Can Dog Shampoo Be Used on Humans?

Although it may seem strange, there are some scenarios in which someone would consider using dog shampoo on themselves. It might be an innocent bit of curiosity or result from an emergency where dog shampoo is your only viable option.

If you’ve been wondering, can dog shampoo be used on humans?

can dog shampoo be used on humans
Can dog shampoo be used on humans?

Here is the answer.

Can I Use Dog Shampoo?

It is generally not advisable to use dog shampoo on human hair, but there are some notable exceptions to this rule. Before using a shampoo, you must thoroughly examine the kind of hair and skin the shampoo is made for. That will help you avoid any significant complications.

shampoo bottle
Getting shampoo in an orange bottle.

Here are some explanations for why humans shouldn’t use dog shampoo.

pH Levels

Dog shampoo has a pH ranging from 6.5 to 7.5. That’s because dogs’ skin is less acidic than human skin. Dog skin falls in the middle of the spectrum. Thus, dog shampoos are made to be gentle enough for canine coats.

The pH balance of a dog’s skin and fur is considered when producing dog shampoo. It may not appear a big deal, but it may make your shower experience a horror. Because the human body must maintain its optimal pH level for proper functioning, it is essential to only utilize shampoos with carefully calibrated pH levels made for humans.

Using the wrong product could reduce your body’s natural pH balance, leaving your skin vulnerable to infections.

Skin Thickness

Human shampoo is made to clean thicker skin effectively. Dog skin is approximately one-third of human skin thickness. Since canines are more sensitive than humans, their products tend to be less potent.

Pyrethrin Dangers

Most flea treatments use pyrethrins, a natural insecticide made from chrysanthemum flowers. It’s mostly a pest management technique in various sectors, including gardening. Utilizing dog flea shampoo can be extremely risky for humans due to the presence of pyrethrins and its artificial version, pyrethroids.

Though they’re natural substances, they’re exceedingly hazardous to one’s health if you ingest them. Before applying dog flea shampoo on yourself, ensure you understand what’s in it and keep it out of your eyes, nose, and mouth. Doing that prevents vomiting, convulsions, and even death from overdosing.

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10/29/2023 01:32 am GMT

Why Would Someone Want To Use Dog Shampoo?

Strangely, some individuals discover that products meant for dogs make excellent substitutes for the items they usually use to meet their particular requirements. Here are several reasons why people use dog shampoos.

different shampoos
Different shampoos to choose from for dog fleas.


Some human hair care products contain various synthetic components, particularly those meant for producing multiple fragrances.

There aren’t always many options for those who acquire severe sensitivities to these ingredients. For instance, hypoallergenic shampoo is notoriously tricky to come by. Even if you do, your experience with it may vary widely.

In contrast, dog products are readily available at any pet grooming establishment.

People who suffer from severe allergies frequently find that they have no choice but to use these products as their only viable alternative. The majority of these products still have a pH problem. Therefore, avoiding these products or consulting an expert before buying dog shampoo is best.


While many people consider fleas and ticks to be a problem only for dogs, there are specific individuals whose jobs or these pests severely impact their lifestyles. Landscapers, farmers, and hunters are likely to pick up a tick because of their close contact with the environment.

Ticks can pose a significant threat since they spread infections such as Lyme disease and other blood-borne viruses. Due to their ability to conceal themselves in your hair or skin folds, they are notoriously difficult to detect.

Given the lack of tick-repellent treatments for human use, some individuals feel more comfortable using dog shampoo after a day in the yard or outdoors.

So, Is Dog Shampoo Safe for Humans?

It’s not good for your scalp to use dog shampoo frequently. Nevertheless, infrequent or one-time use may not have serious repercussions. Still, it’s always best to err on caution.

hair wash
Woman washing her hair with shampoo to remove dog fleas.

Talk to your doctor first if you’re thinking about trying out new products. What is safe for some may be harmful to others because of individual differences.

Furthermore, it isn’t a fair comparison to use shampoo meant for humans on dogs. Considering the dog’s skin is three times thinner than ours, whatever irritation we could feel from applying dog’s products on ourselves would likely be far worse for your puppy if you use human shampoo on them.

Are There Any Exceptions?

Dog shampoo might help speed up the process of eliminating a lice infestation. Most of the remedies with approvals as safe for people are natural essential oils. However, such treatments take a long time before having any impact.

That’s why the correct dog supplies could save your life.

What Is the Difference Between Human Shampoo and Dog Shampoo?

Dog shampoo is more effective on dogs than on humans. If used by humans, dog shampoo leads to dryness and itchiness.

human and dog shampoos
The human and dog shampoos are designed to meet each consumer’s needs!

Is Dog Shampoo Better Than Human?

It’s advisable only to use dog shampoo on your pet because they are dirtier. On the other hand, humans should use human shampoo because:

  • They have more additives.
  • Fewer adverse effects.

Can I Use Oatmeal Dog Shampoo on My Hair?

Yes, you can use oatmeal dog shampoo on hair and fur because it’s not harmful. An oatmeal dog shampoo effectively removes dirt and sweat from human hair. However, don’t use the shampoo frequently.

choose a dog shampoo
Choosing the right shampoo is essential for your dog’s healthy-looking coat.

What Happens if I Use Dog Shampoo on My Hair?

You might have dandruff if you use dog shampoo on your hair. Using dog shampoo may also lead to bacterial growth.

Final Thoughts

Can dog shampoo be used on humans? Dog shampoo is mainly designed for use on fur and not hair. Even though it’s not something that’s often recommended, there are times when using it can come in handy.

Every individual might have a unique reaction to the products. Thus, before using any dog shampoo on yourself, get a professional’s opinion first. We hope we have sufficiently answered the question, can dog shampoo be used on humans?