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August 3, 2015

Shedding is one of the biggest complaints among dog owners—even those who book regular grooming appointments for their canine companions. Dog owners can decrease shedding between appointments with quality professional tools.

Tools of the Trade

“Pet parents are looking for high-quality tools that they can use at home for touch-ups in between groomer visits,” said Karen Formico, vice president of marketing for Andis, a provider of quality hair products.“These tools need to be easy-to-use, help reduce their pet’s shedding and shouldn’t damage their topcoat. Our deshedding tools are the same high-quality products that you’ll find at your local grooming salon, with ergonomic, anti-slip handles offering unmatched comfort. They also reduce shedding up to 90 percent and have specially curved teeth to avoid scratching skin.”

“The Andis Deshedding tool is my favorite tool for mid- to long-coated breeds,” said Diane Betelak, Andis’ grooming expert. “The curved teeth pull the dead undercoat without damaging the harder guard hairs.”

“We recently launched a comprehensive line of Premium Pet Tools designed for both pet stylists and pet owners,” Formico said. “These tools all feature ergonomic, anti-slip handles designed for all-day use and reduced hand fatigue. The line includes several different sized brushes, two different combs, a deshedding tool and two different sizes of nail clippers. They are suitable for all breeds and are built to last. We also unveiled five new professional grooming shears with ergonomic offset handles designed for all-day use.

They are forged from top-quality Japanese stainless steel for precision cutting performance and
durability.”

For some pet owners, maintaining their pet’s coat in between grooming sessions can seem intimidating. However, groomers and retailers can educate their customer on which tools are most appropriate for deshedding and provide tips to alleviate that fear.

“I always recommend an appropriate-sized slicker brush so that the owner can help maintain their pet’s coat between professional groomings,” Betelak said. “This is especially true if they keep their pet in a longer hair style. The Andis medium firm slicker brush is great for the smaller dogs and the large firm slicker brush for larger dogs. The slicker will gently pull tangles and dead coat. I also recommend they comb through after they brush with a steel comb to check for any tangles they may have missed while brushing. If the owner shampoos their pet between groomings, it is best to brush and detangle prior to bathing because tangles will tighten when they become wet and then dry, making them more difficult to remove.”

Lather Up

However, deshedding isn’t only about the tools. Deshedding shampoos are increasing in popularity because of their effectiveness and ease of use. Popular options include FURminator DeShedding Ultra Premium Shampoo, ConairPro Dog Argan Oil Deshedding Shampoo and Fresh ‘n Clean Deshedding Shmpoo.

“After you apply it, let it sit a minute and then brush the dog before rinsing,” said creator Jorge Bendersky. “The thickness of the product will help loosen up and drag the dead coat out. Removing the dead coat while the product is on prevents it from flying away. A slicker brush with round tips is ideal, but any other will do. Massaging your dog when shampooing will help him relax and loosen up the dead coat.”

Cats Shed Too

Leverage part of this section to cat deshedding to cover all your bases. FURminator includes an array of deshedding brushes, including small and large options for short- and long-haired cats. In addition to brushes, wipes are a popular option. They’re easy to use and disposable, and serve as a good substitution for cats who are difficult to brush. Popular options include Pet Head’s Pretty Kitty Yummy Pineapple Deshedding Wipes and Burt’s Bees Dander Reducing Cat Wipes. This category for cats expands into furniture, too, with self-grooming options that serve to deshed cats.

Because shedding is a constant, common concern among pet owners, this is a category that will continue to grow. Be prepared to offer suggestions since many pet owners, especially those accustomed to taking their pets to the groomer regularly, might be nervous about at-home care. Those owners may require additional education to feel comfortable with their purchase. To drive traffic, consider offering a deshedding tutorial or event to promote products while educating consumers. Stock a range of products—from shampoos and leave-ins to brushes and combs—to provide customers with an array of deshedding options at several price points.

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