Is Human Shampoo Bad For Dogs? Read This Before Bath Time!

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Can human shampoo be used to achieve a fresh smelling canine coat?

It’s a great question and one that many dog owners are asking!

Can I Give My Dog a Bath using Human Shampoo?Truth be told, it really depends on your goal.

If you simply want your furry friend to have a nice smell, human shampoo will certainly do the trick. But obviously there are other factors to consider when your dog gets a washing.

The thing is human shampoo won’t provide any health benefits.

In fact, the wrong product can do more harm than good.

Human Shampoos Generally Aren’t Great For Dogs

A good alternative would be a hypoallergenic organic-ingredient shampoo and conditioner with natural oils.

Let me stress the following:

The concept of ‘pet shampoo’ is not a marketing gimmick.

Actually dog shampoos are, without a doubt, gentler and much more advantageous overall compared to human-formulated products.

Pro Tip: A product called Pawfume, which is a premium grooming and finishing spray, is worth trying as well. The reviews are excellent.

Some Shampoo Truths

A lot of shampoos are harsh for dogs, even for humans!

The chemicals and fragrances can work against your dog’s natural ability to maintain a beautiful skin and coat.

Sure, they will smell better but it’s still a net negative.

The damage is usually gradual and many dog owners do not notice.

You aren’t doing your best friend any favors by using regular shampoo.

Also consider that dogs have sensitive skin, more so than we do. Human shampoos are more likely to cause dryness and itchiness.

Often times owners suspect allergies when the real culprit is a bathtub product!

pH Balance Factor

With a human brand, you may be disrupting your dog’s skin in terms of pH balance.

Why is that so bad?

Because it could make your pet susceptible to parasites and bacteria in addition to drying them out.

Acidic or Alkaline?

The fact is regular shampoo tends to be too acidic.

Most dogs require more of an alkaline concentration. It keeps them better hydrated.

Carefully evaluate the shampoo you are using, especially if your dog has rashes or irritated, dry, flaky and/or peeling skin.

Smell Not So Important

Obviously you want a dog that smells fresh. Who doesn’t!

But that should not be the top concern.

Focus on preventing the stripping of oils and delicate skin (top layers) because that’s valuable natural protection.

Having a full shiny coat, that’s also protected against fleas and ticks, is an added benefit.

As you know, bathing your dog is an important task. It is part of preventative care, like cleaning the teeth and ears.

Get something better than human shampoo! Fur sure! (that’s a joke)

The Bottom Line

You can use a human shampoo on your dog, but you really shouldn’t!

Invest in a good pet-friendly shampoo. It will provide your dog with key health benefits.

Be smart. Do not compromise when it comes to maintaining their natural defenses.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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8 thoughts on “Is Human Shampoo Bad For Dogs? Read This Before Bath Time!”

  1. Being that dawn is used for greasy dishes I would think using it regularly would be harmful to a dog’s coat. I have used it whenever I found a bug or anything like that on her body, but I also noticed that her fur felt very dry afterwards.

  2. The oatmeal pet shampoo is good, unless your dog is allergic to oatmeal or other of its ingredients. That’s the case with one of our dogs. After trying multiple pet shampoos, with increasingly bad allergic reactions, our vet recommended Selsen Blue Naturals. It’s the only one we’ve found that does the job without bad reactions.

  3. What about baby shampoo like Johnson and Johnson? Does the soap hurt their eyes?

  4. Thanks for the info. I washed a very grubby dog with human shampoo and gave him a second go-over with the last of the dog shampoo mixed with a little water, in order to stretch it out so as to negate the human stuff as best as possible. I was still a bit worried so the information was good to read.

  5. My vet recommended an oatmeal-based shampoo for my dog’s ‘hot spot’ issue. Cleared it up in a week or so. As a bonus, an oatmeal and shea butter lotion cleared up my wife’s itchy skin problem so I was a hero to both.

  6. Dawn dish liquid is actually better than people shampoo. It will clean our pets and will even kill those pesky fleas and ticks if our babies happen to have them.

    1. Ah, but does it leave them ‘squeaky clean’? 😉

      1. But does it take the natural oils out of their skin?

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