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Does Dog Shampoo Expire? Types, Storage Tips & FAQs

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on May 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

dog owner giving pet pitbull a bath

Does Dog Shampoo Expire? Types, Storage Tips & FAQs

Bathing your dog can keep their fur clean and prevent foul odors, which is why it is crucial to choose the right shampoo. Our pups rely on us to provide them with proper care, so you need to ensure that the shampoo that you select suits your dog’s needs.

If you are a dog parent, you probably already have dog shampoo at home. But have you ever checked the expiration date on the bottle? If not, it might be time to do so. Dog shampoo can expire, and once it does, it could potentially harm your pup.

Dogs don’t require frequent baths, and many of us forget when exactly we bought the shampoo, or we want to use the whole bottle before throwing it away. That can cause issues, though. Keep reading the article to be more informed about dog shampoo and its expiration date.

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How Long Does Dog Shampoo Last?

Once you purchase dog shampoo, as long as it is unopened, it can last up to 3 years, depending on the manufacturer. When you open the bottle, though, that timeframe drastically changes, and the shampoo expires quickly. Oxygen changes the composition of the chemicals in the bottle once you open it. Once you open the bottle, most dog shampoos will last for only 12–18 months. Of course, the expiration dates may vary, so we strongly suggest always checking the bottle.

Organic shampoos tend to last longer, commonly up to 36 months, while medical shampoos, such as the ones for fleas, have very short lifespans. Due to the stronger chemicals, these shampoos only last for about 6 months or even less.

Image Credit: Boryana Manzurova, Shutterstock

Can You Continue Using Expired Dog Shampoo?

The expiration date is on the bottle for a reason, so even using it a couple of days after it expires can lead to severe problems. A few days after the expiration of the shampoo, it might be fine to use, if less efficient at cleaning, but it could also cause an infection or skin irritation.

Honestly, using an expired shampoo bottle is not worth the potential risk, so it’s best to follow the guidelines on the bottle. So, do not buy shampoos that have expired, and throw out the shampoo bottle you have at home once the expiration date passes.

Where Do You Find the Expiration Date?

The location of the expiration date will probably be different on each shampoo bottle, though it’s commonly on the side/bottom/back of the bottle. The expiration date should be easily visible on the bottle so you or any other dog owner knows how long it will last.

Unfortunately, you can easily come across a shampoo bottle with no label and expiration date. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t purchase shampoo, but you should be careful and try to find more information about the product.

If There’s No Expiration Date on the Shampoo Bottle

If you encounter a shampoo that you would like to purchase for your pup but it doesn’t have an expiration date, you can do a couple of things to find more information about it.

Try to reach the manufacturer to find out more details, so either check out their website or give them a call. If the product doesn’t have an expiration date on the label, but it has a batch code, you should be able to check it to see how long the bottle lasts.

If these don’t work, you could follow the general guidelines of dog shampoo lifespan and throw the shampoo away after 12–18 months of use.

How Do You Know If Your Dog’s Shampoo Has Expired?

bath foam to a Golden Retriever dog
Image By: 135pixels, Shutterstock

You should be able to notice expired dog shampoo easily. Of course, it’s best to first check the label on the bottle, but there are other indicators that the shampoo is no longer usable. Commonly, the texture and the smell of an expired shampoo will be noticeable.

Here are a few ways to check if the shampoo is still good or not:

  • Check the consistency. When the shampoo is more watery than usual, it is likely expired.
  • Check the smell. If the smell of the shampoo changes, it’s probably going bad.
  • Check the cap. If there are bacteria, changes in color, or fungus, you shouldn’t use the product.

What Happens If You Use Expired Dog Shampoo?

dog rescue sad pixabay
Image Credit: joangonzale, Shutterstock

If you use expired dog shampoo, your dog will likely suffer from many skin conditions. These are the most common issues that you’ll encounter after using an expired shampoo on your pup:

  • Fungus
  • Itching
  • Inflammation
  • Dry, red, flaky skin

In worst cases, the signs can be more severe and cause serious health problems if not treated promptly. So again, our advice is never to use expired shampoo on your furry friend to prevent all of these issues from occurring in the first place.

Do Not Use Human Shampoo on Dogs

If you ever wondered if you can use your shampoo on your dog, the answer is no. Of course, nobody can forbid you to do that, but know that it could cause health problems with your pup.

