Labradoodle Puppy with a great big itch!
"Right from the start she would run to play, and stop to itch along the way."
Tieng sent us these videos🙄
This is Tieng's recount of our first call:
6 May 2019
In an email that followed Gayle said:
Dear Tieng and Pepper,
Congratulations on your Dog Lovers win, I am thrilled to have Pepper trial our products and to follow her story. To hear that she has always been an itchy pup, and to know you have tried so many things, must make you wonder what else you can do.
As you will have experienced thus far there are no magic potions, and if you've already looked into both internal/external allergies with your Vet, then it's possible you may just have a pup with very sensitive skin (i.e. maybe grass/environmental sensitivities). The mixed breeds especially, cavoodles, moodles, labradoodles, groodles and poodles have rather sensitive skin - other breeds like pugs, bulldogs, frenchies, shih tzu’s and many more are also susceptible. We cannot tell you why.
But this is what we do know:
Dry skin causes itching and itching causes inflammation, further scratching can cause breakage of the skin, bacteria gets in then hello... skin disease. We also know that medicated shampoos kill bacteria (it's what they are formulated to do), but they also dry the skin... and so the cycle would seem too repeat. This is all logical thinking.
Fleas - I haven’t seen fleas on a dog for a very long time (rescued dogs aside) - so not usually a factor. With great products like Nexgard & Bravecto on the market, Fleas are no longer the enemy.
Allergies - Sadly, whatever is causing Pepper to itch will probably always do so - I am just continually amazed as to how many dogs are on medication, antibiotics and/or steroids to counteract their plight. It is soul-destroying.
Underwater Dogs is a professionally formulated product, soap-free, paraben-free and pH balanced especially for canines. Formula's are full of high quality naturally moisturising ingredients, and created to allow both skin and hair to easily absorb nourishment. UWDOGS cannot cure an allergy but we do know that by helping to develop great skin health, we can help re-build skin elasticity giving it a healthy chance to counteract and recover from bursts of nasty allergens. It’s working, and the results are heart-warming to see.
By treating Pepper’s bath-time routine a little more like your own (shampoo & condition) and more regularly than you think - we hope to see some positive results. As she is so active, sea, pool, creek, mud, sand etc, rinsing after each outing will be imperative. I would look at bathing every week (shampoo and condition) for the first 3 baths and I would hope you see and feel a difference almost immediately.
For those who say, "You shouldn't bathe your dog so often." We say, that can be very true, although depends solely on 'what' you bath your dog in. Shampoos (and conditioners) that do not have a professional, quality base (the cheaper varieties), do not have conditioning formulations that aid in the skin rejuvenation process. They are heavier in substance and usually end up sitting on top of the skin and hair shaft without absorption.
If you have ever used cheaper haircare products on yourself and wondered why your hair is so slippery following the conditioning process - takes forever to dry - and leaves the hair feeling heavy and oily within days... this is actually your products still coating the hair shaft having not been absorbed, like we expect it to do.
UWDOGS Conditioner may be used as a Leave-in Treatment. It's light, quality formulation and ability to be absorbed into the skin and hair shaft, will not leave the coat slippery, oily or heavy. Just massage this product thoroughly into Pepper's skin (and fur) after her shampoo, and give a light rinse across her top side, leaving most of the product on her itchy areas beneath. This will aid in adding extra moisture and protection to these dry, sensitive, allergy-prone areas.
We look forward to following Pepper's bath-time regime and hope to see some recovery and in time... a dramatically diminished itch. Any questions, just reach out.
Kind regards, The Underwater Dogs Haircare Team
20 May 2019
After her bath she was unusually happy and wanted to play. With previous baths, she was so quiet, and just wanted to lay down on the concrete outside and itch. So to see her happy and want to play, I knew we had done something good for her.
It's now been a week since our first bath and my husband has noticed a "decrease in her itch. She used to scratch ALL the time, but now only occasionally". This is a great improvement!
