While thousands of dog lovers attended Crufts this weekend, we stayed at home in the Cotswolds with our three spaniels and played their favourite game of 'lost', which harnesses their natural instincts to find prey (in our case, a tennis ball).
We then made a batch of our flea & tick repelling dog soap which is growing in popularity, especially among people whose dogs suffer from sensitive skin and allergies.
Although we rarely bathe our own dogs, there are occasions when they roll in the smelliest, most revolting thing they can find, and a bath is the only answer.
Originally we used our own natural soap, as even the supposedly 'natural' dog shampoos we bought in the vets smelled distinctly un-natural to us, leaving behind a chemical pong that lingered. Ewwww - we knew that couldn't be good.
So we started to research essential oils with natural flea and tick repelling properties, and put together a dog-friendly blend that calms nerves, repels fleas and ticks, and soothes even the most sensitive dog's coat.
Add a cute paw print ribbon and the College Green natural dog soap was born!
So what's in our dog soap?
As well as the six skin-loving oils and butters that make up our natural soap blend, we've added:
Sweet orange essential oil - has soothing and calming properties which mades it ideal for treating nervous tension. We use sweet orange oil to help calm all those dogs who find bath time stressful.
Lavender essential oil - has antiseptic properties and heals minor cuts and burns. It is relaxing, calming, and can help reduce stress and high blood pressure. It has powerful insect repellent properties and is believed to prevent flea and tick eggs from hatching.
Rosemary essential oil- also has insect repellent properties, with natural antiseptic properties. If you're treating a dog with flea or tick bites, the rosemary oil will help the healing process.
Rose geranium essential oil - a traditional natural treatment for fleas and ticks, rose geranium oil also helps to heal insect bites and prevents itching, as well as balancing the nervous system, relieving anxiety.
Kaolin clay - the mildest of cosmetic clays, natural kaolin clay is super gentle on skin, soothing itchy, inflamed, sensitive scalps, and making the soap silky smooth.
Don't just take our word for it!
Our dog soap is fast gaining a cult following among dog lovers who want a natural alternative to chemically harsh shampoos, and those whose dogs have very sensitive scalps.
When Westies Snowy and Max - who could only tolerate shampoo prescribed by the vet for their sensitive skin - gave it the paws up seal of approval we knew we'd cracked the formula. Owner Karen said our dog soap is "excellent for the skin of Westies who are extra sensitive, stops itching, repels insects, fleas and harvest mites- very impressed and smells good too."