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It has been a while since I posted any sort of dog product review, so I have one for you today. Dr Zoo is a natural skin and fur care range for pets that is made in Australia.  Dr Zoo is the sister brand to Moo Goo, one of my favourite skincare brands. The MooGoo Soothing and Eczema and Psoriasis creams have really helped my skin, so I knew I had to try the itchy pet range on my dogs to help with their skin concerns. The Dr Zoo itchy pet range isn’t just for those with skin problems though, the products work great on all skin and fur types, whether it’s dogs, cats, horses or guinea pigs. I took lots of photos of my pups for this review, you will however see that they are not models and the prevailing facial expression is “mum what are you doing to me?”

Bonsai loving the Dr Zoo pet skin and fur care range
Bonsai loving the Dr Zoo pet skin and fur care range

Since the lovely ladies at Dr Zoo gave me the products at the Dog Lovers Show, I have tried them on lots of different dogs. There’s my three, plus foster dogs and my mum’s dogs which includes breeds like Chihuahua, Dachshund, Lhasa Apso, Pomeranian, Poodle, Pekingese, Maltese, Terriers and more. So I have truly put these products through their paces. My three dogs have very different skin and coat types. Kobi (who is probably a Lhasa Apso) has very long hair that gets cut short regularly. His fur isn’t very smooth but it’s also not coarse, it does however knot easily. He has the most problems with his skin as he has allergies to a lot of different things. When the allergies are at their worst, he has huge raised, red, itchy welts that he will scratch until they bleed. When he has minor irritations, his feet and ears become red and itchy and his coat gets dull. Pickles has shorter straight hair that sheds quite a lot (she’s probably a chihuahua cross dachshund). She has the nicest hair naturally, it is very smooth and rarely knots. However, stress really affects her hair quality, like when I came home from hospital after three days, her hair was significantly more coarse. She also has dandruff but it’s hard to see against the blonde hair colour. Finally, there’s Bonsai – I don’t know where to begin with his hair. He is apparently a Chihuahua cross Papillon, but looks nothing like his two littermates who I also fostered from 6 weeks of age. He has very coarse hair (more so than any dog I’ve seen before) and has lots of curls. The curls go into ringlets around his front and rear ends but the fur on his body is more kinky than curly. He knots very quickly and requires frequent grooming to loosen all of the hair that falls out (it’s a lot for such a little dog). The Dr Zoo range has worked really well for all three of them despite the big differences in skin and coat conditions and types.

Dr Zoo pet care range
Dr Zoo pet care range

The Dr Zoo Natural Calming Shampoo and Natural Nourishing Conditioner are the products I see people on social media with the most. The Natural Calming Shampoo (previously Shampoo For Itchy Pets) has 6 gentle Coconut and Glucose based cleansers along with Aloe Vera and Colloidal Rice Bran to help soothe and calm the skin. The Natural Nourishing Conditioner (previously Conditioner For Itchy Pets) is silicone free and contains Jojoba Oil for moisturisation that doesn’t weigh down the coat. I have used SLS and silicone free hair care on myself for a couple of years now and I know it makes a big difference, so I’m glad I can make that choice for my dogs too. Both products work just like any other pet shampoo and conditioner, you wet the fur, lather it on and wash it off. The conditioner can be left on the pet or just slightly rinsed off, but I have found their hair to clump up if I leave too much on, so I give the conditioner a good rinse off and still find it helps the fur. Bonsai can be a brat when being washed so I have resorted to bathing him when I have a shower and it has worked well – I know that I wont end up with any irritations from using this product like I have had with other pet products out there. Many of the pet shampoo and conditioners I have tried result in Pickles smelling like wet dog after a bath, rather than the clean dog that she is. These Dr Zoo products help to minimise that smell much more than any other brands I have tried.

Bonsai checking out the Dr Zoo products
Bonsai checking out the Dr Zoo products

If my dogs are ever having problems with dry or tangled hair then I use the Dr Zoo Tame The Mane Grooming Cream. It has coconut oil, jojoba oil and Pro-Vitamin B5 to create a natural shiny coat. This product can be used straight after a bath, on towel dried hair before blow drying or on dry hair in between washes (which is how I use it). The time I used this cream which sticks out the most in my memory is when I came back from a stay in hospital to Pickles. She had obviously stressed the whole time I was gone and it was really showing in her coat. Her hair was dry and frizzy and started to knot on the top of her shoulders, which never happens. So instead of putting her through a whole bath which would only stress her out more, I used the Tame The Mane Grooming Cream on the worst areas. I used my fingers to evenly layer the product over the top of the fur and then used a brush to help distribute to the underlying layers of hair. This helped significantly with the knotting and you could feel that the hair wasn’t as coarse afterwards. It doesn’t leave the hair feeling clumpy like the wash out conditioner can do and is quick and easy to use. It would be especially useful for any dog with a long coat that needs extra help to keep the hair untangled.

Bonsai with the Dr Zoo Tame The Mane Grooming Cream
Bonsai with the Dr Zoo Tame The Mane Grooming Cream

Dr Zoo Ruff To Fluff Dry Shampoo is a natural powder that freshens the pet’s coat between washes by absorbing oils, odors and dirt that can cause them to be smelly. It comes with a twist top lid with holes that allows you to easily shake the powder onto the coat of your pet, then you massage it into the hair by giving them a good scratch. After 5-10 minutes you can brush the powder out or use a blow dryer. This isn’t really a product that I need for either of my boys because they both remain really clean for dogs, Pickles however is a different story. Pickles likes to be the most odorous dog around, anything that smells, she rolls in, so this is very handy as I don’t like to bath my dogs too often. Ruff To Fluff does reduce her stench considerably (notably she tries to roll herself in something smelly again straight away but I can’t expect the product to change that). After use, she has a powdery smell, but it’s not overwhelming. I tend to spray her with one of the dog fragrances I have to add a pleasant smell, so that might be something Dr Zoo could add to their range to pair with Ruff To Fluff.

