HELP! Trying to formulate moisturizing Dog Shampoo Bar - Need help from a pro!!

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jnl

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Hello

I am trying to formulate an ethical vegetarian super-moisturizing dog shampoo bar. My dog has SUPER sensitive skin, and needs lots of added moisture. Currently the only shampoo I have ever used that has NOT made her super itchy is a Human Argan Oil Shampoo (Live Clean) that is so loaded with oils that I don't use conditioner on my hair anymore.

My problem: i have a long list of oils I cant use.

I cannot use these oils:
palm, castor, animal fats, soy (for ethical reasons)
avocado, cocoa butter (toxic to dogs - know its should be fine as a soap, but i still want to avoid them for my dog bar)

I am looking for at least an 8% super fat.

I plan to do a hot-process method because I want to add luxury fats and essential oils AFTER the saponification has finished, plus I need the bars sooner than 4-6 weeks.

After saponification I want to add jojoba oil and argan oil.

I have been trying to develop a recipe using soapcalc.net but I cant seem to get the qualities high enough, especially the bubbly and creamy ones, and I would like the conditioning one higher as well.

I have been using these oils to try to make a combination that looks good: coconut (I've been trying 25-30%), olive (20-30%), shea, camelina, jojoba, argan. I have tried adding in babassu oil and sunflower oil and mango butter. I don't have any babassu oil, but if its really needed to make the recipe work I can pick some up (its very expensive here).

I cant find any shampoo bar recipes (human or dog) that don't have palm or tallow or castor oil in them, so I don't have a good starting point.

I would also like to add oats to the recipe, tho that doesn't affect the lye and soap properties calculations. I will add some essential oils as well, tho I still have to do more research one which ones are dog-safe. I know lavender is one I will add. I am also thinking of adding citric acid post-processing to reduce the PH to about 7. These are much less important than the base recipe. I need a bar that is hard, sudsy, and super moisturizing.

When I use soapcalc, do I leave out my post-process fats (argan and jojoba) and decrease the super-fat %? or do I keep them in the recipe and keep the super-fat % high??

Any help from a pro who knows how to tweak recipes would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!

Thanks!
 

true blue

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When tweaking/creating recipes, I've found that it's kind of difficult to get BOTH high bubbly (which usually = hard) and high conditioning.
 

cmzaha

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One thing you cannot do is lower the ph of soap to 7, it just is not possible. Adding in Citric will only up your superfat, since it will neutralize some of the lye. DeeAnna has several postings on the subject. Avocado is a wonderful moisturizing oil, why can you not use it? Just curious. Babassu used with coconut will give you a higher cleansing and mango is actually an astringent butter. I would stick with the shea and adding in some sugar will give you extra bubbles. I can't really help you with the combination of oils since my doggie bar is made with co, tallow, avo, neem, palm, shea and Castor. Guess that does not help :razz:. I do not go over 2% with essentials in my doggie soap. lavender, citronella, peppermint (a tiny amount), rosemary
 
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new12soap

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When I first came to internet soaping forums I read a lot about making soaps for dogs, and I asked our veterinarian about it. He told me very firmly to NEVER use soap on our dogs, commercial or homemade.

Dogs' skin is very very different from humans, it is MUCH thinner and far more sensitive. It is much harder for them to recover the natural pH they should have. Humans can use an alkaline soap and return to normal in about 15 minutes. Not so for dogs. He said PLEASE do not do that to your dogs.

After caring for our families' pets for about 20 years, he moved out of state and sold his practice. We stayed with the practice, and just to see what she would say, I asked our new, younger, from a different part of the country and of different background vet about it and she said NO! For all the same reasons.

Remember that some oils and MANY essential oils are toxic to dogs (and cats, and other animals).

I know that there are people that use them, and have seen no ill effects. But please consider that as "all natural" as you may want to be, it really might not be the best choice. I would never never NEVER do anything that would risk the health of my four-legged babies.

JM2C
 

jnl

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I am using hot process and am adding the citric acid AFTER the soap has fully saponified (right before molding), so it will lower the PH. It only needs to lower a little.

