One of the best ways for groomers to know what tools and products really work is to pull up a chair at any grooming competition across the country and watch to see what the competitors pull out of their tack boxes.
Along with standby combs, brushes and scissors, each groomer will have bottles of their favorite “liquid tools” which they use to bring out the best of the coat they are working on. Observe for a while and you will see a whole lot of misting, spraying and spritzing and wiping going on.
“The biggest thing is that a good coat spray like Crown Royal helps to protect the coat from dirt, urine and future tangling,” she said. “After the dog has been bathed and towel dried, a light application of the spray will add a conditioning layer to the coat. Then, when you are scissoring, an additional spritz will cut down on static, as well as lift the coat to make it easier to scissor. If you have never tried a scissoring spray, you will find your end results are much nicer when you do use one.”
Crown Royal spray comes in three varieties, so there is one to suit most any coat type.
“Historically our best selling grooming spray has been Crown Royal Formula 3,” said Debbie Rowe, co-owner, Frank Rowe and Son. “When we travel to shows we bring cases of it.”
Michelle McCord, assistant vice president of marketing at Cherrybrook Premium Pet Supplies, agrees.
“This product has a very dedicated following,” she said. “It seems to be heavily recommended by grooming speakers and instructors, and many new buyers learn of it through word of mouth.”
Spray It On
Another wildly popular product is Stazko’s Spray.
Created by grooming industry legend John Stazko, this product also has a loyal following.
“The Stazko spray is by far the most popular one we sell,” said Alison Franklin, of The Groomers Mall. “Our customers love it and buy it over and over again. It is antistatic, detangles and even repels dirt so that dogs stay cleaner longer. It comes in professional sizes, and even in small bottles for retail sales.”
Some coat sprays are designed for very specific needs.
Murphy said she discovered Laser Lights Wow detangling spray when she was having difficulty with one particular cocker spaniel’s soft coat.
“I bought a bottle at a show,” she said. “It was expensive so I figured it had to work. A product has to really wow me before I’ll recommend it. This detangling spray was like nothing I have ever used before. For instance, if a Poodle or a Bichon is a little clumpy I’ll spray it on the legs, tail, ears and feet after I’ve washed and towel dried the dog. I work it in a little bit, and then when I use the high velocity dryer, those matted areas just blow right out.”
New to the U.S. is another spray that is receiving rave reviews, Knot Sure detangling spray by Animology. First introduced at the Groom Expo 2012, this line of pet care products is endorsed by Groom Team of England and is being widely chatted about in pet forums on the Internet.
There are even sprays designed to help dogs dry faster.
“Quick Dry is far and away our best selling spray,” said Sheila Louie, of Davis Manufacturing. “It breaks the bond that water has on the hair shaft, and cuts drying time in half. Groomers just need to spray it on, let it sit for 2-3 minutes, then dry the dog as they normally do. It works so well I have had groomers call me in tears because they are almost out and need a shipment, fast.”
Many groomers keep pre-moistened wipes within easy reach of their grooming table.
There are specific wipes designed for ear cleaning, dental care, eye care and odor elimination.
“The Thornell AOE Animal Odor Eliminator wipes sell well,” said Franklin. “They help neutralize any scent from a last minute ‘oops’ potty accident or anal sac issue. The Gimborn Eye Cleansing pads seem to be in demand, too.”
When it comes to cleaning a dog’s ears, Louis suggested looking at their Earmed wipes, which come in 160 sheet professional packages or in a canister of 40 wipes for retail sales.
“They have the same active ingredient as our ear wash and they are very popular with groomers,” Louis said. “Our customers tell us they like to be able to sell the same product they use professionally to their clients for routine home care.”
Coat sprays and wipes are handy tools that can save busy groomers a lot of time, energy and effort.
Grooming experts suggest experimenting with a variety of sprays and wipes to find what works best in their individual grooming environment.
Daryl Conner, MPS, Meritus, CMCG, has loved grooming dogs and cats for nearly 30 years. An award winning photo journalist, she shares her meadow-hugged Maine farmhouse with her patient husband and a lot of animals.