Why You Need to Take a Look At Your Dog’s Grooming Products

Skin irritants, cancer causing ingredients… why you should make sure your dog’s grooming products—as well as your own—are eco-friendly

Bad for Dogs, Bad for People

Chemicals and synthetic colours and fragrances are added to many doggie shampoos, conditioners, and other grooming products in a bid to make them smell great and lather. But some of those ingredients contain pesticides, suspected carcinogens, and irritants that can have negative health effects not just for the pup being groomed, but also the people who come into contact with the dog once he’s back in the home, snuggling with his family. 

Steer Clear: What to Avoid

Not surprisingly, some of the product ingredients that are potentially harmful to your pet’s health and the environment also pose risks to our own wellbeing. Here are four of the top ingredients to avoid in pet and people products alike…

1. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole)
Human use: Preservative in makeup and skin moisturizers 
Dog grooming: Preservative in dog shampoo
Potential harm: Can cause allergic reactions in skin.

2 DEA (diethanolamine) 
Human use: Found in sunscreens and moisturizers; makes shampoos creamy
Dog grooming: Used to make dog shampoo sudsy 
Potential harm: Cocomide DEA, or just DEA, can cause skin and eye irritation and has been linked to liver cancer, according to the David Suzuki Foundation. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies DEA as a possible human carcinogen.

3. SLS (sodium laureth) or SLES (sodium lauryl ether sulfate)
Human use: Makes bubble bath, shower gels, cleansers, soaps, and detergents foamy
Dog grooming: Detergents in dog shampoos
Potential harm: These inexpensive foaming agents can cause eye or skin irritation. The Environmental Working Group has linked SLS to organ toxicity, cancer, and neurotoxicity. They don’t break down easily in water and can hurt marine organisms. 

4. Synthetic colours and fragrances
Human use: Make cosmetics and household products smell and look nicer
Dog grooming: Enhances the colour or smell of a grooming product 
Potential harm: Many synthetics are created from petrochemicals that often contain aldehydes, benzene derivatives, and synthesizers which are known to cause allergic reactions, migraines, and asthma symptoms