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Human Shampoo Not Being pH Balanced for Dogs is a Myth?!

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  • Human Shampoo Not Being pH Balanced for Dogs is a Myth?!

    I was reading several different sources at are saying that the pH balance argument against using human shampoo on dogs is just a myth? Personally even if this is true I will not use a product not formulated for pets but was wondering if anyone else has heard of this?
    My Blog: <a href="http://groomwise.typepad.com/in_the_dogs_house/">In the Dogs' House Groomwise Blog</a>

  • #2
    I use johnsons baby shampoo on all faces because it doesnt sting when it gets into the eyes.i know it doesnt because I put it in my eyes to see.I also use mane and tail shampoo on myself so I dont see a problem with it.I also heard it was a myth ...in fact I may have read that on this board somewhere but I cant remeber.

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    • #3
      Everyone has an opinion on this and this topic can create some fueled debates- after doing my homework (extensively) over the last year and personally working with a chemist my conclusion is as follows:

      The PH difference between a dog and human is minimal when looking at the number itself: Humans range 5.0 - 6.5 acidity level
      Dogs range 6.2 - 8.7

      The numbers may seem close but the acid level difference is huge in the results you want to yield from your products.

      Generally speaking, a groomer who uses a human grade product on a dog once a year may never see the difference but using a human shampoo every four to six weeks will begin to see a change in the coat and more importantly the skin.

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      • #4
        I agree with Gracie , once in a while is fine but the shops that use nothing but human products around here some of my best advertising what a good dog product can do.
        ~~Everyone is entitled to my opinion!~~

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        • #5
          2 Its got2bme

          Won't use a pet shampoo on your head, try this 1 & you won't nose the difference.
          Go buy a small bottle of john paul shampoo (oatmeal for your dog) & paul mitchell shampoo @ your local 2 legged salon, read the labels & see if there is any diffence, try each on your head & you won't nose the difference.

          Most pet shampoo is closer to children shampoo

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Gracy Rose View Post
            Everyone has an opinion on this and this topic can create some fueled debates- after doing my homework (extensively) over the last year and personally working with a chemist my conclusion is as follows:...skin.
            Gracey rose- do you think its a problem with just baby shampoo on the face?I really like that it doesnt sting.
            I can slao say none of my clients are 6-8 weeks more like 3-4 months.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Gracy Rose View Post

              The PH difference between a dog and human is minimal when looking at the number itself: Humans range 5.0 - 6.5 acidity level
              Dogs range 6.2 - 8.7

              .
              Remember that pH only goes between 1 and 14 so the differences are not so minimal in that context and with 7 being neutral they are mostly on opposite sides of the scale. I dont think it matters too much these days with the improvements in shampoo technology unless you are using a very cheap generic brand. But like Gracy Rose said, occasionally is ok, all the time, not so good.

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              • #8
                I think there are two big reasons to use pet shampoos rather than human shampoos. One is that pet shampoos have been formulated to deal with the pet issues you deal with in your business, be it some form of medicated shampoo, flea shampoo, color enhancing shampoo, or simply really dirty dog shampoo. The other reason is that you are bathing pets, and if you end up with a problem and end up dealing with a vet or insurance company or court settlement and it is certainly easier to defend yourself when using pet products on pets than when using human products on pets. They may or may not cause any harm, but they are not labeled for use on pets. It doesn't matter what you use on your own pets, but once you start using product on pets belonging to other people, it behooves you to use products designed and labeled for pets.

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                • #9
                  Thank you all for the responses! Like I said originally I will always use pet shampoo on pets but was curious what others knew about this subject.

                  Gracy Rose: That is incredibly interesting about the pH differences and like someone else said they are actually a good bit different. Thank you for sharing.
                  My Blog: <a href="http://groomwise.typepad.com/in_the_dogs_house/">In the Dogs' House Groomwise Blog</a>

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                  • #10
                    What about human conditioner? Any opinions on that? I mean, you can go through so much with, say, a chow, that it's almost wasteful. I could use a good 6 oz of conditioner on a big dog with lots of undercoat and a super thick tail. Even when I use Double K's The Solution I still end up using just as much as I would with a cheaper human conditioner.

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                    • #11
                      You have to pick up Barbara Bird's book "Beyond Suds & Scent". It talks all about this and MORE!

