When it comes to our puppies, we love them unconditionally. Whether they’re running around causing mischief, passed out in a funny place on the floor, or snuggling up at bedtime, our fur babies always have our hearts. And because of this, we always want what’s best for them, whether it’s the food that they’re eating, the toys they play with or the grooming products (like puppy shampoo!) that we use to keep them clean. After all, we want them to be as happy and healthy as possible, right? (For more on this, read our blog post on Puppy Care.)
Did you know that many puppy grooming products, such as puppy shampoo, may contain harsh chemicals or ingredients that do more damage than good when cleaning your puppy? Because puppies have very sensitive skin, they need a more mild, non-toxic formula to keep their skin and coat at their healthiest. That’s why we always recommend a mild natural puppy shampoo and grooming products with only the best premium ingredients to get your puppy clean (and help keep them clean!) after playtime.
If you’re not sure of where to start in the world of puppy shampoo, never fear – we’ve put together this helpful guide of what to look for and avoid, to help you make the best decision for your puppy.
What To Look For In Your Puppy Shampoo
Natural And Organic Ingredients
The first step when looking for a puppy shampoo? Check the ingredients label and look for quality natural and organic ingredients. When it comes to cleansers, the milder they are, the better. We recommend looking for natural, plant-based cleansers for the best results, as they are gentle enough to use on puppies’ sensitive skin yet powerful enough to get them clean.
One of our favorite ingredients, organic aloe vera is great for soothing dry and damaged skin while adding back much-needed moisture in the process without irritating your puppy’s sensitive skin.
Another must-have on our list, colloidal oatmeal adds moisture to the skin and coat for a healthy shine and soft feel.
Vitamins such as A, B, D, and E help to keep their skin and coat healthy, adding both nourishment and shine.
pH-Balanced for Puppies
Pups have sensitive skin, and cute little puppies have even more sensitive skin! They need their pH balance to remain neutral (which is about at 7.0 on the scale) and therefore need a more neutral, specially pH-balanced shampoo to keep them clean and healthy. Look for formulas that are specially created for puppies, with a neutral pH level. Also, please don’t use human shampoos on your puppy – the acidity can be damaging to their coat and skin.
Flea Treatment Compatible
We want our puppies to be as healthy as possible, and that means being flea-free! Always double-check that the shampoos that you’re using won’t wash off any topical flea treatment products. To make sure, check the label – it will usually say if it is flea treatment compatible.
Tear-Free or Tearless Formula
Much like babies, puppies are very sensitive, especially during bath time. A tear-free or tearless formula helps to make sure that their bathing experience is as positive as possible each and every time, even in the event they accidentally get some shampoo in their eyes.
We love all animals and would never want to see any furry little ones hurt in the making of puppy shampoo, right? Cruelty-free is definitely the way to be!
What To Avoid In Your Puppy’s Shampoo
What doesn’t go into a puppy shampoo is just as important as what does – and that’s why you should always make sure that these things are NOT on the list.
Although it may seem like a good idea, using baby shampoo on puppies is not recommended. Because they are covered in fur, their skin is very sensitive and they need formulas that are pH-balanced for their skin, not a human baby’s.
Because puppies have such sensitive skin, using harsh soaps to clean them can potentially cause damage, either disrupting the pH balance or causing dryness or irritation. It can also leave residue in the fur, causing dandruff and shedding, and it can wash off topical flea medications. If you’re looking to see whether there’s soap in your puppy’s shampoo, check the ingredients! Although most puppy shampoos don’t contain soap, you may just find that it’s included.
Parabens are often included in pet shampoos or grooming products as a cheap and readily available preservative to extend shelf life. However, they can penetrate the skin and have been linked to both cancer and tumor growth in animals. The most commonly seen ones that you might see listed in shampoo ingredients are methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and ethylparaben.
Sulfates are common in both pet and human shampoos as an ingredient to build up the lather that we usually associate with the product working well. However, sulfates can be harsh on both the skin and coat. The most common ones to keep an eye out for are sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate.
Phtalates are often used in synthetic fragrances in pet shampoos because they are cheap and readily available. Unfortunately, they have been linked to reproductive cancers in both pets and humans. They are often listed as fragrance or natural fragrance on ingredients labels.
It’s best to avoid any kind of dyes in your puppy shampoo, as they can potentially cause damage, irritation, dry spots and more. Look for brightly colored formulas and names like Blue Dye #5 or Red Dye #3 on the ingredients label to determine whether dyes have been added to your puppy’s shampoo.
Still worried about finding the perfect shampoo to keep your puppy clean? Luckily for both of you, we have the perfect solution – earthbath Ultra-Mild Puppy Shampoo. It is a tearless, pH-balanced, cruelty-free formula that takes the guesswork out of finding the best natural puppy shampoo that your frisky young pup deserves.
“I love this product! Natural and SO gentle on puppies!!” – EmeraldFaye, Petsmart.com
If wild cherry isn’t quite your thing, you can use any earthbath shampoos on your puppy over 6 weeks old! From tangy Mango Tango to soothing Lavender, there are plenty of natural scents to choose from.