By Charly Pruden 

November 7th 2021

Expected Read Time: 10 Minutes

Is your ‘organic’ pet shampoo actually organic, or are you paying for a fake?

There are so many options when it comes to pet shampoo and grooming products, and almost all of them claim to be natural and/or organic.

With so many options on the shelves, how can you make a decision on which one is the best for your pet? 

In this blog post, you’ll find out exactly what you need to look out for when buying pet grooming products, and you'll learn how to avoid marketing scams, and wasting your money on expensive, low quality products.

Did you know, that 4-Legger is 

the only USDA Certified organic pet grooming brand in the UAE?!

Table of contents

  1. The Organic Pet Shampoo Scam
  2. How to know if a shampoo is truly organic
  3. Why do certified organic pet grooming products matter?
  4. Conclusion

the ‘organic’ PET shampoo scam

The truth is, over 60% of the "organic dog shampoos" on the market are NOT actually organic! 

The FDA does NOT regulate the term "organic" or “natural” in pet grooming products. In fact, no one does. 

Hoooold your puppies. What does that mean you ask?

It means that any manufacturer who creates pet grooming products can use the word "organic" or “natural” on their product label or in the company name, even if the grooming product is NOT organic or natural!

I repeat: Anybody can call a shampoo organic, even if it is NOT organic!

This is the kinda stuff that keeps me up at night...

Manufacturers are getting so good at developing greenwashing marketing claims, it has become almost impossible for pet parents to figure out if a shampoo is truly natural or organic.

Falling for these greenwashing marketing tricks exposes your pet to synthetic ingredients that have links to itchy skin, hormone disruption, and even cancer.

But there is more... Pet grooming products often contain toxic ingredients that are banned in the human industry. Due to the fact that the grooming industry is unregulated, there isn’t even a requirement to list the ingredients that are used to make a certain product.

Any time you buy any type of shampoo for your pet, it is incredibly important to do your research, look at reviews, and make sure that the product is safe for your pet to use. 

Just because a product is sold at a vet clinic or a pet store, unfortunately, doesn’t mean that it is safe for your dog.

In 2019, there was a tragic case of one chihuahua in the UAE who passed away and another chihuahua was critically burned after using a “Gentle Puppy Shampoo” which is commonly sold in local pet stores. (1) 

Cases like this often fail to be reported, and we can only imagine the true impact of toxic grooming products have on the health of our beloved pets.


  • Due to the lack of regulations, any pet grooming product can be called organic, even if it is not organic at all.
  • Manufacturers are not required to disclose the full list of ingredients on pet grooming products.
  • Toxic preservatives often find their way into pet grooming products and can contribute to skin irritations, allergies, organ system toxicity and even cancer in our pets.

So How do we know if a pet shampoo is truly organic and safe for our pets?

Quite simply, the only way to know if a pet grooming product is truly organic is to make sure that the product is CERTIFIED organic!

Because the grooming industry is largely unregulated, there are no regulations around using the word "organic", the purity of the product's ingredients, the text on the label, and there’s even a lack of requirements to simply list ingredients.

On the other hand, CERTIFIED organic pet grooming products do have government oversight from the ingredients, to the labels, and the manufacturing process! 

Don’t waste your money. Look out for the USDA Certified Organic symbol, or look at the fine print and search for the “Certified Organic by ___'' claim, to make sure you’re buying a TRULY organic grooming product.

In the UAE, 4-Legger is currently the only USDA Certified Organic Grooming Product in the entire country. 

There are many other products that claim to be natural, or organic, but none of them are certified organic.

Why do CERTIFIED organic grooming products even matter?

If you want to raise a healthy pet, and protect your pet from potentially harmful ingredients, then you need to make sure that you're buying CERTIFIED organic grooming products. But let's take a closer look...

1. Certified organic dog shampoo does not contain synthetic ingredients.

Synthetic ingredients are linked with a long list of health issues including allergies, dry and itchy skin, hormone disruption, cancer, and organ toxicity. 

Many manufacturers mix a few certified organic ingredients with synthetic ingredients and claim that their product is organic. Again, CERTIFIED organic grooming products won’t include synthetic ingredients and won’t harm your pet!

