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Dog, Cat Shampoo – Unsafe, Harmful Ingredients

Dogs are exposed to so many toxins and carcinogens these days. Every additional unsafe ingredient we expose our dogs to creates a heavier toxic load on our dog’s system. 
Talking about unsafe ingredients in pet shampoo may seem trivial if you only bath your dog once in a blue-moon…but it is best to remember that you should look at toxic loading in broad perspective. 
Here is an example of how your dog’s and cat’s  toxic load can build-up without you ever realizing it…
Your dog can be carrying a substantial toxic load. Now add a shampoo with toxic ingredients into the mix…even if that shampoo is only used a few times a year the bad (toxic, carcinogenic) ingredients are absorbed through your dog’s skin – resulting in further toxic load.
Don’t be fooled by labels that say ‘all natural’, ‘safe’ etc. As dog shampoo is not considered a drug, there are no regulations to govern the term ‘all natural’, ‘safe’. Many manufacturers’ take advantage of this gap in regulations, therefore the one and only way to protect your dog is to know what to avoid.
Take a look at this list below – if the dog shampoo you are using contains any of these, throw it out! If you are looking to purchase a product take this list with you, or compare it to the product you are buying if purchasing on-line.
You can also make your own dog or cat shampoo and rinse – to do so is simple and you will be 100% sure you are using a safe, truly natural product.
Ingredients to Avoid in Commercially Manufactured Dog, Pet Shampoo
  • 1,4-diaminobenzene
  • Artificial colors (i.e.  blue 1,2,4, disperse blue 1; green 1,2,3; red 4,9,17,19,22,33,40;  yellow 5,6,8; disperse yellow 3 – will be shown as D =&C or FD&C…i.e. FD&C Red No.6);
  • Benzalkonium Chloride and Benzethonium Chloride – synthetic germicides, long term use may affect immune system, cause asthma;
  • BHA;
  • BHT;
  • Coal Tar Dyes;
  • Diethanolamine (DEA);
  • DEA-Cocamide & Lauramide & Oleamidecondensates;
  • DEA-cocamide/lauramide condensates;
  • DEA-MEA/Acetame;
  • DEA-Sodium lauryl sulfate;
  • Dioxins;
  • Fragrances (Parfum) – unless from a truly all natural source;
  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT);
  • Methicone;
  • Triethanolamine (TEA);
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS);
  • Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES);
  • Paraphenylenediamine;
  • PEG-compounds (1,4-dioxane, propylene glycol and other ingredients with the letters “eth” , i.e.polyethylene glycol);
  • P-phenylenediamine;
  • Propylene Glycol (used in anti-freeze!);
  • Phthalates;
  • Petrolatum or Mineral Oil (can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons);
  • Sodium Hydroxide;
  • Triclosan.
Although this list is lengthy, it represents only a portion of the harmful ingredients – toxins and carcinogens that can be present in off-the-shelf shampoo products for dogs and cats. In addition many companies including those that manufacture pet food and other pet products including shampoo and rinse test their products on ‘research’ dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals. These research animals suffer while enduring cruel and debilitating testing  and  are then ‘euthanized’ when no longer ‘required’ or when too damaged to be of further ‘use’. The majority of research animals come from two basic sources: they are  breed specifically for use as research animals or, 2) they are from ‘shelters’, pounds and other animal control centers (ACC). While Pound Seizure is the law in places like Ontario Canada, some shelters in other parts of the USA and Canada choose to sell dogs and cats to D3 dealers that sell these innocent animals to research laboratories.

When you choose to make your own dog and cat pet care products you protect your own companion animal and while ensuring that you do not contribute to the abuse and death of other companion animals. If you would like to make your own simple, safe, DIY all natural organic, herbal shampoo for dogs and cats you can try some of the recipes in this article.

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About Karen

Dogs are my life, my work, my passion… I am a Dog Whisperer, Dog Behaviorist and Holistic Canine Wellness Adviser with a wealth of real-time, real-life experience living and working with dogs. For two and a half decades I have worked with and shared my life with dogs. My own dog pack is comprised of eleven dogs, various breeds and ages. I provide a full range of services including Obedience Training for puppies and dogs; canine Behavior Modification; canine Psychological Rehabilitation, specializing in assisting dogs that are experiencing extreme states of insecurity, anxiety and aggressive-reactive behavior; Diet, Nutrition and Wellness Advice and Plans for canines and felines…natural wisdom for you and your companion animal.

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6 comments

  1. As a dog groomer….I would like to know if you have any suggestions on shampoo type products which are non toxic that I can purchase. My products are not labeled with the listed ingredients. How do I know they are toxic free

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