If I had to describe my dog GhostBuster in three words, those words would be big, itchy, and itchy. My Lab/Golden mix is basically the poster pup for doggy skin conditions. Beef, chicken, wool, rice, grass clippings, dead leaves — the list of things that make him itch is longer than than this article, and he takes medication twice daily.
This time of year is a double-edged sword for us: A nice layer of snow is currently covering a lot of his outdoor allergens, but the dry winter air has left him with scaly skin, dandruff, and hotspots. I’m always on the hunt for ways to bring my boy some relief, so we were happy to review a new skin product for dogs: Roxy’s Remedies Pure Relief Spray Gel.
This Pure Relief Spray Gel is part of the new Roxy’s Remedies line of natural dog grooming products designed for pups with sensitive skin. The line is named after the CEO’s Australian Cattle dog, Roxy, who inspired the creation of these products and sounds like she has a lot in common with GhostBuster. Just like my boy, Roxy suffers from allergies and has sensitive, itchy skin. Her family sought out natural remedies to soothe her scratching and came up with the four products in the Roxy’s Remedies line: Calming Cleansing Wipes, Soothing Shampoo, Calming Leave-In Conditioner, and the Pure Relief Spray Gel that GhostBuster and I tested.
The starring ingredient in the gel formula is pharmaceutical-grade East Indian sandalwood oil. According to the folks at Roxy’s Remedies, this oil has antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. They say it’s also known to be well tolerated. In the past, GhostBuster’s skin has reacted positively to essential oils formulated for pets, so I figured he would do well with the sandalwood oil too. This ingredient did not make his skin red or cause any reaction at all. Other ingredients in the spray include oat kernel extract and aloe vera, both known to soothe skin.
I started out applying this product only to GhostBuster’s belly area, which tends to get dry and itchy, especially when we’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors. I sprayed it on as directed after cleansing the area, and after several applications GhostBuster didn’t seem as preoccupied with the skin there. Redness was visibly reduced.
Unfortunately, I soon had a couple hotspots to test it out on, too. Just before the holidays, GhostBuster got a bad hotspot on his hip. He’d licked it, and it was ugly, so I had to break out the clippers so I could clean him up. After it scabbed over, I started treating the spot with the Roxy’s Remedies Pure Relief Spray Gel. The gel seemed to moisturize it enough to stop the itching and flaking, so GhostBuster didn’t feel the need to irritate that spot anymore.
Just as I got that spot cleared, GhostBuster got into some baked goods my husband had accidentally left on the coffee table. My pup’s allergies kicked in, so I sprayed him with the Roxy’s to keep the scratching to a minimum. He did develop another hotspot because of his food stealing, but I used the spray and he seemed to be less interested in the spot after an application. Unfortunately, as of this writing, that hotspot remains active, so I continue to apply the Roxy’s and hope it will heal as nicely as the other spot.
I also used the spray gel on areas where GhostBuster is particularly prone to dandruff, like in between his shoulders and right above his butt. At this time of year, we can make it snow indoors just by running our hands through his fur, so I was hoping the spray could help stop the flurries. After grooming GhostBuster, I applied a little bit of spray to his most dandruffy places, and he was less flaky after doing this for two weeks.
One thing to note about the Pure Relief Spray Gel — you have to use it often as the effects seem to wear off quickly (or I just have a particularly itchy dog). Recently, I used the Pure Relief Spray Gel after grooming GhostBuster, and then the two of us set out on some errands. After about an hour, I noticed GhostBuster was itchy again and in need of a reapplication. After another spray he felt better.
Quality: Good. As mentioned, the East Indian sandalwood oil is pharmaceutical grade. I understand that East Indian sandalwood oil can be problematic as it’s been harvested nearly to extinction, so I like that Roxy’s only uses oil from sustainably grown sandalwood trees.
Style: The blue spray bottle is well designed and unlikely to be mistaken for another product. The plastic cap prevents the spray nozzle from being accidentally pressed if it’s thrown in a bag or drawer.
Function: It’s not a miracle cure, but it does work if you give it time. GhostBuster’s skin speaks for itself.
Creativity: Roxy’s people searched for their own creative solution to their dog’s skin issues, so I will give them creative points for that.
Value: At $28 for six ounces, the Roxy’s Remedies Pure Relief Spray Gel is a bit expensive — but itch-free skin is priceless to dogs like GhostBuster.
There are tons of dog skin-care products for pups with sensitive skin, but in my experience, they can make things worse. Roxy’s Remedies doesn’t contain parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrances, or colorants, and it certainly didn’t make GhostBuster’s skin worse. Unlike many things I’ve tried, this actually made my dog less itchy!
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About the author: Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer in Alberta, Canada. Her beloved Ghost Cat was once her only animal, but Specter the kitten and GhostBuster the dog make her fur family complete. Heather is also a wife, a bad cook, and a former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts pet GIFs on Google +.