Since I'm new to this whole show world thing, I've only got advice for the average pet owner.
What on earth should you use to bathe your pets with? Petstores are always full of shelves loaded with colourful brands of shampoos and conditioners--from really cheap ones to extremely expensive ones.
First, the basics. All shampoos (even soaps) are pretty much the same thing. If you would like to read in depth on this, please visit Ruffly Speaking because she has pretty much covered all the basics. Here's an excerpt for those of you who are lazy to read through the entire thing:
The supreme thing you need to know when you’re looking at shampoo is that SHAMPOO IS A LIE, MADE BY LYING LIARS THAT LIE. When you buy shampoo, you’re getting about a teaspoon of actual cleaning power inside a $10 bottle of water, salt, thickeners, pearlizers, texture enhancers (and by this I mean the texture of the shampoo, not the texture of the hair), foamers, defoamers, fragrance, water softeners, emulsifiers, and a bunch of completely useless herbs and botanical ingredients.
The function of shampoo is to remove the skin oil (sebum) that is sitting on the skin and coat, and to lift dirt so it can be carried away in the rinse. That’s it.
The vast majority of what is in that bottle is made for YOU, not the dog. People tend to like products that feel thick, silky, have a pearly sheen, smell good, and create a thick and firm lather. None of those aspects mean SQUAT when it comes to cleaning, but they make you feel like it’s a higher-quality product than one that is thin and watery and smells like soap.
Basically, in my opinion, if you use a shampoo, like the smell, and don't see your dog getting itchy or dry skin from it, there's nothing wrong with it. I personally have tried these brands of shampoo: Biogroom, Earthbath, Yu, Chris Christensen, and a bunch of other store brand shampoos. For the most part, the biggest difference I could see between all this brands is the thickness of the shampoos/conditioners, and how long their smells lasted.
Random petstore brands are generally a lot more dilute than professional brands such as Chris Christensen and Yu. This is because professional brands require diluting before use--what I do is, I mix the shampoo and water into a spray bottle and then spray the shampoo on the dogs when they get their baths.
I've been using Earthbath for over a year--I am a huge fan of the brand. For one, it's environmentally friendly; I mean, just take a look at the back of the Earthbath Bottles:
I mean, isn't that just awesome? Perhaps it's just the copywriter in me (because hey, this is what I do for a living), but I really really liked their company after reading that. Also, I admire their excessive use of parentheses because I DO EXACTLY THE SAME!
Okay, so back on topic... I like Earthbath because it's very mild, gentle, and it's made of 100% natural and bio-degradable ingredients. I would recommend Earthbath in a heartbeat if you have a pet who has allergies or sensitive skin. They have an Oatmeal formula which should help. The conditioner is pretty great, too.
So why am I switching from Earthbath? Well... I like things that smell nice. Yup. I like my dogs to smell nice. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's the smell of dog. I know, ridiculous since I have two and they sleep on my bed, huh? I keep on top of things by bathing them once a week. Cadence I find, has pretty much no smell--ever. He can go 2 weeks without a bath and still smell like nothing. Lyra, on the other hand, starts to smell funky after 5-6 days. I wonder if it's a breed thing? Papillons are pretty famous for having no doggie smell.
Anyway, I decided that I need to switch to a shampoo that has a longer lasting smell. Previously I used Biogroom on Cadence, was was fine and dandy--only I didn't like the conditioner because it was awfully dilute! I finished the conditioner wayyy before the bottle of shampoo was done. Certainly not ideal. The smell was pretty good and stayed on for quite a while, though. I was using the whitening shampoo (it's blue in colour) but I found that it dried Cadence's coat out quite a bit. I could never go without conditioner because his coat would be really dry. Or perhaps it was because we were still living in Canada and the air was drier there.. Hmm.
So right now, I'm experimenting. I got some samples of Yu shampoo (it's made in Taiwan), and I have to say that IT SMELLS AMAZING. I am absolutely in love with how long the smell lasts! However.... they do not make conditioners to go with their shampoos, and the shampoos aren't cheap either! You'd think it would be since it's made in Asia and everything, but NO. One bottle retails at RM59.90 for a mere 400ml (it's dilutable up to 8:1 I think).
So, I went out and got some Chris Christensen Day to Day shampoo and Day to Day conditioner. The smell, though not as nice as Yu, does last pretty long and I have to say that I like the texture it leaves the dogs' coats in. It seems to be milder than Biogroom, and smells better as well. I managed to get the two bottles for RM62 each (for 473ml, which is equivalent to 16 fl oz.)
For now I think I'm happy enough with CC that I'm going to stick with it for the time being. Another really great brand that a lot of my friends (back in Canada) use is Vellus. It's very popular among show people, but it would burn a hole in your pocket if you have a lot of dogs, or a couple of big dogs. I haven't seen it around in Malaysia at all, though, so I don't know if I'll even be able to get it here.
From what I remember, Biogroom retails at between RM35-45 at petstores here. They come in smaller 350ml (12 fl oz.) bottles, though. Earthbath costs about RM45-50 for 473ml (16 fl oz.).
For now, I have no plans of using whitening shampoos simply because I bathe the dogs so often that it's not needed--they are always sparkly white. Also, whitening shampoos are usually pretty harsh on the coat so you don't want to be using it too often.
Anyhow, yesterday I decided to use lots of conditioner on Lyra in an attempt to get her curly neck fur to lie straight. This was the result of a big glob of conditioner and a nice blow dry session:
And this... is what it usually looks like:
I'm thinking maybe I need to resort to plan B, haha.
Blog for the Dogs
Here's where I chronicle the dogs' daily lives, write reviews on dog products, and share tips on everything under the sun.