Is It Okay to Give a Puppy a Bath With Baby Shampoo?

by Susan Revermann Google
    She's ready for her first bath.

    She's ready for her first bath.

    Three Lions/Valueline/Getty Images

    Just like a human baby, puppies need special care, too. This includes feeding her the right stuff and cleaning her with products appropriate for a puppy. Before you lather up with some random household products, its best to familiarize yourself with what is and what isn't safe.

    Is Baby Shampoo Okay?

    According to Dr. Cary Waterhouse, owner of Lake Union Veterinary Clinic, it is alright to use baby shampoo to bathe your dog. That is, as long as you’re not over-bathing the puppy with the stuff. Choose an unscented, clear baby shampoo instead of one with added colors or fragrances.

    Bath How Often?

    You don’t want to wash your pooch too frequently, regardless of what kind of shampoo you’re using. This will strip the natural, beneficial oils from her coat. It also can dry out the skin, causing it to itch. Your puppy may start to scratch the skin, which can lead to inflammation, skin abrasions and possibly bacterial growth. Starting at 3 or 4 weeks of age, you can start giving her baths. Bathe your puppy no more than every 3 to 4 weeks, although waiting every few months is better.

    How is Baby Shampoo Different?

    Baby shampoo is formulated to be gentler than regular human shampoo. This is due to a baby’s skin being much more sensitive than an adult’s skin. Since the baby shampoo isn’t as strong or harsh, it also works for a puppy’s delicate skin.

    Why Not Regular Human Shampoo?

    Human shampoo is designed specifically to work with the acidity of a person’s scalp. Since human skin and scalp are more acidic than a dog’s skin, regular shampoo has stronger pH balancing agents in it than is needed to cleanse a dog’s skin properly. Therefore, it is too harsh and it over-cleans the dog.

    Photo Credits

    • Three Lions/Valueline/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Susan Revermann is a professional writer with educational and professional experience in psychology, research and teaching. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington in psychology, focused on research, motivational behavior and statistics. Revermann also has a background in art, crafts, green living, outdoor activities and overall fitness, balance and well-being.

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