Wash dog with dish soap

Many tutors in the absence of specific shampoo for dogs have already wondered if the dog can bathe with dishwashing soap. Can dishwashing soap harm dogs? What are the other alternatives for bathing dogs in the absence of specific soap for bathing dogs? To answer these questions, let’s talk about bathing dogs and what products can be used to bathe these animals.

Wash dog with dish soap

It is not recommended to bathe dogs with dishwashing soap. Dishwashing soap is made with chemicals that can be toxic to dogs’ skin, and dishwashing soap is designed to remove grease from dishes. Thus, it can be extremely aggressive to the skin of dogs that can present dryness of their skins. 

The main problems generated by bathing dogs with kitchen soap are:

  • Skin dryness;
  • Skin allergy;
  • Alteration of the skin microbiota.

Skin dryness

The dish washing soaps are responsible for removing the grease from the dishes, as well as the skin. However, skin fat is produced by sebaceous glands, and this type of substance prevents the water loss from the skin to the environment, thus keeping it hydrated.

When bathing the dog with washing soap, all the substance produced by the sebaceous glands ends up being removed from the dog’s skin. So, the skin is dry and very dehydrated, the dog’s fur can also be very brittle and lackluster.

Skin allergy

Dishwashing soap is composed of several chemicals such as quaternary ammonium salt and sulfonic acid. Some dogs may have a reaction to these products, thus showing redness of the skin, itching and even wounds on the body.

Alteration of the skin microbiota

Dog skin is made up of specific microbiota that helps protect the skin. Washing the dog with dishwashing soap can lead to the death of many microorganisms leaving the dogs predisposed to other pathogenic microorganisms.

When pathogenic microorganisms settle on the dogs skin, they can present bacterial, fungal dermatitis and even mange. So, dogs can have increased sebum production, itching, redness of the skin, bad smell on the skin, fur loss, among others.

How to bathe dogs

Bathing dogs should be done periodically. Each dog breed has its particularity, thus varying the amount of baths that the dog must take per month. Some breeds will need weekly baths while others will bathe every six months.

So, it is important to know the peculiarities of each breed. Longer-haired dogs may need shampoos specifically designed for long-haired dogs. But in general, the use of specific shampoos and soaps for dogs is indicated.

Specific shampoos and soaps for dog’s favor cleaning and proper skin hydration of dogs. These products have a suitable pH so as not to irritate the skin of dogs, thus preventing the imbalance of the skin’s microbiota.

To bathe dogs, you must first wet the animal’s fur, removing the largest dirt. So, you should apply shampoo or soap specific for dogs. Dogs should be soaped and then rinsed. Some tutors may apply conditioners and creams for hair hydration.

There are also shampoos and soaps with chemicals and medicines on the market to treat fungal, bacterial and scabies dermatitis. These medicines should not be taken without the guidance of a veterinarian, as the misuse of these medicines can lead to a worsening of the health of dogs.

What soaps can be used for dogs

If you do not have specific shampoos and soap, it is not recommended to bathe the dogs and wait until you have the appropriate products. Dogs can also bathe in pet shops.

If the dog is very dirty, just water can be used to remove the coarsest dirt. So, you can wait until the dog has species-specific soaps and shampoos.


Dogs should not be bathed with dishwashing soap. Dishwashing soap can bring a lot of damage to the health of the skin and fur of dogs. So, dogs should only bathe with products for veterinary use. Other treatment soaps and shampoos can only be prescribed by veterinarians to treat specific diseases in dogs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Wash dog with dish soap

What happens when the dog eats soap?

Dogs after eating soap may show symptoms of intoxication such as vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, apathy and others. These excretions are usually reddish or blackish.

What to do when the dog takes a cleaning product?

If your dog has ingested abrasive substances, with bleach or any other cleaning product, do not induce vomiting. Look for a veterinary doctor meritentially to avoid harm to the animal’s health. Always remember to take the packaging of the product ingested by the dog.

What foods are toxic to dogs?

The most toxic foods for dogs and should not be fed to animals are:

  • Chocolate;
  • Coffee;
  • Garlic;
  • Onion;
  • Star fruit;
  • Others.


Sharaf, D. M., Clark, S. J., & Downing, D. T. (1977). Skin surface lipids of the dog. Lipids, 12(10), 786-790.

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