Best dog shampoo for your Morkie

Best dog shampoo for your Morkie

There are more than 3,600 products on Amazon under “pet shampoo.” They all work pretty well, but are they all made with safe ingredients? And why should you care? In one word:


  • More dogs than ever die of cancer.
  • 1 in 4 dogs will be diagnosed with cancer.
  • Cancer now is the leading cause of death in dogs over 10; 1 in 2 will die from it.

Hereditary factors play a role, but by far, toxins in the environment (including what they eat) are responsible for the vast majority of cases.

Skin is the biggest organ mammals have. A dog’s skin is especially sensitive. So why take chances on products that are absorbed into the pet’s skin, and even licked off.

Here’s what worries me about pet shampoo:

  1. Manufacturing is unregulated. Some pet shampoos use cheap, nasty ingredients, even though they’re known to be harmful, even causing cancer.
  2. Labels lie. The stuff written on the shampoo bottle is often false and misleading; manufacturers can claim just about anything.
  3. Confusion around the basics. Shampoo can be a soap or a detergent. Which is better, and why?
  4. Ethics. Many shampoos are tested ON animals. Wait, what? It’s hard to believe, but true. That’s just wrong.

more dogs die of cancer

How to pick the best dog shampoo for your Morkie

A good and safe shampoo should be free of sulfates, alcohols, harsh chemicals and detergents.

It has these characteristics:


  • is safe and non-toxic
  • non-irritating, natural solution
  • doesn’t say proprietary blend or proprietary fragrance
  • free of sulfates such as SLS, ALS, SLES, etc.
  • has no formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, like butylparaben, methylparaben or propylparaben
  • no MEA, TEA, DEA or phosphates

OR, pick a dog shampoo that’s “Certified Organic”

Just organic, or natural, or all-pure, etc. won’t work.

Those terms don’t have any legal meaning in the pet world. A manufacturer can add a tiny drop of something good, and then call the product Natural or Organic.

Certified Organic goes through testing and certification. The USDA Organic seal on grooming products means the products are free from artificial colors, preservatives and fragrances, and GMO ingredients.

But it's complicated

Of course, it’s not that simple because there’s a disagreement about “soap” and Certified Organic dog shampoo contains soap. 

Plenty of great, natural and safe shampoos that do not have the USDA Organic Seal, because the manufacturer doesn’t want to use soap.

Other companies are so small or new, that they can’t afford to go through the process yet to get the Certified Organic label.

So we’re back to reading the details on the label.

The good guys: here are some brands you can trust

Certified Organic

4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoos
Bodhi Dog Shampoo Made with Organic Oils
BotaniVet Certified Organic Manuka Honey Pet Shampoo
Dr. Mercola Healthy Pets
Fieldwork’s Moosh Natural Dog Shampoo
Fluppets Certified Organic Pet Shampoo
H&P’s Certified Organic Pet Shampoo With Coconut Oil and Aloe Vera
H&P’s Fresh Collection
Lola & Max
Max & Neo
Organic Oscar Oatmeal Shampoo
Paws & Pals Natural Dog-Shampoo and Conditioner
Paws & Pals Natural Dog-Shampoo and Conditioner
Pura Naturals Pet

Products nearly as good as Certified Organic

Eco-Pet Shower Pet Shampoo
Fifi & Fido Natural Pet Shampoo
Odie and Cody Natural Dog Shampoo, Organic Pet Shampoo for Dogs, Cats, Puppies, Kittens, Guinea Pigs & More

picking the best dog shampoo

earthbath offers an excellent All Natural Shampoo line with plenty of choices:

Oatmeal and Aloe Shampoo, Fragrance Free
Oatmeal and Aloe Shampoo
Mango Tango 2-in-1 Conditioning Shampoo

Shed Control Shampoo
Hypo-Allergenic Grooming Foam for Dogs
Deodorizing Shampoo
Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo
Coat Brightening Shampoo
Ultra-Mild Puppy Shampoo
Dirty Dog Shampoo
Eucalyptus & Peppermint Shampoo
Tea Tree & Aloe Vera

red flag warning about dog shampoos

Red flagged products

These are just a few popular dog shampoo brands that contain 4 or more dangerous products.

  • Arm & Hammer shampoos
  • Hartz products
  • Isle of Dogs Everyday Elements
  • Wahl Dog/Puppy Shampoo

Can you use baby shampoo on dogs?

Can you use baby shampoo on dogs?

Can you use baby shampoo on dogs? And, is homemade dog shampoo better? This are two questions I hear quite often, and here are the answers.

No to baby shampoo and Yes to homemade shampoo.

Believe it or not, baby shampoo is too harsh for your Morkie.

That’s because a dog’s skin is MUCH thinner than ours, and second, the pH level of his skin is different from ours.

(Remember grade 9 science? The pH level of the skin refers to how acidic or alkaline it is. On a scale of 1-14, 1 is the most acidic and 14 is the most alkaline. 7 is neutral.)

A dog’s skin has a pH balance of 7.5, compared to our skin, which has a pH balance of 5.5. So you can see our skin is more acidic.

PH Levels

If you buy shampoo, pick “certified organic”

Must say certified organicWhy choose organic? Since cancer is the primary cause of death for dogs over the age of 2, it makes sense to minimize your Morkie’s exposure to harmful or questionable environmental factors.

One thing – it must say Certified Organic.

Just organic on its own, or green, or pure, or dog-friendly, bla bla is all marketing bullsh*t. lt’s gotta say Certified Organic.

Morkie having a bath is quite wet after.

