Is It Ok to Wash Your Dog With Human Shampoo?

Do you ever give your pup a glam makeover in the form of a shampoo and conditioner? Or have you ever considered doing it as an alternative to purchasing special doggy shampoo? Let’s weigh the pros and cons of using human shampoo on our beloved four-legged friends in this blog post!

Benefits of Dog Shampoo


According to experts from Dog Grooming Madison, using a human type of detergent on your pet can do more harm than good due to the differences in PH levels between human skin and your dog or cat’s skin. The wrong one can strip away the natural oils of their hair, resulting in dry, dull, itchy fur while also causing irritation to their skin.

Though human shampoos may seem like a convenient alternative, they are not ideal for use on pets and should be avoided. Instead, consider investing in a specially formulated dog shampoo that is specifically designed to meet the needs of your pet’s skin and fur type. These products also come with numerous benefits including:

  • Formulated pH Levels: They are specifically designed to provide a mild wash that won’t overly strip away the natural oils found in your pup’s coat.
  • Moisturizing Ingredients: Quality formulas often contain ingredients such as aloe vera and oatmeal extracts that provide essential moisture for their skin and fur.
  • Mild Scent: Many high-quality formulas are designed with fragrance notes specifically tailored to appeal to pets, as well as their owners!
  • Natural Formulas: Botanical and plant-based ingredients often found in these shampoos offer gentle cleansing options for pets with sensitive skin or allergies.

Human vs Dog Shampoo


You might think it’s ok to give your dog the same shampoo you use for yourself, but it is important to be aware of the differences between human and dog detergents. Human skin has a pH level of around 5.5, while canine pH level is closer to 7. It’s important to use a shampoo specifically designed for dogs because of this difference in acidity levels. They are formulated with a mild detergent that won’t dry out Fido’s skin or strip the natural oils from his coat like human detergents will.

They contain fragrances, oils and dyes that your pup could develop an allergic reaction to, and some even contain substances that can irritate or burn your dog’s eyes and skin. Additionally, there are some ingredients in human shampoo formulations (such as salicylic acid) which are toxic to animals.

For these reasons it is strongly recommended that you only use soap-free formulas specifically designed for dogs when giving your pup a bath. These shampoos provide the gentle cleaning power necessary without stripping essential oils from their fur or leaving behind potentially dangerous residues that may lead to irritation or more serious health issues over time.

Potential Risks of Washing a Dog with Human Shampoo


Washing your dog with human detergents may seem like a good idea, however there are some potential risks involved which should be taken into consideration.

Humans and dogs have different pH balance levels — the natural oils on a dog’s skin and coat often have higher pH levels than humans do. When bathing a dog with human shampoo, the sulfates in the shampoo can strip away these natural oils making your pet’s skin dry and irritated due to an imbalance in its pH. This can also leave them vulnerable to skin infections as well as flea or tick infestations. Additionally, humans often use fragrances and other ingredients that are not intended for canine use which may cause further irritation or even allergic reactions.

Therefore, while it may be tempting to save money by washing your dog with human products, it is highly recommended that you invest in quality shampoo specifically designed for canine use. This specially formulated detergent will contain appropriate ingredients that cater to their unique physiological needs and help keep their skin and coat healthy.

Alternatives to Human Shampoo


People often wonder if it is safe to use human type detergents on their dog to get them clean. The human one is formulated for the pH balance of human skin and can be too harsh for a dog’s skin. Using the wrong type can cause a dog’s skin to become dry and irritated, increasing the chances of infection. Because of this, it is important to choose an appropriate shampoo for your pet when bathing them.

There are several different alternatives that can be used in lieu of human shampoo; however, it is important to select a product designed specifically for dogs as they have different needs than humans when it comes to personal hygiene. Not all detergents are created equal, so look for one that has natural ingredients designed to nourish and protect your pup’s fur and skin while cleansing them effectively.

Some popular alternatives include oatmeal-based, which help relieve itching associated with dryness and sensitive skin; aloe-based detergents, which help hydrate the hair follicles; hypoallergenic shampoos specifically designed for dogs with allergies; and medicated shampoos which provide extra protection from bacteria and fungal infections like dermatitis or yeast infections. This is not an exhaustive list but serves as a starting point in finding a product suitable for your pup’s needs.


In conclusion, it is not recommended to wash your dog with human shampoo. They can be too harsh for dogs’ sensitive skin and may also affect their coat health. It is best to buy specially formulated dog shampoos which are designed specifically for cleaning canine fur and skin. These are milder and contain ingredients that help keep your pet’s coat healthy while gently cleansing it.

Additionally, you can also use a home-made shampoo made with natural ingredients that won’t irritate their skin or coat. Remember, while human products can be effective on a very occasional basis, it is not recommended to make them a part of your regular grooming routine as they can ultimately be harmful to your pet’s delicate physiology.