You may have heard that using shampoo on dogs is a normal, safe thing to do. Sometimes this may be right, and sometimes it may be wrong. There is great debate upon the question of whether it is safe to use human shampoo on dogs. The best way to answer this question is to look at the difference between humans and dogs (of course only when it comes to shampoo).
Human skin is acidic on the ph scale, while dog skin is slightly alkaline. Using adult human shampoo on dogs can be very irritating to their skin due to the chemical make-up of the shampoo, including certain fragrances. As with humans, some dogs may be allergic to the fragrances or some of the other ingredients that come in human shampoo. Human shampoo can also dry out dog’s skin.
There are some exceptions to this advice of course. Human baby shampoo can be used on dogs because it is chemically formulated to be neutral on the ph scale. You still might want to start out with just a little bit of the shampoo and use it on only a small area of your dog’s fur and skin. See if there are any reactions to the shampoo before using it on your dog’s entire body. And always remember, with any type of shampoo to avoid getting it into your dog’s eyes.
Some things to keep in mind concerning bathing your puppy or dog include the temperature of the water and the frequency of baths. Dogs do not tolerate hot water in the same way humans do. Keep the temperature of the water cooler than you would be comfortable in. Always test it first with the more sensitive skin on your elbow or wrist, just like you would before putting a human baby in the bath. Also, unless your dog gets extremely dirty, you really only need to bathe him or her approximately once a month. Of course, if you notice that your dog needs it more often, bathe him or her more often, but pay close attention. If your dog gets flaky skin all over its coat, and he or she is itching frequently, you might want to keep track of how often you are bathing your dog.