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Old 11-20-2008, 01:17 PM   #1
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Default Dog skin compared to human skin

If you've ever wondered why you're not supposed to use human shampoo on a dog, the reason is simple - dogs and humans have different skin.

Both dogs and humans have an epidermis and a dermis.

However, we humans have sweat glands in our skin, dogs do not. Our sweat mixes with secreted sebum to form an "acid mantle" which helps protect us from bacterial infections, as bacteria are everywhere, despite modern cleaning products that claim to eliminate them Our skin is acidic, with a pH of about 4-5.5.,15329.asp

Women have more bacteria on their hands than men, and this supposedly has to do with the acidity.
Fierer speculated that skin pH may play a role in the higher bacterial diversity on women's hands, since men generally have more acidic skin, and other research has shown microbes are less diverse in more acidic environments. The findings also could be due to differences in sweat and oil gland production between men and women, the frequency of moisturizer or cosmetics applications, skin thickness or hormone production, he said.

And here is a nice close-up image of human skin.

Human babies have more neutral skin, about 7, so they are not as well protected. It's also why they need special baby shampoos that are not as harsh.

Dogs have fur to protect their skin and it has a much higher pH than human skin, about 7-8.5 pH. Different breeds have different typical skin pH, which is why some breeds are more susceptible to skin problems than others.

In general, the more alkaline or basic the skin, the more susceptible it will be to infections. But another factor plays a role, namely skin thickness. The Labrador Retriever, meant to swim long distances in icy water, literally has a "thicker skin" than some other breeds - about twice as thick as the Beagle.

About the only exposed skin you see on a dog are the pads and the nose - and both have sweat glands!

This link has a list of skin disorders that are found in dogs:
and this one has info on hair loss:

So if you are stuck needing to bathe your dog and don't have any dog shampoo, you can get by with baby shampoo. But it doesn't hurt at all to have a bottle of the real thing handy for when you need it.
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Last edited by skunkstripe; 12-16-2009 at 05:09 PM.. Reason: replaced broken link

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