Earth friendly dog grooming
Green is the theme of the environmentally conscious, and now dog grooming has joined the program. If you want to enjoy this “pawsome” new trend, the new wave of eco-friendly grooming is here.
Why go green?
There are many reasons to switch to eco-friendly grooming practices. Dogs should be washed at least every month, and chemicals can be irritating. Skin is the largest organ of absorption; so rather than bombard dogs with toxic stressors while cleansing, we can nourish them with healing ingredients that support their overall well-being. Full-service grooming salons, mobile groomers and self-service pet washing facilities now offer eco-friendly services and products for our dogs.
The spa treatment
Some pet spas have incorporated eco-friendly elements into their services and design. The Pampered Pet Hotel and Spa in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley offers biodegradable shampoos and conditioners in an eco-friendly environment. Salon manager William Zohen believes quality grooming is reflective of the dog’s overall health and that stress free grooming is essential. With this in mind, they schedule two to three hours for each dog and three to four hours for puppies to insure a more relaxing spa experience. To minimize stress, the dryers are heat free, which also reduces energy consumption.
Their flea repellent shampoos are pesticide free and, instead, contain effective alternatives to conventional flea treatments like citrus and essential oils including citronella, cedar, clove and peppermint. Their shampoos and coat treatments include calming lavender ylang-ylang, soothing chamomile and oatmeal, and mint and tea tree oil, which rejuvenates skin and has an antiseptic effect. Aromatherapy is also used in grooming and boarding areas to calm and soothe the dogs.
To extend their green footprint, the flooring is made of recycled rubber, and skylights allow natural light and cut energy consumption.
If pampering pooches at a full-service spa isn’t in your budget, self-service is on the menu at some salons. Janene Zakrajsek, owner of Pussy and Pooch, has created a green oasis for pets in downtown Los Angeles with a Long Beach satellite salon that offer both full and self service. “If eco principles are important to our lifestyles, we should align with brands that represent these values,” says Zakrajsek, who encourages consumers to inquire about green products and make their preferences known.
For a full in-spa treatment, you can customize your menu to fit your needs and budget. You can choose high-end shampoos like Aroma Paws or Isle of Dogs Premium and add a custom blended Happytails oral tonic “to nourish the body from the inside out.” All are chemical free, hypoallergenic and there are species-specific lines offered in-spa and can be purchased in the store. Add aromatherapy for relaxation and a calming blueberry facial to cleanse the face and muzzle folds.
If you can’t afford a spa booking, you can do-it-yourself and add special a-la-carte products or services such as a premium shampoo or a facial upgrade. This way, you can try it in the store, and then buy what you like for home use.
You don’t have to go into a spa for the eco-friendly experience. Green grooming now comes to you. Bubbles and Clips Mobile Grooming and Salon offers green services at your door. Owner Bonnie Hayslett observed the evolution of pet products over the last few decades and notes that before the green movement, guardians and groomers, along with pets, suffered health issues from toxic grooming chemicals like malathion. She observed red, itchy flaking skin and red, burning eyes on both dogs and humans.
Her green grooming products include the natural Kelco line, which contains herbal ingredients and flea control without toxicity.
Home grooming tips
There is a plethora of products and ways to join the green grooming movement without the expense of professional grooming services. Replace harsh grooming chemicals with products containing herbal extracts and natural ingredients that are sulfate free. For dogs who are nervous and anxious during baths, lavender aromatherapy may help calm them. Use natural lavender essences or lavender flowers and foliage to scent the air, or use natural sprays made for dogs.
For natural flea control, Hayslett recommends keeping your environment clean with nontoxic cleaning products, and sprinkling boric acid powder on carpets and diatomaceous earth in your yard, which can be found in most large gardening centers, home improvement stores, on the internet and in some large grocery stores.
Supplement this by brushing and bathing your dog frequently. Keep the environment clean by vacuuming, after which remove and seal the vacuum bag with tape and throw it away. Wash bedding weekly or more often if fleas are present, and treat affected carpets with Borax. Sprinkle crushed lavender around bedding to repel fleas. Check with your holistic vet about additional natural supplements and topical treatments.
Green grooming is good for the environment, people and pets. The products are not only nontoxic, but can actually enhance a dog’s well-being. With so many eco-friendly choices now mainstream, going green is no longer a challenge. It’s right within your reach.