is it okay to bathe a dog with human shampoo?

Good grooming practices are essential for maintaining health and happiness for you and your dog. This is a forum to exchange tips and advice for proper care of your dog's hygiene needs.

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Barked: Thu Jul 16, '09 9:54am PST 
i'm just wondering, because it seems to me that it'd be alot easier instead of buying a whole other shampoo for dogs...

and also, we're beginning to let pupper stay inside at night, so i kind of want to bathe her every other day or two to keep her clean
and the house clean because we have two dogs and a cat all inside so i don't want the house to smell bad.

so i'm wondering if it's okay to bathe your dog
with human shampoo as frequently as i want to.
and if it's not, is there any dog shampoo that i would be able to bathe her with every other/two day without drying out her skin or something?


I'm a trilingual- dog!
Barked: Thu Jul 16, '09 10:32am PST 
Personally I'd use a shampoo for pets because the pH is different. I also would not bathe every other day. To me, that's way too often. Once a week is the most we'll do. Too much washing will actually harm your dog's coat and skin rather than make it healthy - you risk drying the skin out and causing flakey skin or a dull coat (natural oils will also be washed away).

Why don't you try brushing daily and washing less frequently? Or at the very least, invest in dog conditioner too.

If it breathes,- it's my friend
Barked: Thu Jul 16, '09 11:10am PST 
Boo has hair instead of fur, so it's very fine. I bath her once a week and use a conditioner and detangler as well.

From what I understand, human shampoos can be harsh because of the ph difference between humans and pets. I have used my own shampoo on Boo on occassion, but I diluted it first. I've read comments from show dog owners who use human shampoos as well (diluted).

Bathing every other day might be a bit much as it could dry out the skin and cause itching which presents a whole 'nuther bunch of issues. Brushing daily will keep the coat clean and free of debris between baths. Most dogs enjoy being brushed once they get used to it.

I use Perfect Coat Naturals with Almond and Oatmeal shampoo (the scent last for days), then follow with Buddy Bath conditioner. The trick is to rinse, rinse and rinse again to prevent itching and build-up. Soap residue left in the fur will attract more dirt, so just make sure that the water runs clean in the rinse.

I don't usually use human shampoo on Boo except in a pinch, but I can tell you that the man in the house loves Boo's shampoo for himself and regularly uses it on HIS hair. Go figure. He says it leaves his hair smelling great, gets it clean and leaves it manageable.


Is that for me??
Barked: Thu Jul 16, '09 11:24am PST 
My vet says no oftener than every three weeks. He is quite firm about it. Of course, Moira had five baths in four days when she first arrived. Check the thread on how often you bathe your dog. You'll ber surprised.

Lily went 10 months and with no odor and no dirt. Moira's ideal is now about 2 months, though she did go 3 last time. I just smile nicely when people say, "Oh, they're so clean and shiny, they must have had just had a bath." Nah, just good food for both with good brushing for Moira and a little brushing for Lily.

I would not use human shampoo for the reasons given. We are finishing up Moira's Tropiclean Oxymed Shampoo and Rinse with some strawberry silk conditioner. I don't know what's next. I hope something local. I hate shipping.

Barked: Thu Jul 16, '09 11:52am PST 
thanks to everyone who replyed(:
and for the advice you've given.
i'll give pupper a bath every two weeks or so
and brush her alot in betweensmileblue dog
i'm going to buy a really good brush and some
more doggie shampoo this weekend:]]
thanks again!
i really appreciate it

Whose bed?? Why- would YOU think- that?
Barked: Thu Jul 16, '09 8:59pm PST 
A Zoom Groom works great as the first brush and as a bath scrubber. I wouldn't be without one for either dog. Lily, whose coat is probably most like Pupper's, has a 20 pin rake with short pins for her undercoat. It seems to be the best tool for her.

Butterfly Ears
Barked: Fri Jul 17, '09 10:12am PST 
I bathe with human shampoo every week. I've done this for over 10 years and all my guys have really silky coats. May not be right for every dog, though.

cutest cuddlebug
Barked: Fri Jul 17, '09 10:42am PST 
If you're really concerned about smell, they do sell a body spray type perfume for dogs. They have it at places like Petsmart. I've used the puppy one on Zoey once or twice and it hasn't hurt her skin or anything. I wouldn't use it everyday though.

Mine, now! - It's the- Schnauzer creed.
Barked: Fri Jul 17, '09 12:54pm PST 
Everyone is right about the ph difference. Glad you're converting. As for frequency, it all depends on the dog, and again, no more than once a week unless something unusual happens. Mom says her dalmation got a bath twice a year and never smelled or looked dirty. (I am so envious!) As a schnauzer, I get the much-hated bath once every week and mom still thinks I stink in between, even with her washing my face several times between baths (oh, that curs-ed beard!). My bedding gets washed often, too.

Barked: Fri Jul 17, '09 3:19pm PST 
First I would like to say that "doggie odor" is not something that should be accepted as okay or natural. If your dog has odor issues, this is his way of telling you that something is wrong internally. I would first evaluate his diet.

I would not recommend using a human shampoo/conditioner on dogs. Besides the PH difference, most commercial human shampoos/conditioners contain chemicals that are harmful to dogs. I would recommend doing research on all of the ingredients in a dog shampoo and avoid any that contain:

Propylene glycol
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Any artificial coloring or dyes

This is just to name a few. Remember, skin is permeable and putting toxic chemicals like these on your dog's skin has dangerous effects. I would also recommend the book "Whole Pet Diet," by Andi Brown.

I would also like to say that using a true, all natural or organic conditioner on your dog's coat does NOT dry the skin out. Unlike commercial products which do irritate and dry the skin and coat with repeated and frequent use, natural and organic shampoos actually condition the coat and skin each time you use them.

I was shocked to discover what was being put into commercial dog shampoos and conditioners (and human products too!). I have Kaine to thank for opening my eyes and teaching me something new once more. I too have trashed my human shampoos, conditioners and other products and switched them out for chemical free, natural and safe alternatives.

I usually wash Kaine on a weekly basis (or when he gets muddy) and brush his coat in between as well. His skin and coat are beautiful and shinning with the natural shampoos/conditioners that I now use whereas before, he had dry, flaky skin after only one bath!

I would highly recommend doing research on product ingredients and safe, natural alternatives as these chemicals are affecting more than just the skin and coats of our canine companions (think immune system and other organs).

I currently am using 100% all natural Castile soap which can be purchased from rosecompany.com I have the unscented one so that I can choose to add my own essential oils or not. They also sell ones with lemon which naturally repel insects. I also like the Topicana Puppy Shampoo, but I avoid the other shampoos they carry as they contain fragrance.

I hope this helpssnoopy! Remember, what goes on the body is just as important as what goes into itbig grin.

Woofs n' Wags,
Ashley & Kaine

Edited by author Fri Jul 17, '09 3:28pm PST

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