While it might seem like a great idea to use human shampoo on your dog, the truth is that it's not the best choice. Using shampoo made for humans on your dog can disrupt the outer layer of skin called the acid mantle, leaving your dog vulnerable to parasites, bacteria and viruses that cause skin infections.
Human shampoos are designed for humans
When your dog is rolled in a mound of mud or has taken part in an impromptu mud spa, you're going to need a good bath to get your furry friend back to their former selves. But while there are many shampoos out there designed for dogs, most of them are still made with humans in mind.
Human shampoos are made with a higher pH level and have a scouring effect that can be harsh on your pet's delicate skin. Most human shampoos are also more likely to contain ingredients that are dangerous to pets. The best ones to look for are tear-free formulations. And if you're looking to treat your pet's dry, itchy skin, try some aloe vera or oatmeal based products. The PawSafe Dog Shampoo is a great example of an all-natural product that is worth a try. Alternatively, you might want to talk with your vet about the best dog shampoo for allergies.
They have a higher pH
The pH level of a substance is a measurement of how acidic or alkaline it is. The scale is 0-7.0 and water sits right in the middle.
Most shampoos are formulated at a pH of 4.5-5.5 and this is too acidic for a dog's skin. Over time, these shampoos can strip away the natural oils that make up a dog's coat and skin.
This can cause a lot of damage to your pet's health, making it more likely to suffer from hot spots, inflammation and skin problems. Instead, use a mildly alkaline shampoo (around 7.0) to prevent irritation and skin damage.
In the test, when dogs were excited, the pH of their nose ranged from 6.6 to 9.0, while when they were calm it ranged from 4.8 to 7.9. The foot area also showed a wide range with readings going from 6.5 to 7.9.
They are less sensitive
Dog shampoos are usually designed with gentler ingredients than human shampoos and with less toxic fragrances. This is because dogs have sensitive skin that can be irritated by harsh chemicals.
The pH of the skin is very important to a dog’s health. A dog’s skin has a slightly acidic mantle, which is between 6.2 and 7.4.
This layer of the skin protects it from viruses, parasites and bacteria. When human shampoo is used on a dog, it can disrupt the acid mantle and leave the skin dry, flaky and more susceptible to infections.
This is especially the case if you use a human shampoo on your dog’s face, ears or privates. It is best to wash these areas carefully as these are the most sensitive parts of your pet’s body and should be treated with a little extra care.
They are more expensive
There’s nothing worse than having to give your dog a bath after they’ve rolled around in mud. However, it’s not always the most cost-effective option. Specialty shampoos, such as color-specific and shampoos for specific breeds, tend to be more expensive.
This isn’t necessarily because they’re bad for dogs, but more so because they are more expensive to produce. This makes them a more attractive product to pet owners and retailers alike. Luckily, there are ways to save a little money on your dog’s next bath without sacrificing quality.