Pickles with the Ruff To Fluff Dry Shampoo
Pickles with the Ruff To Fluff Dry Shampoo

The Dr Zoo Irritable Skin Cream has been such a welcome addition to the dog’s skin care routine. I have tried various natural creams and sprays on Kobi’s skin but none of them were working anywhere near as well as the medicated cream. I however don’t like using the medicated cream on him long term so the Irritable Skin Cream has been perfect for him. The irritable Skin Cream is made up from edible oils and other soothing ingredients like Aloe Vera, Chamomile, Centella Asiatica and Colloidal Rice Bran to help calm dry and irritable skin. It comes in a standard squeeze tube, so I squeeze a little bit out onto my fingertips and rub it into the areas that are red and itchy. The cream does have a calming effect, the itching seems to be less after the cream only being on for a little while and it really helps to reduce the redness and itching with continual use. It works so well that I went out and bought my mum her own tube to use on her dogs. It seems to really help with the irritation that a lot of dogs get between their toes from grass, as long as it stays on long enough to work. All the Dr Zoo products are are “100% natural and totally lickable” so you don’t need to worry if your pet tries to lick any off the products off, but of course it is best to discourage them so that the products can do their work on the skin. When I apply any of the creams, I put a blow up Elizabethan collar on my dog just until the cream has time to soak in and do its work.

Kobi with the Dr Zoo Irritable Skin Cream
Kobi with the Dr Zoo Irritable Skin Cream – he automatically rolls over to show his paws and belly as he knows the drill now

Dr Zoo Crusty Nose Itchy Toes Balm contains Shea Butter and Hemp Seed oil and is designed to moisturise and protect cracked noses and sore, itchy paws. It comes in a screw top tub and has a hard consistency that softens when warmed up with fingertips (like the MooGoo Shea Sorbet Butter Balm). It has a subtle, almost sour smell to it and I have gauged by my dog’s reactions that it doesn’t taste very nice (not that it stops them from licking it). None of my dogs have cracked noses, but I have used it on their paws. The thicker consistency makes it ideal for use on the paws as it won’t transfer off the skin quickly, and therefore has time to soak in and moisturise. I mainly use it for cracked or dry paws as it moisturises really well but for irritation between the paw pads, I opt for the Irritable Skin Cream as is just a bit easier to use in that small space. My dogs live a life of luxury as they sleep on and in my bed, so they don’t suffer from cracked noses or paws in the winter time, but Crusty Nose and Itchy Toes Balm would be very useful if they did.

Kobi with the Dr Zoo Irritable Skin Cream for dry irritable and itchy skin
Kobi with the Dr Zoo Irritable Skin Cream for dry irritable and itchy skin

Skin cancer is a problem for pets just as it is with humans, so every pet that spends time in the sun should have the Dr Zoo Natural Zinc-Free Sun Cream. The Natural Zinc-Free Sunscreen contains edible oils and TItanium Dioxide for moisture and sun protection, and can be used on dogs, cats and horses. Any pet can get skin cancer but those with light coloured or short hair and thinning or missing fur are more susceptible. The areas most prone to sunburn on any pet are the nose, tips of ears, around the mouth, eyelids and pink coloured areas. If you have a pet that loves to lie on their back and sunbathe then their chest and abdomen will be the most susceptible to sunburn, skin damage and skin cancer. Pickles is a complete sun lover. She will sit out in the sun until she is panting heavily and then comes inside and gives me a blaming look like I was the one who made her overheat – and then she goes out and does it again. She has blonde hair, but it is very thick on most of her body, however you can tell it starts to thin out on certain areas of her face, especially near her nose. So even though she isn’t a fan of having her mum apply cream to her face, she is just going to have to deal with it as long as she wants to be a sun lover. Her health is more important than her very temporary discomfort.

Pickles with the Dr Zoo Ruff To Fluff Dry Shampoo
Pickles with the Dr Zoo Ruff To Fluff Dry Shampoo

So that’s my review of the Dr Zoo pet products. I don’t have the Bamboo Grooming Brush or Lose The Groupies Protective Bug Spray but my dogs live inside do don’t have issues with insects. The Natural Calming Shampoo and Natural Nourishing Conditioner are really good for dogs with or without sensitive skin. At $18.50 each for a 500ml bottle, they’re not on the cheap end of the scale but they are well worth it for the quality and they last a long time because dogs don’t need to be washed very often. The Irritable Skin Cream works wonders for Kobi by reducing the redness, itchiness and irritation on his skin. It is the product that is used the most frequently in our household. The Ruff To Fluff Dry Shampoo is great at controlling Pickles odor, even though she tries to recreate her stench constantly. And the Natural Zinc-Free Sun Cream is a must for any pet owner because skin cancer prevention is just as important for animals as it is humans. What do you think of the Dr Zoo pet product range? I have more MooGoo and Dusty Girls products to review, so sign up to email updates to be notified when new posts go up.

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Alinta McMurdo