My pets are my children. I proudly display this sentiment with a "My kids have 4 paws" magnetic bumper sticker. The simple fact is, I love animals. I may have inherited this from my late Grandmother (who's home was never short of a baker's dozen of wayward pooches, felines, and even an assortment of colorful birds). But there is something about my four-legged companions that endures the toughest days and the most challenging of times. They love unconditionally (okay, they might demand a biscuit now and then), they have no expectations of me (except to love them back), and they remain 'kids' their entire life- needing me just as much the day they were born, as their very last. Yes, I have gone through shoes, friends, blenders, cars, and even men- but those wet little noses never seem to do me wrong. So why shouldn't they get the very best?
Now, being responsible for a dog, especially a puppy, is like caring for a kid. Some of the most horrendous odors have come out of the cutest little furballs- and how they seem to get so stinky, so fast, is a mystery to me! When we adopted our newest furball, Nora, I knew I would quickly become OCD with her grooming. Being hypoallergenic, with hair rather than fur, her soft and long coat requires constant maintenance- yet a gentle approach to ensure there is no irritation. There are so many things to consider when adding a puppy to your family. We had an enormous checklist weeks before Nora came home; puppy proofing cords, picking out a safe crate, investing in a playpen, age (and weight) appropriate flea care, puppy pads....the list went on. And, whether it's my 'kid' or not, I am a huge advocate of companies that never test on animals. Companies, such as John Paul Pet, that promote a 'We test on humans, first' attitude. At just 2.3lbs, Nora is quite tiny and fragile, I had to insist on the highest quality, gentle, cleaning aids to keep her looking and smelling her best.
If the name 'John Paul' sounds familiar, it's likely you've been in a salon over the past 30 years. You see, Paul Mitchell, one of the most prestigious salon haircare names, also championed an industry revolution, when he banned animal testing on his line of products. That's right, all of those 'cruelty free' brands out there owe homage to Paul Mitchell, the high class, style savvy, man- who also loved his four legged friends. Now, when I think of a 'salon quality' haircare brand for pets, I can think of no better name than his. Not only does this individual know what it means to have beautiful, healthy, locks (of hair), but that a pet parent feels their animal should have the very best- without the unnecessary risks of testing on animals. What's good for the goose certainly applies here- as all the John Paul Pet products are thoroughly tested on human subjects before ever meeting a distinguished coat.
Now, while I have to admit, the John Paul Pet line is incredibly 'smooth' in presentation, concept, and advertising (many of the promotional images feature the founder with perfectly groomed pups in baths)- it's the unique range of individual formulas and products that truly captivates me. What a unique approach to pet grooming- different formulas for different coats, and supplementary products to 'refresh' throughout the day! All pet owners know that the time, in between baths, can be the worst. I just love cuddling with Nora right after bath time, but we rely on an indoor 'pee patch' for potty training, and sometimes her little paws can smell less than inviting. Then there's the notorious puppy tear stains dogs of her breed tend to get, from hair and lashes interfering with eye ducts. But you wouldnt use the same products on your pup's feet, as their eyes and nose, would you?
I don't normally 'skip to the good stuff' with product features, but I'd like to now note that we recieved a generous sampling of the John Paul Pet line to try here on Time Out For Truffles. That being said, I have now replaced nearly all of our 'usual' grooming products and aids with this brand. There is a particular brand of coat refresher made by Pet Head that I still use (for the sake of honesty), but JPP's Coat Detangler, Rinse Free Shampoo, and collection of Wipes are now used religiously. I have recommended the brand to ever pet owner I know, offline, and even purchased supplemental units, since our initial shipment. Just why have I fallen in love with this brand? Outside of their noble product development practices, I feel that JPP understands the complexities of pet fur (and hair) can be just as demanding as that found on a human. Different breeds and pets, as well as various climates and seasons can affect an animal's coat; requiring a different approach to grooming.
I groom Nora every morning, when she first stumbles out of her crate- after potty runs, and about every 4-5 days in general (for rinse free washes), with baths every 3-4 weeks. While us humans wash our hair every day, on average, dogs and cats have much more sensitive skin (after all, their entire body is covered in hair/fur), and coats tend to lose their natural oils, and sheen, when over-groomed. Keeping your pup 'fresh' without compromising the quality of it's coat, or health, can be a challenge. John Paul Pets offers 15 specially formulated Dog and Cat safe grooming aids for the discerning pet parent. In addition, their newest formula, the Awapoochi Conditioning Rinse and Shine Shampoo are Paraben and EDTA free. Made with Hawaiian Awapuhi extract, this duo has a slightly sweet floral fragrance that is in step with the mild odors of the line. I love that John Paul Pet makes Nora smell clean, rather than masking the odors with strong and harsh perfumes.
My personal favorite collection, the JPP Wipes, covers Tooth & Gum, Ear & Eye, and Full Body & Paw. Each unique, the Ear & Eye wipes are odor free to be extra gentle on pup's most sensitive features, while tough enough to aid in the cleaning of ducts and 'tears'. The Tooth & Gum wipes utilize a baking soda formula to gently clean plaque from your pup's teeth. Nora is in a teething phase, and naturally wanted to chew on these. I can't say for a fact how enticing they may be to older dogs, but cleaning her teeth was much easier with the wipes than a brush system. My only hesitation with them was the potential to foster a dog's belief that picking up tissues and paper without mouth is a good thing- so I have tried my best to break her of the 'chewing' on my finger in her mouth habit (as cute as it is). The Body & Paw wipes are very lightly scented (a cross between Lavender and Johnson's Baby Shampoo) and are used daily in our home. Primarily, I use them to clean little paws, and cute tushes, but also for a morning refresher for Ms. Bedhead. I get the impression this is Nora's 'pampering' time, as she simply lays there and basks in the attention.
Of the 5 standard JPP Shampoo and Conditioner formulations, my favorite is the Calming Moisturizing pair, which pays extra attention to the texture and sheen of Nora's coat. On Frankie, our eldest cat with severe self soothing (grooming) issues, I've used the Oatmeal formula for it's gentle approach to dry and irritated skin. Frankie is always forgetting with a particular spot, to the point he molts fur, and the Oatmeal formula seemed to have an instantly soothing impact. He was much more mellow, and exhibited less grooming for several days after bath-time. For Truffles, I have taken to the unique Super Bright Shampoo, that claims to help get white coats looking their brightest. I have no complaints about the tint of her fur, being an indoor cat, but I can imagine this unique technology would work wonders for light coat pups that tend to pick up the strangest tints and stains outside. What I did notice, after bathing with this, is the consistent shine of her coat, and soft texture. Shedding seemed to diminish slightly as well.
Truffles and Frankie are both relatively short haired animals, but Nora is primarily hair. Bathtime does not end with a conditioning rinse, it finishes on our kitchen counter. First I am sure to dry her off 75%, with some impromptu towel time, Nora considers playtime. Then I reach for my JPP Instant Detangling Spray. I always seem to have to use a few priming pumps to get the product dispensing, a minor inconvenience, but the mist is so fine that it covers her coat quite well in just 2-3 spritzes. Next, I work the light formula into her hair with some tussles and comb throughs (with my fingers), then gently with a fine tooth brush. This works like magic to de-tangle mats and add additional luster to the overall coat texture. When we miss a few days without a brushing, and Nora's looking a little wild, I like to follow the Waterless Foam Shampoo with the Detangler for a fuss free refresher that has her looking (and smelling) as good as bath day.
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