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WashBar
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Beautiful NZ Made Natural products that keep your dog clean and itch free
Beautiful NZ Made Natural products that keep your dog clean and itch free

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What’s in that shampoo and could it be slowly killing you?

I was recently in Melbourne, presenting to a group of people on WashBar products – telling them how lovely and natural they are. I’d put up a Powerpoint slide on an award winning commercial puppy shampoo that was available in most pet stores. I’d put the slide together as a graphic way of showing how natural, simple and safe our puppy shampoo was – the competitors shampoo contains 23 ingredients, incredibly nearly half of them (11) are on the nasty list – these are ingredients you wouldn’t want to use on yourself so why would you use them on a puppy?

I often find when I’m talking to people it makes it more real if I make it a little more personal - to really drive the message home. The hotel we were all staying in had a great selection of complimentary bathroom goods, and I’d checked out the ingredients in the shampoo and body wash to help illustrate my point. These are the little bottles you find in every hotel bathroom. We are encouraged to use them if we have forgotten our own shampoo, conditioner or soap. Many of them are branded cleverly to seem natural and primo quality. The ingredients in the bottles at this hotel were very dodgy – they had many of the 11 ingredients I was highlighting in my slide. This isn’t unusual – I’ve yet to find any Hotel Shampoos that aren’t loaded with nasties, and I’ve stayed at some pretty nice hotels in my time.

Most of the group staying at the hotel had seen the complimentary bottles – they nodded their heads to show their interest but it wasn’t until the next day that I had people coming up to me to let me know I had put them in a difficult position. Now they knew what was in the bottles they had to make informed choices – most choosing to avoid the hotel shampoo.

Ironically, I discovered I had forgotten my own shampoo and I found myself using our dog soap on my hair rather than the complimentary bottles containing ingredients known to cause cancer in animals (Cocamide DEA), banned for in use in cosmetics use in Germany (Methylisothiazolinone), and others with equally nasty synthetics. It’s tough being an informed consumer!

So the next time you’re thinking of using the little hotel bottles (or taking them home with you) check out the ingredients – you might want to leave them behind as you are also now an informed consumer …
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pH Balanced Shampoo – pick a number, any number …

“pH balanced for your dog” - is this a big shampoo brands marketing department strategy to sell us on their particular shampoo? We think so – because scientific studies throw up some interesting facts.

Let’s start with the scientific basics. The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline something is. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, and a pH of 7 is neutral.

Research has been done on the pH of dog skin with results ranging from acidic to alkaline – pH readings were taken over a variety of skin surfaces, at variety of times and on a variety of breeds. They ranged from 4.8 to 9.0.

When dogs were excited pH readings ranged from 6.6 to 9.0. When they were relaxed they ranged from 4.8 to 7.9. They also found some dog breeds had a more rapid increase in pH than other breeds.

Parts of their bodies showed different ranges of pH readings. The nose and foot area were quite stable – the nose moved from 7.1 to 8.5 whether the dog was excited or not. This relatively minor difference in reading is likely to be effected by the nasal glands and licking. The foot area was also quite stable with readings going from 6.5 to 7.9. It is believed that this stability is because of the eccrine gland secretions on paws. Some owners will have noticed their dog has damp paws, particularly if they are nervous or stressed. It’s thought this may be a natural defence mechanism as the damp paws provide more traction if they need to make a speedy getaway.

The abdominal region showed the most significant range with pH moving from 4.8 when the dog was relaxed to nearly double at 8.7 when the dog was excited.

This research puts a great deal of doubt on the need for ‘so called’ pH balanced shampoos for pets – you’d need to test the skin and have several different bottles of shampoo for different parts of the body just to manage the pH variations across the body of a single dog. We believe the whole pH debate is just marketing ticking off another feature with absolutely no benefits.
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WashBar has a strong philosophy on our ingredients - they have to be the best quality and we like to know they have made a difference to a community and/or the planet - it's all about the beautiful circle.
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