Dog in a bath tub with a blue towel round him

Can You Use Head And Shoulders On Dogs?

If you have dandruff, it’s a well-known fact that Head and Shoulders can help you overcome the flaky problem. But is it okay to use on our dogs? Is it safe? Let’s find out! 

Head and Shoulders is not safe to use on your dog’s coat. Head and Shoulders is only made for human hair, and it is not safe to use on a dog’s fur. It would be best if you used a shampoo made specifically for dogs. That way, you can be sure that it is safe to use.

Hair and fur are completely different!

The below will explain the differences between dog hair and human hair to help you understand why human products aren’t the best choice for your dog.

Differences Between Human Hair And Dog Hair

As you can see, the hair follicle and cuticle are entirely different.

  • The pigment concentration of human hair has an even pigment distribution throughout the cortex, while animal hair is more concentrated towards the centre / Medulla area.
  • The texture of human hair and dog hair is different, and there is even a slight difference between dog breeds to consider.
  • Animal hair ratio of the medulla to shaft diameter is much greater than humans, 1/2 or more.
  • The cuticle of each human hair is an imbricate pattern, and animals have a wide range, including coronal and spinous.

Human Hair Growth And Dog Fur Growth

A dogs hair will grow in clumps while human hair grows in singles and will continue to grow. Dogs hair will die off and shred depending on the coats cycle.

Skin differences in Humans and Dogs

Anything you put on your dog’s coat will also affect your dog’s skin. Head and Shoulders are made for human skin and could do more harm than good by putting it on your dog’s body. 


A dog’s skin is a lot less thin than that of human skin, meaning anything put on your dog’s coat will also absorb more into the skin. This also proves why dogs skin can be susceptible to products as the epidermis is the shield that is a barrier to their whole body. 

  • Humans: 10 to 15 cells deep
  • Dogs: 3 to 5 cells deep

The ingredients in human products will be aimed towards humans and vice versa. 

The Main Active ingredient In Head And Shoulders Is Zinc Pyrithione

Although there isn’t much of the substance Zinc Pyrithione in a bottle to poison your dog, it still might cause problems. It can make your dog vomit, have diarrhoea, feel sad or sicker. It can also affect their heart, liver, kidneys or pancreas. Regardless of the amount, it’s still something that shouldn’t be near pets.

  • Strength Ratio: 1 g in every 100 ml of shampoo

Popular Brands

These dog shampoos will Below is a list of well-known good dog shampoo brands for dandruff. Be aimed at, researched and made especially for dogs. With this in mind, you can expect safer and better results for your dog. Below is a list of well-known good dog shampoo brands for dandruff.

C&G Pets (My Fave) is perfect for itchy, flakey skin and even has an antifungal treatment in it, so you are not just soothing or washing it away; you’re treating it simultaneously.

Trixie – A German company that has been around for more than 45 years, has made an anti-dandruff shampoo that works very well.

I Love Pet Head – For flakey dry, and sensitive skin. I love the shape and colour of the bottle, and it also smells lovely of strawberry yoghurt.

Problems Which can Arise from Using Human Shampoo On Dogs

  • Eye irritation
  • Dry skin
  • Fur loss
  • Itchy Skin


I am a firm believer in making the right choices for our pets. Don’t get me wrong, I have made many mistakes in the past, which I learnt from and hope to pass on my experiences. 

I hope you wait and hold off bathing your dog in human shampoo and get shampoo made for dogs instead.

Dogs can get many skin conditions as well, just like us. It may just look like dry skin, but it could be allergies or dermatitis, which is very uncomfortable for your dog.

Good Luck! 

Happy Bath Time!

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