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Detox Your Dog: Reducing toxic load is key to health

Dogs on BeachDetox. Cleansing. Fads, right? And as for putting your dog on a chemical detox … Surely you’ve got to be kidding!
However, a detox could be one of the best things you do for your dog. Here we discuss the very real burden of toxins that our dogs may be carrying, why it’s important and how to reduce that toxic load.

The Culprits

There’s no doubt about it, since World War Two developments in chemistry have lessened our workload and improved our lives in many ways. But there are some serious downsides and these are coming more into focus.

  • Water pollution from sewage and industrial waste discharge as well as plastics.
  • Air pollution – not just from your immediate surroundings but blown in from across the globe.
  • Chemical preservatives in food.
  • Chemically manipulated foods – genetically modified, for example.
  • Farming methods have introduced pesticides and hormones and into the food chain.
  • Vaccines and medications
  • Most manufactured items, e.g. paints, carpets, furniture, cars, with plastics being a particular concern.

Then there’s mould. It may be natural but it is also a major toxin, and one that is not always visible. It can do serious damage to human and dog health, well beyond better known symptoms of itchy eyes and wheezing. Long-term exposure can cause neurological issues, including tremors and seizures and even death.

We even bathe our laundry and our skins in a sea of chemicals. The skin is an organ and chemicals move into our bodies transdermally. This is not scaremongering but it is important and is why we developed Dog Hair Day. When we urge you to you bathe your dog with Dog Hair Day Shampoo it isn’t just because we want your dog to look and smell nice, it’s because fewer chemicals will end up on your skin and on your dog’s skin. You can see the full list of ingredients in our shampoos here. That’s one step towards reducing that toxic burden.

There are also toxins that come from within the body as by-products of metabolism and healthy liver and kidneys are needed to rid the body of these.

Your Dog May Be in More Need of a Detox Than You Are!

Dogs are smaller than humans. Their smaller organs bear the brunt of toxic overload more quickly than our larger organs. Also dogs are nearer to the ground than we are and they (mostly) do not wear protective shoes, which means that substances like motor oil or pesticides from lawns get onto their paws which they may later lick.
Our pets and their health are like canaries in a coal mine – alerting us to our polluted world.

How Your Dog May Display Toxic Overload

  • Runny eyes
  • Dry flaky skin
  • Dull fur
  • Halitosis
  • Lumps and bumps on the skin
  • Itching
  • Lethargy
  • Stomach upsets
  • Bad behaviour
  • Lowered immune functioning
  • Sluggish liver function
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • A very overburdened body will cease to function and die.

How to Reduce Toxic Load


This is a huge subject area in itself and we will cover various aspects of diet in future blogs. Basically, the fewer additives and fillers in your dog’s food the better. Such fillers in commercial pet food benefit manufacturers not dogs. You need to be an ingredients detective! Try to feed the highest quality diet you can reasonably afford.
Also it is important to rotate your dog’s food. By this we mean do not feed your dog one source of protein all the time, such as chicken. Varying the diet will reduce the chance of allergic reactions developing.


Give your dog filtered water. Municipal water contains chlorine which damages the essential gut flora. You can use water from a jug filter or you can buy a filter that attaches to the tap.

Clear Out the Chemicals

Reduce or eliminate the chemical cleaners, fragrances etc in your own home. (This will be good for you and your family as well). They really do contribute to that toxic burden. You can find alternatives in most supermarkets and online or you can even use things like white vinegar for a lot of cleaning jobs.


Brushing your dog’s coat is an excellent way of ridding his system of potential allergens, mites and mould spores. Use a good quality brush. Additionally it stimulates lymphatic drainage. Brushing is a type of massage and therefore you need to massage towards the heart as stroking away from the heart can impede venous flow.


Bathing or showering your dog is the best way to get rid of allergens and chemicals that are on the fur or skin. Also, once your dog starts detoxing from the inside waste products will end up on the skin and in the fur. Therefore, these need to be rinsed away or else they will just be reabsorbed. Use any of our Dog Hair Day Shampoo for a great result. They contain natural antiseptics and soothing properties.

Go Slowly

When introducing any measures to reduce that toxic burden your dog is carrying go slowly. As toxins move out of the fatty tissues they enter the bloodstream which can cause some unpleasant side effects. Slow and steady is the way forward.
Even though we can feel overwhelmed by our toxic world there are definitely ways forward.
DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained here it is for educational purposes only. The writer of this article and Dog Hair Day can’t diagnose any physical, mental or behavioural condition in animals nor prescribe treatment. We urge you to consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog.
Tags: detox, detox your dog, chemicals, shampoo, bathing