Skip to main content

Skout’s Honor Is Taking the Itch Factor Out of Your Dog’s Life

The sustainable brand’s science-backed grooming products boast an unexpected ingredient: probiotics.

by Maia Welbel
September 16, 2022
A black dog sitting in a sink with soap bubbles on his head posing with grooming products from the brand, "Skout's Honor."
Courtesy of Skout’s Honor

Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)

These days, the common answer you’ll get when it comes to anything concerning health is this: “What’s going on with your gut?” All it takes is a few minutes on Instagram to get hit with gut-health fixes, subscriptions to probiotic supplements, and researchers who claim they’ve come up with the product to make it all better.

While we humans have to wade through gut-health advice to find what works for us, we have come to know about the probiotics in pet food. But did you know they’re also great for grooming and clean-up? According to the team at Skout’s Honor — an eco-friendly pet supply company with health at its heart — probiotics can enhance our pets’ wellness inside and out.

Founded in California in 2015, Skout’s Honor makes science-backed products that keep furry friends happy, itch-free, and smelling fresh. The brand began with a plant-based odor eliminator and has since expanded into essentials that include shampoo and conditioner and flea and tick solutions. What sets Skout’s Honor apart is their probiotic line, which boasts a live, colony-forming probiotic kefir culture, which has been shown to help ease and prevent common skin problems in dogs and cats.

The probiotics found in Skout’s Honor products work much the same way as those in a gut-fortifying bottle of kombucha or a moisturizing yogurt face mask. “What we’ve done is taken a technology that has been used for hundreds, if not thousands of years,” says Jenny Gilcrest, VP of Marketing at Skout’s Honor. “Just like people, pets have billions of bacteria that are living and growing on the outside of their bodies.” Probiotics help balance the skin biome so healthy bacteria can flourish and push out the bad stuff.

Yeast and fungal infections on the skin are common in pets who like to play and roll around outdoors. These can cause odor and discomfort, and may be the reason why your pet is chewing their paws or scratching their ears. Especially if you’re caring for a pet with sensitive skin or frequent allergies, you’re going to want to help them with a product that is both gentle and effective.

“I think a lot of people understand now what it means to treat the root cause of an issue versus the symptoms,” Gilcrest says. “And, just like people are turning to more natural remedies and skincare for themselves, they are looking for the same thing for their pet.”

Skout’s Honor was the first brand to bring probiotics to pet wellness in this way, and they currently have a patent pending on their technology. Gilcrest explains, “When you wash your pet with our shampoos or you spray them with our product, there is a live culture inside a microscopic bead that releases when the fur dries.” Your pet is left with a natural protective barrier against irritants and infection. 

The Skout’s Honor team initially launched the line based on how probiotics worked on human skin to treat issues, such as acne and rosacea. “To be honest, we didn’t really know what was going to happen,” Gilcrest says.

But they were met with raving reviews. Pet parents who’d had their dogs on steroids for skin issues or were dealing with recurring ear infections said the probiotic products worked better than anything they had tried before. 

Because no other company seemed to be working with probiotics for skin in the pet care industry, there wasn’t substantial data available to sign off on these testimonials. So, Skout’s Honor commissioned researchers to see whether their anecdotal success held up in the lab. Independent third-party scientists found that the probiotics outperformed a common antimicrobial surface treatment by up to 30 percent.

Veterinarian Dr. Liz Hanson writes, “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.”

This is a win for pet parents who want to avoid heavier medications, such as steroids and antibiotics, when possible. The repeated long-term use of those can be detrimental to a pet’s overall wellness. 

Skout’s Honor takes responsibility for their products, not only in terms of their effectiveness for the dogs and cats who use them but also for their impact on the planet.

“We consider ourselves to be an environmentally and socially conscious company, so our products have always been developed with that as the foundation,” Gilcrest says.

She adds that the brand sources ingredients to be the cleanest and greenest in the game (always alcohol and essential-oil free) and uses recyclable and biodegradable materials for packaging: “Our product development decision making is rooted in the sustainability and integrity of the ingredients, the benefit and the safety of the animal, and then the people around that animal.”

You can get probiotic detanglers, deoderizers, shampoos, conditioners, and more shipped nationwide from the Skout’s Honor website, or use their search tool to find a local store near you. And, in partnership with Greater Good Charities, every purchase of a Skout’s Honor product provides one day’s worth of meals for a rescue animal in need.

Related articles

author Maia Welbel

Maia Welbel

Maia is a freelance writer focused on using storytelling to help people treat our planet with more compassion. She lives in Chicago with her perfect pets, Maxx the dog and Rubie the cat. Find her on maiawelbel.com and @mwelbel.