Can I Use Baby Shampoo to Wash My Dog?

Can I Use Baby Shampoo to Wash My Dog?

Learn about whether or not baby shampoo can be used on dogs, as well as other alternatives that can be safely used on canines.

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If you’ve ever wondered if you can use baby shampoo on dogs, chances are you’re dealing with a seriously dirty pup and a lack of canine shampoo. Learn about whether or not baby shampoo can be used on dogs, as well as other alternatives that can be safely used on canines.

Can You Wash a Dog with Human Shampoo?

The short answer: yes, not regularly. Human shampoo can technically get your dog clean. However, it isn't always the safest option due to the differing pH balances in humans and dogs.

Skin PH of Dogs vs. Humans

Humans and animals have an acid mantle, which keeps skin hydrated and supple, and a skin's pH level needs to be balanced in order for it to work properly.

Humans have a slightly acidic pH scale of 5.4-5.9, while dogs have a more neutral balance of 5.5-7.2. Human shampoos are made for acidic pH levels, and may be too harsh for canines. Dog's skin also has natural oils that keep their coats sleek and protect them from harmful microbes and bacteria, and human shampoos can strip their skin of these necessary oils.

Can I Use Baby Shampoo on My Dog?

When it comes to baby shampoo, it’s a slightly safer option for dogs compared to adult shampoo. Odorless and gentle, baby shampoo typically has milder, water-based formulas and it can be an option for dogs without skin issues or allergies. Baby shampoo also typically has a pH level around 7, which is more suited for dog’s skin.


However, do note that it is possible for some dogs to have an allergy to baby shampoo, so always consult with a veterinarian before using new shampoos or products on your dog.

Potential Toxic Ingredients

Certain ingredients in human shampoos can be potentially harmful to dogs, such as tea tree oil, peppermint, ylang ylang, and eucalyptus. Always check a shampoo’s list of ingredients before using it on your dog, and as much as possible, consult your veterinarian before trying new products to ensure your pet’s safety.

Also avoid strong, synthetic fragrances, as well as dyes, that can also irritate your dog. Instead, look for natural fragrances or neutral scents.

What's the Best Shampoo for Dogs?

You should always choose a shampoo specifically made for dogs and pets since they’re designed to cleanse and nourish their skin and coats. There are also FDA-regulated medicated pet shampoos that are made to control fungal infections such as ringworm or itching caused by allergies or fleas.

How to Choose the Best Dog Shampoo

Follow these tips for selecting the best pet shampoo for your pup.

  • Select a Shampoo Based on Your Dog’s Skin Type

If your dog has dry skin or you live in a dry climate, you may want to choose a moisturizing pet shampoo that features ingredients such as shea butter and oatmeal. If your dogs have greasy or oily skin, consult your vet about which balancing shampoo would work best to manage any greasy or flaky skin.

  • Skip Parabens and Phthalates

Avoid shampoos that contain parabens or phthalates, as these can irritate and potentially harm your dog's skin. Make sure the shampoo's formula is also hypoallergenic for even the most sensitive skin.

  • Use Medicated Shampoo for Skin Conditions

If your dog suffers from parasites or allergies, they may benefit from using a medicated shampoo that targets those issues. Talk to your veterinarian to discuss the best treatment options for your dog’s specific needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Regular Adult Shampoo on Dogs?

Using adult shampoo on a dog is fine once or twice, but avoid using it regularly on your pet. Regular use can lead to dry skin and possible susceptibility to parasites, as well as disrupt the pH balance of your dog's coat.

Can I Use Vinegar to Wash My Dog?

Thanks to its antibacterial and deodorant properties, white vinegar, mixed with water and nontoxic dish soap, can be used in a pinch to wash your dog. Just avoid getting any vinegar in your dog's eyes.

Can I Use Dish Soap to Wash My Dog? 

Dish soap typically contains higher pH levels than human shampoo, making it closer to the pH level of dogs. Despite this, avoid regularly using dish soap on your dog's skin, as they typically do not contain conditioners and can leave your dog's skin itchy and dry.

Keep Your Dog Clean with Natural, Plant-Powered Pet Shampoo

When it comes to a safe, cleansing pet shampoo, look no further than Puracy. We use the same coconut-derived ingredients found in our shampoos for babies and children, then ensure the shampoo is pH-balanced for pet skin. Fortified with biotin, aloe and oatmeal, our natural pet shampoo moisturizes and protects skin from dryness and irritation while enhancing fur softness.