SLEEPY UNIVERSITY

Benefits of Lavender

Author Bri LaFluer / Sleepy Cotton Content Writer / Mar-09-2020

Benefits of Lavender: Body & Mind Healing

When you hear of the lavender plant, what do you think of? The aromatic, powerful purple blooms? The healing qualities for body pains and wounds? Or the aromatherapy advantages of calmness and relaxation? The lavender herb is greatly admired for each of these restorative qualities.

Let's dig into how lavender brings its healthful qualities through its oil and scent. We have seen the benefits of lavender bring positive aid in both humans and dogs in daily life! We are going to explore how this herb can affect us all positively through our body and mind from ancient times to the present.

Key Points
  • Lavender is cherished for its healthful benefits with its calming abilities that restore the body and mind.
  • When applied topically, lavender can reduce minor pains, calm inflamed skin irritations, and prevent bad bacteria from entering the body the natural way.
  • Aromatherapy of lavender acts as an effective daily solution to help with anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, allergies, and nausea.
  • Does your furry friend experience anxiety, stress, or especially high hyper levels during certain situations? To solve this, lavender can calm their mind safely and naturally.

Let's bloom into the benefits of lavender. This holistic oil has more uses than you may think.

Flowering Perennial & Healthful Herb

Lavender, known as the genus Lavandula, is a species of the mint family. This well-known herb is grown in many gardens for its beautiful vibrant purple flowers as well as the healthy attributes it gives. The benefits of lavender are also recognized by its sweet-scented fragrance that is known to bring calming effects. This flowering herb grows about 40-60 centimeters tall, composed of multiple florets towards the top. The meanings associated with lavender include serenity, silence, calmness, and purity, as its ties are close to the soul.

Benefits of Lavender

The Lavender plants known as Lavandula angustifolia, are widely cultivated for their distilled oils. Because it is a multipurpose oil, lavender is medicinal and therapeutic. The versatile oil has the key ability to promote calmness and relaxation in aromatherapy, making it a popular choice! Its additional healthful benefits include anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It also includes antispasmodic, detoxifying, hypotensive, analgesic (pain-relieving), and sedative effects.

The lavender flower and the oil derived from it also has long histories in herbal medicine as recognized by Joe Bowman of Healthline. In several regions including Persia, ancient Greece, and Rome, these cultures believed lavender helped purify the body and mind.

Body Healing

Lavender is excellent in aiding to body aches, pains, and minor wounds. It is a great go-to oil to encourage natural alleviating remedies. When applied to the temples, lavender oil is said to soothe headaches, migraines and motion sickness. Similarly, it can be rubbed onto areas of the body for sore muscle relief.

Throughout history, ancient Romans included lavender as a bath additive for its characteristics of not only being relaxing, but providing as an antiseptic as well. With its germ-fighting properties, lavender is good for mild burns and wounds, helping to keep infection away and reduce inflammation to promote healing.

Mind Calming

It can be exhausting to live with certain daily stresses, anxiety, and depression. By introducing lavender, you can experience the positive effects it has on mood. The delightful, lasting fragrance helps to balance brain waves and emotions while improving state of mind. This calming effect also lessens the uncomfortable feeling of nausea.

Insomnia

Do you find yourself having trouble sleeping? Lavender is a frequent go-to choice as an aid to sleep and relaxation. Begin your good night's sleep by applying lavender to your pillow or breathing the oil in through a diffuser, giving your mind the ability to decompress. Studies have demonstrated that sleep cycles are increased with slow-wave sleep. Breathing it in while sleeping encourages slowing heartbeat while relaxing muscles.

Skin

Many skin and hair care products include harsh ingredients including sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and preservatives such as parabens. When you choose lavender oil for skin and hair, you open up more possibilities of natural products that don't utilize harmful chemicals. To help purify the skin, lavender is a popular ingredient in fine cosmetics. It reduces irritations such as eczema, acne, sunburn, and it even relieves itching from insect bites + stings.

Hair

Some studies have suggested that lavender reverses hair loss conditions, even for people with alopecia. Results have shown to increase hair follicles and a thicker dermal layer when topically applied over time. Additionally, lavender eliminates lice and dandruff when rubbed into the scalp. This is because of its antimicrobial qualities, preventing bacteria and fungi from growing as well.

Benefits of Lavender for Dogs

With many essential oils to choose from, it can be questionable which can truly benefit dogs. It's also important to make sure they are safe for their skin and lungs to breathe in. As a matter of fact, lavender is a safe and favorable oil to improve dogs' health.

This herb works in similar ways for dogs as it does for humans in healing both the mind and body. The therapeutic calming scents of the lavender flower help to promote relaxation for dogs as well, while its physical soothing effects reduce skin irritations and itchiness.

Anxiety

One of the most stressful factors for dogs can be experiences of the unknown and unexpected. It is necessary to help soothe their worried thoughts any way you can. An easy, quick way to solve this is by utilizing aromatherapy of lavender as it affects the central nervous system.

This is a common solution to ease the tension dogs may get when guests are over, being in the car, at the vet, at the groomer, during thunderstorms, or if they get separation anxiety. Because lavender works to suppress the nerves when it is inhaled, it shows improvement with situations like this, along with insomnia in dogs.

Skin

When applied on your dog, the components of lavender calm the skin as well. It targets irritations and soothes them effectively with its anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. It can rejuvenate the skin by helping itchiness in skin and paws, reducing hot spots and inflammation, giving effective relief.

Repel Insects

Ward off unwelcome pests with lavender oil! Although it may not be able to kill bugs, it does surprisingly well for repelling them away from biting dogs. Adventure with your furry companion worry-free from fleas and ticks by applying lavender oil to you and your dog. If your dog does have an insect bite, lavender can still provide relief from itching, inflammation, and stinging pain.

Pain & Arthritis

Did you know? All dogs have hypersensitive skin. This is because dog’s skin is only 3 to 5 cells thick, whereas a humans is between 10 to 15 cells thick being much more resilient. Because of their fewer skin layers, dogs will absorb whatever is on their skin at a faster speed than we can. Unknown or harsh ingredients can enter through the skin and lungs causing further harm.

A natural approach to minimizing pain in dogs can be with lavender. Even for dogs who have arthritis and joint pains, lavender oil can help to ease the pain as it is absorbed through the skin. The analgesic (pain-relieving) and anti-inflammatory properties this oil gives help dogs to move better and easier without strained difficulty.

Fur

Throughout your dog's coat, there may be unseen foreign bacteria and allergens such as mold, pollen, grass, and dirt. They may require a well-rounded cleansing to deter their pores from becoming clogged. This can also lessen allergy symptoms in the air that may irritate you, too! While lavender is a fantastic anti-viral oil, it is also effective for removing odors. Its antibacterial properties break down odor-causing bacteria and germs that lie within dogs' layers of fur.

Calm Your Furry Companion with Lavender

Calming Balm

With therapeutic grade essential oil, our Lavender Balm is specifically developed to calm and relax your furry friend the natural way. Natural scents of the lavender flower reduce anxiety and stress in dogs without the use of harsh chemicals.

  • Calm & relax your dog the natural way
  • Help prevent dog from developing anxiety
  • Ease the tension - Before, during, and after unpleasant experiences
  • All-day protection for dry skin

Shampoo & Face Wash

Bathing your furry friend can be stressful and exhausting. But bath time should be a relaxing and bonding experience for you and your pup, and it can be. Our Calming Lavender 2 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner along with our Lavender Face Wash are both positive approaches to putting your dog's worrisome thoughts at ease.

  • Reduce tension during bath time
  • Relaxing spa-like experience with natural aromas and nourishing ingredients
  • Moisturize dry skin and soothe skin irritations

Looking Forward with the Benefits of Lavender

Now that you know the many benefits of lavender, you're probably excited to start including it in your lifestyle. With its variety of body and mind restoring characteristics, who wouldn't want to utilize this herb? You will find overall relaxation by reducing body pains, improving sleep cycles, and feeling peace of mind from lavender's qualities.

Likewise, introduce lavender to your furry friend’s care routine! You can enjoy the benefits of lavender anytime you'd like for you and your dog! Be sure to use it before any stressful situations for them especially. By applying it topically, they can breathe in the calming, natural scent while absorbing its restorative qualities on the skin and fur. The benefits of lavender give bath time and daily life a whole new vibe of enjoyment!

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Can You Use Human Shampoo on Dogs

Author Bri LaFluer / Sleepy Cotton Content Writer / Feb-15-2020

Can You Use Human Shampoo on Dogs ?

