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If your dog is in desperate need of a wash, but you don’t have any doggie shampoo available, you may be tempted to break open the bottle of your own shampoo, believing that it won’t do any harm to your dog. But that’s not the case.

Human shampoos may damage your fido skin along with many other possible side effects. So, let’s discuss what exactly happens if you use human shampoo on your Fido and whether or not you can use human shampoo on dogs.

There is a lot of discussion within the dog community about whether or not people should use shampoo designed for humans on their dogs. Even if shampoo intended for humans can clean your dog, it does not necessarily mean that using it is safe. Even though the fur on your dog may seem silky and beautiful, the dog’s skin may be suffering directly from the condition.

It is not a good idea to use shampoo intended for humans on dogs since it can deprive the dog’s coat of its natural oils and create irritation. If you must use something other than dog shampoo, choose an alternative that is mild and developed for delicate skin, such as baby shampoo. Simply ensure that you use only a very tiny quantity, and then thoroughly rinse it off.

Why Dog Shampoo Is Special? 

The dog shampoo is special because of the following reasons:

The Structure Of A Dog’s Skin

The epidermis, which is the topmost layer of the dog’s skin, acts as a barrier between the body and microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and yeasts that can lead to infections if they penetrate the skin.

The epidermis is organized into several distinct layers. An “acid mantle” sits on top of the outermost layer, which is called the stratum corneum. This acid layer is susceptible to harm at the hands of substances with varying acidity.

Acidity and Alkalinity: The pH Balance

The pH balance of human skin is generally between 5.6 and 5.7, which places it in the acidic range. On the other hand, the usual pH balance of a dog’s body is between 6.3 to 7.4, which is considered to be more neutral. If you use shampoo intended for humans on your dog, the acid mantle will be upset, and your dog will be more susceptible to infection from parasites, viruses, and germs.

Additionally, it leaves their skin feeling dry and scaly, which can lead to a loop of scratching that ultimately results in abrasions. Because of this, it is simple for germs to colonize the area.

Damage Leading To Skin Infections

When applied to surfaces with significantly differing pH, acidic and alkaline solutions both have the potential to burn or otherwise injure the skin. Shampoo formulated for human skin will be too acidic for a dog’s skin and may cause damage to the epidermis and dermis layers of the skin. Because of this damage, dogs are more likely to have skin infections.

Who Has More Sensitive Skin – Human or Dog?

The skin of our dogs is really more delicate than our skin of us. Shampoo with an improper pH balance and strong chemicals can irritate a dog’s skin and remove the essential oils from its hair and skin. Humans have 10-15 layers of skin cells, whereas dogs only have 3-5.

The Impact Of Bathing

Dogs may grow very odorous, which may entice you to wash your dog more often than necessary, but this can lead to dry skin and even skin problems. An excessive amount of bathing can also disrupt the effectiveness of any skin or worming treatments your dog is receiving. Therefore, practicing moderation is the most effective strategy.

What About Allergies?

Is your dog sensitive to the scents and other components that are often found in dog shampoos? If this is the case, you should use a hypoallergenic shampoo.

If you notice that your pet is scratching excessively, you should look for fleas, and then you should check for food sensitivities. An allergy to certain foods is one of the most prevalent reasons for itchy skin. The most frequent allergens are corn, wheat, and soy.

You should look for an anti-itch shampoo that contains hydrocortisone or lidocaine. Your dog will feel much better after consuming these anti-inflammatory nutrients.

You might try an anti-itch spray on your dog if he has a specific area of his body that is troubling him. You can spray directly onto the precise spot that is irritating you, thanks to the nozzle. It is possible that this will save you from needing to shampoo your entire body with a medicated shampoo.

Why Can’t I Use Human Shampoo On My Dog?


Although it’s hardly the worst thing in the world to do, you shouldn’t wash your dog with shampoo intended for humans. If you use shampoo designed for humans on your dog frequently, you run the risk of causing harm to your dog’s skin and fur. Here’s why you shouldn’t use your own shampoo on Fido:

Certain shampoos designed for humans contain components that are harmful to dogs. Shampoo designed for humans has a higher alkaline content, whereas shampoo intended for dogs has a higher acidic content. This is because human and canine skin have different pH values (as mentioned above).

