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Can You Use Human Shampoo on Dogs?

Can You Use Human Shampoo on Dogs?

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Human Shampoo on Dogs

There is nothing more unpleasant than coming home with a severely mucky pup after a long walk. Whether he rolled himself in something that smelled very bad or gave himself a mud facial you would desperately want to give him a bath, When it comes to shampooing your canine companion, you may be tempted to use human shampoos.

There is no denying that our furry friends grow smelly over time, no matter how much we love them. It is easy to fall into the trap of using human shampoos on dogs because we are also using them so it might be safe for them but it’s a big no. It’s a common misconception to use human shampoos on dogs, but it can actually do more harm than good. But no worries there are many cat and dog shampoos that are formulated according to their skin and coat. So it is unwise to use human shampoos on dogs and other pets.

Human Shampoo on Dogs

The Structure Of A Dog’s Skin

The upper layer of the skin always serves as a barrier, by protecting the body from microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and yeast which may cause infections if they go inside the skin. The upper layer known as the stratum corneum is covered by an acid mantle, which can get damaged by using harsh shampoos.

The Structure Of A Dog’s Skin

The Dangers Of Using Human Shampoo On Dogs

If you don’t have any doggy shampoo at home and your furry friend needs a bath, never opt for human shampoos because they may cause severe skin irritations. There is a top thin layer on the dog’s skin known as acid mantle which works as a protective barrier to skin by stopping coming in contact t with different viruses and bacteria. This layer keeps the skin hydrated and well-moist. When you bathe your canine companion, it strips the acid mantle which then regenerates naturally. Human shampoos are not designed to clean a dog’s coat effectively. To clean properly their oily coats, always use the best dog shampoo. Human shampoos don’t have the potential to clean their oily coat, resulting in dirty and greasy skin. 

The Dangers Of Using Human Shampoo On Dogs

Human shampoos are not good for a dog’s gut. After being bathed with human shampoo, if a dog licks his fur they may end up getting stomach illness or even diarrhea. Usage of  Human shampoos can lead to a host of issues like:

1. pH Imbalance

Skin pH is used to identify how much skin is acidic and alkaline. Dog skin and human skin have different pH ranges. Dog’s skin has a protective acid mantle, which protects the topmost layer of skin the stratum corneum, so that it may not get contaminated with germs, viruses, or bacteria. It also helps in body hydration by keeping the water intact in the skin layer.

Human Skin pH vs. Dog Skin pH

Dogs and humans have very different pH ranges. Humans’ skin pH usually lies between 5.5 and 5.75 making it slightly acidic which helps to keep microbes away and maintain skin health. On the other hand dog’s skin pH ranges from 6.2 to 7.4, towards a neutral scale. 

Human Skin pH vs. Dog Skin pH

Effects of pH Imbalance

When we use human shampoo on dogs it disturbs the acid mantle leaving your dog more vulnerable to viruses, bacteria, and other parasite’s. This will also make their skin dry and flaky which will lead to scratching and irritation. It will make an easy way for bacteria to invade. Human bathing products are designed for human skin to protect and moisturize the skin. At the same time, they are not formulated to support the regeneration of the acid mantle of your furry friend. Disturbed pH levels will cause irritation, dryness, and flakiness, making the skin more prone to catching germs. So one should always use the best cat and dog shampoo for your pets. 

2. Immediate Skin Irritation

Human shampoos are not made up for your pet. They contain fragrances that can cause irritation to your dog’s skin. Some may receive immediate skin irritation or some get allergic to certain shampoos. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Skin rash
  • Hives
  • Fur loss

Always use the best cat and dog shampoo which is formulated according to the pH level of your dog’s skin which will help to prevent irritation.  It is also important to choose a fragrance-free shampoo for your pups. 

3. Severe Skin Dryness

Usage of human shampoos will strip off your dog’s natural skin oils. These oils are not only for dog’s skin protection but also keep the skin hydrated and coat moist. Harsh chemicals of human shampoos will remove these natural oils resulting in the skin being dry and itchy. More dryness can lead to cracked skin, irritating your pup, and traumatizing skin by scratching. Constant scratching and biting will increase the risk of infection.

4. Bacterial or Viral Skin Infections

Human skin has 10-15 layers while dogs have only 3-5 due to which their skin is more sensitive than humans. With the use of human shampoos, their skin becomes patchy and gets many bacteria and viral infections. Dogs scratch the flaky part of the body which later on becomes the entry door of various microorganisms and leads to infections. Their immunity control system lies on the topical layer of their body. When the skin conditions change, their immunity gets suppressed leading to fungal and bacterial infections. So someone should not use human shampoos on dogs. The two most common infections are

1. Fungal Infection
Common symptoms of fungal infections are:

  • Itchiness
  • Musty odor
  • Thickened skin
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Crusty and scaly skin

  1. Staph Infection
    Common symptoms are:
  • Pain
  • Red and inflamed skin
  • Pus filled lesions
  • Infections in the ear, eyes, skin, or respiratory illness
  • Patchy fur with peeling skin
  1. Skin Mites

    Skin mites love to take advantage of the immunocompromised skin of your pup. A healthy dog may fight off these critters when its natural skin oils are balanced. But when immunity gets compromised and the protection is disturbed skin mites love to reside in the patches of fur loss area, skin infections, sores, and even in systematic infections in severe cases. 