It's bath time with your dog once again! This might be a dreaded time for both of you, while some dogs see it as a relaxing spa experience. Then there are the fun unintended bath times when your fur baby decides to roll in mud, or rub in the grass... so undoubtedly you want them to be clean and smelling amazing.

However, you may want to rethink grabbing for any kind of human shampoo you have at home by the tub. There are countless bottles of nourishing, moisturizing, and fragrant shampoos. The question is, can you use human shampoo on dogs? The answer is no. This is because dogs have hypersensitive skin that needs to be pH balanced with healthy ingredients.

Key Points
  • Human shampoo is not formulated for dog’s sensitive skin as the ingredients work to clean our resilient skin.
  • All dogs have different pH numbers based on their breed, gender, size, and environment.
  • Dog shampoos are formulated to stay within the safe pH range to avoid irritations.
  • Shopping for a shampoo that has all-natural ingredients is the safest choice for furry friends.

Let’s see how dog’s skin can truly be affected! Can you use human shampoo on dogs?

Can You Use Human Shampoo on Dogs?

The most important thing to understand is how every dog has sensitive skin. All areas of dog’s skin are much more delicate than humans altogether. This is because dogs’ skin is only three to five cells thick, where as a humans’ is between 10 to 15 cells thick being much more resilient. Can you use human shampoo on dogs? The answer is no. Human shampoo has drastically stronger ingredients to be able to clean our skin better. Using it on a dog would be too harsh and could cause damage to their fragile outer layers. This can lead to infections, irritation and inflammation. The pH number of dogs differs greatly from humans, so products could never keep them both balanced.

Maintain Your Dog’s Healthy Skin + Fur

To keep your furry friend’s coat shiny and healthy, you'll want to maintain their skin underneath as well as their coat on the outside. General brushing and grooming spreads the skin’s natural protective oils across its surface. These oils are necessary to keep skin moisturized, while helping to deter bad bacteria and unwelcome parasites. Brushing, combing, and massaging will also increase circulation and blood flow.

Additionally, regular bathing keeps your dog’s coat and skin healthy, reduces allergies, and decreases the chance of infection. Even when giving your dog water baths, if they need it instead of shampooing, it will make an improvement to their skin conditions. Typically, it is best to wash your dog with shampoo around once every month. All of these fundamentals will help you to maintain your dog’s lush skin!

The Science of Dog’s pH

Having a better understanding of the science behind dog’s skin will help you know more of what to look out for. It's not as complex as it may seem. pH is the measurement of alkalinity or acidity on a scale of 0 - 14. 7 is the basic neutral number. The numbers greater than 7 are more alkaline, while the numbers less than 7 are acidic.

All dog’s pH numbers will not be the same. They are normally in a range of 5.5 to 7.5, but some breeds are even higher with studies showing up to 9.1. This means that canine skin is more alkaline. In comparison, humans pH number ranges from 4.0 to 6.5, being slightly acidic.

There is actually a wide range of acceptable numbers that dog’s skin can be at to be seen as healthy. This all depends on their breed, gender, size, and climate conditions. pH can vary for your pet depending on many factors day to day. Keep a close eye on their skin conditions frequently to see if you notice any changes.

There is no perfect number for dog’s skin pH to be at. As a result, not all dog shampoos have the same pH number. A good pet shampoo should be in the neutral pH range of 7, which will prevent skin drying out and becoming itchy.

Harsh Ingredients

The added ingredients in human shampoo are made for our thicker skin, meaning they are much too harsh for dogs.Their thinner skin layers will absorb ingredients even faster than us, which could result in these chemicals ending up in their bloodstream. Other symptoms of harm include irritations of hot spots, itching, inflammation, redness, and dandruff.

Some harsh ingredients that continue to be added in products today are even too harsh for humans as well. Make sure you avoid lousy ingredients including parabens, SLS/SLES, phthalates, formaldehyde, mineral oils, and artificial colors/dyes.

Sleepy Cotton's All Natural Choice

All Sleepy Cotton Spa / Bath products are made with natural preservatives and naturally derived ingredients that benefit your dog’s skin, coat, and overall health.

With our specialized formula, our ultra gentle products keep dog’s pH balanced for their fragile skin. We include ingredients packed with powerful qualities such as coconut, aloe vera, oatmeal, and vitamin B to help encourage strong hydrated skin and fur!

By proudly providing a full ingredient list, we keep things simple and honest. All our Spa / Bath products are made in the USA with 100% US made ingredients. Absolutely no harsh chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, dyes, synthetic fragrances, SLS or SLES.

Giving Your Pets What's Best

Looking back, the answer to the question "can you use human shampoo on dogs?", is simply, no. Human shampoo brands are not formulated for dog’s fragile skin and it will imbalance their pH number. A healthy pH number is what helps skin stay strong and not irritated or inflamed.

Most supermarket brands are made of harsh chemicals such as parabens, SLS/SLES, phthalates, formaldehyde, mineral oils, and artificial colors/dyes. Keep away from these in both you and your dog’s products!

So, what can I wash my dog with? The answer is simple. Find an honest brand providing clear information. Most honest companies will proudly list all the ingredients. This is something that not all companies will do to keep using inexpensive and harmful chemicals. Knowing these facts are all essential in making a healthy and beneficial choice for your furry friend!

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Bath time for you and your furry friend can be a dreadful time for both of you, or a fun bonding spa experience! But how often should you bathe your dog?

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What is SLS? This chemical ingredient helps clean well, but is it too harsh for us? Humans and dogs can both become easily affected by this skin irritant.

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How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog

Author Bri LaFluer / Sleepy Cotton Content Writer / Feb-15-2020

How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

Wondering how often should you bathe your dog can bring upon many other questions. Does the breed matter? Does their coat matter? What kind of shampoo should I use? Each of these things matter when bathing to keep a healthy pH level. For dogs of any age, it all depends on their type of breed, condition of their skin, length and texture of their coat, and mainly their lifestyle.

Dogs with these different characteristics combined could require more grooming to get them fully nourished and clean. With the right products and knowledge, you will give your dog a wholesome spa experience.

Key Points
  • Bathing a healthy dog approximately once a month keeps skin and fur maintained while deterring build up of allergens, dirt, grease, and odor!
  • Soap-free water baths are ideal for dogs who play around outdoors often, as well as pets with extra sensitive skin and allergies.
  • Young puppies benefit from not being bathed! In fact, it helps their skin to become resistant to foreign bacteria as they grow up.
  • When it’s time for a bath, choose a trustworthy shampoo that includes only natural ingredients that will avoid irritating your dog’s sensitive skin.

Shall we dig a little deeper? All things considered, let’s really find out how often should you bathe your dog.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

In general, healthy dogs only need to be bathed if they develop a smell over a long period of time. Typically, most dog owners will bathe their dog about once a month to keep cleanliness. It's important to bathe them when they become greasy or dirty so that the dirt can't clog their pores. This could lead to irritations and infections.

Benefits of Bathing Your Dog

When bathing your dog, it is a great opportunity for you to be aware of any lumps and bumps on them. As dogs age, these may develop which can be perfectly normal. But sometimes they can be in need of further checking by a veterinarian. Checking their body over will also cover your bases of finding any unknown wounds, along with pests such as ticks and fleas. When their hair is wet, their skin will be easier to see.

Regular grooming includes brushing and combing to distribute natural oils and remove shedding hair. Natural oils produced by their skin promote hair growth and keeps their skin from becoming dry. Changing of the seasons can cause more hair loss than usual, so you may notice changes from different temperatures. Brushing also helps to keep areas clean that your dog may not be able to reach, which will make them feel relieved!

Young Puppies

Puppies are prone to being extra playful and clumsy at such a young age. They will undoubtedly need a bath sooner than later. It is safe to wash them during the beginning stages of puppy-hood, but it’s best that it is not often. Their skin will be extra fragile as it is still developing, so choosing an extremely gentle all-natural shampoo will be the best approach to keep their skin strong.

Under your pup’s fur is where friendly bacteria aids in keeping their skin at the correct level of acidity. Shampoo may shift the healthy balance they have, making their resistance to skin problems and infections lower. In fact, not bathing puppies at all at their young age will not harm them in any way. Try to spot clean them without wetting their entire body if needed.

Homebody Dogs: Indoors

Dogs who stay indoors more often that outdoors will most likely need bathing much less often. Keeping with a bathing routine around once a month is good for healthy cleansing. This is because they can still come in contact with allergens, dirt, and bad bacteria that should be washed off once in a while. The build up of these can create potential irritation to their skin and clog their pores over time. Built up allergens within their fur such as mold, dust, and pollen can irritate you as well.

