baby shampoo dogs

Can You Use Baby Shampoo on Dogs?

When you can’t use human shampoo for bathing your pets, can you use baby shampoo on dogs instead?

Bath time is either the best or worst time, depending on how responsive your dog is to water and particular shampoos.

A dog, just like a person’s hair, needs a lot of hygiene to keep fleas, debris, and other unpleasant pollutants away. Using a shampoo and adequately scrubbing the dog, thus, becomes imperative. But what type of shampoo is best for your pup? There are several types of dog shampoos such as;

  1. Shampoos for dogs with delicate skin
  2. Shampoos for dogs with skin illnesses
  3. Shampoos for no-toothed dogs

This article will discover why you can use your baby shampoo, the benefits, and care tips when using the shampoo.

Why and when to bathe your dog

Dogs need the same protection on their fur as our hair needs –bacteria, debris, and dirt buildup over time and can lead to parasites, infections, etc. The frequency of dog baths depends on a few factors;

  1. Fur length
  2. The intensity of the dog’s activities
  3. The dog’s reaction to water and shampoos

Bathing the dog at least once every two or three months will help you observe their skin health and keep them clean. Such frequent baths keep a dog’s skin pH levels optimum to guarantee hygiene and improve a dog’s health and mood.

Not sure when or how to bathe your dog? Your furry friend is very good at getting dirty, even when you don’t think they are.

If your dog is mostly home, you don’t need to bathe them very often. However, if your dog is very active outdoors, or if you walk it daily, a regular bath is necessary to observe the best levels of hygiene.

When bathing your dog, you need to use a strong shampoo to kill fleas and help remove all forms of debris from underneath the fur. The right type of shampoo differs for each dog. While some shampoos are specifically made for dogs, most people prefer using other shampoos they find softer and more effective. Baby shampoo is a leading product for washing dogs, but should/can you use baby shampoo on dogs?

Why is Standard Human Shampoo a Definite No-No?

There are several reservations about the suitability of using human shampoo. They have a more intense acidity that can damage your dog’s skin over time, and they may have a smell that your dog may not like, such as citrus.

Both humans and dogs have an acid mantle, a membrane that protects against bacteria, fungus, and viruses. Human shampoos damage a dog’s acid mantle after every bath, thereby leaving it susceptible to infections and viruses.

Without this protective coating, a vicious cycle will begin with your dog scratching and itching its skin, opening up abrasions for infections to take place. You will also notice the smell of the wounds, prompting you to wash your dog, further making the damage worse.

Now that human shampoo is unsuitable to use on dogs, should you try baby shampoo?

Can You Use Baby Shampoo on Dogs?

Baby shampoo is marginally more comfortable to use because it has a more acceptable pH level. As you know, baby shampoo is marketed as ‘tear-free,’ meaning it is very friendly, not only to eyes but skin as well. The gentleness is what makes baby shampoo ideal for dogs. The pH of baby shampoo is 7, thus suitable for a dog’s skin whose pH is between 5.5 to 7.5. For instance, Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is an excellent choice for your dog.

The benefit of using baby Shampoo on Your Dog

Baby shampoos are manufactured for delicate skin. They are mild, thus also suitable for delicate dog skin.

As they are made without toxic fragrances and chemicals, they leave the skin with most of what it requires to maintain its protective coating, unlike standard human shampoos.

Care When Using Baby Shampoo on a Dog

It is imperative to use baby shampoo in small amounts and to observe how the dog reacts to the shampoo during and after a wash. Carefully rinse off the shampoo to prevent allergies and skin reactions.

If you think your dog may have sensitive skin, consult your vet before using any shampoo. Explain the appearance of your dog’s skin, when and how the irritation, if any, occurs, and your dog’s overall mood. Sometimes the skin’s appearance tells a lot about the health condition of your dog.

If any irritation occurs after using a shampoo, change the brand immediately. This irritation could happen immediately or even days after using the baby shampoo. Here are some symptoms of skin irritation you can observe with your dog.

  1. The dog is unexpectedly very scratchy after a bath.
  2. The dog is suddenly and aggressively chewing his paws after a shampoo bath.
  3. The dog is shaking his head, nipping his body, or rubbing his face after a bath.
  4. The dog develops bald spots on his skin, blistering skin lesions, and swelling days after bathing with the shampoo.
  5. The dog, days after the shampoo bath, shows signs of ear infections, skin rashes, hives, or any other skin infection.

Any irritation caused by the use of or lack of shampoo can bring tragic outcomes for your dog. In cases where the dog develops an allergic reaction to a shampoo that goes unnoticed or untreated, it can suffer fatal anaphylactic shock. To prevent the worst outcome, observe the signs of anaphylaxis, and immediately contact your vet.


Baby shampoo is safe to use to bathe a dog. Its mild components clean and protect a dog’s fur and skin. However, it is not safe to use the shampoo daily or to bathe your dog daily. Dogs, like other animals, have natural bathing techniques they use to observe hygiene. You only wash them to prevent dirt and debris buildup and to prevent flea bites.

It is vital to know the various types of dog shampoos you can use, only turning to baby shampoo as a last result. When using baby shampoo, try several brands to find out which is best for your dog. It is essential to know the smells and ingredients your dog hates and avoid any shampoo containing them.