Most retailers know the basic shampoos and conditioners their customers are looking for—flea/tick, general cleaning, anti-itch, odor control and color enhancing. But while it is great to carry tried-and-true bathing solutions to pets’ skin and coat needs, sticking to only the basics can result in a shampoo and conditioner selection that is somewhat boring and stale. With this in mind, retailers should strive to keep their assortments fresh by infusing them with the latest introductions to the category.
Animology is a good example of a product that can add a fresh spin to a retailer’s shampoo assortment. It has been available in the United Kingdom since 2010, but only recently arrived in the United States via Frank Rowe and Son as the sole distributor of the product. The official shampoo of Groom Team England, Animology’s packaging alone should recommend it to retailers. Glossy black containers feature easy-to-read colored labels with white or black writing and catchy names such as Mucky Pup, a no-rinse shampoo; Derma Dog, a fragrance-free hypoallergenic shampoo; White Wash and Back to Black for color enhancing; and Dogs Body for general cleaning. All ingredients are on the label of each product.
Another product to hit the market recently was designed with cats in mind. Kimberly Raisanen, president of Professional Cat Groomers’ Association of America, created a line of shampoo specifically for cats—Focus on Felines. “After years of being asked what shampoo I recommended as safe for cats, I decided to create some,” says Raisanen. “Many people are not aware how much more sensitive cats can be to common ingredients, so we worked to develop products that are completely safe for felines, although they work perfectly well on dogs too.”
For example, Raisanen adds, instead of using essential oils—which can cause bad reactions in cats, in its flea shampoo—Focus on Felines uses hydrosols that are derived from essential oils but are safer for cats. The company’s Naturally Safe Flea Shampoo also functions well as a degreaser, another important issue for felines. The Colloidal Soothing Oatmeal Shampoo has no fragrance and is a detergent-free formula that will not wash off flea treatments, or irritate and dry the skin or coat. However, the company is not limiting its product lineup to only address the special needs of cats. Its newest entry into the specialty shampoo market, Bully Bubbles, is a rinseless shampoo aimed at wrinkle care on dog breeds such as Bulldogs, which need extra help on their faces.
Although the shampoos from B3 Salon Products are not new, the company has recently garnered some buzz in online groomers’ forums as being excellent products. The name B3 is derived from “Buy American, By Americans, Bye unknown foreign products,” which can be a solid selling point.
The Sugar Scrub Facial, which comes in a see-through container etched with a stylized “B,” will appeal to spa-minded customers. The company’s B3 Spearmint Eucalyptus all-purpose shampoo is another product that many pet owners will find appealing because of the breadth of needs it addresses, according Joy Nachmias, owner of B3 Salon Products. “[It] is a degreaser, whitener/brightener and optical enhancer for all colors all rolled into one, which eliminates the need for multiple products and helps relieve customer confusion,” she says.
Pet King Brands’ Zymox Enzymatic shampoo, which has been available only through veterinarians until recently, has an answer for one of the most common problems experienced by pets—itchy, dry and irritated skin. Zymox protects the skin without irritating or drying it by using only the mildest plant surfactants as a base, and using enzymes with anti-inflammatory properties to calm the skin and vitamin D3 to help hydrate.
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The company has added Zymox Conditioning Rinse to its offerings, which has the advantage of a leave-in conditioner that allows the bioactive enzymes to remain on the skin to extend the beneficial effects tremendously. Deborah Brown, vice president of marketing and advertising at Pet King Brands, says, “Zymox Shampoo and Conditioning Rinse are based on over 35 years of enzyme research. Antibiotics or harsh chemicals are not used, only natural antimicrobial enzymes. Unlike traditional medicated products, these products are potent yet very gentle on the skin.”
Iv San Bernard uses a fairly new and different approach to pet shampoo altogether. This system of replenishing products seems to work synergistically with the natural hair and body oils of dogs. Michelle Knowles, master groomer, product consultant and presenter of the company’s “Science of Skin” informational webinars, says, “Iv San Bernard is formulated on the actual science of skin, how skin processes and the needs of the different coat types. It is an interchangeable cleansing and hydrating group of products that can be mixed and matched to each individual pet depending on what that pet needs to be healthy in his skin.” The system is designed to create healthier hair and skin on pets. The results achieved by the company’s various products depend on the coat type and the individual pets’ needs, although the maintenance line is probably ideal for retailers.
