Brief Thoughts on Dog shampoo
What should you look for on the label
Your dog doesn't need to be washed more often than every few months . so it is well worth making sure the shampoo you use satisfies the simple criteria below.
Human shampoo is too acidic for dogs. A one off bath with human shampoo won’t do a world of harm, but can cause damage over time.
Dog Shampoos are formulated for coat maintenance giving a shiny and smooth appearance. After shampoo, your dog will smell fragrant and all the debris in their coat will have been washed out thoroughly. Each fragrance used in dog shampoos should contain safe and non-toxic ingredients and will not compromise the skin.
Dog Shampoo should be much easier to apply than other shampoos. It lathers up quickly so you can get on with bath time efficiently and can help with a number of ailments or sensitive skin issues.
The pH level – the shampoo should have a higher pH than a human grade shampoo
Put another way, using an over acidic shampoo balanced for human use will be counterproductive and will damage the essential pH balance of your dog’s skin.
A safe canine shampoo should be in the neutral range with a pH of around 7, and if this is not stated it is important that the shampoo you use is pH-balanced for dogs. A human grade shampoo will be more acidic ( around 5.2-6.2) which is formulated to maintain the normal skin pH levels for humans.
When you use a lower pH product than that of a dog’s natural level, it will disrupt the dog’s protective acid mantle, creating an environment where bacteria, parasites, and viruses will thrive with associated odours. This may lead to repeated washing which further destabilises the skin mantle. And if the shampoo makes the skin feel dry, your dog will scratch at its skin, creating abrasions for bacteria to invade. It quickly becomes a vicious cycle.
Look for natural skin moisturizers
A highly important component of skin is the acid mantle - the lightly acidic layer that covers the skin and is a barrier to protect the porous topmost layer of the skin, from bacteria and viruses. This layer keeps the outer body hydrated, by absorbing water and not allowing excessive evaporation to occur.
Shampoo washes away this layer of acidic oil so human shampoos are formulated with moisturizers to replace the protective layer that has been scrubbed away until the skin is able to replenish itself around 12 hours later. If this top layer is left stripped and unprotected it is open to a host of micro-organism. These may cause dry, flaky skin, irritated, peeling skin, or even a rash of itchy bumps.
So look for natural moisturisers such as
tea tree oil.
Look for natural fragrances
Fragrances to look for should be natural; chamomile, lavender, eucalyptus, and citrus are some examples of clean, pleasant fragrances, some of which also do double duty as insect repellents.
If you can find organic or natural dog shampoos, even better, but don't rely on the front label alone. ALWAYS Read the ingredients list.
At a future date, I will consider the specialised shampoos that we are all told we need…