Can I Use Human Shampoo On My Dog?
So it’s time to bathe your dog, groomers closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak….
This is going to be a big, messy and wet task!! The stress is real!
Your regular HUMAN shampoo, is casually sitting there on there shelf, smiling at you, telling you to use it……. Do you use it??
Human shampoo will do what its meant to, but you definitely shouldn’t make a habit out of it, this is because:
- A human’s acid mantle has a pH balance of 5.2 to 6.2
- A dog’s acid mantle has a pH balance for dogs ranges from 5.5 to 7.5
- Acid mantle = The thin layer of acidity that covers the skin to protect the top layer of skin
This makes human shampoo too acidic for dogs.
With this in mind, a one off bath with human shampoo won’t do so much harm, but can cause damage over time with regular use! It can burn and dry out the skin! Where possible, we recommend you use a shampoo without any added fragrances like chamomile, lavender, eucalyptus or citrus as these may sting or burn your dog’s skin.
A clean basin, bath tub or bucket!
You wouldn’t take a bath in a grimy, dirty tub, so why should your dog? You won’t see any results in your dog unless the tub is clean first. Thoroughly wipe down the tub with a sponge or give it a good blast with the hose before you get your dog to jump in.
If the water is too cold, they become vulnerable to illness and if the water is too hot then they’ll be exposed to a world of discomfort. Test the water before you let your dog in the bath to ensure it’s at a comfortable temperature. Pick a nice day to wash your dog if you’re going to bathe them outside. It’s important that they aren’t freezing cold in the chilly wind or boiling hot under the summer sun.
This isn’t just advice for your dog – it’s for you too! Both you and your dog should be totally comfortable during bath time. If you have to stand up while you’re bathing them, make sure you have a mat underneath your feet for added comfort. If you’re kneeling down, make sure all the equipment needed is within reach.
Dogs should be fully brushed and combed out before bathing; this prevents hair that is caught in the coat from matting. Before bathing have your shampoo, conditioner and towels ready, a plastic jug is useful if you don’t have a shower attachment.
Be gentle as you wash
Washing your dog shouldn’t be rushed. Be extra careful as you wash around their ears, face and privates. These are sensitive areas and if not treated properly can leave your dog in a world of pain. To wash these areas correctly, use an old face washer and gently wipe around to remove any dirt or grime. Keep soap away from your dog’s ears and eyes as much as possible, however if you do accidentally splash some in their face, give them a little break and return to washing when they’ve calmed down or recovered.
Begin by wetting the dog thoroughly, leaving the head until last (this prevents shaking), apply the shampoo (diluted with warm water) all over, work well into the coat avoiding the eyes and inside the ears. Rinse the shampoo off well, if necessary repeat the shampooing. Rinsing is very important; if shampoo is left on the skin it can cause irritation and itching.
Dry you dog as much as possible in the bath. Shaking is great for removing water, though not so good for your walls. Long coated dogs can be dried with a hairdryer and slicker brush.