Can I Use Baby Shampoo on My Dog? (What You Need to Know)

Sometimes dogs suddenly need a bath when you least expect it, maybe after a roll in something nasty and stinky, and you might not be prepared.

If you have baby shampoo on hand you’re probably wondering if it’s safe to use it to wash your dog, after all it is safe for babies so surely it should be ok for your dog – shouldn’t it?

Dogs are obviously different to humans, so you’ll be wondering if it will cause your pup any skin problems, or be dangerous if it gets in their eyes.

Is baby shampoo safe for dogs?

Yes, it is okay to use baby shampoo for your dog occasionally, but to be completely safe get the approval of your veterinarian. Baby shampoos are mild in nature and shouldn’t cause your dog any issues, but definitely don’t use adult human shampoo.

washing a brown dog

Baby shampoo is unlikely to harm your pooch’s sensitive skin and won’t cause any skin allergy or irritations.

Unlike adult human shampoos, baby shampoos do not interfere with the pH balance of your dog’s sensitive skin when used occasionally.

However, if your canine has skin conditions such as skin sensitivities and allergies, it is advisable to stick to the dog shampoo that works for them. 

Which Baby Shampoo Should You Use? 

The best baby shampoo that you can use to bathe your dog should be unscented, clear and with a mild formula.

Most baby shampoos contain safe and mild ingredients; they are not formulated using harmful chemicals and fragrances.

Some ingredients include water, glycerin to help smooth sensitive skin, sodium trideceth sulfate that works as a low irritation agent, and a non-stress pH balance of approximately 7.

Most dog owners recommend using Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo on their dogs.

How Often Can You Use Baby Shampoo On Your Dog?

Veterinary doctors recommend using a dog shampoo at all times since they are specially formulated to meet the needs of your dog’s sensitive skin, hair, eyes, and coat.

However, in the event that you have to use baby shampoo, ensure not to use it on a regular basis – once a month maximum if neccesarry.

Note that veterinarians recommend bathing your pooch once every 4 weeks maximum.

If you bathe your dog too often, it strips away the natural, beneficial oils from your dog’s skin, causing your pup’s skin to become dry, causing skin irritation.

The constant scratching of the skin due to irritations can lead to more serious health conditions such as skin abrasions, inflammations as well as invasion of bacteria.

Nonetheless, stick to using the baby shampoo only as an emergency backup option.

When using baby shampoo on your dog, ensure to rinse out the shampoo thoroughly from their body using clean water, once you are done with the scrubbing process.

See our post about good anti-itch dog shampoo for skin allergies

Is Baby Shampoo Safe With Puppies Too?

Yes, you can use a baby shampoo with your little puppy as well. Just like babies, puppies too have sensitive skin, coat, hair, and eyes.

Always remember when bathing your puppy with baby shampoo to initially avoid sensitive areas – neck, head, and the eyes.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Regular Shampoo On Your Dog

During bathing, the skins protective layer is scrubbed away as well as the acid mantle.

For this reason, regular shampoos contain moisturizers formulated to replace the protective layer.

The acid mantle, on the other hand, is a protective barrier that protects against the invasion of bacteria, viruses, and infections.

Using human shampoo on your dog, scrubs away the acid mantle barrier leaving your dog’s skin prone to infections and viruses. Consequently, you will notice your pooch scratching themselves more, and suffering skin irritation.

The invasion of bacteria, in particular, is likely to cause a bad smell from your dog’s body.

What’s more, the pH levels of human skin differs from that of dogs.

Using a human shampoo interferes with the pH balance of your canine’s skin. The end result is the damage to their skin and coat.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does baby shampoo kill fleas on dogs?

Some dog owners report successfully using baby shampoos to kills fleas on their dogs.

This is by leaving baby shampoo to settle on their canine’s body for about 10-15 minutes so as to suffocate the fleas.

Once the time lapses, you can thoroughly rinse out the shampoo and comb their hair using a flea comb. You will likely notice some dead fleas.

What shampoo is best for dogs?

Look out for all-natural organic dog shampoos that are processed using natural ingredients and free from synthetic additives such as dyes, pesticides, and chemicals.

Some of the top organic shampoos include 4-legger, Fluppets, BotaniVet, and Vermont, etc.  

Does baby shampoo hurt dogs?

Baby shampoo is formulated to be mild and gentle on baby’s sensitive skin hence less likely to cause irritation.

For this reason, using baby shampoo won’t hurt your canine’s sensitive skin, fur and, coat as it is safe and effective.

However, you should not use regularly on your furry friend as it may interfere with their skin’s pH balance.

Final Thoughts 

While you should never use regular human shampoo on your dog, baby shampoos are safe and effective to use on your pooch when used occasionally.

Regular shampoos contain harsh chemicals that interfere with your pooch’s pH balance and may cause adverse effects on their sensitive skin.

Dog shampoos are specialized to meet the needs of pooches, so choose a dog shampoo that suits your canine’s skin in preference to baby shampoo.