It’s no secret that I take better care of my pup than myself. For example, I wasn’t feeling well for a few weeks recently, and my brother was like, “You need to go to the doctor,” and I was like, “Ugh, it’s so expensive,” and he was like, “If Monkey weren’t feeling well, you’d take him to the vet,” and I was like, “Ugh, I hate it when my brother is right,” except that’s not what I said aloud because why would I ever give him the satisfaction?
He was right though. Monkey gets rushed to the vet at the first sign of illness, while I’ll suffer for weeks before making a doctor’s appointment for myself. Still, when it comes to shampoo, I always just assumed Monkey didn’t need anything fancy for that super soft coat of his. Which is silly because if I notice the difference between Suave and Bumble and Bumble on my hair, why wouldn’t the same be true for a dog’s fur?
Which is why when I was given a chance to try best-selling author and celebrity dog groomer Jorge Bendersky’s new line of pet products — Jorge Bendersky by M Boutique — I was like, “Let’s do this. Let’s give Monkey a spa day.”
Jorge Bendersky by M Boutique is definitely not your typical doggie grooming stuff. Probably nothing makes this more clear is the fact that the line includes a Fur Hydrating Butter. And also a Paw Therapy Cream. Also, the prices. ($18 to 26.) What I wanted to find out, though, was if the products were worth it. I love the fact that all of the ingredients are natural and safe and that the fragrances aren’t engineered — they come from pure organic essential oils — but would the shampoo actually get a dirty mountain dog clean? AND DO DOGS EVEN NEED CONDITIONER?
Sadly, giving Monkey a bath at home is an impossibility due to the facts that he weighs 145 pounds and I cannot physically lift him to get him into the tub. So for this experiment, I enlisted his good friend Cassius the Black Lab/German Wirehaired Pointer.
Bendersky looks at grooming time as a chance to bond with your dog. He also points out that a lot of dog shampoos use artificial fragrances to lower costs. Thanks to the aromatherapy and soothing texture in his products, bath time turns into a relaxing spa treatment.
Okay, let’s be real. “Spa treatment” might be (is) a slight exaggeration. Cassius was not totally relaxed during his bath. I mean, he’s a dog. And it’s a bath. I can say with certainty that while he was getting soaped up, he did not feel the same way I do when blissed out on a massage table. Although, in his defense, the lights were on and I forgot to play Enya. He didn’t seem totally miserable though, so I’d say the shampooing part was a success. Especially the part where SO. MUCH. DIRT. came off him and went down the drain. That’s apparently thanks to the fact that the shampoo opens the hair cuticle to remove the dirt and infuses it with nutrients while it’s there. Ooh la la!
Next up was the Oatmeal and Honey Conditioner, which helps to seal the cuticle, making it soft and shiny. Plus, a well-conditioned coat allegedly repels dirt, and you can’t really go wrong with that, right? The only bummer about the conditioner was that after I massaged it in, Cassius had to hang out in the tub with it on his coat for three to five minutes. Still, he seemed okay with it. He maybe even enjoyed it …
But was it worth it? Here’s what I’ll say: Once Cassius was all rinsed and toweled off, he smelled REALLY good. And he smelled that good for a while. In fact, his whole house smelled that good for a while. Even better? His coat was so shiny. Like unreal shiny. And that lasted for days. Also, I didn’t have to use a lot of the shampoo or the conditioner, so it seems like they will last for many, many baths.
Overall, I’d say Cassius was a lot cleaner, smelled amazing, and had a silkier, shinier coat. Monkey also thought the bath was a success, mostly in that Cassius had to take one and he did not.
What Monkey did NOT get out of, however, was trying the Paw Therapy Cream. Yeah, his paws are big, but they’re not that big.
Bendersky created the cream because of the fact that our dogs’ paws are one of the most important parts of their well-being. Whether they’re tromping through the snow or walking on hot pavement in the summer, paws really do benefit from being nourished and protected.
Again, at first I was like, “Hmmmm, this is kind of silly. Dogs don’t need lotion.” But then I thought about how often I moisturize my hands. And also how good it feels when I do that. Surely Monkey would be into a paw massage, right?
Like the shampoo and conditioner, the Paw Therapy Cream smells amazing and minty. Like, I want to use it on myself. Monkey also approved.
Though when I first tried to rub it into his paws, he wasn’t having it. But then — and I am not making this up — after a few seconds, he totally relaxed and let me spread the cream all over his paws and give him a little massage. I could feel how dry his paws were when I started and how the cream really did seem to instantly moisturize them. But more than anything, it just felt really nice to be doing something like that for my dog. A few moments to bond in a way we hadn’t before. And something we’ll definitely be doing weekly from here on out. Now if only he’d be that chill when I try to cut his nails …
Dogster scorecard for Jorge Bendersky by M Boutique
Is it a little frivolous to spend $24 on a doggie shampoo? Sure. Is it worth it? This girl thinks so. And Monkey gives it four paws up. What more is there to say?
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About the author: Daisy Barringer grew up in San Francisco and didn’t let the fact that she’s a city girl keep her from getting her dream dog: a Saint Bernard. She and Monkey love to romp in the snow in Tahoe, visit dog-friendly bars, watch 49ers football, and drool. Yup, both of ’em.