Research has established that artificial fragrance and colors are THE most common cause of allergic reactions in humans. Why not dogs? The research hasn't been done but it stands to reason since these synthetic ingredients have been linked to serious health problems such as cancer and reproductive and developmental toxicity.
You may not see an immediate change in your dog's skin from using a product with an artificial color or fragrance and blow off the health concerns. You will wake up when your dog's skin becomes infected, is itching/scratching, has an obvious infection, or is diagnosed with cancer or some other serious health condition.
Learn more about the hidden dangers of artificial color and fragrances...
So, what is TEA?
TEA, MEA, and DEA are in a group of chemicals called ethanolamines. The ethanolamines are made from alcohol (ethanol) and proteins (amines) that have ammonia-like odors. Of course, manufacturers use artificial fragrance to cover up the ammonia-like odors so you don't smell them.
What do they do?
Ethanolamines are popular in dog shampoo as they create a creamy and thick texture with lots of foam.
Why Should You Be Concerned?
When ethanolamines are used in the same product as certain preservatives or other ingredients, they break down into nitrogen and can form what is called nitrosamines. The nitrosamines are a class of chemicals that are are thought to be carcinogenic, have reproductive toxicity, developmental toxicity, and organ system toxicity.
While there are a number of chemical ingredients that can make a product sudsy and produce a lot of lather, the most commonly used are the sulfates. Sulfates are detergents that make the product lather, give the appearance of sleek and shiny fur/hair, and capture the dirt that washes out in the rinse. The sulfates also strip the natural oils from your dog's skin/coat and irritate their skin. Unless the irritations become infected, you will likely never notice as you don't see their skin under all that fur/hair!
Learn more about sulfates and their cancer causing byproducts in Lesson 3 of buying a safe and non-toxic dog shampoo.
Did you know that Amazon.com boasts over 3600 products under "dog shampoo" in the category of Pet Supplies? How many different brands of dog shampoo are on the shelves in your local pet supply store?
There are so many pet care products and shampoos that they are broken into sub-categories: Deodorizing (also called Odor Control), Medicated, Natural, Tearless, Whitening, Dematting, Flea and Tick, Itch Relief, Sensitive Skin, Hyopallergenic, and the list goes on...