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is head and shoulders safe for dogs?

I’ve been taking my dog to the groomer for a while now, but I don’t like how they shampoo him. I’m worried it’s too harsh on his skin and hair.

My vet has given me some of her own brands medicated pet shampoos from time to time with good results, but now she’s going to be out of town, so I need to know if there are any safe alternatives without steroids that will help keep my dog from scratching himself off his feet once and for all?

Before you start researching what you can use as an alternative for your dog’s traditional store-bought brands, I have one simple question: Do you think your veterinarian would recommend using head and shoulders on dogs?

The simple answer is Maybe. Even though head and shoulders shampoo for dogs might be good at eliminating head lice, it’s not recommended as the best choice for your dog’s overall health.


“This product contains pyrithione zinc (which is a common ingredient in dandruff shampoos) that may cause minor reactions or allergic reactions on some dogs,” Â warns the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

“Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any products you use on your dog. This way, he/she can keep track of what medicines were used.”

There are plenty of pet shampoos out there that are far less harsh than Head & Shoulders and more concentrated with active ingredients like tea tree oil.

is head and shoulders safe for dogs
is head and shoulders safe for dogs


Be sure to choose one that’s easy on your dog’s skin and contains active ingredients that are safe for pets, such as tea tree oil or aloe vera.

“Look for a medicated shampoo with natural botanical ingredients like lavender essential oils (Lavilin) or chamomile-based products,” says Deborah A. L. Fraser, DVM of All Pets Medical & Emergency Center in West Hartford, Connecticut. “These will calm down the itchiness and won’t dry out their skin.”


One of my veterinarian friends tells me her best results have been with NaturVet’s pet shampoo line, which is all-natural, biodegradable, and infused with ingredients like aloe vera and rosemary extract to help calm irritated skin.


“It’s really gentle, so you can use it every day if needed,” says Dr Fraser.
“It also keeps the dog from biting or licking their hair off, which can be a breeding ground for dangerous bacterial infections.”


These types of natural pet shampoos are available at your local pet supply store or online, as well as at some major retailers like Amazon. As mentioned, we personally recommend NaturVet (as well as Four Paws) because it works well for our puppy clients with dry skin, allergies, and hot spots.


Be sure to check the ingredients before purchasing any new shampoo for dogs just in case your dog has a known allergy.

If there are any ingredients that you aren’t sure about, it’s best to check with your veterinarian or local pet store before using the shampoo on your dog.

Is there a risk of zinc poisoning in dogs?

I would like to clean my dog’s ears with this, but I know that if you give them too much, it can be poisonous.

I’ve never done it before and was just curious about what the limit is?
To be clear – zit-zapping zinc isn’t quite as serious as ingesting poison but to keep up on safety tips for your pet. It’s important to note that too much zinc can definitely pose health risks.


“The toxic dose of zinc in dogs is estimated at 2 mg/kg,” says Dr. Frisaner. “In other words, if your 13-pound dog gets into a bathtub full of shampoo (roughly two cups), he’s likely to get a pretty big dose of zinc.

“That said, zinc toxicity in dogs is extremely rare.”
In fact, there aren’t any documented cases of zinc poisoning at this time. If you or your dog experience symptoms of possible zinc toxicity (vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy), see a veterinarian right away immediately.


“It takes a lot to make our little guys sick, and gulp down two cups of shampoo doesn’t seem like something that should be an issue,” says Dr. Fraser.

“But just as with children around the swimming pool or kitchen sink, it’s important to keep them out of harm’s way.”

is head and shoulders bad for my dog?

I have an eight-week-old puppy (Lab) which I bath with Head and Shoulders shampoo, but I am concerned that it’s bad for him. He does not get rashes or seem sensitive to it, but I worry because of the zinc in it, and we use a lot of it.


All pet shampoos contain some form of detergent or surfactant, which is mainly found in soap products anyway. In the case of Head & Shoulder’s Pet Care line, they are made up of pyrithione zinc – known to be an effective antifungal and antimicrobial ingredient.


