Microbiome 101 (Why Probiotics Matter)

Probiotic Skin Care for Pets

There’s been a lot of buzz going on out there lately about the importance of a healthy “Microbiome.” But the truth is, most people have NO IDEA what that means.  We’re here to break it down for you and explain why this uber-trendy word is one that you need to familiarize yourself with.

Let’s start with the actual definition: Microbiome (Noun) 

mi·​cro·​bi·​ome | \ ˌmī-krō-ˈbī-ˌōm  \

  1. A community of microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses) that inhabit a particular environment and especially the collection of microorganisms living in or on the body.  

While that may sound gross or ‘dirty’ to some – the microbiome is actually our skin’s living, protective layer.  Not all bacteria is “bad” bacteria – in fact, we need “good” bacteria to thrive in and on our bodies in order to maintain a healthy life.  The skin microbiome is home to billions of bacteria at any given time – both good and bad.  When the balance of good and bad bacteria gets out of whack and the bad bacteria is given the opportunity to take over, we experience symptoms of inflammation, irritation and other health problems.  For the skin, these symptoms of a microbiome that is off-balance often appear as itch, odor, redness, dryness, etc.

Enter topical probiotics…

It has been proven that when applied to the skin, probiotics do an incredible job at supporting and strengthening the “good” bacteria on the skin so that it can more effectively defend against opportunistic pathogens and “bad” bacteria from taking over.  Probiotics are the ultimate protector, preventer and defender against our skin’s worst enemies (bad bacteria) – and when applied regularly can offer an effective, natural way to keep skin problems from occurring in the first place.

So it’s no surprise that the trend of Probiotic Skin Care has quickly evolved as one of the hottest, most innovative solutions in human beauty and skin care products to treat our most common skin problems: acne, rosacea, etc.  Check any beauty shelf or cosmetic counter at retail today and you’ll find a selection of items that claim probiotics as a key, active ingredient for balancing and restoring skin health.

So, since probiotics offer such a powerful solution for treating human skin care woes – just imagine the possibilities when it comes to using topical probiotics on our favorite furry family members (our pets)!  Just as we suffer from time to time from skin irritations and inflammation due to environmental factors, genetics, etc. – so do our pets.  Any pet parent can recall a moment when their dog or cat has gone crazy itching or scratching the same spot for  hours – and we all know how odor control can be a problem when it comes to a pet with ongoing skin irritations.  We want our pets to look, feel (and smell!) their best – and today’s pet parents are constantly seeking new opportunities to improve their dog or cat’s well being.

Our pet’s skin microbiome is just as sensitive as our own.  When the balance of good and bad bacteria gets off track, we start to see problems like hot spots, itching/licking, odor, shedding, dander and dryness.  Unfortunately the most common response to date has been a cycle of “treat and repeat” – using shampoos/topical treatments that temporarily relieve the presenting problem (oatmeal baths for itch, steroids for inflammation/redness, etc.).  The problem is that once those treatments wear off, the same underlying cause of the symptoms is still there – which is ultimately an imbalance in the pet’s skin microbiome.  Until the good bacteria on their skin is effectively restored and supported, pets suffering from recurring problems will never be cured.

At Skout’s Honor we are excited to offer a new solution for pet parents who have been on that treat-and-repeat cycle with their own animal(s).  We saw an exciting opportunity in the science behind topical probiotics and the results it has offered humans for transforming skin care/health.

Through the introduction of our Probiotic Skin Care line for pets – we’ve unleashed a game changer for the pet industry and the grooming category in particular.  Our Probiotic shampoos, conditioners and daily-use treatments are infused with a live probiotic kefir culture, which offers an incredibly hydrating, soothing and luxurious grooming experience – while providing a powerful boost of probiotics to the skin and coat.  That boost leaves the animal feeling clean, soft, shiny and smelling amazing.  Best of all, the probiotics that are left behind after the wash provide an active, preventative approach to skin health – helping support the good bacteria on the animal’s skin in order to keep the bad bacteria away.

Don’t take our word for it.  Since launching this innovative line, our Probiotic grooming products have received several industry awards and accolades from pet industry experts including Pet Age magazine, Pet Business Magazine, etc.  Every day we receive new testimonials and before/after images from pet parents, professional groomers and veterinarians who say that our products have been able to restore skin and coat health for animals who have long-suffered chronic skin problems.

We invite you to learn more about the Microbiome, Probiotic Skin Care Products for humans, and Skout’s Honor’s Probiotic Grooming line.

If you are interested in trying a sample of our grooming products for your own pet, click here to sign up for FREE sample kit! 

Probiotic Grooming Line Wins 2018 Industry Recognition Award!

Skout’s innovative line of Probiotic Grooming Products, was selected by the publication’s editors as the WINNER in the competitive Dog Skin & Coat category. The awards are featured in this month’s issue of Pet Business Magazine.

