Can You Use Human Shampoo Like Head & Shoulders on Your Dog?

You’re washing your hair one day with your favorite Head & Shoulders shampoo. Then, a thought comes into your head, “Is Head and Shoulders safe for dogs too? It works for me, so why shouldn’t I use it on my pet?” You’ve probably had this happen to you once or twice, especially if your dog’s skin is dry or flaky. Well, you’re going to get your answer today.

Is Head and Shoulders Safe for Dogs?

The answer is a resounding yes. Some groomers and vets even recommend it because it’s a practical solution to doggie dandruff. Yes, dogs do get dandruff too! One way to confirm would be to check if you see any white flakes on your dog’s coat. If you see flakes, then you and your dog can now have the same shampoo.

Understanding Your Dog’s Dandruff

Doggie dandruff can be caused by several things like humidity levels, obesity, and even parasites. But, the most common cause would be fungal and/or bacterial infection. Aside from dry skin and flakiness, you might also observe oiliness and an odor on your dog’s skin. Both are considered doggie dandruff by vets.

Both conditions can be itchy, and you’re most likely going to see your dog scratch, nibble, and lick itself excessively.

What Makes Head and Shoulders Safe for Dogs?

Basically, it doesn’t contain any ingredients that can be harmful to your pet’s skin or to its health. What it does contain, however, is Zinc Pyrithione (or Pyrithione Zinc) – one of its active ingredients. It’s a compound that can inhibit the division of fungal and bacterial cells.

As a bonus, it helps with your dog’s fleas as well. The shampoo makes the coat glossier and paralyzes the fleas almost immediately. It will be easier for the fleas to just slide off when you rinse off the suds.

How to Apply Head and Shoulders on Your Dog

Since we know that Head and Shoulders is safe for dogs, you can use it just like any other doggie shampoo. Wet your dog’s coat and then apply Head and Shoulders. Lather it up. Don’t rinse the suds off right away. Leave it on for five minutes to help with the leaves. Then, that’s the time that you rinse it off.

Make sure that you don’t get the soap on your dog’s eye because it’s going to cause irritation. Also, large amounts of zinc, on any animal, can be deadly so keep the shampoo bottles away so your dog can’t lick or chew on it.

Is Head and Shoulder Safe for Dogs that are Young?

You should use Head and Shoulders but with considerations. It’s better if you use the shampoo on older dogs. Most pups still have pretty sensitive skin so you don’t want to risk an allergic reaction, especially with new born puppies or ones that are below 5 months old. It’s better to use the recommended dog shampoo in this case.

How Often Can I Use Head and Shoulders on My Pet?

If your furbaby has doggie dandruff, you can use it twice or thrice a week. However, Head and Shoulders shampoos were formulated with a balanced PH so it’s alright if you use it on your pet every day if need be.

Despite Head and Shoulders being safe for dogs, you should be alert if your dog still has the same skin condition because it may need immediate medical attention. You should bring your dog to the hospital immediately if its skin is still oily or flaky after continuous use of the shampoo or if you have observed a change in its behavior.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


  • Ann | 23/01/2022

    Helpful. Vet said dandruff was fungal so I wanted to use H&S see if it helped the dandruff as I know that it is useful on humans. Will give it a try to see if it goes.

  • Parkplanter | 06/02/2022

    Just to share the reason for Dog dandruff. Hopefully, these will help the reader
    There are several potential causes of dog dandruff. The most common reasons are as follows.

    1. Environmental allergies.

    2. Ovarian imbalance,

    3 Hypothyroidism

    4. Hyperadrenocorticism

    5. Skin infection

    6. Dietary issues and your dog’s behavior can also be the reasons for dandruff

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