Can You Use Baby Shampoo on Dogs? Here’s The Answer!

Wondering if it is OK to wash your dog with baby shampoo? Then check out this definite answer to the very common dog owners' dilemma.

A few weeks ago we got this email from Emily…

The email said:

“Can I use baby shampoo on my dog? I heard Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo is safe for dogs… ”

So let’s get busy.

All dog owners are aware of the fact that their dogs need regular bathing and shampooing. Sometimes, however, you find yourself in a situation without dog shampoo, no stores open, and your dog in urgent need of a bath. Oops!

What do you do now? What can you use if you don’t have dog shampoo? The first thing that might run through your head is: “Can you use baby shampoo on dogs?” Or, is it really safe to use baby shampoo for dogs?

Is It Ok To Wash My Dog With Baby Shampoo?

You have probably heard that some dog owners use baby shampoo on their dogs. You are aware of the fact that regular human shampoo is not good for your dog, because of the disbalance it creates on the pH level and the possible consequences it could lead to. So it’s normal that you ask yourself:

Can I use baby shampoo instead of dog shampoo on my pet?

The answer to this question is yes! Baby shampoos on dogs are actually fine and safe to use, according to Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD.

However, you shouldn’t use regular shampoo for adult humans. Humans’ and dogs’ skins have a different pH balance, and while human skin has an acidic value, dog’s skin has a neutral skin pH level, so using the shampoo for adult humans could disrupt the acid mantle, and make it vulnerable to bacterial and viral infections, as well as parasites.

Using adult human shampoo could also make a dog’s skin dry, which could lead to scratching.


Baby shampoo is safe to use on dogs. It is a much safer option compared to regular human shampoos.

Is It Safe to Use Baby Shampoo on a Puppy?

Many people wonder if they can use baby shampoo on their puppy.

Again, yes! As long as your puppy has healthy skin and fur, the baby shampoo should be completely safe. This is only true if you bathe your pup once every 4 to 8 weeks and not more often.

If you need to wash your dog more frequently, then the use of any type of human shampoo should be avoided.


Baby shampoos can be used on puppies too as long as it’s not used too often.

What’s the Difference Between Normal and Baby Shampoo?

Baby shampoos are designed to be mild in nature, bearing in mind the fragile nature of baby skin. This makes baby shampoo harmless and mild enough for your dog, without risk of skin irritation, allergies, and disbalance of the pH level.

Using shampoo for adults on your dog will most probably cause irritations, as it is too abrasive. Can you use baby shampoo on a dog? Again, yes, because baby shampoos are milder than adult shampoos.


Baby shampoos keep the skin’s pH level in good balance, unlike normal human shampoos that can often cause irritations. They are also milder than most adult shampoos.

Are All Baby Shampoos Good for My Dog?

The most important thing is to choose an unscented, clear shampoo instead of those with added colors and fragrances. Many people use Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo and it has proven to be safe for your dog.

Once you have established that baby shampoos are safe, you may ask yourself:

Should I use it instead of regular dog shampoo?

You will probably realize that baby shampoos are less expensive than dog shampoos. And given the fact that it is harmless, is there any difference?

The fact is that you should always use a dog shampoo if you can. Dog shampoos are specially made for dogs, and even though they might be a bit more expensive, they are worth it because your dog needs not more than one bathing per month.

Is It Dangerous to Use Baby Shampoo More Often?

If you have used it a couple of times, there is no need for panic. It is still safe as long as you rinse your dog’s coat carefully.

Like with other dog shampoos, it is more important that you don’t shampoo your dog more than once every 3 or 4 weeks. It is also good to know that baby shampoo won’t cause any damage if it comes to eye contact, because it is made for babies who also have sensitive eyes.

Does Baby Shampoo Kill Fleas on Dogs?

There’s another benefit of using baby shampoo on a dog: it kills fleas. Although it is not something that your vet might suggest, a lot of dog owners claim that after bathing their pup with baby shampoo, fleas simply disappear. Make sure to start with the neck and the head and continue to the tail.

In conclusion, baby shampoo shouldn’t be used instead of dog shampoo, but it’s good to know that you have a harmless backup plan.

If you don’t have a baby shampoo by your hand and your dog really needs a bath urgently, you can also make lemon water that will do wonders in killing fleas too.


Although it wasn’t scientifically proven, a lot of dog owners claim baby shampoo removed successfully the flea problem their dogs’ were suffering from.

Frequently Answered Questions

Is Baby Shampoo Good for Dogs With Allergies?

You should use dog shampoo for dogs with allergies, and talk to your veterinarian before choosing the dog shampoo to be sure it won’t cause any allergic reaction. If your dog is prone to allergies, be sure to rinse your dog thoroughly.

If you notice any signs of allergy reaction after bath time, that’s a clear sign that you should change the shampoo. You could ask your veterinarian if there are some alternatives made of natural ingredients.

Is Baby Shampoo Good for Dogs With Dry Skin?

If your dog has dry skin, you should never use adult human shampoo, as it will probably make your dog’s skin even drier. It’s recommended to use dog shampoo on dogs with dry skin, instead of baby shampoo, because it is milder and has a neutral pH balance.

Using strong shampoo on dogs with dry skin could make them start scratching and itching at their skin, opening abrasions, which makes them more vulnerable to bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

Will Baby Shampoo Burn My Dogs Eyes When Used?

Baby shampoo formulas are made with babies’ sensitive eyes in mind and are tear-free. You should be careful with using shampoo near the dog’s eye, but it shouldn’t cause a big problem to your four-legged friend, just be sure to rinse the soap off its face well.

Can I Use Baby Shampoo for the Dog’s Face?

Yes, baby shampoos are mild, and you can use baby shampoo for the dog’s face – it won’t irritate the dog’s eyes heavily. However, be sure to rinse the dog’s face well after using shampoo.

Does Baby Shampoo Kill Fleas on Dogs?

Although some dog owners reported that baby shampoo kills fleas, it’s not proven and it doesn’t always work. You can try, and if it doesn’t help you should use dog shampoo for fleas instead of baby shampoo.

Is Baby Shampoo Good for Dogs’ Hot Spots?

Hot spots could be a nightmare for both your dog and you. In this case, it’s strongly advisable to use dog shampoo created specifically for dogs with hot spots.

Can You Use Baby Shampoo on Dogs With Sensitive Skin?

For people with dry or sensitive skin, it’s always a better solution to use dog shampoo instead of baby shampoo, because dog shampoo formulas are milder, and it’s less likely it will cause an allergic reaction, worsen dog’s skin condition or make it start scratching.

How Often Can I Bathe My Dog With Baby Shampoo?

You shouldn’t bathe your dog too frequently. If you use baby shampoo on your dog, not bathe your dog more often than once in 3 or 4 weeks.

An You Use Johnson Baby Shampoo On Dogs?

Yes, many people use Johnson baby shampoo on dogs, and it’s considered a safe alternative to the shampoo specifically created for dogs.

Can I Wash My Dog With Baby Shampoo? Is Baby Shampoo Safe for Dogs?

Yes, baby shampoo is considered safe for dogs, as long as you don’t use it too frequently. You shouldn’t use it more than once in 3 or 4 weeks.

It is usually more than enough to bathe your dog once per month or rarely. You can use a brush to remove dirt, but if you need to bathe your dog more often, use milder dogs shampoo to be sure it won’t make any problems to your dog.

Bathing your dog too often might cause more harm than good.