As the holidays near, consumers that have long considered introducing a new member to the family may take the opportunity that the gift-giving season offers to welcome a four-legged friend into their homes. After all, meeting a puppy or kitten for the first time as it peeks its head out of a gift-wrapped box to lick your face on Christmas morning can create an instant bond and a life-long memory.
However, after the initial excitement fades and training begins, new pet parents may not be fully equipped to handle the unexpected from their new pet. Accidents are bound to happen—especially during training—and if an owner cannot overcome the challenges of training and tackle the stains and odors that come along with it, they may opt to relinquish the cute pet that created that Christmas morning memory.
“So many pets are taken to dog rescues because pet owners can’t get them potty trained and there are odors in their house,” says Julie Holmes, general manager of Unique Natural Products. Holmes says stain and odor products can help alleviate these issues for pet owners. “When you tell a pet owner that they can get rid of the old, as well as the new odors they have with a product that works, they don’t have to get rid of the animal.”
Pet specialty retailers are smart to offer a stain and odor product to new pet parents as they ready their homes for a new family member. “When people come in with puppies and they are beginning with nutrition and looking for other items like a collar, bowl, etc., retailers should get them started with a good odor and stain remover right from the get-go, because it’s going to solve a lot of problems from day one,” Holmes says.
Gil Fischbach, vice president of sales, pet products, at Earth Friendly Products, agrees. “Providing a product that helps keep the pet’s environment stain and odor free contributes to a stable home for the pet and a loving relationship between the pet and their master,” he says.
Retailers can contribute to the peace and harmony between a pet and its owner by offering enough solutions to help pet owners combat the mess at hand. Fortunately, the market offers a variety of products to help eliminate stains and neutralize odors. In recent years, manufacturers have introduced new methods that attack stains and odors. While traditional chemical-based products are still available, enzyme-, bacterial- and even mineral-based products are increasingly becoming tried and trued solutions for pet owners.
Understanding the difference between how a bacterial-based product works versus how a enzyme-based product works can go a long way in helping customers fight smelly odors and clean unsightly stains. With that in mind, Pet Business offers a look at popular pet stain and odor eliminators on the market, ranging from bacterial-based to mineral-based.
Unique Natural Products (uniquemm.com) offers a bacteria-based Pet Odor and Stain Eliminator. The bacteria produces its own enzyme that breaks down organic waste. Holmes says this process is similar to the game of Pac-Man. “It takes the urine, vomit or whatever comes out of our pets, and it breaks it down,” she says. “Bacteria reproduces itself, and it just keeps reproducing as long as there is a food source, which is anything organic, and as long as there’s moisture. So like in the game of Pac-Man, the bacteria gets faster and faster and keeps attacking the organic waste until there is nothing left.”
Unique Natural’s Pet Odor and Stain Remover can be used on carpets, furniture, upholstery, hardwood floors or clothing. And its concentrated formula (available in 4- or 32-oz. bottles or 1-gal.) can help pet owners save money. “If you’re a person that is really concerned about value, the product is really effective and it’s very affordable—especially if you have multiple dogs or pets,” Holmes says.
Backed By Bacteria
Caroline’s Stain & Odor Remover, from Austin Rose (austinrose.com), contains non-pathogenic bacteria cultures that digest organic stains and odors from pet accidents and human spills. Since bacteria both degrade complex waste and digest the by-products, less pollution is discharged to the environment. It also contains a blend of all-natural surfactants that effectively clean and discourage pet re-soiling. “Our goal is to make the job of cleaning a mess easier and environmentally friendly to both humans, as well as our pets,” says Jazmin Hodges, sales and marketing manager at Austin Rose.
Break the Habit
The secret to Tropiclean’s (tropiclean.com) Fresh Breeze line of stain and odor removers is its HabitBreaker technology, which employs specialized natural enzymes that destroy odors at their source. “Destroying odors at their source reduces the possibility of residual organic material such as urine or feces to be detected by the pet. If the pet detects these odors, which are typically unnoticed by humans, the pet can revisit these areas and potentially repeat the unwanted behavior such as marking or accidents,” says Joe Zuccarello, Tropiclean’s national accounts sales manager.
The Fresh Breeze line features five surface-specific products: 2X Carpet & All Floor solution (available in a 32-oz. bottle or 1-gal. bottle), Hard Floor solution, Crate & Kennel solution, Upholstery solution and 2X Pad Penetrator, which can be used on carpets and padding. “Fresh Breeze does not sacrifice efficacy for natural, it is concise and simple, but covers all needs,” Zuccarello says.
Earth Friendly Natural Pet Products (ecos.com) offers a variety of all-natural cleaning products for the care of pets and their environment. However, the company’s flagship product is its stain- and odor-removing product, which utilizes an all-green enzyme-based formula. Earth Friendly’s Stain & Odor Remover eliminates stains and removes odors through the action of enzymes, a plant-based surfactant, natural citrus fragrances and ethanol derived from corn. “Our Earth Friendly Stain & Odor Remover is offered in a spray for topical stains and in a pour application for deep stains and odors,” says Fischbach. “Our formulas are safe for the pet, the pet’s owner and the planet.”
The Power of Minerals
PetKeeper Secrets (petkeepersecrets.com) has created an innovative method of attacking stains and odors with its mineral-based Pet Odor & Stain Remover. “We developed a mineral-based solution as minerals are very safe, effective and versatile,” says Chris Elliott, co-president of PetKeeper Secrets. The product’s minerals are naturally charged and attracted to odor and dirt molecules for immediate removal. It can be sprayed on hard or soft surfaces to remove dirt, spots, stains and odors. PetKeeper Secrets is also hypoallergenic and can be used freely in the air to remove airborne odors.
PetKeeper Secrets Pet Odor & Stain Remover comes in a concentrate delivery system. Pet owners can add water to the bottle that is pre-loaded with mineral concentrate or re-use the bottle and refill it with Eco-Advanced refill packets. “We made a concentrated pack that consumers buy with a pre-loaded bottle and add water to it,” Elliot says. “Consumers help save the environment by using the bottle many times, and we save by not shipping water.”
Best of the Rest
While some products offer the power of enzymes, bacteria, oxys and deodorizers, others use proprietary blends to combat stains and stink.
Fizzion (fizzionclean.com) is a concentrated tablet that utilizes a proprietary blend of cleaners that work to remove two of the most stubborn components of urine from a material or fabric. Using the same concept as dry cleaning, Fizzion uses the power of CO2 as a vehicle to make normally insoluble uric acid soluble, so it can be removed from the fibers permanently. It forms a shield around the stain, while it works to immediately reduce odors. The concentrated tablet mixes with fresh water when the pet owner needs it. The Pet Stain & Odor Remover Starter Kit comes with a full bottle of Fizzion and one refill tablet attached.
Lambert Kay (lambertkay.com) added Skunk-Off to its Fresh ‘n Clean odor elimination product line. Skunk-Off is scientifically formulated to quickly and permanently eliminate odors, such as skunk spray, glandular secretions, urine, fecal stains and tomcat spray. from pets, people, clothing, home surfaces and car interiors. Skunk-Off’s proprietary technology works five ways through neutralization, absorption, bonding, inhibitors and residuals to instantly and permanently eliminate odor. The line also includes Cat Odor-Off, Dog Odor-Off and Odor-Off surface cleaners.