Shampoozled? Choosing the right shampoo for your pet!

Shampoozled? Choosing the right shampoo for your pet!

Choosing the right dog shampoo for your little mate sure can be confusing. There are so many shampoos available, and lots of pet parents are tempted to take the easy route and use their own shampoo, or a cheap one from a discount store that leads to poor results and a pooch with irritated skin!

We give you the low down on getting clean the right way for your dog.


  1. Can I just use a ‘human’ shampoo on my dog?

Nope sorry! Dogs have a very different skin pH level to humans. pH level means the acidity level – how acid or how neutral something is.

  • Dog skin has a pH level around 7.5
  • Human’s skin level has a pH level around 5.5
  • Water is considered neutral and sits at 7.0
pH Scale comparing dog skin to human skin levels

This means that human shampoos (even baby shampoo) are far too acidic for your dog’s skin. A shampoo that is too acidic will strip moisture from your dog’s skin and cause inflammation, irritation, flaking and even dermatitis.

Look for: dog shampoo that is labelled as pH balanced for pets


  1. Can I use a dog shampoo while using spot-on flea treatments?

If you use a spot-on flea treatment on your dog, avoid using dog shampoos that contain soap as they will strip the oils from the coat, and will strip the treatment out with the oils. Natural, high quality dog shampoos contain surfactants that clean the coat more gently.

Look for: SOAP FREE dog shampoo (check the label) for a gentler clean that will leave the spot-on in place to do its job.


  1. Look for Real, Natural ingredients

Not only do dogs have a different, more alkaline skin level, they are also often prone to hyper-sensitive skin that is easily irritated by chemical or strong ingredients like sulphates, parabens, artificial colours and strong perfumes. Choose a natural dog shampoo that actually lists the ingredients on packaging!

Look for: A dog shampoo that is labelled as hypoallergenic, and free from nasties like SLS


  1. What about Medicated shampoos?

If your dog is suffering from fleas & lice, itchy skin or dermatitis, or fungal infections –  a medicated shampoo can be a quick and effective treatment.

  • FLEAS: Natural Pyrethrin shampoos kill cold blooded insects like fleas and mosquitoes on contact – so regular use can help prevent infestation.
  • ITCHING & IRRITATION: Treatment shampoos contain antifungal and antibacterial ingredients to treat dermatitis or ongoing itching and irritation

Look for: A shampoo that is labelled with an FDA, EPA or APVMA approval number. These are the authorities that regulate the safety and effectiveness of medicated pet products.


  1. Do I need a breed specific shampoo?

While it’s not essential to buy a product for your particular type of dog, you can get improved results by selecting based on coat type. For example, white coat shampoos can brighten the coat and remove stains; while black coat shampoos can restore colour to a sun faded coat.

Dogs with very thick or curly hair can benefit from using a detangling spray after their bath.

Look for: A shampoo with proven functions that would help your pet, not just a generic shampoo for a breed of dog.


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