Adventurous Dogs: Outdoors

Does your furry companion love to explore the great outdoors? Dogs who like to be outdoors are definitely more susceptible to becoming dirtier quicker than dogs who stay inside. Rolling in mud, digging holes, and swimming are quick ways to need a bath sooner than needed!

A natural soap-free water bath option is best if you need to (or want to) bathe your dog more often. These alternatives include baking soda, oatmeal, dog wipes, and waterless shampoos as recommended by Amy Brantley from Daily Puppy. These healthy approaches will even help get rid of any odors on your dog as well. Additionally, these are ideal options for pets with sore skin or allergies. Utilize this option for a gentle, easy and quick way to get your pup clean efficiently.

Coat Type

Based on your dog’s coat, their fur characteristics will also factor in to if you should bathe them more often. Keeping regular grooming habits can keep your house from becoming a fur ball!

Smooth Single Coat:

This coat is not thick and it typically does not need much upkeep. Breeds who have tighter skin such as chihuahuas, boston terriers, and shih tzus have this type of coat. They shed throughout the year gradually making it less noticeable. It’s best to bathe them less often since they could benefit from additional protection of their natural oils on their skin.

Heavy Double Coat:

This coat has many layers that commonly shed often. Breeds who have looser skin such as huskies, german shepherds, welsh and pembroke corgis have this type of coat. Dogs with thicker undercoats need more attention during grooming including brushing along with deshedding shampoos and conditioners. You may also notice an increase of their shedding during the changing of seasons. It is beneficial for them to be bathed somewhat more often to get rid of anything that is trapped within their coat.

Curly and Wavy Coats:

This coat actually sheds less than others. Poodles, goldendoodles, and Portuguese water dogs have these adorable coils and waves. They do typically require more grooming attention in regards to their length. Their hair can become easily matted if left not brushed for a period of time. These dog’s benefit from shampoos and conditioners that can deeply condition their hair regularly to avoid constant tangling.

It is essential to know the basic needs for the characteristics of your dog’s coat. This will help you figure out the best ways to keep their skin and fur in top shape.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog: Facial Area

Keeping our furry friends faces clean can prevent dirt and bacterias from entering their system. Gently formulated face wash products allow proper care to their extra sensitive facial area. Special formulas such as Sleepy Cotton’s Gentle Face Wash is also developed to help reduce and prevent eye infections and eye boogers.

Depending on your dog's breed and lifestyle, their face should be washed around twice a month. However, some dogs actually need facial washing up to once a week. This is because some dogs are easily susceptible to eye boogers or facial infections.

Goldendoodles:

Goldendoodles require regular face washing around once a week. Because of their longer, thicker hair, it is easy for it to become matted and tangled. Moisturizing ingredients can help loosen them as you rub and twist the fur. Everyday while they sniff around, dirt can get trapped within their long chin fur as well as food while they eat.

Chihuahuas:

Chihuahuas do not need facial washing as often as other breeds. Since they have very short fur on their face, it won’t become matted and it is less likely for dirt and food to get trapped. Washing their face up to twice a month is perfect to maintain their skin conditions.

Consulting a Professional

Groomer

Taking your pet to a groomer might be a better approach if you don't have the tools or time to maintain their coat. Groomers are knowledgeable of all kinds of dog breeds and how to handle their specific coats. If your dog has a lot of thick and long hair, grooming can be a challenging task. Hair that gets matted easily is difficult to untangle, and there are times when it needs to be cut out of their fur. Your local groomer will have the tools necessary to safely remove mats painlessly.

Groomers tactics can make the entire experience easier on dogs who don’t particularly like the process of brushing, washing, and drying. They usually help the process to go faster than it may be at home struggling with your dog.

Veterinarian

If your dog has or may have a skin condition, it's important to consult your veterinarian before you decide on how often you should bathe them. Certain medical circumstances may need more attention with regular bathing to aid their skin health. There are dogs that produce much more dandruff and have bad bacteria we can't see that is essential to reduce.

Other dogs even benefit from not being washed at all to have maximum comfort. Many shampoos in pet stores can be too harsh for dogs with skin conditions. They could actually strip away at the layers that are helping them. Your vet can provide you with milder shampoo options to soothe your pets skin.

Finding Products that Benefit Your Dog

Although it may be convenient to reach for your human shampoo, this could pose as a health risk for your dogs skin. All areas of dog’s skin are much more delicate than humans altogether. This is because dogs’ skin is only three to five cells thick, where as a humans’ is between 10 to 15 cells thick being much more resilient.

It's always best to use a dog safe shampoo with healthy ingredients such as aloe vera, and coconut oil. Even the fragrance matters! Choose pleasant natural scents such as lavender, cedar wood, chamomile, and rosemary that also help nourish skin. Oatmeal shampoo is a popular choice for washing your dog. Avoid harsh chemicals and artificial ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, dyes, synthetic fragrances, SLS or SLES, and mineral oils which could all potentially irritate your dog.

With all of the choices out there, choosing a shampoo can be overwhelming, but it's best to look for products with less ingredients. Less is more for dogs.

Sleepy Cotton’s Natural Choice for All Dogs

Sleepy Cotton prioritizes healthy ingredients and benefits for your dog giving you shampoo you can trust. All our products are made in the USA with 100% USA made ingredients without any harmful chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, dyes, synthetic fragrances, SLS or SLES.

Everything is all natural with us! We focus on the importance of Earth-friendly sustainability while keeping all dogs best health at heart including only high quality natural ingredients. Our formulas are pH balanced for dogs, protecting all kinds of breeds with their coat type and skin conditions.

Closing Thoughts on How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog

The answer to “how often should you bathe your dog” does vary depending on many factors. Always take into consideration their age, lifestyle habits, coat texture and length, and their breed. With this knowledge and the correct products, you and your furry companion will both be relieved to have an easy-going experience!

Whether they’re a combination of different characteristics, it’s always a good rule of thumb to bathe them on a regular routine of around once a month or when they start to smell after a while. It will prevent a build up of dirt and grease that will clog their pores leading to skin infections and irritations.

Related Articles

Choosing a shampoo for your dog can be hard. Can you use human shampoo on dogs? Learn about how it can affect their overall health. Your dog will thank you!

Is coconut oil good for dogs? Learn healthy ways of giving coconut oil to your dog as a daily yummy treat and as a soothing skin remedy!

Curious to know is oatmeal good for dogs? Oats are a popular ingredient for dog products, learn how they truly benefit from it through food and grooming!

What is SLS? This chemical ingredient helps clean well, but is it too harsh for us? Humans and dogs can both become easily affected by this skin irritant.

Visit SLEEPY UNIVERSITY


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Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs

Author Bri LaFluer / Sleepy Cotton Content Writer / Feb-15-2020

Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs?

Coconut oil is a well-known superfood, providing loads of health benefits for humans. Is coconut oil good for dogs as well? The answer is yes! This tropical oil is packed with powerful benefits for both humans and dogs.

Coconut oil is shown to improve digestion by elevating metabolism, help to prevent infection, help heal irritated skin conditions, and much more. It is favored as a daily ingredient in skin and hair care routines, as well as in food for meal time!

Key Points
  • Coconut oil is a type of fat that provides the nutritiously healing qualities.
  • The components of coconut oil help to heal a variety of skin conditions including dry skin, hot spots, abrasions and cracked paws.
  • This tropical oil has also shown to fight off bacteria, viruses, and fungi with its antimicrobial effects.
  • Apply coconut oil to calm skin irritations and soothe allergies.

Now let's get down to the core! Is coconut oil good for dogs? Discover how you can healthily incorporate coconut oil in your dog’s diet and care routine.

What is Coconut Oil?

This fruitful oil is extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts that are harvested from coconut palm trees. About 84% of coconut oil's calories come from saturated fat, which is actually mostly made up of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT's). Longer-chain fats that are in liquid vegetable oils, dairy, and fatty meats are handled by the body differently. MCT's are made up of shorter chains, allowing the body to rapidly break them down and absorb them better. This is why coconut oil's benefits come from the type of fats providing improved digestion, immune system support, metabolic function, and thyroid health.

The Benefits of Coconut Oil - General

Diet

Coconut oil is a hearty-healthy addition to diets. The MCTs make up a large percentage of coconut oil, boosting good cholesterol levels, stopping heart disease and high blood pressure, even fighting against alzheimer’s disease. It has also suggested to be a viable diabetes treatment improving glucose tolerance. For others, coconut oil is favored as a healthy, natural approach to weight loss and boosting energy. These MCT’s go straight to the liver, enabling it to have these qualities. Include it in your daily diet in moderation to improve your overall digestion and energy!

Skin

Applying coconut extract to skin may enhance a protective barrier while having an anti-inflammatory effect. Coconut oil can improve minor wounds and burns, psoriasis, contact dermatitis along with eczema by increasing antioxidants and decreasing oxidative stress. The lauric acid within it is the main antimicrobial component that helps to protect against harmful microorganisms as well. This includes acne, cellulitis, folliculitis and athlete's foot caused by bacteria or fungi. Additionally, coconut oil is extremely hydrating and moisturizing since it is full of vitamin E. Keeping skin hydrated is essential for deterring bacteria from entering through your skin.

Hair

Coconut oil is perfect for maintaining a healthy hair regimen. Its lauric acid is easily absorbed into hair because of its chemical structure, and it restores strands with giving protein. Studies have shown that compared to other oils, coconut oil was the most successful in protecting and moisturizing hair shafts overall. Other possible benefits of applying coconut oil have shown to prevent lice, block out sun damage, treat dandruff, and reduce hair loss.

Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs?

Topical Benefits:
Skin

Coconut oil has shown to improve overall skin and coat conditions for dogs. It nourishes dry skin and reduces itching. It is "healing for irritated skin, hot spots, abrasions and cracked paws" as recognized by Marybeth Bittel on Dogster. The main components in coconut oil have shown to fight off bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Its antimicrobial effects aid both the inside and outside of the body. This component even helps with disinfecting minor cuts and wounds in dogs as well. While restoring skin's protective barrier, many dog parents have noticed coconut oil even treats eczema and allergies for their dogs.

Topical Benefits:
Coat

The main fatty acid in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is what easily penetrates hair shafts. This is what minimizes protein loss, allowing for stronger hair health. The nutrients restore shine in dull coats, and keeps fur soft and tangle-free. With its protection, you can also worry less about sun damage as it can deter this as well!

Applying it on your dog can even help prevent your dog from becoming infected by ticks, fleas, and mites. Other prevention methods work to kill pests once they bite your dog, but coconut oil can repel bugs from their coat.

Put a little bit on your fingers and massage through your dogs fur; it will not make them greasy since their hair will absorb the benefits over time. Coconut oil will also minimize doggy odor, and the scent of the oil is not overwhelming.

Diet Benefits:

The nutrients of coconut oil can improve dog’s digestion, reduce inflammation in the gut, heal IBS and colitis, encourage weight loss, and boost their immunity. Lauric acid and caprylic acid within it contribute as antivirals, helping to fight off bad bacteria entering the body. Coconut oil can further improve your dog’s gut health based on a research study. It showed that the oil helped in stopping yeast growth in the gut, which can additionally improve the conditions of allergies. The components of the oil also regulates and balances insulin, proving to control diabetes in dogs.

A dog’s body can easily metabolize the medium-chain fatty acids that make up coconut oil. With it, they are able to absorb nutrients better rather than storing them. Adding coconut oil in your dog’s diet can balance the thyroid and help with weight loss. They can experience a boost of energy and overall stamina! As your dog ages, they might be especially in need of more energy. Coconut oil can also improve cognitive function in dogs by providing ketones to the brain. This promotes positive energy along with good brain function to even prevent dementia.

How to Include Coconut Oil in your Dog's Diet

Your dog can benefit from the qualities of coconut oil through ingesting it in appropriate amounts and applying it topically to their skin and coat. Some even use it for brushing their pets teeth to maintain whiteness and deter bad breath. The best recommended options include organic, virgin, and cold-pressed coconut oil. These will be the healthiest choices to give to your pet.

Because of its higher calorie and fat content, you will want to give it to your dog in moderation. It is important to watch for any weight gain. A good rule is around 1 tbsp for every 30 pounds, and 1tsp for every 10 pounds generally given about 1-2 times daily. Start slow with adding it into your dogs diet. This way, they will not end up with an upset stomach and diarrhea.

Most dogs will like to lick coconut oil right off the spoon! All brands and types of coconut oil will have a different smell and taste. Some will be buttery, and others are more nutty. Your dog may take a liking to a certain kind better. Try experimenting with a few to see which one your dog loves! You can also find many recipes of baking coconut oil into treats for your pet. Many will add in other nutritious ingredients such as pumpkin and peanut butter.

Alternatives

There are many beneficial ingredients that you can incorporate into your dogs regular diet. Some pets need extra nutrition that they may not be getting with their normal food. If your dog is picky or allergic to coconut oil, there are other healthy oils you can give them.

Some people will give their dog other oils such as cold water fish oil such as salmon oil, krill oil, and flaxseed oil. These, each can provide a variety of healthful values for pets similar to coconut oil. They are also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which can help reduce inflammation, strengthen their immune system, increase the ability to fight cancer, and benefit their heart health.

Sleepy Cotton + Coconut Oil

Our melting balms exclusively utilize the healthful benefits of coconut oil. coconut oil adds a protective layer over furry friend’s skin and coat, fighting off bacteria, viruses, and fungi with its antimicrobial effects.

Also, its make-up of lauric acid which helps create a soft coat, protect against the sun, and moisturize skin. This makes our melting balms serve as a perfect daily routine to maintain healthy skin and fur.

Sleepy Cotton prioritizes healthy ingredients and benefits for your dog, giving you shampoo and face wash products that you can trust. All our products are made in the USA with 100% USA made ingredients without any harmful chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, dyes, synthetic fragrances, SLS or SLES.

Thoughts: Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs

After everything we’ve learned, can we prove is coconut oil good for dogs? You know it! Coconut oil has shown to provide great nutritional value to humans and dogs skin and diet health. This tropical oil can improve digestion, and energy as a daily treat. It can fight off bacteria, viruses, and fungi with its antimicrobial effects. And don’t forget, coconut oil helps to heal a variety of skin conditions including dry skin, hot spots, abrasions and cracked paws.

Make giving it to your furry friend a fun and exciting treat time. Discover what ways will get their tail wagging whether the coconut oil is mixed into their food at mealtimes, baked or frozen for a yummy long-lasting treat, or licked right from the spoon!

If you also decide to use only coconut oil itself as a leave in conditioner, you will not need to worry about them licking their coat either since they can eat it. Get ready for a touchably soft coat and moisturized skin.

With coconut oil, your dog is sure to be in for a delicious and beneficial reward to make them happy.

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Is Oatmeal Good for Dogs

Author Bri LaFluer / Sleepy Cotton Content Writer / Feb-15-2020

Is Oatmeal Good for Dogs

Oatmeal is filled with nutrients, antioxidants, and minerals which help support a well-balanced diet. Humans tend to love this classic breakfast food, but is oatmeal good for dogs too? The answer is yes! The powerful qualities of oats have shown to increase production of red blood cells, regulate digestion, and lower cholesterol levels.

In fact, many dog food manufacturers use oatmeal as a key ingredient in their products in addition to its high protein count, vitamins, and fiber.

Oatmeal is also an extremely popular choice for many dog parents as a shampoo, conditioner, and a leave-in product. This is because the oats will allow the skin to improve by moisturizing and calming irritations.

Key Points
  • Oats prove to be a favorable food. It is low in fats and its natural healthy qualities benefit us and our furry friends!
  • Being high in nutrients, its vitamins and minerals increase healing powers which help clear skin conditions.
  • It has shown to soothe itching and irritations, even reducing skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis.
  • The anti-inflammatory properties of oatmeal help to control hot spots.
  • Biotin is a vitamin B in oatmeal that helps to support healthy skin and hair for dogs.

Now, let’s really dive deep into this topic. Is oatmeal good for dogs?

The Benefits of Oatmeal

Diet: Oats are a hearty cereal grain containing tons of vitamin A, vitamin B-6, iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Additionally, they are full of linoleic acid which is a type of omega-6 fatty acid that helps keep skin strong and healthy. Oatmeal helps to reduce blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, boost immunity, and provide antioxidants. It is also known to regulate gastrointestinal problems because they are a good source of soluble fiber. This gives the ability to lower cholesterol levels and help regulate blood glucose levels.

Skin and Hair: Oatmeal is a perfect solution to fixing dry and itchy skin as well as your scalp. It can improve acne, remove dead skin cells, and unclog pores while serving as an anti-inflammatory agent. Because of the starchiness in oats, they create a barrier that allows the skin to hold its moisture. This encourages hair growth through a healthy base. Because oatmeal is full of vitamin B, it brings strength and shine to hair. Oatmeal helps to make hair length more elastic, which prevents damage from snapping. The polysaccharides within it also allows hair to become soft and tangle-free.