Avocado oil is toxic to dogs. So is Cocoa butter. I would LOVE to use both because they are awesome oils, but this is for a dog (with severe allergies).

Ahh...sugar. I forgot about that, that might help. I will probably use honey because its natural. Bubbles are important for a dog bar. And maybe a little salt to help the hardening process.

I will probably stick to 1% EO because my dog has such sensitive skin. Might actually be a good idea to not put any in....but I like the idea of bug-repellent EO's.

Its such a shame that mango butter is astringent, because it soaks in the best out of all butters and leaves the skin soooo soft. But when I use it in lotions it irritates my skin a little bit.


One thing you cannot do is lower the ph of soap to 7, it just is not possible. Adding in Citric will only up your superfat, since it will neutralize some of the lye. DeeAnna has several postings on the subject. Avocado is a wonderful moisturizing oil, why can you not use it? Just curious. Babassu used with coconut will give you a higher cleansing and mango is actually an astringent butter. I would stick with the shea and adding in some sugar will give you extra bubbles. I can't really help you with the combination of oils since my doggie bar is made with co, tallow, avo, neem, palm, shea and Castor. Guess that does not help :razz:. I do not go over 2% with essentials in my doggie soap. lavender, citronella, peppermint (a tiny amount), rosemary
I have read a number of blog posts from people who have dogs with extreme allergies like mine and their dogs had no problem with home made natural soaps. My dog definitely needs to be soaped up once in a while. She is a lab and gets a really waxy coat and lots of dandruff sometimes. In the summer, her swimming in the ocean and lakes is more than good enough to keep her clean. But in the winter she gets so nasty. Plain water is not good enough to clean her when she gets like that. And she was sprayed by a skunk a few days ago and I had to use dish soap to clean her so she has been shedding like crazy all over and super itchy. Poor thing.

I will research any EO's before using them, but I may not use any at all.


When I first came to internet soaping forums I read a lot about making soaps for dogs, and I asked our veterinarian about it. He told me very firmly to NEVER use soap on our dogs, commercial or homemade.

Dogs' skin is very very different from humans, it is MUCH thinner and far more sensitive. It is much harder for them to recover the natural pH they should have. Humans can use an alkaline soap and return to normal in about 15 minutes. Not so for dogs. He said PLEASE do not do that to your dogs.

After caring for our families' pets for about 20 years, he moved out of state and sold his practice. We stayed with the practice, and just to see what she would say, I asked our new, younger, from a different part of the country and of different background vet about it and she said NO! For all the same reasons.

Remember that some oils and MANY essential oils are toxic to dogs (and cats, and other animals).

I know that there are people that use them, and have seen no ill effects. But please consider that as "all natural" as you may want to be, it really might not be the best choice. I would never never NEVER do anything that would risk the health of my four-legged babies.

JM2C
 

Obsidian

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Why not try a plain olive oil bar with whatever extra oils you want after the cook? Its not a super bubbly soap but its gently and conditioning. Soap doesn't have to bubble to clean, even a thin milky lather cleans just fine.
I wouldn't worry about using avocado oil or coco butter on a dog unless they are actually allergic to them. My small dogs once ate a 1 lb container of body butter made with coco butter and avocado oil, they didn't get sick at all.

I've used different bar soaps on my dogs and I really don't care for the results. Their fur is so dry and dull, I'd rather use baby shampoo with oatmeal. The one that works best is the one with 30% neem oil. I do use a vinegar rinse afterwards to help balance the PH.
 

jnl

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Its hard to bathe a dog, so I am assuming more lather is easier when struggling with an animal. It is when I use liquid shampoo, but I have not used a soap bar with my dog yet.

I don't have 6 months to wait for olive oil soap to harden!! How fast does it complete when doing HP?

I dont know anything about neem oil, but I will look into it.

Do you happen to have the dog soap recipes you used that you DIDNT like (so I can avoid similar formulations)? I am hoping the addition of jojoba and argan oil after the HP and also citric acid to reduce the PH will help.



