We've all come up short on one occasion or another – sometimes when we really can't afford to – like not having the right kind of shampoo when your dog needs a bath. If this has ever happened (or is currently happening) to you, it can be confusing when it comes to making a choice on the best product for your dog.
Should you really run to the store in the middle of the night? Or for now, will it be okay to just use your shampoo? Here's what you need to know:
It's not the Best Idea
Yes, it's true that human shampoo will technically clean your dog's fur – and it will do so effectively. Unfortunately, the cost is just not worth the price. Using human shampoo on your dog can disrupt the natural balance of your dog's integumentary system (skin, skin glands, etc.) and leave room for pesky bacteria and parasites to settle in – something we absolutely do not want.
You may not appreciate the run to the store in the middle of the night, but in the long run you'll be glad you didn't use your own shampoo to clean your dog.
Why You Shouldn't Use Human Shampoo on Dogs
Skin is very delicate for both dogs and humans. It is protected by something called the ‘acid mantle'. This is a thin acidic layer that coats the skin and prevents harmful substances and bacteria from creating a skin condition. It also helps to absorb moisture and prevents too much water from evaporating out of our bodies.
When we bathe ourselves and our dogs, it is important to make sure that the pH levels of the soaps we use will not damage the acid mantle.The problem with human shampoo is that the pH level is too acidic for dogs. Human skin pH levels are typically around 5.2 to 6.2 on a scale of 0 to 14. This means they are more acidic than alkaline. Dog's skin pH is more alkaline than acidic. The pH levels vary by breed, but the average is in-between 5.5 and 7.5.
Additionally, dogs like to lick themselves. Most dog shampoos account for this and don't add any harmful chemicals to their ingredients. Human shampoos on the other hand have lots of products that should never be ingested. Steer clear and avoid a potential disaster!
Recommended Products for You
To make sure that your dog is getting shampoo that is safe for their skin, look for a shampoo that is specifically created for dogs. The best shampoo to use on your dog will most likely be neutral and have a pH score of 7. You can also use alkaline shampoo, but be sure to look up the skin pH level that is specific to your dog's breed to ensure the best results.
The majority of the shampoos you'll buy for your dog will have the pH scale listed on them. However, there will be some that do not post the pH measurement on their packaging. At the very least, make sure that the shampoo you use for your dog has been pH balanced for dogs. This should help to eliminate any problems you might have.
Still feeling a little uncertain about what to buy? We've put together a list for you: