We have some GREAT news! 4-Legger's oatmeal, lavender, and aloe certified organic dog shampoo is ready for delivery!
So, what did it take to get this formulation from concept to on the shelf ready for you to purchase? If you don't know us, it may surprise you that we'd talk so openly about the development of this formulation. One of 4-Legger's missions is transparency and it is important to us that you understand the thought process behind our newest product. Don't get us wrong, we are VERY proud of this formulation and with good reason - it really is exceptional. So why the blog post about it?
A lot of veterinarians tell their clients to use oatmeal dog shampoo - that it is "paws down" the best dog shampoo. Oatmeal shampoo has a reputation of being natural and soothing, providing relief to itching and helping with pets that are suffering from allergies or undiagnosed skin problems.
Many holistic veterinarians tell their clients to not use oatmeal dog shampoo. They are concerned that dogs with grain sensitivities may also be sensitive to topical oatmeal. A staggering 80% of food allergies in dogs are related to ingesting grains.
Let's be very clear. If your pet has an oatmeal allergy or an undiagnosed skin problem, we recommend that you do NOT use oatmeal dog shampoo. The oatmeal may provide a carbohydrate food source for yeast and bacteria - contributing to the skin problem! Instead, you should use our unscented hypoallergenic dog shampoo, aloe and lemongrass dog shampoo, our USDA organic lavender dog shampoo, our USDA organic lemongrass and hemp dog shampoo or one of our other varieties!
So, why did we develop an oatmeal formulation?
If you look at the dog shampoo industry, "oatmeal dog shampoo" is the #1 keyword search term for dog shampoo on Google. It sells a lot more than non-oatmeal dog shampoo (maybe all of those veterinarians recommending it)! Unfortunately, oatmeal dog shampoos are usually made with sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, cocomide betaine, etc. [Learn more about the ingredients in dog shampoo and check out our blog for a deep dive into ingredients.]
It was a staggering thought - all of those dogs (and their humans) being exposed to ingredients that are linked to health issues. To be true to our mission, we felt that we had to develop a certified organic oatmeal formulation - to migrate dog owners away from the formulations that have links to health problems (itchy skin, allergies and of course the "C" word - cancer).
Once we decided to develop an oatmeal formulation, we also took on the job of educating pet parents about oatmeal in grooming products. Hence, the reason for this blog post.
We first ordered certified organic colloidal Avena sativa (oatmeal) from the United Kingdom - some seriously nice stuff! We conducted experiments with the shampoo and tested it on ourselves. We liked it but we worried that the customer wouldn't like powdery oatmeal floating around in their shampoo. It is colloidal so it is not intended to fully dissolve. We start looking into what other manufacturers were using.
What we found surprised us. While a few manufacturers were using colloidal oatmeal (1-3%), most were using hydrolyzed oat protein - a water soluble form of hydrolyzed whole oats consisting of proteins and oligosaccharides (or carbohydrates). We started to think that oatmeal in dog shampoo was more about sales psychology rather than true therapeutic effect.
Then, a light bulb came on over our heads. Pulling the carbohydrate chain off of the oat protein (hydrolyzed oat) was likely about trying to isolate the moisturizing properties of oat. We moved forward knowing that we could make something better than what was currently on the market AND it would be certified organic - safe and non-toxic!
Our solution: Oat extract with glycerin. Oat "milk" is extracted from the oat head while it is still a green - before it hardens into an oat kernel and the milk is still able to be extracted and mixed with vegetable (corn) glycerin. Voila!
When used topically, oatmeal can soothe, smooth, and nourish skin and hair. It also has anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, and strong moisturizing characteristics.
Why the lavender? Lavender is a natural anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and is used to treat common skin disorders. Plus, it smells lovely!
For our loyal customers and wholesale accounts, we thank you for your patience!
We hope you love it as much as we do! Enjoy!