I've been struck down with the flu this week so I've organised with the groomer to bath her using UWDOGS (2nd bath). Although I love her kisses, I love it when someone else baths her. We'll touch base again after her next bath.
BTW here's some notes I took before and after her first bath.
How Pepper's itching and skin problems has affected our family
- Pepper itches constantly all the time, unless she is sleeping or playing at the beach
- Constantly interferes with activities
- Plays games and stops to itch
- Plays with toys and humans and stops to itch
- Feels hot and doesn't want to play, just lays down on the cool tiles or outside on the concrete
- Digs the tan bark to create a crater to sleep in the dirt
- Affects social times with other dogs as she stops to itch
- Constantly interferes with sleep
- Wakes up in the middle of the night and scratches
- Shampoo was really light, so it was easy to rub into the thick fur.
- Shampoo, didn't make too many bubbles, so it was easy to wash out.
- Shampoo didn't feel dry on my hands.
- I decided to shampoo twice, because there was so much dirt coming out from the first wash.
- Second wash made Pepper's fur feel rubbery on my hands.
- Conditioner was really nice to use, feels smooth on the fur, easy to rub into the fur and get in as deep as possible. The conditioner feels light.
- I usually don't like the smell of coconut products, but I like UWDOGS fragrance because it wasn't over powering at all, and the fragrance seemed natural.
- I felt like Pepper needed the extra conditioner to restore her moisture so only gave a very light rinse, and left most of the conditioner in.
- Blow dried well and the conditioner didn't feel heavy or slippery while blow drying.
- The conditioner that I previously used - if we didn't wash it out properly it would feel like slippery like soap on the fur.
- I wasn't hesitant with leaving UWDOGS conditioner in as it felt so light, similar to putting a moisturiser into the skin and it was very smooth.
- Usually doesn't lick me during bath, but couldn't stop licking my hands.
- Usually Pepper is mad after a bath and wants to just sit outside.
- This was the first time after a bath that Pepper was really happy, and just wanted to play.
- Stopped to itch once, but continued to play.
- Fur feels soft, extra fluffy and silky.
- Smells lovely and sweet.
- Hoping to have less itch, to no itch and more healed skin ready for the summer beach and water activities.
- Friend commented "Look at her shine"
UWDOGS Response - 1 June 2019
This is such positive news! I am thrilled to have your first set of feed-back and how amazing is it that you've witnessed Pepper's immediate attitude change towards bath-time. Such a good sign.
If the itching has subsided some - this is even better - remember, there will be a part of Pepper that is almost on remote. She has itched for so long, that some of her scratches may be fuelled by habit. It will be good to see what happens after the groomer uses the products next time. Please ask her to lightly rinse out the conditioner (leaving most of it on) as you have done this first time round. It will be great to get her feed-back too!
As for the shine…. Enjoy! It’s nice when somebody else notices. A great start, and thank you for keeping such good records. Pepper is looking beautiful😘
26 July 2019
Hi Gayle, Sorry we have not kept closer contact, but it has suddenly become obvious that you were right about Pepper's itch subsiding. We have been so used to her itching that it's taken several weeks to actually note that she is not. There is the occasional dog scratch, but not the incessant itching & we now all sleep through the night!
I did find out along the way that my hubby washed Pepper and didn't use conditioner🙄. The itchy-scratchies returned. I believe the conditioner is making such a huge difference. So now I'm more convinced than ever that I need to get the moisture into her skin, massaging the conditioner in & lightly rinsing... then letting her dry.
Everyone is noticing how shiny and healthy her coat is, not to mention soft and smelling almost edible. This is a huge difference for us and we are so very grateful. Will stay in touch, take care and thank you.
1 September 2019
Some people comment that she could be a model. I tell them, 'Maybe a plus size model🙄'. Also, my parents have never had a dog in their house (over 40 years), but they like how Pepper is clean and smells so fresh, so she is always welcome in their home.
Thank you Gayle and UWDOGS for your beautiful products. We love what you do and your common sense philosophy. We are truly grateful that our paths have allowed us to meet. Thank you.
