Can you use human shampoo on your dog?

It’s a question that many people ask in our dog grooming salons, can I use human shampoo to freshen my dog’s coat? It might be cheaper than purchasing pet shampoo and the thought is often that if it’s good enough for delicate human scalps, surely it’s good enough for dogs? However, that’s not the case.


Human dog grooming products often contain a concoction of chemicals that are used to make human hair smell nice and shine, this isn’t good for dogs (it’s not always good for humans). It might help them smell better short term, but it can slowly dry out their skin and hair. This can cause dermatological problems and reduce their natural defence mechanisms.

Your dog’s skin

Many dog shampoos are designed with maintaining your dog’s delicate PH balance in mind. Many of them use natural ingredients that are proven to help boost your dog’s fur health. By using human shampoos you can affect their skin leaving it dry and irritable.

But what about the smell…

A dog’s undesirable smell does not always come down to the health of their coat. It is often affected by smells coming from their ears and breath – both factors that can be solved at a dog grooming salon. Many natural dog shampoos will smell nice, whilst still allowing their coat to serve its purpose, keeping them dry and warm without irritation.

Dog grooming verdict

Although it’s probably not likely to create irreversible damage to your dog, you should always use a recognised dog shampoo, for example Wildwash, like your dog groomers in Cheshire. Good canine shampoo has a range of health benefits that will help them maintain their natural defences and keep their coat dazzling in between grooming appointments.