Can I use Human Shampoo Instead of Dog Grooming Shampoo?

We have all been there. We get home from work greeted by a stinky dog that is overdue for their dog grooming. It\’s already late and pet stores are closed. Unfortunately so is Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique. The dog is stinking to high heavens and needs dog grooming shampoo ASAP. You go into the bathroom and all you have is human shampoo. Should you wait to take your dog to Splash and Dash, or use human shampoo?

Please do not use human shampoo on a dog. Only formulated dog grooming shampoo should be used for our canines companions. Using human shampoos can be precarious and harmful for dog\’s skin which is different from human skin.

Why ONLY Dog Grooming Shampoo?

Human Skin

The answer boils down to the difference between human skin and dog skin. Part of skin has something called the acid mantle—a lightly acidic layer that protects the topmost absorbent layer of skin called the stratum corneum. The acidic mantle is the barrier between these two components of skin from bacteria and viruses. The stratum corneum maintains excessive evaporation and keeps the body hydrated.

When people bathe, the stratum corneum is stripped away leaving one\’s skin vulnerable. Most high-quality shampoos are formulated with moisturizers that replenish the acidic mantle until the body can replenish them in a 12-hour cycle.

The acidic mantle also refers to pH balance. The pH, or potential of hydrogen, scale ranges from 0 to 14 with an optimal balance for a human being anywhere from 5.2 to 6.2. A potential of hydrogen level lower than 6.4 is considered highly acidic while levels higher than 6.4 are considered highly alkaline. Shampoos maintain the delicate pH balance.

Dog Skin

Dog grooming shampoo is formulated with a dog\’s pH balance in mind. Dog\’s skin has more of an alkaline concentration which ranges from 5.5 to 7.5  depending on breed, gender, climate, and size of a dog. If you are not using a dog grooming shampoo the wash will disrupt the dog\’s acidic mantle creating a pH balance highly susceptible to environmental contaminants.

The skin becomes host to parasites, bacteria, and viruses. Think of your dog\’s skin as an environment. Dog grooming shampoo makes that environment healthy by establishing and maintaining its balance—pH.

Without proper skin restoration through using only dog grooming shampoo your dog\’s skin and coat will actually smell worse. The generation of bacteria that erupts after improper washing is what makes a dog’s coat continue to smell. Also, many dogs will scratch and bite at the itchy dry skin. This creates abrasions for bacteria to invade.

Dog grooming shampoo counters all these problems.

What Should I look for in Dog Grooming Shampoo Formulas?

Read dog grooming shampoos ingredient lists and labels. Read for all-natural ingredients and moisturizers like lavender, Vitamin E, and Argan oil.

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique has our own line of dog grooming shampoos that feature these ingredients and more. The dog grooming shampoos also focus on aromatherapy. Because dogs make sense of their world with their nose and sniffing, the scents are all-natural and help reinforce soothing feelings.

When shopping for dog grooming shampoo you are looking for one with a neutral pH balance around 7. This the optimal pH balance that will keep dog skin moisturized and healthy.  Also be aware of perfumes and fragrances.

Dog\’s have a sense of smell that is 10,000 to 100,000 times more acute than a human being. What smells fresh and clean to us can give a dog a roaring headache, agitation, or cause an allergic reaction. Dog grooming shampoo does not have any unnatural fragrance additives and will have a scent that is pleasing to a dog\’s sense of smell.

So, next time you\’re in between two fires and you consider washing your dog without the properly formulated dog grooming shampoo—please don\’t. Take your dog to a professional groomer that is trained to do more than just wash dogs.


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