The “Dirty Little Secret” Behind Pet Shampoos

Share Article

Consumers need to be aware of the differences between pet shampoos labeled "all-natural" and "natural."

The pet industry is a $34 billion industry, and the number of competitors for each pet owner's dollar is huge. Following in the footsteps of the so-called "genius" marketer that originated the "Lather, rinse, repeat" instructions for shampooing, today's marketers have created the somewhat imaginary differences between "natural" and "all-natural" shampoos, hoping to differentiate their products from the rest of the pack. Consumers must sort through the chaff to find the real "kernel of truth” behind this dirty little secret.

Ask the typical pet owner if they know the difference between a “natural” pet shampoo and an “all-natural one,” and almost invariably they’ll say, "I didn't know there WAS a difference." In fact, there is, but with today’s demand for “natural” everything, marketers aren’t about point it out.

For the record, “all-natural” shampoo products shouldn’t contain ANY synthetic ingredients, while “natural” products can be made with both natural and synthetic ingredients. Since there is no law regulating use of the terms "natural" or "all-natural" in product labeling, a “natural” shampoo can be sold as “all-natural” without any legal ramifications.

Why is it important to point out this difference? Because a huge number of companies take advantage of consumer ignorance by labeling their products “all-natural,” when in fact, they contain some beneficial and necessary synthetics. Consumers who purposely buy “all-natural” products believe they’re getting the best, most natural product their money can buy. In many – if not most – cases, it’s just not true.

American consumers believe anything produced naturally is better than anything produced synthetically. The reality is that synthetics are used in the majority of pet grooming products. Why? Because they're more effective and beneficial than some natural ingredients. Unfortunately, marketers have been unable to make synthetics appear wholesome or healthy, so where consumers are concerned, it's become a case of "ignorance is bliss," or "what they don't know won't hurt them."

Here’s an example: U.S. consumers have been led to believe that if a shampoo doesn't lather profusely, it isn't working. This is untrue, but consumers refuse to be convinced otherwise. Because they won’t buy shampoo that doesn’t lather, and because there are no all-natural ingredients to make that lather, there’s no choice but to use a synthetic.

Shampoos also require a preservative or they wouldn't last any longer than a month or so on the shelf. Again, there is no all-natural preservative effective for any length of time, so again, a synthetic is needed.

Deciding between “all-natural” and “natural” shampoos is a personal consumer decision. Each has its advantages, and there are excellent products of both “types.” Consumers determined to use only “all-natural” shampoos should carefully read product ingredients lists. If something unfamiliar is listed, they should do their own research and learn what those ingredients are.

One of the best ways to research a product is to contact the manufacturer. If, say, an “all-natural” shampoo has a “baby powder” scent (and, yes, they’re out there), wouldn’t every consumer want to know which “all-natural” source was used to obtain that scent – especially since baby powder doesn’t occur in nature?

A final question…. Would an intelligent consumer intentionally avoid synthetic ingredients simply because they were synthetic? After all, even synthetics originated from “all-natural” sources.

For additional information, contact:

Pamela Madden

Furfection, Inc.


650-625-8411 (fax)

Furfection, Inc. is located in Mountain View, California. “Furfection Naturals™” are premium quality pet grooming products made with natural ingredients.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Pamela Madden
Visit website