06 September 2012

Divas & Studs canine products: Nice idea but questionable ingredients

I admit it. I am indeed a crazy Chihuahua lady. At least that is what they called me at the animal shelter and adoption center where I worked. And although I didn’t set out to win the crown, it is one I now wear with pride. Why do I mention this? Well, if you’re familiar with Chihuahuas, you’re familiar with their ears. My youngest, a sweet little boy I renamed Phoenix had been lovingly dubbed Radar by the good people who rescued him from the bottom of a dumpster. Yup, despite finding him in the most atrocious of circumstances they still couldn’t get over the size of his ears. Admittedly, they are huge. That is why I was so excited when I received my package of canine care products from the company Divas & Studs.

Ripping the package open, I wondered, would I finally have an easy and gentle alternative to the risky blind maneuvering of a wet Q-tip in his sensitive well of an ear? One that would alleviate any waxy buildup without leaving his ear canal drenched, causing him more discomfort than before the cleaning began. I sure hoped so.

As it turned out, the people at Divas & Studs sent me a generous supply of bath wipes, ear buff finger mitts, and gentle dental finger mitts. All of which are pre-moistened and smell a bit medicinal without being too overwhelming.

The ear buff finger mitts are an awesome idea, as they allow complete control and coverage of even my boy’s larger surface area without risk of penetrating too deeply.

The dental mitts work in the same way, and appear much more gentle than some of the alternatives I have tried in the past, i.e., a toothbrush or finger scrubber. And the bath wipes are pretty self-explanatory. Open package, wipe body and discard. Simple, right?

So here’s the problem: the ingredients are far from natural. Each package comes with a written warning to keep out of eyes and mouth (except for the dental mitts), and all contain amongst many other possibly dangerous ingredients, alcohol and Phenoxyethanol, which according to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) says is harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin and that it can cause reproductive damage. The MSDS refers to 100% concentrations, so is it safe at lower doses? In cosmetics the concentrations are typically 0.5% to 1%. But due to my research of Phenoxyethanol use, which has been found to result in allergies, and effects to the brain and nervous system as only a few of the side effects, in all honesty, I have to pass.

Overall, the designs are great, but the ingredients and their possible side effects far outweigh the intelligent design. Now this with all natural ingredients would be prefect for my big-eared babies. Oh well. Looks like it is back to water and Q-Tips for this crazy Chihuahua lady.

Referenced site: http://www.truthinaging.com/ingredient-spotlight/what-is-it-phenoxyethanol-and-is-it-safe

Erica Settino | Twitter | Facebook | Website
New York Erica is the founder and executive director of the non-profit organization, Karuna For Animals: Compassion In Action, Inc. A long time vegetarian turned passionate vegan, she works tirelessly to educate others on the countless benefits of adopting a vegan diet. She currently holds a BS in Psychology with a concentration in Animal Behavior and an MFA in Creative Writing. Along with her work in animal advocacy, Erica works as an editorial assistant, freelance writer, certified and registered yoga instructor, nutritional counselor and health coach. She lives with her veg husband and their four rescued animal companions.

Photo credit: L.A. Fresh Group