“In general, soaps are probably better than other types of skin cleansers,” says Dr. Lindsey Bichsel-Blood, DVM, a veterinarian at the West Los Angeles Animal Clinic in Torrance, Calif. “They’re mild and can be used more frequently.”


So yes – it’s safe to use Head & Shoulders on your dog. However – just as you would with baby shampoo for humans, so is anything that goes into your dogs’ ears.


“It’s always better to stick with natural products like aloe vera or oatmeal-based ingredients,” says Dr. Fraser. “That way, you avoid the unwanted side effects of zinc.”

NaturVet makes an organic pet shampoo that has some great reviews online from both veterinarians and pet owners alike. One veterinary review notes that it is terrific for treating skin allergies in pets.


Make sure to avoid using anything with a perfumed scent on your dog if you have sensitive skin. Why? Because we typically want to steer clear of scented shampoos for our dogs in genera.

Scented products can be irritating and cause allergic reactions (which is why your eyes may burn when the lady next to you at the nail salon applies perfume), so it’s not just human hair we’re protecting but also your pup’s coat from this skin irritants.

It might seem like common sense – but the smell is important. Dogs have an estimated 220 million olfactory receptors vs. humans that only have 5 million! Their nose knows every time… Just like people, dogs can develop allergies (most commonly food-based allergies)

so if you have allergies or itchy skin, try an unscented product and see if your dog reacts any differently.


Most pet shampoos are not recommended for use on cats. Veterinarians discourage their use because many contain surfactants that will be corrosive to the sebaceous glands in a cat’s ears, aggravating the problem of feline acne.

In general, bath soap is not necessary for cleaning cats unless they are covered with oily substances such as gasoline or diesel fuel.

A shampoo without soap can accomplish cleaning by removing the greasy substance without causing problems with a cat’s normal skin chemistry.

Can you use dandruff shampoo for humans on dogs?

I have seen a lot of different shampoos for humans. They contain zinc, salicylic acid, and other such ingredients. Can I use these on my dog? My dogs’ skin gets itchy and flaky from our flea medicine. He is also prone to yeast infections as well.


If you are worried about the level of chemicals in your shampoo – then try baking soda or a diluted vinegar solution (vinegar is another natural cleanser).

Both are great for rinsing pooches with sensitive skin – 2 cups water + 1 cup white vinegar or 3/4 tsp baking soda per quart of warm water…


Also: Baking Soda Shampoo Recipe. Rub two tablespoons of baking soda into your dog’s coat, massage in to coat the dirt and grease. Wash off with a hose, rinse well. Compare ingredients of your shampoo that you want to use on your dog:

is head and shoulders safe for dogs
is head and shoulders safe for dogs

How often should I wash my dog with my head and shoulders?

The frequency of washing your dog will depend on the type of coat, breed, and activity level.


Among dogs with short coats (and there are many), two or three times a year should be sufficient. Long-haired dogs and hairy breeds ought to be washed more frequently – about once per month.

The major factor influencing how often you need to bathe your dog is whether they roll around in the mud every day. Bathing too infrequently can actually irritate your dog’s skin which will cause more itching.

So try not to bathe him then… Just wash him before he ends up rolling in something smelly! You may also want to consider grooming/trimming his coat if it’s super long…

A regularly brushed and trimmed coat will make him that much more comfortable and less likely to get things stuck in his hair and cause irritation. It’s also the best way to check for fleas and other skin ailments like ticks!

Why does my dog have allergies?


Commonly, this happens because of fleas (which can trigger an allergic reaction in dogs).

Other causes for skin allergies could be a food allergy or sensitivity to another product your dog is using. It’s best if you go over every area of your pet’s life and try to figure out what may be causing the problem.

Sometimes it’s just dust or pollen… I would start with unscented organic shampoo, avoid detergents/fabric softeners and other known irritants like scented suntan lotion from the pool on hot summer days, etc.…

Check for carpet cleaners and stuff that has been applied recently – talk to your vet about which products are OK to use around her/him.

Can you use a wet dog shampoo as a conditioner?

Dog hair is made of both dead cells (like our own) and living cells. Just like people, the dead part of dog hair will become brittle if it’s not protected by healthy oils.