Another option to freshening a pet store’s shampoo section is to seek out tried-and-true brands that have recently redone their packaging, as Bio-Groom and Tropiclean have done. Pet Silk is a well-known brand that has recently added lines to its offerings, another great way to keep customers trying and buying.
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.
STOCKINGTHE SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER AISLE
Espree Animal Products’ (espree.com) Flea & Tick Shampoo combines skin-soothing ingredients with natural insecticidal pyrethrins to get dogs clean, as well as free of fleas and ticks. The cleansing and conditioning formula eliminates fleas and ticks on contact, while easing itchiness from flea and tick bites. The shampoo also leaves behind a fresh fragrance. It is available in 20-oz. or 1-gal. bottles.
Bio-Groom’s (biogroom.com) Herbal Groom is an all-natural, tearless, conditioning shampoo that harnesses the power of nature with a combination of herbal ingredients to restore, revitalize and clean without stripping natural oils. Herbal Groom contains protein, lanolin, natural cleansers, aloe vera, chamomile, rosemary, lemongrass, hops, yarrow, matricaria and balm mint. It is pH balanced and safe for puppies and kittens.
Dead Sea Mineral Mud Cleanser, by HAMPI Natural Pet Spa (hampinaturalpetspa.com), is a specialty shampoo infused with Dead Sea mud and minerals. It purifies and hydrates for a moisturized and revitalized coat. The shampoo is complemented by the Dead Sea Mineral Mud Masque conditioner, which conditions and fortifies to protect and strengthen the coat. They are both available in 8.5-oz. and 1-gal. sizes.
RESCUE ME! Concentrated Deep Conditioner, by Cardinal Pet Care (cardinalpet.com), is formulated for dry, damaged or coarse hair. Shea butter penetrates deep into the skin and moisturizes the hair shaft at its base, while Panthenol (vitamin B12) adds luster, shine and body to the coat. The package bears the boutique-shop design Cardinal’s Viva La Spa line is known for. It also has a flip-top cap with an hermetic seal. The fragrance is the same scent that is in the new DEVOTION designer fragrance.
Oster (osteranimalcare.com) has introduced its Oatmeal Naturals Shampoos, as part of its full line of oatmeal-based shampoos and colognes for cats and dogs. The Naturals Shampoos come in a 18-oz. size in a variety of formulas including Shed Control, 4-in-1, Deodorizing, Extra Soothing, Gentle Puppy and Vitamin-Enriched. The Naturals Shampoos contain ingredients such as chamomile in the Extra Soothing formula and orange extract in the Deodorizing shampoo. The line also includes the Oatmeal Naturals Dermasilk Conditioner.
Natural Chemistry’s (naturalchemistry.com) Natural Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs offers a combination of natural botanical ingredients that work synergistically to provide natural flea protection. The shampoo’s ingredients include cinnamon oil, cedar wood oil, clove oil and vanillin. It has been proven to provide a residual effect for up to 7 days after use, and it is also effective on black flies and mosquitoes.
Tropiclean’s (tropiclean.net) Oxy-Med Treatment is a medicated rinse formulated to stop itching, control flaking and reduce shedding. Oxy-Med contains alpha hydroxys, an effective remedy for relieving seborrhea and other skin problems. The alpha hydroxy-formula is also designed to penetrate the lowermost levels of the skin and clean out the skin’s pores. Vitamins and omega-3 fatty acid supplies nourishment for a healthy skin and coat. The Oxy-Med line also includes Hypo-allergenic Oatmeal Shampoo, Medicated Oatmeal Shampoo and more.
Synergy’s (synergylabs.com) Shed-X Shed Control line—which includes Shed-X Shed Control Dog Shampoo, Shed-X Shed Control Dog Conditioner and Shed-X Shed Control Cat Shampoo—is formulated to infuse the skin and coat with essential amino acids, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, vitamins A, D and E, and antioxidants. Shed-X Shed Control Shampoo reduces shedding, dander and allergens for both dogs and cats. Natural ingredients include white ginger, grape seed oil, nectarine, aloe vera and green tea extract.