7 Dog Shampoo Ingredients to Avoid

Shampoo ingredients to avoid:  Who doesn’t like to pamper their poodle and shower it with love, and well, water? Bathing your pup is one of the most endearing tasks a dog owner has to do regularly no matter how begrudgingly. And let’s be real, most dog parents would love to take their fur child to a groomer and get them showered by an expert, but they don’t do so because of the big price tags that come with professional dog grooming. So more often than not, dog owners resort to having in-home bathing sessions for their pooch. Showering your furry friend at home means getting a shampoo for them. Now while it may seem like an inconsequential thing to do, it really isn’t.

Many dog shampoos come with harmful ingredients that can damage your dog’s skin and coat and lead to serious dermatological concerns. Just like in humans, the skin is the largest organ in dogs. Anything that damages it can have severe repercussions for a dog’s overall health. Therefore, dog parents need to be vigilant and read the ingredient list when buying dog shampoo. But how does one know which component in shampoo is dangerous for dogs? That’s where we come in.

To help you identify harmful shampoo ingredients that you must avoid, we have put together a list of some of the most common damaging shampoo components.

Here are seven toxic shampoo chemicals that you should steer clear of to keep your dog’s skin healthy.


If you are struggling to pronounce methylchloroisothiazolinone, you are not the only one. Methylchloroisothiazolinone is an established carcinogen and is known for organ poisoning. It is banned in Canada and Japan, but unfortunately, some dog shampoo companies are still using it. Therefore, be on the lookout for it when you are buying a shampoo for your canine companion. And you don’t need to learn how to pronounce it, just look for a super long chemical name that you can’t read, and you are good to go.

To make things easier for yourself, avoid all those dog shampoos that have chemicals with names you can’t form.


If you come across ‘fragrance’ as one of the components in a shampoo, instantly keep it back on the shelf. Fragrance can be a gravely misleading term and can be used to disguise any harmful chemicals such as Phthalates. Phthalates are known for disrupting the hormonal balance in dogs. So, don’t buy shampoos that list fragrance as an ingredient on the label. With that said, if a shampoo bottle specifies the scent source, then you can use it. However, try to avoid shampoos with artificial scents and go for ones that come with more natural ingredients.

Artificial Colors

Make it a habit to avoid products that come with anything ‘artificial.’ You might be tempted to buy that purple shampoo for your fur child, but it could be rife with unnatural dyes and harmful chemicals. So, don’t get shampoos that are uncharacteristically colorful.

Mea/Cocomide Dea

Yes, you guessed it right, Cocomide Dea is indeed made from coconut, but it is still harmful to your dog. Why you ask? To make Mea coconut is processed to such an extent that it loses its healing properties and becomes a mild cancer-causing agent. Mea is known for disrupting hormonal balance and damaging organs in dogs.

Mineral Oil

Although mineral oil is famous for its moisturizing properties, it can be damaging for your doggo’s skin. Mineral oil is a by-product of distilled gasoline made from crude oil. It creates an impenetrable layer over the skin, which obstructs the skin’s ability to release toxins naturally. In other words, mineral oil locks everything inside the skin and creates a barrier effect. Make sure your canine companion’s shampoo is free of mineral oil.

Formaldehyde Preservatives

You are most likely not to find formaldehyde written on a shampoo label, as most companies now denote it as the slow-releasing compound. Since formaldehyde was declared harmful for the skin, manufacturers reformulated it and started calling it the slow-releasing compound. It may not be as toxic now as before, but it’s still plenty harmful.

Formaldehyde is known for burning, itching, blistering, and scaling of the skin. Some theories even suggest that it can cause cancer, but more studies need to be conducted to reach a definitive conclusion. But whether or not formaldehyde causes cancer, it is still bad for a dog’s skin.

Remember to keep an eye out for ‘slow-releasing compound’ when reading the label on a shampoo bottle.

Paraben Preservatives (butylparaben, methylparaben, or propylparaben)

Paraben preservatives store in a dog’s body and cause hormonal disruptions and reproductive issues after a while. So your fluffy pal might not show signs of chemical poisoning right after getting exposed to paraben preservatives, but they will face physiological problems after some time.

Check your dog’s current shampoo, and make sure that it’s paraben-free. If not, then throw it out immediately and take your fur child to the vet for an exam.

Some other toxins that your dog’s shampoo mustn’t contain include

  • Propylene glycol
  • Sodium Laureth sulfate (or any sulfates for that matter)
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Isopropyl (SD-40)
  • Cocamidopropyl betaine
  • Polysorbates
  • Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Sodium benzoate preservative

These ingredients are not terribly harmful to dogs, but it’s better to avoid these as well.

One rule of thumb that you must always remember is never to use human shampoo on your dog. Human skin and dog skin have different natural pH levels, which means they react differently to different chemicals. If a shampoo is good for humans doesn’t mean it will be suitable for dogs as well. So, if you have run out of dog shampoo, then delay your pooch’s bathing sesh, but DON’T use your own shampoo on your fur child.

The best way to avoid harmful dog shampoo ingredients is to buy organic products. They are free of synthetic chemicals, so you won’t even have to check the label. And if you want to be extra cautious, then consult your vet and ask them to recommend the right product.

We have GREAT PH balanced pet shampoo and conditioners for your pup.  Made in the USA it made with natural ingredients and free of GMOs & harsh chemicals.  For more information, visit the PUCCI Spa Section:  www.puccicafe.com/shop/spa/pucci-cucumber-shampoo-and-conditioner

by Bobby J Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™

Facts About Animal Homelessness:

  1. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home.
  2. The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street.
  3. Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Act as a publicist for your local shelter so pets can find homes. Sign up for Shelter Pet PR.
  4. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  5. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners.
  6. 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
  7. About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
  8. It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
  9. Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
  10. Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
  11. According to The Humane Society, there are about 3,500 brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the US and 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in North America.

Here are a some adoptions for consideration:  puccicafe.com/adoptions

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