Chemicals,  Keys Articles,  Pet Concerns & Disorders,  Product Ingredients

Itchy Dog? Ditch the Perfume

Stop that Itch- Lose the Perfume!

 by Wendy Steele, Keys CEO

How attentive are you when your dog is in distress?

  • Do you hear the incessant scratch, scratch, scratch during the day or at night before bed?
  • Do you visually examine your dog and investigate the area where the itching and scratching is centered before there is redness, irritation or raw sore patches?
  • Have you had the nagging feeling, wondering why your dog is itching and scratching after a bath or grooming session?

Being attentive to your dog’s skin health is relatively simple, you just need to pay attention to all of the clues your dog is already giving you!   Keep an eye on excessive itching and scratching, listen for and actively watch for any patterns (when and where itching occurs) and begin investigating the possible sources of the problem.

As for that nagging feeling about the itching and scratching after your dog’s bath or after a grooming session?   The most likely reason your dog is scratching and itching is directly related to the perfumes, artificial fragrance and harsh ingredients in dog shampoos!

If you are choosing a shampoo based on the smell or the type of fragrance in the product– you are most definitely contributing to your dog’s itching and scratching problem!

 You can do a lot to stop the after bath itch – first and foremost – ditch the perfume!

Here are the label-reading basics when determining what shampoo to buy for your dog’s baths and grooming.  Carefully read the product label before buying for your dog.

  • If the label mentions any kind of fragrance – don’t buy it!
  • If the label mentions any kind of sulfate or pseudo sulfate – don’t buy it!
  • Sulfates are aggressive foaming agent chemicals that are difficult to rinse out of your dog’s fur/hair and the residue that cannot be rinsed out will further irritate your dog’s skin causing more itching and scratching after a bath
  • Fragrance and sulfates are a double whammy for your dog and are known irritants that can cause a dog to itch and bite at their fur until there are sores or hot spots
  • If the label mentions any kind of whitening or bleaching agents – don’t buy it!
  • If the label mentions any kind of coloring agents or artificial dyes – don’t buy it!
    • If the ingredients are not clearly listed on the label DO NOT BUY IT

Do not assume that your groomer is aware of irritating ingredients in shampoos and dog perfumes.  In most cases they have no idea what is actually in the products they are using on your dog!  Why? The reason is many manufacturers do NOT fully disclose or label what is actually in a product, nor are they required to be forthcoming by any law, rule or regulation.   Often groomers and dog wash facilities are buying in bulk and buying cheaply made products, based on the lowest cost to them and without a thought given to perfumes, fragrances or harsh sulfates that can irritate your dog’s skin.

 Here is a simple and effective way to communicate with your groomer before leaving your dog for a bath or grooming session:

1)      Take your own “clean” shampoo with you to the groomer or dog wash facility-this is the product you have already investigated and reviewed the ingredients

  • Hand your groomer your “clean” shampoo
  • Tell your groomer that this is the only product you want used on your dog
  • Show your groomer the label and let your groomer know that you are doing your best to eliminate potential skin irritants to your dog

2)      Be specific – ask your groomer NOT TO ADD any fragrance or perfume to your dog’s coat after washing!   (Spray perfumes and additives after bath are another cause of dog itching post grooming.)

3)      Thank the groomer for only using the shampoo that you brought with you and for not adding any after bath products on your dog.   Be sure the groomer acknowledges that they understand your simple request!

Reading labels and educating yourself about buying healthier grooming products for your dog is one of the most caring and loving things you can do for your best friend.  Adopting a wellness philosophy, that is taking simple steps to avoid a skin problem before it starts, is a pro-active philosophy for your dog to enjoy a more stress-free, healthy and happy life.


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