By: Heather Warren of Aussie Pet Mobile/Central Houston. 1-800-PET-MOBILE

As a groomer, what types of products do you use for bathing the dogs and cats?

As a mobile pet groomer, we are required to use products that are biodegradable since we have to drain the waste tanks every day. We prefer natural and organic products as well for the safety of the pets. Different groomers prefer different shampoos, but Kelco shampoos and conditioners are some of the best on the market today. Their products are all natural and organic as well as pesticide-free…even the flea and tick shampoos. “Wild Thang” is a really good basic shampoo that cleans, brightens the coat, and kills fleas. Their shampoos have a dilution ratio of 50-1, which can be adjusted as needed, which, at around $30/gallon, makes it an economical choice for both groomers and the layman alike. For pet owners who truly want to pamper their pets, the Plum White shampoo and conditioner is a wonderful treat for both the owner and the pet. When used in conjunction, the skin and coat are soft, conditioned, and your pet’s hair is static-free. The scent is indescribably good, and after using both products, your hands are even soft.

My dog’s skin is very itchy and he has dandruff. What product would you use or recommend to treat his skin?

A great prescription alternative for dogs with itchy skin or dandruff is “Dr. MD.”  It has a dilution strength of 50-1, but can be applied full strength to problem areas for 3-5 minutes for maximum benefits. It includes vitamins A, E, and D, as well as tea tree oil. We also use a gentle oatmeal shampoo for dogs with skin problems. It’s very soothing to their skin.

Is there something I can put on my pet in between grooming appointments to keep the odor away?

Actually, there is a great product called “One Shot Waterless Shampoo” by Best Shot. It comes ready to use and is perfect for groomers and pet owners alike. It is safe for dogs and cats which makes it a winning product. The main ingredient that makes it so wonderful is peppermint oil. If there is anything I would recommend to a pet owner who has odor problems between grooms, it is this. As an experienced groomer of 13 years, I can tell you that this will get rid of even the strongest odors! All you have to do is spray it on your pet’s skin, rub it in, and then dry your pet’s hair with a hair dryer. You don’t even have to dry their hair, but sometimes if the odor is particularly strong, you may need two applications, and the only way to tell is if your pet’s hair is dry. For the cat lover, it is better to spray some in your hands first, and then rub it into your kitty’s coat as they don’t like to be sprayed with anything that might resemble water! Just remember to be careful not to get this product in your pet’s eyes.

If I run out of pet shampoo at home, is there another home product that I can use on my pet in a pinch?

Yes, if you still have a little pet shampoo left, add a little Dawn Dishwashing Liquid to it to make it last longer.  It is safe for both dogs and cats and is biodegradable so it’s safe for the environment. You can also add a little Dawn by itself to a tub of water to wash your pets safely. After all, that is what the marine biologists use to clean the birds that are affected by oil spills. As with all pet products, there is no way to determine if your particular pet might be allergic to a product, so always be mindful of any itchiness, redness, or swelling after using any products, and see your veterinarian right away.