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pet shampoo ingredients to avoid

List of Harmful Pet Shampoo Ingredients to avoid

Instead of hiring a groomer and paying for expensive grooming bills at a pet salon, nowadays we can enjoy the convenience of bathing and grooming our cats and dogs at home with a wide variety of pet shampoos and grooming wipes available in the market. However, did you know that some harmful pet shampoo ingredients contain artificial coloring and chemicals that can harm your furry friend's skin and body? Some of these toxic pet shampoo ingredients are not recommended by groomers.

What Are the Harmful Pet Shampoo Ingredients to Avoid?


Parabens are used in dog shampoo to serve as an antibacterial function and keep the shelf life of pet shampoo. Parabens are chemical such as Methlyparaben, Propylparaben and Isopropyl paraben. Parabens cause allergies within dogs and some of the symptoms are skin rash, irritation, dry hair skin and hair loss problem. Serious allergic problem to parabens may cause vomiting and diarrhea. Dogs have lesser skin layer than human therefore some dogs might be allergic to even small amount of parabens. If your dogs develop a mild allergic reaction to the medicated shampoo or shampoo that contain parabens, quickly rinse them with water or mild dish soap. What other pet shampoo ingredients to avoid can you highlight?

Artificial Fragrances & Color

Dog smell sense are 50 times stronger than human. Beware of dog shampoo that smells good, in fact the fragrances contain Phthalates that disturb dog hormone- Endocrine System. Artificial fragrance is often made with petrochemical substances such as Benzaldehyde, Ethanol and Ethyl acetate. It will cause nervous system disorders and respiratory problem. Some of this synthetic scent is the root cause of cancer to dogs. It worsens the case if the fragrance shampoo comes with the artificial color and your dog accidentally lick on it and then get indigested. The PH of dog skin is around ph 7.5 to 8, which is slightly alkaline than human skin PH and human shampoo is definitely a NO-NO to apply on our dogs. Opt for shampoo aroma which is derived from natural plants extraction instead.

Surfactants (Sulfates)

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), Ammonium lauryl sulfate, Ammonium laureth sulfate, Sodium coco sulfate, TEA lauryl sulfate and MEA lauryl sulfate are some harmful ingredients list you need to watch out on your dog shampoo label. Sulfates will eliminate the natural oil from your dog and cause dryness and redness on their skin in long term. SLS and SLES has been studied in the scientific research and it’s found that use of SLS and SLES will create a bad impact on young pets’ eyes and linked to the cataract disease. MEA and TEA ingredients are organ toxification and cancer agents. Some irresponsible manufacturer will try to mislead the consumer with the so called “coconut based” shampoo ingredients but in fact it is referring to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. One of the easier tricks to identify If the shampoo contain SLS is to observe if the bottle comes with bubble and foam even without shaking it. These are not all harmful pet shampoo ingredients.


Formaldehydes are “slow-releasing” chemical which is known as “carcinogen” may cause skin irritation and rashes among pets. Sodium Benzoate is one of the formaldehydes preservatives when it is mixed with Citric acid and Ascorbic acid will release dangerous chemical known as “benzene”. Benzene is associated with “Leukemia and other Blood Disorders” Also, DMDM Hydantoin is a form of antimicrobial formaldehyde releasing preservative which can be quite common in some of pet shampoo

How Should Pets be Cleaned?

Washing your pets regularly is necessary but how to clean your pets thoroughly? First, wet your dog full body with water, use a sponge to apply shampoo, start with rubbing the shampoo over the face, back, stomach and its tail and most importantly always avoid shampoo goes into their eyes. Then rinse off with water and do wash away all the shampoo patiently for long coat dog. For medicated shampoo, please allow roughly 10 minutes for it to function properly. Lastly, dry our dog gently with a towel.

If you are worried in choosing the toxic shampoo ingredients and not favorable with the hassle of pet shampoo A to Z washing procedure, pet wipes for dogs and cats or Grooming Gloves are one of the best options as it does safe cleaning without harming your dog’s fur and skin. Grooming Gloves doesn’t require water and the best it is rinse free and air dry.

Please note that the information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. We are not veterinarians, and the content shared here should not be considered professional veterinary advice.

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