A new TikTok trend of pet owners using purple shampoo on their dogs has sparked concern among vets. The viral craze may seem harmless to unsuspecting owners – but the chemicals within the product could cause skin irritation, say experts.
Dr Sean McCormack, head vet at tails.com, warned of the dangers associated with the hair product. As the shampoo is not specifically designed to use on dogs, the animal could end up with serious health issues as a consequence.
Using the product could leave the animal’s skin dry, flaky and more vulnerable to bacteria, viruses and parasites. The team at tails.com provided their tips and tricks to keeping your dog looking and smelling fresh, without using purple shampoo.
READMORE: Man jumps fully-clothed into canal in to rescue drowning fox cub
Dogs are more sensitive to the ingredients found in human shampoo and irritation caused by using harsh toxins can encourage excessive itching. That can result in abrasions and wounds forming on the skin and an increased chance of bacterial infection, reports the Hull Daily Mail.
Purple shampoo in particular contains ingredients which play a role in lightening hair. High levels are not suitable for dogs, causing irritation, upset stomach and can even be toxic.
Dogs groom their fur by licking, which could lead to harmful consequences if their coat is coated with acidic chemicals. Pet owners after dog-friendly products that offer brighter coats can find them on the shelf and can avoid human hair products.
Tips and tricks to keep your dog clean
Don’t wait around:
Whether your dog has been splashing in muddy puddles, or even rolling about in animal poo – washing them at your earliest convenience can avoid carpets being ruined. Also, cleaning your dog as soon as you can gives the dirt less time to set in.
Keep a regular routine
For some owners it can be hard to know how often to clean your pet pooch – especially if they don’t get dirty very often. Dog’s fur has evolved to be self-cleaning, which keeps out most of the day-to-day dirt.
But even the proudest pups can get a little smelly after a while. It’s recommended that your dog only needs to be cleaned just once a month, so try setting a date each month that works for you and dog and stick to it – depending on the breed of course.
Use the right shampoo
It is essential that you avoid using human shampoo on your dog. The chemicals that we put on to our hair are no good for keeping your dog’s fur clean, and can potentially be harmful to their coat and skin.
There are plenty of quality and affordable dog shampoos available on the high street and online. However, if you are not able to find dog shampoo, then a little baby shampoo will do as these tend to be mild and won’t contain any harmful chemicals.
Keep bathing to a minimum as too much washing can actually cause your dog problems. Their skin is a lot more sensitive than ours so look out for ‘waterless’ cleaning products on the market like dry dog shampoo and waterless cleaning mitts, to help keep your dog smelling and looking clean without getting them wet.
Plan your route
If your pup has a tendency to stray towards muddy puddles, then it might be an idea to keep your pup on a lead when the ground is wet and boggy. However, if possible try to plan ahead to avoid the wetness.
Extendable leads are useful to keep control of where your dog walks, whilst still allowing them the space to stretch their legs.
Feed them right
You can help keep your dog’s coat glossy and healthy by ensuring that they are eating the right food. Your dog’s coat relies on protein, so feeding your pooch a good, balanced diet maintains their healthy glow on the outside as well as on the inside.
brushing is best
Brushing your dog frequently is the best way to keep their fur clean from anything that they might pick up while out and about. Jumping through piles of leaves is a great source of fun for your pups, but it is also a really easy way for them to pick up fleas and ticks.
Wear waterproof in extreme weather conditions
If your dog is insistent on going for a walk whatever the weather, it could be worth investing in a good quality, waterproof dog coat that will keep them dry and clean.
The best features to look out for when picking out a new coat for your dog are waterproofing, durability, double-lining, adjustability, and affordability – but remember, most dogs don’t need them, and will shake off the water instead.