It might seem like a good idea but you should never, ever use human shampoo on dogs. It’s actually very harmful to their skin and can cause many complications. Today, I will share some safer products to use on your pups instead.
Dogs have a different skin type than humans do. They tend to be more sensitive and need different ingredients in their shampoo. There are lots of reasons to use products that are made specifically for dogs (like our MuttScrub products), and this guide will tell you everything you need to know!
Why You Shouldn’t Use Human Shampoo On Dogs
Owning a dog can get pricey. Trust me, I know all about it! As you go through all the dog products you might’ve picked up at your local pet store, you might wonder, “Is this worth it? Can’t I just use my shampoo on my dog?”
It sure would save you a little bit of money, right? Yes, you’ll save money, but it’s honestly not worth it. Human shampoo is really not good for dogs and I’m about to tell you why.
Is it safe to use human shampoo on dogs?
This question, “is it safe?” is a loaded one, for sure. It might not be harmful in the sense of severe injury or death, but human shampoo is actually bad for their skin and fur.
Before I go any further, I want to reassure you that if you’ve used human shampoo on dogs in the past – don’t panic. If you’ve done it, chalk it up to a lesson learned…and don’t do it again!
Creating shampoo for dogs is entirely different than creating for humans. As you’ll see in the following points, it can actually harm your dog in the long run if you continuously use the wrong shampoo on their skin and fur.
Here are the biggest differences between humans and dogs shampoo and why they need their own.
Dogs Have Different PH Balances In Their Skin
This is the most poignant and important reason of all to use dog shampoo.
Let’s talk about science for a minute.
Both humans and dogs have what’s called “acid mantel” that covers the skin. It’s a protective layer that is lightly acidic and guards the topmost layer of skin from bacteria and viruses. When both humans and dogs bathe, we wash away that acidic layer along with dirt and oils. Human soaps and shampoos also have ingredients in them that replace that acidic layer until it can be replaced 12 hours later.
The amount of solvents and moisturizers in the soaps/shampoos is different for humans than it is for dogs.
You see, humans have an acid mantel Ph level of between 5.2-6.2. The closer you get to 10, the more acidic it is. Dogs, however, have a Ph level of 5.5-7.5, with most of them leaning more towards the lower end of the scale.
That means that human shampoos are too acidic for dogs. It washes away too much of that protective barrier and that leaves the dog’s skin open to more bacteria growth, which shows up in itchy skin and even bad smells.
And sadly, when most dog owners use human shampoo and see them itching or smell the bacteria, they give their pup even more baths with human shampoo, making the problem worse.
Basically, dog shampoo is especially made for a dog’s skin to maintain their PH levels and minimize skin irritation.
Human Shampoo Has Too Many Perfumes
Since humans have different skin, we can handle different levels of fragrances too but your puppy’s skin might react to all those perfumes in a negative way. Heck, sometimes those artificial fragrances irritate our own skin so what can we expect with our pets?
This is why most places will tell you that if you run out of dog shampoo, you should try to use baby shampoo as a last resort. It is more gentle and it has fewer harmful ingredients like fragrances and dyes.
A Dog’s Skin is More Sensitive
Another fun fact: dogs have fewer layers of skin than humans do. This means that their skin can easily be more damaged than ours could.
According to the AKC, humans have 10-15 layers of skin cells. Canines, however, only have 3-5 layers. So when you use a human shampoo that is too acidic, your dog will react to it with itching or getting a rash.
If you notice your dog itching and scratching at dry skin, treat the itchy spots as soon as possible. They could scratch too much, causing them to break the skin and allow bacteria inside—a perfect recipe for a skin infection. Our Pawsitively Soothing Itch Relief Kit will treat the source and give your dog that needed relief!
Dogs Deal With Fleas
Finally, dogs deal with bugs and things that humans don’t. They need ingredients in their shampoo that will deal with pests.
If you notice your dog is dealing with fleas, give them a flea bath first. Then, I recommend you follow up with some anti-itch shampoo that will calm their skin down and give them the much-needed relief.
Best Dog Shampoo
There you have it! Now you know why you should only use dog shampoo on your sweet furry friends. Stick to using products that are made for a dog’s body and skin. They deserve the best!
So what is the best dog shampoo for your pet? That depends on your needs. You definitely want to look for a shampoo that is:
- Made with natural fragrances like essential oils rather than harsh artificial perfumes
- Has a dog-friendly Ph balance
- Be free from artificial colors
That’s about it for the basic requirements of the best dog shampoo. Let’s look at our top picks!
Best Anti-Itch Dog Shampoo
Do you notice that your dog itches and scratches a lot? The best shampoo for dogs that itch is Pawsitively Soothing Anti-Itch Shampoo.
It is an antibacterial, antifungal all-natural shampoo for dogs with skin issues caused by allergies, insect bites, and environmental conditions.
What’s in it:
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Vitamin E
- Almond oil
It uses a blend of these essential oils that naturally treat and help soothe itchy skin:
Depending on how active your dog is, you might only have to bathe and groom your dog about once a month. We have a complete dog grooming guide that will answer all your questions. You’ll even learn how to groom your dog at home.
Best-Smelling Dog Shampoo With Essential Oils
If your dog has healthy skin that isn’t itching, then you probably want something that will make them smell amazing without overpowering or harmful fragrances.
50 Shades of Spay Dog Shampoo is incredibly luxurious!
It has the same base ingredients as the Pawsitively Soothing Shampoo – the same coconut oil, glycerin, and other ingredients but the essential oil blend is different. Instead of a combination formulated to soothe and heal itchy skin, this shampoo is made to make your dog smell irresistible.
These are the essential oils in this shampoo:
- Tainted rose
- Wild geranium
- Gold amber
So it’s gentle and good for your dog!
Don’t Use Human Shampoo On Dogs
There you have it! Please don’t use human shampoo on your dogs. Your pet will thank you for it. Their skin is just too sensitive. Instead, give them the gift of using a shampoo formulated for their special skin!
If you notice your dog having a bad reaction to any shampoo, always consult your veterinarian first. MuttScrub has an anti-itching kit that is perfectly safe for dogs, but for medical advice, I would recommend going to the doctor. This is especially important if you think they have an infection.
MuttScrub Products Provide The Perfect Dog Grooming Routine
Add our calming MuttScrub products for a dog grooming routine that soothes and heals your dog’s skin naturally. There is no diluting or mixing required since we’ve done the hard work to develop the perfect blend of cleansers, moisturizers and essential oils for you!
Treat your dog’s skin only with pure ingredients that support overall well-being and aid the healing process. MuttScrub products are made of all-natural substances, including shea butter, to give your dog instant relief from ailments and anxiety.
Tell us in the comments: how often do you bathe your dog?
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