Can you wash a dog with dish soap?

The outright answer is yes, you can use dishwashing liquid to wash your dog. You may have heard of people using dishwashing soap on their pooches and getting a very clean smelling, fluffy dog in the end.

Maybe you are tempted to follow suit because of one or two reasons but there are several conditions that you need to consider before using dish soap on your dog regularly.

There are some DIY recipes for making your dog shampoo, using dishwashing soap as one of the ingredients. The key take-away from this is that the dish soap is not the only ingredient in the recipe.

You should also note that in the recipe, only a small part is dishwashing liquid. Other natural ingredients are added.

Safety and Well Being

Safety and Well Being

Dishwashing liquid is a grease cutter. This means it is used primarily to degrease oils and fatty deposits in dishes, cutlery, and other eating utensils to clean them. Imagine what this would do to your dog’s skin and fur if the liquid was used purely on the animal.

This is assuming you are using the soap for regular bathing of your dog. If your dog is particularly dirty and oily you may use dishwashing soap (a cupful in several liters of water) to cut through the accumulation of natural oils, dirt, and other debris that may be on your pet.

Regular use of dishwashing liquid on your dog can deplete the naturally occurring oils on his skin that protect him and keep his fur in good condition.

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It will result in itchy, irritated skin as lackluster fur. Using this kind of cleaner can also pose some danger if it is ingested by your dog or if it goes into his eyes or nose.

Getting Rid of Fleas and Ticks

One of the main reasons why dishwashing liquid has become an option as a dog shampoo is its purported capacity to get rid of skin parasites.

Fleas are such an issue with dogs because they are difficult to get rid of and can also bite humans, the same with ticks. The thing with fleas is that they are fast-moving and are difficult to catch.

Ticks on the other hand are easy to see and catch. Bathing your dog in dishwashing soap can indeed get rid of fleas because they can drown in the bathwater made of dishwashing liquid.

Usually, fleas can float on pure, clean water allowing them to just wait it out until they reach dry land or until the water recedes.

The degreaser in dishwashing liquid degrades their exoskeletons, drowning them in water. Aside from killing actual adult fleas, dishwashing liquid may not be able to eliminate the eggs that fleas leave behind.

The effect of using this particular soap is also limited to the actual time that you use it. When your dog is dry and frolicking about, an infestation can occur again.

Basically, it is just a one-shot thing that you may need to do every now and then. It can get rid of the actual fleas on the dog at the time of the bath but it cannot prevent other fleas from jumping on your dog and making him their home after he is dry and up and about

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Cost of Dog Shampoo

Cost of Dog Shampoo

If you think about it, the cost of a good dishwashing liquid is just slightly lower than good dog shampoo. Your savings per year might be around $20 – $30 if you replace your dog shampoo with dishwashing liquid.

The backlash for doing this will be spending more on treating your dog’s skin issues due to using a very strong degreaser regularly.

The use of human shampoos is not even recommended for dogs because we don’t have the same ph as our canine friends. No matter how oily our hair is, it doe snot even occur to us to use dishwashing soap to degrease it.

If we even contemplate using it, we have second thoughts about it and even research the dangers and side effects of doing so.


if you are contemplating using dishwashing liquid to get rid of your dog’s parasites, try to ask your vet for another more lasting alternative.

There are other, more effective, and long-lasting treatments for flea infestations that do not compromise on your dog.

If the cost of dishwashing soap is tempting, do think about the future inconvenience and cost of bringing your dog to the vet for several checkups and treatments for itchy, irritated skin as a result of using a strong dishwashing soap as dog shampoo.

If you insist on using dishwashing liquid on your dog, try out the recommended recipes that do not use pure dishwashing soap.

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