How to spot natural products in the unregulated pet care industry
If you’re a dog owner, you’ll know just how overwhelming it can be choosing the right products for your pet. With so many brands out there, it’s difficult to know which are safe enough to trust. It’s an unfortunate fact that in Australia there are currently no regulations or requirements for pet care companies to print ingredients on their labels. This makes it incredibly hard for everyday consumers to find out whether their products really are as ‘natural’ as they claim to be.
5 ways you can spot unnatural pet care products
1. They will be cheap
Products that are filled with chemicals are usually very cheap. Old style surfactants like SLS or SLES for example, are inexpensive and can be purchased by manufacturers for around $2 per kg. The cost of surfactants in natural products on the other hand, range from around $11-$80 per kg. While this is a significant price difference, chemical based surfactants have a long list of potential side effects that could potentially irritate or harm your dogs.
2. They may be heavily fragranced
A surefire way to spot an unnatural pet care product is to have a quick sniff. Watermelon for example, does not have a fragrance and is a huge tip off as a synthetic material. These synthetic fragrances are also very cheap, which means manufacturing costs are brought right down. The flip side of this however, is that synthetic fragrances can contain up to 100 hazardous materials with over 95% of these chemicals derived from petrochemicals. Some of these including benzene derivatives and phthalates, are known toxins which have been linked to cancer and other horrible diseases. Organic Pet Pharmacy products do not contain any synthetic fragrances. Even our incredibly popular Couch Poppy Parfum contains a natural perfume direct from France that has ECOCert approval.
3. Lack of transparency on the label
If a pet care brand hasn’t listed all of their ingredients on their label, this usually means they have something to hide. Currently there are only a few brands on the market that list all of their ingredients and Organic Pet Pharmacy is one of them. We pride ourselves on transparency so that our customers are able to make an informed decision. Listing our ingredients in accordance with human skincare standards means you will always know exactly what you are applying to your beloved pups. We also have a list of our ingredients on our website, so you will always be able to check up on the ingredients in your favourite products.
4. Your skin may react to it
Any groomer will know how chemical laden products can cause skin irritation. Using multiple products per day, chances are you will experience sore, dry, irritated, chapped and cracked hands at some point. I have spoken to many groomers and I know this is one of the biggest complaints groomers have! Products filled with synthetic fragrances and SLS can often worsen skin conditions such as dermatitis or eczema. It’s important to consider that if these pet care products are affecting your skin, what they may be doing to your dog’s skin. I truly believe that many of the skin issues facing pets today is as a result of the chemical laden products we use either in or around the home and those that we apply directly to their skin.
5. Your dog may react
It might sound like a pretty simple statement, but you would be amazed at how many people overlook the obvious. If your dog reacts shortly after bathing by itching excessively or biting at their skin, this is another indication that the products you are using may contain harmful chemicals. As a known irritant, SLS was the reason why in the past vets were adamant that dogs should not be bathed more than once per month. These harsh and drying ingredients can exacerbate or cause itchy skin condition. Have you ever used a cheap Body Wash on your own skin in the shower? Chances are as soon as you dry yourself off, you would feel your skin tightening (drying) and would automatically layer yourself in body cream. Your dog is unable to tell you that this is happening to his / her skin, but SLS is a very harsh detergent – it is also used as an engine degreaser! All Organic Pet Pharmacy products are mild and can be used up to twice a week without any issues for your pet at all.
With companies being able to list as many or as little ingredients as they like on their packaging, transparency is a real issue for the Pet Care Industry. Hopefully with the help of my 5 simple steps, you’ll be able to make more of an informed, safe decision when shopping for your pets. Always be mindful that the word ‘natural’ on a label may be referring to just one or two ingredients contained within an un-natural product.