Can I Use Head And Shoulders on My Dog?

Having a dog as a pet comes with many responsibilities, and taking care of your dog’s health is one of those. Dealing with the dog’s skin problems is not easy, especially if your dog gets itchy and dry skin.

Itchy, flaking skin affects and spoils dogs’ coats leading to many other issues. Itchy and dry, flaky skin in dogs especially causes excessive scratching.

Some dogs are so eager to get the relief that they end up itching and scratching the area to the point that it may cause bleeding if the dog scratches beyond this point.

If the skin remains untreated, it may cause bacterial and other infections to infect your dog. Flaky skin is a problem for dogs and humans alike; in such cases, we humans prefer using the Head and Shoulders as it provides a lot of relief to our hair, but is it safe to use the same product for your dogs? Let’s learn in this article whether the Head and Shoulders are safe for your dog or not.

Can I Use Head And Shoulders on My Dog? Is it Safe?

Can I Use Head And Shoulders on My Dog Is it Safe

Yes, but in moderate quantity. Well, we very well know that the problems of dandruff and itchy and dry skin are not only limited to dogs, but humans also face the problem. We prefer to use shampoos like Head and Shoulders as they help reduce the dryness and itchiness of the skin, thereby reducing dandruff to a great extent. But now the question comes: What about dogs? Is Head and Shoulders safe for use on dogs?

If we talk about typical products, it is not recommendable to use human products on your pet dog’s body. The human body and a pet dog’s body are completely different. So the advice is to not use human products on animals like dogs, but Head and Shoulders, in this case, is an exception. This is because heads and shoulders often get used by groomers for dogs’ skin problems. Now let’s learn why the Head and Shoulders are an exception for usage on dogs.

Head and Shoulders shampoo contains zinc pyrithione, also known as ZPT, as the primary compound in good amounts. ZPT is water-soluble, and it’s used in the treatment of dandruff in humans.

However, many skin problems can be treated to some extent with this in dogs also. So now you can use this shampoo on your dog for cleaning purposes and to remove dandruff, but make sure the usage is only in small amounts.

The excess use of heads and shoulders can be dangerous for dogs, and there are many reasons for this.

Head and shoulders has a very small dosage of ZPT and is mild; as a result, it is gentle on dogs’ skin than other shampoos and can be used to treat dryness, dandruff, and other skin problems in dogs.

Bonus Read: How To Groom A Dog At Home?

Why Should You Use Head And Shoulders on Your Dog?

Head and Shoulders contain ZPT, and ZPT often comes in some premium shampoos that you need to have for your dog to treat skin ailments.

ZPT is important for treating dogs’ skin issues like skin infections and other skin ailments like drying or flapping skin. You can use Head and Shoulders as it is cost-friendly and contains ZPT, but make sure not to use the shampoo in excess. Excessive use of this shampoo can cause further skin problems instead of treating the first.

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Head and Shoulders also serves as a temporary replacement for the expensive premium shampoos for dogs that contain ZPT.

Why is Excessive Usage of Head and Shoulders on a Dog’s Skin a Problem?

The skins of dogs are much more sensitive than that of humans, so using human products on their skins for a long time is not recommendable at all.

Veterinarians often say that shampoos like Head and Shoulders should be used on dogs only in case of a doctor’s prescription or when needed.

To play it safe, always try to use the shampoos that are specially made for dogs. If we talk about other shampoos, try to use shampoos on dogs that do not have any strong added fragrance, dyes, or substances that are harmful to dogs, like tea tree oil.

Since dogs’ skin is sensitive and the pH level is also much different than that of humans’, using lower pH shampoos like Head and Shoulders for your dog can easily worsen your dog’s skin condition. This is because dogs’ acid-base balance will get disturbed, which causes the dog’s skin to be more prone to bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms.

Zinc Poisoning

Besides this, the excess use of the Head and Shoulders in dogs may cause them to suffer from a high risk of zinc poisoning. And also, there are high chances that your dog may consume this product, leading to the condition of zinc poisoning.

Signs and Symptoms of Zinc Poisoning

Your dog will show the following signs and symptoms when suffering from food poisoning.

  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Pale gums
  • Jaundice
  • The poop of a dog gets observed as orange in color.

