What are the benefits of organic soaps for pets?

Just like with their owners, skin is a pet’s largest organ, and it tends to absorb materials that it comes in contact with. Many of the synthetic chemicals found in people soaps are also found in pet shampoos, and tend to cause the same kinds of problems. Just as in humans, parabens in pet soaps are possible endocrine disruptors that can affect hormone production and possibly increase cancer cell growth. Sulfates are known carcinogens that can also cause skin irritation and dryness. Artificial fragrances and colors are linked to organ damage, cancer, reproductive and developmental toxicity, and allergic reactions. These are only a few examples of the many problems synthetic ingredients can cause in our furry friends.

In addition, most soaps found in pet shampoos can strip the natural oils that protect animals from the elements. This can lead to dryness, flaking, skin irritation, allergic reactions and more. Pet shampoos also go down the drain to pollute the environment and water systems. Certified organic pet products, however, guarantee that they were produced without toxic pesticides, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), sewage sludge, or irradiation.

Synthetic Ingredients to Look Out for in Pet Products:

Chemical Ingredient Use/ Purpose Potential Harm / Problems
Parabens Synthetic compounds commonly used to stop the growth of bacteria, fungus, and other potentially harmful organisms. Disrupt hormone production, which is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive problems, as well as neurobehavioral problems and obesity. Endocrine disruptors are also thought to be particularly harmful to male reproductive systems, and can potentially cause testicular cancer, infertility, deformation of genitals, and undescended testicles.
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) Inexpensive, yet effective way to increase lather. Dries out the skin, and can cause skin and eye irritation, rashes, and other allergic reactions. Some products containing SLS also have traces of a carcinogen known as 1,4-dioxane.
Petrolatum (petroleum jelly or mineral oil) Moisturizer. Derived from petroleum, and can lead to chapping and dry skin. Has been found in breast tumors, and is thought to contribute to premature aging, acne, and increased sun damage. Tends to be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are classified as probable or possible carcinogens.
Synthetic Fragrances / Perfumes Adds a scent to the product. Nearly all of the chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from crude oil and include substances linked to birth defects, central nervous system disorders, hormone disruption, allergic reactions, and cancer.
Phthalates Group of industrial chemicals that soften plastic, making it more flexible. Endocrine disruptors that can potentially lead to testicular cancer, infertility, genital deformation, obesity, and birth defects.
Triclosan Antiseptic ingredient once used in antibacterial soaps. Still used in toothpastes and other household products. Potentially alter hormone regulation, interfere with fetal development, and increase the risk of cancer.
Artificial Colors An inexpensive way to keep a consistent, uniform color in soaps and other products. Linked to hyperactivity in children, nervous system disorders, allergic reactions, rashes, respiratory distress, headaches and migraines, nausea and vomiting, memory problems, and dizziness.
Formaldehyde (Bromopol, Doazolidinyl urea, DMDM Hydantoin (often mis-typed as DHDH hydantoin), Imidazolidinyl urea, Quaternium-7, -15, -31, -61, and Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate) Preservatives. Can cause an immune response that may include burning, itching, blistering, or scaling of skin. Possible carcinogen.
Isothiazolinone (Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone Preservatives. Skin irritants that can potentially cause significant allergic reactions. Potential neurotoxin.
Cocamide-MEA, Cocamide-TEA (Triethanolamine) Surfactant that increases lather. High contamination rates from nitrosamines, a class of chemicals that are potentially carcinogenic and thought to possibly cause reproductive harm, developmental harm, and organ system harm.
SD Alcohol 40 (isopropyl, SD-40) Cleans and sterilizes. Dries out skin and hair. Enhances skin absorption making it easier for other toxic ingredients to enter through the skin.
Polyethylene glycol (PEG) Humectant that helps skin retain moisture. Skin irritant and penetration enhancer that carries other chemicals into the bloodstream. Possibly contaminated with dioxane and ethylene oxide.
PEG-40 Lanolin Imitation of lanolin made from polyethylene glycol meant to moisturize the skin. Possibly contaminated with dioxane and ethylene oxide. Small amount of evidence of a link to organ toxicity.
Propylene glycol Skin conditioner, solvent, and humectant. Penetration enhancer and possible immune system toxin, neurotoxin, reproductive toxin, and skin toxin.