Can You Use Baby Shampoo on Dogs?

You know as well as I do that our dogs need regular bathing and shampooing. If you fail to do so, bacteria, debris, and dirt will accumulate on their coats, resulting in parasites, infections, and more.  Some dog owners wonder can you just use Baby Shampoo on your dog and is it safe to do so?

So, you might wonder, can you use baby shampoo on dogs? Or can dogs use baby shampoo? The shortest answer is yes. I have used it, and it works perfectly. But you’ll need to be cautious as baby shampoo may be harmful to your dog.

Keep reading this article as I will explain everything you need to know.

Can you use Baby Shampoo on Dogs?

Yes, you can use baby shampoo on your dog. Baby shampoos are specifically for use on babies’ gentle and sensitive skin. That’s why most of them contain safe and mild ingredients to suit that purpose.

The ingredients of most Baby Shampoos include:

  • Water and Glycerin: Help smoothen the skin
  • Potassium acrylates copolymer: Retains the shampoo’s thickness
  • Sodium trideceth sulfate: Acts as a mild irritation cleansing agent

Besides the ingredients, baby shampoos have a non-stressing pH balance of around 7. They also use surfactants that are quite less irritating than normal human shampoos.

Like babies, dogs also have gentle and sensitive coats. This means that you can use baby shampoo to groom your dog. It won’t harm your dog, especially if you use it for a single, isolated grooming session.

Baby shampoos lack harmful fragrances and chemicals that might hurt your dog’s skin. Besides, they come with everything needed to give the dog’s skin a protective barrier against bacteria, infections, etc.

However, it may not be as gentle for your dog as you might think. It’s not as good as a quality dog shampoo and might be harmful to your dog’s skin when you use it regularly.

french bulldog using baby shampoo

Is Baby Shampoo Safe for My Dog?

Yes! According to Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, baby shampoo is safe and fine to use on your dog. It’s much safer than regular human shampoos.

(Definitely don’t use the shampoo you use personally on your dog).

This grooming product is gentle and mild to a dog’s skin. It also doesn’t have many chemicals and fragrances, meaning that it won’t irritate your dog’s skin, nose, or eyes.

Although a mild baby shampoo is unlikely to affect your dog, it’s not the best solution for removing dirt and mud. After grooming your dog, you’ll need to ensure you completely rinse it off. Remember, rinsing your dog should last twice as long as washing them.

You can also use it on your puppy as long as they have healthy skin and fur. Consider bathing your pup in baby shampoo once every 1-2 months.

A baby shampoo might be an excellent option if your dog’s skin is very sensitive (to the extent that even the regular dog shampoo affect it). But, in such cases, try to avoid bathing your dog unless it’s very necessary.

Still, they come specifically for use on the thick human skin with acidic pH. So even a gentle baby shampoo may be harsher on your canine’s skin than a good quality dog shampoo.

But it can be safer for one-time use on dogs. Please don’t use it regularly as it might damage their skin and coat.

Can you use Human Shampoo on Dogs?

The answer is no. Human and dog skins are different, meaning that each requires a specific shampoo for excellent results. The main difference between dog skin and human skin lies in their pH acidity.

For instance, the human skin is more acidic, with a pH range of 4.8-6.0. As for dogs, their skin is more basic or alkaline, with a pH range of 5.5-8.0.

So dog shampoos work best with alkaline skin, while human shampoos work best on acidic skin. Using regular human shampoo on your canine may affect the alkaline pH of your dog’s skin. And that can strip your dog’s skin away.

In addition, dog skin is thinner than human skin. The epidermis layer on the human skin is about 15 to 30 cells thick. With dogs, their epidermis is 3-5 cells thick. It means that most products that are more tolerant to the human skin could have severe effects on dogs.

Can Dogs Use Baby Shampoo?

Before you decide to use baby shampoo on your dog, it is advisable to seek guidance from a professional vet. They will run a check on your dog to determine if a baby shampoo is suitable for their skin. Ensure you don’t skip this crucial step to prevent any complications.

