Did you know that human cosmetics have certain criteria and regulations they have to follow, but the same strict regulations aren’t applied to your dogs’ grooming products? It’s pretty shocking, and we don’t see why they should be treated any differently - especially since canine skin is more sensitive than a baby’s and up to 5 times thinner!
In fact the top three disorders suffered by dogs in the UK are all skin conditions, and as Erin McDaid, Head Vet at Wagworks Fulham, says “the painful problems I frequently treat with the skin or coat are often easily preventable, simply by taking the right measures to look after your dog’s skin”. And let’s not forget, you’d get some strange looks booking your dog into your local GP, so these avoidable vet bills are all coming out of your own pocket!
There are many ways to support a healthy skin for your precious four-legged-friend, a nutritious diet being one of them, but our specialty is [the dreaded] bathtime, and we’re here to share how to find the right products that will keep them away from the vet. So read on for a breakdown of the hidden ‘nasty’ ingredients to look out for on those confusing ingredient labels, as well as how to feed the skin and coat with ingredients that are actually beneficial, plus a FREE Grooming Guide at the end!
Let’s start with the basics of canine skin:
Your dog’s skin has a specific alkaline pH that mustn’t be disrupted.
It also has a layer of sebum (or oil) that it needs for healthy function.
Maintaining a healthy epidermal barrier protects from allergens, bacteria and yeast.
So in order to take care of all of the above, these are the ‘nasties’ to keep an eye out for:
SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate): this is the agent that makes your shampoo foamy, and it is very drying for the skin and coat, stripping the important natural oils. Natural alternatives such as Coco Glucoside made from coconuts are far better.
MIT (Methylisothiazolinone): this is a preservative that was banned for use in human cosmetics because of frequent allergic reactions
Lanolin: is a moisturizer that has developed a reputation for causing reactions in sensitive skin - not to mention the fact it’s derived from sheep.
Alcohol: certain alcohols damage the skin’s protective layer which can lead to inflammation, dryness and flaky itchy skin.
Perfume: and fragrances are known as the leading cause of dermatitis, as well as allergies and inflammation. If an ingredients list says: ‘Fragrance’, ‘Scent’ or ‘Perfume’ it is more than likely a perfume that is natural.
Parabens: Parabens have been linked to hormone disruption and toxicity, and five types have been completely banned in the EU.
Silicone: forms a layer over the skin and hair that makes it feel superficially soft and smooth, but in reality it traps bacteria, impurities, dirt, and sebum in the skin and weakens the hair.
Having read all that, you might be put off bathtime altogether, but do not fear, the hard work of creating the highest quality products that avoid all the nasties and pack in lots of goodness has been done for you! And on top of that, frequent at-home grooming is a really important part of great dog-parenting, so don’t skip it!
Here are 5 reasons to get in to a good grooming regimen with your pup
Plus keep reading for a FREE Grooming Guide tailored to your pet’s needs:
One: It’s a bonding exercise!
Grooming is an opportunity to spend quality time with your dog where your attention and focus is completely on them. Wolves and wild dogs groom one another, and it displays a sense of pack unity.
Two: Natural protection!
Fleas and ticks are a constant concern, even with monthly prevention measures. So harnessing the additional powers of natural insect repellents such as Lavender and Cedarwood Essential Oils always helps!
Three: Build trust!
Brushing and bathing nurtures your long-term ability to touch your dog when you need to. Having their total trust and a frequent grooming regimen means examining them for injuries, thorns, lumps and bumps is made much easier for both of you.
Four: Mental Stimulation!
Mental stimulation for dogs doesn't always have to involve outdoor physical activity. Learning to stay calm in the bath and experiencing this activity with you is highly engaging and stimulating - especially with their favourite treats on a lickmat.
Five: It’s Nice To Smell Nice!
Ok, your dog might disagree with this one, with a preference for ‘Eau De Fox Poo’ - but a fresh, clean dog means less muddy paws, more affection and all the cuddles on the sofa they deserve!So this leads us to the final question: how to give my dog the best at-home groom?
Now you know the importance of a good groom and the common nasties to avoid, you want to make sure to find products that are packed with goodness, as well as knowing the best tips for your dog’s specific breed.
Firstly, look for products that are as natural as possible; try to find a %age on the label because even if a product contains only 10% natural ingredients it can still claim to be natural - we know, outrageous! Even better if you can go for organic products which are higher in nutrients and created without any pesticides - which is better for your dog, and the planet too.
Then make sure they’re packed with nourishing active ingredients - for example: Argan Oil, Aloe Vera, Coconut Oil, Oat Extract, Willow Bark Extract, Lavender Essential Oil and Cedarwood Essential Oil. We work with all of these quality ingredients in our So Fresh So Clean Shampoo and Super Soft Conditioner to provide the best care for a happy skin and a shiny coat.
Erin McDaid, Head Vet at Wagworks explains, “the Wild For Dogs range is my go-to because it’s packed with quality ingredients that respect the natural skin pH and work to heal, nourish and care for delicate canine skin and hair”.
For more grooming tips on the right brushes and tools specific to your dog’s coat, you can download one of our FREE Grooming Guides here. It will give you all the information you need and a bathtime step-by-step specific for your dog. Or explore our range of products here.