Washing My Puppy

Updated on June 04, 2012
M.B. asks from Occoquan, VA
19 answers

We got a puppy! (SOOOO excited, I have been wanting a dog forEVER- but we were waiting until we were "ready").

A couple days after we got him I washed him with baby shampoo (We have a guinea pig, and the vet suggested baby shampoo for him, so i thought SURELY it would be okay for a dog). It actually didn't seem to clean as well as I'd hoped for, so I looked in the pet store for pet shampoo- it is EXPENSIVE. All the different brands were all over $10 (some up to $19), so I put a hold on buying any.

I was wondering if I can use people (other than baby) shampoo? We use shampoos that don't have sulfates or other "bad" things, so I'm thinking it should be OK? (BTW, I'm also baffled that OUR "special" shampoo is still less than doggie shampoo!!) Also, just out of curiosity mostly, can we use conditioner on the dog?

If this helps, he is about 3 months old now and he's a mutt- but he does have wire-hair.


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answers from Kansas City on


we actually used to clean sheep with it (back in the day lol). and i recently saw on pinterest how it is so useful for animals- you know the oil spill commercials? google it!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

I use Johnson's baby shampoo on my dogs.

It doesn't sting their eyes, it kills fleas, doesn't give me a rash like the dog shampoos do, and they smell yummy when they are dry.

My vet has said this is fine.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

Human shampoos have a different pH balance than puppy shampoos and in turn do not clean as well and will often dry skin out of young puppies. What I do for my pet's shampoo is a I take a small empty bottle and mix about 1/4 the small bottle of shampoo with water. It helps thin the shampoo out (I find that pet shampoo is too thick) and it keeps the original bottle longer. As long as it's a puppy formula with out any flea type infredients any will do. Good luck and have fun.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Davenport on

I got a dog shampoo for our puppy almost 2 years ago and we are just getting to the bottom of the bottle. It was a larger bottle and was around 12$ and we give her a bath about every other week, sometimes every week if she is stinky. We use a about a quarter size dollop, expect one time when she got in the mud and need at least a dollars worth :)
I would ask your vet. Just call the office that you took him to for his shots and check up and they should give you an honest answer over the phone.
Enjoy your puppy!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

did you go to walmart and look in their pet isles? get puppy shampoo...they have conditioner too. you wont be bathing his as often as we bath ourselves so at least you won't go through as much.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We have purchased dog shampoo at the dollar store (yes for one dollar!!) and I don't see why you can't try a little regular shampoo and a little regular conditioner. I am sure someone out there will faint when they read this, but consider how sensitive our skin is and we survive it, so try a little on a part of the dog and make sure it doesn't get him too itchy (just like we would do with ourselves)!
Congrats- we have a five month old puppy! and we have (oops don't anyone yell here, have let him taste some people food, but have checked it out first and there are things we definitely should NOT give to dogs and that is another chapter).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I use a good quality dog shampoo that I get from the pet "resort" and kennel that we used to use. It lasts a while, because you don't have to use much each time, and really, dogs shouldn't be bathed that often. It removes the natural oils from their skin and can contribute to skin issues.

At one annual check-up, our vet noticed my dog (German Shepherd) had a bit of dry skin on her rump... he recommended using some conditioner on her there. Just the regular people conditioner that we use ourselves on us. Bathe her, put the conditioner on that one spot, let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse.
I did, for maybe 2 baths, and then it was fine.

And the dog shampoo that I buy (Spa Comfort, Lavish Pet shampoo with lavendar, verbena and such) is only about $12 a bottle. I have to take it out of the shower when guests come, because I think they may have used it by mistake in the past. It isn't clearly labeled (PET shampoo) and it looks like something from Bath & Body Works, lol.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i wouldn't. even baby shampoos are not formulated for dogs and they can have severe reactions. obviously yours hasn't so it's probably not actually harmful to him, but not good for him either. just get some nice doggie shampoo. a big bottle will last you FOREVER.
:) khairete

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

Don't use human soaps or shampoos on a dog the ph levels are different from human to animal. Since it is a puppy just use a wet wash cloth or purchase some puppy shampoo. The bottles are big so it should last a while.

