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Avoiding Skin Issues: Why You Shouldn’t Use Human Shampoo on Dogs

Every dog owner knows there is nothing like the pleasant smell and shiny coat of a…

dog bathing and grooming

Avoiding Skin Issues: Why You Shouldn’t Use Human Shampoo on Dogs

Every dog owner knows there is nothing like the pleasant smell and shiny coat of a freshly bathed pooch—especially when you consider some of the activities dogs enjoy such as rolling in the dirt and tromping through puddles.

There are countless products designed to help you keep your four-legged family member fresh and clean, but some pet owners wonder about using human shampoo on their dogs. If it’s good enough for you then it is good enough for them, right?

WRONG. In fact, human shampoo can actually be harmful to dogs and here’s why:

pH Balance

Human shampoo is designed with humans in mind. Makes sense, right? The thing is that the normal pH balance for a human is different than that of a dog. Why does this matter? Soaps and shampoos are designed with a specific pH balance in mind.

When you wash, the shampoo strips the skins’ protective layer. In order to prevent skin damage, products contain moisturizing ingredients that keep skin safe while that protective layer is renewed.

Since the pH balance of dogs is different from humans, your shampoo won’t provide the proper protection to your dog’s skin and can leave them open to various skin issues.

Dogs’ Skin is More Sensitive than Humans’

You might think your rough and tumble dog is pretty tough, but the truth is that dogs can be quite sensitive—and their skin is no exception. In fact, your canine family members’ skin is more sensitive than yours.

A dog only has 3 to 5 layers of skin cells while humans have 10 to 15. The shampoo that will get your hair shiny and clean will strip the much-needed protective oils from your dog’s skin and leave them vulnerable to itchy skin, rashes, and other skin problems.

What About Dish Soap?

We’ve all seen the commercials where rescue workers wash oil-covered wildlife with dish soap before sending them on their way back to freedom, so you may assume that means dish soap is great for use on dogs. While it is a somewhat better choice than human shampoo thanks to its more dog-friendly pH level, it should still be used with caution and should be avoided altogether if your pet has skin issues or is prone to bacterial infections.

What If You’re In a Pinch?

What if your dog has rolled around in the mud and you don’t have any dog shampoo on hand? You’re better off using dish soap than human shampoo in such a case but, again, it’s not ideal.

If you go to a professional groomer, you may not see much point in buying dog shampoo, but it’s always a good idea to keep some on hand for emergencies.

The Vet on 4th sells a variety of premium dog shampoos and serves Longview, TX pet owners with quality vet services. Stop by to see our selection of pet shampoos and ask all the questions you may have about which product is best for your dog.