Can I Use Human Shampoo on a Dog?

Posted by Nadezhda Robinson on

Can I use human shampoo for my dog ?

A question we’ve all thought to ourselves in a frenzy when our pooch is covered in mud. However, human shampoo is created for and (hopefully) tested on human hair. 

Dog’s have sensitive skin:

Yes, It’s hard to believe that dogs’ skin is sensitive, considering they will roll in just about anything. But their skin is even more delicate than a baby's skin! Which means that using human shampoo can lead to a pH imbalance. Leaving your dogs skin vulnerable to bacteria. Dog skin is more neutral than human skin, which is slightly acidic, it is also thinner allowing chemicals to penetrate easier. This is especially true for Harms dog sensitive areas, harsh fragrances can lead to dry, flaky skin. 

What about baby shampoo?

Baby shampoo often has much less chemical ingredients as babies have sensitive skin. It often has a less acidic pH level, to avoid intensely stinging their eyes. This can be useful when washing your dog that may be moving around! However, baby shampoos should not be relied on to wash your dog as in the long term they can still cause irritation to their skin. 

Cab I use human shampoo on my dog ?

Things to note before washing your dog:


Getting the temperature right for a dog is important, if the water is too cold you risk your dog becoming sick, if it is too hot your dog will be extremely uncomfortable (as they handle heat differently to humans). Make sure you test the water before you let your dog in to check it is a good temperature. It's also good to choose a nice day to wash your dog, allowing them to dry off comfortably. 


Make sure you and your dog are comfortable! Not all dogs enjoy being washed, so making the space a nice environment is important to keeping your dog relaxed. Having a helping hand is always a bonus to make the process quick and effective. 

Be Careful:

Don’t be too rough on your dog's fur, they may have bits of dirt stuck to them, but it is important to be extra careful around their sensitive spots. It may be useful to get an old soft cloth and give extra attention when wiping the face and private areas. It is also important to keep soap out of your dogs eye. Again, human shampoos often have harsh chemicals which can harm their eyes. Using a dog shampoo can lower the harm, but should also be avoided in these areas. Most importantly, be gentle and give them lots of treats afterwards, this helps your dog see bath time as a reward rather than a stressful experience!

Conclusion! Is human shampoo safe to use for dogs? No, we wouldn’t recommend  using it as a quick fix, as it can be more detrimental to your dog’s skin in the long term. It will disrupt the pH balance of your dog’s fur and eventually lead to dry skin. All in all, it’s best to use shampoo that is designed with your dog in mind. 

DermOpt Dog Shampoo 

DermOpt Dog Shampoo is the vet created secret to healthy skin and coat for your dog. Specially formulated by Dr.Harley Farmer our anti-bacterial dog shampoo works with and re-balances the damaged skin cells.

DermOpt 500ml Dog Shampoo


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