There’s a reason that there are both dog and human shampoos. You wouldn’t use dog shampoo, so you shouldn’t use yours on the dog. The chemicals that human shampoos contain are more complex and not dog-appropriate. Our furry friends have different pH levels and softer, more sensitive skin, so human shampoo could create issues.

If you use human shampoo on your pup, it will likely cause redness, skin irritation, and possible infections. Our dogs need specific products that will moisturize their skin and give it the necessary care.

How to Choose a Dog Shampoo

dog bath
Image By: oritslama, Pixabay

When purchasing dog shampoo, you should consider the components and find something that works for your dog. There are a couple of do’s and don’ts when purchasing dog shampoo.

  • Go for natural ingredients.
  • Go for soap-free shampoos.
  • Choose a shampoo that has dyes or paraben.
  • Buy a shampoo without checking the ingredients.
  • Use human shampoo for your pup.
  • Choose scented shampoos.

Try to look for shampoos for your dog’s particular breed because they will have the best effect on their skin and fur. Also, if your dog is still a puppy, choose a puppy-appropriate shampoo that is gentler and has a no-tear recipe.

You could also make a DIY homemade dog shampoo.

Our Favorite Products

Selecting the right shampoo and conditioner makes the world of a difference when grooming your pup. Our favorite products are the duo by Hepper. The Oatmeal Pet Shampoo is formulated with aloe and oatmeal to soothe skin and hydrate the coat. The Pet Conditioner works at eliminating tangles and taming frizz and static. Both products are pH-balanced and formulated with pet-friendly ingredients, free of harsh soaps, chemicals, and dyes. Give this duo a try to heal and nourish your dog's coat, and leave them with an irresistible just-left-the-spa cucumber and aloe scent. 

Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates

At Dogster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool pet company!


Safe Dog Shampoos

happy little girl hugging her golden retriever dog
Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock

There are easy ways to recognize safe dog shampoos. The safest products are the organic ones that have natural components. They commonly go through rigorous testing to verify that there are no GMO ingredients or any other harmful substances. Here is a list of ingredients you can find in dog shampoos that are safe for your dog:

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Aloe vera
  • Babassuamidopropyl betaine
  • Balsam fir essential oil
  • Beeswax
  • Calendula
  • Castile soap
  • Citric acid
  • Coco-glucose
  • Decyl glucoside
  • Vegetable glycerine
  • Guar gum
  • Glyceryl stearate
  • Panthenol
  • Rosemary
  • Shea butter
  • Sea salt
  • Sodium cocoate
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Xanthan gum
  • Vitamin E

Ingredients to Avoid

You can find an appropriate shampoo for your dog in almost any pet store. Before purchasing it, though, read the label to ensure that no harmful substances are in the shampoo. Here is a list of ingredients to avoid when buying a dog shampoo:

  • Paraben
  • Dyes
  • Bronopol
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Diazolidinyl urea
  • Imidazolidinyl urea
  • Isothiazolinone
  • Glycol
  • DHDH or DMDM hydantoin
  • Sulfate
  • Dish soap
  • Triethanolamine
  • Cocamide-MEA
  • Alcohol 40

You May Also Like: Vibrant Life Dog Shampoo Review

Types of Dog Shampoo

Dog in Bathroom
Image Credit: Zayats Svetlana, Shutterstock

There are various types of dog shampoo, which are commonly categorized according to their functions and components. These are the most common types of dog shampoo:

You can choose the particular shampoo depending on the needs and breed of your dog.

Dog Shampoo Storage Tips

To prolong the lifespan of your dog shampoo, you should store it properly. The perfect conditions for storing will depend on the product’s ingredient list. It’s always best to follow the instructions labeled on the bottle, but you can also follow these guidelines:

  • Keep the dog shampoo in a dry place.
  • Keep the shampoo bottle away from heat and direct sunlight.
  • Store the shampoo at room temperature.
  • Do not open the bottle until you need to use it.

These recommendations can vary per the type of shampoo, so read the label carefully or check the manufacturer’s website.

divider-dogFinal Thoughts

As dog parents, we are responsible for everything that happens to our canines. That’s why we should provide them with proper care, including their appearance and health.

That’s why you should never use expired shampoo on your pup. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so always check the packaging, and throw away the shampoo bottle if you notice that it’s expired. You’ll make your pup healthier and safer by using products that are still valid.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: Vershinin89, Shutterstock

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