Does Dog Shampoo Expire? (Safety)

Do you ever stop and think about how often you shampoo your own hair? How long do you typically keep a bottle of shampoo before tossing it out and starting fresh? 

Now, compare that to your dog. How often do you bathe them? And how long does a bottle of dog shampoo last in your home? 

does dog shampoo expire
Does dog shampoo expire? (Safety)

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give it much thought. But it’s essential to know the shelf life of dog shampoo and any risks associated with using expired shampoo on your furry friend.

What Is Dog Shampoo and What Does It Do for Dogs’ Fur and Skin?

Many people are familiar with human shampoo, but dog shampoo is slightly different. It is usually milder and less fragrant since dogs have a higher sense of smell than humans. 

Chow Chow bathing
Chow Chow enjoys bathing with new shampoo.

In addition, dog shampoo often contains ingredients that can help to condition the fur and skin, such as aloe vera or oatmeal. But, of course, dogs don’t actually need shampoo to be clean. 

However, regular baths can help to remove dirt and debris from the fur, and using dog shampoo can make the process even more effective. 

In short, dog shampoo is a cleanser specifically designed to use on dogs’ fur and skin. It can help keep your pup clean and healthy when used regularly.

How Long Does Dog Shampoo Last After It’s Been Opened?

Have you ever wondered how long dog shampoo lasts after you open it? For many of us, the answer to this question is probably “not long enough!” 

different shampoos
Different shampoos to choose from for dog fleas.

When we first get a new puppy, we often go through shampoo bottles very quickly. However, as our dogs get older, they tend to require fewer baths, and, as a result, we may find ourselves with half-used bottles of shampoo that we’re not sure what to do with.

So, does dog shampoo expire? The answer is yes and no. Once you open a shampoo bottle, the shelf life is only about 12-18 months.

However, if the shampoo is unopened and stored properly (in a cool, dry place), it can last for 2-3 years

So if you have a bottle of shampoo that you’re unsure whether or not to use, check the expiration date. If it’s been more than a year since you opened the bottle, it’s probably time to toss it and get a new one.

Expired Dog Shampoo: How to Tell?

As with any product, you should always look for signs that dog shampoo has gone bad. Here are a few things to watch for:

  • The scent of the shampoo has changed. If it smells different than it did when you first bought it, it’s probably time to get a new bottle.
  • The texture of the shampoo has changed. If it’s become lumpy or watery, it’s no longer effective, and you should get rid of it.
  • The color of the shampoo has changed. If it’s no longer the same color as when you first bought it, it’s probably time to get a new bottle.
shampoo bottle
Getting shampoo in an orange bottle.

What if There’s No Expiry Date on the Bottle?

If you’re unsure whether the shampoo is still good, contact the manufacturer for more information. In the meantime, here are a few general guidelines to follow:

  • If the shampoo is more than two years old, it’s probably best to get a new bottle.
  • If the shampoo is less than two years old but has been open for more than six months, it’s probably still good to use.
  • If the shampoo is less than six months old and you never opened it, it’s probably still good to use.
  • When in doubt, throw it out! It’s always better to be safe than sorry when using expired products on your dog.
Best Dog Shampoo For Shedding
A dog prepares for a shampoo. Is a dog ever truly ready for the bath though?

Risks Associated With Using Expired Dog Shampoo on Dogs

While using expired shampoo on yourself might not have consequences beyond making your hair a little drier, using expired dog shampoo on your dog can be a different story entirely. 

Let’s take a look at some of the risks associated with using expired dog shampoo:

Expired Dog Shampoo Can Cause Skin Irritation

The first thing you need to know about expired dog shampoo is that it can cause skin irritation because the ingredients in shampoo start to break down over time, which can cause a reaction in your dog’s skin. 

Pomeranian with skin infection
A Pomeranian that suffers from skin infection needs vet-prescribed medications.

Also, if you’ve used expired shampoo, you probably noticed that it didn’t lather as well as it should have. That’s because the surfactants—the chemicals that help water and oil mix together—have lost efficacy. 

As a result, they can’t clean your dog’s fur as effectively, leaving behind a residue that can irritate your pup’s skin.

Expired Dog Shampoo Might Not Kill Fleas and Ticks

Another reason why you shouldn’t use expired dog shampoo is that it might not be effective at killing fleas and ticks. 

Labrador puppy scratching
A Labrador puppy on the grass is scratching.

The key ingredients in tick and flea shampoo—pyrethrins and permethrins— also break down over time

Pyrethrins are derived from chrysanthemums and work by paralyzing the nervous system of fleas and ticks. Permethrins are synthetic versions of pyrethrins and are responsible for killing pests. 

But if the ingredients are expired, they might not work as well at controlling the population of fleas and ticks on your pup. 

Tips for Storing Dog Shampoo To Prolong Its Shelf Life

Now that you know how long dog shampoo lasts and the risks of using expired shampoo, let’s talk about how to store it properly. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your dog shampoo:

  • Store unopened bottles of shampoo in a cool, dry place. A pantry or linen closet is a good choice.
  • Don’t store unopened shampoo bottles in the bathroom, as the humidity can cause them to degrade more quickly.
  • Once a bottle of shampoo is opened, store it in a cool, dry place (like the pantry or linen closet) and use it within 12-18 months.
  • Close the bottle tightly after each use to keep the shampoo from drying out.
  • Don’t pour the shampoo into another container, as this can introduce bacteria that will cause it to spoil more quickly.
choose a dog shampoo
Choosing the right shampoo is essential for your dog’s healthy-looking coat.

Bottom Line

Now you know the answer to the question “does dog shampoo expire?” and the risks associated with using expired shampoo. 

Remember to store your shampoo in a cool, dry place and to use it within twelve to eighteen months of opening it

And if you’re ever in doubt, it’s always best to err on caution and get a new bottle. Your dog will thank you for it!