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Who makes our Natural Dog Balm?

We love to support local businesses in New Zealand and you can't get much more local than our Natural Dog Balm creator, who only lives 15 minutes away from Healthy Dog and Co HQ. 

Meet Sophia

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1.Tell us a little about yourself.

Kia ora, my name is Sophia, I live in West Auckland with my partner, 3 of my 4 children, and my dog Lulu. I grew up in the UK with my mother who had studied aromatherapy so I learnt the therapeutic benefits of essential oils and have always had them in my first aid kit for myself and my children, as well as using other oils to make gifts for friends and family. Four years ago, we decided to adopt a rescue pup. It wasn’t long after starting our search we found Lulu from the SPCA, a 4 month old Staffy cross. She was gentle and affectionate with our 13 month old and so we knew that she was the puppy for us. 

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2. How did Natural Dog Balm come about?

Lulu is a staffy bull mastiff cross, and like many dogs of her breed, she easily gets contact dermatitis, an itchy rash most commonly caused by freshly cut grass and tradescantia. After a couple of years of monthly vet visits expensive injections and steroids with their side effects, I started to look at some alternative medicines for her skin. There is no doubt that if your dog is in great discomfort or infections of the skin are setting in, you need to see your vet. However, I wanted to find a solution where we could manage the symptoms and heal the rashes before they got worse. I tried lots of balms that were on the market but knowing what I do about medicinal herbs and oils I wasn’t satisfied with what is currently available, and I found they didn’t work effectively. 

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I have been making balms and essential oil blends for friends and family for years so it was a natural progression to make something for Lulu. I wanted to source some local ingredients so Healthy Dog and Co told me about a local apiary I could source some organic beeswax. Beeswax is naturally anti-inflammatory and creates a barrier between the skin and environment and is an excellent base used in many balms and creams. I knew that coconut oil is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral, hemp oil is rich in anti-inflammatory GLA’s and encourages skin regeneration and the essential oils of Tea Tree, Manuka, Fennel and Lavender are all chosen for their anti-inflammatory and healing properties. With a little bit of experimenting to get the consistency right, the balm was born. 

I use it when Lulu gets bitten by mozzies and scratches her skin too much. I have used it to aid the healing of shellfish cuts on her paws. If she gets a rash on her belly from grasses, I’ll wash her skin and apply it after. I have found it is really effective at keeping her allergies at bay and not letting them get out of hand. We can enjoy roaming through beautiful West Auckland again without having take a trip to the vet a week later.

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3.What is it that makes Natural Dog Balm stand out?

It is non-toxic, it’s easy to apply, and it can be used on cuts as well as rashes.

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4.What do you most enjoy about the product?

Since using it my dog is happier and calmer now that she is not itching all the time and I don’t worry about her running through the grasses. She really enjoys being able to run free! I believe that all dog owners should have access to affordable and natural treatments for their four legged friends, so we can all enjoy getting out and about, and benefit from being with our four legged friends in our beautiful country. 

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5. What are your hopes for New Zealand in the coming years?

There are so many talented people, so much knowledge and great resources here in this country. I hope that small businesses are supported and encouraged to allow all people to realise their dreams, and create new ways of creating environmentally friendly products.  All whilst managing that balance between home and work, with plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors with our four legged friends. 

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Sophia de Fossard 

 

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Natural Dog Balm

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