Can You Use Baby Shampoo on Dogs?

They say regular shampoo is bad for dogs. But can you use baby shampoo on them?

Like we need to wash our hair every other day, so do dogs. Dirt, bacteria, and debris build up in their coats over time, which can be a breeding ground for parasites and infections.

Baths are necessary for dogs to make sure that they remain clean and healthy. But using a regular shampoo that you use on your hair for them is a big no. The best alternative is to use baby shampoo.

Many dog owners ask the question, ‘can you use baby shampoo on dogs?’ The simple answer to this question is, yes, you can. It is ideal for bathing your dog at least once a month if you don’t want any parasites, dirt, and debris to build upon their skin and coat. Letting them stay dirty will only lead to a host of health problems for you and your dog.  

When you regularly bathe your dog with mild baby shampoo, the pH levels of their skin and coat will remain optimal. It will also prevent bacteria, parasites, and viruses from growing on their skin and coat.

When you go out shampoo shopping for your dog, you will see plenty of options. But all these options are costly, so what do you do if you can’t afford these?

Why Buy a Baby Shampoo When You Can Buy Special Dog Shampoo?

If your pup has sensitive skin or you don’t want to spend too much money on specialized dog products, then baby shampoo is your best option. It is the perfect alternative to special dog shampoos and is ideal for dogs that have sensitive skin.

Being a dog lover all my life, I also faced the same dilemma and couldn’t choose a shampoo for my dogs. I have three beautiful pugs at home. They are my family members, and I love them as much as my two children.

When I first brought them home, I wasn’t sure how I would wash them. The first thought that came to my mind was using a regular shampoo that I use on my hair. After all, the pugs also had hair, and they didn’t look much different.

I took one of my pugs and bathed her with my shampoo. It was awful. It irritated her skin, and I could see that she was in pain. I knew I had made a mistake.

So, I went online and typed in the search bar, ‘can you use regular shampoo for dogs?’ And, to my surprise, hundreds of articles came up, all telling me not to even think about it. I changed the question and tried again.

Now I was searching for ‘can you use baby shampoo on dogs?’ and surprisingly, it was okay to use baby shampoo on dogs.

I took my pug to the vet and got her treated. Thankfully, it wasn’t too bad, but boy, it was scary!

Why Should You Not Use a Regular Human Shampoo on Dogs?

Using a regular human shampoo on dogs is a big no-no. It is one of the worst things to put on your dog.

Regular human shampoos come with moisturizers that replace the protective layer on our hair. Humans and dogs both have an acid mantle, which is a barrier that protects them against viruses, bacteria, and infections.

Using human shampoo can scrub away this acid mantle from the dogs. This allows microorganisms to run rampant. Your dog’s skin will become highly irritated. It will become too itchy and will start to peel.

The healthy skin pH of humans is 5.2 to 6.2. Dogs, on the other hand, have a pH of 5.5 to 7.5. Anything below 6.4 is considered highly acidic, while anything above 6.4 is considered highly alkaline.

Human skin is more on the acidic side, and the products we use are made to suit this level. Using these same products on dogs will disrupt the pH balance of their skin and can have devastating consequences for their coat, hair, and skin.

Using regular human shampoos on dogs disrupts their acidic mantle and opens up their skin to infections and microorganisms. A vicious cycle of skin issues will begin.

Your dog will scratch their skin, which will lead to abrasions. These abrasions will become a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites. You will want to wash your dog more, which will worsen their skin condition.

Why Is It Safe to Use Baby Shampoo On Dogs?

The best option is to use a special-formulated shampoo for your dog. However, these shampoos tend to be expensive. Buying them over and over again can cost you a lot.If you are looking for an alternative to regular human shampoo for your dog, then a baby shampoo is the best choice.

Baby shampoos are formulated for sensitive skin. They are very mild and hence, safe to be used on babies. They are free of all harmful fragrances and chemicals that are commonly used in the making of regular human shampoo. They are so mild that the protective layer on the skin doesn’t peel off. This makes baby shampoo ideal for your dog’s skin, hair, and coat.