Examples of synthetic ingredients often used in pet grooming products:

  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Cocamide MEA
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Fragrance
  • Ingredients "Naturally derived from coconut"

2. Certified Organic Products are Regulated and are Required to List Ingredients!

CERTIFIED Organic grooming products are required to list all ingredients as per the National Organics Program. 

Manufacturers that are not certified organic are NOT required to list ingredients and they can make their ingredients sound better than they are by listing "a proprietary blend of cleaners and moisturizers" instead of saying "Sodium Lauryl Sulfate". 

In the UAE, we've noticed a popular brand listing their ingredients as followed: "Contains: Aloe Vera, Panthenol, Vitamin E". Don't be fooled. This is NOT the full list of ingredients. 'Contains' does not mean that the full ingredient list.

Personally, we stay far away from any brand that is trying to mislead pet parents in any type of way. We demand transparency. You absolutely are entitled to know what ingredients you are subjecting your pets to, because the ingredients have a direct impact on the health of your pets.

3. Certified organic Pet shampoo uses natural essential oils to achieve scent and is FREE of artificial fragrance.

Artificial fragrances have links to allergies, skin irritation, and organ system toxicity. The essential oils used in certified organic pet grooming products naturally provide scent while providing incredible health benefits. 

Did you know lemongrass essential oil helps to repel fleas and ticks naturally?

4. Your dog's largest organ is their skin - take care of it!

Assaulting your dog's largest organ (their skin) with toxic grooming ingredients will have a long-term impact on their overall health and very likely increase your vet bills! 

Skin disease and skin issues are the most common health issues that pet parents report to us in the UAE. Toxic grooming products definitely play a part in that too.

Again, non-certified organic grooming products do not have to disclose the full list of ingredients in their products. Make sure you use CERTIFIED organic grooming products, they are required to show you the full list of ingredients.

5. Certified organic grooming products have a Low Environmental Impact

Certified organic products are free from toxic pesticides and herbicides that contaminate our planet. 

It’s a win-win for all. Good for the planet, your pet, and you! The human.

6. You're Wasting Your Money if You Don't Buy Certified Organic!

Pet Parents are actively looking for “natural” and “organic” pet products, and manufacturers use this fact to their advantage. 

Many of the manufacturers changed their marketing to make their synthetic pet shampoo look more natural and organic (greenwashing marketing) without changing a single ingredient. Yes, that’s right… They changed the label - not the ingredients! 

Is this who you want to support and lay your dog’s health into their hands? There is a reason certified organic products are usually more expensive - they are of higher quality. Paying more for a fake is a waste of your money and keeps your pet at risk.

Here are the great news! 4-Legger prices have dropped dramatically!

You can now get certified organic shampoo for as low as 85dhs! 

Whith such low prices, there's absolutely no reason why you would choose non-certified organic shampoo.


By now, you will have realized the word "natural" and “organic” is nothing more than a cheap marketing stunt when it comes to the unregulated pet grooming industry. 

It’s just an easy way to trick loving pet parents like you and me, into buying a lower-quality product at a premium price.

Let me tell you, figuring out the truth of green marketing claims has become my full-time job, and I still can’t believe the extent of how far some pet companies would go to mislead pet parents into buying a potentially harmful product.

This is exactly why we do the hard work at PAWDEGA. To keep your pets safe, and to offer you a truly safe space to purchase nothing but truly natural and non-toxic pet products. We don’t want to see pets suffer any longer. Join our fight against toxic pet product ingredients and make sure you choose certified organic grooming products.

To this day, 4-Legger continues to be the only grooming product brand that we support, and it’s the only USDA-certified organic pet shampoo in the UAE!

Shop our USDA-certified organic shampoo, deodorizing spray, paw balm, and more!

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About Charly Pruden 

Charly is the mother of French Bulldog Milka, and Co-Founder of PAWDEGA. Charly has always had a passion for animals, but her passion for pet wellness activism began when Milka’s undiagnosed health issues were healed by adapting a natural, non-toxic, and proactive pet wellness lifestyle. Through extensive research, content creation, attending pet health conferences in the US, and working with world-renowned holistic and integrative veterinarians, Charly continues to raise awareness on important pet health topics to empower pet parents to help their pets live longer.



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