As an Amazon Associate, we may receive a small commission from qualifying purchases but at no extra cost to you. Learn more.
Your pup has rolled into mud or something messy, but you don’t have any dog shampoo in the house.
What do you use to clean your dog? If Dove soap is the only detergent within your reach, can you use it on your dog?
Let’s find out…
Dove Soap Ingredients
Dove Soap is a beauty bar soap by Dove, an American personal care brand.
The brand claims that the soap is formulated with mild cleansers that are designed to help skin feel firmer and more elastic than ordinary soap.
Here are the main ingredients of Dove Soap according to their website:
|Stearic Acid||Saturated fatty acid|
|Lauric Acid||Saturated fatty acid|
|Sodium Cocoate or Sodium Palm Kernelate||Saponified coconut oil|
|Sodium Tallowate or Sodium Palmitate||Saponified tallow or saponified palm oil|
|Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate||Synthetic detergent|
|Titanium Dioxide||Coloring agent|
From the ingredients, it is evident that dove soap is formulated with minimal ingredients, which makes it safe for just about anyone to use, including your dog.
Well, most soaps that are designed for humans have harsh chemicals that may irritate your dog’s body.
However, Dove soap tends to be gentler. So, if you need to clean your dog urgently and Dove soap is the only thing available, you can use it.
Technically, Dove soap won’t kill your dog. However, you shouldn’t use it on your dog on a regular basis because it is formulated for humans—not dogs!
So, if it is your pup’s “bath day” and you realize that you have run out of your regular dog shampoo, we recommend that you postpone the bath until you have purchased more.
Dove soap may make your dog’s fur look and smell temporarily good but in the long-term, it may be detrimental to his skin health.
Potential Dangers of Using Dove Soap on Your Dog
1. Formulated With Moisturizers
One of the best features users love about Dove soap is the fact that it works as a moisturizer for oily skin.
It not only prevents blemishes from forming on your skin but also helps in moisturizing it, making it appear soft and supple.
Dove soap achieves this through a combination of basic surfactants and extra emollients, including soybean and sunflower oils.
What these extra emollients actually do is leave residues on your skin, which makes you feel soft. They also create a layer over your skin, which helps to trap moisture.
In other words, the moisturizing effect you feel after rinsing off Dove soap is a combination of oils and other compounds left on your skin.
While these oils and compounds help protect your skin from drying out, they may not be healthy for your dog.
Besides, when you clean your dog with Dove soap, you never fully remove the dirt and grime on your pooch’s body—you only swap it for other goop.
The left residues can cause clogged pores on your dog’s body and are difficult to rinse off.
Some of the compounds left on your dog’s skin may also cause itching and scratching, which could further lead to infections.
2. Dove Soap may lower the pH of your dog’s skin, promoting bacteria growth
According to dove.com, Dove soap is formulated with a pH-neutral formula to provide a milder action than regular soaps.
While this makes the soap appear somehow dog-friendly, it is important to remember that the goal of the company is to make soaps and products that are tailored to the pH of human skin.
Generally, dogs have higher natural pH levels compared to humans (between 5.5 and 7.5).
So, if you use a soap that is designed for human skin on your dog, his skin could react poorly.
As a result, your dog may suffer from dry skin, bacterial infections, and other health issues.
3. The sheer number of chemicals
Like other human soaps, a wide range of chemicals, perfumes, and other artificial elements are added to Dove soap to make them appealing to consumers.
To give you an idea of what we are talking about, feel free to check Dove soap ingredients here.
It is not easy to know the impact that each chemical or artificial element will have on the health of your dog since testing cosmetics on animals is frowned upon.
So, if you don’t want to inflict any kind of discomfort on your dog’s skin, you should avoid Dove soap and other unfamiliar human soaps or shampoos on your dog.
4. Soap Poisoning
Your pup doesn’t care whether you use Dove soap or regular dog shampoo on his skin as long as it doesn’t get into his eyes.
However, if the Dove soap is not rinsed off well and he licks the residue, he might get sick.
While Dove soap is non-toxic, it doesn’t mean that it is good for your canine companion to consume or ingest it in large quantities.
Ingesting Dove and other human soaps can cause vomiting, drooling, and intestinal distress in dogs.
Dove Soap Alternatives: What should I use when I run out of my dog shampoo?
If you cannot access your regular dog shampoo for any reason, there are a few alternatives that you can use, including some human shampoos, soaps, dishwashing soaps, and homemade solutions.
However, before you use any human soap or shampoo on your canine companion, there are certain cautions and considerations that you should keep in mind, including:
- The soap or shampoo should be extremely neutral and devoid of any perfumes, colorants, and other artificial additives. Look for soaps and shampoos that are made of natural ingredients like Aloe Vera, Honey, Tea tree oil, chamomile, citrus, eucalyptus, lavender, and vitamin E.
- Check its pH level. Dog shampoo and soaps should be in the neutral range of about 7. Avoid soaps and shampoos that include acidic ingredients like vinegar as they may alter the pH of your dog’s skin, causing irritation and other detrimental health effects.
- Ensure that you rinse all the soap/shampoo thoroughly to eliminate all the residues that could irritate your pooch’s skin.
- Watch your dog closely after using any human detergent to ensure that he doesn’t experience an allergic reaction or any weird symptoms.
For your pup’s sake, dog shampoos are the best
Instead of using Dove soap and other human detergents, we recommend using a shampoo that’s designed for dogs, especially if bathing or cleaning your dog is not urgent.
Dog shampoos are specifically formulated for dogs, so when using them, you can always rest easy knowing that you are not doing any damage to your pup’s skin.
They are also available in a wide range of formulations, scents, and styles. You’ll be able to choose a product that’s tailored for your dog’s size, coat, coloring, and health condition.
Whether you have a particularly whiffy canine, a dog with sensitive skin, or one that’s plagued by allergies, you will find a product that suits him.
Related Post: 10 Best Tick Shampoo for Dogs
Can I use Dove soap on my dog? Final Verdict
While using Dove soap once on your dog won’t kill him, it is not the best detergent to use on your dog.
A dog’s skin has a different pH level to humans, and human soaps and shampoos can have many harmful effects on your dog’s skin.
Put simply, when it comes to bathing your dog, there is nothing to gain by taking chances with human detergents—but plenty to lose—so put that Dove soap back on the shelf where it belongs.
Sable McNeil is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.