Pet-safe laundry detergent: A laundry list of chemicals to avoid

Let’s be honest…

A stroll down the local supermarket’s laundry products aisle can be overwhelming. You’re bombarded with options: Powder, liquid, pod, bar soap and combination formulas with fabric softener and colour-safe bleach.

And it doesn’t end there!

There are also premium laundry products: Hypoallergenic, safe-for-baby laundry liquid, odour-busting formulas for activewear, detergent for down-filled products, and fabric-specific products developed for denim, silk, wool and cashmere.

There are a lot—and we mean a lot—of laundry products to choose from!

In the end, you add to cart based on price, brand name, or whatever mum said works best on dress shirts 😉.

We expect a great deal from laundry detergent.

But no matter what you bring home, garments and home fabrics must come out of the wash clean. By “clean”, we mean stain-free and fresh-smelling. (Think tropical flowers or a bed of roses.) 

Chances are, you also give out bonus points if clothing is soft to the touch. Even better if fabrics keep colour vibrancy over many washes.

Have you ever wondered how your regular washing detergent gets all that done in a 60-minute cycle?

The answer: With a laundry list of harsh chemicals.

Chemicals ranging from so-called mild irritants to full-on cancer-causing substances. (Sometimes, those ingredients aren’t even listed on the label.) OMG 😱, right?!

Laundry detergent ingredients can trigger allergies in pets.

Most of us can tolerate those chemicals in moderation (not sayin’ it’s a good idea, though). But your furry four-legged friend? Not so much. 

To be more precise, did you know that allergies in dogs and cats can be brought on by commercial laundry detergents?

Yes, a household item we use without a second thought is a frequent culprit. And it doesn’t always stop with “just allergies”.

Toxins in laundry detergent (like 1,4 dioxane, formaldehyde, and chlorine bleach) can poison pets.

Symptoms of laundry soap allergies in dogs and cats

But how can you know if Fido is actually allergic to laundry products?

You’ll definitely notice behavioural as well as physical changes in your pet. Things like constant paw-licking 🐾, frequent itching, rubbing against walls or furniture, and head shaking. You’ll spot hair loss patches, rashes, or blister-like wounds. 

Heck! Maybe your cat or dog sneezes an awful lot—especially when he takes a whiff of fresh-out-of-the-dryer wash.

If any of the above sounds familiar, there’s a good chance your pet has allergies.

Pet-friendly laundry detergents don’t have nasty ingredients!

So, what should a fur parent do to protect pets with allergies? Learn how to choose pet-safe laundry detergent. That starts with knowing the allergy-causing laundry detergent ingredients to avoid.

1. Synthetic fragrances

According to experts, dogs have up to 300 million receptors in their noses. That’s a phenomenal sense of smell! As for cats? They’re super sensitive to perfumes. So much so that scents in your laundry products can cause allergic bronchitis.

Long story short, artificial fragrances can be a pet allergen. 

We bet pet bedding that smells like exotic flowers or English roses no longer sounds like a great idea, huh?

On the label: Fragrances sometimes appear as an unspecified ingredient (sneaky, sneaky!) or simply as “perfume” on the ingredient list. By the way, “unscented” means that there’s no detectable smell; it doesn’t mean that fragrance chemicals aren’t included in the product.

2. Detergents with dyes

Dyes add an aesthetic component to your laundry soap. That’s why many liquid detergents and pods come in shades of blue, pink, purple, and green.

But if humans can be allergic to artificial colourants, then what more our pets? Their skin is thinner and up to ten times more delicate than ours!

On the label: Dyes appear as “colourant”; by their trademark name; or as a combination of letters and numbers like CI 42051, CI 50325, CI 61102 and so on.

3. Products with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

SLS is known to cause what’s known as contact dermatitis; it does this by stripping off natural oils. The result? You and your pet can develop itchy, cracked, or dry skin.

And since the skin is the largest organ, exposure to chemical irritants like SLS can make your pet’s life uncomfortable! 

On the label: They’re listed by chemical name or more innocently as “surfactants”. Also watch out for its “milder” cousin Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and polyethylene glycol (or PEG compounds) on the ingredient list.

What’s the best non-toxic laundry detergent?

If you have pets, you don’t want to take any chances. You want a product where regular use and all that comes with it—accidental spills, skin contact, and inhalation—won’t have you running in panic to the vet. (Or land your bud in the pet ER!)

That’s where PetLab® Eco Laundry Liquid comes in. 

Our pet-safe natural laundry detergent is made from plant-based ingredients. That means it’s chemical-free, dye-free, biodegradable, and 100% non-toxic for people, pets, and the planet! No enzymes. No added fragrances. No clingy soapsuds. No nasties, period. 

It doesn’t get better (or safer) than that, right?

But don’t take our word for it—check out what other pet parents say about our products or try it risk-free 👍 for 45 days!


Leave Your Pet Families Laundry Clean, Disinfected & Smelling Fresh Without Chemical Nasties

Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. It is not and does not intend to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Reliance on any information on this website is at your own risk. Always consult with your veterinarian.

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