We often hear the term “hypoallergenic.” Many manufacturers will use this term to describe a product that has been made without ingredients known to irritate or cause adverse effects when they make contact with your dog’s skin. Hypoallergenic dog shampoos essentially attempt to eliminate harsh ingredients and skin irritants as much as possible, in order to protect your dog’s skin from irritation.
There are certainly plenty of products being marketed as hypoallergenic dog shampoos. This does not necessarily mean the product is in fact hypoallergenic. Unfortunately, dog shampoos are not regulated by the FDA or EPA. Therefore, oftentimes we will find products being marketed as hypoallergenic when they in fact contain ingredients and perfumes that are irritants. This is why we always encourage dog parents to stay informed regarding pet products and marketing tactics being used by many manufacturers out there. The term hypoallergenic is used excessively these days as manufacturers have learned that shoppers are leaning more towards “clean” products both for themselves and their dogs.
Is Dog Skin More Sensitive than Human Skin?
The pH level of a dog’s skin is significantly different than the pH level of human skin. Dogs have a neutral skin pH level and therefore their skin requires different products to avoid disruption of their neutral pH level. Using human shampoos on dogs, or dog shampoos with harsh ingredients, will eventually disrupt this neutral pH level and may lead to significant skin irritation, leaving the skin vulnerable to infections from harmful bacteria or yeasts. Cleansers used in human shampoos are generally more powerful than those used in dog shampoos and should not be used on your pet. This is why a hypoallergenic dog shampoo is important for your dog.
Will Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo Help with my Dog’s Sensitive and Itchy skin?
Hypoallergenic dog shampoo is not a cure all. There are numerous causes that may be contributing to your pup’s sensitive, dry, and itchy skin. The shampoo you are using may only be one of those things irritating your pup’s skin. Chronic itchy skin may be the result of environmental allergies, food allergies, or simply a genetic predisposition to skin irritation. Here at Houndstone, we always recommend consulting with your veterinarian, especially if your dog appears to have chronic skin irritation.
Environmental allergies are one possible cause of skin itchiness or irritation. Environmental allergies can be caused by dust mites, mold, trees, grass, fleas, perfumes or other harsh ingredients in shampoos. Common symptoms include excessive itching, red patches of skin, dry skin, or even skin infections.
Other sources of chronic itchy, dry, and inflamed skin may be food allergies. Houndstone’s own rescue pup Arepa has severe food allergies. Her symptoms included discoloration of the hair around the mouth and paws, and redness around her eyes and snout. After consulting with our veterinarian and implementing a protein elimination diet, we discovered that she is allergic to many common proteins such as chicken, beef, and fish. Since eliminating these proteins from her diet, her fur is no longer discolored, and her chronic and uncomfortable itchiness has resolved.
Additionally, some breeds are genetically predisposed to skin issues. Breeds such as English bulldogs and French bulldogs often suffer from chronic skin irritation. These breeds, amongst others, tend to be more sensitive to artificial scents and harsh ingredients in shampoos, environmental allergens, and they tend to be more prone to bacterial or fungal infections.
Why do we Recommend Houndstone’s Hypoallergenic and Cruelty Free Dog Shampoo?
At ADC Houndstone & Co. we believe in complete transparency of the ingredients in our shampoo, even if not required by the FDA and EPA. Our cruelty free dog shampoo is made with the health and well-being of your pup in mind. Our ingredients are listed on our bottle and we made sure to include organic ingredients as much as possible. We also steered clear of artificial scents, instead opting to use organic essential oils for a lightly scented product that will not irritate your dog’s strong sense of smell or skin! No pet should have to suffer the discomfort of chronic dry, itchy or sensitive skin. Try Houndstone’s cruelty free dog shampoo to give your dog a much-needed break from skin irritants.
Using a hypoallergenic dog shampoo may only be the first step in helping resolve your pup’s sensitive skin. Try Houndstone’s hypoallergenic and cruelty free dog shampoo, along with other lifestyle changes if needed to help your pet live a happy and itch-free life. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian to help alleviate any chronic itching your dog may be suffering from.