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Eliminate Plastic Bags!

 We are have found a company that makes a truly green biodegradable, compostable doggy waste bag 
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Probiotics in Pet Shampoo....Really?

Probiotics in Pet Shampoo....Really?

Probiotics in dog shampoo? Not yet. 
So I've heard that some pet shampoo makers are adding probiotics to their products in hopes of nourishing dog's skin and coat. It's a good goal but not - YET - grounded in reality (or science). 
If you think about it, you'll see why it doesn't make sense.
First, probiotics are specific to their environment: what works in the intestines doesn't necessarily work for the skin's microbiome.
Microbiome describes the community of microorganisms - such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses - that inhabit a particular environment, e.g. your intestines. Until scientific/medical community cracks the code on what works for the skin's microbiome, it's more of an optimistic guessing game and vulnerable to marketing overstatements. 
Second, probiotics are live microorganisms (like bacteria & yeast) that when introduced in adequate amounts convey a health benefit, for example by working within the intestinal flora to balance that microbiome. Even if we knew exactly which probiotics were optimal for the skin, it seems doubtful that commercial pet shampoos would be able to sustain enough of these live microorganisms to benefit the skin especially since many shampoos are not in contact with the dog's skin for longer than 15-20 minutes. (You should see my dogs shoot out of the tub, flinging suds and water everywhere!) 
Probiotics can definitely have a place in your dog's overall care when introduced into their diet. Talk to your vet about whether your dog's gut needs rebalancing to calm inflammation that shows up as itchy, inflamed skin or to address gastrointestinal upset like chronic constipation or diarrhea.
If you know of research that shows topical probiotics specifically support skin health, please let me know. Until then, I've got it filed under "marketing not science" but am hopeful this will change. 
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Use Less, It's More Than You Think!

Simply Clean is a soap-free cleanser that is naturally low-sudsing. So you may not get the bubbles you'd see from shampoos with phosphates but our signature formula cleans deeply and rinses cleanly. After you've applied Simply Clean to your wet dog, add some water to evenly distribute as you massage into their coat and skin - avoid their face and eyes. For the sake of your dog's skin/coat health and the health of the water supply - use less, it's more than you think! 

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Why care about parabens in dog shampoo?

You've probably seen "paraben free" on cosmetics, cleansers,  and other personal care items. (Parabens are synthetic compounds that act as preservatives.) You may have even read why people are worried about parabens: there may be links between breast cancer and parabens because they are considered "endocrine disruptors." (The University of California at Berkeley raised concerns in a study issued in Fall of 2015.) 

So...why does this matter to us? Why do we care whether our products are paraben-free? Well....it's our hands and arms that are up to our elbows in dog shampoo when giving our dogs a bath. (Just like yours.) Dog grooming products may not be considered personal care items but they might as well be given the amount of skin contact. 

Yep, we know your exposure is pretty limited - you don't wash your dogs as much as you wash your own hair but dog groomers do. And yep, we know the data is still in development. But, why would we take the chance? So we opt for a paraben-free formula. So go ahead, wash your pup with one less worry....if you can catch & corral them into the tub. (My 19yr old Abby is still too fast...)

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Featured...NBC the More You Know

Featured...NBC the More You Know

We were psyched to be included in the Naturally, Danny Seo program on NBC last Saturday morning (3/4/17). He chose our services location in Los Angeles to film his Eco Grooming episode - so fun to see so many of "our" dogs in the spotlight! Rockefeller getting a "green" bath with our toxin-free Simply Clean shampoo...Bella with the stylish bandana that can also ward off pests like fleas....and Daisy in a star turn as the volunteer for the nourishing massage. (LOL she ran over the other pups to leap into his lap!)

 

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Is my shampoo safe for my dog?

Is my shampoo safe for my dog?

"Why can't I just use my own shampoo on my dog? It has lots of moisturizers and it smells nice?"

A dog's skin is simply different than their human's. Our pH is more acidic than theirs and our shampoo is formulated for that acidity. So using your shampoo can actually harm your dog's skin by stripping away natural oils and setting up an environment for bacteria to grow. It can set up a wicked cycle: you wash your dog with your shampoo - your dog's skin gets irritated - bacteria moves in - your dog's starts scratching - a slightly "off" smell develops - you wash them again.

