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Bathing our dogs can be a necessary trial at times. In some cases we may only need to get out the products, run the bath and plead with out pets to keep still once a month to get rid of some loose hair and grime, but it can still be a trying ordeal.
The best bathing sessions require a happy, patient dog, a patient owner and the right products. This means finding the right shampoo. Choosing a shampoo could pose a problem for many dog owners.
Is human shampoo safe for dogs, should you stick to baby shampoo for a gentler formula, or is it more beneficial to avoid the human products altogether and get a natural formula for dogs?
It seems that the question of can you use baby shampoo on dogs is all about choosing the right shampoo, the method of cleaning and the frequency with which you use it.
This guide will look at some of the different opinions on the subject, the precautions that need to be taken and some of the products that are deemed safe to use.
This is a question that is asked time and time again when new owners are faced with the problems of a dirty coat or fur and skin issues that may need some deeper treatment.
We spend plenty of money finding the ideal shampoo to make our own scalps flake free or our hair glossy and manageable, but that doesn’t mean that those potent formulas will be safe for a dog.
Some human products are full of chemicals that could harm the fur of dogs and pose other health risks. You may think that these powerful options are the only way to get a clean, fragrant dog – especially if they have been rolling in something disgusting or have been sprayed by a skunk – but many are not worth the risk.
Additionally, many shampoos are formulated to suit the pH level of the human scalp, which is different from that of dogs. As a result, dogs can have adverse reactions to human shampoo because it is simply too harsh.
One of the obvious compromises for dog owners that want to shampoo their pets is to wash dogs with baby shampoo.
Baby shampoo is designed to be simple and gentle so that it doesn’t pose a risk to our children, so the understandable assumption from most dog owners is that it must be a much more beneficial option than ordinary human shampoo.
Is baby shampoo shampoo safe for dogs? There are a number of bloggers, experts and vets that advocate the use of baby shampoo on dogs in the right circumstances and there are many references to a specific brand.
Dog owners immediately turn to Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo for dogs because it is deemed to be one of the safest options out there. This is because it is crucial to look for a product that is unscented and clear – this means no chemical aromas and colors for a more gentle, natural approach.
This much loved baby shampoo is respected by parents across the world for its mild, simple formula and the way that their children respond to it, and it seems that the reactions from dog owners are not that dissimilar.
This form of human shampoo for dogs is considered to be safe in small doses and it all depends on how often you give your dog a bath.
If your pet only needs bathing once a month and has no clear skin problems or allergies, this soft baby shampoo formula can really help. If, however, you have a more sensitive pet that need bathing more often, it might be worth looking at other, dog-friendly alternatives.
Consider your own dog’s needs and the requirements of the breed. The “no more tears” slogans of these top brands are great with kids in mind, as it means that the formulas are safer near their eyes, but what about dogs like pugs with those big, sensitive eyes that are prone to infection?
Sometimes it is best to opt for a medicated, specialist shampoo for dogs.
The other problem comes with skin complaints and other medical conditions where a more specialized, medicated approach may be in order. It is important to find the best dog shampoo for sensitive skin, rather than rely on a human product and there are plenty of different products out there with different formulas.
Dog shampoos are specially formulated to provide the right pH level for a dog’s skin and there are different options for different conditions. The pH level should be clearly marked on the bottle.
There are a number of interesting dog shampoos out there that can help dogs with medical complaints – medicated shampoos with ingredients that are designed to work quickly and effectively, but that may not be familiar to owners.
A highly rated vet’s choice is the Vet’s Best Hypoallergenic Shampoo. It is designed to target dandruff, scalp disorders and to thicken hair, and it uses ingredients like panthenol and allantoiin. The problem is that while vets may understand the safety of these ingredients, they are just a bit too foreign for some dog owners.
The OxGord Organic Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and Conditioner ranks highly in many bloggers lists for the top dog shampoos on the market and is ones of the best rated options on Amazon – which means that dog owners must love it. It is a little pricey compared to some of the other products that are around, but there are plenty of reasons for this. This shampoo is packed full of top ingredients like Aloe Vera and coconut oils for itchy skin as well as oatmeal and shea for moisturizing properties.
