Can You Use Baby Shampoo On Dogs

Last Updated: 1 year ago

The type of shampoo you use on your pooch is important.

Using some soaps can lead to skin irritations that cause itching, redness, and other discomforts.

Plus, the cost of shampoos made specifically for dogs can really add up.

So, you may be considering using baby shampoo for your dog?

While many dog owners use baby shampoo for their dogs, frequent use of a human shampoo may impact your pet’s coat and skin.

Can I Use Baby Shampoo on My Dog?

When no other solution is available, baby shampoo can be used for dogs.

Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD, states that veterinary dermatologists recommend Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo frequently for sensitive dogs. Some human shampoos are milder than in years past.

Still, using baby shampoo or any human shampoo is not recommended on a regular basis, especially for pets that have skin conditions, skin sensitivity or require frequent shampooing.


There’s a difference with the Ph levels between human and canine shampoos.

The Difference Between Canine and Human Skin

A pet’s skin has a different pH balance than humans.

Dr. Lam, a veterinary dermatologist says human skin is very acidic with a pH range of 5.4 to 5.9.

A dog’s skin is generally a pH range of 6.2 to 7.4.  Therefore, it is essentially neutral which means it is not heavily acidic or alkaline.

Human shampoos could wash away the acidic layer of skin that serves as a barrier to containments such as bacteria and viruses. Thus, leaving their skin exposed to odor-causing bacteria.

Also, products that are specifically designed for human skin could be quite irritating and be drying to the canine skin.

Finding the Best Dog Shampoo

Finding the Best Dog Shampoo

Grooming products are designed to maximize cleaning and minimize irritation. Since the chemistry of a canines skin and fur is different than the chemistry of human skin and hair it is wise to use a product specifically formulated for a dog.

Dog shampoos are designed for many issues such as dry skin, sensitive skin, fleas, and odor to name a few.

When looking for a dog shampoo for routine cleaning keep these key points in mind.

  • Find a shampoo specifically balanced for a dog’s skin with a pH balance in the neural range which is 7
  • Use products that contain soothing ingredients such as vitamin E, aloe vera, honey, tea tree oil or oatmeal
  • Do not use products with added artificial fragrances or colors
  • Shop for shampoos that contain natural fragrances such as chamomile, lavender, eucalyptus, and citrus

If your dog is showing signs of an ongoing skin condition, your veterinarian can help you with product recommendations.

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