When you want your dog clean and smelling fresh, you may not think much about grabbing your own favorite shampoo or conditioner for bath time. However, doing so can affect your pet’s health, specifically the health of their skin.
For some dogs, using the wrong type of shampoo can cause allergic reactions and even more serious health concerns.
Learn more about what makes pet and people shampoos different:
Differences in pH
Human skin has a different pH level than dog skin. A dog’s skin is more neutral than human skin, which makes most people shampoos much too acidic to be used safely.
Using the wrong type of shampoo can upset the balance of your dog’s skin pH, causing serious irritation, inflammation, and even painful skin disorders.
When you shampoo your own hair, you usually wet your hair, add water to a small amount of shampoo, wash, and rinse.
While you typically use the same process for your dog, many pet-friendly shampoos call for leaving the shampoo set on their coat for several minutes to achieve maximum benefit.
Leaving human shampoo on a dog too long can lead to dry skin and other complications. It’s better to shop for dog shampoos that address the specific needs of your companion than to opt for a human-safe shampoo.
It’s also important that pet shampoos wash away completely and easily. Residue buildup from a bad rinse job can be bad for your dog’s coat and their digestive system if they’re prone to self-grooming and licking their own fur.
Stick with lukewarm water for washing and cool water for rinsing to prevent irritation in your dog’s skin. Using water that’s too hot can also increase the risk for unnecessary burns.
Shampoos with a Purpose
Human and pet shampoos do come in a variety of types, each with a different purpose. You can opt for shampoos for dry hair, colored hair, oily hair, and many more. People shampoos also accommodate fine hair, thick hair, and hair loss.
For dogs, you get almost as many options. There are cleaning shampoos, therapeutic shampoos, and medicated options for existing skin conditions. Dogs also have shampoos made especially for treating and preventing fleas and ticks.
For humans, washing hair is something that’s done every few days, if not daily. For dogs, overbathing can lead to extra-dry and itchy skin. Even once a week may be too much for certain breeds with sensitive skin.
However, there are some dogs that will find mud puddles and bad-smelling things to roll in from time to time, resulting in more baths. For these occasions, it’s important to select a gentle cleansing shampoo, or make your own at home, to remove dirt and smells without drying out the skin.
Check In With Your Vet
If you struggle to find a good shampoo for your dog with an existing skin condition, you may need to speak with your vet about what products to use and which ones to avoid. They can also tell you how often to bathe your pet if they have a skin problem.
Many retail shampoos are safe for dogs with dry skin and other issues, but in some cases, you may need a prescription medication to treat certain underlying health concerns.
Your vet may also recommend other hygiene products that can accompany a shampoo for bath time, such as flea treatments and ear cleaners.
End with a Good Brushing
Following a good bath, let your dog dry naturally. A hair dryer on a cool setting can speed up the process but may not be a good idea for already dry and irritated skin. Plus, some dogs shy away from the noise of the dryer.
After their coat has time to dry, use a high-quality brush to remove loose hairs and other debris to ensure a good shine.
If you prefer to use your own homemade dog shampoo recipes and need a durable, tight-sealing pet shampoo bottle, check out the great selection BottleStore.com has to offer. You can also purchase bulk orders with discount pricing if you plan to sell your pet-friendly shampoos to other pet owners.