Dry Run

Sometimes it is not possible to bathe a pet. However, pet specialty retailers can provide a variety of products to address pets’ between-bath needs.


Between-bath sprays and wipes can come in handy in a variety of circumstances—such as when a dog is a little stinky between visits to the groomer or during a road trip with Fluffy. However, with most retailers working hard to ensure that every square foot of space is creating the most profit possible, is it really worthwhile to stock an array of sprays, wipes and waterless shampoos just for tidying pets up?

The answer from consumers, retailers and distributors is a resounding yes. These products offer pet owners problem-solving convenience and are an acknowledgement of the fact that pets are more a part of the family than ever.

Steven Shweky, president and CEO of Fetch…for Pets! says the between-bath products category is a definite growth area. “Products including sprays, wipes and waterless shampoos are great ways to help keep pets clean and smelling fresh in between baths,” he says. “This category has seen tremendous growth over the last ten years and continues to expand as consumers look for more grooming options. Not everyone has the time or funds to have their dog professionally groomed as often as they’d like, so in-between-bath products not only offer convenience but also cost savings.” 

Fetch…for Pets! now offers pet products under a license from Burt’s Bees, a well-known human grooming-product line, including a waterless shampoo, a deodorizing spray and wipes marketed just for cats. According to Shweky, between-bath products are a good fit for retailers because they can be used on all dogs, small or large, thick, thin, long or short coated. They are profitable for retailers, too, as sprays, wipes and dry shampoos are frequently used consumables, leading to more repeat purchases than shampoo and conditioner.

Retailers should determine what their customer’s needs are and help them select the most suitable products. “More and more pet parents are taking dogs along on shopping trips, to work or to a relative’s family gathering for the holidays,” says Barbara Denzer, vice president of marketing for Cardinal Pet Care. “Full baths are not usually an option while traveling, but grooming sprays and facial wipes offer a simple solution. They’re perfect for quick clean-ups on the go. As the number of traveling pets increases, so too does the [number of] pet parents looking for these simple grooming products. They’re great impulse items and easy add-on sales thanks to the convenience they offer.” 

Cardinal’s Viva La Dog Spa line includes Mini Facial Wipes and a Travel Kit that has grooming sprays. These products make keeping pets clean simple, especially when traveling. They fit into a purse or glove box, and are also quick and easy to use so dogs don’t have to sit still for a lot of fussing, and the results are instant. Viva La Dog Spa products look great in the grooming section but also come in a small, stylish counter display that is perfect for placement by the register. 

Travel isn’t the only reason to use between bath products. Bio-Groom’s Waterless Bath is a tearless cleaner with no alcohol that requires no pre-wetting or rinsing—the pet owner just applies it and wipes it off. It can be applied to whatever extent is needed, from spot cleaning muddy feet, greasy ears or soiling mishaps to cleaning a geriatric pet that may not be able to stand for a full bath anymore. Bio-Groom Waterless Bath is available in spray bottles or by the gallon, and it can be used any time bathing isn’t convenient. It is also labeled for cats and can be displayed in the cat section as well.

Wipes are another handy way to freshen up pets. “Pet wipes are convenient and easy to use both in between baths and after walks, as well as on road trips and after the dog park,” says Andrea Garcia, spokesperson for Pet Head. “Wiping the pet’s paws before they come in the house helps to keep floors and furniture clean. Pet Head Paw & Body Wipes have a clean, orange scent and are pH-adjusted and free of parabens, petroleum derivatives, propylene glycol, sulfate and DEA, appealing to customers concerned about those ingredients. Pet Head’s Dry Clean Spray is also designed for between-bath touch-ups, and the Blueberry Muffin fragrance smells delicious. Just spray on the coat and towel or blow dry to freshen and clean. It is labeled for both dogs and cats.” 

Often, odor is a pet owner’s overriding concern. Best Shot offers One Shot Deodorizing Spray that utilizes encapsulating technology to engulf and neutralize odors permanently. It can be used on dogs, cats, horses and throughout the home wherever odors occur. Retailers can sell the 4-oz. size for travel and a 16-oz. size to keep by the litter box. The company’s line also includes the One Shot Dry Clean Spray waterless shampoo, which is ideal for cleaning up travel stains, grass stains, unexpected urine or manure messes and more. The product is simply sprayed on and toweled off. Best Shot’s Scentament Spa line includes Body Splash Sprays that will appeal to customers looking for a botanical answer to odor. Alcohol free, non-aerosol and made with essential oils and extracts in 18 varieties, including seasonal and holiday scents, the Splash Sprays include ingredients that make brushing easier, reduce static and detangle, as well as refresh and deodorize.     

Understanding that, consumers sometimes have concerns that go beyond just efficacy. Mauro Pet Care Products endeavors to provide products for pet owners who are looking for more natural options. The company’s sulfate- and paraben-free body sprays not only freshen and rehydrate a dog’s coat between baths, their aroma-therapeutic properties promote relaxation. Ingredients such as lavender, geranium and eucalyptus help relax pets while eliminating odors. 

According to the company, Mauro Pet Care’s products are made in an all-natural manufacturing facility using the highest-grade natural essential oils, extracts and plant botanicals that have been sourced worldwide. The products do not contain dyes, sulfates, propylene glycol, phthalates, parabens or animal by-products. All Mauro Pet Care products are also bottled in keeping with all regulatory standards applied to human products to include the full disclosure of each ingredient used—which is reassuring to many discerning consumers.

Another motivation for buying between-bath grooming products is to care for a pet that should not get wet—whether it’s a puppy, a geriatric dog or a pet living in cold climate and cannot be dried sufficiently. Mauro Pet Care’s Pest Repellant and Dry Shampoo is ideal for freshening up a pet that needs to stay dry. It deodorizes, cleans and promotes a healthy coat between baths. It also contains botanicals and other ingredients known to combat pests such as fleas, ticks, flies and mosquitoes.

Pets today are truly becoming part of most pet owners’ families, and the same concerns over their health, cleanliness, comfort and product ingredients are in play as with the two-legged part of the family. Between-bath sprays, wipes and powders can answer many needs and provide retailers with excellent profits. 

Carol Visser is a Nationally Certified Master Groomer and Certified Pet Dog Trainer. Formerly a pet product expert for PetEdge, she and her husband Glenn now own Two Canines Pet Services in Montville, Maine, which provides grooming, boarding, training and day care services to Waldo County.


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