Cruelty-Free and Sustainable Dog Care Products, From Shampoo to Paw Balm

Sophie Hirsh - Author

Sep. 10 2021, Published 3:10 p.m. ET

cruelty-free dog products
Source: Getty Images

When grooming your adorable dog, you should never need to hurt any other animals (or the environment) in the process — which is why it’s so important to shop for cruelty-free dog care products.

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Fortunately, many dog “beauty” brands make vegan, cruelty-free, zero-waste, palm oil-free, synthetic fragrance-free, and sustainable puppy products, such as shampoo, paw balm, bug repellent, and more.

There are plenty of cruelty-free dog grooming products out there.

cruelty-free dog grooming shampoo
Source: Getty Images

Products that are not certified cruelty-free are typically tested on animals — which is probably not something that any pet parent would want to support. And unfortunately, animal testing for personal care products is much harsher than washing a volunteer dog's hair with a new dog shampoo. Typical tests involve: force-feeding chemicals to animal subjects; dousing animals' eyes with chemicals; and shaving fur before rubbing chemicals into their raw skin, as per the Humane Society of the United States. When tests are complete, the animals used are killed.

So without further ado, here are five brands making low-impact, sustainable, and cruelty-free dog products.

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The Fanciful Fox

Brooklyn-based personal care company ​​The Fanciful Fox makes a few products for dogs, including the Ruff Paw Balm (which helps “soothe, moisturize, and protect rough dog paws”), Tail Waggers Shampoo, and Woof Bug Repellent.

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The company’s entire product line is vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil-free, and free of synthetic fragrances (instead using essential oils). If you’re local to Brooklyn, you can stop by The Fanciful Fox’s shop to refill your products, which helps reduce packaging waste.

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Zero-waste, palm oil-free, cruelty-free, and vegan company Ethique makes a few soap bar varieties that are formulated for doggy bathtime. The Bow Wow Bar is scented with essential oils and can be used to clean your dog; the Shampooch is a scent-free dog shampoo bar for pups with sensitive skin; and the Pawfector is a conditioning bar that helps make dog coats softer and shinier.

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Brooklyn Made Natural

Brooklyn Made Natural is a palm oil-free, cruelty-free, primarily organic Etsy shop. You can shop Brooklyn Made Natural’s Pet Shampoo Bar from online marketplace Zero Waste Store. The bar will be shipped to you completely plastic-free, and the combination of lavender, tea tree, and cedarwood essential oils used in the bar will help deodorize your pet’s fur and prevent fleas, mosquitoes, and ticks.

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Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company

Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company makes four vegan pet products, which are all plastic-free. Though some of them do contain palm oil, they are Rainforest Alliance Certified.

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There’s the unscented Creamy Coconut Milk pet shampoo bar, which can be used on dogs, cats, ferrets, and more, and the Cedarwood Lavender dog shampoo bar, which uses essential oils to help repel fleas and ticks. Chagrin Valley also makes the Fresh Fur Dry Shampoo for Dogs, which is packaged in a cardboard tube and works well for freshening up dogs who don't enjoy baths, and the Fresh Fur Vinegar Rinse Concentrate, which is packaged in glass, and combines apple cider vinegar with organic herbs and organic essential oils to promote a shiny coat and relieve itchy skin.

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New Zealand-based company WashBar is probably best known for the Original WashBar Soap for Dogs, which is made with neem oil, lemon scented tea tree oil, and manuka pure essential oil to help gently clean your dog, sooth skin, and repel fleas, lice, and ticks. It is biodegradable, paraben-free, free of synthetic fragrances, cruelty-free, vegan, and packaged in a recyclable and compostable kraft box.

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WashBar also makes a Manuka WashBar for Dogs, which is ideal for sensitive skin, and a Paw Balm, which is a healing and moisturising ointment packaged in a metal tin. Some of the brand's products do contain palm oil.

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