Sunday 4 September 2011

Dog Shampoo - How Safe Is It?

"Are we finished yet?" (Button)
Aymie and Button just love their bath time although you would not think so looking at the expressions on their face.

Aymie loves the water big time and is quite eager to get in the tub. Button is okay once she is in the water, but  it takes just a little bit of persuasion to get her into the spirit of things.

I wash them in the laundry sink in nice warm water and keep a couple of big fluffy towels on standby so that everything is close handy.

I learned early in the piece to water-proof myself after having been caught out a couple of times with the big 'shake' they like to do when I am reaching for the towel. Water flies everywhere LOL. I get a big green garbage bag and cut holes in it for my head and arms and I wear it like a dress. Not exactly fashion on the field, but it does the job.

I have had dogs for several years and absolutely love having them as companions. When I first owned  them, I never paid much attention to what was in the shampoos I used on them until I started to develop an ever-growing interest in all things green, natural and chemical free.

When I did check the bottle for the ingredients list
I was shocked!

What do you shampoo your best friend with? 

Go and check it out for yourself. Look at the ingredients list on the packaging.  If the words are longer than wheelbarrow and you can't pronounce them then they are nasty chemicals that may not only harm your beloved pets but also your children.
Products that are designed to kill fleas and ticks (including the collars) can cause brain damage as well as cause harm to your pet's liver and nervous system.

The fragrances in those shampoos aren't natural either. They are derived from petro-chemicals. Petro-chemicals are carcinogenic. Manufacturers use trickery with their wording to make toxic chemicals sound 'innocent'. They make claims about 'all natural synthetic Pyrethrin' for example. We envisage the flower (African chrysanthemum) which is where Pyrethrum is derived from. They in fact make a synthetic derivative of that which is not natural or organic - it is harmful.

A huge industry is built upon our love of pets and manufacturer's know how to play on our emotions. Be wary and check your labels and do a little research on the internet. There are plenty of good sites in cyberland where you can check out what is harmful to our little friends.

While on the topic of fragrances, we need to be very careful about what kind of essential oils we put on our dogs too as some of them can cause quite adverse reactions. For example, pennyroyal and Tea Tree oil can have toxic effects. Just because something is natural does not automatically mean it is safe.
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Do you like my hair-do Mum? (Aymie)

I make a natural and safe shampoo for my 'girls' that I am happy to share with you. It is very easy to make and quite affordable as it is quite concentrated.
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 ozs (12 teaspoons) of glycerin
  • 1 cup of non-toxic liquid soap (castile)
Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a bottle with a tight fitting lid. Clearly label it. Make sure you give it a shake before each use.

I don't add any essential oils because I like to keep the shampoo as simple as possible to avoid any allergic reactions. I find that this shampoo seems to agree with the ph of the dog's skin.

I find that if you leave the shampoo on for about five minutes, it kills any fleas they might have. To keep fleas at bay, I wash their bedding in my home- made laundry liquid and add some lavendar oil to the final rinse and I keep the carpets well-vacuumed. That seems to do the trick.

Anyway, that's all from us. We are off to have a play with our 'Dad' in the garden.

Bye for now!


  1. Thanks for bringing attention to something many people still are not aware of. I also love your recipe for natural doggie shampoo!

  2. You are very welcome Robin. Like you, I want to help bring information to families that will enable them to make safer choices - and our beloved pets are certainly part of the family!

  3. Could you use that shampoo on pussy cats ? Some cats(very few) like to have a wash too.

  4. I am not aware of anything in the shampoo that would harm cats.

  5. LOVE these tips, thank you! Cute dogs in the pics too :) I will definitely try this out...seems a much safer alternative.

  6. I've often wondered about this. Our dog has skin condition that causes her to go bald as she ages and we were given a medicinal shampoo to wash her with. Nothing really good in the ingredients and it didn't help her condition. I prefer to use a castile soap bar because of it's gentle formulation on her exposed skin.

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