Although Jules and Pete didn’t have a dog when they established Washbar, they are now the devoted owners of a ‘purebred stir-fry from that very expensive pet shop, the SPCA.’ The gorgeous Monday is possibly a mastiff/boxer/huntaway cross and ironically suffers from terrible allergies, which provided Jules with plenty of inspiration to develop her new range of Itch Soothe products.
“She was really bad with her allergies last year – basically her back went bald,” says Jude. “I’d had her tested and I know that she is allergic to dust mites and dandelion pollen. Unfortunately we live on 40 acres of dandelion. The vet wanted me to put her on steroids, but I was totally against filling her with chemicals and shortening her life. So I went away and started looking for the perfect ingredients.” Jules came up with an itch soothe spray and shampoo, which were different from anything else on the market, made from a blend of plant extracts with high levels of bio-actives. They include quercetin (a natural antihistamine), vitamin C (a natural healer) and anethole (a natural pain relief), combined with essential oils to help calm itchy skin and stop the excessive scratching and licking.
Jules conducted field trials in 2015, where dog owners were asked to rate their dogs’ itchiness on a scale from one (not that itchy) to five (itches like mad). After using the spray on their dogs for two weeks, the majority of owners reported that their dogs went from a four or five down to a zero or one. Happily, the products also worked like a charm on Jules and Pete’s beloved Monday.
“Our girl had awful elephant skin on the backs of her legs, patches where she’d ruined the skin, and the vet told me that it would never heal,” says Jules. “I washed her twice a week with the shampoo and in two months the elephant skin had gone and her hair was growing back thicker than before.
“I had people come back and say I had saved their life. You think it’s a bit dramatic, but you’ve got to remember it doesn’t just impact on your dog’s life, but it impacts on your life as well; it’s a tough place to be when your dog is scratching themselves to pieces.”