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Cruelty-Free Products: Non-Toxic Dog Shampoos & Skincare

Today’s post is not about raw dog food or doggie fitness but about why I use cruelty-free products and cosmetics.

It’s a topic that’s dear to me for ethical and other reasons, and here’s the thing:

I understand that animal testing in the human health department is ultimately beneficial to mankind.

However, I don’t believe that cosmetics & grooming products for either species should be tested on animals. I’ll elaborate on my reasons here in a bit in the section Benefits of Cruelty-Free Products.

For that reason, I’ve become more aware of what I reach for when I fill my physical or virtual shopping cart with beauty and grooming products for myself or my family, including my dogs.

That said, I do my best to make a conscientious effort of supporting ethical brands.

Those brands used to be considerably more expensive than brands that test on animals, but that’s not necessarily the case anymore!

While there’s also higher priced cruelty-free beauty products, there’s starting to be quite a few cruelty-free products that are priced similarly to generic ones.

All that said, here’s what you’ll find in this blog post:

  • Benefits of cruelty-free products
  • How can you identify a cruelty-free product?
  • My favorite cruelty-free dog grooming products
  • Cruelty-free beauty products for women (hair, bath, deodorant, cosmetics)
  • Cruelty-free cleaning products
  • Brands that test on animals
Why I use cruelty-free products for my dogs & myself

Disclaimer: This blog post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated in 2023. It contains affiliate links I may earn compensation through at no additional cost to you. 

Benefits of Cruelty-Free Products

(1) They’re not tested on animals which helps prevent animal abuse

I don’t like the idea of caged animals who have to serve as guinea pigs for lotions and potions, only to ultimately be killed and discarded like trash. That’s why I’m doing my best to avoid products that have been tested on animals.

(2) They’re made with ingredients that aren’t harmful to your or your pet’s skin

The skin is the biggest organ for us humans and for our pets. If we continuously treat it with harmful chemicals, it’s going to suffer and cause internal damage.

That’s particularly true for people AND dogs with sensitive skin.

After all, harsh chemicals can cause inflammation within the body that may result in rashes, breakouts, allergies and possibly even cancer.

That said, chemicals to best avoid are parabens, sulfates, silicones, mineral oil and synthetic dyes.

(3) Cruelty-free products reduce your environmental footprint

Harmful chemicals aren’t just bad for your and your pet’s skin, they’re also bad for the environment once you throw them out. I like the idea of indirectly contributing to a healthier world!

How Can You Identify A Cruelty-Free Product?

Cruelty-free products either feature a leaping bunny on the packaging or say “cruelty-free”.

Good to know: Just because a product claims to be natural or all-natural, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s cruelty-free!

Which brings me to the next section.

Cruelty-Free Shopping App

Before I dive into my personal favorite cruelty-free products, I wanted to share a cool find: the Bunny Free App!

It’s an app provided by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) that lets you search more than 4000 companies and brands in their database. The results show if a company tests or doesn’t test their products on animals.

I like it because it makes it easy to navigate the “natural” marketing jargon that brands like to use quite freely these days.

It also lets you find cruelty-free products in the following categories:

  • Baby care
  • Bathing supply
  • Bathroom care
  • Body care
  • Companion animal care
  • Cosmetics
  • Dental hygiene
  • Fragrance
  • General household care
  • Hair care
  • Kitchen care
  • Laundry care
  • Nail care
  • Office supplies
  • Personal care
  • Shaving supply
  • Skin care
  • Sun care
  • Vitamins and supplements

Brands that do test on animals are marked with an exclamation point in a black triangle shape.

Brands that don’t test on animals have the happy bunny symbol on their left.

My Favorite Cruelty-Free Dog Grooming Products

We’ve been using dog shampoos and natural insect repellents from Dr. Harvey’s and Anicura since 2015, ever since Missy was diagnosed with/kicked cancer’s nasty butt.

After her cancer diagnosis, I’ve become more aware of the ingredients in a large variety of products, including her dog food. It was actually one of the reasons why I switched her and her brother from kibble to raw dog food, but that’s just a side note.

The shampoos by Dr. Harvey’s and Anicura at not only cruelty-free products, they also come with the positive side effect of no harsh chemicals. That means no inflammation within the body and no allergies.

