Free shipping on orders $45+
Vet Recommended
worst dog shampoo ingredients

Top 8 Worst Dog Shampoo Ingredients

We love our pets and want only the best for them. Have you ever considered the ingredients in everyday products like dog shampoos or other “pet-friendly” cleaning solutions? If not, it’s time to start examining the bottle. How often have you looked at the back of a shampoo bottle and seen ingredients you couldn’t pronounce? These ingredients often contain toxins absorbed into the body and do more harm than help. There are many alternatives to commercial dog shampoos, like no-rinse pet wipes or dog washing gloves. 

The skin is the largest organ for dogs and the first protective barrier against harmful microbes. If you see the term fragrances in the ingredient list, there is a strong chance those are cancer-causing synthetics or detergents. Read further to learn more about the top 8 worst dog shampoo ingredients to avoid. We help your pets by helping you.

What are the Worst Ingredients in Dog Shampoo?

#1 Sulfates

Sulfates are irritants that can affect the oil production in your dog’s skin. Sulfates, also known as “natural cleaners,” cause allergies, and some are known carcinogens (cancer-causing). Not only are sulfates toxic, but they also cause dry skin for dogs. If you use a particular brand of dog shampoo, discontinue use if your pet reacts poorly to it. Try natural wellness products like pet gloves, wipes, or dog-washing gloves instead. This is a list of worst dog shampoo ingredients to watch out for: 

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate; 
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate; 
  • Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALES);
  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate;
  • Natural Cleaners.

Look into ethically sourced pet skincare products, like Pet Glove Wipes for Sensitive Skin, Daily Hygiene, Allergy and Hot Spot Soothing, Itch Relief for Dogs for more natural ways to clean your pets. 

#2: Surfactants

Surfactants are foaming agents found in detergents, shampoos, and more. They create the lather effect when shampoo gets wet. Bathtime is fun when your pet is covered in bubbles, but soapsuds do not mean soap-safe. Surfactants (also sulfates) work as emulsifiers to prevent the ingredients in shampoos and conditioners from separating. It penetrates deep into the skin to remove dirt and oil. This quick-absorbing effect can cause auto-immune toxicity in your pet. Separation usually indicates organic solutions. If you have products that separate, it most likely means the ingredients are natural and unaltered. Below are common bad ingredients in dog shampoo brands to watch out for: 

  • Cocamidopropyl betaine; 
  • Cocamide DEA or Coco Amides;
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate;
  • Ammonium Laureth Sulfate.

#3: Preservatives 

Preservatives, or parabens, are known to cause cancer and tumors. Not only are they irritants to skin and fur they also weaken your pet’s immune system over time. Preservatives disrupt hormones and endocrine production, causing fertility issues and allergies. Remove these harmful products from your dog’s skincare routine and search for more natural pet cleaning products like pet grooming wipes. Some pet grooming wipes contain aloe vera, baking soda, and essential oils instead of chemicals. Avoid your dog shampoo if you detect any of these preservatives: 

  • Triethanolamine (TEA); 
  • Methylparaben;
  • Propylparaben;
  • Butylparaben. 

#4: Phthalates

Phthalates or fragrances give shampoos their appeal. Many people are attracted to the sweet scents of certain products, and phthalates create those synthetic smells. Fragrances cause skin irritations, liver and reproductive organ damage, rashes, and hormone imbalances for your dog. Fragrance-free products like no-rinse pet wipes remove dirt and dander without the synthetic fragrances that cause skin ailments. Phthalates commonly found in the worst dog shampoo ingredients to avoid include: 

  • Artificial fragrance;
  • Dyes;
  • BBP (benzyl butyl phthalate);
  • DNOP (di-n-octyl phthalate).

#5: Mineral oil

Mineral oil has lubricating properties but acts as a sealant when applied to the skin. It creates a barrier that prevents anything from coming in or out. Mineral oil makes it impossible for skin toxins and organic oils to excrete, locking everything inside. It is also dangerous when ingested, causing respiratory problems. If you notice mineral oil in your pet products, throw it away! For natural alternatives, try pet grooming glove wipes that only need water or contain natural pet-friendly solutions. 

#6: Formaldehyde

Although products won’t directly say formaldehyde, some ingredients release formaldehyde as a disinfectant. This is one of the most irritating agents for the skin and is associated with cancers, allergens, and increased skin sensitivity. You will most likely see formaldehyde releasers listed under one of these ingredients in your dog shampoo:

  • Diazolidinyl urea;
  • Imidazolidinyl urea;
  • DMDM hydantoin;
  • Quaternium-15. 

#7: 1- Polyethylene glycol

Certain companies use thickeners in their brand to make shampoos appear full without altering their composition. This ingredient is found in many cosmetic and cleaning brands and is linked to stomach pains, auto-immune illnesses, and human tumors. You will see Polyethylene glycol in many dog shampoo ingredients. The problem is there isn’t much research on how it affects pets. If this is what happens to human beings, imagine your furry companions. 

#8: Isopropyl alcohol 

You may frequently see this ingredient in many self-care and sanitization products. Not Isopropyl dries out your pet’s skin, causes rash irritations, and also stings! Imagine your poor pet’s eyes. This chemical produces acetone once absorbed in the body. It is associated with reduced lung function and liver toxicity. Additional names for isopropyl alcohol include: 

  • 2-propanol;
  • Isopropanol;
  • Propyl.

What Should I Look For in a Safe Dog Shampoo?

Natural ingredients like baking soda, aloe, essential oils ( chamomile, lavender, eucalyptus, and citrus), and other organic resources are suitable alternatives to toxic dog shampoo ingredients. According to the American Kennel Club, there are easy ways to make your own dog shampoo with warm water, dish soap, distilled vinegar, and oatmeal. If you are an active person who’s always on the go, try using anti-itch dog wipes to clean your puppy with convenience and no harmful chemicals. 

Dog Washing Gloves Works When Your Pet Shampoo Does Not

At HICC PET™, we believe in pet safety and wellness. Hundreds of dog shampoos claim to have natural ingredients but pose a risk to your pet’s health. HICC PET™ develops organic products that clean, treat, and help to restore pet health. We integrate our dog-washing gloves with a natural substance that penetrates deep into your dog’s skin to fight dirt and infections and strengthen immunity. These gloves are ideal for daily cleaning and reduce the frequency of pet baths needed. Visit us online to learn more about our natural products and pet care secrets. 

This article only represents the author's personal views, and some contents refer to the Internet.

Disclaimer, if you have any questions about copyright such as articles, pictures, fonts, etc., please contact us in time.



Thanks for your interaction and support.

Invalid username!
Invalid position or organization!
Please enter your requirements!