Skout’s Honor’s Probiotic Grooming Line Includes:

  • Probiotic Shampoo (16oz, MSRP: $19.99)
  • Probiotic Conditioner (16oz, MSRP: $18.99)
  • Probiotic Shampoo & Conditioner (2-in-1): (16oz, MSRP: $20.99)
  • Probiotic Daily-use Detangler (8oz, MSRP: $14.99)
  • Probiotic Daily-use Deodorizer (8oz, MSRP: $12.99)

*Each product is available in Honeysuckle, Lavender and Unscented varieties, as well as in bulk sizes (gallons) for professional grooming service providers. Grooming professionals can receive a FREE full size sample of grooming products by filling out a Skout’s Honor PRO FORM here.

Why do Probiotics Matter for Grooming?
The skin’s natural microbiome serves as the first line of defense against allergens and opportunistic pathogens, responsible for a variety of conditions in pets, including excessive shedding, itching, dryness, hot spots and odor. When applied to the skin, probiotics offer soothing hydration and long-lasting odor control without negatively affecting the function of this vital protective layer for a naturally healthier-looking skin and coat.

Real Simple Magazine Picks Skout’s Honor for “Best Natural Grooming Products” Round Up

 

This August, Real Simple Magazine published it’s short list of top choices after reviewing more than 30 Natural Pet Grooming products and Skout’s Honor’s NEW Probiotic Skin Care line for pets made the cut!

“You won’t find any harmful chemicals in these pet grooming supplies—only pampering, moisturizing products that really work…Rethink your pet’s skincare routine with [Skout’s Honor] probiotic shampoo, conditioner, and deodorizer set. Made for pets suffering from excessive shedding and itching, this system uses beneficial bacteria to reduce inflammation while also keeping your pet smelling (and feeling) good.” – Editor, Real Simple

Your competitive advantage: Topical Probiotics!

Discover the unique Competitive Advantage of using Topical Probiotics on your pet, and why our NEW Probiotic Grooming line is better than the current alternative ‘natural’ skin & coat treatments…

Skout’s Honor Topical Probiotics – support the good bacteria that naturally calm inflammation and prevent bad bacteria from taking over. No known side effects. Safe for use on all animals. An active approach designed to correct the underlying cause of the most common grooming related ailments, including excessive shedding, itching, dryness, hot-spots, odor and infection. Helps breaks the cycle of treat-and-repeat.

Current Alternative Treatments:

Enzyme Treatments – kill the source of infection on dog or cat’s skin. Effectively wipes the slate clean, leaving the door open to opportunistic pathogens and creating a cycle of treat-and-repeat.  Promotes imbalance.

Colloidal Oatmeal – create a physical barrier to soothe and protect itchy skin. Passive replacement for damaged or missing skin biome. Only works when present. Does not treat the underlying cause of bacterial imbalance. Can be an allergen. Creates a cycle of treat-and-repeat.

Alpha Hydroxys – remove the top layers of dead skin cells. Eliminate the skin’s natural protective barrier, leaving the door open to opportunistic pathogens and creating a cycle of treat-and-repeat. Can cause mild skin irritation, redness, swelling, itching and skin discoloration. Promotes imbalance.

Corticosteroids and Antifungal Cream – treatment of symptomatic inflammatory yeast infection. Kills fungus and reduces inflammation. Potentially fatal if swallowed. Kills yeast, disrupts biome, leaving the door open to opportunistic pathogens and creating a cycle of treat-and-repeat. Promotes imbalance.

NOTE: Topical probiotics can be used in conjunction with an enzyme or other anti-fungal treatment as a therapeutic remedy to help restore the natural biome and break the cycle of treat-and-repeat.

How Topical Probiotics Can Improve the Health of Your Pet’s Skin and Coat

By Liz Hanson, Veterinarian (DVM)

Probiotics are commonly thought of as an oral supplement used to help maintain a healthier digestive tract, however, current research is finding that regular topical probiotic use can prove beneficial to healthier skin as well. One of the most common skin conditions in our pets is skin allergies with secondary pyoderma (bacterial skin infection). Researchers are now seeing how the “healthy” bacteria applied topically with products such as Skout’s Honor probiotic shampoo and conditioners may benefit these skin conditions.

In pets with pyoderma, bacteria on the skin triggers the immune system to react by creating an itchy, inflamed, bumpy skin rash. Probiotics applied topically can help prevent the itchy skin rash from forming by blocking skin cells from recognizing the bad bacteria. In addition, topical probiotics could also contribute to killing the bad bacteria with its antimicrobial properties. Lastly, other research has shown that probiotics can help reduce the sensitivity of skin cells to signal the immune system’s reaction towards the bad bacteria.

