ‘armpits,’ along the spine and all over the chest. Gently massage the shampoo in and let it sit for 5 minutes.  During that time, use a comb or brush to clear out the dead fleas. Rinse well with warm water and dry your Morkie.

Homemade Dry Shampoo


HINT: a flour shaker from the dollar store works well for sprinkling dry shampoo.

Great for the occasional clean up and in-between regular bathing.

Mix together:

  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
  • 1/4 cup of corn starch
  • optional: 1 or 2 drops of an essential oil –- lemon and lavender work well

Mix well and then sprinkle this on your dog’s dry coat — avoiding his head and face — and massage it in… don’t use too much of the dry shampoo since it can be hard to get the residue out.

Dog Shampoo for Dry Skin

Dogster.com has this recipe for dogs with dry or really sensitive skin:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of Castile soap or all-natural, clear dish soap
  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of glycerine
  • 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel

(You can get glycerine at most drugstores, along with aloe vera gel – watch for 100% pure)

Apply to your wet Morkie and massage in; rinse well.

Simple Dog Shampoo Recipe 

Using an all-natural dish soap, or Castile soap, try this one:

  • 1-2 tablespoons of solid, unscented Castile soap, shredded with a cheese grater (Or use 1-2 tablespoons of liquid, unscented Castile soap or an all-natural dish soap)
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar

Mix soap and water with a spoon until the soap shreds are dissolved. Add white or apple cider vinegar. Shake well before each use.

Soothing Dog Shampoo

Rosemary stem

Rosemary stem

Here’s a great, very natural recipe from firsthomelovelife.com for a very soothing shampoo; I’ve tried it on my dogs and can vouch for it – works very well.

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 fresh rosemary stem (rosemary moisturizes, to help control dander)

Boil together for about 5 minutes then remove from heat, and let water cool to just above room temperature.

Remove the rosemary stem and add in:

  • 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of pure liquid Castile soap or all-natural, clear dish soap
  • *1/2 tablespoon of organic coconut oil
  • *1-2 drops of Lavender Essential Oil

*optional ingredients.  Experiment with these; the coconut oil may make your Morkie a little ‘greasy’ at first but it’s quickly absorbed into the hair and skin, leaving it soft and shining

Put the mixture in a bottle with a tight lid; close and shake very well.

Tomorrow: finishing touches to the dog bath