Healthy skin for dogs - Interview with Dr. David Jarvis

August 11, 2016

Lots of dogs have itchy, irritated skin and allergies. What are some of the main causes for that?

Dr. Jarvis: The causes for allergic reaction can be varied. Allergic reaction is, however, different from irritation. Irritation is a dermal response to a substance that causes skin damage. Allergic reaction is an immune response to an allergen or substance that the immune system of the pet does not recognize as "self." The immune system responds and the result is an allergic reaction. Diet, environmental allergens, personal pet care products like shampoos, conditioners, sprays and even medications can all cause skin irritation and allergic reaction.

What are some of the early signs of skin issues/allergies in dogs?

Dr. Jarvis: I need to reiterate that every pet owner should have a very special relationship with their veterinarian. Any sign of irritation or allergic reaction should be reported to the pet’s veterinarian and appropriate treatment should be given. Early signs of skin issues or allergies in dogs could be redness, hair loss, itchy, dry and scaly skin, constant scratching and even bleeding.

What are some common methods to prevent it or treat it?

Dr. Jarvis: Your veterinarian will prescribe the best course of treatment but they can include steroids and or anti-inflammatory drugs. Every pet owner needs to know and understand their pet and their behaviors and recognize unusual behavior or skin appearance that could be a sign of allergic reaction or irritation and seek professional veterinary assistance at the first sign of allergic reaction or irritation. The best at home methods of preventing irritation and allergic reaction are to find a diet that is appropriate to your dog, use only pet-personal care products that are mild and do not produce allergic reactions or irritation, avoid heavily fragranced items.

During this process, what can a dog owner do to make the dog feel better?

Dr. Jarvis: Understanding the above, the pet owner can follow the directions of their veterinarian to the letter. Provide a diet that the dog’s digestive system is comfortable with and appropriate for the pet and produces no allergic reactions. Be there for your pet and be observant of any unusual behaviors or skin problems.

There are lots of different shampoos on the market. What should a dog owner be aware about when deciding which shampoo to use?

Dr. Jarvis: The best products are those that use the best of science and technology and the best of nature. There must be thought in a product formulation, desire to meet real needs of the consumer. When I look at the technology of the pet care products on the market today I am very disappointed. They use very simple surfactants, conditioners, actives and excipients and the concentrations of the important ingredients like oils, natural ingredients and surfactants is very low. A dog owner should look for quality and a product that demonstrates that it is designed for the best appearance and health of their pet. They should be convinced that the product uses the best of science and nature to give them the best results for their pet.

What are some ingredients dog owners should be aware about, because they actually cause skin issues?

Dr. Jarvis: Strong fragrances, sulfated surfactants, heavy preservative loads, and formulas that lack skin conditioners and emollients are good signs that the product may present problems for your pet.

You developed the formulas for Petology’s products. What was important for you in that process?

Dr. Jarvis: The most important thing for me was to design a product that utilized the BEST of science and the BEST of nature to make pet care products that actually work. I wanted to bring the technology level of the Petology products up to and beyond where all pet products should be today.

How does Petology products differ from other natural/organic dog shampoos on the market?

Dr. Jarvis: Petology products utilize the best of science and nature to produce the best pet-personal care products on the market. Moisturizers and natural ingredients are present at levels that really work. Our patented, plant derived, canine sebum substitute, Naturshine, is used in all the formulas to re-vitalize your pets skin and coat. Sebum is nature’s conditioner. It helps protect and also nourish the skin and coat.

Technology and nature are built into Petology's products with guaranteed 72 hour moisturization, superior conditioning, unequaled mildness, superior performance.

How can the right shampoo help a dog with skin issues?

Dr. Jarvis: The right shampoo will help prevent skin issues and help treat those that already exist. That is very important. Prevention is the key.

Please list five reasons to why you think Petology products surpass the competition?

Dr. Jarvis:

Natural formulas
Targeted ingredients
High levels of natural ingredients and actives


Dr. David Jarvis spent 32 years in the personal care products industry in the formulation and quality side working on shampoos, conditioners, hair colors, styling products, house hold products, and pet care products. Dr. Jarvis holds degrees in chemistry and biology, as well as a doctorate in business administration.

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