Or make your own dog shampoo - it's easy


Don’t use regular dish soap as the base for dog shampoo

Lots of recipes for homemade dog shampoo call for dish soap as the base – often Dawn and Joy brands by name.

But dish soap is not good for your Morkie. That’s because it’s too harsh. These dish soaps are good quality but have plenty of chemical ingredients. Plus the PH level in most commercial grade dish soaps isn’t balanced to a dog’s skin.

Instead, use an all-natural, clear dish soap, or Castile soap for homemade dog shampoo. Both are clear, clean and unscented. And both are a better match for a dog’s ph level.

Dog Shampoo for Dry Skin offers this recipe for dogs with dry or 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. Pick 100% pure.)

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

Simple Dog Shampoo Recipe

A good basic shampoo.

  • 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. Rinse well.

ebook about grooming your Morkie at home yourselfWish your Morkie had a long, flowing coat?

In this brand new, 80 page ebook, you’ll learn just how easy it can be to groom your Morkie yourself, at home, and keep his coat long and luxurious.


By the way, you can read this ebook on any device – smartphone, tablet, reader, laptop, computer – thanks to the free kindle program.



Dog Shampoo 101

Dog Shampoo 101


from Instagram:

Yesterday we looked at how to bathe your Morkie; now let’s explore the best (and worst) shampoos for your little dog.

First, how often should I bathe my Morkie?

If you’re combing your dog regularly, bathing isn’t necessary more than every two or three months. The ASPCA recommends bathing your dog once every three months. Your pet may require more frequent baths if she spends a lot of time outdoors, but as the ASPCA points out, most of us bathe our dogs too often.

However if your Morkie has a coat that’s more Yorkie-like, she may have the more oily skin and hair of the Yorkshire Terrier, and more dander. In that case, you can get a special dander-reducing shampoo for dogs from your pet store or ask your Vet about using something stronger like human-grade dandruff treatment.  It contains sulphur or salicylic acid. You leave it on for about 5 minutes before rinsing. Usually these treatments are repeated every week or every two weeks until the dander is under control.

Generally, never bathe your dog more often than every 6 weeks.

Too much washing will actually harm your dog’s coat and skin rather than make it healthy – your Morkie’s skin can get very dry and flakey, and his coat can go dull when the natural oils are washed away.

Can you use human shampoo on dogs?Ph-levels

This is a question I hear quite often and the short answer is NO.  Although it’s ok to use it now and then if you’ve run out of dog shampoo, real dog shampoo matches a dog’s natural PH levels.   A dog’s skin has a pH balance of 7.5, versus our skin, which has a pH balance of 5.5.

It may not seem like much of a difference, but our shampoo is just not designed to clean a dog’s more alkaline skin.  If you have to use people shampoo, be sure and dilute it with plenty of water before applying to your Morkie’s coat.

Plus, since people have skin that is 3X thicker than a dog’s skin, people shampoo is much stronger and will be harsh on your dog’s skin.

The only exception is a tiny bit of baby shampoo to use on your Morkie’s face if it’s exceptionally dirty… otherwise just rinse the face area with water.  Don’t use the dog shampoo around their mouth or eyes.

Which TYPE of dog shampoo to pick?

There are at least 7 different kinds of dog shampoo:

  1. Medicated shampoo – for dogs with skin allergies
  2. Flea and tick shampoo – contains insecticides to kill the bugs
  3. Natural shampoo with essential oils – to control ticks and fleas
  4. Oatmeal shampoo – for dogs with especially dry and sensitive skin
  5. Sulphur shampoos – for dandruff, available over-the-counter at pet stores
  6. Dry powder shampoo – for in between big baths
  7. Waterless shampoo – usually a foam product

Match the type to what you need and always opt for the more gentle versions, for sensitive skin.  And wherever possible, go for organic or all-natural, to avoid unnecessary chemicals.

Some good brands

Natural Chemistry Natural Flea and Tick Shampoo with Oatmeal for Dogs, 16.9-Ounce

Natural shampoo with essential oils; chemical Free – No Pyrethrins or Permethrins.  Contains Cinnamon Oil, Cedar Wood Oil, Clove Oil and Vanillin. Also contains Colloidal Oatmeal to moisturize, nourish and revitalize dry skin & coat. Kills and repels fleas & ticks – effective on black flies and mosquitoes too!  Available at for $7.99

oatmeal shampooOatmeal Shampoo

Earthbath All Natural Shampoo, 16-Ounce

Dog Shampoo – All Natural Grooming Product – Oatmeal And Neemdog-shampoo

  • Formulated to make your pet’s skin and coat beautiful and healthy. It takes care of coat from roots to tips promoting overall wellness of skin and coat, removing bacteria and adding strength and shine. Vet recommended
  • Contains NATURAL INGREDIENTS (oatmeal and neem) that soothe, moisturize, and sanitize skin; relieves irritation associated with insect bites. It also nourishes dog’s coat to be thicker, shinier, and healthier looking. Soap, detergent, and alcohol FREE. The product is made of natural ingredients in the USA. It is also bio degradable and comes in a recyclable bottle. Good for the planet!
  • EASY TO FOAM AND RINSE making the washing process easier and faster and more enjoyable for both dogs and their owners.
  • Available at for $14.95

Wahl 4-in-1 Shampoo

TOMORROW: Make your own dog shampoos 



Groom your Morkie at home

Wish your Morkie had a long, flowing coat?

In this brand new, 80 page ebook, you’ll learn just how easy it can be to groom your Morkie yourself, at home, and keep his coat long and luxurious.

Available at Amazon

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Read it on your Kindle, smart phone or pad





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