Along my life I listened the myth that mild baby shampoo is good for dogs…I’m going to start talking on how’s human and dog’s skin. A highly important component of skin is what is called the acid mantle. This is a lightly acidic layer that covers the skin, serving as a barrier to protect the porous topmost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, from environmental contaminants such as bacteria and viruses.When we bathe, using soaps and shampoos, we wash away this layer of acidic oil. This is why most human shampoos and soaps are formulated with moisturizers to replace the protective layer that has been scrubbed away, at least until the skin is able to replenish itself around 12 hours later.
The acid mantle can also be defined as the relative pH balance of the skin. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with levels less than 6.4 considered high acidity, and levels more than 6.4 considered high alkalinity. The normal range of skin pH levels for humans is 5.2 to 6.2, which means it tends to be on the acidic side, and shampoos and skin products are formulated specifically to maintain this balance.
Now consider the relative pH balance for dogs. Depending on breed, gender, climate, and the anatomical size on the dog, the pH levels range from 5.5 to 7.5, tending toward a more alkaline concentration. Therefore, if a shampoo that is formulated for human skin is used on a dog, the dog’s acid mantle will be disrupted, creating an environment where bacteria, parasites, and viruses can run rampant. Unknowingly, many pet owners will repeat washings of their dogs because of the smell caused by a proliferation of bacteria, making the problem worse as the skin’s acid mantle/pH level becomes more imbalanced. Additionally, if the shampoo makes the skin feel dry, your dog will scratch at its skin, creating abrasions for bacteria to invade. It quickly becomes a vicious cycle.
Just as you would look for a shampoo that helps maintain the pH balance of your own scalp, you should also concentrate on finding a shampoo with a pH balance that is specifically balanced for a dog’s skin. Dog shampoos should be in the neutral range, around 7. Many shampoo manufacturers will include the pH level on the label, but at the very least, they will clearly state that the shampoo is pH-balanced for dogs.
If you need some help choosing a good shampoo for your dog’s skin, in Tony & Dog in Sale will help you on that task.
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