If you have a dog, then it is imperative that you groom your pup regularly to make sure that hair does not become matted and that dirt and debris do not build up. If your dog is extremely afraid of the water or if your canine is much larger than you, then you may need to invest in a professional dog grooming service. If your dog is pretty easy going, then you can complete the bath at home. However, you should make sure that you do not make a wide variety of mistakes that may hurt your dog or make your life much more difficult. Using the wrong shampoo is often the first mistake, so keep reading to learn why people shampoos are bad for dogs, how to choose the right shampoo, and how to apply the soap you find. 

Bad Ingredients in People Shampoo

If you have your own favorite shampoo at home and you want your dog's hair to look as full, healthy, and shiny as yours, then you may think you can just use the same product on your pup. However, this is not a good idea. Your shampoo likely contains a number of ingredients that are not necessarily healthy for your dog. These ingredients may not be toxic to humans, but they may make your dog ill.

Formaldehyde is one of these chemicals, and it is placed in shampoos and other products as a preservative agent. This chemical has been shown to cause cancer, kidney disease, and liver damage in dogs and other animals. If you use a deep cleaning sort of shampoo, then this may contain isopropyl alcohol, and this material can cause vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory issues, and even a coma if it is ingested. Other ingredients like propylene glycol, sulfates, and polysorbates may not be particularly harmful to your dog, but they can cause dry skin and irritation, and they may strip some of the natural oils from the body. 

Finding a Good Dog Shampoo

Instead of using one of your own shampoos, purchase a proper dog shampoo before you bathe. Unfortunately, the ingredients list on the dog shampoos you find may appear just as complicated as your own shampoo. A good dog shampoo will likely have some sort of insecticide like pyrethrin or carbaryl to help reduce fleas and ticks, and it may have a humectant like lactic acid or sodium lactate to help add moisture to the skin. Emulsifiers may be present to help the shampoo spread evenly, and emollients to add healthy oils may be seen too. Antifungals, antibacterial agents, and materials that remove tough and flaky skin are likely in the shampoo too.

Most of these ingredients added to your dog shampoo will have a direct purpose. However, if you are concerned about the list of chemicals that you see on the bottle, then you can always use fragrance and color-free dish soap to wash your pet until you can consult with your pet grooming specialist. Dish soap is usually made from a simple mixture of water, detergent, a stabilizing agent, and a thickening ingredient that will be quite gentle on your dog's skin.

Using the Shampoo

Once you do find the right product for your dog, wet his hair like you would your own. Apply a line of shampoo down the back of your pup and use your hands to work the shampoo into the fur. Work a wide pin brush through the hair to release any deep seated debris. If the shampoo contains any insecticides, then allow the shampoo to sit on your dog for 15 to 30 minutes.

Rinse your dog in warm water afterwards until the water runs clear. If your dog has a thick undercoat, then towel dry your pup and then use a hairdryer until the hair is only slightly damp. If you do not dry your dog properly, then mold can actually start to form on your dog across the undercoat.