Shampoos and conditioners designed specifically for dogs – is it safe to use human shampoo on puppies and kittens?
In the event that you are caught without a suitable shampoo for dogs and are forced to use your own occasionally, it is possible that you will not observe any of the negative consequences of using human shampoo on your dog.
In the event that this ever occurs, you should utilise the gentlest human shampoo conceivable that has as little perfume as is humanly possible. You may try something different, such as a shampoo designed for babies, oatmeal, or even a shampoo for people with sensitive skin.
But the long and short of it is that it is not OK to use human shampoo, conditioners and perfumes on your dog.
This is because the pH balance on our skins is different than the pH balance on doggy skins. Humans have a more acidic pH balance whilst dogs have a more alkaline pH.
Using human toiletries on dogs can burn the skin and cause skin irritations, scratching and dry skin. Our shampoo harms the protective layer of a dog’s skin and leaves it open for bacteria, viruses, parasites and infections.
When it comes to regularity, people often wonder how often they should bathe their dogs. There is no specific timetable which you have to follow. As a rule of thumb it is recommended that you bathe them when they are dirty.
From experience, roughly once a month is more than sufficient. If you have little accidents along the way, like having a field day in the coal bucket or rolling in animal dung whilst out walking, of course bath away.
A little bit goes a long way, especially considered that you will on average only bathe once per month. There are different shampoos available. Make sure you buy as good as you can afford. Sometimes a good human shampoo can better than a bad doggy shampoo.
Read the labels on the shampoo and make sure the ingredients are as natural and organic as possible. A good shampoo range will include shampoos for different breeds and coats. There are usually shampoos specifically for puppies, white coats, curly coats, silky coats and black coats.
There are also shampoos that take sensitive skin in consideration and others that are parasite repellent or made for skin that are oily or dry. A good example is oatmeal shampoo for dogs.
After a good wash, do make sure that you have rinsed properly to ensure all the suds have been removed. Any leftover will dry on your dog’s skin and can cause severe burning and itchiness.
After you have rinsed the soap out, you may follow up with a conditioner. Again, there are a large variety of conditioners available out there. As with your shampoo, you should invest in as good a shampoo as you can afford.
Not all canine coats need a conditioner. Coats that need to retain their coarse texture should not get conditioner. These include breeds such as West Highland Terrier and Bichon Frise for example. Examples of dogs that benefit from conditioner are smooth coated Yorkshire Terriers and Shih-Tzus.
In the salon we use a combination of shampoo/conditioner/perfume spray to care for coats.
We all know that bad doggy odour smell when the coat gets wet. If your dog is not dirty but just a bit smelly, invest in a good doggy perfume. There are great perfumes out there that can be bought from any reputable pet store or animal care provider.
Look for one that has added ingredients like camomile that does not only make the coat smell nice, but adds to soothe and maintain the coat. These perfumes can be sprayed on as often as you want without causing any skin problems or adverse effects.
A little tip: the bigger quantity you buy the cheaper it is. If you have visited your pet store and are overwhelmed by the variety on offer and still not sure, a good idea is to drop into your local groomer.
They wash dogs for a living and will have an expert experience with shampoos. Ask what they are using, some groomers might even stock the shampoo, conditioner and perfume that they use on their clients in their shops.
A top-of-the-range shampoo that is pricey but very well worth it, is Pet Head by Tigi that also makes shampoos for human salons. Not only do they have a good wide range, but every product also smells heavenly and the bottles are ornaments on their own.