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A Total Clean Up

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No one knows better than pet retailers the messes that animals can make. There are litter boxes and puppy potty training messes to clean up, and the inevitable throw up when a dog eats something they shouldn’t.

Everyone loves the cute little puppy looking at you longingly with adorable eyes, but few people would admit to loving walking into a house an immediately being able to say, “a dog lives here.”

Luckily, there are some great new products on the market that not only help clean up the stains and odors pets can leave behind, they are also all-natural and chemical free.

So in addition to helping your customers clean their houses, you’re also helping them keep the environment a little cleaner by using products that don’t add harsh chemicals into the environment.

Many are also made by companies that pay attention to green practices in their manufacturing processes.

Using cleaning agents made from natural products and enzymes rather than harsh chemicals isn’t just better for the environment, they are also better for pets and people. All-natural products reduce the amount of chemicals pets are exposed to that could be harmful to their health.

And, many of these cleaners work by using natural enzymes that break down the mold and fungus in the air or on surfaces, leading to an all-around cleaner environment with a reduced number of allergens that affect both pets and people.

“There has always been an underground population that sought out all-natural products, but now the category is growing thanks to a heightened awareness,” David Levesque, director of business development for Kanberra Gel, said. “People are looking for products that provide the results they need with ingredients that are safe and natural and have been around for centuries.”

Tackling Stains

One of the biggest challenges pet owners face is keeping floors and furniture clean from pet stains.

They don’t want something that will just cover up the affected area, they want a cleaner that will eliminate the problem so there isn’t a lingering stain or odor, which often will cause pets to become repeat offenders.

Earth’s Balance 180 XT stain remover from Marshall Pet Products is a professional-strength formula available for homeowners. This product uses biodegradable surfactants and a patented Moleculift technology to lift pheromones up and out of the surface.

“This product helps pets from re-soiling the same area by getting out the pheromones immediately,” Linda Cope, global marketing manager for Marshall Pet Products, said.

Earth Friendly Products also has its popular Pet Stain & Odor Remover, as well as carpet and floor cleaners.

These all use natural enzymes, and the carpet cleaner also uses coconut and sugar-based surfactants, to mimic the process in nature that breaks down disease.

“Synthetic products often mask odor with strong, overpowering fragrances, but our products use nature’s power to break down the cause of stains and odors,” Jenna Arkin, a chemist for Earth Friendly Products, said.

In addition to natural enzymes, the Eco-Care Stain and Odor Remover from Simple Solutions uses pro-bacteria, as well. This works with enzymes to neutralize stains and odors rather than just covering them up.

While some customers will be asking specifically for all-natural cleaning products, others might not be aware that these products are just as effective and beneficial in other ways than their traditional, chemical-based products.

A great way to market and sell these products to your customers is to use them in your store and send samples home with your employees to use at home.

It will not only enable your staff to have first-hand experience with these products to share with customers and help them answer questions or address concerns, it also gives customers an opportunity to see the products in action.

Eliminating Odors

It isn’t just spot-cleaning that pet owners have to deal with.

From wet dogs to full litter boxes, pets can often leave a lingering odor in a home, one that seems to become a part of the carpet, fabric and the entire atmosphere.

While some people might reach for an air freshener to mask that smell, there’s an all-natural alternative available for pet retailers that actually eliminates the cause of the odor and cleans the air, Kanberra Gel. First marketed to marinas for use on boats, this product is finding its way into pet stores and is becoming a hit with customers.

“The gel is made with a blend of two or three types of tea tree oils,” Levesque says. “As the gel evaporates, the tea tree oils become airborne, where they interact with molds, fungi, and any airborne bacteria, such as the virus that causes kennel cough. You’re cleaning up the air, so you don’t only lose the odor, you are also eliminating potential allergens that affect pets and people.”

Kanberra has also created a spray from of the tea tree oils that can be applied directly to a pet. This works on furs and even surgical scars.

For success in selling Kanberra gel and similar air cleaners, set them up in a display of their own, preferably near the check out, rather than putting them with air fresheners. By placing them at the check out you invite customers to ask about the product and give the opportunity for education on how tea tree oils work.

Kanberra also provides samples, so customers can see for themselves how effective the product is before making a purchase.

Providing all-natural alternatives to clean up pet messes not only gives your store products that some people are looking for, it also gives you a product to sell to people who might not know they had the alternative.

“The biggest challenge with selling natural pet products is overcoming the perception that they’re less efficacious than the competition,” Matt Smith, marketing director for RPG Direct, said. “In reality, many natural products on the market work just as well if not better than their ‘non-natural’ competition. One of the best ways to counter this perception is by marketing with clear, objective product comparisons. No frills. Just the facts.”

- Karen M. Alley

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