By Abigail Gilmore
When we treat our hair, skin and body, being natural is the best way to go. Our pets deserve the same! From our pups to our kitties, natural grooming products can protect against skin damage and ingestion of toxic chemicals, and help maintain moisture in their coats. Consider our tips from experts around town.
Read the labels. Natural grooming products claim to be filled with natural ingredients, but check the labels. Look for products with lavender, rosemary, mint, oatmeal, almond, chamomile and honey, said Marsha Mardock, owner of Noble Beast, a natural pet market. Vitamins A, C and E and witch hazel are also common in natural grooming products. Also, make sure the products are made in the U.S., cruelty-free and tear-free when applicable, Mardock said.
Beware of bad ingredients. Paraben, detergents, phosphates, alcohol, artificial colors and perfumes are all deal-breakers when it comes to natural grooming products, Mardock said. “Products should also be pH balanced for a pet’s skin. Don’t use human products on a pet.” Human products may be too strong for your pet’s skin and may cause serious skin damage.
Keep the moisture. “Pets have really sensitive skin and can easily get hot spots. Once they start scratching, they develop habits that are hard to break and really do damage to themselves,” Mardock said. “Using natural products will keep the coat clean without stripping, [and will] moisturize and soothe their skin. Also, chances are, anything you use is going to get into your pet’s system through the skin or their mouths, so you don’t want to use anything toxic.” Natural products also smell great, so cuddling your pet will be even sweeter after a natural grooming.
Clean those chompers. Many people forget about cleaning their pet’s teeth, though it is critical for their health, Mardock said. Use a finger brush and natural pet toothpaste to brush those canines as much as possible! Don’t attempt to use a human toothbrush, as it can severely damage the gums. Ideally, brush every day, as plaque can build up faster than expected!
Don’t forget the essentials. Though it really depends on your pet’s skin, fur and other health issues, there are some essential products you’ll need to thoroughly clean your pet. Keep on hand: shampoo, conditioner, a brush, ear cleaner and a toothbrush.
Treat your pet to an all-natural spa treatment. You won’t regret making the switch to healthier products that are safe, effective and smell great too!