Impacts of using human shampoo on Dogs

What happens when you use a regular, human-formulated shampoo on your canine companion? It gives two types of effects which are below. 

Impacts of using human shampoo on Dogs

1. Immediate Effects

Using human shampoo on dogs may cause dry itchy skin leading to discomfort for your furry friend. Human shampoos are formulated in a way to cater to the slightly acidic nature of skin as a dog’s pH is on a neutral scale. As a result harsh chemicals disturb their natural skin balance which is slightly alkaline. This imbalance leads to dry skin and stripped of its essential oils.
Dogs feel uncomfortable and they may start to scratch excessively leading to skin trauma. It can disrupt their daily activities, and sleep and a significant decrease in their quality of life. 

Constant scratching causes abrasions and open wounds, and become more susceptible to infections which causes more itching and starts a vicious cycle.
So it is advisable to always invest in the best shampoo for cats and dogs.

2. Long-Term Effects

Long-term side effects of using human shampoos can potentially pave the way to more severe and chronic illnesses. When the balance of skin pH becomes disturbed by the use of human shampoo it can lead to a variety of skin infections. Such as Dermatitis is characterized by extreme itchiness and inflammation which can lead to recurring infections. Similarly, Seborrhea causes scaly patches and redness of the skin. These type of conditions needs medical help.

The imbalance in pH adversely affects the dog’s coat and fur, by making it appear dull and lifeless. Essential oils are removed from the skin and take away the shine and softness of the fur. Moreover, unhealthy skin can turn your dog into a breeding ground for infections. When the barrier gets weak harmful microbes invade the skin and colonise. Infections like ringworm, fungal infections, and bacterial skin infections like pyoderma can cause distress to your pet. So for the well-being of your canine companion always go for the best vegan dog shampoo which is specifically designed to suit your dog’s sensitive skin, pH, and grooming needs. 

What Are The Best Dog Shampoos?

As a pet owner, it’s important to recognize that your furry friend’s hygiene is crucial to their health. Dogs require regular baths and brushing with the best dog shampoo to prevent skin infections and other illnesses. To minimize the risk of infections, it’s recommended to use the best cat and dog shampoo during bath time with warm water that doesn’t exceed their body temperature. The few best vegan cat and dog shampoos are below:

1. Vegan Detox Shampoo

Vegan detox shampoo by DOWGs Essential is a perfect choice for dogs with sensitive skin. It is formulated with acai extract and ginger extract shown to be beneficial for dog coats. Acia extract nourishes and strengthens the coat and contains essential vitamins as ginger extract cleanses and promotes the growth of fur and gives a lustrous shine.

Vegan Detox Shampoo

2. Vegan Milk Neutral Silk Shampoo

Soothing irritated skin is much easier than you think if you use the right products. This neutral silk Shampoo is the right choice. It gives a calming effect to the damaged skin. It is made up of two main vegan components, i.e. quinoa amino acid helps strengthen the coat and provides elasticity and resilience to the coat and coconut milk acts as a soothing agent and gives a high level of conditioning.

Vegan Milk Neutral Silk Shampoo

3. Vegan Puppies & Sensitive Skin Shampoo

Vegan detox shampoo is an excellent vegan product for kittens, puppies, adult cats, and dogs with sensitive skin. It is enriched with plant-based extracts, which help in gentle cleaning and hydrating their skin. This formula consists of panthenol, which lubricates each coat from deep roots and gives it a shine. Coconut oil helps in conditioning and can be used for itchy skin and prevent it from flaking. Murumuru butter helps to improve hydration and active probiotics help in the recovery of skin microflora. 

Vegan Puppies and Sensitive Skin Shampoo

Final Thoughts

Using human shampoo on dogs is not just an ill-advised practice; it can have detrimental consequences for your canine companion’s health and well-being. The fundamental differences in pH levels, skin structure, and formulation between human and dog shampoos underscore the unsuitability of using the former for our beloved furry friends.

The potential risks associated with using human shampoo on dogs, including skin irritations, infections, and the potential for long-term health issues, clearly outweigh any temporary convenience that might come from using a readily available product.

To prioritize the overall health, comfort, and happiness of your dog, it is imperative to make the choice to invest in high-quality dog shampoos that are thoughtfully formulated to meet the specific needs of dogs. These specialized products play a vital role in maintaining the natural balance of your dog’s skin, promoting a healthy and lustrous coat, and significantly reducing the risk of various skin problems.

Always keep in mind that your dog’s health should be your top priority, and responsible pet care entails making informed choices when it comes to grooming and hygiene. When your furry friend is due for a bath, make the wise choice of reaching for a dog shampoo that not only cleans but also nurtures, ensuring that your loyal companion remains clean, comfortable, and thriving for years to come.

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