Is Oatmeal Good for Dogs?

Topical Benefits:
Skin

The healing essences of oats allows your dogs' skin to heal better. Being high in nutrients, its vitamins and minerals increase healing powers which help clear skin conditions. Oatmeal has the natural ability to balance the skin's pH. It has shown to soothe itching and irritations, including reducing eczema and psoriasis. It's anti-inflammatory properties also help to control hot spots that dogs just can't take their mind off of. The skin is the largest organ for a dog, so it needs to be kept strong and retain its elasticity.

Coat

Oatmeal is a go to for many pet owners when using as a shampoo, conditioner or a leave-in product. It has shown to give improved results in a dog's coat by becoming more nourished and shiny. Biotin is a vitamin B in oatmeal that helps to support healthy skin and hair for dogs. The positive benefits that the vitamins in oats have will effectively moisturize your dog's fur making it soft and silky.

You can even make a homemade remedy for applying oatmeal as a leave-on paste or during a bath for your dog. This also makes for a bonus since they are safe to lick it off themselves! In fact, oatmeal baths have been recommended by veterinarians as Pet Coach discusses.“They are very gentle on the skin and help repair the natural skin barrier” as stated by Dr. Sara Ochoa. Otherwise, you can get a dog product that prioritizes oatmeal with added herbal ingredients, aiding skin healing for dogs.

Oatmeal in Your Dog's Diet

Oats are beneficial for many dogs to include into their daily diet! They are even safe for dogs who are sensitive or allergic to many grains as well as gluten. It is a great alternative carbohydrate to wheat, corn, and soy products. As with all new ingredients, you can talk to your vet about incorporating oats into your dogs diet if they have allergies or a sensitive stomach.

Although oatmeal cannot replace your dogs meals since it does not have all the necessary nutrients, it is a great snack or meal topper. When cooking the oats, you'll want to use water instead of milk since dogs cannot break down lactose easily. Plain oatmeal is the best choice for them since dogs cannot have flavors and additives such as butter, salt, and raisins.

Flavoring will commonly have more sugar and artificial sweeteners that your dog could be allergic to. Make sure to check ingredients for any added sugars or flavorings. Instant or processed choices should be avoided when giving to dogs as well. This is because they can risk upsetting the dogs stomach while offering much less nutritional benefits for them.

It is best to start introducing oatmeal into your dog's diet gradually. This way, they will not get an upset stomach and diarrhea. Eventually feeding it to them daily in moderation is a great way to give additional water into their diet too! You can also make feeding it to them more fun and wholesome by adding in other ingredients. Some like to add peanut butter, fruits, pumpkin, coconut oil, and plain yogurt which all contribute to improving health in different ways.

Natural Oatmeal Shampoo

There are many natural shampoo choices for your dogs bath time that prioritizes oats in the ingredients. However, you will want to be sure that where you're purchasing from is a trustworthy company. Sleepy Cotton has only all natural and sustainable products that have your dog's best interest in mind for high-quality comfort and care.

With our Ultra Gentle Soothing Oatmeal Shampoo and Face Wash, your dog will be soothed from dry skin, itches, redness, while deterring flakiness and skin allergies. Oatmeal gives major skin relief with its high count of vitamins and minerals, proving to soothe dog’s sensitive skin irritations. Formulated as active colloidal oatmeal in our shampoo, this trusted household ingredient will give your pup powerful lasting comfort.

Recap: Oatmeal is Good for Dogs!

So, is oatmeal good for dogs? Of course!

Oatmeal is a superfood filled with tons of beneficial vitamins and minerals including magnesium, calcium, zinc, and linoleic acid. They have proven to strengthen hair and soothe skin conditions while improving overall body health.

Who knew that this classic everyday household food brought so many benefits to both humans and furry friends? Introduce it to your furry friend today as a healthy and fun snack + as a nourishing bath!

How will you incorporate this superfood into you and your dog's daily routine?

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What is SLS

Author Bri LaFluer / Sleepy Cotton Content Writer / Feb-15-2020

What is SLS

A rising concern has increased over time as we learn more and more about chemically produced harsh ingredients everyday. They are not only hidden in food products, but cosmetics and personal care products as well. The properties they utilize can be much too harsh for our bodies.

Although the scientific names of ingredients can be confusing, an easy one that you can look out for is: SLS.

What is SLS? Sodium lauryl sulfate is an ingredient in many products including cosmetics, personal care products, and cleaning products for the purpose of getting a foaming cleanse. This harsh chemical is unfortunately in many dog products as well.

SLS thoroughly and quickly gets rid of any dirt or oil on their skin and fur so that you can see sudsy, deep cleaning action. But what you can't see is the harsh chemical effects afterwards.

What is SLS exactly, and how can it affect your health and your dog’s?

Key Points
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a common inexpensive ingredient in everyday household products to help give a deep visible cleansing effect.
  • SLS and SLES are harsh chemicals known to cause a variety of skin irritations.  
  • Its harsh components strip skin of natural oils causing dry skin, irritations, and reactions.
  • Reactions from contact can include inflammatory results including itchy skin and scalp, dermatitis and eczema.

What is SLS and Its Purpose?

SLS, or sodium lauryl sulfate, is made after agents go through a series of reactions. First, fatty acids are extracted such as from coconut oil, which are converted to fatty alcohols and then sulfonated to become a crystalline salt. If SLS undergoes a chemical process called “ethoxylation,” it becomes SLES or sodium laureth sulfate which is a bit more toned down ingredient.

Both of these have two purposes in products - emulsifier and surfactant.

Emulsifier: As an emulsifier, they help to keep all ingredients properly mixed up.

Surfactant: As a surfactant (or surface acting agent), they help to give that foamy consistency to lather and deeply clean, which is also known as a sulfate. The strong properties of SLS allow it to break down the interface between water and oil or dirt easily. It is able to hold on to the oils and dirt so that they can be washed away, giving a visible cleansing result.

What Can You Find SLS in?

Because SLS is effective in cleaning, it is in a variety of everyday household items. It can be found in shampoos, skin care products, toothpastes, dish soaps, floor cleaning products, laundry detergents, and more.

Is SLS Bad?

Many experiences and studies show SLS to be a known skin irritant. Its harsh components strip skin of natural oils causing dry skin, irritations, and reactions. Reactions can include inflammatory results including itchy skin and scalp, dermatitis and eczema. These negative effects depend on the concentration percent of SLS with the amount of exposure or contact time.

There are studies stating it is safe by discontinuous brief use followed by thorough rinsing from the surface of the skin. But the likely negative effects with this added ingredient make it an unhealthy risk.

Is SLS Bad For My Dog?

When bathing your dog, it’s best to avoid SLS. Dogs have much more sensitive skin, which means SLS will irritate them more than humans. "Canine skin is one-third the thickness of human skin, and thinner skin means faster absorption" as stated by Dr. David Jarvis on Pet Business. This can make the skin more vulnerable to the absorption of other foreign irritants. SLS has already been known to penetrate skin easily which makes things even worse.

It is best to look for safer alternatives that don't include SLS when cleaning your dog. There are many pet friendly products with all natural ingredients or marked "SLS free" that keep your pets best health in mind.

Sleepy Cotton's All Natural Choice

Sleepy Cotton prioritizes healthy ingredients and benefits for your dog, giving you shampoo and face wash products that you can trust. All our products are made in the USA with 100% USA made ingredients without any harmful chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, dyes, synthetic fragrances, SLS or SLES.

Instead of SLS or SLES as a surfactant, we use a combination of three naturally derived gentle ingredients: Decyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate (not SLS - sodium lauryl sulfate).

Choose a shampoo for your dog that you can trust. We make it known where our shampoo is made, what ingredients are added, and where they are from.

The Verdict on SLS

As we have learned, SLS proves to be a known skin irritant and carcinogen with symptoms of inflammation, itchiness, and dryness. Keep an eye out for this harsh ingredient when selecting products. This chemical harshly cleans to the point of stripping away the majority of human’s and dog’s natural oils. Our furry friends are especially more vulnerable since they have hypersensitive skin. Now that we can see what is SLS entirely and how it's utilized, it would be most beneficial to remove this ingredient from your daily routine!

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What are Parabens

Author Bri LaFluer / Sleepy Cotton Content Writer / Feb-15-2020

What are Parabens?

