Skin and coat care consists of a number of facets, all of which can benefit both the pet owner and the retailer.
A healthy coat is something all dog owners want to see on their animals. That glossy shine and nice scent tells us that the pet is healthy, plus it’s more enjoyable to pet a clean, fluffy animal. Achieving a healthy coat begins with healthy skin, and healthy skin begins with a healthy pet. Annual vet checks and quality food help ensure that dogs are at their peak health, but there are many products that can improve a dog’s coat and skin as well. Savvy retailers should make sure to have products on hand in each category: shampoos, conditioners, grooming tools, brushing aids/sprays, between bath cleaners, flea control, and supplements targeting coat and skin health.
The two most common reasons that pet owners seek skin and coat care help from retailers are itching and shedding. Regular brushing of a dog’s coat with the proper tools will stimulate skin, distribute natural oils for a better shine and remove shed hair—often the underlying cause of dryness, itching and odor. However, often nothing but a bath with a quality shampoo will get the job done.
Bio-Groom’s Protein/Lanolin is a shampoo with just that quality. One of the earliest formulas in the company’s line, the shampoo is gentle and tearless, and has moisturizing and emollient action on skin, which helps reduce dry skin, a common cause of itching.
“Bio-Groom uses only the finest grade of lanolin. Refined to be free of impurities, lanolin is used in hundreds of cosmetics and other skin products for humans including babies,” says Peggy Smith, marketing and media expert for Bio-Groom. “Lanolin in shampoo provides the hair with a method of maintaining moisture. It gives the coat the ability to retain moisture and keep it soft.”
Bio-Groom also offers a full line of shampoos and grooming products and provides an array of pre-made displays for their products.
Many customers are interested in more specific ingredients to target problems and natural ingredients are currently sitting on top of consumers’ preference lists. Pura Naturals Pet provides these, specializing in USDA Certified Organic grooming and health and wellness products.
“Skin issues often start at the coat,” says Julie Creed, vice president of sales and marketing. “We have five different natural shampoos to safely address any pet’s needs.”
These five natural shampoos include canine allergies and shedding to flea and tick bites and irritation. The company’s Fragrance-Free Hypo Allergenic Shampoo is formulated specifically for allergies. The Soothing Lavender & Chamomile Organic Shampoo has many healing properties while the Moisturizing Tea Tree Oil & Peppermint Organic Shampoo reduces dander and is ideal for skin irritations and inflammation. New to Pura Naturals Pet’s shampoo line is the 2-In-1 Avocado & Olive Oil Organic Shampoo and Conditioner that features Hemp Seed Oil which aids in reducing shedding and is a natural moisturizer. Due to retailer and customer requests, the company added an aromatic Cedar and Peppermint Oil Natural Flea & Tick Shampoo that safely and effectively repels fleas and ticks.
“We’re big believers that natural ingredients are not only the best for your pet, but also for the environment,” says Creed. Pura Naturals Pet also supplies retailers with educational pieces on their products highlighting the benefits and features of the ingredients used.
For a pet with problem skin, a multi-pronged approach may be necessary. Allergies are a common cause for itchiness, which can lead to further issues such as hot spots and various types of skin infections. Allergies can be contact, seasonal, year-round, or food-related. All can be difficult and expensive to diagnose.
Dan Archetti, national sales director for Pet King Brands, makers of ZYMOX & Oratene, knows that these issues can cause frustration, helplessness and even desperation for pet owners. “For those pets with problematic skin, the quest for finding the right products can be a mix of strategies because a pet with allergies can be affected for life and by multiple symptoms,” he says.
ZYMOX products offer relief of itchy, allergy skin, as well as infections of the ears and skin. The patented LP Enzyme System in all the ZYMOX products is an antibiotic alternative that provides good skin support by calming inflamed skin and destroying bacteria, fungus and yeast. ZYMOX contains no harsh chemicals or detergents, and won’t dry a dog’s skin. The rinse is a good complement to the shampoo and can be left on the coat or applied full strength to trouble spots without leaving a greasy residue and is non-toxic.
What if the dog has already scratched itself to the point where it has damaged the skin? This invites infections, both widespread and those often found at scratch sites—commonly known as hot spots. Vetericyn Animal Wellness has the answers to this. Vetericyn Plus Hot Spot Spray—popular with grooming professionals to ward off clipper or brush irritations—can be used to clean the irritated area removing dirt, debris and any exudate. The company’s Hot Spot Antimicrobial Gel soothes and protects the affected area providing cooling and reducing itchiness giving the animal relief.
The FoamCare Medicated shampoo contains ingredients designed to soothe and heal skin issues. Dipotassium glycyrrhizinate helps reduce histamines and has excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic functions. Allantoin has soothing properties. Aloe barbadensis leaf extract is a humectant with antiseptic properties and salicylic acid allows new skin growth. FoamCare allows you to spray foam across the animal providing even coverage with just a few quick sprays.
“Our revolutionary spray-on applicator is what makes FoamCare possible,” says Geoff Hamby, director of marketing for Vetericyn Animal Wellness. “It’s easy to use and makes bath time much faster than traditional shampoos.”
Sometimes the help a pet needs for optimum skin and coat is internal rather than external. While good nutrition is a requirement for overall health, supplements targeting coat and skin can be very beneficial, especially during high-shedding seasons such as spring.
Grizzly Salmon Oil from Grizzly Pet Products contains naturally high levels of the omega-s DHA and EPA. Grizzly Pollock Oil has high levels of EPA and moderate levels of DHA, making it an affordable answer to skin and coat health. Many pet owners alternate between the two.
“Almost all dog foods, whether they are kibble, baked, freeze-dried, dehydrated or raw, have very high levels of omega-s,” says Chad J. Tillman, national sales manager of Grizzly Pet Products. “Omega-s are pro-inflammatory fatty acids and are crucial in small amounts, however, excess amounts can lead to dry skin, itching, scratching, hotspots, dandruff, excessive shedding, hair loss and other symptoms. Omega-s are anti-inflammatory fatty acids and help to balance out the pro-inflammatory responses of omega-s that are overly present in dog food.”
No matter what type of help pet owners need for their itchy, shedding and uncomfortable pets be prepared to assist with a multi-pronged approach and you’ll be sure to succeed both with improving pet’s lives and your own bottom line. PB