Keeping our dogs clean and smelling nice can be a huge problem if your pet has itchy, flaky skin or is sensitive to the chemicals in human shampoos. When you maintain the proper pH balance in your dog’s skin, you can prevent a lot of issues that lead to itching, scratching, and a dull coat.
You may be surprised that there is actually a big difference between human and canine shampoos. You may not notice the ill-effects of human shampoo if used only a couple of times, but after repeated use, you’ll start to notice. Here’s why:
1. Ph Balance. A dog’s skin is about 7.5 while human skin is about 5.5 (to put it in perspective, water is about 7.0). Therefore, a dog’s skin is more alkaline so ideally a dog’s shampoo should be between 6.5-7.5 or it could be irritating to the skin. Highly acidic shampoos may also diminish the hair’s protective qualities, removing valuable oil from the coat and skin. The result is dry, irritated skin and a dull coat. Of course it’s a vicious cycle because the dog will scratch which only makes the problem worse. To learn more about how a shampoos Ph balance affects a dog’s skin click here
2. Dog’s have sensitive skin– A dog only has about 3-5 cell-layers thick while we have about 10-15 layers. So, harsh shampoos with lots of chemicals and those that aren’t PH balanced will be irritating.
Pet parents can make the mistake of using human shampoo on their dogs, and totally remove that acidic mantle (a thin layer of acidic oil that covers the top layer of skin and protects it from bacteria, viruses, and other harmful elements) without the dog’s body being able to replenish the needed oils back to its normal range. When that happens, you’ll see a dog with dry, itchy skin that can lead to scratching sores and bacterial infections.
What do I look for in doggy shampoos?
- Read the labels on canine shampoos. Look for all-natural, organic ingredients, fragrances, moisturizers.
- Shampoos containing natural, colloidal oatmeal, aloe vera, and tea tree oils will replace your dog’s natural skin balance more quickly than shampoos made with chemical components. Shampoos and rich conditioners with natural fragrances such as lavender, peppermint oil, or eucalyptus not only replenish skin oils and keep your pet smelling nice, they can also work as insect repellents.
- Buying a good quality, all-natural canine shampoo and conditioner may mean spending a little more – but one bottle can last 6 months and will save your dog from the incessant itching and scratching that comes from using a cheaper, human product.
- Check out our line of essential oil shampoos by Cain & Able Collection
- For all natural shampoos jam packed with herbs and botanicals you’ll love happytails
Is your dog suffering from itchy skin?
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