The current market is flooded with personal care products that are advertised as all natural. Are they truly beneficial to our health? Considering the ingredients many of them don’t advertise; it is not likely. Unfortunately, most of them are just deceptive marketing strategies.

To find products that you can truly trust, be sure to check all of the ingredients before you buy them. Make sure that there are no irritating chemically made harsh ingredients. This includes parabens, SLS/SLES, phthalates, formaldehyde, and also mineral oils which are all potentially harmful to the body.

But what are parabens and how can they affect us? Parabens can be a harmful risk to humans as well as dogs; especially ones with skin sensitivities. Like many other ingredients, most researches mainly focus on finding the links between parabens and the human body. However, with more fragile skin, dogs could be even more susceptible to symptoms from contact.

Key Points
  • Parabens are cheap chemicals that manufacturers add in cosmetics, medications, and food products to preserve their shelf life while reducing bacterial and mold growth.
  • Parabens have been linked to reproductive issues, tumor growth, as well as disrupting hormone function.
  • Because of the harsh properties, parabens can penetrate through skin layers easily.
  • This preservative is known to be a common allergy to dogs and cause contact dermatitis.

What are Parabens and Their Purpose?

Parabens are synthetic chemicals commonly used in a variety of everyday goods to reduce microbial growth. You can find them as an included ingredient in many cosmetics, medications, and food. They are "derived from para-hydroxybenzoic acid (PHBA) that occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables, such as cucumbers, cherries, carrots, blueberries and onions" as stated by Chemical Safety Facts. Since the 1920's, this inexpensive chemical has been used to preserve products and extend shelf life to consumers. They allow products to survive for a long period of time up to years to prevent and reduce bacteria + mold. You can find parabens under the ingredient names of butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, benzylparaben, ethylparaben, and isopropylparaben.

Are Parabens Bad?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization consider paraben chemicals safe at low levels. Although, parabens have been linked to reproductive issues, tumor growth, as well as disrupting hormone function.

Some people may be more sensitive to parabens than others will be. Because they are easily absorbed, parabens are stored within the body and can be found remaining within tissues. This can increase the reaction people may have if they are allergic to parabens.

Others who don't notice any irritations when using products with parabens may be able to tolerate it better. But since it is such a common ingredient, people are likely to use products with parabens on a daily basis. The concentration percentage of the chemical will build up in our bodies. This leads to a higher risk of harm since we should not exceed "safe" limitations.

Environment

Parabens have also negatively affected the environment over time. Scientific studies have found paraben chemicals in the bodies of aquatic life. Researchers believe that products we use with added parabens being washed away into the sewer systems are then released into the natural environment.

Parabens in Dog Grooming

Dogs have highly sensitive skin. This means that harsh chemicals are likely to irritate them more than they irritate us. Their skin layers are drastically fewer than humans, making ingredients able to absorb into their bodies faster.

Chemicals in products that you apply to your dog’s coat will eventually be absorbed into their skin and lungs, then make their way into the bloodstream. Remains of the chemicals will also end up in their internal organs and digestive system.

Parabens are even an allergy to some dogs causing irritation to their skin, and are actually known to "commonly cause contact dermatitis" as acknowledged by Wag! Symptoms include rashes, dry flaky skin, red bumps, and uncomfortable itching.  

When looking at grooming products for your dog, you will notice that parabens are primarily found in almost all pet shampoos. For choosing a shampoo for their bath time, you'll want to look for safer "paraben-free" labeled products to benefit your dog.

Sleepy Cotton's All Natural Choice

All Sleepy Cotton Spa / Bath products are made with natural preservatives and naturally derived ingredients that benefit your dog’s skin, coat, and overall health.

By proudly providing a full ingredient list, we keep things simple and honest. All our Spa / Bath products are made in the USA with 100% US made ingredients. Absolutely no harsh chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, dyes, synthetic fragrances, SLS or SLES.

Closing Thoughts on Parabens

Although parabens could be causing long term damage to all of our health, people are continuing to produce and consume products including parabens.

Because of their harsh properties, parabens have been linked to reproductive issues, tumor growth, as well as disrupting hormone function. Since they are so easily absorbed, parabens are stored within the body and can be found further remaining within tissues.

Now that we know the answer to what are parabens, shall we eliminate them from our daily routine?

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How to Bathe Dog

Author Bri LaFluer / Sleepy Cotton Content Writer / Feb-15-2020

How to Bathe a Dog Guide: A Clean & Happy Dog

Do you ever wonder how to bathe a dog the correct way from start to finish? Bath time is a necessity to keep a happy and healthy dog. Regular bathing keeps your dog’s skin and coat healthy, reduces allergies, and decreases the chance of infection.

Giving them a good wash also leaves them with a pleasant smell, making cuddle time even more delightful. You can always practice making bath time a positive experience while strengthening your human-dog bond.

Key Points
  • Regular bathing keeps your dog’s skin and coat healthy, reduces allergies, and decreases the chance of infection.
  • General brushing spreads the skin’s natural protective oils across its surface. These oils are necessary to help deter bad bacteria and unwelcome parasites.
  • Dogs have drastically fewer layers of skin than humans. Be sure the temperature of the water does not burn their fragile skin by feeling it on your forearm first.
  • Also keeping our furry friends faces clean can prevent dirt and bacterias from entering their system.
  • Soap residue left on dog’s skin once they are dry can cause dermatitis and infected lesions called hot spots.
  • When learning how to bathe a dog, let your furry friend know that bathing is a fun and rewarding experience. Praise them and keep treats + toys handy.

Are you ready to learn how to bathe a dog? Let’s get down to the sudsy details!

Learning About Bath Time

There are many dogs who feel intimidated just by looking at the bathtub. Generally, whatever the reason is, the whole experience is overwhelming to them. A mix of noises, confinement, and the feeling of water itself wouldn’t exactly excite most dogs. But with a regular care routine, most dogs adjust to the familiarity of bathing, becoming calmer over time.

If your dog hates water, it is best to introduce them slowly with praise and rewards. Walk them through water, and spray their legs gently with a detachable nozzle to warm them up, introducing new areas being wet. If your dog loves treats or toys, you can reward them with those for being so brave!

Teaching your dog that taking a bath isn’t so scary is no easy task and it can take some time. It is best to have good patience and a gentle attitude.

Why You Should Wash Your Dog

Regular bathing keeps your dog’s skin and coat healthy, reduces allergies, and decreases the chance of infection. Most people bathe their dogs approximately once a month or when they start to develop a smell.

Certain components such as dirt, salt, and sand can irritate their skin and clog their pores. If your dog tends to be more active, you may need to bathe them more often.

Keeping them clean is also beneficial to hooman family members. Trapped irritants such as grass and pollen can be released into the air around us which can trigger allergy symptoms. But with regular bathing, this is the most effective way to prevent and reduce them.

Additionally, depending on if your dog has a skin disease, they can actually benefit from regular bathing with antimicrobial shampoo. You can always discuss what is best for your dog’s unique skin and coat with your veterinarian.

Bathing too Often

Bathing your dog too often can cause dry and itchy skin and dandruff development. Over bathing could also strip away dog’s beneficial natural skin oils which help to moisturize and protect their skin.

How to Bathe a Dog
Step #1: Prepare

One of the best things you can do to make bathing your dog easier is making sure you have everything you need set up. Have your stock of bathing supplies all readily available and close to your station so that you do not need to leave your dog unattended.

Step #2: Brush

General brushing spreads the skin’s natural protective oils across its surface. These oils are necessary to help deter bad bacteria and unwelcome parasites. Brushing, combing, and massaging will also increase circulation and blood flow.

To make the bathing process easier, brush through your dog’s fur before they get in the bath. Wet fur can create more matting.

It’s best to keep a regular grooming routine a few times a week. This way, your dog will be used to the feeling of brushing rather than super sensitive. Especially for occasional knots, they will not be so surprising and hurtful. If your dog has extreme knots and matting, you may want to take them to a groomer.

Step #3: Wet

Begin wetting their fur down with lukewarm water. Using hot water is not recommended. Since they have drastically fewer layers of skin than humans, they can get burned easily. Feel the temperature of the water on your forearm first. Our sensitivity of this area is somewhat similar to how it would feel for them.

Thoroughly soak their entire body so that there are no dry spots. It is best to start from their legs then move up to their face. For their facial area, while most do just fine without them, you can protect their ears by putting cotton balls in each if needed. This will deter any water entering the ear canal which can cause infections.

