Health & Wellness

Is Baby Shampoo Safe to Use on Dogs?

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We’ve always been taught that human shampoo is terrible to use on dogs, but what about baby shampoo?

Baby Shampoo
by Anna Sakila

Dogs require the same protection on their coats that our hair needs – debris, bacteria, and dirt will build up over time and can lead to infections, parasites, etc. Ergo, baths are required to ensure that they stay clean, but using human shampoo is completely out of the question here unless you’re bathing them in baby shampoo.

Bathing your dog at least once a month to ensure nothing can unexpectedly build up on their coat and skin is ideal. Doing so ensures that the pH levels of their coat and skin are properly maintained for the purpose of keeping them clean and preventing viruses, parasites, and bacteria.

Why Regular Human Shampoo Is A Definite No-No

Other than baby shampoo, human shampoo is one of the worst things you could ever put on your dog. Human shampoos are formulated to have moisturizers for the purpose of replacing the much-needed protective layer that gets scrubbed away. Both dogs and humans have an acid mantle, a barrier that protects against infection, bacteria, and viruses, which goes hand in hand with using human shampoo.

If the acid mantle is scrubbed away on a dog, however, microorganisms are left to run rampant. You’ll notice that your dog’s skin will become itchy, will peel, become highly irritated, and much more.

Humans have a regular skin pH balance of around 5.2 up to 6.2, while dogs typically range from 5.5 up to 7.5. The actual pH scale, however, ranges from 0 up to 14. Levels that are below 6.4 are considered to be high acidity, while the levels above 6.4 are considered to be high alkalinity.

Human skin, because the pH level sits between 5.2 up to 6.2, are more on the side of being acidic. Ergo, skin products and shampoos are specifically formulated for this very balance. Using a shampoo or general bath product on a dog, who is not human and does not have the same pH balance or general level, can be extremely devastating to their skin and coat.

Human shampoos destroy the acid mantle of a dog through a major disruption, opening the floodgates for all types of viruses and infections. A vicious cycle will begin. Your dog will scratch and itch at their skin, opening abrasions for bacteria to dig into. You will also notice a smell as a result of the bacteria running rampant and try to wash your dog more, worsening the damage.

Baby Shampoo

Why Baby Shampoo Is The Only Safe Alternative

Baby shampoo is the only safe alternative where human shampoo is concerned, unless you use a shampoo specifically formulated for dogs. For example, Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is a great option to use on your dog.

Baby shampoos are formulated and designed for sensitive skin and are made to be a very mild shampoo. They are made without harmful chemicals and fragrances, unlike regular human shampoo, and are designed to leave the skin with everything it needs to have a protective barrier.

Using Baby Shampoo On A Dog

Though baby shampoo is, in fact, safe to use on a dog, you should really only be using it as an emergency backup option. If you do need to use baby shampoo on your dog, ensure that you rinse him thoroughly to ensure that you get all of it out when the scrubbing part is done.

Using baby shampoo is not recommended on a regular basis, but it’s the only safe human shampoo alternative to shampoo is formulated and designed for dogs.

About Author

Here at, Anna shares her dog-loving passion with the world. She likes to give her dogs the best of everything and bring helpful, interesting information to her readers. You can catch more of her through her Google+ or Twitter.

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  1. […] Yes, you can use baby shampoo on puppies. Baby shampoo is the only safe alternative to specialized puppy shampoo and can be used on puppies. If you are able to use a specialized puppy shampoo, this is still recommended over baby shampooBaby shampoo is usually very mild and doesn’t contain harsh chemicals and added fragrances like regular human shampoo. Human shampoo is terrible for puppies and dogs because the Ph level is too acidic for their skin. The regular human shampoo will destroy the acid mantle of your dog’s skin which leads to serious health issues. Source […]

  2. Avatar Of Elizabeth



    This is great to know. Baby shampoo is very inexpensive, while dog shampoos can be expensive.

  3. […] your dog with human shampoo is one of the biggest mistakes an owner can make. The only exception is a mild solution that is used for babies. Even then, these must be diluted and used in very small […]

  4. […] a particular dog shampoo might not be a good fit for all dogs. If you can’t find a dog shampoo, baby shampoo could be a workable substitute. However, again, you should check with your vet about that as well. […]

  5. Avatar Of Emma Engel Emma Engel says:

    Very useful content. I always think baby shampoo is good for sensitive skin like the baby, so it's good for the dog. Now, I understand why my dog hat bathing time. Thank Anna!

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