Have you ever looked at your bottle of dog shampoo and read the ingredients? If you have, you’ve probably noticed there’s a list of items that you can’t pronounce and have no idea what they are. Most shampoo companies like it that way because they don’t want consumers to know any better. Some will even throw in a few plant based ingredients and label it as natural to give you that warm fuzzy feeling. The truth is that most commercial dog shampoos contain ingredients that may actually be harmful to your pet.
Should we really be concerned?
Yes! Your dog’s skin is the largest organ in their body and it’s highly absorbent. Not only that, but dogs’ skin is much thinner than ours with only about ¼ the cells of human skin. This means any products used topically are easily absorbed into the bloodstream. Using harsh chemicals can damage your dog’s immune system, cause allergic reactions and adversely affect long term health. That’s why it is so important to make sure anything used on your dog’s skin is safe and non-toxic.
Ingredients to Avoid
Now that you know to be mindful of the ingredients in dog grooming products, here’s a list of some of the most common ingredients you should avoid.
Artificial Fragrances – These may smell great but artificial fragrances often lead to allergic reactions, among other things. Any scents in your dog shampoo should come from plant extracts or essential oils.
Sulfates – These chemicals are used to capture oil and dirt but they also strip the natural oils from your dog’s coat and skin, causing skin irritations. Commonly listed as Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Ammonium Laureht Sulfate.
Isopropyl Alcohol– Once absorbed, this chemical turns into acetone which is a nerve and liver toxin as well as a depressant.
Methylchloroisothiazolinone – Chemical additive used as an anti-fungal and preservative. It is a known carcinogen already banned in Japan and Canada.
Cocomide DEA or MEA– A foam producing ingredient that is actually derived from coconuts. However, the substance has been chemically altered so much that it is actually an organ toxin.
Parabens – Used as preservatives in shampoo, they can disrupt your dog’s endocrine system causing elevated estrogen levels which could lead to reproductive issues and cancer.
Artificial Colors – Some artificial colors have been associated with forms of cancer including D&C and Yellow 5.
What to Use
Look for products with simple ingredients such as coconut oil, olive oil, aloe vera, and jojoba oil. Make sure the product is made specifically for dogs as the PH level of their skin is different than ours. If all of the ingredients aren’t listed, contact the company to get more information, including general ingredients such as “plant based cleansers”. Do your research to ensure each ingredient is safe for your pup.
At Tippett Creek Dog Soap, all of our products are made with 100% natural ingredients and no artificial fragrances or chemicals. Take a look here for a complete listing of all the ingredients we use in our soaps including a description of why we use it.