Can I Use Baby Shampoo on My Dog?

Reviewed By Kim •  Updated: 08/21/21 •  6 min read
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What happens when you run out of your dog’s shampoo? There are times when it’s not possible to run to the store for more. So, what’s safe to use?

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In this article, we’ll take a look at shampoos that are safe to use in this situation! Let’s get started!

Are Human Shampoos OK to Use on My Dog?

Generally speaking, the answer is no. There are several reasons why human shampoo should never be used on your dog. For one thing, human shampoos contain moisturizers to replace the protective layer of oil that’s been washed away. This protective layer is known as the acid mantle. The job of the acid mantle is to protect the skin against bacterial infections, viruses, and more.

Dogs also have an acid mantle. This can be washed away with human shampoos, leaving the dog open to infections and more. The dog’s skin may become irritated, red, and itchy. Worse, it could even start to peel. All this irritation can be painful and will make your dog scratch excessively. This can then lead to secondary skin infections, loss of hair, and more.

Humans have a skin pH level between 5.2 and 6.2. Dogs usually have a skin pH between 5.5 and 7.5. As you can see, humans have more acidic skin than dogs. Human shampoos are specially formulated for us and made to keep our pH in balance. This is why using human shampoo on a dog is really a horrible idea. Their skin isn’t as acidic, so human shampoo can strip their skin and coat of that protective layer, leaving the dog miserable in the process.

So, what can you use on your dog if he’s out of shampoo?

Can You Use Baby Shampoo on Dogs?

The answer is yes! Baby shampoo is OK to use on your dog! The reason baby shampoos are safe for dogs is because they are formulated for a baby’s skin, which is more sensitive than adult skin. So, baby shampoo has to be milder.

Another reason baby shampoo is OK to use for dogs is that they usually don’t contain strong fragrances or other chemicals that can be harmful to babies.

Plus, baby shampoo is made to preserve the acid mantle rather than destroying it.

Baby shampoo is made with mild ingredients that don’t damage skin. These include water, glycerin, potassium acrylates copolymer, sodium trideceth sulfate, and more. These are all very mild and easy on the baby’s skin and your dog’s.

Why is Fragrance-Free Baby Shampoo Best?

This is because the chemicals in the shampoo can cause skin irritation in dogs. Fragrances can also cause respiratory issues in dogs, especially those who are prone to lung problems.

Shampoos that have a scent can also cause rashes, an allergic reaction, and more.

Can You Use Baby Shampoo on a Puppy?

You’ll be happy to hear the answer is yes! As long as your puppy is healthy and has a healthy coat and skin, then the baby shampoos are safe to use.

Keep in mind puppies should only be bathed about once a month or once every two months.

Are All Baby Shampoos Safe for Dogs?

If you need to use baby shampoo on your dog, be sure it’s unscented, clear shampoo. Stay away from any baby shampoos that have a color or strong scents. One of the best to use is Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo.

Can I Use Baby Shampoo All the Time, Instead of Dog Shampoo?

It’s tempting to continue using baby shampoo on your dog rather than dog shampoo. It’s easy to use, and it’s fairly inexpensive. Plus, it’s safe.

However, it’s always best to use dog shampoos on your dog. These are specially formulated for dogs and are really best for keeping his skin and coat healthy.

Can It Be Dangerous to Use Baby Shampoo Too Often?

The answer depends on the health of your dog’s skin and coat. If these are healthy and have no irritation or other problems, then it’s OK to use baby shampoo a couple of times. But not more than once a month.

What’s more, when you do use baby shampoo, it’s essential to make sure all the shampoo is rinsed out of your dog’s hair. This will help to keep your canine companion from developing a skin problem from the shampoo residue left on his skin or fur.

What’s more, even baby shampoos, when used too often, can dry out your fur baby’s skin. This can also lead to skin irritation, loss of hair, and more.

On the other hand, dog shampoos are designed to return a dog’s pH balance back to normal after the bath.

For these reasons, it’s always best to use dog shampoos on your dog. Using baby shampoo too often can lead to problems.

Does Baby Shampoo Kill or Repel Fleas?

Not many people are aware of this fact, but baby shampoo can actually kill fleas. Your vet would not recommend this as the most efficient way to deal with fleas. However, it does appear that baby shampoo can kill and repel fleas.

However, keep in mind this is only anecdotal evidence. It’s always best to check with your vet and use the method they suggest of getting rid of fleas.

What about Using Dawn Dish Soap on My Dog?

Dawn is a blue dish soap that’s been around for decades. It’s a very common household product. Some pet parents use it as a cheaper flea remedy.

However, using Dawn or any other dish soap is not a good idea. Dish soap is not made for dogs or even humans. It’s made to clean dishes, utensils, and pots & pans. And consider the fact that Dawn is made with special ingredients that work to cut through grease and cooked-on foods.

These soap ingredients can be really bad for your dog’s skin. Using Dawn, or anything similar can cause major skin irritation and itchiness, especially in dogs who have sensitive skin.

Dawn is not a safe alternative to use on dogs for any reason.

So, there you have it! It’s OK and safe to use baby shampoo on your dog. However, don’t use it more than once a month. Using baby shampoo on your dog more often can leave him feeling very itchy and uncomfortable.

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Kim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.

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