The mixture is completely natural and organic, but still creates a good lather and works really well.
Always make sure to find the best shampoo for itchy dogs.
This use of Aloe Vera for skin complaints brings up another issue with finding the best shampoo – itchy skin and flea control.
One of the best approaches to dealing with fleas in a natural way is to use eucalyptus oil. Some add this to homemade shampoos while others place it on collars. With so many human shampoos using eucalyptus in anti-dandruff formulas, it can be tempting to use this option to fight fleas.
It is best to stick with a safer, dog shampoo in order to prevent any irritation around flea bites or sore skin and to ensure that itchy skin is dealt with effectively. The important thing with dog shampoo is that it contains many different ingredients used with a dog’s skin and fur in mind; the more diverse the natural ingredients, the more advantageous it could be.
This means skin moisturizers like vitamin E, Aloe Vera, honey and tea tree oil, citrus oils as insect repellants and natural fragrances that are pleasing to human and canine noses – like chamomile and lavender.
Instead of trawling the stores for safe, appealing products, some dog owners choose to make their own with all-natural ingredient at home.
This option is becoming much more popular as dog owners steer away from chemicals all together.
These methods can be more pleasant for the animals – with less of a lather to worry about – and smell good too. Key ingredients in these shampoos include tea tree oil, Aloe Vera and oatmeal. Basically, users are taking the principles behind key ingredients in medicated dog shampoos and using them in their own formulas for an inexpensive alternative that has the potential to offer the same result.
This is another reason why some dog owners want to stick with human shampoo for dogs – affordability.
Many of us don’t want to have to pay out vast sums of money for an expensive bottle of the best, specialized dog shampoo when we know that we have plenty of human shampoo or a baby version in the cupboard.
An important point to remember here is that a little goes a long way with dog shampoo. While a bottle of your favorite salon brand may last a month or two, a dog shampoo can last a year because of the infrequency of its use. This puts the costs in greater perspective and shows how important this once a year purchase can be.
Another important question when considering the use of human shampoo on dogs is shampoo for puppies.
Baby shampoo can be used with care when choosing a shampoo for puppies under 12 weeks, but there are much better product out there that have been created with younger dogs in mind.
The Earthbath Puppy Shampoo is highly recommended because of its simple, natural formula.
There is nothing but natural cleansers, Aloe Vera and cherry essence for fragrance. It is ideal for puppies over 6 weeks old and is designed to work with the sensitive skin of puppies, to be safe for use near eyes, to improve the shine of the coat and to not affect topical flea applications. Buyers love the scent and say that it provides a great finish to the coat and make their pet relaxed.
There are clearly a lot of questions for dog owners to consider when choosing their grooming products and bathing their dogs: Can I wash my dog with human shampoo? Can I use Johnson’s baby shampoo on my dog? What is the best shampoo for puppies?
The more questions that you ask, the closer you will get to the right product for your dog.
Research the ingredients on the back of a bottle, talk to other dog owners about their experiences and, most importantly, talk to your vet for guidance.
Some online experts may give the impression that this well-known brand is essentially baby dog shampoo thanks to its gentle formula and great results, but they are generalizing to some extent. They have not met your dog and are not familiar with his medical history – unlike your own vet. Ask them for their recommendations based on the skin type and fur of your dog.
In this guide, we aimed to deal with the question of can I use human shampoo on my dog by looking at the potential of these gentler baby formulas and other dog-friendly products.
In many ways, the dog-friendly options will always come out on top in terms of the ingredients used and their intended effect. On the other side of the coin, human baby shampoo can be more accessible and affordable, so it is easy to see the appeal.
As you have seen, there are instances where baby shampoo on puppies and older dogs can have a great effect and can be recommended, but it all depends on the formula, the frequency of use and the health needs of your dog.
Do your research, talk to your vet and weigh up the pros and cons of baby shampoo for dogs for your own pet. If it is approved and seems like a safe, practical option then use something reputable like the Johnson’s formula in a responsible way. If there is any doubt, stick to the dog-friendly formulas.
Dog shampoo will, however, always be preferable over human shampoo because of the thought that has gone into the ingredients and PH level, the additional benefits for health and well-being and the quality of the product.
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