We just got a puppy last month. I don't bath her too often because it dries out her skin. I found one that is shampoo, conditioner, detangle in one it is made by Whal (dog shampoo chamomile and lavender). I don't use a flea bath either since my puppy is only 4 lbs.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

Awwww . . . congratulations!

I use a neem based pet shampoo (now that I think about it was kind of expensive, but it does last). The only thing I was told was to not bathe TOO frequently.

With our puppy it's mostly trial and error. Good luck and I hope you guys have a great time together.

Here's a link to what we use and on Amazon it's not bad ($6.50): http://www.amazon.com/Ark-Naturals-Protect-Shampoo-liquid...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

People shampoos and dish soap isnt good for fur. A wonderful online store is Drs Fosters and Smith. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/ Everything in the catalog is vet approved and safe. I've had 6 dogs and I always bought harnesses, flea/tuck stuff, toys,bones,treats and shampoo there.

I hope this helped!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

It isn't a good idea to use people shampoos on dogs, as a general rule.

But we've had one big (well, huge) bottle of dog shampoo that has lasted for a long time! Don't compare price tags; you won't be washing your puppy's "hair" nearly as often as you wash your own.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

I have been using the least expensive people shampoo for years on my dogs and it is just fine. Yes, you can use conditioner but there is really no point if your dog is wire-haired. Just use common sense and realize that all the canine shampoos are ridiculously priced and unless your dog has a skin condition are most probably not necessary. Enjoy your puppy!!! He doesn't have to be bathed nearly as often as the kids!!!



answers from Los Angeles on

look at walmart they have it for under 10. it doesnt have to be top of the line shampoo.


answers from Chicago on

Well, I have a WHITE dog, so I use the blue shampoo that keeps him white, although I mostly get him done at the groomers (but he likes mud). I use Johnson's on his face but on his body the good quality DOG shampoo is best. Yes it is pricey but one bottle should last ALL YEAR. Dogs do not need to be bathed more than once a month in all reality. In addition depending on what your dog's breed id there may be seriously sensitive skin, both of my dogs have sensitive skin - my lab eats food that is specific for sensitive skin/stomaches and gets an oatmeal based shampoo from the groomers 4 times a year to keep his skin from flaking (season changes cause the irritation). My maltipom is part of a breed (pomeranian) that is prone for sensitive skin, and his long fluffy fur SOAKS up the stink from outside (lays in dirt/mud) so I use Bed Head's dog "perfume" to freshen him up when he comes in. So, if you think about it, spending 20/yr on dog shampoo is not too bad is it? Plus I take my dogs to be groomed 4-6 times a year (maltipom 6/7 long hair) to get their nails done, teeth cleaned, undercoat well brushed, de shedding (after a cold winter helps it along) and many other wonderful services.



answers from Washington DC on

Baby shampoo works well and is safe. Be careful not to wash him too much, dogs really don't need to be bathed that often. Over washing can dry out their skin. A good brushing does wonders! It stimulates their natural skin oil and the dirt is brushed out in the process. Good luck!



answers from Columbus on

Get a puppy shampoo that is "tear free." Frankly, you aren't going to be bathing him daily or probably weekly (unless you & he enjoy it a lot), so no matter how expensive it is, the bottle will last you a long time.



answers from Dallas on

I use oatmeal/ aloe based dog shampoos. I have to bathe mine frequently at least once a week.. I dilute mine about table spoons with some water enough to coat him.

Sulfate free people shampoos should be fine, but do dilute them. We usually want to strip the oils from our hairs, dogs not such a good idea it protects their skin for all things doogie. loke rulling in grass.

But honestly I used to groom, worked at vet and now have a dog with moderate skin allergies. Your best bet for an all around shampoo is a pet oatmeal based shampoo. Many dog have a doggie odor, you do not really get rid of it.



answers from Cleveland on

get dog shampoo it lasts A LONG time like 6 months

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