on Mar 09, 2012:
I like using Trader Joe's/Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil 'Body Wash", with some Baking Soda to raise the pH up to around 7.5-8.
TJ's also has a TTO shampoo, however oddly enough the Body Wash has far more essential oils listed as the primary ingredients than the shampoo, so I prefer it.
My guy seems to like it, it seemed to help knockdown the fleas he was picking up for a while as a young puppy before we got him on Sentinel, and its far cheaper than the $$ Earthbath TTO bottle on the pet store shelf.
Also, do a search on soft soap + vinegar, for those occasional times when your dog is just reeking. 50/50 mix, let sit on dog for 5-10 minutes, and then rinse. Some people rinse with water/vinegar. Use the cheap white vinegar you get for $3-4/gallon. Your dog will smell like vinegar for a while, however as he dries it fades away. I usually don't smell anything 7-8 hours later when he is completely dry.But it totally removes any stink on the dog (not positive about skunk), both because of the alcohol in the soft soap, and the slightly acidic nature of the vinegar.
Nukes the fleas as well.
And, I was using this on a weekly basis for our pup when we had a localized flea problem that wouldn't go away, and even after 3 weekly baths with this stuff, his fur coat looked simply great, everyone said it seemed overly soft, and all around no one believed I was washing him with the stuff. He did seem to itch a bit more, but it was hard to determine if it was the shampoo or simply growing pains. Just anectdotal that using a human or other higher acidic shampoo will not denude your dog or cause him to scratch himself crazy. I understand women use vinegar as a hair rinse without problem.