Step #4: Soap

Facial Area: Keeping our furry friends faces clean can prevent dirt and bacterias from entering their system. However, keep in mind that every dog’s facial area is extra sensitive. Most common dog shampoos and human shampoos are far too strong for the extra sensitive facial area. We recommend using a specialized face wash product.

Around Eyes: Gently wet the area, avoiding their eyes and nose. Let water soak in. Using a face wash specialized product, work into a lather on your fingers and apply it. Using your fingertips, gently twist and rub the fur around the area. This will effectively break any dirt and grime off, including eye boogers.

Ears: Using a washcloth with a small amount of soap to wash the outside of their ears is the safest approach. Keep water from dripping into their ears to avoid infections.

Body: To truly wash away all of the grime and dirt hiding within their layers of fur down to their skin, you must generously massage the soap through their coat. Do this for a few minutes, making sure all spots of their body become clean. Be sure to wash their paws as well to remove any additional trapped odors.

Step #5: Rinse

Rinse backwards from head to paws. This will make sure there is no soap left irritating their eyes if any came in contact. Tip your pets head upwards when rinsing the top of their head so that no soap drips down to their eyes.

Be sure that the water runs clear so you know there is no more soap left on your dog. Soap residue left on their skin once they are dry can cause dermatitis and infected lesions called hot spots as recognized by Pet MD.

From start to finish, your dog will enjoy bath time if you talk to them in a reassuring tone of voice and wash gently.

Step #6: Dry

Get those towels ready. Using super absorbent towels is best for your dog rather than a quick dry or blow dryer. You don't want to leave them soaking wet. They will become uncomfortable and cold. This could also be messy for your house.

Using a blow dryer can be unsafe because of the temperatures. If they are not regulated along with the air pressure, it can be too hot for their skin. The loud noise can also make the experience bad for them in the end.

Take your dog for a walk after you bathe them if the temperature is warm outside so they can air dry better. You'll want to be sure that your dog is completely dry to avoid any hot spots developing from moist areas of skin. Dogs with undercoats such as german shepherds and labrador retrievers need extra drying within all of their fur.

Additional Tips & Tricks

Small dogs can be washed in the sink, and larger dogs are best placed in a bathtub or shower. You can use a detachable nozzle for a quicker wash. Keep it at a gentle speed so that it is not forceful on their skin. Let the water hit the back of your hand while you wash your dog so that they feel your hand instead of the water. This works well for dogs who need more comfort during the bath. You can slowly transition from your hand to the water coming from the nozzle onto their skin once your dog is calm.

Using a garden hose on them outside is ok on occasion if the weather is nice. Dogs can become cold and uncomfortable easily. If your hose has a much too strong force, that high pressure can even drive bacteria into the skin.

Wherever you bathe your dog, it's ok to make sure they stay contained by tying a lead on them or holding them. But be gentle. You will not want to restrain them forcefully as this could scare them and make them not want to return to the tub again.

Use a Pet Safe Shampoo

There are many shampoos to choose from. One thing is for sure, you will want to avoid using human shampoo. It will imbalance their pH number leaving their skin irritated and itchy. Avoid products with added chemicals such as parabens, SLS/SLES, phthalates, formaldehyde, and also mineral oils. Go for products with all natural ingredients.

Sleepy Cotton prioritizes healthy ingredients and benefits for your dog, giving you shampoo and face wash products that you can trust. All our products are made in the USA with 100% USA made ingredients without any harmful chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, dyes, synthetic fragrances, SLS or SLES. All formulas are vegan, tear free, and ultra gentle made to balance pets pH numbers.

Ready to Bathe Your Dog?

Now that you've learned how to bathe a dog, let us know what tips and tricks helped you and your furry friend. Making bath time a fun and easy experience can take some time and work. But it is worth it in the end. Always reward them with lots of love, yummy treats, or play time.

Simplified Recap of How to Bathe a Dog

When getting ready to bathe your dog, just think of all of the positives it brings! Bathing keeps your pet’s coat and skin healthy, reduces allergies, and decreases the chance of infection. In addition to this, trapped allergens such as grass, pollen, mold, and dirt will be washed away from their coat, giving you a fresher environment. It's best to bathe a dog with normal health conditions around once a month, or if they become stinky.

Keep these fool-proof steps in mind for how to bathe a dog.

  • Step 1: Prepare your bathing area with towels + any shampoos, conditioners, and face washes so that your dog is not left unsupervised
  • Step 2: Brush your dog's fur to reduce the chances of tangling and matting
  • Step 3: Wet your dog down with room temperature water since dogs get burned easily
  • Step 4: Soap your dog up with a nourishing pet safe shampoo while massaging to encourage blood flow
  • Step 5: Rinse them thoroughly, ensuring no soap is left to cause potential irritation
  • Step 6: Dry them well with absorbent towels. You don't want an uncomfortable cold pup or wet furniture!

Now go and have some caring bonding time with your furry companion!

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Bath time for you and your furry friend can be a dreadful time for both of you, or a fun bonding spa experience! But how often should you bathe your dog?

What is SLS? This chemical ingredient helps clean well, but is it too harsh for us? Humans and dogs can both become easily affected by this skin irritant.

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Ingredients to Avoid in Shampoo

Author Bri LaFluer / Sleepy Cotton Content Writer / Feb-15-2020

Ingredients to Avoid in Shampoo

Personal care products including shampoos can be deceiving with how they look or what they advertise. To keep your best health in mind, you’ll want to make sure that products involved in your daily care routine do not contain any harmful ingredients.

So what are ingredients to avoid in shampoo? Harsh chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, dyes, synthetic fragrances, SLS or SLES, all of these can cause health issues such as itching and irritation. To make things worse, chemical residue remains will eventually end up in the internal organs and digestive systems.

It is important to always review the full ingredient list before you select personal care products. Currently, most researches focus on finding links between harsh chemicals and the human body. However, with more fragile skin, dogs could be even more susceptible to symptoms from contact. Dog’s skin layers are dramatically fewer (and thinner) than ours, making harmful ingredients able to be absorbed into their system even faster. To avoid irritations, be sure to review your precious furry friends products carefully.

Key Points
  • Cheaply made harsh chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, dyes, synthetic fragrances, SLS or SLES are greatly common in skin and hair care products. However, all of these can cause health issues.
  • Three letter ethanolamines such as MEA, DEA are also most common. They are important to look out for since they are hormone and thyroid disruptors as well as organ toxins.
  • Chemical residue remains will eventually end up in the internal organs and digestive systems as they are absorbed and inhaled.
  • To keep your best health in mind, it is best to look for the full ingredients list when selecting a shampoo.

Ingredients to Avoid in Shampoo
#1 Parabens

Parabens are a cheaply sourced chemical ingredient that manufacturers will add in their products to preserve shelf life reducing bacterial & mold growth. These preservatives have been linked to reproductive issues, tumor growth, as well as disrupting hormone function. Because they are easily absorbed, parabens are stored within the body and can be found remaining within tissue. The concentration percentage of the chemical will build up in our bodies. This leads to a higher risk of harm since we should not exceed "safe" limitations.

Parabens also penetrate easily through the few layers of dogs' skin and are known to be a common allergy to them and cause contact dermatitis.

Look for: butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, benzylparaben, ethylparaben, isopropylparaben or anything ending in -paraben.

#2 Sulfates

Sulfates such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfalte (SLES), and ammonium laureth sulfate (ALS) are surfectants or surface acting agents. They help to give a foamy consistency to lather and deeply clean, making it easy to trap dirt and grease to then be washed away. These chemicals are effective in cleaning but much too harsh since they strip away natural healthy oils from the skin. They are known carcinogens that can cause skin irritations.

#3 Artificial Colors/Dyes

Who is really concerned about the color of their shampoo? Synthetic colors and dyes are known to be skin irritants and carcinogens. These bright and vibrant shades commonly seen are derived from petroleum or coal tar sources. Additionally, they are routinely tested on animals.

Look for: "D&C" which means drugs and cosmetics, "FD&C", or names such as "Yellow 5."

#4 Phthalates

Phthalates are used when making artificial fragrances to make the scent last longer. They are endocrine disruptors linked to both male and female hormonal defects. Phthalates can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system according to studies.

#5 Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde attacks the central nervous system and is proven to absorb through the skin in testing. It is classified as a known carcinogen by the United States National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Look for: Diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin (or labeled as DHDH hydantoin), bromopol, Quaternium -15, and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate.

#6 Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is a by-product of distilled gasoline made from crude oil. It coats skin and hair in a thick layer which clogs pores. This slows down skin function and cell development, while also restricting the ability to release natural oils and eliminate toxins.

