Tag Archives: pets

Pets on the Prowl for Healthy Living

We all love our pets, and our pets love us. My own fur baby; Krypto the 3-year-old German, Labrador, and Husky gets super excited when I come home. And then gets excited again when I come back from checking the mail. Then it’s dinner! And a Walk! Do you want to take a shower? Allow me to guard the door by blocking it with my body so you cannot leave. Are you asleep? Can you tell I’m right next to the bed watching you? Maybe you’re awake? We should be awake. Let’s snuggle!

I think I can speak for a lot of pet parents when I say I spend more time and energy making sure I’m giving healthy products to my dog than I do for myself. There aren’t strict regulations for pet products, so I have to be the barrier between toxic and Krypto’s tummy.

When I first joined Soap Hope, the first thing I bought wasn’t for me, but for Krypto, because I checked the ingredients and found them more than satisfactory. Here are some products that Krypto and others love!

Bach’s Rescue Remedy for Pets

Sometimes our poor furry friends get stressed out. It happens. Krypto gets super stressed out during thunderstorms. I didn’t think dogs could hyperventilate until I got him. So, I decided to try out Rescue Remedy Pet Drops. It calms him without making him drowsy. He’s still alert, he’s just calm. No heavy panting, no panicked jumping, just a chill pooch. Let’s be honest, sometimes we also need a chill out pill, Bach’s thinks of both canine and human. Check out their entire line here.

Indigo Wild’s Yum Zum Mist

Sometimes I get home and Krypto just stinks. Where did he pick up this smell? Do I want to know? Why must he rub against my sofa afterward? I don’t even have time to bathe him. This mist is a good substitute. It’s fine for dogs and what they rub against. My first experiment with this was to spray it on Krypto’s back. He didn’t care, then ran around the house because I got too close to the leash. After that my whole house smelled good. Thank you, Zum!

A Wild Soap Bar Woof Wild

Finally, enough time to wash my dog. How did it go? Well, he pretty quickly realized that he could flee when I washed him off and ran around the yard like he was on fire. But with this soap, he still smelled good after that impromptu run, and it kept mosquitoes at bay. Unfortunately, the only picture I was able to get was of him begging for his beloved collar.

Not Puppy Love: Why is Formaldehyde in Shampoo

When you last went to the store, did you buy soap or shampoo? Have you recently purchased shampoo for your dog or cat? If so, did you even consider that there might be formaldehyde in shampoo, soap, and other skin care products you use every day for your pets, your baby, or yourself? This is the sad, but sometimes true reality of the products we have in our homes. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Really, there’s formaldehyde in shampoo?!

By now you’ve probably seen the adorable pictures that blogger Jessica Shyba took of her son Beau napping with the family dog Theo.

Puppy and baby got us talking here at Soap Hope about what goes into products for kids and pets.

We picked up a bottle of dog shampoo at the local pet store and had a look at the ingredient list. It started off fine – water, honey extract, and chamomile extract seemed like winners to us — but why was artificial fragrance, DMDM Hydantoin, and Tetrasodium EDTA in dog shampoo?

Formaldehyde is for the Dogs

DMDM Hydantoin is a preservative that works by releasing formaldehyde into the product continuously over time. Formaldehyde does a great job inhibiting the growth of mold; but it’s also a known carcinogen, and most people don’t want it on their bodies or on their pets – especially when the puppy is snuggled up with the kids.

The consumer goods industry in the U.S. has a lot of leeway. If they want formaldehyde in shampoo, for example, but you don’t want to tell their customers, they can just add DMDM Hydantoin instead. The DMDM Hydantoin will slowly break down into formaldehyde in the shampoo throughout the life of the product. Problem solved!

(In the European Union, companies can’t get away with this trick: if an ingredient in their product breaks down into formaldehyde, they have to write “contains formaldehyde” on the label.)

In the Dog House

It’s not just Theo’s shampoo we think about at Soap Hope, it’s young Beau’s as well. Until 2014, Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo had Quaternium-15 in it. You guessed it – Quaternium-15 releases formaldehyde in shampoo and other products they designed for babies. Years of public outcry finally caused Johnson & Johnson to reformulate their baby shampoo.

J&J Removing Formaldehyde in Shampoo
J&J removes formaldehyde-causing ingredients in their shampoo.
Image Source: NYTimes.com

Shampoo needs a preservative to prevent the growth of bacteria. Big manufacturers don’t care that Quaternium-15 and DMDM Hydantoin produce formaldehyde; they care that they are very cheap and give their products a shelf life of over a year. These manufacturers know they can put pretty pictures on the products and make commercials with happy kids and pets, and that most people won’t look any further.

“No more tears!” Not quite.

Better Ways

There are better ways for manufacturers to preserve shampoo rather, than putting formaldehyde in their products. They can use a low-risk food-grade preservative like potassium sorbate, which has the same toxicity level as table salt. Even better, they can use vitamin e (tocopherol).

Some manufacturers don’t even require a preservative. For your pooch, try the totally natural Woof Wild Dog Shampoo Bar. Hand made by Maggie Hanus at A Wild Soap Bar, this shampoo bar has organic oils, aloe, oats, clay, sea salt, essential oils, yucca root and horsemint. It will leave your dog’s coat soft, shiny, and smelling great.

For moms and dads looking for a safe shampoo, we recommend any products from Acure Organics.

For baby’s bath time, try Hugo Natural’s Chamomile Vanilla Shampoo and Wash, followed by Badger’s Chamomile & Calendula Baby Oil, which contains nothing but certified organic essential oils.

What other ingredients are you worried about in your body care products? Let us know.