While baby shampoo is safe for your dog, you must use it only as a backup option. Always scrub and rinse your dog thoroughly to ensure all shampoo gets off their skin.

Baby shampoo isn’t ideal for regular use, but it’s the best and safe human shampoo formulated and designed to work on behalf of dog shampoo.

Don’t worry if you’ve used baby shampoo several times on your dog. It’s still fine and safe only if you rinse the canine’s coat more thoroughly and carefully.

It’s the same thing with dog shampoos – you can use them more than once every 3 or 4 weeks.

What if your Dog is Allergic to Shampoo?

Some dogs are allergic to shampoos. If your vet confirms that your dog suffers shampoo allergies, you’ll need to teach them how to deal with the medications prescribed by the vet.

You may want to change the shampoos, including cleansers. Still, you’ll need to deal with several allergic outbreaks here and there.

Consider using a throw-and-catch game to train and encourage your dog to take the medications. Here, throw the pills gently using your hand for the dog to catch. Alternatively, mix the pills with food and let your dog eat.

What’s more, teach your canine to be calm and relaxed when applying topical treatments on their skin. Use lots of treats and pats to make them feel good and like being treated.

Running a skin-scrapping test is the best way to determine the main cause of your pup’s allergic problems. But before you do that, visit your vet. They’ll run the test positively to make your dog feel comfortable and safe.

What to do when your dog suffers shampoo allergies

  • Discuss with your vet about the alternative shampoos to use
  • Choose a mild baby shampoo
  • Let your vet clarify treatment options for your dog’s allergies
  • When using the shampoos, always give your dog’s skin an immediate rinse with cool water if the pup shows a reaction.
  • Request for an allergy test from your vet
  • Get rid of the shampoo to which your dog is allergic.

When should you consider using a baby shower on your dog?

If you realize that your dog’s skin is extremely sensitive, you may consider trying a baby shampoo. You must see your vet before trying anything. Talk to them, let them understand your dog’s problems and proceed from there.

For you to know your dog’s issues, you’ll need to understand the signs and symptoms of troublesome shampoos. After that, you can now tell whenever your dog is struggling with the current shampoo.

General Signs of Shampoo Sensitivity In Your Dog

If you realize that your dog is itchy after bathing, then the shampoo might be the one causing problems. The symptoms can be even worse. You may also notice the following symptoms in your dog:

  • Paw biting
  • Head shaking
  • Face rubbing
  • Body nipping

The dog may also suffer ear infections, skin infections and rashes. Additionally, your pup may start developing hives and lick the skin obsessively.

If your dog is allergic to shampoo, the symptoms can be very brutal. You’ll notice their skin develop bald patches, ulcerations, severe swelling, and blistery skin wounds.

The worse part, they may have anaphylactic shock, and you’ll need to rush your dog to the vet.

Body Language

Your dog may show some subtle signs that indicate the shampoo isn’t good for their skin. It is important to read their body language by looking for the following signs:

  • Alertness
  • Chewing
  • Dropping ears
  • Tilting of head
  • Irregular panting and pacing
  • Scratching against objects

If you witness any of these symptoms, stop using a shampoo right away. Visit your vet and let them give you a suitable recommendation.

Final Words – Can You Use Baby Shampoo on Dogs?

So, can you use baby shampoo on dogs? If you run out of dog shampoo and can’t access a shop, a baby shampoo could be the best alternative option. It can also work best for dogs with extremely sensitive skin because it is a gentle and mild human shampoo.

However, it is often advisable to use only a shampoo formulated for dogs. That’s because the human skin and dog skin have different pH levels, and their epidermis thickness varies.

Dog shampoos have less problematic ingredients. This means that you can confidently use them on your canine.

If it’s a must to use baby shampoo, consult your vet first. They will determine if your dog has sensitive skin and recommend suitable alternatives to use.

It is also vital that you don’t use baby shampoo for bathing your dog regularly. More importantly, ensure you rinse their skin well with cool water after the bath.

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