Few creatures know how to get as cozy as dogs do. Dogs love burrowing under blankets, hopping into their nice warm bed, or even cuddling up with their humans in their owner’s bed. But, dogs and other animals have sensitive skin and fur, and laundry detergent designed for humans can present significant issues. Today, we’ll take a closer look at everything you need to know about dog safe laundry detergent.
How to Tell if Your Dog Has a Detergent Allergy
For most dogs, detergent intended for humans irritates their skin very little, or not at all. But, other dogs and pets have far more severe reactions to the chemicals in detergent. If your dog has any of the symptoms below, it may be time to switch to a pet-safe laundry detergent.
- Face rubbing
- Chronic licking or biting
- Skin ulcers
- Bald patches
- Ear infections
- Inflamed feet
What Causes Detergent Allergies
Detergents are made with a variety of chemicals that are designed to clean and deodorize clothing and bedding while imparting them with a pleasant scent.
For some people and animals, one or more of the chemicals found in the detergent can cause their skin to release more of the compound histamine, which triggers an itching and burning response, which can lead to the symptoms we discussed above.
How to Treat Detergent Allergies
Fortunately, issues arising from detergent allergies are usually easy to treat. Any rashes, hives, or other skin irritation will begin to clear up as soon as your pet is no longer exposed to products which have been washed with that detergent.
Antihistamines or topical hydrocortisone treatments can be effective ways to provide your pet with immediate relief. For chronic irritation, it’s best to contact your vet to develop a more comprehensive treatment plan.
What to Look for When Shopping
Most detergents are made with tons of different chemicals, dyes, and fragrances. Nearly all of the ingredients are capable of causing a reaction in humans as well as pets. When you’re shopping for a dog safe laundry detergent, you’ll want to be sure to avoid these ingredients.
- Petroleum distillates
- Nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE)
Best Dog Safe Laundry Detergents
Seventh Generation has a sterling reputation for producing quality, natural detergents that are a favorite among new mothers, people suffering from allergies, and pet owners alike.
This detergent is comprised of 96% natural ingredients, and it doesn’t contain dyes, fragrances or artificial brighteners. Unlike other detergents which rely on chemicals to clean your clothes, this detergent uses powerful plant-based enzymes to provide a long-lasting clean.
Free & Clear also delivers plenty of bang for your buck, with 53 loads per bottle. For pets that are sensitive to chemical ingredients found in traditional detergents, and not fragrances, there are also several other Seventh Generation detergents with light, natural scents.
- 96% natural ingredients
- No dyes, fragrances or artificial brighteners
- Efficient – 53 loads per 40 oz bottle
- Affordable – costs about $.25 per load
- Contains chemical preservatives which may still cause a skin reaction
- Might not be strong enough for tough pet odors
This detergent from Rockin’ Green is formulated especially for pets and provides a deep clean that dog owners can feel good about.
Most importantly, this detergent is formulated with only natural ingredients, and it doesn’t contain anything that may cause an allergic reaction. Rockin’ Green pet detergent is free of phosphates, optical brighteners, dyes, fragrances, and parabens.
The company also donates 10% of profits to animal rescue and adoption networks, so supporting this product is something you can feel good about.
On the downside, it is a bit expensive. Each package contains enough detergent for 25 loads of laundry, and it costs just under $20 per bag. So, Rockin’ Green pet detergent costs about triple per load compared to some cheaper alternatives. On the other hand, it works wonders for removing odors, and it’ll keep your pets safe and happy.
- Provides a deep, thorough clean
- All natural
- Portion of profits are donated to animal rescues
If you’re looking for a low priced option that you can feel good about washing your pets’ beds and bedding with, Sun & Earth Natural detergent may be a good pick for you.
The ingredients inside are all natural, and this detergent doesn’t contain any dyes, phosphates, fragrances, fillers, or artificial ingredients that can irritate your pet’s skin. It’s even vegan, kosher, and gluten-free.
Perhaps best of all, Sun & Earth makes several different detergent sizes to fit your needs and budget. Their detergent is available in 50, 100 or 128 oz bottles. The 128 oz bottle will allow you to wash 64 loads of laundry for around $20.
- All natural ingredients
- Naturally hypoallergenic
- Doesn’t provide the same level of deep cleaning that some alternatives do
Our Top Pick
These dog safe laundry detergent options are a great way to provide your pets with a deep clean you can feel good about. But, one option stands out above the rest.
Rockin’ Green Pet Bed and Toy Detergent is designed especially for pets, and it does a great job at tackling tough odors. Most importantly, its entirely safe for your pets, and for you as well. We also love that they donate 10% of their profits to animals in need.