#7 Cocamide DEA or MEA

Cocamide DEA (diethanolamine) or MEA (monoethanolamine) are surfactants that are sometimes labeled as a "coconut based cleanser". Cocamides are a detergent that act as a thickening agent while adding more bubbles to shampoos. Although this substance is coconut derived, it is chemically altered to the point of being a cancer causing ingredient. It is also a hormone and thyroid disruptor and an organ toxin.

#8 Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) & Methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT)

These hard to pronounce names are added as a preservative and an antifungal agent to shampoos. They are carcinogens linked to organ poisoning, lung toxicity, allergic reactions, possible neurotoxicity as written by Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and are even banned in countries including Japan and Canada.

#9 Polysorbates

Polysorbates are cheap emulsifiers that help to bond oil with water and dissolve fragrances into a solution. These will imbalance the pH of skin, hair, and fur increasing the risk of irritations. The number next to this ingredient name is the amount of ethylene oxide used to treat the natural sugar in its original form. Polysorbate 20 is often used, and cancer causing 1,4-dioxane is created as a by-product of this treatment with ethylene oxide.

#10 Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol is increasingly appearing in many animal and self care products. It is known as rubbing alcohol, and you will want to avoid this ingredient at all costs. Along with its drying effects, this chemical is easily absorbed, known depressant, nerve toxin, lung and heart irritant, and liver toxin.

Other names: isopropanol, 2-propanol, and propyl

To keep your scalp and hair healthily maintained, these chemicals should be fully avoided when you choose any hair care product.

Commonly Asked Question
Can you use Human Shampoo on Dogs?

Human shampoo is formulated at different pH levels for our type of scalp and skin. It is too harsh for dogs’ hypersensitive skin and would throw off their healthy balance. Because of their fewer skin layers, dogs will absorb whatever is on their skin at a faster speed than we can. Human shampoo could damage dogs’ fragile skin which could lead to irritations and infections.

While looking for a shampoo for your dog, you may also encounter shampoo that states it is all natural. But can we actually trust this? Some companies display this but actually hide harsh chemicals under names such as “coconut based cleanser”, plant-derived surfactants, or a “naturally-derived gentle cleansing agent”. They do this without properly listing the full ingredients that are used in making their products.

A good rule to go by is getting a product providing the full list of easy to read ingredients. This way, you will be able to avoid potential irritants that could cause inflammation, redness, itchiness, increase of dandruff, and many other effects.

Environment

The creation of all of these added chemicals go through a tricky manufacturing process, resulting in emissions and becoming difficult to breakdown. Supporting an all natural product means you are helping improve our environment as well.

Finding Shampoo You Can Trust

Sleepy Cotton products are 100% transparent. Instead of using misleading terms such as “coconut based cleanser”, we proudly provide a full and transparent ingredient list along with the source of the ingredients as well.

All our Spa / Bath products are made in the USA with 100% USA made ingredients without any harmful chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, dyes, synthetic fragrances, SLS or SLES.

Looking Forward at Ingredients to Avoid in Shampoo

For a handy list, take this as a reminder of what ingredients to avoid in shampoo for you and your dog’s care products.

  • Parabens
  • Sulfates
  • Artificial Colors / Dyes
  • Phthalates
  • Formaldehyde
  • Mineral Oil
  • Cocamide DEA or MEA
  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) & Methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT)
  • Polysorbates
  • Isopropyl Alcohol

The main reason to avoid each and every one of these is because they are all potential skin irritants providing no beneficial value to our bodies and hair, as well as to our furry companions.

Will you be on the lookout for them all?

Related Articles

What are parabens? Their preserving properties also are known to be easily absorbed into the body. But can your dogs sensitive skin tolerate this chemical?

What is SLS? This chemical ingredient helps clean well, but is it too harsh for us? Humans and dogs can both become easily affected by this skin irritant.

What is guar gum exactly? This bean of the guar plant offers many healthful benefits. It is used in medications, food, and cosmetics for its versatility.

Is coconut oil good for dogs? Learn healthy ways of giving coconut oil to your dog as a daily yummy treat and as a soothing skin remedy!

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What is Guar Gum?

Author Bri LaFluer / Sleepy Cotton Content Writer / Feb-15-2020

What is guar gum and is it beneficial for our bodies? As a nutritious and protective additive, it is favored in high-end cosmetics and personal care products. Guar gum is an edible natural and premium thickening agent created from a legume.

This ingredient is a safe and healthy alternative rather than harsh chemicals that can potentially be harmful. Let's take a look at what guar gum does and how it can benefit us humans and our dogs.

Key Points
  • What is guar gum? Guar gum is extracted straight from the endosperm of the guar bean with nothing else added, making it 100% vegan acknowledged by the medical review of Jared Hatchard.
  • Guar gum is an edible natural and premium thickening agent, nutritious and protective additive.
  • Guar gum provides many healthful benefits. When eaten in moderation, it improves digestive health, regulates blood sugar levels, and helps lower cholesterol levels.
  • Bonus! Guar gum is even a healthy binder in shampoos and conditioners to protect + maintain hair health.

Now that the basics are out of the way, let’s find out what is guar gum in depth.

What is Guar Gum?

Guar gum, which is also known as guaran, is naturally derived from the Indian cluster bean plant Cyamopsis tetragonolobus; or the guar plant. This ingredient is made from the endosperms of legumes called guar beans. These are produced into a fine white powder which allows it to be easily combined into the formulas of products.

You may have heard of the similar additive, xanthan gum, which is an ideal alternative to guar gum. While guar gum is hypoallergenic, xanthan gum holds similar properties. Although, xanthan gum may also be sourced from wheat, dairy or soy, which limits people with allergies to these ingredients.

What Can You Find Guar Gum in?

The powder of guar gum is a premium thickening agent that is added in a variety of cosmetics, personal care goods, and food products.

Cosmetics and Personal Care: You can usually find it in many high-end cosmetics and personal care products such as facial cleaners, face moisturizers, shampoos, conditioners, and even in toothpastes.

Food products: You can find it in many gluten-free foods, dairy products, dairy alternatives, baked goods, dressings, marinades, sauces, yogurts, and jams. Because its purpose is to prevent ingredients from separating or clotting, it works extremely well even in plant-based products.

Additionally, guar gum is also found in medications.

Guar Gum in Moderation

High amounts of ingested guar gum can cause possible health problems. But in food products and recipes, it is typically found as relatively small doses. If side effects occur, they generally include mild digestive symptoms such as gas, diarrhea, bloating, and cramps. It is best to limit intake of guar gum, especially since some people can be sensitive to it. Other side effects are possible if someone is allergic, which is usually uncommon.

The Benefits of Guar Gum
General Health

Galactomannan is a type of soluble fiber found in the guar bean. This is the key component that promotes healthy benefits. Being high in fiber and low in calories, studies have shown that guar gum encourages weight maintenance, lowers blood sugar and cholesterol, and improves digestive health. Also, it has shown to help improve IBS symptoms and reduce bloating while helping one feel full.

Additionally, it may act as a prebiotic by promoting the growth of good bacteria and reducing the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut.

Hair and Fur

The properties of guar gum are also beneficial to hair and fur! The invisible layer guar gum creates over hair strands will protect against potential breakage. It helps to seal in moisture, adding shine and softness as well. It is a great ingredient to help against static electricity and tangles, making hair styling and maintenance a lot easier.

Guar Gum for Furry Friends

Finding products with all of the right ingredients can be tricky when you don't know what all added ingredients are. But a good rule to stick by is to always look for a short easy to read list of ingredients!

For your fur baby, you can trust they'll be in good hands with Sleepy Cotton's Spa / Bath products. Our 2 in 1 shampoo & conditioner along with our face wash both include guar gum as a healthy thickening and bonding agent.

The naturally derived ingredient guar gum creates a protective layer over furry friends coats. This protective layer helps to seal in moisture while strengthening it the natural way, adding shine and softness is a bonus. Guar gum also helps reduce tangles, making the maintenance process a lot easier to manage.

The Verdict

Guar gum is an edible natural and premium thickening agent that is added in a variety of cosmetics, personal care goods, and food products.

Rather than choosing products made with potentially harmful chemicals, choose the ones made with guar gum. This simple switch will provide positive improvements.

Now that you've found the answers to what is guar gum, will you be on the lookout for this beneficial ingredient for you and your dog?

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Is coconut oil good for dogs? Learn healthy ways of giving coconut oil to your dog as a daily yummy treat and as a soothing skin remedy!

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