Can You Use Human Shampoo on Huskies Without Irritation?

Can You Use Human Shampoo on Huskies Without Irritation?

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Can you use human shampoo on Huskies? Huskies are a very active breed, which means they play a lot. This gets them dirty sometimes and would need some baths to make them attractive once more.

Your dog’s in the bathtub, wet, and you’ve just pressed your dog’s shampoo pack but the gel is not coming forth. It’s empty. You forgot to get a new one after the last bath, but there’s an emergency on your hands right now; your dog got itself messed up and needs cleaning.

As a dog owner, it is normal to feel tempted to use human shampoo to bathe your dog. After all—you think—they both have a good smell, so why not? The short answer to whether it’s cool to use human shampoo on your husky is ‘no’.

In this article, we’ll find out why it is not a good idea to bathe your dog with human shampoo. We shall also be discussing dog shampoo alternatives you can use on your husky if you do not have a dog shampoo.

Can you use human shampoo on Huskies

Can you use human shampoo on huskies?

No, it’s not OK to use human shampoo on huskies. Dogs’ skin and human skin have largely different pH balances. Dogs have a thin skin layer called an acid mantle. This layer protects the topmost of the skin, the stratum corneum, from external contaminants such as viruses or bacteria. The acid mantle also helps dogs’ skin to retain water, thereby keeping them hydrated.

When you bathe your dog, this acid mantle is washed away. This is why most dog shampoos have moisturizers and skin protective ingredients to protect dogs’ skin until the acid mantle renews itself. The acid mantle needs pH balance to do its job.

While human skin has a pH balance of 5.5 to 5.6 which is on the acidic side of the scale, dogs, on the other hand, have a pH balance of 5.5 to 7.4 (5,6) (see Evaluation of the effect of pH on in vitro growth of Malassezia pachydermatis), which is more neutral than acidic.

Using a human shampoo on your dog disrupts the acid mantle leaving your dog’s skin vulnerable to viruses, parasites, and bacteria. In addition, it leads to dry and flaky skin which in turn causes your dog to scratch continually.

Dogs’ skins are more sensitive than our skin. The human skin has about 10-15 layers while dogs have 3-5 layers. It means their skins are three times more vulnerable than ours. This is why shampoos have been formulated to fit the skin it was produced for. Human shampoos have the wrong pH balance for dogs and may contain harsh ingredients. If used on a husky’s skin, it can result in skin irritation in your dog. It can also wash protective oil from their skin and coat, leaving them dry.

What can I use if I don’t have dog shampoo?

It’s way past 11 pm. The nearest grocery store has closed for the day. You don’t have dog shampoo, and you have a dirty husky on your hands that needs some bath. Below are a few home alternatives you can try. They may not be anywhere close to dog shampoo, but they’ll get the work done just fine.

1. Wipes

Wipes are effective in cleaning dogs up. Thanks to their moist state. You can clean your dog up with a wipe by scrubbing slightly on dirty spots. With wipes, there will be no need to take your dog to the bathtub.

Anywhere outdoors would suffice. Wipes are only ideal if your dog is not all-around dirty.

2. Vinegar and Water

Combining vinegar and water for a light clean-up should get the dirt off your dog. Mix equal parts of either vinegar or ACV with clean water into a spray bottle, and shake to blend. Using the bottle, spray the mixture on your husky, and you can use a damp towel to scrub your dog.

3. Human Baby Shampoo

You might be wondering if the human baby shampoo is okay to bathe your dog with. The truth is yes. The reason is that a baby shampoo’s pH level is more appropriate than an adult shampoo. Remember that a dog’s skin has a pH scale of 6.2 – 7.4.

Baby shampoos are designed to be tender on babies’ skin, making them a good alternative for dogs, including ones with sensitive skin. However, some baby shampoos contain fragrances and artificial colors, which can still cause damage to your dog’s skin. Unless you have no other option, don’t be quick to use human baby shampoo.

4. Baking Soda

Baking soda is also a good alternative to dog shampoo. All you have to do is make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply the mixture of your dog and wash. Rinse properly after washing. Baking soda can help dry out rashes and redness and reduce itching in dogs.

5. Dish Soap

Dish soap can be substituted for shampoo, and it is sure to clean your dog up properly. However, use only a pinch in cleaning your dog as some dish soaps contain harsh chemicals which can cause skin irritation on your dog. Using dish soap should be your last resort.

The most important part of the bathing process is rinsing. Rinsing your dog properly eliminates any chances of your dog’s skin getting irritated by traces of shampoo hiding under its coat.

In contrast to the initial disagreement on using a human shampoo for your dog, yes, you can use a human shampoo on your dog. But you need to have a valid excuse for that.

The reason it is barely permissible to use adult shampoo on your husky is that acidity pH varies among dogs. Your dog might just have more acidic skin than other dogs, so human shampoos may not have any effect on your husky.

Asides from that, some human shampoos are made with gentle natural ingredients such as aloe vera, tea tree oil, or natural colloidal oatmeal. These ingredients are gentle and would not cause your dog’s skin damage like shampoos with harsh chemicals. Emphatically, it has to be a one-off use, otherwise, you may cause your dog skin problems from frequent use.

The best plan remains to stock dog shampoo in your home just the way you stock every other item like food. This is so you don’t run out of dog shampoo and resort to finding alternatives, which in some cases is gambling on your dog’s skin health.

How often should a husky be bathed? 

Your husky’s fluffy coat may feel hard but it might interest you to know that they require a low amount of grooming to maintain them. Huskies are naturally clean, perhaps that’s why your furry pal doesn’t like to bathe.

We recommend that you bathe your husky at least once every week with a suitable shampoo. Alternatively, you can bathe your dog every six weeks. The frequency of bathing your dog should be based on its necessity. Once every six weeks is perfect though.

Some dogs panic at the sound of splashing water, you can give your dog treats to encourage bathing if it resists. That should distract it while you work to groom your furry friend.


Using dog shampoo alternatives is okay, but don’t make it a habit. This is because some of the alternatives mentioned above could contain harsh chemicals which can result in skin irritation on your dog. Be sure to check the pack of alternatives you are going to be using to see if it contains harsh chemicals. Refrain from using it if it does.

With all said, dog shampoo such as FURminator remains the most reliable shampoo for your husky.

Dr. Rebecca Black

Dr. Rebecca Black is an absolute gem of a Veterinarian. She brings decades of experience to Handy Pets Guide and has overflowing talent and passion for breeding and caring for pets, their people, and the team around her. Dr. Sophia was born and raised in Columbiana, Ohio. She completed her undergraduate studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. After earning her DVM from The Ohio State University in 1980. She has experience of over 3 decades and is very happy to share them. Her goal is to give pets all over the world a better life and to recommend the best tips, advice, and also recommend the best product for every pet owner.

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