UWDOGS Response - 4 September 2019
Really happy to hear that Pepper has been showing some solid improvement. This however will be tested come the warmer weather, and if her allergies are as we suspect (grass & pollen) her little body will be put to the test.
The trick will always be to condition her well. Whether that is a paw bath, or spot bath (under- carriage) or where ever the itch is prevalent. Leave the conditioner on with only a light rinse. If she is getting itchy legs or paws, leave the conditioner on between her toes 🐾🐾 (for want of a better word). As long as the skin is clean, the conditioner will be absorbed and this will aid in her recovery, cooling the area and protecting it as much as is possible.
Fingers crossed, as Spring is in the air.
4 December 2019
We had to visit the vet to get antibiotics for the sore. Grrrr... Grass/pollen allergy as we had thought so she was prescribed Apoquel - which worked for the allergy, but is so expensive.
We took the Apoquel for a few weeks and combined this with weekly bathing. But it's Spring and she was always out and about going everywhere with me, playing ball and running on the grass... laying on the grass.
I was getting allergies from just hugging and patting her, and then my own eyes began to itch! Around early November, we decided to stop taking the Apoquel. We figured that we just needed to wash her more regularly...
We used the usual UWDOGS shampoo and always left the conditioner on, with extra conditioner on the affected areas. During hot days she air dried outside. Cold days we blow-dried her.
I used to dread bathing Pepper with our old brand, because it would take so long to shampoo and then wash all the bubbles out. I couldn't really wash all the conditioner out, and it would leave that sticky feel. Pepper would hate it and sometimes she would bite. I know this was her way of letting us know how she felt, but it made us feel bad.
Using UWDOGS makes it so much easier and faster, no bubbles but a really clean wash and the leave in conditioner saves me time adding the moisture - so it's win win. Pepper continues to lick me during the process😋
Note* We did expect the spring grasses and pollens to affect Pepper, but we have to say the regular baths were the key for us. We do not mind washing more often if it helps with her itching. We'd prefer to wash more often than to give her the Apoquel. We will see how see progresses through the hot Summer months.
28 January 2020
We're counting down the days now because she is desperate for a swim and needs a bath to get rid of the pollen that is still everywhere. We're actually waiting for a particular ear cleaner to arrive - apparently, it dries the moisture inside the ear and we need to use it after every swim and bath.
Pepper has these obsessive little licks and then she bites. If she starts licking, I say the word 'Shower', and she'll immediately stop licking🤣. It's definitely environmental, grass and pollen from the bushes that she sniffs and walks through. She licks her tummy, it goes red... (fortunately not that hot fluro red). After a bath, this calms down. It's not food related, I like to think of it as doggy hay fever, or a doggy contact dermatitis.
She was definitely out and about more in the Spring because it was warm. In Summer, she tends to be so hot that she's indoors with the air conditioning on. She does go out on the grass for toilet, but the dry grass has been making her paws itch. We know it's the grass because it's the only thing she's been on.
The sticky weather (even with a summer cut) has also made her smell a bit, whether its sweat, food, or beach outings we're not sure as we live quite close to the ocean and visit at least once a week. It works out well though because she gets her bath about every third day where I focus on giving her paws a good wash and condition.
My husband and I have definitely noted that the regular baths help, and especially on itchy days, spot washing helps too. She seems relieved and happy after a bath or spot wash. We noticed that she sleeps better too because she's not itching, and she doesn't get any itching or licking until her next outing.
So what does Underwater Dogs think?
We're also thrilled to know that the conditioning process is receiving such positive results. We cannot get rid of the allergy cycle, but we can continue to cleanse, soothe and nourish Pepper's skin, calming the inflammation and building resilience.
On applying the conditioner you literally feel the heat dissipate from your dog's tummy as the product cools and moisturises. We will continue to follow Pepper's journey and hope that as the Summer months pass and the cooler season is upon us that she enjoys a good six months of itch-free nirvana and that Mum & Dad can pull back on the bath-time ritual.
Love to Tieng & Pepper, Melbourne Australia
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