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Skin and Coat Care: Do You Know What You're
Bathing/Spraying Your Dog With

The following information was compiled by Bev Carter of Damascusroad.

Did you know that your skin is the biggest organ in your body . . . and that it is the biggest organ in your dog's body too? You know, of course, that you can excrete bodily fluids through your skin (perspiration, which incidentally helps to rid your body of toxins . . . that's one of the reasons why saunas are so great and so highly recommended). Equally important to understand is that your body absorbs whatever is applied to its skin, all the more so when when warm water is applied to skin at the same time since the warm water opens the pores of the skin, and thereby makes the skin/body more receptive to the absorption of whatever harmful ingredients are applied to the skin.

Most skin products, including pet shampoos and rinses, contain any number of ingredients that are toxic and even cancer-causing to your dog. And these toxic ingredients find their way into your dogs system every time you bath them. The range of chemicals and toxins in these products can be quite large . . . you'd be amazed. A few of the more common ones are outlined below in a article by Aubrey Hampton of Aubrey Organics. Find out what pet shampoo and rinse we recommend at the bottom of this page.

Ten Synthetic Ingredients to Avoid (emphasis added)
      by Aubrey Hampton

If you want natural products, you have to be willing to search them out. Learn to read labels, and refuse to settle for half-natural hair and skin care. Below I've listed and described my "ten most wanted" I most want to see off the labels of so-called natural hair and skin care products.

1. Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea These are the most commonly used preservatives after the parabens. They are well established as a primary cause of contact dermatitis (American Academy of Dermatology). Two trade names for these chemicals are Germall II and Germall 115. Neither of the Germall chemicals have a good antifungal, and must be combined with other preservatives. Germall 115 releases formaldehyde at just over 10. These chemicals are toxic.

2. Methyl and Propyl and Butyl and Ethyl Paraben Used as inhibitors of microbial growth and to extend shelf life of products. Widely used even though they are known to be toxic. Have caused many allergic reactions and skin rashes. Methyl paraben combines benzoic acid with the methyl group of chemicals. Highly toxic.

3. Petrolatum I see this on lip products from time to time, which is humorous to me because they're usually advertised as protecting the lips from sunburn, chapping and so forth. Petrolatum is mineral oil jelly, and mineral oil causes a lot of problems when used on the skin photosensitivity (i.e., promotes sun damage), and it tends to interfere with the body's own natural moisturizing mechanism, leading to dry skin and chapping. You are being sold a product that creates the very conditions it claims to alleviate. Manufacturers use petrolatum because it is unbelievably cheap.

4. Propylene Glycol Ideally this is a vegetable glycerin mixed with grain alcohol, both of which are natural. Usually it is a synthetic petrochemical mix used as a humectant. Has been known to cause allergic and toxic reactions.

5. PVP/VA Copolymer A petroleum-derived chemical used in hairsprays, wavesets and other cosmetics. It can be considered toxic, since particles may contribute to foreign bodies in the lungs of sensitive persons.

6. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate This synthetic substance is used in shampoos for its detergent and foam-building abilities. It causes eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, scalp scurf similar to dandruff, and allergic reactions. It is frequently disguised in pseudo-natural cosmetics with the parenthetic explanation "comes from coconut."

7. Stearalkonium Chloride A chemical used in hair conditioners and creams. Causes allergic reactions. Stearalkonium chloride was developed by the fabric industry as a fabric softener, and is a lot cheaper and easier to use in hair conditioning formulas than proteins or herbals, which do help hair health. Toxic.

8. Synthetic Colors The synthetic colors used to supposedly make a cosmetic "pretty" should be avoided at all costs, along with hair dyes. They will be labeled as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and a number. Example: FD&C Red No. 6 / D&C Green No. 6. Synthetic colors are believed to be cancer-causing agents. If a cosmetic contains them, don't use it.

9. Synthetic Fragrances The synthetic fragrances used in cosmetics can have as many as 200 ingredients. There is no way to know what the chemicals are, since on the label it will simply say "Fragrance." Some of the problems caused by these chemicals are headaches, dizziness, rash, hyperpigmentation, violent coughing, vomiting, and  skin irritation. You should avoid buying a cosmetic that has the word "Fragrance" on the ingredients label.

10. Triethanolamine Often used in cosmetics to adjust the pH, and used with many fatty acids to convert acid to salt (stearate), which then becomes the base for a cleanser. TEA causes allergic reactions including eye problems, dryness of hair and skin, and could be toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time.

To Summarize: Look for natural ingredients in the products you buy. Do not use cosmetics that are artificially colored. Is the shampoo bright green or blue? Very likely it contains a coal tar color. Does the product contain synthetic fragrances? Don't buy it. You may find that some of your allergy problems will suddenly disappear when you no longer use cosmetics formulated with petrochemicals and other synthetics.

The only pet shampoos and rinses we recommend are the ones we use on our own dogs:

Aubrey Organics

Check it out at

Once you get to this website, click on "Our Products" and then on "Pet Care"

If this shampoo/rinse is not available in your area, and you don't want to fly it in as we do, we recommend you do some research, ask a few questions of the manufacturers, before deciding on a skin/coat care product for your Pomeranian. There may well be other good  products that we have not discovered, but you will have to look for them, and you have to know what you're looking for. It is true that you get what you pay for. You will have to pay a good price to get a good shampoo, but you will save on vet bills related to skin and coat problems in the long run and you can expect your dog to live a longer and healthier life.

The ideal shampoo would be all natural, using only organic ingredients that are free of pesticides and artificial fertilizers/growth hormones. Don't be fooled by labels that say the product is all natural. Read the ingredient list, and if any of the ingredients listed above are in the product, then it is not all natural no matter what the label says. The term "all natural" as it is applied to shampoos and soaps (or most products, for that matter) is defined by the manufacturer of the product in an unregulated environment. "All natural" is in the mind of the manufacturer! It goes without saying that the shampoo should be naturally preserved. You would be amazed at the garbage that many pet shampoos contain, so please make your choice carefully and wisely.

If you are using a good quality shampoo such as the one we recommend, then we also recommend you bathe your Pomeranian at least once every two weeks . . . and even once a week if you like. Contrary to popular opinion, frequent bathing is good for your Pomeranian's skin and coat provided you are not using a shampoo laden with toxic chemicals. This, in combination with a good food (see the Pet Food page of our website), will virtually guarantee a long life for your Pomeranian, and one that is free of skin and coat problems . . . just like our Pomeranians have been since we started using these products a couple of years ago.

If you're showing your Pomeranian, you may find it necessary to use other products on show-weekends. That's OK on occasion, just be sure to wash it all out with Aubrey Organics Pet Shampoo (Organimals) as soon as the shows are over.

I also think food and vaccinations play an important part in the health and skin problems we sometimes encounter in Pomeranians. Click here for more on food, and click here for more on vaccinations.

Love your Pomeranian enough to use only the very best skin/coat care products.

Remember, your dog's skin is the biggest organ in his body so be careful what you put on it.

  Home Contact Us What's New New Litters Puppy Exports About Us Pom Reader Kennel Visit Poms in Canada Kennel Visit   About Poms Stud Services Links Photo Album  

   Fun Photos New Damascusroad Championships Puppies Growing Up List of Articles About Pet Food Skin/Coat Care Vaccination Information CKC Breed Standard