How to Find a Safe Dog Shampoo You Can Feel Good About Using (Early access for our Patreon community)

How to Find a Safe Dog Shampoo You Can Feel Good About Using

Non-toxic dog shampoo ingredients
How to find a safe dog shampoo

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by 4-Legger Shampoo. However, I will always offer my readers an unbiased and honest account of my experiences. Your trust is very appreciated, and never taken for granted. ~Tonya, Dexter and Angel Nutter


I’m often told how soft and white Dexter’s fur is. It doesn’t come by accident. I take care in the products I not only feed my dog, but the products I put on his body. This is especially true when it comes to choosing the best dog shampoo for my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Dexter.

Dog parents are always asking for my personal pet product recommendations and what I use or buy for Dexter. I am always happy to provide these caring people with my selections, but I find it more important to help educate dog parents who are trying to raise their dogs naturally and keep them as chemical-free as possible.

USDA Certified Organic Dog Shampoo with Organic Aloe Juice and Organic Essential Oils by 4-Legger. Organic Neem Dog Shampoo Review #raisingyourpetsnaturally
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There’s no right or wrong way, just a few things to keep in mind while you do your own deep dive into your dog’s natural shampoo or other organic dog products.

Tonya’s Tips to Find the Best Shampoo for a Dog

  1. Recommendations are just that. Something one person thinks is good, or the best. This goes for mine, too! I think of recommendations as a starting point. I follow X blogger, so I’ll investigate further, but I won’t just hit buy until after I’ve done my own personal research on the product.
  2. Flip the bottle of your dog’s shampoo over and research each and every one of the ingredients listed on the ingredient panel. The front of the dog shampoo bottle might be helpful, but remember, it’s marketing. It’s not uncommon for companies to toss around words like, organics, made with organic ingredients, no X, but that’s really not the whole story. And when a company won’t list their entire ingredient panel and says “proprietary blend,” I’m out. It’s the entire ingredient panel you want to pay close attention to.
  3. Once you have done the research on the ingredients, and you feel it’s a good fit, give it a buy and try it out. If you like it, jackpot! If not, start again. Even the best dog products might not work for every dog.
  4. I repeat number two each time I make a purchase. Products change. Ingredients change. I would suggest double-checking at each purchase to ensure the ingredients still meet your personal criteria.

Number two, flipping over the bottle. This is where I spend the most time. I won’t lie, sometimes it can be a little time-consuming and confusing, but I feel Dexter is worth every minute. After all, we are talking about a product that will be applied to your dog’s largest organ, his skin. And, if your dog is a typical pup, he probably licks his skin and fur, too! So, it’s pretty important to have a safe product covering that precious body.

Luckily, there is a great website, Pet Shampoo Ingredients Database, that is super helpful. They have a great tool to look into common ingredients found in pet shampoo. Their ingredient checker shows if a product is natural or synthetic, how safe it is, and if it can be organic. Not only that, they provide a description about the key elements of that product.

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Researching dog shampoo companies

Let’s take DMDM-Hydantoin, for example. I can go to the Pet Shampoo Ingredients Database and look it up under D. It shows me that it is synthetic, very bad, and can’t be organic. It continues by providing more information, stating, “Used as a preservative that slowly releases small amounts of antimicrobial formaldehyde over time. Many dogs have or can develop formaldehyde allergies/sensitivities. It also may cause skin or eye irritation. Formaldehyde is linked to cancer.”

What's in your dog's shampoo?
Dog shampoo ingredient database

Have you seen Polyquaternium in any of your pet’s shampoos? It is synthetic, very bad, and can’t be organic. The learn more says, “Has links to non-reproductive organ system toxicity (moderate), has high contamination concerns (high) from acrylamide (which has links to cancer).”

Let’s do one more, Capryl hydroxamic acid (CHA). The database shows that it is synthetic, pretty safe, and can’t be organic. In the learn more. It says, “A 2017 study showed a strong link between allergic contact dermatitis—red or itchy skin—and CHA. Critics of the study noted that damaged skin of participants likely resulted in increased penetration of the CHA into the skin. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review noted that caution should be taken with the use of CHA in a manner that would result in increased penetration, such as formulation with penetration enhancers.”

As you can see, the database is very helpful in providing data and even current research. I find that refreshing and very helpful when I’m looking to learn more about the ingredient panel in one of Dexter’s possible grooming products.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, 4-Legger sponsored this blog and created the database. It’s their commitment to helping educate pet parents on the pet-grooming industry and, most importantly, learning about what is going inside a dog shampoo and how to make the best choices for your dog and their needs.

I’ve been using 4-Legger since 2016. Why? Because I am fully confident in their products, that they are safe, in the proper proportions (some brands use way too much essential oils), and work well! 4-Legger products use no synthetic chemicals at all. Their products are all-natural, and they now offer an even larger line of USDA-certified organic dog shampoos.

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I’m not kidding when I wrote that people stop me and say how white Dexter’s fur is and how soft he is to pet. To this day, I have not found a dog shampoo brand with better ingredient labels and the knowledge to back it up. I have been so lucky to have found 4-Legger and am lucky to call the women behind the brand, my friends.

If you are looking for a top-notch organic dog grooming brand, you need to look no further than 4-Legger. Tell them that Dexter sent you. Order today with promo code RaiseNaturally20 for 20% off your first order.

Your questions or comments are welcome below.

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How to Find a Safe Dog Shampoo You Can Feel Good About Using (Early access for our Patreon community)