By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

If you’ve got a hound dog that tends to smell a little too earthy after outings, but you’re not willing to douse him with artificially perfumed products that you wouldn’t use yourself, then stay on the leash. We’ve found a product that should suit your eco-sensibilities and still help poochie smell like a prince.

Doggie Sudz and Pet Air do the job without artificial or harmful ingredients.

Doggie Sudz is about as green as it gets when it comes to pet care. This deliciously smelling concoction is sold in concentrated form to cut down on plastic bottles, comes in recyclable PET plastic and contains only the most natural ingredients, such as coconut-derived surfactants, Aloe Vera, jojoba, wheat germ and NEEM oils and lavender or mango essences, depending on which flavor you choose.

The two Doggie Sudz formulas are designed to gently cleanse, soothe the skin and repel ticks and fleas naturally.

We wish our shampoos were so well composed.

We tried Doggie Sudz, made and distributed by Austin Rose, Inc., on a couple of mutts we know and found that it was gentle (no stinging eyes) and sweet-smelling, in a good way. We’re not sure how well it assuaged their bug bites, but we do know that we loved what wafted up when we let them back on our laps. Dog 1 and Dog 2 both emerged smelling lightly of lavender, and not all all like that heavy funereal scents they typically wear home from the groomer’s. (We’re recommending this to our groomer.)

We did worry that this spoiling is not in keeping with the world order, in which dogs should not been excessively fussed over. But we decided that there is merit in extending our personal ban on industrial additives, like sodium laurel sulfate, parabens, phthalates, alcohol and phosphates, to all the products we’re using, whether on body, hair or fur. It makes sense to banish these formulas from our pet goods, just as we’ve done with our own shampoos, body lotions and toothpaste; for all the same reasons. We don’t want to support products that harm the environment, or our kids and pets, whose smaller bodies can be more susceptible to unhealthful influences. Synthetic fragrances, for example, are known to contain phthalates, which are endocrine disrupters.

While our subjects were silent on their soothed skin (we weren’t scientifically sampling their itch rates), we especially like the idea that Doggie Sudz does extra duty as an insect salve and repellent. Conventional “spot on” treatments that repel fleas and ticks have potential toxic health effects on dogs, cats and their human handlers. If the citrus and NEEM oil of this product can repel pests naturall — and we think it can — our pets and kids will be better off.

We also tried Austin Rose’s Pet Air, an air freshener made with natural products that also can repel fleas and mosquitoes. A few spritzes aimed at chairs popular with our canine companions did refresh these zones with a citrus scent. In addition to citrus oils, this freshener contains the geranium oil.

Doggie Sudz and Pet Air are sold directly online by Las Vegas-based Austin Rose, and at a variety of pet and natural products markets, which are listed at the Austin Rose website.

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