For most of us, seeing our dog overlook a balcony railing high off the ground would make our heart race. We'd be tethering our 4-Legger to the balcony with a really strong harness and leash!
Understandably, we want the best dog shampoo for our furry family members and we would do anything to protect them. For many pet parents this means using antibacterial dog shampoo.
The recent ruling by the FDA banning the use of Triclosan and Triclocarban along with 17 other ingredients in hand and body washes made for humans confirmed what we had been saying for years: Antibacterial ingredients are not safe!
Even at low doses, antibacterial ingredients have been found to cause endocrine system changes (hormone disruption), allergies, immunological reactivity, as well as dry and itchy skin.
Talk to a veterinarian and they will tell you the number of dogs they diagnose annually with hormone issues is on the rise. Also on the rise are dogs being diagnosed with Cushing's Disease (a type of hormone disruption) and cancer (thought to have a link to hormone levels).
Did you know that approximately 50% of dogs die from cancer? Shocking, isn't it? The good news is only 5% of these cancers are genetic. The remaining 95% are from environmental and lifestyle factors. Why is that good news? It means we can make easy changes in the lives of our dogs to reduce exposure to toxic ingredients and their chances of having hormone issues and of course cancer.
The bottom line: Anti-bacterial dog shampoo is not safe and does affect your dog's hormone levels even at low doses. Don't use it!
Before you run to pitch that anti-bacterial dog shampoo in the trash and go buy a new product - there a few more things you need to consider:
- There are no regulations in the pet grooming industry for safety and marketing.
- The FDA does not regulate pet grooming products.
- Ingredient labels on dog grooming products are not required to list all ingredients. A manufacturer can list the ingredients that make their product sound terrific and leave off any ingredients that you may find questionable or object to entirely.
- Many manufacturers greenmarket their product to make it sound all natural by using the phrase "all natural" or the word "organic". Don't fall for it. Demand to see the complete list of ingredients and do your own research. Including the word "organic" in the company name does not make that company's products safe, non-toxic, or organic.
- "Naturally derived from coconut" is a synthetic ingredient. This is an example of greenwashing. The phrase "all natural" is overused and means very little these days. Manufacturers use it to make you think their products are safe and non-toxic. Again, don't fall for it.
- Many dog shampoo manufacturers disguise anti-bacterial dog shampoo by using the term, "deodorizing". Learn to see beyond the marketing to focus on the ingredients!
- Only certified organic dog shampoo is regulated for product integrity and ingredient purity. All ingredients in certified organic dog shampoo are required to be listed on the bottle!
4-Legger's certified organic dog shampoo is safer and better because we truly care about the ingredients and the health of your dog. Our products have NO artificial or synthetic ingredients. Our ingredients are regulated from the time they are grown and sustainably harvested until they go on your dog's body. We are the premier standard of safety for your dog's healthy bath!
To follow up on some questions we got after our first blog post on the FDA's ban of Triclosan:
Q: Don't I need antibacterial dog shampoo to get the bacteria off my dog?
A: No. Your dog's "doggy smell" isn't from bacteria unless they have a bacterial infection and that smell is very distinctive. It is from a build-up of their natural coat oils called sebum. You want to wash your dog with gentle cleaners like 4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo - that don't over-strip the oils in your dog's coat. Our essential oils compliment your dog's body chemistry and will leave them fresh and clean without that doggy smell. Masking your dog with artificial fragrances is like dipping them in toxic chemicals - there are safer and better alternatives - like using 4-Legger!
Q: How do I know if my dog was affected by antibacterials? Will their skin be dry and itchy? So I only need to worry if they had a skin reaction after using an anti-bacterial dog shampoo?
A: No. You may not see the effects of exposure for years. Even at low doses, studies have shown that antibacterial ingredients disrupt normal hormone levels. Your dog may one day start to have thyroid issues or cancer as a result of exposure to ingredients years ago. It's bio-accumulative - meaning it builds up in your dog's body over time.
Q: I bought my dog an antibacterial dog bowl. Are you saying it isn't safe?
A: That is exactly what we are saying. These ingredients are in a LOT of products - even clothes! Antibacterial dog bowls are not safe as the ingredients in the bowl may leach into their water over time. It is also not safe to never clean your dog's bowl and let it get over-run with bacteria. Wash your dog's bowl a few times a week and use lead free bowls!
Q: Why are you so passionate about dog shampoo?
A: Like you, we would do anything to protect our furry family members. We lost our dog to cancer, and then Melissa, 4-Legger's Pack Leader, battled cancer first hand. It was a wake up call to everything we did wrong as pet parents.
We paid top dollar for "all natural dog shampoo" to discover it was full of synthetic ingredients. The same synthetic ingredients that we had been trying to avoid when we were shopping for all natural and organic dog shampoo! We developed 4-Legger to honor our poodle Henry Clay and to change the pet grooming industry one healthy bath at a time for dogs around the world. Learn more about why we developed 4-Legger.
Q: I see why I shouldn't use anti-bacterial dog shampoo but I still want to guard against bacteria. Can essential oils help?
A: Absolutely! Essential oils do have natural antibacterial properties without the harmful side effects! Lemongrass is known for its natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antifungal, anti-insecticidal and antimicrobial properties! Lavender is also known for being an antibacterial!
4-Legger's Mission: Change the pet grooming industry one healthy bath at a time while educating pet parents about product integrity and ingredient purity.