About Furbabies™ Botanicals

FurBabies Botanicals is a veterinary dermatology informed skincare brand for pets with damaged sensitive skin due to allergies, environment or genetic predisposition. Our products are tailored to address a myriad of skin concerns in dogs, cats, and even rabbits, including but not limited to itching, dryness, redness, dandruff, unpleasant odours, tear stains, sores, excessive paw licking, and ear discharge. 

The range is designed specifically to repair, fortify, protect & nourish the skin barrier of pets. Each of our products are vegan, not tested on laboratory animals & free from fillers and bulking agents, artificial chemicals & fragrances.

Pets enduring skin discomfort often grapple with emotional distress and mood fluctuations. Harnessing the potency of botanical extracts, every application of our products not only works towards soothing and repairing the skin but also bestows a serene aromatherapy experience, promoting a sense of calm and equilibrium.

Dexter the Smelly Matted Tear Stained Lhasa Aphso

Our journey started with our dog Dexter, a Lhasa Aphso aged 2.5yrs. On the surface he looked well groomed but under his coat we found multiple matted areas & he had that familiar 'wet dog' smell so we tried all the products available to us at the usual pet stores. With the use of shampoos he became more itchy, his paws smelly, his coat was now brittle dry, wiry & shedding. We also gave in and bought the baby poweder pet cologne/ pawfume to mask & remove his odour, but he would begin to withdraw & we noted a change in his behaviour too apart from the skin & coat changes. The wet dog smell would also return with a vengeance despite the washes. Trusting that regulations would only allow safe products to reach the market shelves we were surprised & not to mention horrified to find harsh, potenitally harmful & obscure chemicals in many grooming products.

Species inappropropriate chemicals

We found, that grooming products on the market are based on human cosmetic regulations & not on veterinary regulations (as they don't exist). They are in fact designed to appeal to the human buyer by way of scent, look & feel. Human cosmetic regulations also only permit topical use of these chemicals due to their irritant & harmful characteristics, pets however end up ingesting these chemicals through self grooming which upset the gut microbiome. Furthermore pet skin is actually 4 to 5 times thinner than human skin, these products end up disrupting their skin barrier by stripping off lipid matrix that hold the cells together. 

Why is it important to maintain a healthy skin barrier?

Think of skin as bricks and mortar. The cells being the bricks and the mortar is the lipid matrix made off protective fatty acids. Shampoos containing Cocoamidoproply betaine or SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate) esentially wash off the lipid matrix along with the dirt. It is the feeling of dry sandpapery hands after using handwash or a shower gel causing us to reach for the moisturiser. Now imagine the damage that does to pet skin which is 5 times more delicate (thinner than ours). 

When everything becomes an allergen.

The skin barrier is damaged with open gaps between cells (where the lipid matrix used to be). Any foreign material is now free to penetrate the skin (gates are open) and once they have passed the main barrier (skin) the immune system (body's soldiers) launch a response to eliminate the foreign body. You see it does not belong there. This response is an inflammatory attack. 

If the skin barrier is not repaired in time to close of the 'gates' everything becomes a potential allergen from grass, to dust to pollen. The inflammation then becomes chronic and hard to manage. 

Two main building blocks lacking in defective skin barrier are EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids & Ceramides). Our products not only replace these but promote skin rejuvenation, repair & promote skin microbiome balance to fortify the skin barrier against further assaults. 

There is more.

Pet sense of smell & how they perceive the world around them

We also know that pets have highly sensitised sense of smell (given their larger olfactory lobes), and many pet grooming products contain strong artificial fragrances which overpower a pet's own scent identity. Your pet's scent identity is critical to their well-being as this is how they interact with other pet species & the environment. Masking or removing a pet's scent identity is in fact the most overlooked form of pet welfare.

Skin conditions on the rise

It is therefore no surprise that research from the Royal Veterinary College (2023) has shown that skin conditions are the second most prevalent condition costing an average of £1000/ presentation &  8.8Mn dogs according to Dogs Hearing Guide survey  (2022) are showing signs of mental health problems.

 

We stand for pets and their pet parents.

It is not right to pay £20 for tiny 2ml x6 vials of Dermoscent for example.

It is not right to pay for grooming products that will disrupt our pet's skin barrier.

It is not right to pay for medications with serious adverse effects that reduce the lifespan of our pets. 

It is not right to be subjecting our pets to uncessary tests & trial treatments. 

"The first line treatment for any human presenting with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis or eczema for example are topical emollient applications not oral steroids or biologics. The latter are only considered as a final resort due to their adverse effects & are dermatologist specialist initiated."

We need to change the narrative.

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