December 1, 2014

According to celebrity groomer and author of “DIY Dog Grooming” Jorge Bendersky, dogs are becoming an important part of our social lives and thus, fashion trends are becoming relevant to dogs.

“The pet grooming industry is becoming the beauty industry, and I love it,” said Bendersky. “We can easily find pet-friendly versions of most beauty treatments and products available in the pet aisles.”

One such brand is PetPaint, which allows dog owners to color their pet’s hair.

“Our consumers are looking for an easy, do-it-yourself and temporary solution to add a little swagger to their dog’s wagger,” said Abe Geary, founder of PetPaint. “We provide a temporary, affordable and easy-to-use colored fur spray to dress up your dog without the confines of a costume. There is definitely a couture boutique movement in the dog industry and I think PetPaint is perfect for this because it allows dog owners to put a more personal touch on how they accessorize their dogs. ”

Along with cosmetics becoming more popular, consumers are demanding that the products be as safe as they are effective. In fact, many pet owners are looking for the same level of safety in dog cosmetics as they expect in their own cosmetics.

“Consumers are looking for safe products that work,” said Eric Bittman, CEO and president of Warren London. “Most consumers will spend extra money on their dogs to make sure they receive the best product possible to help any issues or just to help their dog look and feel great.”

“I have found, especially with all the recent import issues with tainted products, that ‘Made in the USA’ is very important to the consumer,” said Bittman. “While products are not strictly regulated here, most people trust American manufacturers more than many of the countries we import from.”

According to Bittman, just as the demand for natural ingredients in human cosmetics has increased, most dog owners do not like using harsh chemicals on their pets and are seeking natural cosmetic options.

Geary agreed with the importance of conveying safety to customers.

“It’s important for retailers to know that PetPaint is safe, easy to use and temporary. It’s also verified and promoted by many vets and animal rescues,” he said.

But the cosmetic category is more than just surface-deep. It includes a range of beautifying products, as well.

“From essential-oil-infused mud baths, blueberry facials and body butter, to temporary glitter tattoos and color touch ups, everything is available,” said Bendersky. “We can now show our personality not only for the kind of dog we have but how well he or she is styled to go out for their daily walk around town.”

Bendersky recommends easy-to-apply products for the convenience and ability to be used last-minute, though he cautions that glitter and temporary color should be washed off with a waterless shampoo at the end of the day.

“Glitter and temporary color lives forever on social media outlets but not on our sheets or furniture,” he said.

When it comes to selling cosmetic products, Bittman said that being educated is crucial.

“Retailers need to be educated about any product that is in their store. I love when a store owner will give me a call and ask me how to sell certain products,” he said.

This holds true as new products hit market.

Geary emphasizes the importance of displays, both in the retail store and in the grooming salon.
“For retailers and groomers alike, visual merchandise is key. For groomers, it’s much more beneficial to feature PetPaint at the front desk to allow a fun up-sell for them,” he said. “It adds to their business. For retailers, it’s important to share the story of PetPaint and show customers how easy it is to use. I recommend visual posters and displays to give customers inspiration.”

In the coming year, Geary reported that PetPaint is formulating more permanent color options, a more extensive line of stencils and fun accessories to go along with PetPaint.

The future is bright for this category.

“The creative grooming category is growing rapidly as well as dog spa category, so I would look for new exciting products to hit the shelves soon,” said Bittman.

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