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Can You Use Human Shampoo on Dogs?; What’s Safe, What’s Not


can you use human shampoo on dogsBathing your dog is a must as I’m sure you know. Many people ask, can you use human shampoo on dogs? The answer is that you should not. You don’t have to consult the services of a professional groomer to get your dog clean, but choosing the right kind of shampoo or soap for your dog is essential. The wrong type of shampoo can cause reactions, or dry out your dog’s skin make him itch and develop a bad case of dander. Some shampoos and conditioners are just so harsh that it will literally cause the strands of fur to break off as they become brittle! Find out the best, safest and most useful cleansers before washing your dog with any product!


When choosing a dog shampoo, always use one labeled for dogs only! You cannot use human shampoo, even baby shampoo on a dog. The reason for this lies in the health of dog fur. Dogs require a very different pH than human hair does. Using shampoo geared towards humans can actually damage the fur and skin of your furry friend. Avoid that completely by using a shampoo marketed for dogs only.

The various shampoos on the market for dogs have great variety. From all natural to medicated, some labeled for flea or tick treatment and others for extra smelly dogs. Which one is right for you and your dog? First, decide what it is you are trying to accomplish with grooming your pet. Do you want a simple, normal clean or are you after more shine in his coat or to soothe irritated skin? There is a shampoo for nearly every skin and fur problem, including hot spots!

Earthbath All Natural Dog Shampoo

Shampoos are typically made of detergents that have been balanced in pH and ingredients just for dog fur. Sometimes detergents can be derived from natural ingredients like olive oil and will help bring more moisture to a dog’s coat, but others that are made from more commercially available ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate can be safe in moderation and will not damage the strands or skin too badly. The trick is to only bath when needed, such as once every 4 to 6 weeks. Any more than that could lead to an unhealthy skin and coat.

dog soapSoap

You can buy soap for bathing your dog! This is very different than shampoo, as instead of being a liquid cleanser in a bottle it is in a solid bar form. The good thing about soap instead of shampoo is that it actually lasts longer. You will not be buying bar soap anywhere near as often as you would liquid shampoo. The cleansers used in soap are also usually much safer and more gentle on fur and skin. Many bar soaps are made from various types of milk, include cow milk and goat milk, or plant based fats making bathing your dog must easier on your hands too!

Of course there are many more options than just shampoo or soap. You can actually create your own detergent-free dog wash with safe, organic household items! Mixing apple cider vinegar, vegetable glycerin and a drop of your favorite essential oil such as tea tree or lavender will cleanse your dog’s body while giving him a fresh and moisture rich coat. You can also mix in other safe ingredients such as aloe extract and vitamin E oil to help your dog’s coat heal after every wash. Remember, with each wash you are scrubbing away the natural oils your dog’s skin and coat need to stay healthy. By replenishing some of these materials with essential oils and soothing apple cider vinegar you help him stay comfortable for longer.


If you decide to create you own washing solution, you can begin his bath like normal. Wet him down in a comfortable water temperature. Use the solution in either a spray or pour over him throughout his coat, making sure to avoid inside the ears, eyes and nose. Let the solution set for a couple minutes as you massage it throughout his coat and skin, then rinse thoroughly. You now have a clean and fresh dog!

Resources and Credits: wooforlando.com, gracielushihtzu.com

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