                      The differences are minimal. I think the reason I have no temptation to use human shampoo is that pet shampoo is much more concentrated, so it is more cost effective.

                      I've used Chris Christensen's shampoos and conditioners on my hair and it feels great. In case of anal gland mishaps I have used Southbark's Blueberry Facial on my hair and my hair feels wonderful afterward!
                      "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce

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                      • #12
                        I don't know about the Ph issue I don't use people shampoo on the dogs but my daughter has always had problems with every shampoo she's ever tried. Her scalp would be so red and irritated
                        that she would dig her head till it was raw. It didn't matter what kind of shampoo we tried organic, medicated ever brand you can think of. Well she was bathing for me and washed her hair with one of my dog shampoos and noticed that her head wasn't itching so she had me bring some home and has been using it ever since without any issues. Whatever people shampoos have in them reacts with her body chemistry while the dog shampoo doesn't so something has to be different in their make up.

                        Or maybe it's just that she's a groomers kid and has more in common with dogs than people. LOL
                        "I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt,
                        and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts." - John Steinbeck
                        www.wagmoresalon.com

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                        • #13
                          It's hogwash.

                          If you look at the info on the bottles/jugs, you will find the words, "ph balanced", which simply means the ph of the shampoo is ph 7, which is neutral - the same as the water you wet and rinse the dog with.

                          I think the stress put on "properly ph balanced for dogs" thing is a myth generated and propagated by the manufacturers of pet shampoos. Not unlike the dog food manufacturers brainwashing pet owners into thinking their dogs will die of malnutrition if they aren't fed a "balanced diet" of whatever dog food the dog food company is pushing you to buy.

                          Heck, years and years ago I worked in show kennels that specialized in drop-coat Toy dogs, the dogs being bathed and conditioned/oiled every three days. And we bought all our shampoos, creme rinses and conditioners at a local beauty supply house.

                          Back in those days we never even heard (or cared) about the idea of a shampoo being ph balanced for dogs. And to strip any heavy oil on the coat before shows, we used Ajax.

                          The dogs came out of all that bathing just fine. Coats were in great condition and no dog died as a result of using human shampoo or dish liquid on a canine.

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                          • #14
                            At Bbird's seminar we tested samples of pet and human shampoos and both groups had ranges from 6.5 to 8.
                            With that being said even though some dogs skin itself might have higher pH number more acidic products are healthier for their skin.
                            Other thing that you need to remember is when you dilute your pet shampoo with water the pH of the solution gets closer to pH of your water.

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                            • #15
                              It's a myth. Nothing more than a marketing ploy to sell the public products they don't really need. I worked a couple of years at a pharmaceutical company's animal health division. I didn't just ask the chemists, I worked right along side them. This topic was discussed all the time. There's nothing wrong with using human shampoo (with the exception of some medicated ones) on dogs, cats, and horses.

                              Think about this. Has anyone ever suggested you test your water? Don't we use more water than shampoo when we bathe a dog? The pH of distilled water is neutral; 7. But we don't use distilled water. Our water can have a wide range of pH values. Well water will have a different pH than ground water. If a lake, some of which are local water supplies, has the right kinds of trees growing around it, the pH can be low, due to the tanic acid released from decaying leaves. But we don't test our water. It's not that important, until the pH gets so high or low that burning and tissue destruction occurs.

                              Comment has been made about human shampoos not being concentrated. But they are. You can dilute them, the same as our shop shampoos, and they still clean just as well.

                              Comment was made that acidic shampoos are healthier for a dog's skin. I don't think so. Dog skin is basic, not acidic. And basic shampoos clean better, while acidic conditioners condition better. But even with all that, the skin will balance itself, and return to it's proper pH very quickly, no matter what shampoo or conditioner we use on it.

                              There are a lot of show dogs walking around that are never bathed in anything but human shampoo. Pantene is very popular amongst show people. These dogs are bathed a lot more often than our pets, and no one could accuse them of having bad coats or skin.

                              Last big boogey; Baby shampoo. You use it on faces because it doesn't sting if it gets in the eyes? But listen up...it can still burn corneas. I've seen it happen, more times than I care to count. Use mineral oil or eye drops.

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