In today’s article, it’s all about keeping Fido squeaky clean! While it’s tempting to use just any old soap on your dog, we’d urge you to exercise caution.
There are a few things that you should know before you start sharing your soaps and shampoos with your pooch! We’ll be talking about why human shampoo and soap don’t work on Fido in just a minute, but first..
So, Can I Use Dove Soap To Wash My Dog?
NO! Dove soaps are not formulated for dogs, and it can lead to dry and irritated skin for your poor pup. Keep reading to learn more and to get some safer suggestions for dog shampoos that protect your dog’s skin! In short, don’t use human soap for pups.
Why Are Human Soaps and Shampoos Bad?
While it can be tempting to use what’s on hand to wash your dog, it might not be the best idea. Truth be told, using these products once in a great while in a pinch is probably okay, but repeated use can cause issues.
Humans and dogs have very different skin, and if you use human soap or human shampoos on them can throw off their PH balance. This is bad news for the stratum corneum, which is the top most layer of the skin. This protective layer is responsible for repelling viruses and bacteria, but it also helps to keep us and our canine friends hydrated via water absorption.
Bathing can cut into this barrier, and so, soaps, shampoos, and conditioners are formulated to restore these protections for us. However, in order for our bodies to do their job, the proper balance of acidity and alkalinity must be maintained, hence the importance of PH balance.
Human skin is actually on the acidic side with a normal Ph balance somewhere between 5.5 and 5.6. However, a normal Ph balance for a dog is actually more in the range of 6.2 to 7.4, a more neutral range. This means that dog skin is actually much more sensitive than ours and harsh chemicals and cleaners can hurt them.
So, using a human soap or shampoo on your dog can severely disrupt their natural skin protections. This can leave them with dry, irritated skin, and when they start scratching it causes abrasions. This makes it easier for bacteria to invade your dogs body and make them sick!
If you really, really need to wash your dog but you can’t go to the store, then a gentler baby shampoo can work in a pinch. Or, you could wash them with just water until you can get a better dog shampoo for them.
What Should I Use On My Dog Instead?
There are a number of fantastic products out there which will do wonders for the health of your dog’s skin and coat. Personally, we’re partial to oatmeal dog shampoo or something with aloe vera, because it’s great for pups with sensitive skin, and if your dog has any issues with scratching, it’s a good choice!
These products are very soothing, and they generally don’t contain scents or other properties which cause allergic reactions. Perfect for pups who are always itching.
These products tend to be very gentle and you won’t have any issues with break outs or red skin if you use something like this. The linked product is all-natural, free from artificial perfumes, and it even helps to control eczema and other skin conditions.
How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?
Dog’s don’t need to bathe as frequently as humans do, and washing your pooch too often can actually be bad for their skin and fur. Bathing a dog too frequently can cause itchy and irritated skin or make the coat brittle.
Even the fluffiest of dogs should really only have a bath every month or two. Any more than that is excessive, and if you’re worried about keeping your pup smelling fresh between baths, then you can try the following.
Use Pet wipes To Keep Spot Clean
There are wipes made specifically for pets which you can use to “spot” clean them between baths. So, if your dog likes to get a little dirty going out for walks you can give them a quick wipe with these to keep them clean between baths. Make sure to use pet specific wipes, because there are no guarantees that human products are safe for fur babies.
Brush Your Pup Regularly
Brushing can be done more often than bathing, and not only will it reduce the amount of shedding in your house, but it will also pull a lot of dirt, weeds, and sticker burs off your dog’s fur.
Grooming Spray Away Dog Smell!
If your dog starts to get a little stinky then you can also pick up a grooming spray. These gentle products help to deodorize your pooch (and their belongings!) without the harshness of constant bathing. They come in a variety of attractive scents too!
In short, while nobody likes a stinky dog, it’s important to put your fur baby’s needs above those of your nose. There are lots of great solutions to keeping a clean house that won’t mess with your pup’s natural body chemistry and still keep them smelling fresh!