In order to keep your pooch’s coat shiny and soft, use a product that contains good conditioning agents meant for dogs and is free of soap.

Boar Bristle Brushes are also great at helping distribute those oils through his undercoat (with daily brushing).

Wipe away any excess from your dog’s body with a towel or groomer “shaving” brush…


The best way to extend the life of your pet’s coat is to brush them once in a while, don’t over bathe your pooch, and keep him away from red food dye (mostly in commercial foods) as it causes severe allergies in a lot of dogs.

Are there products for dogs that are formulated to leave their coats shiny?

In addition to the all-natural ingredients, Neutrogena t/g pet shampoo uses coconut oil which is rich in fatty acids, vitamin E, and proteins.

It also offers deep moisturization, which will help restore softness and sheen to your dog’s coat. A good alternative to this would be Coconut Shampoo.

What is the best dog shampoo for reducing shedding?

There are lots of shampoos out there that claim they can reduce shedding, but I’m not sure if any of them actually work to reduce shedding.

After talking with a few groomers about this, I am pretty sure that the best way to reduce shedding is regular brushing/combing.

The problem with reducing shedding in dogs is where do you want your dog’s hair to go? In my opinion, it’s better for your dog’s coat, skin and health if they shed outside instead of inside.

is head and shoulders safe for dogs
is head and shoulders safe for dogs

Is there a difference between medicated shampoo & flea control shampoo?

Flea Control Shampoo (AKA: Flea Shampoos ) are generally very thick and have insecticides such as Pyrethrins, or Permethrin added to help kill adult fleas on contact.

Pyrethrins are natural insecticides found in the chrysanthemum plant, which will slowly break down and become nontoxic to the pet after contacting an animal.

Permethrin is derived from Chrysanthemums but has been altered so that it’s more effective with fleas.

What dandruff shampoo is safe for dogs?

Dandruff shampoo is beneficial for dogs with dry skin. If your dog has dandruff, you might want to consider switching its shampoos.

Dandruff can easily come from your dog being allergic to one of the ingredients in the shampoo you are using (such as perfumes or colorants).

What ingredients should I be aware of in dog shampoos?

Anything organic such as coconut oil, Shea butter, and olive oil, are healthy additions that will make your pet’s coat shiny and soft.

Avoid chemical fragrances and artificial colors that may irritate an already sensitive or irritated skin # Ammonia-based shampoos & grooming products.


Dog groomers use ammonia-based products, AKA: Betadine Shampoo, to kill bacteria and remove odors from the coat after they have bathed a dog.

This helps slow down bacterial growth, and as it’s not toxic to dogs… They rinse it off of your pooch pretty quickly, but this stuff is super harsh for pets (even if it’s diluted), so you don’t want to use them on your pup at home.

What shampoo do vets recommend?

In general … Pet MD highly recommends using professional pet shampoos, conditioners, and other grooming products from your vet.

They are specially formulated for skin conditions such as allergies, tear stains, etc… If you come across any product that doesn’t work well with your pet, you can always ask your vet about what else might be suitable for your pet.

They are truly the best source of information regarding shampoo and other grooming products.

Are all shampoos safe for dogs?

Always check the label… If you have any concerns about using certain ingredients on your dog, don’t use them. Also, consider what type of shampoo you are using… Dandruff Shampoo? Antibacterial Shampoo? Flea Shampoo? Etc… There are a lot of great options, but some may be better than others, depending on what you’re trying to treat with them

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What is the best dog shampoo for dry skin?

If your dog has dry skin, then you want to make sure that its coat stays soft and shiny with a moisturizing shampoo.

Moisturizing shampoos will help keep your pet’s skin moist, which in turn helps it grow back healthy.

Dogs with dry skin are more prone to licking or scratching themselves because they are irritated… So purchasing a good quality dog shampoo may not be enough. You might also need some Bionic Pet Skin Ointment for these types of cases.

Do dogs need special hair shampoos?

Dogs have different hair than humans, so regular human hair shampoo will not do the trick. Your dog may need a special shampoo that’s made for dogs. Check with your vet to make sure you’re using the right product on your pet.

