Can I Use Head and Shoulders on my Dog?

Head and Shoulders on my Dog? It’s always tempting when your dog is suffering from dry, flaky skin to reach for cans of your favorite human hair-care products in an attempt to soothe the itchy, uncomfortable condition.

But before you contemplate your options, please ask yourself one important question.

That is Can I Use Head and Shoulders on my Dog?

Yes in some way the Head and Shoulders is a safe shampoo for dogs if used rarely, but to ensure your pup doesn’t have a negative reaction, you need to follow a few guidelines on using this shampoo for dogs.

Head and shoulder shampoo is safe to use on dogs in moderation. Many groomers swear by shampoo and use it to treat many ailments. The basic substance in the head and shoulders is zinc pyrithione, also known as ZPT.

ZPT is a water-soluble substance that helps treat dandruff and its root cause. It has the same effect on dogs as it does on humans, so you can use it to treat skin problems without much worry.

Also Read: At What Age do German Shepherds Baby Teeth fall out? Complete Teeth Care

In the Head and Shoulders shampoo, ZPT is present in very small doses. This is only one percent of the formula, which is safe for your puppy.

Not all veterinarians 100% agree, though.

Important Points to Remember

That being said, do not use Head and Shoulders shampoo regularly for your dog. You should use it sparingly to avoid any complications. Dog skin is much more sensitive than human skin.

Cells have only 3 to 5 layers. For comparison, humans have more than 15 layers. Not only that, the pH balance of your dog’s skin is much higher than that of humans.

Dog shampoos are specifically designed to control the pH balance between 6.5 and 7.5.

Using human shampoos with a pH of around 5.5 can upset the balance and cause many problems.

It is best to use the head and shoulders on your dog every time. However, this should not be the go-to product you use for their baths.

Why use the head and shoulders on my dog?

Shampoos like the head and shoulders are great for treating many ailments. You can find ZPT-based shampoos for dogs. However, they do come with a premium. Inexpensive shampoos aimed at skin relief use charcoal tar.

Although it provides some temporary relief, it is not as effective as ZPT. The head and shoulders are an inexpensive way to treat your puppy skin with ZPT.

How often can I use the head and shoulders on my dog?

If your furbaby has doggy dandruff, you can use it two or three times a week. However, Head and Shoulders shampoos are formulated with a balanced pH so it is okay to use them on your pet every day if needed.

Although the head and shoulders are safe for dogs, you should be vigilant if your dog still has the same skin condition as it may need immediate medical attention.

 If your dog’s skin is still oily or flaky after consistent use of the shampoo or if you notice a change in its behavior you should be taken to the hospital immediately.

Some problems you can treat with head and shoulders


Seborrhea is a common skin condition that most dogs experience. It is very similar to dandruff in humans. It causes the skin to itch and flake. However, it also has some other features. One, it can cause your dog’s skin to become red and slightly reddened.

This will make your dog’s coat look greasy as the flakes prevent the oil from coming out. In severe cases, the trapped oil can also disperse the odor.

ZPT on the head and shoulders is great for treating this condition. The shampoo removes existing flakes and provides some relief from that itch. Seborrhea is often associated with oily skin, while dry skin is often the culprit.

The shampoo contains plenty of moisturizing ingredients that provide good hydration to your puppy skin.

Bacterial and fungal infections

In many cases, bacteria and fungi can cause skin problems in your dog. Fortunately, ZPT is an antifungal and antibacterial agent. It takes care of yeast infections and helps promote healing.

Active yeast can wreak havoc on your dog’s body if not addressed in a timely manner. It is not uncommon for the problem to spread to the feet, ears and other parts of the body. By using the head and shoulders, you can stop the spread of fungus and bacteria before things get out of hand.


If your dog suffers from flies, shampoo for the head and shoulders may be the solution you are looking for. The shampoo is popular among groomers because it can freeze small pests.

After five minutes on your dog’s skin, those flies can’t move. You can wash them in your drain.

The shampoo also weakens the exoskeleton of the remaining flies. They are very vulnerable, so they die very quickly.

How to safely use the head and shoulders on your dog

Thinking of bathing your dog with head and shoulders? Follow these steps.

Step 1: Groom your dog

Head and Shoulders on my Dog

First of all, you need to groom any tangles or mats. Use a slicker brush to loosen the mats. Then, follow with a standard Bristol brush to make their coat neat and smooth.

Step 2: Prepare the bathing area

Next, you need to secure your bathing area for your dog. Give your dog a steady step with a rubber mat or find a neat grass clearing outside. Use a hand sprayer and start warming the water to make it comfortable for your puppy.

Step 3: Starting the wash

Start washing your dog. Make sure the coat is completely filled with lukewarm water from the neck down. Avoid washing your dog’s face. Most dogs are not interested in getting their faces wet. In addition, you should prevent the shampoo from getting anywhere near the eyes or mouth. It is better to wash from the neck down.

Step 4: Foam up

Squeeze a quarter-size piece of shampoo into your hand and work through your dog coat. Use the foam with your fingers until the shampoo completely fills the fur. If you have a long-haired or double-coated dog, take special care to make sure the shampoo stays in contact with the skin.

Step 5: Wait

For best results, you should leave the shampoo on your dog’s skin for 10 to 15 minutes. This gives ZPT a lot of time to work its magic. At this point, keep your dog entertained and use a damp cloth to wipe its face clean. Do not put any shampoo on the garment. Use only water.

Step 6: Rinse

After 10 to 15 minutes, rinse time! Use the sprayer and your fingers to wash off the shampoo until the water comes clear. Work your fingers into the skin to make sure there is no residual shampoo. Leaving the soap suds will cause more irritation to the skin.

Step 7: Drying

Use some dry towels to remove as much water as possible from your dog coat. Then, use a hairdryer or air dryer to take care of the rest. Place the device several inches away from the skin and keep it in motion to prevent burns. Once it is done, finish with a good brushing to remove the tangles.


The head and shoulders are great for resolving dog skin problems. It can be used up to three times a week to treat skin problems. Be careful to monitor healing progress and keep an eye on your dog’s skin.

Once the irritation is completely cured, you can switch back to your pup’s regular shampoo.

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