Those pets bathed with the Skout’s Honor probiotic shampoo and conditioner have already shown positive results! Some of Dr. Hanson’s clients have used the Honeysuckle, Lavender and Unscented probiotic shampoo and conditioner to maintain the health of their pet’s skin. There has been overwhelming positive feedback on the cleanliness, smell and soft feel of their pet’s coat and skin. Those clients who have dogs diagnosed with skin allergies have also seen less pyoderma flare ups with weekly use of the probiotic shampoo.

Skout’s Honor Testimonials:

“My 2 year old chocolate lab mix has been treated off and on for pyoderma and skin allergies for the past 6 months. Dr. Hanson told me about a new honeysuckle scented probiotic shampoo by Skout’s Honor and I have been using it weekly on my Labrador. His coat condition has remained free from pyoderma and is less itchy. He also has a healthy sheen and super fluffy coat. I love the smell of the shampoo after he is bathed and how soft his coat is now.” Amy Directo – client of CDM Animal Hospital

“I have worked as a groomer at CDM Animal Hospital for 20+ years and feel the dogs and cats bathed with Skout’s Honor shampoo and conditioner have a much softer and cleaner coat. I have used the unscented shampoo on those dogs with sensitive skin and have seen great results with no allergic reactions. For those long haired dogs and cats such as the Maltese, Bichon, Persian and Himalayans who come in for grooming, using the detangler has made my job much easier!”  – Nellie de Leon, Groomer at Corona Del Mar (CDM) Animal Hospital

“I love the smell of the honeysuckle scented shampoo and have seen much less shedding.”  Shannon Duss – client of CDM Animal Hospital
 
“I have allergies to most smells from topical pet products and the unscented shampoo from Skout’s Honor is now my favorite!  It lathers well and my Shih Tzu always feels clean and happy.  She runs around the house feeling like a million bucks after her bath!”  Liz Sabori – client of CDM Animal Hospital
 
“My cat, Yukon’s coat has shed less and feels softer since using the Lavender Probiotic shampoo.  I would buy this again!” Lauren Henry, Receptionist at CDM Animal Hospital

5 Natural Remedies to Keep Your Pet’s Coat and Skin Healthy

1. Fish and Sweet Potato Diet

Feeding a fish-based diet will provide a higher content of omega-3 fatty acids which has anti-inflammatory properties for the skin. This type of diet may also help those with food allergy based skin conditions. It’s recommended to try the diet for 6 weeks before assessing if it is benefiting your dog’s skin. For those dogs and cats with suspected food allergies, a dietary food trial can help eliminate those foods that trigger skin allergies.

2. Omega-3 and 6 Fatty Acids

Giving your pet Omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help reduce inflammation and itchiness to their skin which will promote a healthier, shiny coat. Linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid found in corn, soy, flaxseed, and other nuts. Omega-6 fatty acids help pets with dry, flaky skin. Dandruff, thin and discolored hair, and increased shedding are all associated with low linoleic acid levels in the skin and diet. These fatty acid supplements can be found in capsule and liquid form as an additive to your pet’s diet.

3. Probiotic Shampoo and Conditioners

Weekly baths with probiotic shampoo and conditoners such as Skout’s Honor probiotic shampoo products can help maintain the health of your pet’s skin and luster of their coat. Using a probiotic shampoo has shown benefits to help prevent infection, combat hot spots, rehydrate dry skin, naturally deodorizes, and prevents matting and excessive shedding. Probiotic shampoo and conditioners is on the forefront of a natural way to help restore the health of your pet’s skin and maintain the luster and sheen of their coat.

4. Monthly Flea Control

If more conventional flea products such as Comfortis, Simparica, Revolution, etc. are not used, external applications of coconut oil high in lauric acid and diluted essential oils have shown some benefit. Using a daily flea comb in combination with weekly baths with shampoos such as Skout’s Honor Probiotic Shampoo is also a natural alternative for flea control. However, heavier flea infestations may need environmental and flea medicine treatment.

5. Regular Grooming

Weekly brushing helps to keep your pet’s coat free of mats, burrs, and tangles and their skin free of fleas and ticks. With regular brushing, it will alert you if your pet needs treatment for fleas and ticks. If your pet has a heavier amount of mats and tangles, clipping their coat and removing their mats by a professional groomer may be necessary. Using a detangler, such as Skout’s Honor Probiotic Detangler will also help remove the mats and minimize your pet’s discomfort during grooming. Additional benefits of regular brushing are reducing the amount of shedding in your home and serving as special time for you and your pet to bond. Lastly, with weekly brushing, pet owners will also be able to find lumps, injuries, rashes, and painful mats that may otherwise be missed. In fact, early detection of finding potential cancerous growths could help save your pet’s life!