'Cosmetic' products for cats and dogs - Restrictions?

Hi there!

I'm starting to develop some cosmetic formulations (i.e. shampoos, conditioners, moisturizing emulsions, balms) for cats and dogs. My main question is: is there any prohibited or restricted ingridents in cosmetics for cats and dogs? I didn't find anything on FDA's website (since they don't regulate these tipe of products), neither in any regulatory authoroty website from EU and Brazil. I know that these products need to be as gentle as possible, so I'm formulating products using the same strategies that I use when I formulate baby products and products for senstive skin. 

Thanks in advance.
Kind regards,
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Comments

  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    edited May 5

    The main difference between dog and human products is that ingredients in pet formulations in the U.S. require approval in line with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Also, dogs’ skin pH is slightly higher, 7.0, and slightly less acidic than that of humans, which is in the 6.0 range, according to Guiliano.

    “Formulations or ingredients that you use on people or in products meant for humans can also be used on your pets, you just have to confirm with the regulatory requirements,” she said.

    https://www.basf.com/us/en/media/featured-articles/Products/pet-grooming.html

    BASF has some great info for this sector.

    My best advice, without getting too detailed, is to track your raw material costs closely. If you look at the market leaders you will see that sulfates are common in this sector. Be very careful and shrewd business wise before deciding that you can make a "Prestige Pet Care" product and position at a higher price point. Learn the market. I am aware of the spending trends in this market (we support our local Animal Shelter in various ways), but I have had so many clients learn this the hard way.

    Essential Oils are advocated by some "natural" lines, but I would investigate the safety of any EO you utilize. There are some possibility's for adverse reactions.



    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @tecnico3vinia:

    I do a fair amount of development work in the Pet Care grooming products space.  You are correct, formulate products for pets as though you are formulating products for human babies/infants and target end product pH in the range 7.0 to 7.5.

    Yes, you are correct in that the FDA does not regulate pet grooming products such as Shampoos, etc. so manufacturers of pet grooming products do not have to adhere to the labeling requirements for human personal care products.  So you will see pet grooming product labels with ingredients such as "Vegetable Surfactants" "Odor-Control Blend" and other such non-specific language, nor do the ingredient have to appear in any specific order, so with some pet grooming products it's virtually impossible to decipher what all exactly is in the product.

    The bottom line to answer your question is:  Don't put any ingredients in a pet grooming product that you would not put in a human personal care product ... formulate for pets as though they are human babies with sensitive skin and at a higher pH (7.5ish) and you will be fine.  And, always test your pet care concoctions on human skin before ever putting it on a pet.  If it irritates human skin, it will be worse on pet skin.  Finally, this is a price sensitive category so stick to inexpensive commodity ingredients.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • PhilGeisPhilGeis Member, Professional formulator
    and watch your claims.  FDA does not regulate pet "grooming aids" but does regulate pet drug products.
    The animal counterpart of a cosmetic is commonly referred to as a "grooming aid." The Act defines a cosmetic as pertaining only to human use (21 U.S.C. 321(i)). Therefore, products intended for cleansing or promoting attractiveness of animals are not subject to FDA control. However, if such products are intended for any therapeutic purpose or if they are intended to affect the structure or function of the animal, they are subject to regulation as new animal drugs under the Act.
    https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/resources-you/animal-products-fda-regulates#Grooming
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    AFAIK pet products fall under the same legislation like dishwashing liquids, car-wash and laundry detergents, floor cleaners... So, you'll easily find pet shampoos which don't list any ingredients other than something like <5% anionic detergents and <15% non-ionic detergents... and I bet these also contain MIT, MCI, and other nasties ;( .
    Regarding pH of dog skin: They show higher deviation and a broader pH range than humans which depends on the pedigree, the climate they live in, and other factors such as indoors/outdoors, food, grooming etc.. You'll find publications wherein they found quite acidic skin types and such with neutral one... lots of seemingly contradicting information if you don't look closer. However, there's one lesson to be learned: The more acidic the skin, the less issues and skin problems the dogs have. Much like with humans: acid protects from microbes ;) .
    On the other hand: Pet shampoos show an even broader pH range due to lacking control, lacking knowledge, and different believes. I prefer baby shampoo for my dogs, they are safer and more reliable regarding honesty of ingredients.
  • PhilGeisPhilGeis Member, Professional formulator
    Nasties?  Please rememnber preservatives control "nasties."
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    It's really a shame that the pet grooming products do not have the same labeling requirements as human personal care products.  Ditto what @Pharma recommends ... baby shampoo or a pet care product whose labeling is in the same format as human personal care product for my dog.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    PhilGeis said:
    Nasties?  Please rememnber preservatives control "nasties."
    You misunderstand me. What I mean is that there's a difference between proper skin tolerable preservation and stuff which I don't even like in technical materials such as isothiazolinones. Sadly, these are 'okay' in pet products because animals are considered 'objects' in most legal regards.
  • PhilGeisPhilGeis Member, Professional formulator
    Pharma said:
    PhilGeis said:
    Nasties?  Please rememnber preservatives control "nasties."
    You misunderstand me. What I mean is that there's a difference between proper skin tolerable preservation and stuff which I don't even like in technical materials such as isothiazolinones. Sadly, these are 'okay' in pet products because animals are considered 'objects' in most legal regards.
    Isothiazolinones have been used (typically as primary preservatives) in surfactant and hair conditioner products globally since ~1990.   Tho' some folks screwed up when 1st introduced, not used in leave one but for  limited use of one around turn of century that provoked sensitization and was withdrawn.  Not aware animals are more at risk than human "objects" exposed in historic use.  Are you referring to use in leave-on products? Can you elaborate?

    "Nasties" are the bugs against which we preserve.  Casual slandering preservatives is the practice of uninformed activists that diminishes our ability to protect consumers and their pets.  If a preservative does not satisfy safety in that use, let's please address it in objective unemotional terms that do not jeopardize applications where it may have both efficacy and safety in use.
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    The problem with isothiazolidinones is their extremely widespread use going into the thousands of metric tons each year. Some speculations go as far as 50-80% of everything which comes into contact with water during its production or use contains them to some degree. This, as you pointed out, caused a fairly widespread sensitisation and, because there are alternatives (though usually more costly ones), should IMHO no longer being used in things which come into direct contact with skin. The amounts for cosmetics are a lot lower than for, say, paint and pet shampoo has the same limits as paints, not as cosmetics and that's why I call these products 'nasties' (I agree with you, microbes in the wrong places are as nasty as it gets). Other products which I deem 'nasty' are for example certain antioxidants, formaldehyde, and to some degree F-releasers (= in human and pet care products if used at levels otherwise found in paints, surface cleaners, and the like) as well as a bunch of usually undisclosed ingredients which should not get in contact with life like free reactive monomers or certain plasticisers intended for wall insulation or electric circuits and such alongside many other chemicals which are regarded as safe in the right places for the right reasons but not in others where they are still frequently used because, you mentioned that too, the human species is fairly stupid, $$ driven, and lazy.
    I hope you now understand what I mean and why I decide to use a single word which I thought would explain it easily to most readers without having to elaborate for 15 minutes... which I just did because, well, I didn't bother collecting a list of all things I don't like having on my pets including a lot of stuff which I don't even know is in the pet care product because it's not required to be labelled and there's nobody to control these products...
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