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Wahl “Natural” Dog Shampoo, Deodorant, and Cleaning Wipes Investigation

Wahl's Four in One Dog Shampoo

Wahl makes a variety of good-sounding dog products, including shampoos and conditioners, a “deodorant” against dog odor, and cleaning wipes that are useful for paws and muzzles. Prominently located on the front of each product, about a third of the way down the container, is an attention-getting colored seal with the word “Natural” or “100% Natural”. But is Wahl’s definition of “natural” the same as most people’s, or are they misleading consumers?

We’re investigating.

Wahl is careful to point to plant or “natural” sources for many of the ingredients in the products. For example, several of the products list “Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Cleanser from Coconut Fatty Acids)” but, as one source says about this substance, “Just because this chemical was once derived from coconuts (many processing levels ago) doesn’t make it a safe or natural ingredient.” 

Federal laws for food define “natural” as being not synthetic, and they define “synthetic” as “a substance that is formulated or manufactured by a chemical process or by a process that chemically changes a substance extracted from naturally occurring plant, animal, or mineral sources, except that such term shall not apply to substances created by naturally occurring biological processes.” Although the laws for food don’t set the legal standards for cosmetics and personal care products, most people expect the term “natural” to refer exactly to something like this.

Other substances that appear on the Wahl products’ ingredient lists include sodium laureth sulfate, coco glucoside, EGMS, glycerin, decolorized aloe vera, guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, polysorbate-20, and potassium sorbate. And the non-specific items like “fragrance” and “freshness assurer” and “FDA approved colors” could be hiding multiple synthetics.

We’re investigating the following Wahl’s dog care products to assess what they really contain:

  • Oatmeal Shampoo Concentrate
  • Four in One Shampoo and Conditioner Concentrate
  • Odor Control Shampoo Concentrate
  • Whitening Shampoo Concentrate
  • Puppy Shampoo Concentrate
  • No-Rinse Waterless Shampoo
  • Doggie Deodorant
  • Refresh Large Cleaning Wipes, Coconut Lime Verbena
  • Refresh Large Cleaning Wipes, Lavender Chamomile

If you’ve used them on your dog, please fill out the form on this page and let us know what your experience was. 

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