Why can’t I use my shampoo on the dog?


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Why can’t I use my shampoo on the dog?

At Absolutely Barking this is a question we get asked quite a lot. To understand why human shampoos are for humans and dog shampoos are for dogs we need to look at the covering layer of skin called the acid mantle. This is a really important aspect of skin as it acts as a barrier to protect the upper most layer of skin called the stratum corneum from everyday bacteria and contaminants. When we wash, this layer of acid is washed away and that is why shampoos and soaps contain moisturiser to replace the protective layer. If it was left stripped and unprotected it can be prone to attack from microorganisms which may present themselves as dry flaky skin, peeling skin or rash’s.

Another way to look at the acid mantle is that it is the relative pH level of the skin which for humans is normally in the range of 5.2 to 6.2, meaning it tends to the acidic side of the pH scale and as such shampoos are formulated specifically to maintain this balance.

Hurry up and tell me about my dog I can hear you saying, so here goes. A dogs skin has the same make up as ours except that the relative pH balance ranges from 5.5 to 7.5 depending on breed, gender and area on the dog. This means that dogs tend more towards the alkaline concentration. What this means is that if you use your own shampoo that is formulated to help maintain human pH balance on a dog, it will disrupt the dogs acid mantle creating an environment where bacteria and parasites can thrive. Unknowingly, many pet owners will repeat washing their dogs in their shampoo because of smells caused by the bacteria and this quickly turns in to a viscous cycle further unbalancing the dogs acid mantle.

Hopefully now you are understanding how important it is for your dog to use a properly formulated shampoo that will maintain the balance in their acid mantle, but be careful not to just select any dog shampoo, even ones that claim to be holistic and good for dogs as some may contain un natural products. Read the ingredients and make sure there is nothing in there that could be damaging your dog, no artificial fragrances or colours. Look for natural moisturisers like Vitamin E, aloe vera, tea tree oil and honey. Also look for natural fragrances like chamomile, lavender, eucalyptus, and citrus are some examples to look out for.

At Absolutely Barking we only use natural products. We also stock a full range of shampoos, conditioners, bubble baths and colognes designed specifically for dogs with only natural products. Contact us for more details.