You really don’t want to spend those extra dollars on a dog shampoo?
Yeah. You can use baby shampoos instead.
But how good can a baby shampoo be for a dog?
The specialized dog shampoos that you can find online or in the market have different grades and uses for different kinds of dogs.
Baby shampoos might fall short.
I have had the privilege to own two GSDs and two Pitbull dogs in my life. I started with baby shampoo, and after a few months, I figured out the difference by myself.
So, let’s find out the real difference between the two.
Difference between baby shampoo and human shampoo.
You might wonder if baby shampoo and the shampoo you use yourself is the same or not.
Both are very different in composition and results.
Human shampoos are manufactured to suit skin with PH level 5.5. Whereas baby shampoos have a PH level close to 7. So you can use baby shampoos on yourself or your dog, but you can’t use your shampoos on dogs or babies.
Human shampoos have more Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, which is good for lathering but can make a dog’s skin go dry and itchy.
The worst part is human shampoos also have artificial colors and preservatives that are detrimental to any pet’s skin.
So, baby shampoo is a better alternative to human shampoos for washing dogs.
Baby shampoo is cheaper than dog shampoo.
Perspective is the key here.
It may seem baby shampoos are cheaper than most of the specialty dog shampoos.
But in reality, ask yourself how many times a week will you wash your dog?
Probably one or two times, right?
So even dog shampoos cost more, you are basically spending just as much you spend on your own shampoos.
If cost is still your headache, there’s nothing wrong with using baby shampoos. Though I really can’t vouch for its long term side effects.
Baby shampoo not suited for a regular dog bath.
I once bathed my dogs with baby shampoo for months on a row. It was doing well until I found they were starting to develop dry skin and lots of itching.
I thought I was saving a lot. But I ended up spending hundreds of dollars in vet bills and medications.
So, what did I learn from this?
Baby shampoos might not create any abrupt side effects, but some of the chemicals in baby shampoos might create allergies in dogs in the long run.
Baby skins might look soft and hence the illusion that it’s more than good on dogs.
But in reality, babies have more skin layers than dogs.
Chemical characteristics of dog shampoo vs baby shampoo.
Baby shampoo has milder ingredients compared to human shampoos. The most common ingredients we can find in baby shampoos are Glycerin, Sodium Trideceth, and nonionic surfactants.
These ingredients help to clean the skin a milder way and have no added benefits except for cleaning.
On the other hand, dog shampoos have a variety of ingredients that are needed for maintaining the health of dog skin and coat.
Most dog shampoos have humectants. This chemical agent is capable of destroying bacteria and as well as holding the moisture within the skin.
As dogs play all day and run around outside, their coat can become smelly. Something called emollient in dog shampoos can remove this odor and also keep the skin soft.
Dog shampoo has variations suited for all dogs.
Baby shampoos are one dimensional.
If you intend to just clean your dog, baby shampoos are just fine.
But your dog might have an itching problem, allergies, flies, and ticks and hair loss.
Using a baby shampoo for these cases will not solve it. It can even make it worse.
Dog shampoo manufacturers have put together years of research to find the best ingredients that are suitable for a dog’s skin.
And they are constantly coming up with new products to fight skin issues which are quite different from human skins.
When to use baby shampoo instead of dog shampoo?
It’s a good question, and I think it needs a proper answer.
I would never recommend using baby shampoos regularly on dogs.
What you can do is use it as a backup.
On odd days when you find that your dog’s shampoo bottle is empty, a one or two washes with baby shampoo might be completely okay.
It’s always a good idea to keep 1-2 bottles of baby shampoo as a backup.
Sometimes, a particular dog shampoo you bought might cause allergies in your dog. In that case, just use baby shampoo.
Baby shampoo can cause skin complications.
The PH level of baby shampoo and dog shampoo is very close. And that makes them both usable on dogs.
But you need to remember the ingredients in both of them are different.
If you are using baby shampoos, you need to observe your dog’s behavior. If you see any signs of itching right after the bath, it will be the sign of changing that shampoo.
Sometimes an allergic reaction to baby shampoo can lead your dog to bald patches and ulcerations on the skin.
It can be tricky. But the itching is not the only sign. Raising ears, chewing, or panting during the bath should also be taken into consideration.
Which shampoo should I use on my dog?
For all logics that dog owners can come up with, I have only one answer: please use the best dog shampoos only.
I like to spend a little more on my dogs than spending more later on vet bills.
It’s a bit funny to compare dog shampoos with human shampoos.
If the situation comes that you have to use baby shampoo, go for Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo. Most vets recommend this baby shampoo as an alternative to dog shampoo.
You can also make dog shampoos at home. However, you should be careful to keep the PH level at about 7.4 and also avoid ingredients harmful for dog skin.
- 1 Difference between baby shampoo and human shampoo.
- 2 Baby shampoo is cheaper than dog shampoo.
- 3 Baby shampoo not suited for a regular dog bath.
- 4 Chemical characteristics of dog shampoo vs baby shampoo.
- 5 Dog shampoo has variations suited for all dogs.
- 6 When to use baby shampoo instead of dog shampoo?
- 7 Baby shampoo can cause skin complications.
- 8 Which shampoo should I use on my dog?