Simple, Cheap, and Easy, BUT could it be dangerous?
Similar to the waves of a tsunami, the proliferation of the internet has inundated us with useful, as well as useless, information. We’ve seen walls and barriers obliterated in countless industries including website creation, book publishing, do-it-yourself house repair, advertising, and much more. The rise of “DIY” would likely not be as wide-spread without the internet to be able to share tips and tricks. The pet industry is rife with DIY, be it dog training, grooming, or pet products. It makes sense; what better way to keep our dogs happy and healthy than to make the products we use on them, such as shampoo? There are in fact pros and cons to dog shampoo DIY, and they might surprise you.
Making your own dog shampoo isn’t a Herculean feat, and if you’re looking into it, that must mean you don’t want to use human shampoo or that you’re ambitious and want to learn to do it yourself. Being able to control the ingredients you’re using is the first benefit to making a homemade dog shampoo, so you can leave harmful and useless chemicals out. This is the best advantage of DIY shampoo, because almost all homemade recipes call for minimal ingredients that are tried, tested, and, more often than not, natural (meaning they’re derived from good old Mother Earth). Making your own shampoo is easy on your wallet, and you often won’t need ingredients outside of the typical grocery store selection. DIY is almost always cost effective since dog shampoo companies make their profits on markups to cover their costs for bottling, manufacturing, etc.
So you’ve got your mixing bowl and gloves ready and you’re all set to make your own dog shampoo when you pull up Google to find a recipe. The first one you happen across seems simple enough, but this is where problems can begin to crop up. The internet is amazing tool with a wealth of information, mainly because anyone can post anything regardless of accuracy or depth of knowledge, and this can both help and hurt you. For example, when you search for “best homemade dog shampoo,” most likely the first recipe you click on will suggest these ingredients: Essential Oils (lavender, tea tree, rosemary most often), oatmeal, vinegar, and castile soap. These ingredients seem simple enough, but these ingredients can have their pitfalls.
Vinegar is antibacterial, acts as a deodorizer, and will help your dog’s coat look shiny and healthy. While it’s a great ingredient to add to your shampoo, vinegar is mildly acidic and may be painful if it gets in your pup’s eyes (if it does, rinse to flush it out).
Essential oils have tons of benefits for dogs too, including being anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial, and antiseptic – they naturally repel insects! But this begs the question: how much is needed to derive these benefits? Tea tree oil can be toxic for dogs. According to PetMd, “Tea tree oil contains various types of chemicals called terpenes. These are the chemicals that make the oil effective against bacteria and fungi. They are also the toxic agent. Terpenes are rapidly absorbed into the body whether taken orally or on the skin. This means topical application of concentrated oil can result in the same toxicity as accidental oral ingestion. Given the tendency of pets to groom, especially cats, the toxicity risk of topical applications is amplified.”
Oatmeal seems like a safe no brainer, right? Unfortunately, if you talk to any Veterinarian they’ll tell you about the dangers of oat allergies in dogs. “Allergic contact dermatitis is an itchy skin condition caused by an allergic reaction to material (the allergen) in contact with the skin. It arises some hours after contact with the responsible material, and settles down over some days providing the skin is no longer in contact with it. In severe cases contact allergic dermatitis may be followed by generalised autoeczematisation (id reaction). Ingestion of a contact allergen is usually safe, but rarely may lead to baboon syndrome or generalised systemic contact dermatitis.” In other words, dogs can have serious reactions to oats; not because they ingested them but because they came in contact with the dogs skin. These allergies are more common than you might think.
As with most things on the internet, the information most readily available can often be ill researched and out of date. What seems safe and simple can really end up painful for you dog, and cost you more time and money for something that will do more harm than good in the long run. However, before you turn to human shampoo we encourage you to read the risks here: link article
At Nature’s Remedies, we’ve put in the time and research to develop a breakthrough formula unlike any other on the market today. Our shampoo contains essential oils, no oatmeal, and is blended perfectly for canines. Nature’s Remedies is a homemade dog shampoo that’s both effective and safe. Try it today and see the difference!