Can You Use Head & Shoulders On A Dog?

In some aspects, humans and dogs are remarkably similar, that’s a known fact. However, the question remains to what extent this is true exactly.

Can you use Head & Shoulders on a dog? there seems to be an ongoing discussion between dog lovers across the nation as to whether you can use human shampoo on dogs such as Head & Shoulders. So, is it actually possible? Keep reading to find out!

Dog taking a bath

Can You Use Head & Shoulders On A Dog?

Well, the short answer is a no, you can’t use Head & Shoulders shampoo on your dog.

Let’s start by going a little bit into detail concerning what makes Head & Shoulders effective in treating dandruff. Namely, this type of shampoo consists of zinc pyrithione, which has antibacterial and antifungal qualities.

Zinc Pyrithione tackles the yeast and other pathogens on your scalp and consequently, it helps treat scalp conditions such as dandruff. Research suggests that this could have the same effect when it comes to dogs. So far the good news.

Unfortunately, there’s also the fact that zinc pyrithione might lead to negative side effects for dogs. As will be discussed later on, there are fundamental differences between humans and dogs that might make Head & Shoulders less than ideal for dogs.

Dog relaxing in the tub

How To Use Dog Shampoo?

If you’ve decided you don’t use Head & Shoulders on your dog, it could be beneficial to use a dog shampoo like Earthbath.

As a first step, you need to brush your dog’s fur. Make sure that you remove all the mats so that your dog’s fur is completely smooth.

Then, put your dog in a bath or shower. Use lukewarm water to slightly wet your dog before you apply the shampoo.

Once your dog is wet, grab your bottle of Earthbath shampoo and massage it into your dog’s fur and onto its scalp. Don’t use too much, since that’s not necessary, and also make sure that you don’t get any of it in your dog’s eyes.

Next up, let the shampoo soak into your dog’s fur for about 10 minutes. After this waiting time is over, gently rinse the shampoo out.

Now, all that’s left to do is to dry your dog’s fur. You can use a blow-dryer, but you can also just use a towel, it all depends on what you prefer. Then, brush your dog’s fur once more and you’ll be good to go!

Dog being soaped

Things To Keep In The Back Of Your Mind

1.Your Dog’s Eyes

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but when you’re using shampoo, please make sure that you get none of it in your dog’s eyes. That is to say, when you get shampoo like Head & Shoulders in your eyes, this can result in extremely irritated eyes and even infections.

This is no different when it comes to dogs, so this is definitely something you’ll want to avoid at all costs. Otherwise, your dog will walk around with red, irritated eyes for hours and that’s definitely not a comfortable situation, for both you and your dog.

2.Don’t Let Your Dog Consume The Shampoo

Another thing to avoid is letting your dog accidentally consume the Head & Shoulders shampoo. To make this less abstract, as mentioned, Head & Shoulders contains zinc and this can be really toxic for dogs.

Dog eating soap bubble

3.The Uniqueness Of Each And Every Dog

Moreover, it’s important to not paint every dog with the same brush. Just as is the case with humans, some dogs have more sensitive skin than others. Even more so, some dogs struggle with more serious skin conditions, and then, Head & Shoulders is absolutely not the way to go.

To go deeper into this, when your dog has sensitive skin, using Head & Shoulders could actually make your dog’s skin problems worse. It could cause your dog’s skin to become even more itchy, burning, and irritated and that’s definitely something you’ll want to avoid.

So, please keep in mind that while it’s not explicitly bad to use Head & Shoulders on your dog, that there can be certain circumstances in which it’s not actually recommended.

Additionally, if you really think there’s something more serious going on with your dog than innocent dandruff, don’t hesitate to contact a vet. This way, you’ll know better which further steps and measures to take.

4.The Lack Of Research

Furthermore, it also remains a fact that still a lot of scientific research needs to be done. As for now, the effects of Head & Shoulders on dogs are still relatively unclear.

So, even though there’s no concrete proof that it’s hazardous for your dog, the same can also be said about positive outcomes so that’s definitely something to consider!

5.The Differences Between Humans And Dogs

Finally, it also should be noted that there are differences between humans and dogs that can’t be denied. For example, while humans have actual hair, dogs have fur, which directly impacts Head & Shoulders’ effect as a treatment.

Another difference between humans and dogs can be found when it comes to skin Ph balance. Concretely, Head & Shoulders is designed to fit the Ph levels of humans. Consequently, when you use this shampoo on your dog, this could potentially bring its Ph levels out of balance, possibly resulting in an infection.

Dog being wash

Alternative: Shampoo Specifically Designed For Dogs

Now, even though it’s impossible to wash your dog with Head & Shoulders, doesn’t mean that it’s the only option out there. Even more so, it probably isn’t even the best option available for when your dog is experiencing problems with dandruff.

That’s why it could be helpful to look at some of the more dog-friendly anti-dandruff shampoos if you’re not entirely fond of using a shampoo that’s essentially meant for humans on your dog.

You’ll find that there’s a very varied assortment of dog shampoos available on the market. However, if you’re not sure which one is best, you could try consulting your vet or another dog specialist to know which shampoo would fit your dog the best!


So, can you use Head & Shoulders on your dog? even though it’s not toxic or dangerous to use Head & Shoulders on your dog, you shouldn’t use it. Using it every now and then isn’t exactly unsafe, but it’s still better to go for approved dog-friendly anti-dandruff shampoos. Since these types of shampoos are specifically designed for dogs, your dog’s chances of an effective fur treatment will be significantly higher!

Leave a Comment