Bathing/Shampoo

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Puppies and dogs should not be over bathed.  Shampooing them too often, strips their coats of their natural oils and ruins their coats.

I know it can be tempting when you get your new puppy home to bathe him, you have a shampoo that has a lovely scent that you want to try. You have been waiting for your new puppy for awhile and you finally have him and you want to bathe him.  Just wait though.  99% of the time I have bathed your puppy about 1 hour before you pick him up and if I didn’t bathe him, it is because I bathed him the day before for pictures.  If your puppy was shipped, he was bathed that morning or the night before.

Have you seen the Maltese who are shockingly white and silky?  They are absolutely gorgeous.  They are that white because the groomers uses a whitening shampoo on the poor dog and it has bleach in it and a lot of it too. Of course their coat is very thin, not just the coat but each strand of puppy hair.  Their coats are stripped and damaged.

The dog groomers use whitening shampoo on the white dog breeds and there are warning labels on these bottles of whitening shampoos.  Go ahead though, try to find a label online, you won’t be able to.  I couldn’t.  After spending about ten minutes looking for a label to post here for you from a bottle of shampoo, I gave up, I guess they don’t want you to read it.  It’s a heavy duty warning label too.

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Many years ago when I was a brand new Maltese breeder, I ordered a bottle of whitening shampoo from a catalog, we didn’t even have the internet yet.  I thought this is what I needed to shampoo my white puppies with.  I was trying so hard to do everything right.

I must have used it for a year until one day I started reading the label on it and I was shocked to see that is said not to use on dogs under the age of 6 months!  6 months!  My puppies were 6 weeks old!!   There was bleach in it, that’s why!

Quite a few shampoos have formaldehyde in them too.  The chemical and known human carcinogen formaldehyde pops up in many unexpected places, like pressed wood products such as cabinets and flooring, hair straightening or curling treatments, fertilizers, cigarette smoke, and some plastic and paper products. It is also used to kill germs, or as a preservative, which is its main function in the funeral industry. And, it is putting at risk the lives of those who deal with the dead.

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A recent study reported that male funeral directors with regular exposure to formaldehyde products – such as the embalming fluid used to preserve bodies after death – were more than three times as likely to die from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) than men who were not exposed to formaldehyde at all. Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS is a motor neuron disease that causes nerve cells to gradually break down and die, according to The Mayo Clinic. It can affect the ability to control the muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe, and eventually leads to death.

Perhaps not coincidentally, chronic exposure to formaldehyde may also cause general damage to the central nervous system, such as increased prevalence of headache, depression, mood changes, insomnia, irritability, attention deficit, and impairment of dexterity, memory, and equilibrium, as noted on the website for the U.S. government’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

The U.S. government classified formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen in 2011, and yet its use persists, thanks largely to the industry lobbyists. Even if formaldehyde were banned, it is so pervasive in society that completely preventing people from encountering it would be nearly impossible. It is in our homes, our schools, our cars, our personal care products. It wafts into the lungs of smokers and non-smokers alike.

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Aside from ALS risk or other nervous system consequences, formaldehyde is a respiratory irritant that causes chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing, and nose and throat irritation, according to the ATSDR. It can also cause cancer, and has been linked to an increased risk of asthma and allergies in kids. Formaldehyde is present in many childhood vaccines, put there to kill unwanted bacteria and viruses that might contaminate the vaccine during production. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most formaldehyde is removed from the vaccine before it is packaged, but that means some of the substance is left behind.

And yet information on how low-level, chronic exposure to formaldehyde may impact our children’s bodies is relatively scarce. Do what little you can to protect your entire family from formaldehyde exposure. Read carefully the labels of personal care products – formaldehyde hides within chemicals like Quaternium-15 and DMDM hydantoin. If you’re buying new furniture, avoid pressed wood. Don’t smoke, and avoid places where people are. Formaldehyde will get into anybody’s lungs, skin, blood, or body. It does not discriminate – but you can.

To avoid it, stay away from products that contain formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol) and glyoxal.

other bad ingredients:

1,4-dioxane 
Usually found in bath products and liquid soap, 1,4-dioxane is a chemical byproduct, so you won’t spot it on a label. A possible human carcinogen, 1,4-dioxane is linked to organ toxicity and skin allergies.

To avoid it, don’t use products that contain sodium laureth sulfate, PEG compounds and chemicals listed as xynol, ceteareth and oleth.

Vitamin A and oxybenzone
On it’s own vitamin A is safe, but when it’s used in sunscreen and skin is exposed to the sun, it can be problematic. In fact, a study by the National Toxicology Program suggests that retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A, may speed up the development of skin tumors and lesions.

When reading labels, avoid products that contain vitamin A, retinyl palmitate, retinol, retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate and retinoic acid.

Another dangerous chemical that’s used in sunscreen and should be avoided is oxybenzone, which is an endocrine disruptor and has been linked to endometriosis  and reproductive problems.

Phthalates and parabens
Phthalates and parabens are a group of chemicals that are used as preservatives in personal care products like baby shampoos and lotions.

Phthalates have been linked to endocrine disruption, which can cause reproductive problems, including a decrease in sperm motility and concentration, as well as allergies, asthma and cancer.

To make it even more confusing for moms, fragrance can also contain phthalates, said Nancy Peplinsky, founder and executive director of the Holistic Moms Network in Coldwell, N.J.

Research shows that another class of chemicals, parabens, are endocrine disruptors and have been linked to reproductive problems, developmental disorders, endometriosis, skin irritation and cancer.

Avoid products that contain phthalate, DEP, DBP, DEHP and ingredients ending in “–paraben.”

Fragrance
You might love the smell of your baby’s lotion, but fragrance is linked to allergies, skin irritation and eczema and can be toxic to various organs in the body.

Plus, the term itself can be used to mask hundreds of other dangerous chemicals in the product, said Leah Segedie, founder of Mamavation.com.

When reading labels, avoid any product that lists fragrance, perfume or parfum.]

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