We have seen this question time and time again: "Can I use dish detergent to wash my dog?" Many ask this question after seeing commercials where dish detergent has been used to effectively clean wildlife after oil spills.
Let's ask the obvious question: Is your dog covered with crude oil?
Keep in mind that crude oil contains hundreds of substances like benzene, chromium, iron, mercury, nickel, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, toluene, and xylene. Hydrocarbons (chemicals made of hydrogen and carbon) have strong links to health issues and you do want to remove it as quickly as possible from wildlife that has been exposed to a spill or has in someway come in contact with these types of chemicals.
Here are the ingredients from a popular dish soap:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- Lauramine Oxide
- Sodium Chloride
- PEG-8 Propylheptyl Ether
- Fragrance (this ingredient linked to a 20 page document that listed all of the ingredients - in 8 point font - found in fragrances
Those of you who have read our blog will know how we feel about artificial fragrances. They are linked to hormone disruption, cancer, reproductive, and development toxicities. Don't put them on your dog.
If that doesn't convince you, looking at the other ingredients should. Many of them have concerns for contamination with links to ingredients that cause cancer. Others (PEG-8 for example) increases skin absorption - making it easier for the harmful ingredients to penetrate the skin.
While this one didn't, one of the other dish soaps we researched contained slow releasing formaldehyde.
Suffice to say, we do NOT recommend washing your dog with dish detergent as it unnecessarily exposes your dog to the risks of environmental toxins.