Tag Archives: bath routine

Update: What does it mean exactly to be Tropiclean?

I know that it’s taken quite a bit longer to produce this update on the Tropiclean bathing system. Originally, I intended to do a week-by-week review for four weeks and share my thoughts on how things were going. However, after the second week of using the Tropiclean shampoo and treatment system I was convinced that I did something wrong.

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In my initial review I was cautiously optimistic about the Tropiclean system. After the first time using it to bathe Simon and Rosee it really seemed to help their hotspots on their stomachs, they smelled great, and felt super soft. I did notice a bit of extra shedding, but I wasn’t really concerned…at first.

The second week of using the shampoo and treatment did not go well at all. We (meaning me and Monica) used both products the exact same way, yet afterwards the pups didn’t look nearly as nice. In fact, their coats looked very dingy and dull and they felt kind of grimy. They were gross.  The whole ordeal was terrible. So, naturally I assumed that we didn’t do something correctly. I was assured that we messed up some way, shape, or form in the bathing process. Maybe we didn’t let the shampoo and treatment set for long enough? Perhaps instead of waiting for five minutes we only waited for three? Did we not rinse them thoroughly? Seriously, I must have done something wrong!

Unfortunately, as the week went on Simon and Rosee just looked worse and worse. They were shedding like crazy. You couldn’t even touch them without your hand coming away with a handful of dog hair. Moreover, their skin was extremely flaky. I thought they were going through a purging phase, mainly due to the salicylic acid in both the shampoo and the treatment. (I know I’m comparing dog’s skin to human’s skin in this instance, but I’m grasping at straws for an explanation.) By the end of the week I was ready to bathe the pups again to see if I could stop the madness!

Sadly, baths for week 3 passed and week 4 came and went and there was no improvement in Rosee and Simon’s skin. In fact, their shedding problem and flaky skin just seemed to get worse. Pretty much immediately after they were done with their baths and completely dried they were covered in flakes and anytime they even moved it was just hair everywhere. I mean, they were just washed, but I didn’t even want to touch them because their skin was so gross.

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It didn’t seem to matter how well we rinsed them to ensure all the soap was gone or how long we left the shampoo and treatment on them to ensure penetration, nothing made a difference. We gave their backs an extra scrub with the grooming mitt and spent a whole extra minute rinsing them, but it was mostly all for nothing. I’m pretty disappointed because I wanted the Tropiclean bathing system to work so much! I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

Now, before I give my final opinions, I do have to be honest about another issue that popped up while using these products. Of course, I can’t say specifically that the Tropiclean products caused this particular issue. At the same time, this issue didn’t start until we started using these products. So what is the issue you ask? The issue (I know, seriously, how many times can I write that word?) is that Simon has started to react badly anytime we go to put either of the products on him. He sort of gives off a warning growl and curls his lips a little, which is sooo not how Simon acts. Luckily, in these moments he can be easily distracted with treats, but I don’t like that he has this reaction in the first place. It is almost as though he’s telling us that he doesn’t like the way the products feel on his skin. Again, I can’t prove that the Tropiclean products are 100% to blame for this bad reaction of Simon’s, yet it didn’t start until we began using this bathing system. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions…

In my honest opinion I wish I had never used the Tropiclean shampoo and treatment system on Rosee and Simon. Before using these two products the pups had never had problems with shedding or flakes, yet after using them their skin has been nothing but flakes and major shedding issues. Plus, both pups are still pretty itchy and are constantly scratching and licking their sides and necks (two major itchy spots for them).  Then, there is Simon’s obvious dislike of the products and I just can’t justify buying this again. I actually don’t even want to continue using it, but I also hate the idea of wasting a something that was paid for. The only pro of using the Tropiclean system has been that it did get rid of their red hotspots on their stomachs. However, it seems that we traded one problem for at least four more!

I guess to be Tropiclean means to be anything but clean.

It’s Not Just Clean, It’s Tropiclean!

Okay, so that’s not a real product catchphrase, I just made it up. Still, it’s fitting since this week I’m excited to review the Tropiclean Oxy-Med Medicated Oatmel Shampoo and Treatment/Rinse.

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My mom recently bought this shampoo and treatment while she was dog-sitting for my brother. She purchased the two products at a local pet store, but I have found that it is easily available at Petco. My dog-nephew (or is it nephew-dog?) Trigger has pretty dry skin, and my brother recommended this shampoo because it works well for him.

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Trigger is a beach loving dog.

Now, I have to be honest, I was not excited or even somewhat interested in trying a new soap for the pups. They have such sensitive skin, and just about everything gives them hives. In fact, we even asked our veterinarian what would be the best shampoo to use because their skin is so sensitive and he recommended trying baby shampoo, which is supposed to be super gentle. Unfortunately, baby shampoo made Rosee and Simon instantly break out in bumps!

However, lately they’ve both had hotspots on their stomachs that just won’t quite go away. We started using coconut oil and it has helped, but their spots never quite go away completely. So, I gave in and decided to try the Tropiclean shampoo and treatment.

Week 1: First Impressions

When my mom first showed me what she bought I was kind of wary. The locally made bar of soap that we’ve been using lately on Simon and Rosee has been working pretty well, and I didn’t really see any reason to change. Sure, the hotspots on their stomachs haven’t gone away completely, but otherwise they were fine. They didn’t shed or have any flakes, their coats were very shiny, and they didn’t start to smell until it was time to bathe them again. Still, I thought it might be interesting to try this new shampoo and treatment because it claimed to be medicated, and I thought “Wow, if this works it will be much cheaper than buying the medicated shampoo from the vet!”

According to the bottles the shampoo and treatment are supposed to help with itching, hotspots, flakes, dryness, eczema, and shedding. Both are oatmeal-based while containing salicylic acid to help exfoliate the skin, nourishing vitamins as well as fatty acids to moisturize. Honestly, after looking at the ingredient list on the bottles I started to become a bit excited because all of the ingredients sounded amazing. I was sure it was going to be the best bathing system we’ve ever tried. Then, I looked at the directions.

Like most shampoo and conditioner (even though Tropiclean calls this step a “treatment”) I figured that we would have to shampoo the pups first then apply the treatment second. What I didn’t realize though, is that after you shampoo your dog and rinse it out you have to completely dry your dog before applying the treatment, which too needs to be rinsed out. At this point, I almost didn’t even want to try the Tropiclean system because I’d have to dry each dog twice. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is so difficult to dry Rosee and Simon! They barely have any hair, yet they soak up water like a sponge. Plus Rosee really does not like the hair dryer, which makes air drying (after towel drying them first) the main method of drying for the pups. However, I couldn’t imagine letting them air dry for half an hour and then putting them back in the tub to apply the treatment, let it sit, rinse it off, and then let them dry for another thirty minutes. So, we comprised and towel dried the dogs as best we could before applying the treatment and continuing.

Both the shampoo and treatment are heavily scented. To me it smells like a mix of green apples and mango (very tropical, like the name indicates). I don’t think it’s bad, but it is definitely very, very strong. Another thing I noticed right away was the filminess of the shampoo. After I applied some to each dog I would rinse it off my hands and I found that my hands felt dry and like there was a film left on my fingers. I wasn’t crazy about the feeling and certainly didn’t like to think what the shampoo was doing to Simon and Rosee’s skin if my hands felt terrible. Yet, I was hoping that the treatment would help. In general, the treatment did make their fur feel very soft. Unfortunately, Monica was completely grossed out by the feeling of it. It looks just like lotion, but she said it felt weird trying to apply the gloopiness to their wet coats. Still, after applying the treatment, letting it sit, and then thoroughly washing it out I am happy to have noticed that the pups’ hotspots looked a lot better already. They smelled good, their coats felt pretty soft, and their spots almost looked normal. Overall, I was optimistic about this bathing system.

By the end of the week, I have to say I was pretty surprised by this shampoo and treatment. It worked fairly well. I noticed that Rosee and Simon didn’t itch as much as usual, they still smelled pretty nice (not like dog), and their spots looked great. On the flipside, I did find that they shed more than usual, had flakes, and there was some reside left on their skin from the treatment step despite thorough rinsing. Yet, their spots looked so great I’m willing to overlook the downsides for now and continue to use this shampoo and treatment. Hopefully, their skin will only continue to improve.

*Check back next week for an update on the Tropiclean shampoo and treatment bathing system!

It’s Kind of a Gross Story: Coconut Oil Review

The other morning I found myself explaining to my mother the “simple” bath routine that Theresa and I follow every Friday morning for the dogs (as long as the sun comes out at least). It goes like this: 1) wet dog down, 2) lather coat and underside with coconut oil and let soak for about a minute, 3) rinse off oil, 4) shampoo dog and scrub, 5) rinse off, 6) scrub again to get loose hair, 7) rinse final time, 8) ring out and dry. And because they both remain damp, Simon and Rosee get put out in the backyard to play and dry off completely, because honestly, no one really enjoys the smell of wet dog lingering around. So ends the bath routine of Simon and Rosee. (See also An Itch, A Scratch, and Shampoo for the old version of bath time.)

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Just because a bath makes her look pretty doesn’t mean she still won’t fight it.

Why such a drawn out routine complete with numbers and steps that go beyond lather, rinse, dry? Well, it’s kind of a gross story.

You see, Simon and Rosee get what I have always called hot spots. On their bellies and pretty much all along their entire undersides both pups end up with bright red dry spots that tend to pop up quite frequently when they have been indulging in the California sun a little too much. After our morning walks or running around outside for about forty minutes both dogs will start sporting these red spots, and so ensues the licking. In order to soothe the red dryness Simon and Rosee will lick non-stop as a way of trying to negate the lack of moisture. However, all this licking does is exacerbate the problem and leave them even drier and more angry-red looking underneath.

This past summer the red splotches got so bad that something had to be done. Rosee got cranky at being told to stop licking that she would hide in order to lick. Simon confronted all attempts to stop him with angry growls of frustration, and at one point he just completely refused to go to bed in his kennel at night because the residual warmth in it made his spots so uncomfortable. The poor boy and girl really were pathetic sights to behold, so Theresa and I set out to finding something, anything that could soothe the pups for good. The answer, thankfully, came quite swiftly and inexpensive.

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Any guesses?

One night after doing some research Theresa suggested coconut oil. Apparently, coconut oil is safe to give to dogs and to put on them topically. Now, I’ve been reading about the virtues and graces of coconut oil for some time, though I have to admit my reading has been for more personal care. I know that coconut oil is great to cook with, can be used on hair’s perpetually dry ends, and softens dry skin. However, I never thought that those same virtues could be put to use for the canines in my life. But boy (girl), has it made a difference on those named Simon and Rosee!

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Melted goodness.

Initially, both dogs’ undersides were just rubbed down with coconut oil multiple times a day so that the oil’s moisturizing properties could get to work quickly, reversing the worst of the red splotches. Soon, Theresa started slowing giving the pups tastes of the oil, working her way up to about a tablespoon each. It really wasn’t an issue though since both went crazy over the stuff. (They go so far as to recognize the jar alone, and it’s enough to get them salivating.) Simon and Rosee gladly accept their spoonful every morning, licking the ground for any ghost drippings. Finally, came the addition of coconut oil to their weekly baths. And let me tell you, not only does the oil keep their undersides moisturized, it makes their coats so incredibly soft and shiny. Both dogs have been prone to some flakes, which is why they are also bathed with an all-natural soap bar, but the addition of the coconut oil only makes the soap work even better so that there are no flakes, no redness, and no end of the week smell. Coconut oil truly has been a great addition to our lives.

IMG_2297IMG_2298Now, I don’t think there’s many rules as to what brand of coconut oil is best. All I know is that organic and unrefined is what you need. Something about being organic and unrefined having the greatest benefits to the uses my household has put them towards. In fact, the brand that Theresa and I have agreed on is the store brand from Target. Aptly named Simply Balanced, the oil is specifically designated as organic, unrefined virgin coconut oil. It’s relatively inexpensive at about $7 for 14 fluid ounces, always in stock, and seems to be of good quality. It smells like coconuts, melts easily, soaks in completely, and leaves everything it touches feeling nice and soft. In fact, Simon loves the smell of it so much he tries to lick it off of himself and won’t leave me alone until I’ve washed it off my fingers after putting it on him.

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They’re so in love!

It’s been about a month that the pups have been getting doused and ingesting the oil and their coats have never looked better. They feel soft, smell good, and it definitely helps keep angry red splotches at bay. The first jar of coconut oil we bought lasted about three weeks, quite a while considering it was used up on two good-sized babies that lapped it up like it was going out of style. So far coconut oil has become a great, natural, inexpensive, go-to remedy in our household and it’s worth looking into if you are trying to help your lovable canine’s coat look and feel better, both for his/her comfort and yours.