Why not use human shampoo on your dog? If it works for you, it should work for little Fido too, right? We all want the best for our four-legged companions, but we may unknowingly be harming them.
Actually, human and dog skin are quite different, with a 2.0 point span in Ph, 7 being a neutral balance. Human skin is acidic with a Ph balance of 5.5, whereas dog skin has a Ph balance of 7.5, which is alkaline. What that means is that your shampoo could be very harsh and damaging to the protective qualities of your pet’s hair and skin. Humans have thicker skin that consists of 10 to 15 cell layers. Dogs have only three to five cell layers. Highly acidic shampoos should never be used on your dog. Not even baby shampoo. This could lead to an expensive visit to your veterinarian. Making healthy choices for your pet will pay off in the long run and minimize costly animal hospital bills.
Since skin is the largest organ of both your and your pet’s body, toxin absorption from shampooing could cause toxicity internally. The smaller your pet, the more toxic it can become. There are potentially dangerous chemicals in both human and pet shampoos, so be diligent and become a label reader. You can refer to the California harmful chemicals list on PetMd.com presented by Dr. Patrick Mahoney, DVM. There are 800 toxins listed, and the list is growing. D-trans Allethrin is a synthetic chemical that can cause allergic responses. Diethanolamine or DEA is a known cancer causing carcinogen along with Pyriproxyfen and S-Methoprene. A shampoo containing these chemicals was sold by veterinarians and pulled off the market in 2012. Look for these chemicals when you read pet shampoo labels and avoid them. Harmful chemicals that can cause cancer in humans could likely cause cancer in your beloved pet.
So, what is the best dog shampoo for your dog? There are hundreds to choose from; some better than others. Oatmeal shampoo is very soothing for humans and could be for little Fifi, but if she has grain allergies you should avoid this type of shampoo. According to integrative veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker, a whopping 80 percent of allergic dogs have a grain problem. So, oatmeal is out if your doggy has grain allergies (Not to mention what’s in Fluffy’s food bowl).
So far, the information given has been pretty scary to say the least, but have no fear. There are various animal herbal shampoos that are non-drying and safe for regular use. Your local pet store will stock a large variety of shampoos for dogs. You may also find organic shampoos that are even safer and very soothing, such as lavender or peppermint. Choosing the right shampoo for your pet may seem like a small, unimportant decision, but in the end both you and your bundle of joy will benefit. So, take the time and do your homework and make the right choice when it comes to lathering up your furry companion.