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Dog Shampoo -- Ingredients Matter

Updated: Mar 19


Does your dog seem nervous, tired or listless after a bath or a grooming appointment???  As a retired, IPG Certified Professional Groomer, I use to observe these behaviors as well, and assumed my canine clients were just tired from standing, or just didn’t enjoy being groomed.


However, when an innocent search for a better shampoo for my own dogs revealed that most commercially available dog shampoos routinely contain ingredients that are harmful and sometimes toxic to dogs (i.e. formaldehyde, tea tree oil), the light bulb came on! My dogs weren’t tired or disenchanted with their grooming process…the products that I used to groom them were making them feel sick. I WAS OUTRAGED!!!! Here is a list of ingredients commonly found in commercially available dog coat care products that you should avoid at all costs! Please check the labels of any dog coat care product you are using, or considering using, for these ingredients.


Formaldehyde: enough said!

Artificial Colors and/or Fragrances: can lead to compromised immune function, allergic reactions and neurotoxicity

Preservatives: (Methylparaben and Parabens) A known endocrine disruptor.

Cocamide DEA or MEA coconut derivative chemically altered to the point of being a moderate cancer-causing ingredient, thyroid disruptor, and an organ toxin

Cocamidopropyl Betaine coconut derivative that produces an environmental toxin that affects the immune system

Isopropyl Alcohol Known as rubbing alcohol, this chemical turns into acetone when it enters the body.  It is a known depressant, nerve toxin, lung and heart irritant, and liver toxin.  Other names: isopropanol, 2-propanol, and propyl.

Mineral Oil a byproduct of distilled gasoline made from crude oil. It prevents the skin from releasing its own natural oils or eliminating toxins.

Polyethylene glycol Usually listed as PEG, polyethylene glycol is a known cancer causing chemical used as a solvent in shampoos and conditioners. Possible side effects include malabsorption of nutrients in the intestine, stomach disorders, iron deficiency, loss of memory, and immune dysfunction.

Propylene Glycol Derived from natural gas, propylene glycol is a strong skin irritant as well as a liver and kidney toxin.

Tea Tree Oil Commonly found in medicated and flea/tick shampoos, Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca) is toxic and can be lethal to dogs.


The PH of the products you use to bathe your dog are also important. A dog has a more neutral skin PH of 5. A human's skin is a PH of 6-7. Castille soap which is commonly used to bathe dogs has a PH of 10 (too alkaline). Alkaline shampoos wash away the natural oil and moisture in your dogs coat and can lead to dry skin and dandruff. But a PH adjusted shampoo helps in maintaining the natural level of oil and moisture making your dog's coat soft and shiny. If you are using castille soap, adding apple cider vinegar will lower the PH to a more neutral PH level.


Today, I focus my efforts and my resources on developing a handcrafted skin and coat care line for dogs that is specifically formulated for their health and well-being and Ph balanced for a dogs neutral skin PH. I use all-natural organic ingredients and organic essential oils that are known to benefit a dogs health in the following ways:


Peppermint: Natural Holistic relief from joint pain and arthritis. It is also a natural odor reducer especially for hounds.

Lavender, Pomegranate: Natural anxiety reducer and provides skin calming properties for allergic dogs

Lemongrass: Natural flea repellent

Frankincense: helps soothe skin and reduce anxiety


When I owned my grooming business, I also had 6 self service tubs for dog owners who struggled to wash their dogs at home.

I use to watch as they struggled to get liquid shampoo evenly distributed over their dogs and would assist them when I could; however, many times they would just give into their frustration and the dogs back would be squeaky clean and the rest would still be dirty....sound familiar to your own experience????


When I set out to create my own line of dog coat care products, this memory of frustrated dog owners trying to wash their own dogs stuck with me; and alas, my dog shampoo bars were born.

They are designed to fit in your hand easily and allow you to simply wet the dog, wet the shampoo bar, and rub it all over your dog distributing the shampoo evenly. Because the shampoo is evenly smoothed over your dog, rinsing it out then becomes a breeze. And, Voila, your dog is now clean all over and no shampoo residue remains. As an added benefit, if you move the shampoo bar in the reverse direction of the way your dog's coat grows you will also remove any dead shed as well. I offer two types of shampoo bars...regular and oatmeal. The colloidal oatmeal will help with dandruff and dogs with dry skin.


Added to the line in 2019....Paw pad serum


The paw pad serum helps soothe dry and cracked paw pads for dogs who regularly run or walk on hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete.

The serum is packaged in a glass bottle with a roller ball tip that allows for a thin even application. It absorbs very quickly so your dog will not track it after it is applied. It is also lightly scented with organic lavender essential oil to reduce anxiety.


Coming soon in 2020....Fragrances


Here's a grooming secret.....Groomers get your dog to smell good by layering the scent.....starting with a scented shampoo and then applying the same scent via a fragrance once your dog is dry. My fragrances will accomplish the same when applied in the same manner; however, instead of an artificial fragrance, I use organic essential oils that provide a nice scent; but, also provide a health benefit for your dog. The Fragrances come in all the same scents as my shampoo bars and can be used after your dog is bathed and dried AND in-between baths to refresh the scent.


I am not a large company.  My products are all handmade by me in small batches in my studio. I hope you will try my line of coat care products. Many of my current customers rave about the positive changes they have seen in their dog's coat and health as a result of switching to an all-natural organic alternative.


If you have any additional questions, please feel free to send me an e-mail at patti@decadentdoggies.com. I hope you and your dog will enjoy my products as much as I enjoy making them for you. Your patronage is truly appreciated.

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