article by uday kadali

Can You Use Baby Shampoo On Dogs - Choosing Safe Shampoos for Your Pups

Can baby shampoo be used on dogs? This question might have crossed your mind a million times if you are a pet parent. There are certain times when you run out of dog shampoos, and you might have to look for something different. So, you have to make sure that whatever product is used doesn’t cause any harm to your fur baby. This article talks about everything that you might want to know about using baby shampoos on your dogs. Let’s begin! 

Are Human Shampoos Safe for Dogs? 

Even though cleaning your dog with human shampoo might not look harmful to you, it actually is. They might deteriorate the quality of your dog’s coat and skin if you use them on a regular basis. 

Dogs also have a significant amount of natural oils in their coat, which makes their coat appear shiny and clean. The use of human shampoo on dogs has the potential to strip them of their natural oils. They might also have a drying effect on the dog’s coat as it has the tendency to remove grease from our hair. 

Owing to the fact that they are heavily perfumed, the human shampoos may turn out as a cause of the irritation of your dog’s skin. 

What Can I Use As a Substitute for Dog Shampoo? 

You might have been in one of those situations where you run out of your dog shampoo and get confused about what to use as a substitute, Well, worry not, as we have got you covered. If you ever run out of your shampoo, the following substitutes will come to your rescue: 

1. Human Baby Shampoo:

This is known to be the most popular dog shampoo substitute. The gentle ingredients will not cause harm to them or strip them of their coat of natural oils. Make sure to use it in the minimum amount. 

2. Dish Soap:

Dish soap should be the last option on your list. It should be used in just a pinch as it contains some very harsh ingredients that might deteriorate the skin condition of your dog. 

3. White Vinegar:

Apart from cleansing property, the vinegar can get rid of any unwanted smell that has been there for quite some time. The best one is apple cider vinegar as it can smoothen minor dog irritations and dry skin. Use equal parts of water and vinegar and apply it to your dog’s coat, and you are good to go. Also, don’t forget to rinse it! 

4. Baking Soda:

Baking soda freshens up your dog’s coat. So, just make a paste and apply it to your dog and rinse properly. Baking Soda has some properties that help with redness, rashes and itching. 

When To Consider Baby Shampoo for Your Dog? 

Dog shampoos should always be the first priority as they contain pet-safe ingredients. However, there are certain situations where you might not get dog-friendly shampoos. So, in that situation, you should turn to the safest option possible, and that is where baby shampoos come into action

Baby shampoos might work for puppies and dogs that are completely healthy and face no skin allergies or infections. Also, there are many instances where the shampoo seeps into their eyes and causes several burns and painful lesions on their corneas. So, if you go for a baby shampoo, make sure it is tear-free. 

As these shampoos are free from harsh ingredients, sometimes, they might be helpful in treating your dog’s irritation while bathing. Now, whichever shampoo you use, make sure to rinse out all the shampoo from the coat. Also, always use cool water for your dog as warm water tends to irritate their skin. 

What is Special About Dog Shampoos?

What is Special About Dog Shampoos?

A pet-specific shampoo is always the best option for your dog. The shampoos that are made only for your dogs have the appropriate pH for dog skin and may even contain some ingredients that help to optimize the skin and also contribute to coat care. 

The oatmeal-based dog shampoo may turn out to be extra moisturizing for your fur babies as it has a completely different composition that is specially curated to give extra care to your dog's skin and cost. 

Just like humans, dogs may also suffer from several skin issues, which call for special canine hygiene. In that situation, you might have to resort to medicated shampoos for better healing of your dog's skin. However, if you notice no changes in the condition, you should again consult your veterinarian. 

How to Choose the Perfect Dog Shampoo?

If your dog is suffering from skin conditions such as allergies or tick infections such as Babesia, you might have to consult your vet before choosing one shampoo for your fur baby. However, if that is not the case, you should keep certain things in mind that concern your pet's health and wellness. 

First things first. The pH of dog skin varies widely from that of human skin. Human shampoos may disrupt a dog’s pH level of the skin, and this may lead to serious consequences such as irritation, dry skin, and severe itching. This is more common in dogs that are bathed too often or that are not rinsed with water properly.

Next, go through the list of ingredients mentioned on the packaging. Choose a shampoo that has pet-safe ingredients and suits the environment of the area that you are living in. Suppose you live in a dry climate, so go for a shampoo that has a good moisturizing capability. This can also be used on dogs that have a recurrent history of flaky and dry skin. 

It is very crucial to avoid the ingredients that have a toxic effect on your fluffball. The shampoos curated to get rid of ticks and fleas are majorly ineffective against them as they cannot get hold of the immature stages of the development of fleas. Also, the chemicals used in the shampoo preparation for fleas might turn out to be very harmful to them, causing severe seizures.


Being different species, dogs and humans have different requirements for their skin, which leads to the requirement for different shampoos. Dogs need specific shampoos which might relieve them if they are suffering from any specific skin condition. However, if they have perfectly healthy skin, baby shampoos work amazingly on dog skin. Baby shampoos can be used on puppies that generally squirm during their bathing. However, you should always consult your veterinarian before choosing one! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the risks of using baby shampoo on dogs? 

While baby shampoos are considered to be a lot milder than other human shampoos, they still do not match the pH of dog skin. As they are intended for human skin, they generally have an acidic pH. So, there is a high chance that even a baby shampoo might turn out to be harsh for your fur baby. However, in case of emergency, it is better to use than any other human shampoo, but repeated use is not recommended.  

Can I use natural or organic baby shampoo on dogs? 

As said before, baby shampoos have an acidic pH, while dog skin has an alkaline pH. So, this opens a window for all the opportunistic infections that might initially be milder, but with time, this might turn out to be a bigger problem. 

Should I consult a veterinarian before choosing a shampoo for my dog? 

Absolutely yes. Your veterinarian knows your dog the best. Therefore, it is definitely very important to consult your vet before you circle in on a particular dog shampoo.

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