Adding Coconut Oil to Your Dog’s Shampoo



So you’ve tried quite a number of the fancy schmancy shampoos at this point, which promise to be gentle yet cleansing and leave your pup with commercial worthy shiny fur. And yet, your pup’s dry dull skin and coat are far from what was promised. What if this could be solved something as simple as coconut oil, which is probably already in your kitchen?

Why coconut oil?

Coconut oil is a great choice because it is entirely natural and safe to apply onto your dog’s skin/coat. Coconut oil also has numerous benefits other than just providing hydration and shine to the skin and coat of dogs.

For example, coconut oil naturally protects your dog from pests like fleas and ticks (you can even add a few drops of essential oils to further repel fleas and ticks). Coconut oil does this by stopping fleas and ticks from biting your dog. As soon as fleas or ticks land on your dog, the coconut oil will make it hard for them to move, and eventually suffocate them as well.

Coconut oil is also anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. This means it can help disinfect and treat any infections or bites that may already exist. This is due to to the fatty acids in coconut oil, with lauric acid being the main one. Lauric acid is known to be effective for cleansing and killing the bacteria that cause conditions like dog eczema. Lauric acid also has a particular chemical makeup which helps the coconut oil be more readily absorbed when compared to absorption levels for other oils.

Lastly, coconut oil will help to alleviate some of the itchiness that your dog may be experiencing, due to dry skin or otherwise.

Ways to incorporate coconut oil into bath time?

Method #1: As a Mask

Coconut oil can be applied to dogs as a doggie deep conditioning mask. Here are the steps for a coconut oil mask:

1.  Shampoo your dog to remove any dirt and oil buildup (similar to how we use a clarifying shampoo to remove buildup).

2.  Towel dry your dog. The coconut oil won’t be absorbed as easily if there is too much water.

3.  Take a small amount of coconut oil and rub it between your palms until it’s melted.

4.  Rub the oil all over their skin and fur. 

5.  Wait ~5 minutes for the coconut oil to condition their skin and fur.

6.  Lightly shampoo your dog again to remove the oily residue. Be careful to not over-shampoo as you don’t want to wash all of the coconut oil away. A little bit of coconut oil is good as a “leave-in conditioner”.

7.  Dry your dog again.

8.  Repeat once a week or as needed.

Method #2: Adding to shampoo

For pups who are less patient with bath time and refuse to stay put while the coconut oil is doing its magic, you can add the coconut oil directly into the shampoo to save a step. Here’s what you do:

1.  Squeeze out the doggie shampoo as per usual. Add approximately half a tablespoon (or 1 tablespoon for bigger dogs) of coconut oil to the shampoo and mix it together. You can also put the shampoo and coconut oil into another bottle (like an old water bottle for example), and shake it up to mix more thoroughly. 

2.  Apply the shampoo + coconut oil mix to your dog’s fur and wash as usual.

3.  Towel dry your dog.

4.  Repeat once a week or as needed.


And there you have it! Even after the first application, you should notice more shine and softness in your dog’s fur. 


Between the two, the mask method is definitely more ideal as your dog is getting the full benefits of undiluted coconut oil, and the ~5 minutes will give the coconut oil time to fully saturate and be absorbed into your dog’s skin and fur. However, adding it to your dog’s shampoo will still provide some hydration and shine and is the quicker as well as less “greasy” option, if that’s a concern.