My family got a new puppy a few months ago, and so began my new obsession with all things pet pampering. We had a family dog years back, but she sadly passed in 2008. In just ten years, the world of pet care has grown exponentially, and you can now get pretty much everything for your dog that you can get for your human self – yes, including a blueberry facial.
What the hell is a blueberry facial? For humans, it usually uses the blueberry for it’s anti-oxidant purposes, combined with an exfoliating acid to slough off dead skin cells, leaving you with brighter looking skin. But for dogs, it’s (obviously) different. Because dogs have fur. I mean they have skin but in most breeds you can’t see it and therefore getting them a more even skin texture is pointless, right?
I was contacted by The Fur Salon by Rufus & Coco, with the opportunity to send little Millie Moo Mason (we call her Moo, Mooey, The Moo, and Mooet Chandon) for a blueberry facial or one of their other offerings, which include everything from your basic nail clipping and bath through to doggy remedial massage (more on that later). I chose the facial because, well, what the fuck. I could not see a way that a blueberry facial could a) be a real thing you get for dogs and b) work in any way, shape or form. But I was intrigued. Side note here’s a picture of Mooey with her nose stuck in a towel roll.
Basically, for dogs a blueberry facial focuses on the brightening effects that a blue tint has on fur. Just like blonde hair, where blue toning shampoo is used to brighten colour and eliminate dullness, the blueberry facial products work to brighten your dog’s fur – especially on their face.
As Anneke van den Broek, founder and CEO of Rufus & Coco explains:
Many dogs are prone to staining around the eyes – due to weeping eyes which often contain yeast and bacteria. Staining is also common around the mouth where saliva can cause a red discolouration of the fur. The aromatherapy facial treatment brightens and deep cleans the coat, and is still gentle enough for sensitive pooch skin and eyes.
The treatment is used on the entire coat as well, and since my dog has white fur for the most part I could see the difference – Moo’s fur was softer, it looked brighter, and the little bit of tear stain she usually has under her left eye was gone.
According to the salon when I picked her up, she only didn’t like the final blowdry (she fucking hates all electrical things involving air – vacuums, leaf blowers…) so they just did a little of that to gently dry her off. She seemed happy as larry when I collected her, so I’m fairly certain I didn’t traumatise my dog.
Look, it’s a bit of a superficial treatment obviously. But I don’t think it’s the worst idea ever – anyone who owns a dog knows washing their face is the most difficult part of a bath, and often you just don’t manage to do a good job due to wriggling and their discomfort. This is why many people send their dogs to get professionally bathed – because they can’t manage it themselves without being bitten/scratched or simply having their dog bolt off. It makes sense to send your pup to a professional with training and experience (and the right products) if you need to.
And each to their own, right? If you want to pay money for your pet’s coat to be extra glossy and bright – that’s your prerogative. I don’t think I’d send Millie for another blueberry facial, mainly because she IMMEDIATELY RAN INTO THE GARDEN AND DUG THE SHIT OUT OF THE PLANT BEDS. But I’d absolutely send her back for another of the treatments – like the remedial massage. As Anneke explains:
“Canine remedial massage is gaining popularity in Australia. Beyond a pampering experience, canine massage relies on a sound knowledge of dogs musculature to provide a remedial form of soft tissue massage and muscular manipulation to reduce pain, lower blood pressure, provide stress relief or simply improve wellbeing.”
Or even one of the other basic washes, which are tailored to your pet’s skin and fur concerns. There’s things like the Oatmeal Wash, which helps soothe sensitive and irritated skins. The Signature De-Shedding Treatment, which is a three-step process to remove excess fur. And the Deep Conditioning Treatment that’s for dry, coarse or curly coats, detangling and softening the fur.
For now, I’ll just be over here wiping mud out of The Moo’s paws because she simply did not value her blueberry facial at all and insists on being a messy bitch.