Why not try a plain olive oil bar with whatever extra oils you want after the cook? Its not a super bubbly soap but its gently and conditioning. Soap doesn't have to bubble to clean, even a thin milky lather cleans just fine.
I wouldn't worry about using avocado oil or coco butter on a dog unless they are actually allergic to them. My small dogs once ate a 1 lb container of body butter made with coco butter and avocado oil, they didn't get sick at all.

I've used different bar soaps on my dogs and I really don't care for the results. Their fur is so dry and dull, I'd rather use baby shampoo with oatmeal. The one that works best is the one with 30% neem oil. I do use a vinegar rinse afterwards to help balance the PH.
 

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If your dog gets sprayed by a skunk again there is a product called 'Odormute' you can find it on Amazon or many pet stores. I swear by it, totally removes the skunk smell as long as you get it on all of the areas that were hit. The product is a powder that you mix with water, so you only use what you need and a small box will last a long time.
 

jnl

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It happened at 3am, and I had nothing special at home!
just baking soda/dishsoap/peroxide
the next day i picked up some Natures Miracle Skunk Odor Remover.
Used that to try to clean up the sunk smell in my house and outside (sprayed right at my front door). I need to bathe my dog again, and will use it, but I wanted to give her a few days because her skin is so irritated right now. She doesnt smell too bad. My bathroom still stinks pretty bad even tho i scrubbed it spotless (i think its maybe the drain and the walls which i wiped but not scrubbed) and also outside smells bad even tho i scrubbed that too. The problem with dogs is they shake, and that sends the skunk tar flying really far and you cant see where it all lands.
I did totally get the skunk out of my pants! my dog had wiped her skunk face on my pants and they were horrible. I washed them 4 or 5 times with 2 long soaks just to be safe.


If your dog gets sprayed by a skunk again there is a product called 'Odormute' you can find it on Amazon or many pet stores. I swear by it, totally removes the skunk smell as long as you get it on all of the areas that were hit. The product is a powder that you mix with water, so you only use what you need and a small box will last a long time.
 

OliveOil2

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Oh I feel for you I had a Lab that got sprayed many times, and usually in the middle of the night. One time she rolled on a beautiful hand pieced quilt, and it still smelled after 4 washes, I sprayed with that odormute and no more skunk smell.
Sorry I don't have any suggestions for a dog bar shampoo, that is something that I don't make. Just last week my sister had to purchase special gentle dog shampoo for her lab because she had an allergic reaction to the regular pet shampoo.
 

jnl

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i put my clothes in the machine and soaked in hot water, a huge amount of soap, plus dish soap, plus a lot of boarax and let that sit until i bought the skunk spray the next day. added 4 times the recommended amount of skunk spray (said to add 1 capfull to a load) and washed it. i pulled the pants out and could not smell skunk on them. i washed them a bunch more times just to be safe (and because i had other cloths and towels to wash that had gotten skunky in the cleanup).

i read the most important thing to get skunk off clothes is to get them soaking within an hour of contamination. im sure the skunk sprays help quite a bit (mine has enzymes that are supposed to break down the skunk oil).

im just lucky it took 8 years before i got so unlucky. my dog has chased skunks many times! i have a friend whose dog has been sprayed MANY times.


i bought sooooo many special dog shampoos and they were all HORRIBLE. Live Clean Argan Oil Shampoo (for humans) is the only thing that doesnt make her super crazy itchy. it only makes her a little itchy.



