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Fluffy Needs A Bath!  How To Pick The Correct Shampoo?

When it comes to bathing your pets, it can be very tempting to reach for whatever shampoo you might have in your shower, or grab the dishwashing soap from your kitchen.





 While this may be okay every now and again, the regular use of human shampoo, even the baby “tear free”, can actually lead to worse skin problems for your pets.

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The problem with human shampoos for your pets

Human and animal's skin are not the same. Shampoos for people are formulated to have a pH level (acid:base balance) that is less likely to cause irritation of our skin. It just so happens that the natural pH of your cat or dog’s skin is not necessarily the same as yours.  In fact, it often is not. When you use one of your shampoos on your cat or dog, you run the risk that the shampoo you are using could actually cause inflammation and irritation of your pet’s skin. This irritation and inflammation will make your pet more itchy and it will increase your pet’s risk for a bacterial and/or yeast skin infection.




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 The problem with dishwashing soaps

Ironically, it is the very thing that makes Dawn and other dishwashing soaps so effective at treating wildlife that are affected by oil spills and at destinking your pets when they’ve been “skunked” — their excellent grease and oil removing ability — that makes these soaps inappropriate for regular bathing of your pets. When used for routine bathing of your pets, dishwashing soaps will quickly strip your pet’s skin of the natural oils that help to nourish and protect it. This leaves the skin less well-hydrated and decreases its ability to keep bacterial, yeast and allergic irritants at bay.




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What shampoo should one use for your pet?

  1. Stick with a pet formulated shampoo.
  2. Every breed and animal's skin pH is different. There are a lot of options on the market, so some-trial-and-error might be necessary.
  3. When in doubt, call or visit your vet. They can help you decide which shampoo will be best for the job at hand and which is least likely to irritate and dry out your pet’s skin. If required for your pet's condition or type of skin, they can recommend a conditioner also.









Edited by:  Jan Mitchell