Almost all of the baby shampoos are mild, so they don’t irritate the skin. As compared to human skin, a dog’s coat is also susceptible as it has a different pH balance. Therefore, you need mild ingredients in the products that you use on your dogs.

While there are special shampoos made for dogs, they tend to be very expensive. Baby shampoo, on the other hand, is not only affordable but also very mild. It cleanses the dogs and removes all dirt, debris, and dead cells from their skin. As a result, your dog’s hair and skin remain healthy and clean.

This is why experts consider baby shampoo safe for dogs.

How to Wash Your Dog With a Baby Shampoo – A Step-by-Step Guide

Want to know how to wash your dog? Here is a step-by-step guide to help you out.

Get All the Supplies

First things first, you need to collect all the supplies you need to wash your dog. These include::

  • Dog shampoo or baby shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Brush
  • Towel
  • A tub or sink

Brush the Dog

Once you have collected all the supplies, the next step is to brush your dog. This will help remove all the dead hair and mats from their coat. Make sure that you brush gently. Work slowly through tangles and mats to avoid any unnecessary shedding of hair.

Wet the Dog

Once you have brushed the dog thoroughly, it is time to wet them with water. Use warm water for this. It is important not to let water in the dog’s ears. It can lead to severe infections. You can use a mug to wet the dog or use detachable shower heads or hoses. They will give you excellent control over the water.

Apply Shampoo

The next step is to apply an ample amount of baby shampoo on the dog. Make sure that the amount of shampoo is enough to make a good lather on all the parts of the dog’s body. If your dog has a thick fur, they will require more shampoo as compared to a dog with thin fur.

Avoid putting shampoo on the dog’s head. While baby shampoo is very mild, it is still best to make sure that the water doesn’t come into contact with the dog’s ears and eyes as that can lead to an infection. You can use a damp washcloth to clean their head and face of dirt and other debris.


Once you have put shampoo on the dog, massage it gently into the fur to create lather. Make sure you rub all parts of their bodies to clean them. Follow the instructions mentioned on the shampoo bottle.


Once you have massaged the shampoo all over your dog’s body, the next step is to rinse it. Use warm water to rinse out the shampoo from the dog’s hair. Make sure you clean their hair of all the shampoo to give them a clean and healthy look. Be careful not to get water into their ears as it can lead to an infection.

Apply Conditioner

After you have rinsed the dog and their hair is clean, apply the right amount of conditioner on their body. The amount you need is mentioned on the bottle. So, be sure to check it out before you take out the conditioner.

Applying conditioner on the dog’s hair has the same impact as using conditioner on human hair. It makes the hair soft, smooth, and healthy. Apply the conditioner for the time mentioned on the bottle and then rinse it off with warm water.


Dogs love drying themselves. So after you are done, your dog will shake themselves to get rid of the water from their body. It is a natural instinct, and they do it every time their coat is wet. So be ready. 

Towel Dry

While the dogs try their best to shake off all the water from their bodies, you still need to dry them. Use a towel and dry your dog. If you want to speed up the process, you can also use a hairdryer on medium heat setting to dry your dog.

Give Them Treats

That’s it. You have washed your dog. Now is the time to show them some love. Tell them how good they are and give them some treats. Positive reinforcement after every bath time will make your job easier the next time. They will also learn to enjoy washing up, which makes things easier for you.

What Are the Safe and Harmful Ingredients In a Baby Shampoo?

When you are choosing a baby shampoo for your dog, it is best to choose the one that is free of the following ingredients:

Phthalates and Fragrances

While we all love fresh-smelling dogs, it is best to find a fragrance-free baby shampoo for your pet. Fragrances in baby shampoos are often associated with respiratory and skin allergies. They may also cause hormone disruption in your dog. They may also lead to developmental issues in your dog. Therefore, it is best to choose a baby shampoo for your dog that is free of phthalates and fragrances.