If you have doubts that your dog has consumed a zinc shampoo or other zinc product by any chance, contact your veterinarian immediately to save the dog’s life as it is harmful.

Issues in Dogs That Can be Treated by Head And Shoulders Shampoo

Issues in Dogs That Can be Treated by Head And Shoulders Shampoo

If used correctly, the Head and Shoulders can help treat various diseases in dogs. Some diseases or problems that get treated in dogs include the following: Have a look at it once.

1. Bacterial and Fungal Infections

Dogs love to play in the mud, and they love to go on various adventures. Unfortunately, their adventures with nature frequently lead to disasters.

They are always prone to bacterial and fungal infections, and in many cases, these bacterial and fungal infections are responsible for worsening skin problems in your dog. Fortunately, ZPT, present in Head and Shoulders Shampoo, can easily treat fungal and bacterial infections in dogs.

Head and Shoulders shampoo also helps in treating yeast infections and helps to facilitate the quick recovery of dogs. If the overactive yeast on your dog’s body does not get attended to on time, it causes wrecks or worse conditions for your dog’s body.

If you do not detect yeast activity on your dog on time, there are high chances that the infection will easily reach your dog’s paws, ears, mouth, and other body parts.

By making use of your Head and Shoulders, you can put a stop to the activity of the yeast on dog’s body also. However, once the conditions become worse, it’s not possible to treat the dog easily, so it’s better to take treatment measures immediately when you notice any change in your dog’s skin conditions.

2. Seborrhea


Seborrhea is a very common skin problem in dogs, just like dandruff in humans. The dog faces itchy and flaky skin in seborrhea, further causing many issues. Itchy and flaky skin are not only symptoms, but you may also notice your dog having red and inflamed skin.

The flaky skin won’t allow the oil to escape from the dog’s body, resulting in the dog’s coat hairs turning greasy. In severe cases of untreated flaky skin, the dog will suffer from a condition in which, due to trapped oil, the dog will have a foul odor from its body.

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The ZPT in Head and Shoulders shampoo can be used to treat the flaky skin condition in the dog. Just like Head and Shoulders can treat dandruff in humans, it can treat seborrhea in dogs, but using it excessively will harm your dog.

The Head and Shoulders shampoo works on dogs’ skin and helps to remove flakes from the dogs’ skin. The shampoo contains substances that provide relief to dogs from itching too. Dry skin is the main cause of dogs’ itchy and flaky skin conditions, and Head and Shoulders solves it like a pro. The Head and Shoulders shampoo also contains many moisturizing and hydrating substances that hydrate your dog’s skin.

3. Flea Problems

If your dog faces fleas issues and has fleas all over its body, then the Head and Shoulders shampoo is the solution you are looking for here. This shampoo is the solution because it can paralyze the pests, thus helping the dog to get rid of fleas.

Applying the Head and Shoulders on your dog’s body for up to five minutes will lead to the pests not moving, and then you can wash them off the dog’s body.

Besides this, the Head and Shoulders will help weaken the exoskeleton of the fleas that remain left behind even after washing.

Therefore, after using Head and Shoulders, fleas will become vulnerable and die sooner or later.

How to Safely And Properly Use the Head and Shoulders in a Dog’s Body?

How to Safely And Properly Use the Head and Shoulders in a Dog's Body?

Head and Shoulders use on your dog can provide your dog with relief in a lot of cases. But the Head and Shoulders will only work when you provide the dog with proper treatment and use the shampoo on your dog safely. Here are the methods in which you can use Head and Shoulders on your dog to ensure it gives the best results.

1. Brush Your Dog Properly

The most important step begins with detangling the hairs of your dog. To detangle the hair, you must brush your dog’s hair before bath.

Use a soft, slicker brush to loosen mats in your dog’s hair, and, after using the soft brush, you can use the standard brush to detangle the dog’s hair. Brushing and detangling a dog’s hair will help the hair and coat to look soft and shiny.

2. Prepare the Bathing Area for Your Dog

Prepare the Bathing Area for Your Dog

Before you let your dog take a bath, prepare the bathing area of the dog well. It would be best if you cleared any obstacles in that area or anything that makes your dog uncomfortable.