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Up to your elbows in carcinogens? Yikes. No.

Up to your elbows in carcinogens? Yikes. No.

The whole topic of toxins can sometimes be overwhelming so let me give you an overview of which ingredients - commonly found in other dog grooming products -- that we choose NOT to use and why. Some reasons are simple and clear - chemical lathering agents (surfactants) can strip skin of healthy oil and set up itchiness and possibly infections. Other reasons - possible links between these ingredients and cancer - are more complicated and tough to prove conclusively.

So here goes...

DEA is derived from healthy coconut oil...yay... but.... has been processed and refined with harsh chemicals. Its function in cosmetics/grooming products is to generate lather and foam. It can be pretty strong stuff that can dry out skin and cause itchiness and, worse, set up infections. Instead of using DEA, we chose a plant-based cleanser that gently yet thoroughly cleans your dog's skin and coat. 

SLS - sodium laureth/laurel sulfates are also used in a lot of products for the same reason - foam. We've all be trained by decades of marketing to thinking that bubbles=clean. Nope, they don't. We've used our Simply Clean shampoo for the past 5 years in our very busy business in LA and would have been out of business if it didn't clean all sizes, shapes and types of dogs. SLS is a surfactant like DEA and can be harsh and drying on the skin. At best, it's uncomfortably itchy for your pup and, at worst, it can lead to open sores (from scratching) and possible infection. Our shampoo uses healthy botanicals to wash your dog - it doesn't have lots of bubbles, but it's safe and works great. (And the run-off won't pollute groundwater.) 

Phthalates - which can help extend the life of fragrance in a product - are tightly regulated in the EU and Canadian markets because they're thought to be endocrine disruptors and dangerous for women of child-bearing age. (I'm way past that but I don't really like shampoo to mess with my endocrines or anything else in my body when I have a choice.) Our products are infused with rich essential oils with fresh, unique fragrances so your pup, your car, your couch and your bed will smell yummy.  

Parabens - used to kill bacteria and fungus - are trickier to understand in terms of risk. But, there are people connecting the dots between parabens and cancer so we don't understand why it would be worth the risk for clean hair. We chose olive oil squalane, a vegan ingredient, as our preservative. 

Our goal is to offer you products that work well and that reduce or eliminate risks to your dog and to you. Why would you worry about your safety? Well, just like us, you're probably the one bathing your dog so you don't need to be up to your elbows in synthetic bubbles and damaging chemicals. We chose healthy ingredients that work well for you and your dog.    

We chose healthy ingredients that work well for you and your dog.  Please send me a note at ecodogcare@gmail.com if you have any follow-up questions or comments. Thank you. Jane  

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Dangers In Your Dog's Shampoo

Dogs Naturally Magazine recently published two articles about the safety of dog shampoos (1/20 and 2/4). They're linked below if you'd like to read them in full.
Our products DON'T HAVE ANY: formaldehyde, parebens, sulfates, artificial colors or fragrances, phosphates, or phthalates.
We DO HAVE grooming products that will leave your pup with a soft, fresh-smelling coat that shimmers with health.

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/3-dangerous-ingredients-in-your-dogs-shampoo/

 

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Lyme Disease Isn't Just An East Coast Deal

Lyme Disease isn't "just" an East Coast problem - deer ticks carry it from Coast to Coast. "Lyme" can be a debilitating disease for your dog and for you. And, it's not the only tick-borne condition out there: Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are also carried by ticks.

It's such a beautiful time of year to be out hiking with your pups. Use a multi-point program to stay safe and keep them safe:
1. Stop The Hop - use a natural pest repellent like Simply Fresh
2. Inspect your dog's skin and coat (and yours) after each hike. taking care to remove ticks completely with tweezers.
3. Talk to your vet about the best oral or topical treatment to kill ticks that get past steps 1-2.

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Heartland virus - more tick-borne trouble.

Now that another disease - the heartland virus - has been traced to ticks, it's even more important to do what you can to keep your dog (and yourself and your home) free of pests. Simply Fresh can "Stop The Hop" of pests and it's clean, light scent will leave your dog smelling great. 

http://news.yahoo.com/heartland-virus-carried-ticks-113130904.html

 

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