Oh I feel for you I had a Lab that got sprayed many times, and usually in the middle of the night. One time she rolled on a beautiful hand pieced quilt, and it still smelled after 4 washes, I sprayed with that odormute and no more skunk smell.
Sorry I don't have any suggestions for a dog bar shampoo, that is something that I don't make. Just last week my sister had to purchase special gentle dog shampoo for her lab because she had an allergic reaction to the regular pet shampoo.
 

cmzaha

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Dogs love and eat avocados, so I would really question the toxic to dogs theory. I know many dogs that eat them almost daily including dogs we had that lived long old lives. One, actually she was a coyote and lived to be 20, my Elkhound lived to be 17. They both ate and loved avocados. Little hard to keep them from eating them when you have 3 avocado trees. Both dogs had beautiful coats and skin.
I am not saying a dog like any human cannot be allergic to them. One of the biggest problems with doggies and cats eating them is they tend to get fat
 
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girlishcharm2004

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It doesn't matter when you add the citric acid, it only raises the superfat, not lower the pH. Sorry.

It sounds like your dog is severely allergic to many things. I would skip the mango and shea butter if a latex allergy is a possibility.

I would keep it simple without any essential oils at first.

It doesn't matter if it's hot process or cold process, it still needs to cure properly to rid itself of excess moisture. Sometimes hot process needs to cure even longer because the nature of the beast requires more water.
 

jnl

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Thanks, there goes my entire life!

Im allergic to latex. I had no idea latex proteins were in foods. I just googled it and apparently i have to watch out for ALMOST EVERYTHING. Most fruits, nuts and vegetables. and most oils used for making soap including: shea, mango, avocado, sunflower, soy, walnut, grapes (so i am assuming the seed oil too?), hazelnut, castor, peanut. Why didnt my allergist tell me any of this? All they said was I had to wear a medic alert bracelet and tell my dentist and doctors.

CRAZY.

I guess that explains my tomato (and other) allergies. and why i get random reactions that I dont know what from.

And apparently they add latex to tons of products like maxi pads (no wonder im allergic to them), toothpaste, toothbrushes, erasers, pens, saran wrap, postage stamps, mousepads....etc.

Maybe the shea is why I react to the lotions I (and others) make. I thought it was the preservatives or the e-wax. So now I have to try to figure out which ones bother me. And if a recipe is not right, how can I tell if its from an allergy or just a unbalanced recipe? I dont have anaphylactic reactions yet, but my allergist said my test reaction was very strong and it could turn anaphylactic at any time.

argh.



It doesn't matter when you add the citric acid, it only raises the superfat, not lower the pH. Sorry.

It sounds like your dog is severely allergic to many things. I would skip the mango and shea butter if a latex allergy is a possibility.

I would keep it simple without any essential oils at first.

It doesn't matter if it's hot process or cold process, it still needs to cure properly to rid itself of excess moisture. Sometimes hot process needs to cure even longer because the nature of the beast requires more water.
 

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Maybe the shea is why I react to the lotions I (and others) make. I thought it was the preservatives or the e-wax. So now I have to try to figure out which ones bother me. And if a recipe is not right, how can I tell if its from an allergy or just a unbalanced recipe? I dont have anaphylactic reactions yet, but my allergist said my test reaction was very strong and it could turn anaphylactic at any time.

argh.
You eliminate EVERYTHING on the list. Then you check with the allergy specialist before adding anything back. The problem is that the anaphylactic reaction can happen with anything on that list at any time.

Also, HP takes the same amount of time to cure as CP.
 

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Do you happen to have the dog soap recipes you used that you DIDNT like (so I can avoid similar formulations)? I am hoping the addition of jojoba and argan oil after the HP and also citric acid to reduce the PH will help.
I doubt you'll formulate anything like mine, I use castor, shea and animal fats. Why can't/don't you use castor? Its quite important in a shampoo bar.

With the limits of the fats that can use, I just don't see how you can make a nice bar like you want. I still think your best bet is to try mostly olive oil, yes it needs a long cure but it makes a mild soap.

You really need to get over the idea of lowering the the PH with citric acid. It won't work, not even if added after the cook.
If you did manage to add enough to lower the PH, it wouldn't be soap anymore, it would turn into a gooey mess. Soap naturally has a high PH.

