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Home > Dogs > Can I Use Dove Soap on My Dog? Reasons, Tips, & FAQ

Can I Use Dove Soap on My Dog? Reasons, Tips, & FAQ

Dove soap on a soap dish with cologne and candle

As a dog owner, you know that your dog needs a bath now and then—especially when he gets really dirty by playing outdoors. But suppose you run out of your dog shampoo and want to use a bar of Dove soap on your dog. Is this a good idea?

You should not use Dove soap on your dog, even though it’s a mild soap and we’ll tell you why.

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Why You Shouldn’t Bathe Your Dog Using Dove Soap

The American Kennel Club tells us that the pH level of our skin is different from that of our dogs. Our pH level ranges from 5.5–5.6, while dogs’ pH ranges from 6.2–7.4. Since Dove soap is made for human use, it’s formulated to match our skin’s pH level and not that of dogs’.

If you take a look at Dove’s Original Beauty Bar ingredients, you’ll see a list of things like lauric acid, zinc oxide, and sodium stearate that are deemed safe for human skin. But dogs aren’t humans; their skin is far different from ours. Therefore, it only makes sense not to use Dove soap on your beloved pooch!


Now that you know your dog needs to be washed with a dog shampoo, pick up a bottle at your local pet store or online. There are plenty of choices in dog shampoos, so take your time and choose a good one.

If you’re shopping locally and can’t decide which shampoo to buy, ask the personnel at the pet store to help you find one that matches your dog’s fur type and needs. If you’re shopping online, read real customer reviews to find a suitable dog shampoo that’s well-rated.

Another way to find a great dog shampoo is by asking dog owners you know for some tips. Maybe you know someone who has the same kind of dog you have. If so, ask that person what dog shampoo they use. Just do what it takes to pick the right shampoo based on your dog’s needs.

What to Use When You’re In a Pinch

If you run out of dog shampoo at the worst possible time and need to get your dog bathed right away, don’t fret! When you’re in a pinch, you can safely wash your dog using human baby shampoo. Baby shampoo is gentler than adult shampoo, which means it will be less harsh on your dog’s skin and fur.

If you don’t have any baby shampoo, you can wash your dog using Dawn dish soap diluted with water and vinegar. Simply mix 2 cups of water with ¼ cup of Dawn and ½ cup of white vinegar. Apply the mixture to your dog’s wet fur and lather it up.

Don’t let the lather make its way into your dog’s eyes, nose, or mouth because it can cause some irritation to the mucous membranes. If you use this DIY dog shampoo, be sure to thoroughly rinse it out of your dog’s fur so it doesn’t cause your dog’s skin to become dry and flaky.


Don’t Bathe Your Dog Unnecessarily

Even if your dog is usually clean, he may get dirty and smelly occasionally and especially if he gets into something like the biggest and dirtiest mud puddle in your yard! While a good bath now and then is a great way to keep your dog clean, overdoing it is not a good idea.

As a general rule, it’s a good idea to bathe your dog every month or so. However, different dog breeds have different types of fur, which means some dogs need to be bathed more than others. For example, a Saint Bernard with its thick, dense fur will need more baths than a Chinese Crested dog that doesn’t have much fur at all!

Tips for Safely Bathing Your Dog

It’s important to keep your dog safe when you’re bathing him. There are a few things you can do to make bath time safe. First of all, be sure to use a non-slip bath mat on the bottom of your tub or shower so your dog doesn’t slip and fall. If you don’t have a mat, you can place a towel on the floor of the tub or shower to provide those paws with the traction they need.

Always be sure to put some cotton balls inside your dog’s ears to protect them from water and shampoo. Once you’ve got the mat down and cotton in your dog’s ears, test the water before bathing your dog to ensure it’s not too hot.

If your dog is not a fan of baths, keep calm and use a quiet voice when speaking to him. Use lots of positive reinforcement whenever your dog does what you ask. If your pooch responds well to dog treats, have a few of his favorite goodies on hand to reward him for good behavior.

Whatever you do, never leave your dog unattended in the shower or tub! If you have to stop to get something, turn off the water and remove your dog from the shower before leaving the room.

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Dove soap is for humans and not dogs. Using Dove soap can irritate and dry your dog’s skin which could cause itchiness. If your dog repeatedly scratches his itchy dry skin, abrasions could break out, triggering an infection. Be smart and play it safe by always using dog shampoo to clean up your beloved pal!

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Featured Image Credit: OSSVI, Pixabay

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