It isn't necessary to make a trip to the store for your dog's coat conditioner. You probably have the ingredients right at home for a natural, easy-to-make solution that will keep your pup's coat manageable, smelling good and also repel insects.
The Best Base
Coconut oil is good for your dog both inside and out, even those with sensitive skin or allergies. When added to her food, coconut oil provides valuable omegas that improve your dog's immune system, digestion, coat and energy level. It's also an excellent base for coat conditioner and, when mixed with a few other ingredients from your pantry, will leave your dog's coat glossy and smooth.
Add 2 tablespoons coconut oil to 1/4 cup of finely ground oatmeal, 1 tablespoon honey and 1/4 cup of warm water. Combine these ingredients in a jar and shake well. This recipe can be used as is, or you can add a few drops of essential oils -- tea tree or lemon will help to repel fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other insects. Apply the mixture to your dog's coat after shampooing and let it sit for a minute or two; then rinse well.
A lighter conditioning coat rinse can be made by combining 1 teaspoon fresh or dried rosemary to 2 cups water. Rosemary has conditioning properties and also repels fleas. Boil the water; add the rosemary, and let the mixture cool. Strain the rosemary leaves from the liquid and apply to your dog's freshly shampooed coat. Rub it in well. This conditioner does not need to be rinsed and can be left in the coat to dry.
A leave-in spray can be made using 1 cup of the rosemary conditioning rinse, 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel, and 3 drops glycerin. Combine the ingredients, add to a spray bottle and lightly spritz your dog whenever you groom her. Discard any leftover rinse or conditioner to avoid bacterial growth.
Avoid getting any conditioner in your dog's eyes, ears or nose. Apply conditioners and rinses starting behind the ears, from the neck to the tail, and down the legs. Discard any homemade conditioner after use. Since preservatives are not used in these recipes, bacteria can form over time. Never use human products on your dog's coat. A dog's body pH is different from a human's and conditioners made for people can dry your dog's coat or irritate her skin.