It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and you are laying on your couch with your furry friend enjoying a good movie when suddenly, he heaves and pushes and spills your food which he then rolls in playfully.
He had just been at the groomer the other day and now he is all messy.
You do not have any dog shampoo, so you make a judgmental call to use some of your herbal essence.
But as soon as you finish washing up your dog, you suddenly start wondering why we even have dog shampoo and if it is any different from human shampoo.
And you can’t help but wonder if using your cleaning product on your furry baby might have caused him harm in any way.
Is It Safe To Use Herbal Essence On Your Dog?
Well, in an emergency, you could probably use your herbal essence to clean him up but do not be too liberal with it.
Also, you will want to avoid making it a habit because of the possible ramifications that we will get into shortly.
Herbal Essence is a brand of hair care products owned by Procter & Gamble.
The brand’s products are formulated with a blend of natural ingredients and are designed to nourish and replenish the hair.
Some of the ingredients used in Herbal Essences products include aloe vera, avocado, and chamomile.
The brand offers a range of hair care products, including shampoos, conditioners, and styling products.
The fact that herbal essence is made from natural ingredients can make one assume that they can use the products to clean their dog.
But before you jump the gun, you may want to consider that this line of products was specially formulated for humans and not pets.
In fact, the AKC admonishes pet parents from using any human hair products on animals because they may do more harm than good.
See, human hair products have been formulated to deal with human skin which has a different pH from that of dogs.
Every skin has an acid mantle whose sole responsibility is protecting the stratum corneum (the skin’s topmost layer) from bacteria, viruses, and other disease-causing pathogens.
It also helps reduce evaporation as well as absorb water thereby keeping the body hydrated.
This protective layer is typically washed away with soap although most soaps have ingredients that will moisturize the skin to offer temporary protection before the mantle renews itself.
But this mantle will neither renew itself nor function as expected if the acidity and alkalinity levels are not balanced.
Because human skins have a different pH value from dogs, human soaps and shampoo are also be formulated differently.
For instance, human skin has a pH of 5.5-5.6 (acidic) whereas dogs have a skin pH of 6.2-7.4 (neutral).
As such, using human products will do serious damage to the acid mantel on your doggy which will leave them susceptible to viruses, bacteria, and parasites.
Additionally, the human shampoo will make the dog’s skin flaky and dry, which will result in irritation, excessive scratching, shedding, and even abrasions.
Furthermore, herbal essence is PETA cruelty free certified, which means the products have not been tested on animals.
This is because herbal essence’s primary consumer is humans and it is meant to remain that way.
What Can I Use Instead Of a Doggie Shampoo?
If you have run out of dog shampoo, there are some safer alternatives you can use instead of herbal essence or any other human hair products you might have.
One option is to use a mild human baby shampoo. These are formulated to be gentle on the skin and are less likely to cause irritation than regular human shampoo.
Another option is to make your own dog shampoo at home using natural ingredients like oatmeal, baking soda, and water.
You can also try using just water to rinse your dog’s coat, especially if they don’t have any specific skin irritations or issues.
To Sum It Up…
It is not a good idea to use herbal essence on your dog mainly because human skin and dog skin have different needs and their products are therefore formulated differently.
The human skin is acidic while dog skin is neutral, and using human shampoo on dogs will mess up the protective layer on the skin thereby exposing them to attack from bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
As a rule of thumb, always avoid using any products on your dog that are not specifically formulated for use on pets.
Some household cleaning products can be toxic to dogs if ingested or if they come into contact with their skin.
We also have several posts on individual human detergents and soaps, especially regarding their safety on dogs. Feel free to check them out:
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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.