The Benefits of Shea Butter for Pets

Seasonal changes affect everyone's skin, from humans to our pets, who typically have a heightened sensitivity to seasonal allergies. So, what can you do to fully protect your furry friend during the seasonal months? As humans we use moisturizers to help improve our skin’s health but what options are available for our furry friends?

Can I use my own moisturizer on my pet? Human moisturizers contain chemicals, which can irritate pets’ skin and lead to severe issues due to PH levels as well. It is the main reason why we are focused on 100% natural ingredients to formulate pet care products. One of the natural ingredients that has topical and medical application benefits is shea butter.

Read on to find out the important role shea butter can play in your pets’ skin and paw health.

What causes pet skin to become dry?

Before heading to the shea butter, let’s find out what causes pets’ dry skin. Compared to human skin, pet skin is three times more sensitive and thinner. Dogs and cats are more susceptible to the effects of environmental stressors. Environmental stressors can cause skin conditions such as:

  • Dry skin
  • Red bumps
  • Scaliness
  • Rough and irritated skin
  • Itchy skin

Unfortunately, a pets approach to deal with these problems is to lick, scratch or bite the area which only makes it worse. Those of us that live in colder winter climates see humidity to drop during these months, causing increased dry and flaky skin in pets.

If you’re observing dry skin in your pet, try to rule out what’s causing it first. Here are a few things that can cause your pet’s dry skin:

  • Hormonal changes or stress
  • Mange
  • Skin infections
  • Sensitivity to grooming products
  • Allergies (seasonal and food allergies).

What is shea butter?

Found predominantly in Africa, shea trees are the source of shea butter. The shea tree has been nicknamed “Tree of life” earned by virtue of its ability to address numerous skin, hair and health conditions. Shea butter has also earned the nickname “Mother Nature’s Conditioner” for its exceptional moisturizing and softening properties. Shea butter is extracted from shea nuts that are dried, grounded, and boiled. Shea butter is also known to be a superfood for skin and as a refatting agent a great cosmetic ingredient that restores skin – more on that below!

Lets break it down

The main chemical constituents of Shea Butter are: Oleic Acid, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Cinnamic Acid Esters, Allantoin, and Polyphenols (Tocopherol/Vitamin E). As you can see below many of these chemical constituents are not only great for you to use on yourself but can also benefit your furry friends.

 OLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA 9) are known to:

  • Maintain the softness, suppleness, and radiance of skin and hair
  • Stimulate the growth of thicker, longer, and stronger hair
  • Reduce the appearance of aging, such as premature wrinkles and fine lines
  • Eliminate dandruff and thereby support hair growth
  • Boost immunity
  • Exhibit antioxidant properties
  • Prevent joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain 
  • Impact the hardness or softness of the butter

 STEARIC ACID is known to:

  • Have cleansing properties that purge dirt, sweat, and excess sebum from hair and skin
  • Be an ideal emulsifying agent that binds water and oil
  • Help products remain potent when stored for long periods of time
  • Condition and protect hair from damage without diminishing luster or making it feel heavy
  • Have exceptional cleansing properties
  • Soften skin
  • Provides the butter with a solid consistency

PALMITIC ACID is known to:

  • Have emollient properties
  • Soften hair without leaving a greasy or sticky residue
  • Be the most common saturated fatty acid

 LINOLEIC ACID (OMEGA 6/Vitamin F) is known to:

  • Moisturize hair and promote its growth
  • Facilitate wound healing
  • Be an effective emulsifier in the formulation of soaps and quick-drying oils
  • Exhibit anti-inflammatory properties
  • Soothe acne and reduce chances of future outbreaks
  • Promote moisture retention in skin and hair
  • Make oils feel thinner in consistency when used in an oil blend, thus being beneficial for use on acne-prone skin
  • Soothe and promote the healing of skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis
  • Slow the look of premature aging

 CINNAMIC ACID ESTERS are known to:

  • Have SPF properties that make it act as natural sunscreen
  • Soothe inflammation, irritation, and redness
  • Contribute antioxidant properties
  • Promote cell regeneration, making skin look rejuvenated

 ALLANTOIN is known to:

  • Contribute protective and regenerative properties to skin that facilitate wound healing
  • Effectively soften skin and soothe irritation
  • Stimulate cell regeneration, thereby promoting the growth of healthy skin and tissue
  • Be an effective moisturizing agent
  • Be gentle and non-irritating, making it ideal for use on sensitive or irritated skin
  • Increase the water content of cells, making it an ideal ingredient for anti-aging products
  • Enhance skin’s texture, making it smoother

 POLYPHENOLS are known to:

  • Soften skin
  • Exhibit antioxidant properties that slow the look of aging
  • Protect against harmful UV radiation
  • Boost skin cell regeneration and elasticity, thereby enhancing overall skin quality
  • Promote greater circulation and oxygen to the skin
  • Have antioxidant properties that slow the look of aging and boost circulation
  • Repair scarred and blemished skin
  • Prevent moisture loss from skin and hair
  • Offer soothing relief to skin that has been burned
  • Deeply cleanse pores and balance oil production

 VITAMIN A is known to:

  • Protect skin against damage caused by UV radiation
  • Slow the appearance of aging by smoothing wrinkles and fine lines
  • Stimulate production of collagen
  • Stimulate cells regeneration to keep skin healthy, strong, and firm
  • Facilitate faster healing of wounds
  • Protect skin against toxins and bacteria and promotes cell production, thus boosting immunity
  • Lighten unwanted blemishes and dark spots, thus balancing skin tone to create an even glow
  • Slow the production of oil in the skin and clears pores, thereby preventing acne breakouts

But is shea butter safe?

Shea butter works as an emollient and is safe to use topically. Topically it treats many skin conditions, including:

  • Dull fur
  • Dry, scaly skin
  • Irritation
  • Itchy fur
  • Small cuts and wounds
  • Cracked paws
  • Red bumps

It acts as a moisturizer: Shea butter is a great option for nourishing your pets' hair and soothing dry and flaky skin. It hydrates your pet's skin, locks in moisture, and treats cracked paws. From stopping itching to healing rashes, shea butter leaves your pet’s skin smooth and soft.

 It treats itching symptoms: You might have opted for antihistamines and steroids like prednisone and hydrocortisone to relieve the itching symptoms, but they could sometimes worsen the condition. Shea butter naturally aims to alleviate itching and soothe skin to heal it back to normal.

Like what you’ve read about shea butter? We use shea butter in both our Nourish and Mend paw bawls to help moisturize and heal your pet’s paws. Check them out to learn more.

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