How to Choose a Safe Shampoo!
From: Dogs Naturally Magazine
Regular grooming can be an important part of keeping your dog
healthy. Regular brushing will help spread the natural oils throughout
your dog’s coat. Regular bathing will remove dead skin cells, excess
sebum and will help control dust mites and allergens. Bathing your dog
once a month is a great idea.
Choosing a chemical-free shampoo is essential. Reading the label is
important because many products state they contain natural or organic
ingredients but still contain toxic chemicals. Here are some shampoo
ingredients you’ll want to avoid:
- Added dyes or colorants: synthetic color additives for
cosmetics are linked to cancers and other serious health problems.
Examples are D&C Blue No. 4, or D&C Yellow No. 8, CI 1940 (also
called Tartrazine, which is strongly linked to allergic reactions,
migraines, hyperactivity and even tumors). Many are made from coal tar
which is recognized as a carcinogen. Avoid brightly colored liquids:
natural colors in chemical free shampoos usually range from an opaque
white to a light yellow.
- Added fragrance or perfumes derived from chemicals.
Artificial fragrances are linked to allergies, headaches, nausea and
other serious health problems. Use shampoos that contain organic
- Parabens are inexpensive and used by many cosmetic
manufacturers as a preservative. Parabens mimic estrogen hormones and
have been linked to breast cancer. Names include methylparaben,
propylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben benzyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
(p-hydroxybenzoic acid), parahydroxybenzoate (p-hydroxybenzoate). Look
for shampoos that use citrus seed extracts, and natural vitamins A, C
- Mineral oil is a by-product of petroleum, derived from
propylene glycol. It is one of the key ingredients in baby shampoo and
baby oil. People use baby shampoo on their dogs, believing that if it is
good for a baby it is good for their dog – but it is not even good for
babies! It is often used in cosmetics and shampoos as an emollient. It
can actually harm the skin and is linked to many other health issues,
including liver abnormalities and kidney damage.
- Stearalkonium chloride is used in shampoos and conditioners
as an antimicrobial and surfactant. It creates skin and eye irritations
and may cause hypertension and ill effects on the brain and organs.
- Sodium laureth sulfate and sodium laurel sulphate are
commonly used in cosmetic products as detergents. They can cause
irritation to the mouth and upper digestive tract; may cause significant
skin irritation especially if exposure is prolonged and/or repeated.
Contact with eyes can cause severe irritation; if not washed out
promptly, may permanently injure the tissue. Use products that are made
with olive oil, coconut oil and other natural fatty oils.
- DEA, cocamide DEA and lauramide DEA are used as foaming agents in shampoos. May cause cancer.
This list just gives you a snippet of information on harmful
ingredients in dog shampoos. It also applies to the ingredient list on
your own shampoo and personal skin care products. Don’t believe the
marketing hype. Read and understand the labels and think for yourself.
The terms “natural” and “organic” really mean just that. Going back to
nature will improve the health of our pets, ourselves and our planet.