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The Clipit Guide To Dog Grooming Shampoo

Dog shampoo has come a long way over the years, but here's the truth about what's contained in the products we use today, and how to use and look after shampoo.


In 1984, Mr David Grimes (Paula Bryan's father) was approached by a Veterinary laboratory to develop a pet shampoo using Pure Evening Primrose Oil. The Veterinary Laboratory at the time had undertaken trials by Dr. David Scarf, and how Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) could help treat dogs that suffered with skin complaints to include eczema, dermatitis and even where the origin was unknown.

In 1999, the EPO shampoo was developed and hundreds of successfully treated dogs around the globe benefitted from being bathed in EPO. Since these early days both David and his daughter Paula have developed many grooming products that are still used and recommended today.

So What makes a good dog grooming shampoo?

Back in the 80's and 90's dog groomers weren't as conscious about the shampoo they used as they are today. Many would use cheap
hairdressing shampoo instead of dog grooming shampoo that contained high levels of salt, or even horror stories like using washing powder to get a coat clean. 
Many shampoos were and are still today made to include Sodium Lauryl Sulphate.

So what is Sodium Lauryl Sulphate?
SLS can be found in many products that we use every single day. From cleaners to toothpaste. It is a common ingredient that cleans and creates foam for deep cleaning. In 1998 an email came out of the US instilling fear in shampoo users around the globe alleging SLS to be carcinogenic and could be harmful. However, in 2015 a review of SLS found that there was no claim to support the dodgy email of 1998. However, it had the desired effect as lots of groomers switched to "all-natural" shampoos that proudly assert their SLS-free status.
So can SLS cause irritable skin? 
SLS can irritate the skin under certain circumstances. If the shampoo is left on the skin for an extended period of time and not rinsed properly, it can cause skin irritations. Still, even with the lack of evidence linking SLS and cancer, some groomers would rather use a natural SLS-free shampoo.

What does hypo-allergenic mean?
To create a dog grooming shampoo that is hypo-allergenic means it does not contain synthetic fragrances, colours or anything that could cause skin irritation.

Do you need to dilute dog grooming shampoo?
For years dog groomers have been diluting their dog grooming shampoo depending on what type of shampoo you are using. Firstly, look at the coat you are bathing. If it is very dirty and greasy you will need to give it a pre-wash and then another wash with shampoo to ensure the coat is squeekie clean. Grease breaks down the foam and soap suds and when you think there's no foam you could be thinking the shampoo isn't working. If your dog shampoo has a high dilution rate then you can guarantee it has a high level of active ingredients.
Dog's skin is set at a pH level of 7.52 and is different to that of a humans that is 5.4-5.9, meaning a dog's skin is more alkaline. 
Water quality can impact on the ph level when it comes into contact with the dogs coat. It is always advisable only to dilute dog shampoo when you need it, and only mix what you need for that day. Never pour diluted shampoo back into its original undiluted source.

Using mixing bottles and pumps.
Misuse of mixing bottles and pumps in the grooming salon is a common place. If they are not kept clean, then there is a high chance of cross-contamination. Always designate one diluting bottle and pump to the product you are using. Never switch between products and never use bottles that have housed other solutions. Clean your shampoo diluting bottles often with hot water and detergent. Label your pumps with the product and when not in use cover with a plastic bag and tie on.

How long does dog grooming shampoo last?
Storing dog shampoo is essential so it does not spoil. During extreme weather and climate change, it is best to keep your shampoo stock low, but to order more frequently. Hot weather and a freezing winter can cause shampoo to "go off", giving a bad egg smell. If also left in a window, shampoo can also discolour. Turning your inventory over more frequently reduces the likelihood of it spoiling. 

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