Can I Give My Dog a Bath with Human Shampoo?

Can I Give My Dog a Bath using Human Shampoo?Everyone has a routine for bathing their pets. Many owners use human shampoo to maintain a fresh smelling canine coat. But is regular shampoo appropriate for dogs?

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If your goal simply to have a nice smelling best bud, human shampoo does the trick. Other factors, however, should be considered when you go about giving your beloved dog a washing.

It’s cheaper to use your shower supplies. Eventually, though, you’ll come to realize human shampoo can’t provide your dog with health benefits. It may actually do more harm than good.

Can I Give My Dog a Bath using Human Shampoo? Answer: Yes, but dog shampoo is much better

You can use a people product but a high-quality canine-formulated organic shampoo and conditioner is healthier.

We don’t recommend regularly using human brands for dogs. The concept of ‘pet shampoo’ isn’t a marketing gimmick. Good dog shampoos are superior to human products and we’ll explain why.

Whatever your dog’s situation, a gently scented pet grooming spray always comes in handy.

Some Shampoo Truths

Most human shampoos can be harsh for dogs, even for humans! The chemicals and fragrances in most brands will actually work against your dog’s natural ability to maintain their beautiful skin and coat.

Sure, they’ll smell better but it’s a net negative. The damage is usually gradual and many dog owners don’t notice. You aren’t doing your best friend any favors by using regular shampoo.

Dogs have more sensitive skin than we do. Human shampoo is more likely to dry them out and cause itchiness. Owners may suspect allergies when sometimes the real culprit is a bathtub product.

Consider the pH Balance

When you use a human brand on a dog, you’re disrupting their skin’s delicate pH balance. This makes Fido susceptible to all kinds of parasites and bacteria in addition to drying them out.

Regular products also tend to be too acidic. Most dogs require more of an alkaline concentration which, at the very least, keeps them better hydrated.

It may be time to evaluate the shampoo you’re using, especially if your dog has rashes or irritated, dry, flaky and/or peeling skin.

If that’s the case, try a natural oatmeal shampoo and conditioner treatment made for dogs. It will reduce skin irritations and it also isn’t expensive.

Smell is Least Important

Before you bathe your dog, consider all the factors. You want them smelling fresh, but smell should be the least of your concerns.

Focus on preventing the stripping of oils and delicate skin (top layers) which act as natural protection. Having a full shiny coat, that’s also protected against fleas and ticks, is an added benefit.

Bathing a pet dog should serve an important purpose. It’s part of preventative care, like cleaning the teeth and ears. As such, get something better than human shampoo for your dog! Fur sure! (that’s a joke)

Conclusion on Shampoo

While not the best, you can use a human shampoo on your dog. It likely isn’t a disaster, but you really shouldn’t get into that habit. Invest in a good canine shampoo. It will provide your dog with important health benefits. Do your buddy a favor and don’t compromise when it comes to maintaining their natural defenses. Get a quality pet-formulated shampoo and conditioner.

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Dr. Stephanie Flansburg Cruz, a practicing vet, has reviewed and endorsed this article. She has 3 dogs of her own and cares about the welfare of all animals.


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