How To Make Your Dog Grooming More Eco-Friendly
How To Make Your Dog Grooming More Eco-Friendly
As more people choose natural and eco-friendly products in their own lives, it isn’t surprising to see the shift in consumerism for greener pet products, too.
With the number of toxins, chemicals, fragrances, and other questionable ingredients, it’s no wonder pet owners are choosing to buy safer and more sustainable alternatives, especially when it comes to dog grooming supplies. Like humans, a dog’s skin is the biggest organ and absorbs the products placed directly on it, like shampoos, flea sprays, tick sprays, etc.
So your approach to your dog’s grooming needs will have a direct impact on your furry best friend but also on the environment since most grooming products get washed down drains that lead directly into waterways. No matter which dog grooming product or brand you choose, it’s important to remember that every eco-friendly choice makes a difference.
Depending on what type of dog you have, grooming your dog may be a weekly, monthly, or annual occasion. Either way, it’s great to be prepared when it comes to your dog’s grooming needs so you can make the most sustainable and eco-friendly choice you can!
Here are a few tips on how to make your dog grooming more eco-friendly, plus a few grooming products that we love and recommend!
Why eco-friendly dog grooming is important
We briefly mentioned the number of toxins, chemicals, fragrances, and other questionable ingredients found in pet products, particularly dog grooming products above – but it would be helpful to highlight which harsh ingredients you should watch out for and why you should avoid them.
Even though this post isn’t about which ingredients to look for in your pet’s products, we still want you to have enough information, so you know what to avoid when purchasing grooming products. So here are just a couple of popular “ingredients” to watch out for when you’re shopping for your dog’s grooming products (and watch out for these on your own beauty and hair care products as well!):
Colors are often synthesized from petroleum or contaminated with byproducts to enhance product appearance. If you see any unnecessary colorings in your products, steer clear!
“Current [US] laws do not provide the FDA with the authority to require disclosure or public safety of fragrance ingredients.” Essentially, this loophole allows companies to make “fragrances” out of any ingredient they want, regardless of safety and health concerns.
Most “fragrances” also use Phthalates, which bind the fragrance to other ingredients and are known hormone disruptors – even to dogs.
Other phrases to watch out for:
- “Proprietary blend of coat and skin conditioners and moisturizers.”
- Isothiazolinone preservatives (Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone)
- Paraben preservatives (butylparaben, methylparaben, or propylparaben)
Dog’s Naturally Magazine has an article that goes into more detail on 20 Dog Shampoo Ingredients To Avoid right here. If you want to take your dog’s (and yours) health one step further, we wrote a blog post on Common Household Chemicals That Harm Your Dog’s Health if you want to learn more.
If you’re still concerned about the ingredients found in your dog’s grooming products, an easy way to bypass a lot (but not all) of the harmful repercussions of poor health and safety regulations is to opt for Certified Organic. Certified Organic is the safest choice if you have the option available, as labeled organic brands are required to go through a higher level of testing to make sure there are no pesticides, herbicides, GMO ingredients, artificial colors, artificial fragrances, etc. more.
How to make more eco-friendly dog grooming choices
Even if you avoid all the toxic ingredients listed above, dog grooming still has elements that can harm the planet. But don’t worry! We’ve highlighted some great ways to mitigate your consumer choices so you can keep your pup and the earth safe.
Now, many dog owners choose to outsource the job to professional pet groomers. Other dog owners groom their dogs themselves –so if you decide to take your dog’s grooming into your own hands, here are some great ways to reduce your environmental paw print.
Choose recyclable packaging (or just go plastic-free!)
Reduce your waste by opting for recyclable packaging, reusing what you can, or opting out of buying certain types of products. Some examples include:
- Buying shampoo bars wrapped in paper instead of plastic shampoo bottles
- Bamboo or wooden brushes instead of plastic derives brushes
Buy grooming products that are greywater safe and won’t contaminate your local waterway. If the products are plant-based with minimal but safe-for-the-environment ingredients, you could even use the wastewater in your garden!
Shop Green Dog Grooming Products
One of the best ways to make your dog’s grooming more eco-friendly is to pay attention to the products you purchase. Do your research on brands you buy from and look at 1) the ingredients they use in their products and 2) whether your values align with yours.
Here are some grooming product brands that we’ve found to have environmentally-friendly values and clean ingredients. Purchasing from these brands keeps both your pup and the planet safer and healthier – which is what we all really want, right?
- Kin + Kind: Dog Shampoo
- Paw Sense: Apothecary Shampoo
- Mighty Mutt: Dog Shampoo & Conditioner
- Good Fur: Shampoos
Flea & Tick Spray
Ear & Nose Care
If your dog gets tangled hair or needs its coat freshened up, bamboo brushes are the most eco-friendly and sustainable grooming tool out there. With so many brands making their own bamboo brushes, you can make your own choice on which brand to buy from. Just be sure to look for bamboo brushes with compostable bristles since they aren't always made from bamboo material.
Find Eco-friendly pet groomers
If you don’t want to groom your own pup and are looking to outsource this often messy job, there are professional eco-friendly groomers out there! You just need to do a little research to find one near you.
If you live near Waupun, WI, Green Collar Grooming uses eco-friendly products and holistic practices for both dogs and the planet. Rainbow Dog Green Grooming in Moorhead, MN, is a green, eco-friendly pet grooming salon focused on pets and the planet. Wuf Holistic Mobile Dog Grooming travels to clients!
The option for greener dog grooming salons is growing, so if you know of one near you, let us know! We’d love to add them to this list.
Hopefully, this post helps you make more sustainable consumer choices when it comes to your dog’s grooming. We do understand that becoming more eco-friendly isn’t always straightforward. But with a few tips and ideas up your sleeve, you should be able to stay active in protecting the planet through more thoughtful and more strategic consumer choices for yourself, your pets, and the planet!