Dog Shampoo Facts: Can you use a human shampoo on dogs?

Can you use a human shampoo on dogs Facts about dog shampoos
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Pets become part of the family. They are adorable members that cuddle up next to you when you feel lonely.  I love my cat and my dog when they wake me up in the morning by licking my face.

You give them your food, share your bed with them, and even use products you would use on your body and hair on them. You might even share your shampoo with them. But can you safely use human shampoo on dogs?

Can you use human shampoo on dogs?

One misconception that many pet owners have is that using human shampoo on pets is safe. But did you ever think that human and dogs have completely different skin and hair compositions?

Human skin is three times thicker than a dog’s, which is why a dog’s skin is very sensitive. Both have an acid mantle that is found in the outermost layer of the skin, which is responsible for protecting the skin against bacteria, viruses, and other outside contaminants.

The answer to the important question, “Can you use human shampoo on dogs?” is no. Human shampoos remove the acid mantle on dog’s skin, stripping it of essential moisture and protection.  This can lead to skin irritation, dryness, and itchiness.

A dog’s skin is very sensitive, which is why using shampoos specially formulated for dogs are necessary to keep them clean and moisturized. How are dog shampoos formulated?

Dog shampoo ingredients

Dog shampoos have natural formulas to ensure gentleness on a dog’s skin and shiny hair. Examples of natural ingredients used in dog shampoo formulations include:

  • Glycerin, which is responsible for replenishing the moisture lost during the washing. It helps keep fur shiny and skin well-moisturized
  • Vinegar, which acts as a deodorizer. Despite its strong odor, vinegar is easily washed off leaving your dog’s hair smelling neutral. More importantly, it contains anti-bacterial properties. You can use either apple cider or white vinegar
  • Essential oils like chamomile, citrus, lavender, and other essential oils which provide a refreshing smell. Some essential oils help eliminate lice and fleas. For example, lavender helps eliminate fleas from dogs

Before you buy a dog shampoo, make sure to read the product labels. Other ingredients that you will find in dog shampoos are salicylic acid, colloidal oatmeal, hydrocortisone, menthol, and moisturizers such as aloe vera, vitamin E, tea tree oil, and honey.

For dog shampoos, the right level of pH is around 7. You can find pH levels on the labels, however some only indicate that the dog shampoo has a neutral pH level for dogs.

Dog shampoo to treat lice

Lice on dogs are not the same as the lice that live on human hair. It is an irritating condition for dogs, and when left untreated, it might lead to skin dryness, itchiness, and even anemia. Lice are very small parasites on the outside of the body that feed on specific species.

A dog lice infestation is often caused by sharing the same things with other dogs, or leaving your dogs in pet shelters. Symptoms of a dog lice infestation are irritation, dryness, scratching, matted fur, hair loss, and anemia.

Fortunately, it is easy to treat a dog lice infestation. There are several brands of dog shampoos that help eliminate lice. Here are some of them.

Nootie Medicated Dog Shampoo

Oatmeal Dog Shampoo with Soothing Aloe by Nootie - Best for All Pets including Dogs, Cats, and Horses - 100% All Natural Deodorizing Soap Free Formula Provides Itchy Skin Relief - 16 Oz.

Nootie is made with medically proven ingredients such as chlorhexidine gluconate, miconazole nitrate, and other natural ingredients that disinfect skin and fur, and replace any lost moisture. The formula is highly concentrated, so a single drop results in a rich lather. It can also be used on cats and horses.

4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo

4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo - All Natural and Hypoallergenic with Aloe and Lemongrass, Soothing for Normal, Dry, Itchy or Allergy Sensitive Skin - Biodegradable - Made in USA - 16 oz

This 4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo is USDA organic certified, which means that it is formulated only with the natural ingredients like lemon grass, aloe vera, and other essential oils that help remove lice and leave dog hair smelling good.

It heals itching and dryness because it replenishes the lost moisture. It does not contain any artificial ingredients, so it is guaranteed to be gentle on a dog’s skin.


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