Can I Use Baby Shampoo On My Dog?

Dog being rinsed with water after a shampoo bath

You need to wash your dog immediately and you ran out of dog shampoo. Perhaps you’re wondering, can I use baby shampoo on my dog? Is it possible to get away by using some baby shampoo that you have handy at home instead of using dog shampoo? Let’s find out.

Shampoo is directly corelated to a healthy skin. Some shampoos have the potential to cause irritation, itchiness, and redness in dogs, which, in turn, can make them reluctant to shower a second time.

Let’s explore in this article weather it is alright or not to use baby shampoo to wash your pup.

Is it Safe to Use Baby Shampoo On Your Dog?

Lots of baby shampoos are considerably cheaper than shampoos that are specifically made for dogs. According to some experts using baby shampoo from time to time is ok and will harm your dog in no way but is this true?

Dogs and puppies need special attention for fleas and skin conditions that you normally wouldn’t be able to address unless you’re backed up by expert knowledge or vet assistance, or, a good shampoo. There are many myths like “baby shampoo will kill fleas” that haven’t been thoroughly tested.

What’s the Difference between Normal and Baby Shampoo?

Normal human baby shampoo bottles

Baby shampoo tends to be milder than ordinary human shampoos, and since dogs need about one wash per month we might think that it won’t do them much harm. But can the same be said about normal human shampoo?

A test conducted on rats explained that scrubbing the acid mantle present in human shampoo can leave microorganisms on your pet’s skin, which can highly irritate animals’ skin.

Baby shampoos are made by keeping babies in mind and are therefore more subtle, but even then skin pH levels are different from those of dogs and overall even if they have less abrasive agents compared to normal human shampoos there’s still the difference in pH that might harm your dog.

Baby Shampoo Is NOT a Reasonable Option For Dogs

So, can I use baby shampoo on my dog? Short answer, no. There are a few things that set baby shampoos apart from human shampoos, which might make us think that they are a possible choice for dog washing but those are myths.

Myth #1, It is Fragrance-Free

The harmful alcohols in fragrant shampoos carry the risk of severe skin issues. Since dog skin is sensitive to artificial agents, you need to pay careful attention to them.

Baby shampoos are also meant for sensitive skins, they come more fragrance-free and don’t contain chemical additives that can potentially cause discomfort, rashes, and other skin problems to babies but this doesn’t mean they are ok for dogs.

Myth #2, It is Colorless

The artificial colors added to human shampoos run the same risks as fragrant shampoos. Baby shampoos are made with clear and mild ingredients to avoid harming soft baby skin. Even then, that doesn’t make them a possible solution for dogs.

Myth #3, Baby Shampoo Kills Fleas

One of the biggest myths about using baby shampoos on dogs is that it kills fleas. Many dog owners claimed that their dogs were left with no fleas after bathing them with baby shampoo but your expert vet will disagree and there are no studies to support that.

The Problem With Baby Shampoos

Considering how humans’ pH level is relatively higher than a dog’s, baby shampoos can have a huge impact on drying out your dog’s skin. As mentioned earlier, using baby shampoo will do more harm than good.

Can I Use Aveeno Baby Shampoo On My Dog?

Aveeno baby shampoo bottles on a shelf

Baby shampoos like Aveeno are the epitome for cleansing sensitive skins. These unscented shampoos are known to thoroughly remove dirt without over-drying the skin. This baby shampoo is produced using oat extracts to nourish hair and give an instant freshness and shine and oats are known to be used in DIY dog shampoos.

It is not formulated specifically for dogs though, the shampoo is packed with excellent nutrients and mild chemicals and might make someone think that Aveeno is a good brand to be used on a dog’s fur but that’s not the case.

Aveeno Baby Shampoo is no different from normal baby shampoo and its pH level can be dangerous to a dog’s skin so you’d better opt for a dog shampoo. This way you can rest assured since all of its ingredients are meant for them.

Can I Use Johnson Baby Shampoo On My Dog?

Johnson's baby shampoo bottles on a shelf

Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is another one of the highly known baby shampoo brands out there. It contains everything that a mild shampoo should have. To state it expressly, Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is mainly water, glycerine, potassium acrylates, copolymer to aid with thickness, and agents like trideceth sulfate to prevent any irritation that may occur with a normal shampoo for example.

Other than that, Johnson’s Baby Shampoo has a pH balance of 7, making them less irritable than most human shampoos out there. This shampoo seems safe, however, bear in mind, baby shampoos will never replace dog shampoos which are specifically made for dogs

You won’t be able to see much of its side effects at first but it might not take too long for your dog to form allergies or show signs of skin irritation. If this happens, consult your vet immediately.

A happy dog with his tongue out while being washed


All in all, baby shampoo might seem like a one-time replacement for dog shampoos but it’s better to just rinse your dog with simple water and get a dog shampoo at the first chance. Dog shampoos have been proven to eliminate stubborn dirt and grime left on dogs and help reveal a healthier fur while protecting their skin, something that human shampoos will never do for a fur. Shampoos made specifically for dogs will put your mind at ease. They are not posing any health risks due to strong chemicals or wrong pH levels like human shampoos.

With this, we answered a common question among dog owners “Can I use baby shampoo on my dog?”, short answer, maybe once, but even then, it’s better to rinse your dog with just warm water if your dog is in urgent need of a wash and get a dog shampoo with the first occasion.

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