Do we all remember this commercial? Or maybe the remake of it that was done in the last few years?
Well that is how I feel every single time I pick up a bottle of dog or cat shampoo and see NO INGREDIENT LABEL!
There. I said it. WHY oh WHY do our manufacturers feel like we don't need to know (or want to know) what is in our shampoos and conditioners we are using day in and day out?
When you ask that question of people who make shampoos or soaps they say "well, it's PROPRIETARY information" or "Eh, Groomers don't understand those ingredients anyway" or my FAVORITE one ever was a vendor who patted my hand and said "You don't need to worry about what's in it. I know what the ingredients are. You can trust me!"
Well to every one of these vendors I say "Where's the ingredient list????"
Why do I get so upset when a vendor will not disclose the ingredients to me? His name is Sonny. He is a Shih-Tzu with allergies to many different things. Soy, wheat, oatmeal, and many other things. I NEED to know what is in the shampoos we are using so that I can avoid his allergens.
Then there is Ashley who is my bather. She is allergic to wheat proteins, eggs, and many derivatives of these items.
Then let's not forget that we have the legal right to know what we are exposing ourselves to in the products we use on ourselves. FDA requires listing of complete ingredients on every bottle. I guess the fact that we use the shampoos and conditioners on our hands and arms multiple times daily doesn't count as chronic exposure. That type of contact is actually more prolonged and occurs more often than shampoos or cosmetics or lotions get used on our skin daily or weekly. A bather can have their hands and arms in the shampoos for hours per day. I might spend five minutes a day with shampoo on my head.
This is a list of the major ingredients many people, right or wrong, try to avoid using in their own products. Without ingredients we have no idea at all what we are using.
Then we have the numerous questionable ingredients that are in our pet shampoos, like DiLimonene and Tea Tree oil. These are listed as ingredients that can trigger allergic responses and irritation to skin. Without the legal requirement of ingredient labeling there is no way to know if these are in our shampoos.
DMDM hydantoin is a preservative some people object to. No idea if it is in our shampoos. Parabens? no one knows. Trying to avoid Sodium Laryl Sulfate? Good luck.
I tell manufacturers all the time. "I do not want your recipe! I want your shopping list". I can give you the shopping list to buy the ingredients in my spaghetti recipe but your spaghetti will not taste like mine. BUT you will know if there is something in it you do not like or that you cannot eat safely.
The companies always say they are afraid of people copying their products, but the average dog groomer isn't going to do that. We are not in the business of making shampoo and those companies that ARE likely to recreate the product have the technology to break it down without being told the first thing about it. Those machines as pricey but nearly every shampoo company has one. They can break down a chemical (shampoo is a chemical) into its components.
Without revealing the ingredients how do we know that the words in the graphic are TRUE? Many shampoos claim to be natural, holistic, organic, but we will never know for sure until they tell us "Where's the beef?"
I do not know what it is going to take to get the shampoo companies to decide to wake up and let us have the information we need to make ourselves safer and to be able to make more informed decisions in what we choose to use on the pets we are tasked with taking care of and ourselves.
Trial and error when a pet or groomers comfort and health is at stake is just not fair and right now that is all we can do. Try a product, and when we react to a it try another and hope the result is better while praying it will not be worse!
Maybe if we all started asking "Where's the beef?" we could get answers to these questions. Come on guys! DEMAND the information. Educate yourself about ingredients and DEMAND them! It's the only way we will ever get the list.