This distinction is extremely important because it enables dog shampoo not just to clean the hair of the dog but also to maintain the natural oils that are present on the dog’s skin. These oils are essential for maintaining a dog’s coat’s health and attractive appearance.

On the contrary hand, human shampoo is far more abrasive and has the potential to strip away these natural oils. This can lead to inflamed skin and harm your dog’s overall health.

What Do I Use To Wash My Dog?

You can use any good quality dog shampoo to wash your dog. Try to use those shampoos that are milder in nature and can give a natural feel to your pup’s hair.

What Can I Wash My Dog With If I Don’t Have Dog Shampoo?

If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing to bathe your dog but realizing that you don’t have any pet shampoo on hand, there are a few other safe ways to clean your dog.

Can I Use Dish Soap To Wash The Dog?

Yes, you can use dish soap to wash your dog in very extreme cases. Caution must be taken while doing that because every dish wash is not good for the dog’s skin. Alternatively, you can make your own dog shampoo by diluting dish soap with water and a tiny amount of vinegar.

You can use dish soap to wash your dog in extreme cases. Caution must be taken while doing that because every dish wash is not good for the dog’s skin. Alternatively, you can make your own dog shampoo by diluting dish soap with water and a tiny amount of vinegar. When you have the dish soap diluted to the appropriate consistency, apply it in the same manner that you would use regular dog shampoo.

It is important to remember that dish soap is meant to remove oils from surfaces, even if it is typically considered safe for use around dogs. Because of this, it will remove the natural oils that are present on your dog’s skin, leaving behind skin that is dry, itchy, and more susceptible to irritation.

Can You Use Cat Shampoo On Dogs?

Cat Shampoo

The vast majority of times, shampoo intended for cats is completely harmless and non-toxic for canines. Generally speaking, feline-based products that aren’t medicated have components that aren’t harsh and won’t harm your dog. In addition to that, they are often allergy-free. Nevertheless, the shampoo designed for dogs is your best bet.

Even though using cat shampoo on dogs sometimes won’t hurt them, the results won’t be nearly as good as when you use a shampoo designed specifically for dogs. Because the skin of cats is often more delicate than that of dogs, the shampoos designed for cats might not be strong enough to effectively clean your dog’s fur if you use them to wash your dog.

Can I Spray My Dog With Vinegar And Water?

You can, but you should use caution. Due to the fact that it has acidic pH, apple cider vinegar has the potential to easily disrupt the more neutral pH of your dog’s body and create discomfort.

Also, you shouldn’t rinse the mixture of apple cider vinegar and water off your dog’s fur after applying it. Leaving the one with the ACV is the better option.

To bathe your dog with apple cider vinegar (ACV), combine one cup of ACV with 3 cups of regular tap water. Apply the vinegar to your dog’s body after first diluting it with water. You should give the vinegar time to dry on your dog’s coat. It will provide better results.

Can I Use Baby Shampoo On My Dog? Or Can You Use Human Baby Shampoo On Dogs?

Baby shampoo often contains all-natural components and has a far milder formulation than shampoos designed for adults. As a result of this, it is regarded as a low-risk substitute for pet shampoo.

If you are going to use baby shampoo, you should use it the same way you would ordinary shampoo. After thoroughly wetting your dog, massage the shampoo into a lather using circular motions. The next step is to apply the shampoo all over your dog’s body by massaging it with your hands.

Can You Use Dawn Dish Soap On Dogs?

The original formulation of Dawn dish soap is entirely harmless to all kinds of animals. Because of this, Dawn is frequently employed to assist in the cleanup of animals following oil spills and other types of catastrophes.

Obviously, certain types of dish soap and some heavy-duty formulations might be more irritating to the skin than others. If at all possible, try using dawn dish soap only.

