For over 16 years I’ve been telling people that they should only use dog shampoos on their dogs and never human. Here are a few reasons why human, even baby, shampoos can be very harmful to your pets.
- The Ingredients: Dog shampoos have ingredients that are safe and beneficial to their skin and coat. They have a formula for conditioning and gently cleansing to protect your dogs skin from over drying. Some even contain ingredients that help with fleas, ticks, and hot spots (skin abrasions or ulcers) while human shampoos do not and can even cause skin irritation.
- pH Balance: Human pH is 5.5 while dog pH is 7.5 making human skin over 100 times more acidic than your dogs. Due to the acidity of human shampoo it can overly dry out your dogs skin and open it up to potential problems.
- Skin Layers: Humans have 10-15 layers of skin while dogs only have 3-5. The more layers of skin you have the more protection. Using human shampoo strips off these protective layers of skin and can open your pet up to potential bacterial and viral infections.
Just one note I’d like to add to dogs having fewer layers of skin is the harm of fur getting matted. ‘Dread Locks’, while less painful on a human, are extremely painful and dangerous to your pets skin. This includes cats as well. Knots and matting on just a few layers of skin will be massively more problematic than on our thicker skin. If skin cannot breathe it will retain moisture under the coat and lead to the build up of harmful bacteria and viruses. These pathogens will eventually destroy layers of skin causing painful infections and a possible trip to the vet. Regular grooming at home, and in a salon, is the only way to prevent dangerous matting and also keeps health related costs to a minimum.