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Everything You Need to Know About Using Baby Shampoo on Dogs

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Disclaimer: Because we all want the best for our dogs, it’s important to make sure that you tailor fit your pet parenting strategies to specifically cater to your pets’ needs. Remember – each dog is different, and they require unique love and care just like each one of us.

Although the information on using baby shampoo on dogs listed in this article was carefully collected and thoroughly reviewed, some parts may or may not be applicable to your pet.

Always perform your own in-depth research before trying any new strategies on your fur babies and consult your vet for good measure. This will help guarantee that whatever you try on your pooch will be nothing but the best for their health, well-being, and overall safety.

The Nitty Gritty on Your Dog’s Stench

For most pet lovers, the outdoors can be a great place for dogs to get their well-deserved and needed exercise, but it’s not the best place for them to sleep. So, for most pups, sleeping indoors is the generally accepted norm.

Some pet owners even limit outdoor time to just pooping, peeing, and the routine walk. Most other times of the day, your dog could possibly be nuzzled against you while you do your daily chores indoors.

Yes, treating dogs like family is something we’re all used to; however, there is no denying that keeping your canine companion too close too often can lead to a stinky situation.

A dog’s odor is very unique, and for us humans, it can also be very unpleasant. If you have particularly sensitive smell receptors, your dog probably gets a bath more than just once a week.

However, because those store bought dog shampoos and soaps are often formulated without the fragrances we’re used to smelling in human products, most of us find that they fall short of expectations in terms of dampening your dog’s stench.

What do most pet owners turn to in the search for a more powerful smell eliminator?

Baby shampoo.

Why Choose Baby Shampoo?

Of course, we all know that dogs have different skin and fur needs from us. So it’s only normal that they require different grooming and bath time rituals from humans.

Baby shampoo however has become widely popular among some pet owners because of two reasons:

  • It smells much better than store bought dog shampoo
  • It’s gentle and mild, which is supposedly ideal for dogs’ skin and fur

Sure, for the general pet owner, baby shampoo seems like a reasonable and practical alternative for those typical dog shampoo formulas we find in local stores, but is baby shampoo really as safe as it seems?

Is Baby Shampoo Safe for Use on Dogs?

Generally speaking, YES, baby shampoo is safe for dogs. In fact, most veterinarians suggest that pet owners use baby shampoo on dogs if their pooches have particularly sensitive skin.

The reason for this is because baby shampoo is specifically formulated to be much milder than other shampoo formulations on the market. With less parabens, fragrances, and sulfates, baby shampoos are much gentler – perfect for sensitive babies’ skin.

Because your dog’s skin and fur are also equally sensitive and delicate, using baby shampoo is generally acceptable, and even recommended in some cases.

Before you run to the store and buy a bottle of a pleasant smelling bottle of baby bath wash however, keep in mind that experts will still recommend dog shampoo for your pup unless they specifically need baby shampoo.

Can I Use Typical Adult Shampoo on My Dog?

If you’re thinking of going an extra step and using your own shampoo on your dog so you can enjoy your favorite fruity floral fragrance on your pet, we’re going to stop you right there.

Adult shampoo formulations are not recommended for use on dogs!

We humans have much more sweat and oil producing glands underneath our skin, so our scalps tend to have more moisture compared to dogs’ skin. Our shampoos are formulated to strip away all of this excess oil and moisture to maintain proper scalp health and hygiene.

For dogs, that extra powerful oil stripping power can easily dry out their skin and cause serious irritation and rashes. So to be on the safe side, always opt for dog shampoo or baby shampoo when giving Fido a bath.

Other Alternatives for Dog Shampoo

If you don’t want to use baby shampoo on your dog, but you don’t find the smell of dog shampoo to be pleasant to your senses, there are other shampoo alternatives you can use.

For instance, an oatmeal dog shampoo can be used to relieve itching, skin irritations, and discomfort caused by bug bites. Oatmeal has powerful antimicrobial properties which remove any irritants and contaminants from the skin to reduce irritation.

Find out how to make your own homemade oatmeal dog shampoo here!

To give your smelly pooch a pleasant new scent without harming his skin or fur, you can create your own rosemary shampoo. Rosemary is known to be a strong antiseptic and a potent moisturizer.

This common herb also works to clear away any pests that might be hiding in your pet’s fur. Check out the DYI recipe in this video below; it can give your dog a shiny and fragrant coat sans the health and safety risks.

How to Manage Your Pooch’s Smell

Why are you looking for dog shampoo alternatives in the first place? Is it because your pup’s smell is getting out of hand?

You can use dog shampoo and still maintain an odorless environment in your home without having to keep your dog tethered outside. All you need to do is practice the right methods for preventing that pup stench from stinking up your space.

  • Stock up on Linens for Your Pup’s Bed. This way, you can swap out used ones with fresh ones weekly so you can wash away the smell before it seeps into the bed itself.
  • Keep Everything Dry. Moisture tends to heighten the smell of a pup. Keeping all of your pet’s stuff moisture-free before storing them or using them will stop his smell from clinging to his belongings.
  • Check His Favorite Hiding Places. Your dog might be leaving food and toys under your furniture, in your closets, or around other areas of your home where he likes to hide. Routinely check these places to clear away things he’s left behind.
  • Use Some Cleaning Hacks. Spraying lemon infused water on fabrics like pillow cases and curtains that have retained your pet’s scent can easily get rid of the odor, but keep in mind that your dog is also quite sensitive to certain smells and he or she can’t tell you when a particular scent is a little too much for them!

If you notice that they avoid their usual spots after you doused them with fragrance, then this is probably a sign that you used too much.

Sprinkling baking soda on carpets and leaving the substance to settle before vacuuming will help suck out all the smell.


Using baby shampoo on dogs is generally safe and acceptable, but always check your options first. As a general rule, you should opt for dog shampoo whenever possible to help guarantee the safety and health of your pet.

If you want to make doubly sure that you’re not making a mistake by choosing baby shampoo for your pup, you can always ask your vet for some sound advice. This will help ensure that you’re not putting your pooch in any danger.

Remember – it’s always nice to have a fragrant furry friend, but you should always choose your canine companion’s health over the desire to get rid of a bad stench!

Other Helpful Resources

We do a lot of research to give you the most reliable, realistic, and truthful information anywhere on the web! If you’re still aching for some information on this topic however, here are some other trusted sources you can read up on to help you become the best pet parent you can be.




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