Why You Shouldn’t Use Bath Products Meant for Humans on Your Pet

Posted by Paige Cerulli

Thinking of using human bath products on your pet? Don’t – these products can cause health issues for pets.

You’re just about to give your dog a bath when you realize you ran out of canine shampoo. But you have a full bottle of human-grade shampoo right in your shower. It’s okay to substitute the human shampoo in, right? Just this once?

Just because you may have bath products handy in your home doesn’t mean that they’re safe for use on your pet. In many cases, they can cause serious health issues, and some products are even toxic to your pet.

Common Bath Products That Aren’t Okay for Pets

So what bath products should you avoid? Well, pretty much all of them. Hair dyes, lotions, shampoos, and soaps intended for humans can all potentially harm your pet. That’s because these items are designed for a human’s skin pH. A dog has a different skin pH level, and these products can irritate the dog’s skin, leading to rashes, itchy skin, and other issues.

If you need shampoo, dye, or anything else for your pet, please invest in a product created specifically for use on pets. There’s still always potential for your pet to have a reaction to a particular product, but the risk is greatly reduced if you’re using a product intended for use on pets.

dog wash in the cabin. The dog breed malamute washed in salon for dogs.

Essential Oils

Essential oils may seem harmless, and even beneficial to pets, but that’s not actually true. The type of oil that you’re using, and the concentration of the oil both play into whether the oil may be safe for your pet. Always diffuse oils when you have pets, and never use the oils full-strength.

Additionally, it’s important to make sure to keep oil diffusers well out of your pet’s reach.

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Dealing with Reactions

If your pet does have a reaction to a product, you will need to take quick action to minimize the issue. If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, call a pet poison control hotline or your veterinarian immediately. Be sure to save the container of the product that’s caused the issue; it contains valuable information that can help professionals to get your pet the care he needs.

If your pet’s reaction is milder, then it’s time for a trip to the vet. The vet may need to run some tests, and will likely prescribe medication to help your pet recover.

Veterinarians shaving part of skin of Maltese dog before treatment in vet clinic

It’s safest to avoid using human bath products on your pet altogether. If you have questions about whether a product is safe for your pet, consult your vet before using it.

Has your pet ever had a reaction to a product? Tell us in the comments below. 

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Why You Shouldn’t Use Bath Products Meant for Humans on Your Pet