If you are worried about the PH of the dogs skin, you can always use a very mild vinegar rinse to help get balanced back.
 

jnl

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The harvesting of castor oil is extremely toxic to the workers. Which is why it is only grown in countries that have no protections for workers. And I dont like the idea of using oil from such a toxic plant.

http://www.linnaeus.net/problem_with_castor.htm





I doubt you'll formulate anything like mine, I use castor, shea and animal fats. Why can't/don't you use castor? Its quite important in a shampoo bar.

With the limits of the fats that can use, I just don't see how you can make a nice bar like you want. I still think your best bet is to try mostly olive oil, yes it needs a long cure but it makes a mild soap.

You really need to get over the idea of lowering the the PH with citric acid. It won't work, not even if added after the cook.
If you did manage to add enough to lower the PH, it wouldn't be soap anymore, it would turn into a gooey mess. Soap naturally has a high PH.

If you are worried about the PH of the dogs skin, you can always use a very mild vinegar rinse to help get balanced back.
 

IrishLass

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I am using hot process and am adding the citric acid AFTER the soap has fully saponified (right before molding), so it will lower the PH. It only needs to lower a little.
Ditto what the other's have said regarding this. Lye-based soap will never reach a neutral pH of 7. If it did, it wouldn't be soap anymore and it wouldn't be able to clean anything. That's because soap (the kind made via lye), is, by it's very definition, an alkaline salt of a fatty acid, which means it will always be on the alkaline side of the pH chart (at least 8 pH and higher). The normal range of pH for lye-based soap ranges anywhere from 8 to 11.5 or 12 or so (Johnson's Baby soap with oatmeal actually has a pH of 12.35, believe it or not!).

I also wanted to ditto the need for HP soap needing a proper cure the same as CP. Most especially if you want your soap to mature to the point of being the mildest it can be. If one wants something to be ready quicker than 4 to 6 weeks, then making lye-based soap is probably not the best option. A better option would be to make a surfactant-based bar (which will have a neutral PH).

.
Avocado oil is toxic to dogs. So is Cocoa butter. I would LOVE to use both because they are awesome oils, but this is for a dog (with severe allergies).
Actually, from what I understand from all that I have read on the different vet sites, avocado oil is safe for dogs. There's even a dog-food company that makes dog food with avocado oil in it. It's the leaves and bark of the avocado tree, and the pit and skin themselves that need to be avoided with pets. The flesh (where the oil comes from) is fine.

Also, from what I have read on the different vet sites, cocoa butter, as well as white chocolate, are not toxic to dogs either, because the theobromine and caffeine (which dogs are sensitive to) have been removed.


IrishLass :)
 

jnl

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Most dogs can eat large amounts of milk chocolate and be fine, doesnt mean its not dangerous. There is still theobromine in cocoa butter, tho much less than in chocolate. Some dogs have severe reactions to theobromine, so even cocoa butter is a risk for those dogs. Why risk it? Avocado should be fine for most dogs, but its possible some dogs could react badly to it. Im making a soap for a dog with crazy allergies, so its better to keep any iffy ingredients out.

and a major reason to leave cocoa butter out is because the smell is so good you dont want your dog to develop a "taste" for chocolate and be more likely to steal some. my dog already pesters me when i pull out my cocoa butter chapstick. i dont want her licking herself all over to try to get some cocoa butter flavor. lol my cocoa butter is SUPER stinky (in a good way). I can smell it from a few meters away while its in an airtight container.



(truncate...)

Actually, from what I understand from all that I have read on the different vet sites, avocado oil is safe for dogs. There's even a dog-food company that makes dog food with avocado oil in it. It's the leaves and bark of the avocado tree, and the pit and skin themselves that need to be avoided with pets. The flesh (where the oil comes from) is fine.

Also, from what I have read on the different vet sites, cocoa butter, as well as white chocolate, are not toxic to dogs either, because the theobromine and caffeine (which dogs are sensitive to) have been removed.

IrishLass :)
 

IrishLass

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and a major reason to leave cocoa butter out is because the smell is so good you dont want your dog to develop a "taste" for chocolate and be more likely to steal some.
You could always use refined cocoa butter. It has no smell.


IrishLass :)
 
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