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It is in the middle of the night and your adorable dog sneaked out, rolled in something horrid, and walked back in.
One quick look at her and you know she needs a bath lest she makes your house stink.
After getting her bath ready, you notice you ran out of her shampoo.
Fido needs shampoo to get whatever is stuck on her off.
What goes through your mind is whether you can use the Suave shampoo sitting on the counter to clean her.
See, human shampoos aren’t necessarily designed for our lovely dogs.
Some contain chemicals that can harm their delicate skins.
What your skin can handle may not be the best for your pet.
As a responsible pet parent, you have to determine the safety of every product used on your pooch.
That’s why we have put together this guide. We will tell you whether Suave shampoo is safe for your pet or not.
The Issue with Human Shampoos for Dogs
There’s a great debate among pet parents and experts regarding the safety (or lack thereof) of human shampoos for our lovely pets.
Some don’t seem to have a problem with it while others oppose it strongly.
We looked to the dog experts to know the truth…
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), it all boils down to the pH profile of the shampoo in question.
Dogs’ and humans’ skins have varying pH balances. Human skin has a balance of approximately 5.5-5.6 while a dog’s skin has a pH balance of about 6.2-7.4.
If you recall your chemistry 101 class, the former is more acidic and the latter neutral.
When you use the wrong shampoo on the skin, the protective acid mantle can be washed away exposing it to all kinds of contaminants (bacteria, fungi, and viruses).
Sadly, most human shampoos have acid profiles that can damage a dog’s skin and leave it vulnerable for bacteria to attack.
Besides the pH balance, dogs have fewer skin layers compared to ours. While we have 10-15 layers, our pups only have 3-5.
The wrong kind of shampoo (especially those with harsh chemicals) can easily irritate Fido’s skin and strip the protective layers away.
With that said, most human shampoos these days are made with gentle and natural ingredients.
If you use a shampoo that uses natural ingredients, you can feel more confident using it on your dog than one with harmful chemicals.
The frequency of use also determines how the shampoo will react to the dog. When used sparingly, your dog is less likely to have any issues.
Is Suave Shampoo Safe For Dogs?
Suave shampoos are a range of human shampoos for different uses.
Each one has a slightly different formulation. The common ones include the:
- Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo
- Suave Professionals Men Deep Mint Refresh Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
- Suave Professionals Almond and Shea Butter Shampoo
- Suave Essentials Shampoo & Conditioner, Tropical Coconut
- Suave Professionals Rosemary and Mint Shampoo
- Suave Professional Almond and Shea Butter Shampoo & Conditioner
- Suave Professionals Damage Repair Shampoo.
As you might have guessed, the ingredients used to make each shampoo will determine whether you can use it for your dog or not.
For instance, the Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo is made with many things including citric acid, linalool, and limonene.
All the three ingredients are toxic for your doggie.
In case of ingestion, the compounds may negatively affect the pooch’s digestive system causing symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach upsets.
Citric acid also corrodes the canine enamel. Of course, it will take a significant amount to cause such damage…but why risk?
The common ingredients in almost all Suave shampoos include Sodium Laureth sulfate, sodium chloride, betaine, Cocamidopropyl, and essential oils.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a common surfactant and emulsifier.
Although it is safe in small quantities, it can cause toxicity in some organs if inhaled.
Cocamidopropyl can be carcinogenic in acidic environments and high temperatures.
It may cause organ system and reproductive toxicity in pets and people.
Also, sodium benzoate is believed to be toxic to dogs if mixed with ascorbic or citric acids. The combination forms benzene which is toxic to dogs.
As for pH, the manufacturers of the Suave shampoo claim that their products are pH-balanced.
The actual pH of each shampoo is unknown but it is likely anywhere between 5 and 6.5.
As mentioned earlier, dog skin has a pH balance of 6.2-7.4.
Anything under 6.2 can be toxic to a dog.
You may also want to check:
The Suave shampoo is a beloved haircare brand across the globe.
A good percentage of people have a bottle or two sitting in their bathroom closets.
When the dog shampoo runs out unexpectedly, it is tempting to want to use the Suave instead.
But going by our discussion above, it is safe to say that the Suave shampoo is not the best product for your doggie’s skin.
It may contain harsh chemicals and oils that will damage your doggie’s skin.
Like all human shampoos, it is also too acidic for your pet’s skin.
However, if the ingredients of the shampoo in question are natural and less harmful, you can use the product from time to time.
Some of the harsh ingredients are also in very small proportions and may not affect your dog much.
To be safe, go through the ingredient list and find out the percentage of each before you slather the shampoo on your dog.
If something worries you, contact your vet and let them give you the way forward.
While using the Suave shampoo, consider two things:
First, don’t replace it with your dog’s shampoo. Frequency matters more than anything.
Using it once in a few months may not cause any problems for your dog at all.
As soon as you can, restock your natural and safe dog shampoo. Use Suave only if you don’t have an alternative.
Secondly, rinse the product as much as you can. We’ve established that most of the risks of human shampoos come about as a result of ingestion and inhalation.
A good rinse should be able to get rid of most of the shampoo and decrease the chance of your dog licking the product from its body.
Lastly, if your doggie has asthma and other nasal issues, steer clear of heavily-perfumed shampoos.
Sable M. 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.