I’m not obsessive about shampooing Barney. In fact, he only gets seriously washed if he’s rolled in something smelly or if it’s a special occasion (a soiree to a swish dog-friendly hotel, for example). Otherwise it’s a gentle hose-down in the back garden after a muddy walk.
But when he does get shampooed I want to make sure I use something that’s mild and made especially for dogs – human shampoo is just too harsh for their skin and can cause irritations.
Here are four shampoos we’ve been trying out and which we can recommend.
Best for Really DirtyDogs: Purple Bone Deep Clean Shampoo, £12.99, www.purplebone.com.
The expert London dog groomers at Purple Bone have made their dog shampoo range available in home-size 500ml bottles so your dog can get the salon experience at home. Deep Clean Shampoo smells gorgeous – a subtle mix of passion flower and kiwi fruit. You only need a small amount to shift stubborn dirt and Barney was left smelling scrumptious for days.
Best for Going Organic: Bonnie & Bailey Derma Soothe Shampoo, £12.50, bonnieandbailey.com
Certified organic by the Soil Association, this shampoo contains a blend of essential oils specially chosen to be gentle on the skin – jojoba to soothe irritated patches and argan oil to help heal skin. There are no harsh foaming agents so don’t expect masses of suds but do expect a soft and glossy coat post-bath.
Best for Sensitive Souls: Frontline Pet Care Sensitive Skin Shampoo, from £6.50, various outlets. More information: frontlinepetcare.co.uk
This formulation is developed by vets and contains two key ingredients: Rhamnose is a natural substance with soothing and hydrating properties and Luminescine is a plant extract that can help prevent UV damage from the sun, keeping the coat glossy. Scent is subtly soapy.
Best for Dogs Who Hate Baths: K9 Organics Lavender Dog Wash, £9.99, www.k9organics.co.uk
The soothing scent of English Lavender essential oil should have a calming effect on even the most bath-phobic of dogs. And more good news? Lavender essential oil has natural flea-repelling properties too. This is a gentle formula that Barney tolerated well – and he’s not that keen on being cleaned!
Photos of Barney copyright of Alistair Heap.
We were gifted the shampoos from relevant companies but all opinions are our own.