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Keep These Ingredients Away From Your Pooch

August 24, 2022 4 min read

We here at Hey Hudson pride ourselves on our ingredients. We spent a year testing and researching what works, what doesn’t and what is best for your dog. Going through this process also let us to learn about all of the things that we need to avoid, and shock horror, they’re all the things we avoid in our Scrubba Body range as well. With our three Hey Hudson ranges, we are very vocal about all of the ingredients we love and champion. But here are the ones you need to run in the other direction if you see them:

1. Proprietary blend of coat and skin conditioners and moisturizers. I know what you’re thinking: “That isn’t an ingredient!” You’re right. But it IS frequently listed on dog shampoo labels. If you see this statement, do NOT purchase this product. This is what manufacturers say when they don’t want you to know what’s in the bottle.

2. Mineral oil in dog shampoo helps the skin retain its own moisture by providing a protective barrier over it. Sounds great, right? It also keeps the skin from releasing its own natural oils and eliminating toxins … and that’s not so great. It’s a liquid mixture of hydrocarbons from crude oil. It’s a possible toxin and allergy inducer. There are a lot of articles online suggesting that pet owners put a drop of mineral oil in their dogs’ eyes before a bath, saying the mineral oil will protect the eyes from stinging if you get detergent or soap in them. Don’t do this! Only pharmaceutical-grade mineral oil has been cleaned of contaminants like complex hydrocarbons and benzene. Other grades of mineral oil are not completely free of contaminants.

3. Artificial colors are synthesized from petroleum and are linked to organ damage, cancer, birth defects, and allergic reactions. Artificial colors aren’t “pure” chemicals. Many of them are contaminated with byproducts and are used by the manufacturer to visually enhance the product. (What? You thought your shampoo was naturally hot pink?)

4. Paraben preservatives are thought to be “stored” in the body and have a cumulative effect posing health risks such as estrogen disruption, cancer, and reproductive issues. They may be listed on the bottle as butylparaben, methylparaben, or propylparaben.

5. SD Alcohol 40 (often called isopropyl or SD-40) is drying to both the skin and hair oils. SD-40 also enhances skin absorption – meaning it is easier for the other toxic ingredients to enter through the skin when SD-40 is present. Many ear cleaning products are primarily SD-40.

6. Artificial fragrance can come from hundreds to thousands of separate ingredients – none of which have to be listed on the label. Some synthetic fragrances have been linked to cancer as well as reproductive and developmental toxicity.

7. Formaldehyde preservatives. You won’t see “formaldehyde” on the list of ingredients; but it’s still around. When formaldehyde got a bunch of bad press, it was reformulated into a “slow-releasing” compound. While it may release less formaldehyde than its precursor, it’s still formaldehyde … and it’s been known to trigger an immune response that can include burning, itching, blistering, or scaling of skin. The jury is still out on whether these chemicals are linked to cancer, as they haven’t been thoroughly tested. So if you see any of these names on the package, avoid the product: Bromopol, Doazolidinyl urea, DMDM Hydantoin (often mis-typed on dog shampoo bottles as DHDH hydantoin), Imidazolidinyl urea, Quaternium-7, -15, -31, -61, and Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate.

8. Propylene glycol is a skin conditioner, solvent and humectant. Like polyethylene glycol, it’s a penetration enhancer. It’s also a suspected immune system toxin, neurotoxin, reproductive toxin and skin toxin.

9. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is a humectant – used to help the skin retain moisture. While it is a known skin irritant, the scarier side of PEG is that it is a “penetration enhancer” – meaning it’s a carrier for other chemicals that helps them cross through the skin and into the bloodstream. And it gets worse. It may also be contaminated with dioxane and ethylene oxide!

10. PEG-40 Lanolin is a polyethylene glycol derivative of lanolin. There is limited evidence of it causing organ toxicity. The bigger concern is that it may be contaminated with dioxane and ethylene oxide.

11. Pthalates are likely not listed on the label. If you see “fragrance,” it’s very likely that pthalates are present. They’re used to bond the fragrance to the other ingredients. Pthalates are hormone disruptors … meaning they cause endocrine system issues.

12. Triethanolamine is very closely related to Cocamide-MEA and may be listed as Cocamide-TEA. It’s used as a surfactant and pH adjuster. Like Cocamide-MEA, it’s at high risk of being contaminated with nitrosamines.

13. Isothiazolinone preservatives. Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone are both known skin irritants that have been associated with significant allergic reactions. There’s strong evidence that methylisothiazolinone is also a neurotoxin.

14. Cocamide-MEA is a surfactant that is restricted for use in cosmetics because it has high contamination concerns from nitrosamines. Nitrosamines are contaminants that can form under certain conditions – such as high temperature or acidic pH (3-5 or lower). They’re a class of chemicals that are thought to be carcinogenic, have reproductive toxicity, developmental toxicity and organ system toxicity. Nitrosamines can also contaminate waste water. If you begin to think that the nitrosamine warning is alarmist, think again. One of the top-selling “natural” dog shampoos on the market has Cocamide-MEA listed as an ingredient. The tested pH of this product was 3.5 … well within the range for nitrosamines to develop.

Thanks to DogsNaturallyMagazine.com for heaps of the above info.