LifestyleWhat happens when you wash your dog with human shampoo? It could have serious consequences

What happens when you wash your dog with human shampoo? It could have serious consequences

Can you wash a dog with human shampoo?
Can you wash a dog with human shampoo?
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6:08 AM EST, December 4, 2023

It might appear harmless to use a shampoo on dogs that's gentle enough for a newborn baby's skin. However, even the gentlest human shampoos should not be used on our furry friends. But why is this the case, and what alternatives can you use when you've run out of your pet's specialized products?

Imagine this scenario: after a joyous romp outside, your puppy is muddy and in dire need of a bath, and you're faced with the prospect of another hour cleaning the bathroom post-bath time. Your pet eagerly awaits a stream of purifying water, yet you find that the remaining pet shampoo scarcely covers its tail. You then resort to your cosmetics - shampoos for greasy hair or those that add volume or smoothness. Unfortunately, this common practice could severely affect your pet's skin health.

Why you shouldn't wash your pet with human shampoo: It can lead to skin issues

Unlike human skin, the skin pH of dogs is more neutral. This difference makes human cosmetics, including shampoos, damage your pet's coat and skin. Non-animal-designated soapy products can strip pets of their natural moisture barrier. Put in everyday terms - these products are too harsh and can lead to significant skin discomfort, signaled by your pet through excessive scratching or obsessive biting.

When no pet shampoo is available, a water rinse is safer

What can you substitute pet shampoo with if you've run out? Surprisingly, even mild, hypoallergenic baby cosmetics shouldn't be used as a substitute for dog shampoo.

"If you find yourself without dog shampoo, I recommend thoroughly rinsing your dog with water. Pet wipes can also be handy if you're travelling or short on time," says Kurt Dennis, Animal Services and Safety Manager at Pet Supplies Plus.

What if a simple water rinse doesn't quite cut it in terms of removing strong odors? You can whip up a homemade solution consisting of distilled white vinegar, water, and lemon juice. This combination will definitely neutralize any unpleasant smell. Simply mix this natural remedy and lightly spray it onto your pet's coat, then allow your pet to air dry.

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