Parabens are commonly found in baby shampoos. However, it is found to cause skin irritation. Therefore, when you are choosing a baby shampoo for your dog, choose one that is paraben-free. This will keep their skin and hair free from all kinds of problems and will also leave them clean and healthy.


This carcinogen is commonly used in baby shampoos. It can lead to severe skin and health issues for your dogs. Therefore, it is best to choose a baby shampoo that states the words ‘formaldehyde-free’.

You can buy a baby shampoo for your dog, which is free of the ingredients mentioned above. This will keep them clean, safe, and healthy.

The Verbal Cue Method

Now that a strong connection has been developed between the command and the behavior start initiating training sessions.

Here are a few tips to follow.

  • Use vocal and physical encouragement when training your dog. Every time your dog responds to a command, offer them physical and verbal encouragement.
  • Continue the activity until the dog has mastered the behavior.
  • Keep an eye on the new behaviors your dog exhibits during these training sessions. These behaviors can provide you with an opportunity to teach your dog new tricks.

Can a Dog Get Skin Allergies from a Baby Shampoo?

Baby shampoos are very mild. They are formulated for infants who have sensitive skin. Therefore, these shampoos are free of all concern-causing ingredients. These gentle shampoos usually don’t cause any problems for dogs.

They are mild enough and harmless for your dog’s skin and typically don’t cause any allergies or skin irritation. They don’t disturb the pH levels of the skin either. However, some dogs may still face skin allergies from using something as mild as baby shampoo.

If you notice any sign of skin allergies or irritation in your dog, take them to the vet as soon as possible. The vet may prescribe the dog some specific kind of shampoo after taking a look at their skin condition.

How to Choose the Best Baby Shampoo for Your Dog?

Look for a mild moisturizing baby shampoo for your dog. Make sure that you take a look at the ingredients of the shampoo before you buy it. Avoid buying shampoos that have Formaldehyde, Parabens, Phthalates, and Fragrances.

How Often Should You Wash Your Dog with Baby Shampoo?

You should wash your dog with mild baby shampoo at least once a month. It will keep them clean, safe, and healthy.

Can You Replace Baby Shampoo with Regular Shampoo?

Nope! As mentioned before, regular human shampoo has many harsh chemicals that can harm your dog’s skin. The pH level of the skin varies for dogs and humans, so what adult humans use is not necessarily safe for dogs.

You should never replace a baby shampoo for your dog with a regular adult human shampoo. It will lead to skin issues and will cause extreme itching, irritation, and discomfort.

Final Thoughts on Bathing Your Dog with a Baby Shampoo

Keeping your dog clean is essential for their health and safety. It is crucial to wash your dog regularly to make sure that they don’t have to face any skin issues. You can buy many specialized products from the market for your dogs. However, they tend to be on the expensive side.

If you are looking for an alternative to expensive dog shampoos, then baby shampoo is the best choice. Baby shampoos contain mild ingredients that are safe to be used on the dog’s skin. A dog’s skin is as sensitive as that of a baby. Baby shampoos are specially formulated, keeping the delicate skin of infants in mind. They are safe to use on dogs.

Baby shampoo removes dirt, debris, and dead skin cells that accumulate on your dog’s skin over time. It maintains the pH level of the dog’s skin and doesn’t disrupt it. With a baby shampoo, you don’t have to worry about your dog facing any skin irritation, itching, and abrasions. It will keep bacteria, parasites, and infections away from your beloved dog and will keep them happy, healthy, and playful.

Don’t put your dogs in a miserable condition by using regular human shampoos on their skin. It can cause havoc to their skin’s pH levels and lead to severe skin irritation and issues. It can also lead to abrasions, which become a breeding ground for bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

If you love your dog, don’t take any chances. Buy a mild baby shampoo for your beloved pet and keep them clean, happy, and healthy.