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Can you use human shampoo on dogs?

Most of us have a bathroom overflowing with toiletries from shampoos to conditioners, soaps and shower gels. On top of that, there’s the products we wash our pets with. To save space, it can be tempting to wonder – can I use human shampoo on my dog?
Female hair with shampoo

Bathrooms are full of lotions and potions to keep us clean, moisturised and delightfully fragranced. When you use that space to store shampoo for your beloved pets too, the shelves get even busier.

To help declutter, you might think about trying multi-use products. From just a quick look online, you can tell people ask: ‘can you use human shampoo on dogs?’, but, before you go for a one-size-fits-all approach, you need to know why it’s so important to look after your furry friends with products specially designed for them.

Can you use human shampoo on dogs?

The simple and quick answer is no. Even though your favourite shampoo shines and degreases your hair perfectly, it’s not safe for dogs. Or any pets at all. It might clean their coat and look like it’s doing the job but it could contain ingredients that irritate and harm their sensitive skin.

Why can’t you use human products on dogs?

All products are designed for their specific uses. If a shampoo is marketed at humans, it’s been carefully tested and formulated specifically to suit our skin or hair. Just like you shouldn’t give your dogs food that we love to eat – which is harmful to them (avocados, onions, chocolate etc) – you shouldn’t use human products on them either. Any of our shampoos or gels could contain ingredients which can be toxic to our canine companions.

The different pH balance between dogs and human

Our skin, and that of our precious pets, has a delicate pH balance. Human pH sits between 5.5 to 5.6 (more acidic) while dogs is around 6.2 to 7.4 (more neutral). To maintain these sensitive levels, our toiletries are tailored to the acidic side. Any acidic, human products are more likely to make doggy skin dry, flaky, irritated and possibly more vulnerable to bacteria or infection.

What shampoo is best for dogs?

The best shampoo for dogs is one that’s marketed specifically for them and tailored to their breed or coat – short, long, smooth, wiry. You’re guaranteed to find dog-friendly products in pet shops but you’ll find a bigger, specialist range online. In fact, we’ll be releasing a new product soon that will have your pup’s locks shining, safe and healthy. Sign up to our newsletter for updates.

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Can you use home remedies as shampoo?

Creating a dog shampoo with items from your cupboard at home might seem like a simple idea. But we wouldn’t recommend it. Just like humans, each dog is unique. They can have allergies or intolerances so you never know how they’ll react to certain substances. Pooch-friendly products will have been tested to minimise the risk of irritation or harm, so they’re a much safer option. If you’re keen on more natural ingredients, seek out brands – like us – that make using them their mission.

How often should you wash your dog?

When your dog gets mucky on a walk, it’s pretty obvious they need a clean-up. It’s a lot harder to decide on a regular schedule because each furry friend has different needs. Too much washing removes the natural oils in their coat and can make their skin irritated. As a general rule, give them a clean every few months. If your dog goes to the groomers (without too many complaints), you might be able to totally skip baths at home. For more detailed advice, research their coat and grooming needs. Always check with your vet as some dogs have skin issues or conditions that need regular attention and medicated washes.

What shampoo is best for humans?

It might surprise you to know that a lot of our shampoos use chemicals which aren’t great for humans either. Sulphates, phthalates, parabens and even alcohol. Some of these harmful ingredients dry out skin and hair, cause irritation, and at worst, have been linked to cancer. To safely clean your own lustrous locks and body, try to find natural, plant-based or organic products. Check the packaging and avoid items with long ingredients lists full of chemical names you don’t recognise.

What are enzymes?

Don’t be fooled to think that because enzymes are natural they are less effective than chemical cleaners. Enzymes are nature’s very own powerful cleaning tools. Making them the go to choice for pet owners who do not want to spray harmful chemicals around their pets and their home.

Simply put, enzymes are all around us performing millions of important tasks in our bodies and in nature every single day. They are a type of protein that act like a biological catalyst to speed up the break down of organic compounds.

Similarly to how saliva, (which contains enzymes), initiates the digestion process by breaking down food in our mouths, cleaning enzymes use the same ‘enzymatic digestion’ to effectively break down and eradicate the organic proteins present in urine, faeces, vomit, drool, dirt, food, and more.

This process not only makes cleaning easier but also prevents the growth of bad bacteria – the root cause of those unpleasant odours – in the air, on surfaces, and within the fibres of your soft furnishings.

Try out Bio one today, vomit and the other nasties is what nature created enzymes for.

Bio one 100% natural enzyme pet odour remover and refresher bundle

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