May 30, 2015

In part, the success of this category is the result of an increase in younger pet owners. In the latest American Pet Products Association survey, Gen X and Gen Y pet owners tend to spend more to pamper their pets than any other generation.

Gen Y pet owners, in particular, express their own personalities through the purchases they make for their pets, which range from their leash and collar choices to professional dog training services. As they push the humanization trend forward and showcase their love for their pets through pampering, cosmetics serve as a natural extension. However, many pet owners are unaware of these types of products or consider them part of the show dog arena. Stocking your grooming salon or retail shelves with accessible, easy-to-apply grooming cosmetics will introduce these customers to new, appealing products.

Nailing It

One such item is the Pawdicure Polish Pen by Warren London.

“Warren London has developed the only patented water-based nail polish for dogs in the industry,” said Eric Bittman, the company’s CEO and president. “To meet the needs of all of our groomers and customers, we also developed our polish to dry in under 40 seconds.”

Made in the U.S., the polish comes with a pointed nib for decorative nail art. Available in 13 colors, including on-trend neons, the nontoxic, odorless polish pens allow groomers to offer a fun service. Or, the pens can be merchandised in the salon to encourage clients to customize their pet’s nails at home. With a mix of shades, dog owners can embellish their pet’s nails to match their own or to coordinate with apparel.

At Dog Fashion Spa, the brand manufactures eco-friendly Dog Fashion Spa Nail Polish. Formulated by both nail- and dog-care experts, the nontoxic formulation is quick-drying and easy to remove with the brand’s nontoxic nail polish remover. Available in fashion-forward colors like Chic Paw Silver, Trendy Paw Green Aqua and Sexy Paw Red, the brand updates the colors as the fashion seasons change.

Coats of Many Colors

In addition to using nail color to express personality, fashionable pet owners can adjust their dog’s coat color in a range of hues and styles. Just Google “decorative dog grooming” to see thousands of ornate designs.

According to celebrity dog groomer and pet expert Jorge Bendersky, pet owners use coat color to have fun.

“A touch of color definitely will make your dog happy” said Bendersky. “The extra attention that [dogs] will get while taking a walk around town will most definitely be welcome by our four-legged friends,” he said.

Bendersky offers a handful of tips for cosmetics clients interested in “color therapy.” He recommends chalk-based products.

“Hair chalk is very easy to apply,” he said. “Lightly misting the coat with water or leave-in conditioner will help spread the color easier. Be careful not to apply too close to the dog’s eyes to prevent some of the dust irritating them or around their lips since it will be licked away.” He further cautioned that extra color should be brushed out of the coat after application, “or you may end up with color all over your apartment.” Groomers who offer these services should include care instructions, like misting the application with hair spray to make it last longer.

Chris Christensen’s line of show dog products offers chalk-based cosmetics in two forms: loose chalk and blocks. The blocks have a smooth texture that allow for even application. The loose version is available in six colors and the blocks are available in eight.
Warren London also offers Critter Color, a temporary color system that comes in eight shades.

For clients who aren’t interested in exotic decorative color, a natural up-sell for these products is to merchandise them in holiday-themed displays, with instructions for applying festive color combinations.

When it comes to selling cosmetics, grooming salons can offer these fun and festive touches as an additional service or à la carte for special occasions. Display the most-used products near the register to attract attention to them. Because this is still a new trend, many clients may not be aware that pet cosmetics are even available.

The key to growing this segment is to showcase these products and entice owners to try them by highlighting their potential to express a pet’s unique personality. If you host events in your store, consider a groomers’ showcase to allow your staff to show off their nail décor and coat color prowess to potential cosmetics customers.

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