Written by Lisa Truesdale. Interview provided by cleaning expert Sean Busch.

We all love our pets, and that’s not something that is likely to change anytime soon. According to the American Pet Products Association, around 85 million households have at least one furry, feathered, or scaly resident - that’s almost 70% of all households in the country, up from 56% just 30 years ago.

Because we’re also treating our pets more like family members these days (which of course they are), we’re willing to spend a bit more to make sure they have the very best in healthy, better-for them foods, treats, toys, bedding, and personal-care products.

At Puracy, we recently completed a year-long R&D process to develop a market-leading natural pet shampoo formula that aligns with our company philosophy of making products that are better for people, pets, and the environment. We recently sat down with Sean Busch, Puracy’s co-founder, resident cleaning guru, and ingredients expert, to find out more about the process and why it was important for Puracy to enter the pet-products market. Here’s what Sean had to say...

expert Sean Busch

Q: Why did Puracy decide to make a natural shampoo specifically for pets?

A: Until recently, the pet-shampoo market was led by chemical-laden products, and those aren’t good for pets, people, or the environment. Gentler, more natural pet shampoos are becoming more prominent lately, so things are starting to change. But we really wanted to create our own natural, human-grade, hypoallergenic pet shampoo, following the strict product-creation guidelines we follow for everything we make.

Q: Why aren’t chemical-laden pet shampoos safe?

A: The reality is, those harsh chemical-based products were failing in three main areas. One, the surfactants, like sulfates and phosphates, allow the shampoos to foam up well, but ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) can cause skin irritation, dryness, and redness on human skin and pet skin; a dog’s skin can be just as sensitive as a person’s skin.

Two, many conventional pet shampoos have a limited amount of emollients, which are responsible for moisture. They just weren’t introducing essential moisture back into the skin. They might leave your pet’s skin and coat looking and feeling soft initially, but that would only last for a short time.

And three, manufacturers just weren’t acknowledging the fact that a dog’s skin has a different pH level (7) than a human’s skin (5.5). Both humans and animals need a formula that helps maintain their normal pH balance, otherwise, skin becomes more prone to irritation.

safe and harmless pet shampoo

Q: What sort of research did you have to do first?

A: Well, we started by looking at our competitors’ products, both the chemical-based and the natural formulas. We combed through tens of thousands of customer reviews and made note of what pet lovers like (and expect) and don’t like in the pet shampoo they choose to bathe their dog with.

Get the best tips from the cleaning obsessed.

Puracy crafts cleaning & care items that work really well. Our obsession with natural cleaning performance is our profession, and we're here to share it with you.

 And that brings up another point: We focused on dogs. We know that there are lots of other pets out there, but a dog is really the main pet that we give baths to. Our natural dog shampoo can be safely used on other animals, like rabbits and cats, but it’s just not too likely that people are going to try and wash their cat with it. So we focused on dogs.

Q: How is Puracy Natural Pet Shampoo different from the other choices out there?

A: Well, for one, it’s a human-grade formula; we even tested it on ourselves before bathing our own pups with it. It contains many of the same natural, plant-based ingredients that we use in our other products, plus a few pet-specific additions. For instance, we added oatmeal, which contains biotin, and raw biotin as well. Biotin is great for hair, skin, and nails, but people usually get enough biotin in their daily diet, so we don’t add it to our human formulas.

added nutrients for pets

Q: What makes Puracy’s pet shampoo better?

A: People love their pets and want to take the best care of them possible, but we all lead busy lives. We wanted to create a product that achieves multiple endpoints, so we formulated our natural pet shampoo to allow for a hassle-free, one-step cleansing routine -- just wash and rinse according to the label directions. It’s a pet shampoo and conditioner in one: a high-quality cleanser that removes the grime, moisturizes the skin, and deodorizes, too; it’s extremely effective at blocking “dog smell.” Your pet will be clean and will actually smell clean -- the dog smell won’t just be covered up temporarily. And his or her coat will have a long-lasting smoothness and shine.

Q: How do you use Puracy Natural Pet Shampoo for best results?

A: The easy directions for how to wash a dog (or a cat, if you’re brave) are right on the label. Thoroughly rinse your pup from top to bottom. Apply the shampoo directly to his or her coat and massage in thoroughly. If you need additional suds, add more water, not additional shampoo. Remember that water plus shampoo plus agitation (the massaging motions) equals the foam. Then thoroughly rinse the shampoo out.

Here’s a little trick we learned when bathing our own dog: She gets a little freaked out by the noise and pressure of the handheld nozzle in our shower, so we rinse her with cupfuls of water instead. Works like a charm!

tips for bathing your pet