Most made-for pet sunscreens (lotions, oils and sprays) sold at pet stores, veterinarian offices and on-line contain toxins and carcinogens. These health threatening ingredients end-up in your dog’s body in several ways…
- Absorbed into the blood stream through the skin
- Introduced to the digestive track when a dog licks his/her fur and skin
- Inhaled when vapors from a spray application become airborne.
The health threat caused by ingesting and absorbing these substances will be accentuated if your dog is already carrying a substantial toxic load (acquired from for example - processed dry or wet dog food, off-the-shelf and prescription flea, tick, heart worm preventatives, toxin-laden grooming products such as commercial shampoo, conditioners and, toothpaste, dental chews, over-vaccination, etc.
In addition to causing internal health issues - some of the carcinogenic ingredients found in sunscreen disrupt and/or destroy the skin’s natural defenses and subsequently trigger melanoma and other skin cancers.
Making matters worse - pet sun screens can contain endocrine disrupting ingredients that alter hormone levels and block vitamin D producing UVB rays.
- UVB rays enable health by supporting vitamin D production
- Low vitamin D levels are a major contributor to chronic health issues and cancer
- UVA rays (Not UVB rays) are responsible for causing skin damage
- UVA rays cause damage by penetrating deep into the layers of the skin and damaging the immune system.
If the pet sunscreen you are using contains toxins, carcinogens and, blocks UVB rays - the risk to long-term health is further increased.
If you are already using (or are thinking of purchasing) a sun screen product for your dog, check the product label for a list of ingredients.
If any of the substances listed below show-up on the ingredients list for the product you are using - toss the product in the garbage.
If you cannot find a fully disclosed ingredient list for the product, throw the product in the garbage.
A List of Ingredients to Avoid
The following is a partial list - reflecting some of the most common toxins and carcinogens used in sunscreen products:
- Artificial colours – example blue 1,2,4, disperse blue 1; green 1,2,3; red 4,9,17,19,22,33,40; yellow 5,6,8; disperse yellow 3 - will be shown as D =&C or FD&C…i.e. FD&C Red No.6) are carcinogenic and known allergy triggers
- Artificial preservatives – carcinogenic, this includes mixed tocopherols from undisclosed sources – GMO oils
- Artificial fragrances and perfumes (if not listed as natural, it is artificial) - carcinogenic
- Benzophenone or its derivatives Benzophenone-2, Benzophenone-3 – anemia, endocrine disruptors, free radicals that lead to melanoma and other skin cancers, growth suppression
- Diethanolamine (DEA) - carcinogenic
- DMDM Hydantoin - a formaldehyde derivative, asthma trigger, known allergen, carcinogen, can cause chest pain, trigger chronic fatigue, depression, dizziness, ear infections, immune system
- Homosalate – endocrine disrupting, carcinogenic
- Padimate - carcinogenic
- Retinyl palmitate – a derivative of vitamin, proven to react with the sun, creates DNA damaging free radicals – and enhancing the formation of skin lesions and tumors
- Simethicone - An anti-foaming agent and known allergen, immune system compromising, insomnia, joint pain and chest pain
- Titanium dioxide - classified as a possible carcinogen in humans, and is a known carcinogen in non-human animals
- Triethanolamine (TEA) sometimes combined with nitrate - carcinogenic
- Octyl dimethyl PABA– carcinogenic
- Octyl-methoxycinnamate (octinoxate) – endocrine disruptor, carcinogenic
- Octyl-salicylates - carcinogenic
- Oxybenzone - anemia, endocrine disrupting, free radicals that lead to melanoma and other skin cancers, growth suppression and photoallergic reactions
- Salicylates - endocrine disrupting, carcinogenic
- Zinc oxide – ingesting zinc can lead to zinc toxicosis
My recommendation to you is...
- Don’t purchase products that contain even one of these substances.
- Make your own all-natural pet sun screen, find out how here, or;
- Use an off-the-shelf product that is truly natural, and toxin / carcinogen free.
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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld