Using Waterless Pet Shampoos During The California Drought

If you are living in California you are probably aware of the severity of the ongoing drought.  Rules and regulations are getting stricter in hopes of  convincing California residents to cut back on water usage.  In some parts of the state they have already ran out of water.  Wells have gone dry, water tables have depleted, and some residents have been left relying on bottled water deliveries to live off of.

Many measures are being taken to cut back on water consumption and reserve as much of the remaining water as possible.  So, what can you do?   What about bathing your pets?  Are there any water conservation methods you could use?

Well I am here to inform you…..YES!!!  Waterless pet shampoos exist and they do a decent job at cleaning and deodorizing your pet’s coat.

Most waterless shampoos work in the same way — you apply it to your pet from either a spray bottle or foam dispenser, then massage it well into their coat, and then towel dry your pet.  Pretty simple.  Best part about it is there’s no rinsing required!  No water required!  The shampoos work to lift dirt and stains, remove odor, moisturize skin, and leave a shiny and clean looking coat.

I understand for some this may not be the “cleanest” sounding way to bathe your pet, but if you worked this into your pet’s at-home grooming routine for at least every other bath you could potentially cut down on a modest amount of personal water consumption.  And on a larger scale, with the average pet bath using about 5-20 gallons of water, multiplied by the number of pets that get bathed every day, we’re suddenly looking at a considerable amount of water saved cumulatively by all pet owners.

I have used waterless shampoo on a few cats who suffered from water aversion and on some dogs right after a surgery when bathing with water is not an option.  In my personal opinion, it does a pretty good job freshening the pet up and brightening the coat.  There are several pet shampoo brands that offer a waterless shampoo safe for both dogs and cats.  Waterless shampoos can be found at your local pet store or online retailer with the average price being about $9.00 per bottle.

If you are looking to do your part in helping conserve water during this drought, waterless baths for your pets are a great way to contribute.

While waterless baths are a great way to freshen up and cleanse your pet, you may have to resort to using shampoo and water if you have an extra dirty pet to clean.  Here are some other tips for water conservation when using water to bathe your pet:

  • Use a shut off spray nozzle if using a hose.
  • Wash your pet on the grass to avoid runoff onto pavement.  Your grass will get watered as well.
  • Recycle the water you used to wash your pet in the tub or sink by watering plants with it.
  • Dilute the pet shampoo down with some water before lathering up the pet.  This will lead to easier and faster rinsing.
  • Brush out some or most of your pet’s undercoat, loose hair, and debris before the bath to require less rinsing.
  • Avoid using conditioner by purchasing an all in one shampoo that includes moisturizing and conditioning ingredients to avoid an extra rinse.

Photo credit: lightninglandon / Foter / CC BY-ND


2 thoughts on “Using Waterless Pet Shampoos During The California Drought

    • theitchypooch says:

      I will definitely check your article out. The drought in California is a serious matter. I actually reside in Central California, we are feeling the impact of the drought at large in this region. Saving water is all talk until people actually start taking action. I think we are now at the point that action needs to start happening, so I hope some California residents find this information helpful.


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