Also, you can use a rubber mat or find a nice grassy clearing to prepare the bath area for your dog. It would be best if, besides this, you also started preparing the water for your dog to have a bath and ensure it is of good temperature.

3. Start Washing the Dog Gently

Wash your dog carefully and ensure the water is lukewarm enough for your dog. Let your dog’s coat soak into the water very well enough to remove dirt.

Along with this, take water in the separate tub and add the Head and Shoulders shampoo. Now take care that you don’t put water on the dog’s face, as many dogs will create a fuss if the water touches their face. Besides this, ensure that the water does not enter your dog’s eyes, nose, or mouth, causing any harm to the dog.

4. Lather Up in a Proper Manner

Lather Up in a Proper Manner

You can take the shampoo in your hand and then massage your dog properly with the shampoo. Another option is to add the shampoo to a bathtub full of water and ensure the dog’s body gets soaked in it well.

After applying the Head and Shoulders shampoo to your dog, you must massage it well and ensure that the shampoo lathers up properly.

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If the dog you have possesses a double coat or a thick coat, make sure you wash and massage the dog properly, taking extra time and ensuring that the shampoo makes contact with your dog’s skin.

5. Wait

It is not like you have to immediately remove the shampoo or rinse the shampoo from the dog’s body as soon you apply it. But applying the shampoo and then waiting is the best way to clean the dog.

You can use the Head and Shoulders on your dog for 10 to 15 minutes and then let it rest. These 10 to 15 minutes will help the ZPT to act like magic on the dog’s body. It will not only make the dog’s skin glow and coat shine, but it will also withstand pest removal to a large extent.

In the meantime, for 15 to 20 minutes, you can entertain your dog and also wash the face of your dog with a wet cloth for some time. Ensure that the cloth gets wet only with water and that you are not adding soap or artificial products to the cloth as it may irritate your dog.

6. Rinse Properly

Rinse Properly

After 15 to 29 minutes, it’s time to rinse the shampoo. Use a particular tool or your hands to rinse the shampoo off your dog’s body.

You must be careful that the soap completely rinses off the dog’s body without any traces left. As the traces of soap will be left, it will cause trouble for your dog by further irritating its skin.

7. Properly Dry Off Your Dog

Once you are done with rinsing off the shampoo from the dog’s body, dry your dog’s coat properly. For drying your dog, you can make use of dry towels. Dry off your dog as much as possible with towels first. Leaving the dog’s coat dry properly before using the hair dryer is the best option.

When you are done drying your dog using the towel, make use of a hair dryer to dry the coat of your dog. Keep the hair dryer away from your dog’s skin so that it may not cause any harm to your dog’s skin, causing further problems.

Lastly, ensure that your dog’s hairs are properly detangled. You can use a standard comb or hair brush to detangle your dog’s hair, especially one designed for dogs.

Things To be Careful of While Using Head And Shoulders on Dogs

Things To be Careful of While Using Head And Shoulders on Dogs

Although Head and shoulders can be used on dogs to treat dry, itchy, and flaky skin, ensure you don’t use them regularly on your dog.

A canine’s skin is much more sensitive than ours, so be careful when you use the Head and Shoulders on your dog. Head and Shoulders usage should always be in moderate amounts on dogs’ skin.

Excess usage of human products can be dangerous for dogs, as stated earlier, as the pH of the dog’s skin is higher than that of humans.

Special shampoos regulate the pH balance of dogs’ skin to keep the pH balance between 6.5 and 7.5. At the same time, the pH of Head and Shoulder and other shampoos used by humans is around 5.5.

It is completely fine if you use Head and Shoulders on your dog in moderate amounts or occasionally. But in no case should it be your go-to product if your dog has daily bath sessions. Excessive use of the Head and Shoulders shampoo is harmful to dogs’ skin and causes many ailments and ph problems.


Head and Shoulders massage is a good treatment for the dog’s flaky and dry skin. You can use Head and Shoulders on your dog, but only in a moderate amount. Excess to anything is bad, and this shampoo is no exception to this.

Putting it on your dog’s skin will have some good effects, but if you use it too much, your dog’s skin will start to have problems. Consult your dog’s veterinarian if you find any problem with your dog’s skin or other such issues.