How often should you bathe your dog?
Experts say at least once every three months. Not only will it make them smell nice, but it’ll also improve their coat by removing loose hair and debris.
With that said, you don't want to wash them too often. That can dry out the skin, which will do more harm than good.
The type of shampoo that you use matters as well. Ideally, you want to use something that will both moisturize and protect the skin.
Don't have any? Wondering whether you can use human shampoo on dogs instead? Find out by reading the rest of this post!
Can You Use Human Shampoo on Dogs?
Human shampoo will do the job if you’re out of dog shampoo. However, it’s not something that you want to use on a regular basis.
After all, it’s made for the human acid mantle (a thin acidic film on the surface of the skin), which has a pH level of 5.2 to 6.2. In contrast, the pH balance level for dogs ranges anywhere from 5.5 to 7.5.
In other words, the shampoo will be too acidic for your pup. Not only will it strip away their natural protective oils, but it can make them more susceptible to parasites.
What About Baby Shampoo?
Baby shampoo for dogs is slightly better than regular shampoo because it has a lower pH. That is, it'll be less damaging to your dog’s skin.
With that said, it still contains colors and fragrances, both of which can cause damage over time. For this reason, we recommend it as a last resort only.
Which Dog Shampoo Should I Use?
It depends on your dog’s coat. For example, you’ll want to use a moisturizing shampoo (look for something with oatmeal, honey, and vitamin E) if your dog has dry, itchy skin. Avoid those with scents as they can cause further irritation.
Is their fur dry and dull? If so, you’ll want to get something with minerals, vitamins, and proteins.
Similarly, there are deodorizing shampoos that you can use to eliminate unpleasant odors.
How to Use Dog Shampoo Properly
Thoroughly wet your dog. Use a sponge to apply the shampoo from front to back. Gently massage it into their fur.
Use a small cloth to apply shampoo to their head. Be careful not to get it into their eyes, nose, mouth, or ears.
Rinse with water afterward, remembering that it can take some time to get rid of all the shampoo from their coat. From there, dry with a thick bath towel. You can also use a hairdryer to speed up the process.
Using the Right Shampoo For Your Dog
The bottom line is, you can use human shampoo on dogs. However, it’s not the best option. Whenever possible, it’s much better to use something that’s specifically formulated for their skin.
Don't want to do it yourself? Looking for in-home dog grooming services in the greater Portland Metro area or the greater Boise metro area?
Feel free to contact us to set up an appointment for your pup!
Allison Johnson is the Owner and Founder of Trimmed Pets. Trimmed is a woman owned and led Mobile Grooming Business servicing the greater Portland Metro area in Oregon and the greater Boise Metro area in Idaho.