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Dog vs. People skins, pH levels, product differences...

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  • Dog vs. People skins, pH levels, product differences...

    I thought this topic would make for an interesting discussion as I can't seem to find much of anything in an Online search.

    Of course we all know of (or may be) someone who uses "people" shampoo and/or conditioner on their dog(s) or even who uses "dog" shampoo and/or conditioner on themselves, while others would never attempt it.

    So, exactly WHAT IS the difference?

    Let's discuss it all, including different product, skin and hair types, health conditions, etc. (ex. tearless, color enhancers...).

  • #2
    I've heard that for the most part they can be similar but the main difference is the dilution ratio, and that people shampoos are ALOT more concentrated than ours...I have no idea if this is right or not....

    I stray away from using human shampoos on dogs, but i've used dog shampoo on me before! I have used human shampoo on my poodles when I've been in a bind and need to get them bathed though and they didn't have any ill effects from it so I really dunno. I am curious to hear what others have to say!

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    • #3
      I have one customer who insists that I use people shampoo on her dog. It only takes a couple of drops, I dilute it and it still lathers great. She is a Lhasa/Bichon cross and always comes out nice.
      I also have had a couple of customers tell me that their vet told them to use Pantene on the dogs. They always seem to come out nice with that too.
      I have also used dog shampoo and conditioner on myself and have been happy with the results.

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      • #4
        human/pet shampoo

        I know the ph is different, and that human shampoo's have a stronger detergent level than dogs. I've always heard it will dry a dogs coat out and cause skin irration, so I've never used it and wouldnt advise it ...but thats the grapevine?

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        • #5
          dogs skin ph is 6.8. people skin is 5.8. while we can use a more alkaline shampoo, dogs shouldn't be bathed with the more acidic people shampoo. hope that helps.
          Certified Master Pet Tech Pet CPR, First Aid and Care Instructor
          "Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation." Henry Ward Beecher US Congregational Minister 1813-1887

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          • #6
            Most, (notice I said most) shampoos, human or animal, are pH adjusted to neutral. Of those that are not, most are on the alkaline side, rather than acidic. Acidic shampoos don't clean very well.

            Neutral and alkaline shampoos will soften the cuticle of the hair and allow the scaley surface to open up slightly. That allows the shampoo to deep clean the hair, rather than just remove the surface dirt. Acidic shampoos also don't do a very good job of degreasing.

            Most human shampoo is perfectly acceptable to use on a dog, just as dog shampoo is perfectly acceptable to use on a human.

            On the other hand, human conditioners can be too acidic to use on a dog. One of the things conditioners do is to close and harden the cuticle of the hair, and that takes acid. That's one of the reasons a vinegar/water or lemon juice/water rinse will make hair shine.

            And a note on skin pH. It can vary. Some breeds (I think GSDs are one of them) have a more acidic skin than others. And also, some people have more alkaline or acidic skin than others.

            The wonderful thing about skin and pH is that the skin constantly adjusts itself, including the pH level. Because skin is constantly exposed to the environment, it has to adjust.

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            • #7
              Does anyone ever worry about dogs having reactions to the different stuff in people shampoo?? Is there really different stuff in it??

              Will people shampoo wash off flea control drops like most dog shampoos?

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              • #8
                People shampoo and animal shampoo are made from the same stuff.

                Most dog shampoos don't wash off spot on products. You just have to be sure you aren't over exposing the dogs to too many pesticides, which means don't use flea shampoo on dogs with spot on products.

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                • #9
                  I heard that it will dry out the dogs skin and because of the acids it is not very food for them
                  "Whoever Said That Money Can't Buy Happiness Forgot About Puppies"
                  Nancy

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                  • #10
                    I think its funny that most of us have used dog shampoo on ourselves and people shampoo on our dogs! I do remember a time when I groomed a VERY flea infested dog and was convinced I had fleas in my hair...so to the back I ran to give myself a flea shampoo!!! I've been in this business too long!!! LOL

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                    • #11
                      But I thought you had to be careful on what shampoos to use (ie tearless/soapfree?) so you don't wash of the advantage/frontline? Do these things not wash off anymore?

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                      • #12
                        Most of the current spot on products don't sit on the skin. They collect in the hair follicles, and "wick" back up the hair. It's difficult to completely wash out the hair follicles.

                        And most shampoos are now formulated to be used with spot on products. Check the lable or call the manufacturer.

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                        • #13
                          I worked for a groomer who kept Suave on hand when we ran out of dog shampoo. She had us dilute it heavily, and all I know is that the stuff cleaned dogs better than dog shampoo, smelled great, and no one ever had a reaction. I'm too afraid to do it in my own shop, but I'm in the camp that believes there's scientifically nothing different about it.

                          On my own dogs, when I have to wash them at home, I reach for whatever is on the shower shelf! I've been known to hit them with body wash when extra stinky, lol.

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                          • #14
                            I never knew!

                            Wow! I never knew all of this about dog and human shampoos! BTW Does any one else think that there are just way too many variaties of shampoos and conditioners out there. Yikes! It's overwhelming!

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                            • #15
                              Edited.
                              Last edited by pamperedpups; 02-20-07, 04:17 AM.

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