A question that comes up time and time again… where do we start with formulating our award-winning products… the answer is quite simple and it’s this, I have incredibly rubbish skin and believe it or not this has been a godsend for Pup Suds! I’ve always had allergy prone skin which results in eczema on my face, scalp, ears and hands, and I use natural products to keep it under control. It does flare up at certain times: stress, eating badly, menopause – these all make it worse. But mostly I know what to use, how to use it, and where to purchase the best natural ingredients from. It gives Pup Suds a head start as I’ve always researched and sourced ethical ingredients to look after my own skin. My skin and hair love oils, I used to bath with oil added to the water when I was younger to ease my eczema and that method became the basis for the rinse method for our gorgeous Coat Oil! We utilise what are known as ‘dry’ oils – they soak in rather than sitting on top of the skin or coat – no one wants an oil slick of a dog wandering around their house! So armed with that knowledge we start lots of research to make sure any ingredients are dog-friendly, and in what quantity we should be using them in the products. Some ingredients I love but just couldn’t get them to work well at dog-safe levels, for example tea tree oil. Once we have our selection of ingredients then we mix and formulate the final blend which gets tested on humans. Obviously this is with a view to how it works on our beloved dogs – just because it works well or not well on us only gives us a possible idea of how it will work for canines. So next stage is dog testing! We know lots of lovely doggos who have a variety of issues and their owners are happy for their dogs to be testers for our products. There may be tweaking of ingredients at any of these stages and we always always retest if a recipe changes in any way. When we are absolutely sure our lovely product is working brilliantly and doing what it needs to do, there is the final cost check – is it viable as a product for our customers and retailers? Will our customers pay the amount it costs to pull this all together including the packing and labelling? We don’t cut corners and use cheaper ingredients or decrease the expensive ingredients and add fillers to keep costs down. Sadly if the product costs too much then we don’t launch it, it is kept to one side in the hope that ingredient costs will change at some point and make it a viable product. We fully believe if it can’t be as good as it should be then we won’t put our name to it. So who would have thought that having eczema and a dog with a terribly dry coat would come together to create wonderfully efficient and effective ecological dog products?! And for me, I now have pots of eczema bashing products at hand to help any little flare-ups, and a dog who no longer itches and has a lovely glossy moisturised coat!! Win win all round.