Can I Use Human Shampoo on My Dog?
I can’t think of any species more loyal than dogs–they certainly beat the human species. When we feed them, entertain them, house them and keep them healthy, in return, they give us a taste of something I believe is truly divine: unconditional love. Thinking about it, I’m not sure anymore which species is getting the better part of the bargain. On second thought, maybe we are, which is the reason why more than 80 % of owners today view their furry friends as family members and allow them to live inside their homes. I don’t know if it’s a tradition or ethnic thing, but people from the Old World have never allowed dogs inside the house. However, the modern dog culture includes bonding you’re your dog by watching TV together, having them lazily sleep on your couch or bed, bringing them with you to shopping malls, restaurants, breweries and even to art openings.
Having dogs indoors, dining with them and incorporating them in your day-to-day life is for sure something that originated in modern times. However, there are certain things that you should avoid doing. Like using your shampoo on your dog!
Using Human Shampoo on Dogs
Just like creamy concealers and moisturizers, there are plenty of human shampoos on the market today–from exfoliating and clarifying to brass-busting and volumizing. However, the easy and wide availability of shampoos doesn’t mean that you have to use them on your furry pal.
So, the short answer to, “Can I use human shampoo on my dog,” is no! You can’t!
And, here are the reasons why!
Acidity and Alkalinity
Usually, the skin – be it for a dog or a human –has a thin layer referred to as the “acid mantle” and this layer is known for protecting the top outer layer of the skin, which is called the “stratum corneum” from pollutants and contaminants like bacteria and viruses. The acid mantle can also absorb water and thus keeps the body hydrated. However, every time you bathe, the acid mantle is washed away. Eventually, the acid mantle will renew itself but until it does so, shampoos and soaps consist of certain ingredients that can moisturize the skin and protect it. One should keep in mind that for the acid mantle to do its job, it is important for the skin to have the proper balance of acidity and alkalinity – also known as the pH balance.
Compared to human skin, dog skin has a very different pH balance. While human skin has a normal pH balance of 5.5 or 5.6, which is more on the acidic side, dogs have a normal pH balance of 6.2-7.4, which is more neutral. Therefore, when you use a regular human shampoo on your dog, it will disrupt the acid mantle, leaving your dog completely vulnerable to bacteria, parasites and viruses. As human shampoos are tailored to a more acidic mantle, using them on your dog will make the dog’s skin dry and flaky, which can make it easier for bacteria and viruses to invade.
A key difference between canine and human skin is that dogs have more sensitive skin than humans. Hard to believe, right?
According to experts, while humans have 10-15 layers of skin, dogs, on the other hand, have only 3-5. And, hence when a shampoo with the wrong pH balance is used on them, it can irritate their skin and strip away all the protective oils from their skin, leaving them open to a host of dangerous health conditions.
What About a Dog Emergency?
Let’s set the scene: You come home to find that your dog has rolled in something that has left him with a very unpleasant odor or has got himself a very horrible mud facial. You’ve got no other choice than to give him an emergency bath. However, after finally managing to get him in the water, you find that you are out of pet shampoo. In that case, can you use human shampoo on your dog?
If it’s a once-in-a-blue-moon thing, you can use human shampoo on your dog and he will be fine. However, there are also several alternatives –mostly home remedies – for when you are running out of pet shampoo and if you want to learn more about them, click here!