Back in 2014 I retrained as a dog groomer of all things. I had attended a one day course mainly to learn how to clip my own dogs as I had 2 spaniels of my own.
One thing led to another and I gained my City and Guilds Level 2 & 3 Dog grooming qualifications with distinction and started grooming 2 days a week along side my 'proper' job! I then realised that many dog groomers suffer with terrible skin issues as a result of having much of their working day immersed in soapy coats and further research led to me realising that the shampoo and skincare products industry is not regulated at all for animals meaning that any ingredients could be used and no-one was checking. I found this quite horrifying and at this time I also realised many dogs were also suffering from various skin problems.
Whilst I am not suggesting that proprietory dog shampoos are using anything other than recognised detergents I do know that many contain harsh, cheap cleansers of which the majority are known to be skin irritants and often also used in household cleaners.
I was also becoming increasingly aware of the issue of plastic waste and the research began in earnest. From this I launched The Dog and I with a miniscule budget of just £500, a range of luxury dog grooming products formulated from plant based ingredients. My signature product is my 100% Coconut Oil Dog Soap which has proved increasingly popular and which was awarded Best Dog Skincare Product by the Animal Health and Wellness Awards is 2018.
The products and my dog soap in particular has proved incredibly popular and is now stocked in multiple outlets across the UK. I have also sent it out to Spain, Ireland and Switzerland. Whilst I considered branching out in to selling human soaps and am forever being asked, the dog soap took off so much I decided it was best to stick to my niche! But who knows for the future.
In 2017 I was awarded the title of 'Queen of Soap for Dogs' over on Twitter, they do say it is better to be a big fish in a small pond so for the moment I will continue selling just the dog soaps although I so make a lot of human soaps too which my friends and family benefit from and sometimes my dog clients humans get some too ! If you would like to try your hand at soap making then take a look at the options I offer, both face to face and online here