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Love those ingredient labels

Read the labels and learn exactly what they mean

We know we should read the ingredients labels on cosmetic and care items. Yet often, pushed for time, we grab the item and head for the till. Or we click ‘Buy Now’ and hope for the best. If you have to shop ‘on the hoof’ you want trustworthy brands that are transparent in their labelling.

Full Transparency

When it comes to personal care products it’s useful to know about the ingredients that go into them. Did you know that unless pet shampoos include some form of medication they do not have to be tested? Nor do the ingredients have to be listed on the labels? As a company we test our products to human cosmetic standards and we provide full transparency of all the ingredients that go into our shampoos. All the ingredients are listed on our bottles’ labels and on our website. You can also find explanations of what each ingredient is on our website.

Marketing often paints ‘natural’ chemicals as a better alternative to synthetic chemicals. However, the reality is less clear cut. At Dog Hair Day we combine the best that nature and science can bring. Our products are made from 97% naturally-derived high quality ingredients. Nevertheless, we use a small amount of chemical preservative to ensure Dog Hair Day is safe for you and your dog. We don’t eschew science!

How to read the label

Generally, labels list ingredients from the highest percentage to the lowest and most people can easily see that. However, did you know that ingredients in concentrations under 1% can be listed in any order? Also, did you know that the common names of ingredients are infrequently used. To take a simple example, salt is usually listed as ‘sodium chloride’, its scientific name.

Other commonly used words


Potentially, the label can describe a product as natural even if just 1% of the ingredients are naturally-sourced. Naturally-sourced means plant-based or mineral in origin.

Usually, the label will give natural extracts their scientific or Latin name. In fact, the essential oils used in Dog Hair Day shampoos are so labelled.


Andrea Bookless, from Lanes Vets, Lancaster, our veterinarian, who specialises in dermatology, said: “Hypoallergenic does not mean that the product will not cause an allergic reaction in a given individual. It means that the product contains specific compounds (“allergens”) that are known to be less likely to produce an allergic reaction.

“Sometimes the term is used when a product has a lower number of potentially allergenic compounds (allergens). So if you have a pet that appears to be sensitive to certain items look for products that have a small number of different ingredients that are known to be less allergenic, that is, hypoallergenic!” she added. “Ideally, check that a product does not contain ingredients that your dog has not been exposed to and that he has not reacted to before. I always say that a product or ingredient is only hypoallergenic to the individual if the individual is not personally allergic to it!”


Look for the Leaping Bunny logo. This is the only internationally recognised symbol that guarantees that no animal testing was carried out in developing the product. Dog Hair Day is proud to hold the Leaping Bunny certificate, together with being accredited by Naturewatch Foundation and the Ethical Shopping Guide


“Technically organic actually means something derived from living matter but when talking about food or products it means that the ingredients have been produced without the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals,” Andrea said.

Look out for the Soil Association organic logo. This certifies that the products are sourced and manufactured using sustainable, organically-farmed ingredients which are not tested on animals. Good quality organic products will be free from harsh chemicals, nanoparticles, parabens, synthetic dyes and artificial fragrances.

Products need to contain just a tiny amount of organic ingredient yet can be termed ‘organic’.

At Dog Hair Day we ensure that our shampoos use only the best ingredients, are cruelty-free and respect the environment.

To go deeper into this subject it’s worth researching ingredients that commonly appear in personal care products, including dog shampoos.

With thanks to Andrea K. Bookless, MA VetMB CertVD MRCVS. Advanced Practitioner (Dermatology), for help with this article.

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 cannot diagnose any physical, mental or behavioural condition in animals. Nor can they prescribe treatment. We urge you to consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog.