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Product Reviews

Soothing Care System

The one thing nobody ever realizes is how tiring and stressful it can be to be a diva model princess pug every single day of your life. People expect things from you - like the ability to look cute twenty-four hours a day. That's not easy! Plus there are the naps and the eating of treats and the meeting and greeting of your adoring public. No wonder princesses like Merry need good, rejuvenating grooming rituals to keep their fur clean and their chakras balanced.

When the folks from Pal Dog sent in their Soothing Care System for us to try out, the princess was ready for some bliss. She woofed in my ear: "Bring on the bliss, Mom. Where do you want me?"

(Warning: results not typical. Most divas will go their own darned way and to heck with what you want. Your bribe must be good in order to get this kind of response.)

The Soothing Care System is made up of three products: a Dog Shampoo & Massage Bath, a Conditioner & Cream Rinse, and a Soothing Spot Spray. While this system can be used on most dogs, it's specially formulated to help with sensitive skin, allergy-prone skin and itchy hot spots. I've been lucky - the princess has never been faced with overly sensitive skin nor allergies - thank goodness - but she was more than ready to help me try out the "soothing" qualities, nevertheless. :)

The Shampoo & Massage Bath comes in a gentle, Calming Lavender scent. It's pH-balanced and is made to gently clean dry or sensitive skin. Its gentle lavender scent helps to soothe your pet and invites you to spend long minutes massaging the suds into your pet's skin. What's more, this massage will often help - not just to calm them and build trust, but to also help increase circulation.

Following the Shampoo, you bliss them out again with the Lavender & Aloe Conditioner & Cream Rinse. This, too, has a gentle lavender scent and contains rich organic aloe vera, sunflower seed and jooba oils to help make their coat glossy and their skin less dry. The company recommends that you apply the conditioner generously, massage for 1-2 minutes (the princess actually prefers a 5 minute or longer massage, so your mileage may vary) and then rinse well. I've tried grooming the pug both with and without the conditioner, and I'm here to tell you it really does make a difference with both the softness of the coat and the ease of brushing, even on a short-haired doggie like the princess.

Finally, we tested out the Soothing Spot Spray - which we used "all over" as a refresher between baths, since the princess doesn't actively have any hot spots or dry skin patches. It smelled of herbals - aloe vera, eucalyptus, sweet almond - and was a lovely fresh scent. According to the directions, you should apply 2-3 times daily, as needed on these spots - but if they persist, the company wisely urges you to consult a veterinarian since NO product on the market today is any kind of substitute for seeing a real doctor.

We were very impressed with not just the products but the company's commitment to "doing it right". Since we reviewed some of their puppy grooming line a couple of years ago, Pal Dog has made even more changes to ensure the quality of their products. All of their products are now organic and also paraben-free. I love to see this kind of improvement in a company's products over time: it means that they actually care about the quality of their products, the furballs they're used on and the environment itself, and that's the kind of company we love to support.

We found all three products to be fabulous, obviously particularly the Shampoo & Conditioner. I was also really impressed by the gentle scents - I'm allergic to lavender (makes me sneeze), and was worried that bathing Merry in these scents would mean an unhappy dog Mom for quite some time, but the scents are really very gentle and I had very little problem with the scents, even with my allergies.

Good quality, organic grooming that works for even sensitive doggies (and Moms) - what more could you ask for?

You can find out more about Pal Dog from their web site at

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