Can We Use Human Shampoo On Dogs | Here is the Answer

Can We Use Human Shampoo On Dogs | Here is the Answer

Can We Use Human Shampoo On Dogs?

When your pup/doggy comes home rolled over mud or dirtied himself by playing in a nasty place, it is time for a shower to keep him healthy and hygienic. You would like to keep your doggy clean always, as clean and healthy pups are the happiest ones.

You suddenly notice that you ran out of dog shampoo for bathing your pooch and you may think that using a bit of human shampoo or baby shampoo may serve the purpose. But, Beware! Never try to use human shampoo on your cute furry friend as it may harm the skin and fur health of your beloved dog.

Let us dive deep to know whether it is advisable to use human shampoos on dogs or not and what are the adverse effects of the same. First, let us know about the main differences between a human shampoo and a dog shampoo.

How A Dog Shampoo Is Different From A Human Shampoo?

Dog with human shampoo


  • Most human shampoos consist of conditioning elements whereas Dog shampoos may not necessarily have them. 
  • Dog shampoos are more concentrated than human shampoos. Dog shampoos don't have much of scents, or fruits or flower extracts as these ingredients may cause allergies to your dogs.
  • Human shampoos are labeled with the ingredients they contain whereas dog shampoos don't label the ingredients.
  • Human shampoos contain additives whereas dog shampoos do not necessarily contain any of them.

Are Human Shampoos Safe For Dogs?

Woman bathing a dog


It is ok if you accidentally apply a human shampoo once or twice on your dog, but the same is not applicable for long-term usage.

Dog's skin is made up of delicate layers and using a shampoo that contains harsh chemicals may cause damage to the skin of your dog. It may also disrupt the outer layer of your pooch's skin called acid mantle which usually protects the harmful bacteria, viruses, and also the nasty smell from the skin of your dog. 

Why Are Human Shampoos Not Recommended For Your Dogs?

Human bathing and dog bathing


There are many reasons why human shampoos are good for your dog. Firstly, human shampoo is not gentle on a dog’s skin and it may cause itching and allergy to his skin. Dog skin is not composed of multiple layers like humans. Humans have about 10-15 layers of skin cells and dogs just have 3-4 layers. 

Secondly, a dog's pH varies from that of humans, and human shampoo may wash away the natural pH balance of your dog which may irritate his skin. Human shampoo may not be effective in cleaning dogs as dog shampoo does. Dog shampoos are designed to maintain pH balance and it doesn't harm your dog's skin.

Thirdly, the bacteria's present in your dog's skin are different from that of humans. The human shampoo will not completely remove those bacteria from your dogs.

Is It Advisable To Use Baby Shampoo If Dog's Shampoo Is Not Readily Available?


Even though baby shampoo is the mildest human shampoo, it is not advisable for dogs. It is still acidic for your dog's skin and over a certain period of time, it may become problematic to him. If you run out of dog shampoo and have no other option left to wash your dog, you can bathe him using a gentle baby shampoo and it may be safe for one or two washes. But prolonged usage may harm his skin.

If you are willing to use baby shampoo for your furry friend, then go for the one which is unscented and contains no artificial fragrances and colours.

What To Use When You Don't Have Dog Shampoo?

There are a few alternatives available when you have forgotten to bring essential pet supplies or if you want to alter it with a natural solution.

1, Pet Wipes:

Packet of Pet wipes


Pet wipes are gaining popularity in the pet care industry due to convenience, and ease of use. If your dog hesitates to have a bath and only a light amount of dust or dirt is present on his coat, then you can opt for these pet wipes which remove surface dust easily. It is handy and cleans small areas such as muddy paws but is not effective for complete cleansing.

2, Castile Soap:

Dog with Castile soap


This soap is usually chemical-free and maintains the pH balance of your beloved dog. It is free from artificial fragrances and suitable to bathe dogs with sensitive skin.

3, Baking Soda

Dog bathing with baking soda

It is one of the readily available ingredients that can be used to wash your dog in the absence of dog shampoo. You can apply it directly to your dog's coat but it has to be dry. You can even mix it with oatmeal and water to give better results. You can prepare the solution by mixing 1 cup of oatmeal with ½ cup of baking soda and water.

4, Vinegar And Water:

Dog with Vinegar and Water bottle


You can combine vinegar with water to clean your dog. Combine equal amounts of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar with distilled water or filtered water in a spray bottle, mix well, and spray it on your dog.

5, Cornstarch:

Putting Cornstarch on dog

It is one of the most common substitutes for dog shampoo which is easily available in every kitchen. You can sprinkle it over your dog's coat and spread it into their fur for better results. Remove the excess powder with a comb or a brush.

Final Views:


Dogs are undoubtedly lovable pets across the world. Dogs love to play in muddy puddles or want to roll over dirty areas. 

Pet owners always try to keep their dogs clean and tidy. But, cleaning your dog will be a big taboo if he doesn't like to get bathed. Moreover, you may often fall into confusion, what to do if the dog shampoo is not available at the moment.

Some pet owners may think that all shampoos might be the same and washing dogs with human shampoo may not cause any issues to their skin health. But the fact is, human shampoo can cause much damage to your dog's skin and fur. 

So, next time when you think of bathing your dog, please keep in mind what harm does human shampoo causes to your canine friend and try to avoid using it oftenly. 

Next time when you want to buy a dog shampoo for your pooch, opt Moepuppy shampoo that keeps your dog's skin healthy and nourished. Please go through to know more about your dog shampoo.

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