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What is d-Limonene? Is it bad for pets?
If you look in many flea and tick products on the market, you will see d-Limonene as an ingredient. A few years back there was a scare in our industry stating that pets were becoming ill from this ingredient. But what is d-Limonene and is it bad for pets? It has such a scary name, after all. What is this freaky ingredient?
Wait for it……
Orange peel extract. That’s it. The thing that has spooked many groomers is simply the extract from the rind of lemons, oranges and other citrus-type fruits. Limonene is a natural bug deterrent, created by mother nature to protect her fruit. When used in pet shampoo, it will have a clean citrus smell but also create an aversion for pests. When used in its natural state, it is an excellent alternative to pesticide shampoos.
So what’s the big scare?
There was a case of a Pomeranian named Ginger that caught the attention of the national news. Ginger had been diagnosed with an extreme allergic reaction to the pet shampoo, which contained d-Limonene. In Ginger’s sad case, the vet and pet owner agreed that this was the ingredient that caused her near death. (Thankfully, Ginger recovered). As horrible and sad as Ginger’s reaction to the product was, there are tens of thousands of pets bathed each year with pet products that contain d-Limonene and no other documented cases that link specifically to d-Limonene.
Unfortunately, with Ginger and possibly other pet’s, they can be allergic to a natural product. (For more information, check out my blog Can a Dog Be Allergic to a Natural Product?) But this does not mean that it is not safe for the masses. Another way to think about it is with people. You may be allergic to peanuts but that doesn’t mean I can’t have a PB&J sandwich. Same holds try with pet shampoos.
Natural vs Chemical
I spend a lot of time with my clients discussing the difference between a natural ingredient and a chemical one. Who knows if the shampoo that Ginger nearly died from had the synthetic version of d-Limonene….it was never reported.
When in doubt, #choosenatural It just makes more sense to me to use something created from the Earth rather than in a lab.
Trust the Manufacturers
A quick google search for d-Limonene pet shampoos will bring up hundreds of products by very respectable companies. Envirogroom carries 4 products that use d-Limonene in its natural state: Eliminator, Neem Supreme, Hypo Remedy and Scram Spray. Pet shampoo manufacturers want to provide the best products on the markets – not ones that make pets sick. If they see a problem, they would fix it. If you have any concerns, call the company that makes the products you are using.
We all have the same goal of providing the best possible care for our beloved pets.
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