Is Dove Soap Safe For Dogs?

Even though Dove soap is non-toxic, it does not mean that it is safe for your canine friend to consume or absorb it in excessive quantities, especially if it is liquid. The use of Dove and other types of human soaps can be damaging to a dog’s fur.

Natural Dog Shampoo Substitutes

Lemon Juice Can

The all-natural shampoo made with lemon juice will not only rid your dog of fleas but also leave him feeling wonderful. It is not difficult to prepare, and you most likely already have all of the necessary components lying in your home.

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You first need to squeeze half a cup of lemon juice into a medium-sized bowl. After this has been completed, combine the lemon juice with the warm water, making sure to combine the two thoroughly.

At last, include your baby shampoo or castile soap in the mixture of lemon juice and water. After stirring it to make sure that everything is combined, transfer the mixture to a container made of glass and put it away until you are ready to use it.

After wetting your dog, begin working the shampoo into its fur until it is completely removed. Be careful to work it into the skin thoroughly, and don’t be afraid to rinse it out and give it a second go once you’ve had some success the first time.

Wait a few minutes after you’ve massaged it into the coat before letting it sit. Rinse it off, making sure you remove all traces of it, then pat your dog dry with a towel. You can eradicate the fleas and prevent any new ones from appearing by using this technique once a week.

Apple Cider Vinegar

A good spritzer or shampoo can be made by mixing equal parts water and vinegar, which can be used for mild cleaning. Apple cider baths are simple to provide and can provide your dog with various benefits, both on the dog’s skin and within its body. Apple cider vinegar can also be effective in preventing flea infestations when it is diluted in water or sprayed from a container.

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Coconut Oil

Giving your dog a wash using coconut oil as the bathing medium is a terrific method to give your dog a relaxing bath. Coconut oil can help prevent illnesses caused by yeast and fungus. In addition, coconut oil provides moisture to the dog’s skin.

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What Is The Best Shampoo For Dogs?

Natural Dog Shampoo

Any shampoo that is made especially for dogs can be the best option for canines. However, from a commercial perspective, we believe that the WAHL Dry and Itchy Skin Dog Shampoo is superior to other shampoos since it promises to provide 65%-70% more foam than other shampoos while also effectively cleaning and moisturizing dry and itchy skin, utilizing oatmeal and coconut oil.

Because WAHL has been in the business of producing goods for veterinarians and dog groomers for more than 50 years, the company is well-acknowledged as being a trustworthy brand.

Wahl Dry Skin & Itch Relief Pet Shampoo for Dogs

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One of its most notable characteristics is that this shampoo is made entirely of materials sourced from plants. The natural oatmeal solution exfoliates and hydrates a dog’s dry skin without irritating it. In addition to this, it soothes irritated skin and alleviates itching.

You may safely clean your Fido with this shampoo since it has a neutral pH, it does not include any alcohol or parabens, and it does not contain any other potentially hazardous ingredients. Because of this, it is considered to be one of the finest shampoos for sensitive skin.

This shampoo will not only leave your dog’s coat and body clean and healthy but owing to the coconut oil, it will also guarantee that your dog has a lovely smell after it has been bathed. This will eliminate any unpleasant smells associated with wet dogs, leaving your pet feeling fresh and clean.

Can Human Shampoo Kill Dogs?

No, it cannot kill your dog. The occasional use of human shampoo on your dog seems fine, but using it as a regular bathing method is not advised. Avoid using shampoos intended for humans that include extra fragrances or colors since these can be particularly irritating to your pet’s skin.

Key Takeaway

It might be tempting to use your own shampoo on the dog. After all, it is something that you put on your own body. But in reality, it is not a good idea. It is because human shampoos are not so effective regarding dog fur. They may be aggressive towards the dog’s skin and not clean its fur efficiently. 

Furthermore, using shampoo intended for humans on a dog’s skin can disrupt the skin’s natural balance and lead to irritation. On the other hand, the pH of dog shampoo is formulated to be adjusted for dogs, so it will not aggravate the skin in this way.