How often do I need to bathe my dog?

Dogs usually don’t require bathing as often as we do. A good schedule is every 1 -2 months unless it gets into a fight or something, and then you should take him in once you notice he has a bad smell, fleas, or parasites.

What ingredients should I look out for when choosing a pet shampoo?

You definitely want to avoid any shampoos with harmful chemicals in them; parabens, sulfates, and SLS are by far the most common ingredients found in products that aren’t great for your dog.

If you’re looking for a product to treat an allergy or skin condition, look for products that specifically say they are meant for treating these things.

is head and shoulders safe for dogs
is head and shoulders safe for dogs

How often should I bathe my dog?

You can bathe a pet once in two months depends on the breed and how dirty it gets. Bathing more frequently can dry out their skin, which is why you want to find a good moisturizing shampoo to ensure a healthy coat all year round.

#Is it true some dogs hate water? Yes! It’s definitely so… The trick is not to surprise them when taking baths, get all his favorite toys inside the bathroom, give him something fun to do while he lays down in the bathtub.

Can I Put Head and Shoulders for dogs with itchy skin?

This depends on what are the symptoms of your dog. If you have seen some skin issues or hair loss in your pet, then definitely Head and Shoulders will help these hairs grow back. Always consult with a vet for any relief from itching.

Issues You Can Treat with Head and Shoulders For Dogs

Seborrhea: This condition is characterized by having a dry, flaky, or oily coat where the skin appears diseased.


Bacterial and Fungal Infections: This infection may affect the skin between the dog’s toes, paws, or anal region. It is usually caused by urine not properly washing off during bathing.


Dog Tear Stains: It is a very common problem in dogs due to their breed and bad habits of licking the face frequently.


Head Lice: Even though we don’t like head lice in humans, they are also known as dog fleas. They suck blood from your pet and make them lose their hair, experience scratch marks, and biting on themselves.

What are the benefits of using Head and Shoulders For Dogs?

There are several reasons why you should use this product for your dog: It helps reduce mange and other skin problems like itching & dandruff.

One of the best things about this shampoo is that it will not harm your dog’s sensitive skin. It can be used on dogs of all ages – from puppies to old dogs.

Head & shoulders have been proven to be effective in most cases. Since there are no steroids or chemicals added to this product, it ensures healthy growth of hair which makes them look shiny and beautiful, thus making the customers happy.

How to Use Head and Shoulders on Your Dog Safely?

If you are using professional dog shampoo, read the instructions carefully and make sure to follow them. You can bathe your pet once in two months depends on the breed and how dirty it gets.

Bathing more frequently can dry out their skin, which is why you want to find a good moisturizing shampoo to ensure a healthy coat all year round.

This is also very important: be careful of the type of soap that you use when bathing the dog as some products may not be safe for pets if ingested or left on its fur too long.

If your pet has fleas, then make sure you treat it first before applying head & shoulders because it will only work with clean fur.


Step 1: Brush Your Dog’s Fur First, You want to brush your furry friend’s fur before you start a bath. Even if he is shedding, brushing will comb through the coat and make the fur smoother and easier for the shampoo to penetrate.


Step 2: Prepare Your Dog’s Bath Area If you are bathing your dog inside, make sure that there isn’t any chance of water getting on floors. Put down something like an old tarp or mat to catch the excess water so that it doesn’t ruin your flooring. Make sure there is also enough space with enough room for him to turn around in his tub or sink area.

Step 3: Get Your Equipment Ready Before you get started loading up on all of the things you need to bathe your dog, take a moment to get everything set up. Check the water temperature so that you have it ready before you need to add any soap or shampoo. You’ll also want to make sure you have a place for rinsing your dog once you’re done.

Step 4: Add a Little Shampoo Work the shampoo in well and then rinse out all of the suds with warm water until there are no more left. Be careful not to use too much, or it will damage your dog’s fur! Once this is done, take him outside and dry him off completely using towels from head to tail.


Step 5: Enjoy Your Freshly Bathed Dog After he’s dried off, put on his favorite outfit or bandana so that he can look amazing as he waits for his next adventure.

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