Can Human Shampoo Hurt Dogs?

Human shampoo can have lots of negative affects on your dog’s health including increasing their vulnerability to viruses. Some dogs and particular breeds have more sensitive skin than others, however, there are specialist dog shampoos available that can help to alleviate their problems. It is highly recommended that you discuss your dog’s skin requirements with your vet before trying a new dog shampoo. 

In this blog, we will discuss the different types of dog shampoo available and why it is so important to avoid using human shampoo.

So can human shampoo hurt dogs? Human shampoo can cause irritation to your dog’s skin, as they have a different pH level to humans. It can also increase their vulnerability to parasites and viruses. You should make a conscious effort to keep dog shampoo stocked at home and only use human or baby shampoo in emergency situations. 

Read on to find out how human shampoo can affect your dog and the different types of dog shampoo available. 

Is Human Shampoo Suitable for Dogs?

It is common for dogs to get muddy or wet on their walks, meaning they need bathing to save your home from mess. It may be tempting to use human shampoo during their bath as it saves money on buying a more expensive shampoo specifically made for dogs, however, this can cause many problems for your dog including pain, discomfort and upsetting the skin’s pH levels. 

Humans and dogs have very different skin types that require different types of shampoos and soaps due to their pH levels. Your dog’s breed will also impact their dog shampoo requirements as some have more sensitive skin than others. A thin layer called the acid mantle protects the topmost layer of the skin from bacteria and absorbs water to keep the body hydrated. 

Using human shampoo to wash your dog will remove this layer without the correct protective ingredients to moisturise their skin. This causes flaky, dry skin that can lead to irritation and the invasion of viruses and bacteria. 

If you are in doubt and are really desperate to wash your dog, simply use clean, warm water as a one off and remember to add dog shampoo to your shopping list for the future. For more information on grooming your dog at home, read our recent blog.

Are Any Types of Human Shampoo Suitable for Dogs?

If you must use human shampoo to clean your dog in a one off emergency, baby shampoo is the most  suitable substitute. For dogs with more sensitive skin, either due to a condition or their breed, baby shampoo contains milder ingredients than normal human shampoo and is made for gentle skin. However, this is not a long term solution and it is essential that you stock up on dog shampoo to keep your dog healthy and safe.

What are the Different Types of Dog Shampoo?

Some dog breeds have more sensitive skin than others and the colour of your dog’s coat also impacts their dog shampoo requirements. Standard dog shampoo is suitable for any breed, due to its balanced pH formula it is mild and gentle on their skin. 

If your dog suffers from allergic reactions with regular dog shampoos, a hypo-allergenic is a softer alternative using natural ingredients. Such shampoos can come on prescription from your vets to alleviate the symptoms of their existing condition. You can also buy flea and tick shampoo that contains chemicals to eliminate the pests. Waterless shampoos can be used for dogs that dislike water, or in situations where you are out and about and can’t get to a bath easily.

Before trying a different dog shampoo, discuss the best option with your vet, they will be able to advise the ideal shampoo for your dog’s skin requirements. We now stock dog shampoos to enhance your home grooming experience, especially when combined with your regular grooming sessions. Check out our coat care range today.

How Often Should You Use Shampoo on Dogs?

To avoid drying out your dog’s skin, it is important to balance how often you use dog shampoo on them. Once every four months is a good time to aim for, however if your dog often gets dirty during their walks or daily activities, a bath is essential to keep them healthy and keep your home clean. You can even save your normal bath from the mess by setting up a dedicated area in your garden with a hose and tub during the warmer months. 

When bathing dogs, make sure that they are calm by preparing their favourite treats or a comforting toy to hold, especially for young puppies that may be new to bathing. Check the temperature of the water throughout to make sure they don’t overheat or become uncomfortably cold, and be sure to dry them as quickly as possible in the colder months. 

Dog Grooming at The Pet Retreat

The Pet Retreat is a group of sister salons offering a range of packages that both dogs and owners will enjoy. Our passion, values and ethics are shared across all of our clinics, with a bespoke grooming environment built with your pet’s enjoyment and safety in mind.

Our team at The Pet Retreat makes sure your dog is comfortable before we start our grooming sessions. The dog shampoo we use is chosen with your dog’s coat in mind to ensure they leave happy and healthy with an extra shiny coat. We can even provide after care advice so you can continue taking care of your dog’s fur and skin at home. 

For more information on our grooming sessions, contact a member of our friendly team. Alternatively, browse our coat care range to enhance your pet’s home grooming.