Cruelty-Free Beauty Products For Women

I’ve also started replacing my beauty products with those that are against animal testing and more gentle on my skin.

Back in 2017, I used the following…

Cruelty-free hair products: 

I’ve since then added the following cruelty-free hair products to my life:

Cruelty-free bath products & cruelty-free deodorant:

Cruelty-free cosmetics:

Update 2023: Unfortunately, Kelp Dog went out of business. I loved their lip balm AND their kelp.

Paula's Choice Omega+ Moisturizer is cruelty free
Paula’s Choice Omega+ Moisturizer

Cruelty-free cleaning products:

Brands That Test On Animals

I was also going to mention several beauty and skincare products of the following brands, but I learned that they expanded their market to China where animal testing is the law.

Consequently, they DO test their products on animals:

  • OGX. I used their body washes, shampoos & conditioners.
  • Burt’s Bees. I used their Firming Day Lotion & tinted lip balm.
  • La Roche-Posay. I used their face wash, eczema cream, night moisturizer, sunscreen and mascara.
  • Neutrogena. I used their Hydro Boost Face Moisturizer.
  • Clinique. I’ve used some of their lotions and fragrances before.
  • göt2b. I’ve used some of their hair styling products before.
  • Laneige. I’ve used their eye gel.
  • Mary Kay. I’ve used several of their makeup products.
  • Schwarzkopf. I’ve used several of their shampoos and conditioners.

I will use up the leftover products I have from these brands, but no longer purchase from them.

Cruelty-Free Products & Cosmetics: Bottom Line

Missy’s cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery back in 2015 prompted me to make several lifestyle changes, both for the pups and for myself. 

I’ve become more aware of harmful ingredients that I now avoid.

I’m also no longer blinded by shiny packaging and top dollar marketing of generic grooming & beauty products from brands that feel the need to test on animals. 

Do you have any favorite cruelty-free grooming and/or beauty products? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!

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Comments

6 responses to “Cruelty-Free Products: Non-Toxic Dog Shampoos & Skincare”

  1. Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets Avatar
    Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets

    I see some familiar products there! I love the Alba moisturizer. I use lotion from Nature’s Gate, but their shampoo doesn’t agree too well with my hair. Thanks for the heads up on Burt’s Bees – I did not know that, and I also have some of their products, but now I won’t buy anymore. I love that so many cruelty free products are all natural too. I find some nice things locally too. There is a soy candle shop where we go Christmas shopping that also has some lip balm, and I always stock up when I’m there!

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      So cool to read that you use some of these as well! I also really love the Alba moisturizer – I had been looking for a cruelty-free alternative for Nivea Soft for my face, and finally found it. What kind of shampoo do you use if you don’t mind my asking? I haven’t tried Nature’s Gate lotion yet.

      Yes, I was really bummed out about Burt’s Bees. Now I need to find an alternative for their tinted lip balm. I would love to have local shops that make their own skin & animal friendly products. So far I haven’t found any though.

      1. Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets Avatar
        Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets

        I saw an article somewhere on cruelty free products, and it mentioned Renpure shampoos. I was able to find them on amazon, and really like them. They’re natural too and have some very nice scents.

        1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

          Thanks for mentioning that brand, Jan! I’ll be sure to check them out.

          1. Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets Avatar
            Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets

            Hi Barbara! I wanted to tell you about a new product I found. I’ve always been on the hunt for razors made by a cruelty free company. Your post inspired me to look again and I found some! If you’re interested, their website is preserveproducts.com, and I found the razors on amazon. You’ve inspired me to do a cruelty free post too, I haven’t done one since I first started blogging. I’d like to link back to this post as my inspiration too, if that’s OK with you. 😉

          2. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

            Hi Jan, oh wow and thanks so much for sharing that brand with me, you rock!! I love their recycled products and – what do you know! – am in need of a new razor. I definitely haven’t added razors from a cruelty free brand to my bathroom goodies yet. I’ll be sure to get their Triple Razor System in pink 😉 Oh, and I love that they’re available on Amazon, too!! I’m a Prime addict.

            I’m super stoked that you’ll be doing a cruelty free post, would be so cool if many more pet bloggers did this! Link away & thank you 🙂

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